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Ukraine's anti-Communist laws designed to suppress opponents -- Russian Foreign Ministry

Kiev is using its declarative condemnation of the Communist past as a pretext for introducing totalitarian methods of suppressing unsuitable parties and movements, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday in comments to a package of laws, condemning the Communist ideology and glorifying "fighters for independence", which Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (parliament) adopted a day earlier on Thursday.

"Kiev is using its declarative struggle against the allegedly totalitarian past as a pretext for introducing totalitarian methods to liquidate unsuitable parties, public organizations and movements," the Russian diplomats said.

"Rigorous censorship has been introduced to control political thought to make it match the distorted ideas of good and evil that are being propagated by the incumbent authorities in Ukraine. Under the canopy of rhetoric of fighting for civil rights and liberties, the Ukrainian lawmakers adopted laws, which directly limit the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, convictions and expression of opinion," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Separate provisions of the above-mentioned legislative acts give grounds for raising the question of their compliance with Ukraine's commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination," the Russian diplomats said.

"It is also clear that there are obvious discrepancies between these acts and the UN General Assembly resolutions 69/160 condemning the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance related to them," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said Kiev's attempts to distort the memory of the past and about real heroes of World War Two lead to a profound split in society.

"All attempts taken by Kiev today to distort the country's part, to denounce achievements of the Russian and Soviet periods in its history only trigger a profound split in present-day society," the ministry stressed. "The methods and instruments used to impose the nationalist ideology call in question the very perspectives of successful development of Ukrainian statehood."

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 10Apr15]

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