news 04 Mar 14

Serbia Rightists Back Russian Moves in Ukraine

About 150 Serbian far-rightists gathered in front of the Russian embassy in Belgrade to demonstrate their support for Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Beta, BIRN
Belgrade
Rally in front of the Russian embassy in Belgrade, Photo by Beta

Chanting "Russia, Russia," and "Putin, Serbia is with you," some 150 far-right supporters gathered in front of the Russian embassy in Belgrade late on Monday.

The group, which brought traffic to a halt in front of the embassy in Deligradska st, expressed strong support for the Russian forces that have taken effective control of the Black Sea region of Crimea in Ukraine.

Vladan Glisic, who heads the ticket for one of the groups - Dveri - in the Belgrade local election due on March 16, said Dveri "invited all Serbian anti-fascists and patriots to gather today in a show of support for [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and the Russian state in their fight against Nazism in Ukraine".

Russian forces seized the Crimea peninsula, where most of the population are ethnic Russian, over the weekend, using forces based at its large naval base in Crimea.

The takeover has been denounced by the new government in Kiev as well as by most Western governments.

Russia, however, maintains that it acted on the invitation of Ukraine's ousted leader, Viktor Yanukovych - and had a right to move in to defend ethnic Russians whom it said felt endangered.

Serbian rightists and nationalists generally cherish ties with Russia, as the leading Orthodox Christian Slavic power in the world.

The movements are also known for holding strong socially conservative values, emphasising family life and opposing gay rights and abortion. They also oppose Serbia's EU integration.

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