Far-right groups in Ukraine’s capital city Kiev are planning what they call a “crusade” against nightclubs that with little to no evidence they accuse of selling drugs in-house.
The march is scheduled for the 5th of November, and it’s expected that hundreds of people could be in attendance. Many are expecting the demonstration could escalate into raids and violence against the nightclubs and their attendees.
Catharsis is the far-right Telegram group who are making the accusations, and described as a ‘Union Of Cultural Conservatives’ they this week claimed that clubs such as Closer, HVLV, and ∄ (K-41) “have been selling drugs for years without hiding”.
The Telegram group is believed to have around 23,700 members, and called their community to “crusade” in Podil which is Kyiv’s club district, and described the nightclubs as “brothels”.
An English translation of Catharsis’ post reads: “We want the dens to cease to exist and Podil to become a clean, European zone, without drugs and the danger they pose. There will be many of us, there will be surprises.”
Many of the people in Kyiv’s dance music scene have responded to the post including local activists such as Nastia Pustova, who made her own post saying that these factions might “try to block the entrance to establishments, damage property and beat casual visitors and passers-by.”
Nastia Pustova also said far-right groups often attack subcultures in Ukraine, and described Catharsis as a group for “neo-Nazi’s”. She advised clubbers to stick in groups this weekend, and warned not to take any drugs in the district of Podil.
She continued to say that Catharsis is “known for distributing racist, sexist and homophobic material,” then added: “The development of cultural clusters and the condemnation of discrimination by young people runs counter to the far-right agenda,”
“As a result, the Nazis repeatedly attacked people of subcultural appearance, LGBTQIA+, and members of national minorities in Podil.”
All clubs accused of selling drugs have rejected the group’s allegations, with HVLV’s owner, Andy Yankovskyi, telling RA: “This is obvious slander, as the people who spread this information and announce these raids are pursuing certain goals of their own.”
Alisa Mullen from the Closer nightclub also commented on the rally in an interview with Resident Advisor, where she said: “no one is afraid, they don’t have any chance to get into the clubs, this is completely illegal so no one will let them in.”
There are some concerns that police could take the side of far-right groups following previous reports of them unlawfully arresting or using violence against clubbers and musicians in Kiev.
Closer was previously accused of drugs trafficking in 2016 after it was claimed they used the nightclub for selling and distributing illegal substances, but nothing ever came of the charges.