A public union established in Kharkiv known as the Ukrainian Front has chosen the St. George ribbon as its symbol. According to Mykhailo Dobkin, the head of Kharkiv Oblast Administration and the regional leader of the Party of Regions, the name and the symbolisms of the new organization are meant as a reminder that 70 years ago soldiers of the Ukrainian front of the Soviet Army liberated the country from the Nazi invaders.
Dobkin said that “the colors of the St. George ribbon represent bravery and were passed down since the time when Russian officers of the Russian army liberated our lands from invaders.”
According to the Radio Svoboda correspondent in Kharkiv, some 6,000 local Party of Regions leaders from the 20 oblasts of Ukraine established the Ukrainian Front by a unanimous decision at an emergency meeting.
Members of the Ukrainian Front consider “liberating Kyiv from extremists who arrived from Western oblasts for the protests” as their current task. “After some 70 years, a new Ukrainian Front is emerging which will liberate our land following the example of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers in those bygone 1940s,” said Mykhailo Dobkin at the meeting.
Oplot to Join the “Front-line National Guard”
Dobkin invited other public organizations and movements to join the Ukrainian Front. Some member of an organization named Oplot [stronghold] were among those who already joined the Front. A Kharkiv fight-club with the same name is associated with sending athletically-built young men, the so-called titushkiy, to street protests.
The members of the Front will form the Front-line National Guard. Mykhailo Dobkin explained that the idea is for the Guard “to include Afghan war veterans, soldiers of local wars, representatives of Cossack regiments, members of the Oplot and the Night Wolves, as well as various sports teams. This front-line is necessary to organize an effective defense of administrative buildings and also to recapture already occupied administrative buildings in other oblasts.”
Mykhailo Dobkin announced that local offices of the public union will be opened in all oblasts across Ukraine soon. The headquarters will be located in Kharkiv. Dobkin refused to head the Ukrainian Front saying that a state official has no right to lead a civic organization.
Source + video: Radio Svoboda
Translated by Alina Digtyar
Edited by Mariana Budjeryn