Hero of French film about Ukraine rejects accusations of ‘homophobia,’ ‘Stalinism’ and ‘cooperation with neo-Nazis’

By Semen Doroshenko, PolitNavigator

February 4: Ex-deputy of the Odessa Regional Council, communist, and coordinator of the Odessa branch of the Ukrainian organization Union Borotba (Struggle) Alexey Albu, for almost two years forced to live in political exile because of the events in Ukraine, made a statement concerning the documentary film recently released in France, “Masks of the Revolution” by Paul Moreira, exposing the myths of the so-called “revolution of dignity” in Ukraine.

Borotba’s Alexey Albu, in Paul Moreira’s documentary “Ukraine: Masks of the Revolution”

“On February 2 in France, a film by renowned journalist Paul Moreira was broadcast, “Ukraine: Masks of the Revolution,” in which I had the honor to participate. This film has caused a flurry of outrage and criticism from supporters of the current Ukrainian authorities, since it has shown the true face of the politicians who came to power through a coup in February 2014.

“Paul Moreira managed to accurately convey the atmosphere of fear and powerlessness prevailing today in Ukraine. His film exposed the sicknesses plaguing Ukrainian society, such as the role of foreign statesmen and neo-Nazi groups on politics within the country, which resulted in the events in Odessa and Eastern Ukraine. The film shows the truth that the Ukrainian authorities try so carefully to hide,” says Albu’s statement.

However, the leftist Odessa politician also drew attention to the slanderous attacks against him published in several European media outlets as a result.

“One of the arguments of the film’s critics, supporters of the Ukrainian authorities, is to hurl the words “homophobic, Stalinist, neo-Nazi collaborator Albu,” i.e., me. These ‘facts’ are taken from a fabricated and dirty article intended to blacken my name in the eyes of European citizens,” says Alexey Albu. [The article, “Homophobic Stalinist reiterates Russian propaganda for French documentary,” was written by Alya Shandra, managing editor of the propaganda website ‘Euromaidan Press’.]

The politician considers it necessary to respond to this article by Ukrainian critics because, according to him, it is referred to by very authoritative publications, including the Russian-language service of the BBC.

“To begin with, all my life I’ve been a supporter of left-wing and progressive ideas, based on non-discrimination against people on the grounds of nationality, race, and sexual, cultural or ideological grounds. From a young age I have always struggled against the ultra-right forces in the streets of my native Odessa and in the political arena.

“All the quotes cited in the article, where I insult representatives of sexual minorities, are false and untrue. Even the address of the site from which the quotes are allegedly taken is fake, because our organization has never used the “.tk” domain,” Albu says.

Alexey Albu also denies accusations of collaboration with neo-Nazis.

“As for my alleged cooperation with the neo-Nazis, referred to in the article, I must say that the Ukrainian provocateurs use the ignorance of the reader about the political situation in Ukraine, and the Russian language. Because in the materials presented for their argument concerning my collaboration with Dmitry Odinov, Dmitry himself calls on people to fight the ‘brown plague’ (as supporters of fascism and Nazi ideas are called in Ukraine and Russia). Yes, Dmitry Odinov adheres to right-wing political views, but the Committee for the Liberation of Odessa did not unite the radical left organization Borotba with his “Odessa Militia”, which in any case holds clearly expressed anti-fascist and patriotic positions. Thus, my collaboration with neo-Nazis is another lie of the Ukrainian propagandists.

Alexey Albu (right, with megaphone), leading anti-fascist march in Odessa on May 1, 2014,
from Paul Moreira’s documentary “Ukraine: Masks of the Revolution”
“Regarding accusations of Stalinism — I do not think that such an ideology exists, and consequently, I can’t be a supporter of it. As for the personality of Joseph Stalin and his role in the history of my country, I believe that it is a subject of historical study and analysis,” stated Alexey Albu.

“In order to induce antipathy and hatred against me on the part of readers, Ukrainian propagandists have used another lie — that I urged people into the House of Trade Unions [during the Odessa massacre on May 2, 2014], and therefore, I am guilty of their deaths. They aren’t bothered by the fact that even if this were true, the blame is not with those who tried to take refuge in the House of Trade Unions, but with those who shot, cut and finished off injured people. I am truly glad that I was not alone, and that dozens of participants in the struggle at the House of Trade Unions, survivors of that terrible day, are able to refute this blatant lie that was first spread by the media in the first days following the massacre. It was done on orders of the then-new governor of the Odessa region Igor Maces to discredit me in the election campaign for the post of mayor of Odessa, which was held at that time in the city,” says the statement.

Video: Alexey Albu, wounded during the massacre at the House of Trade Unions, 
speaks to supporters outside the Odessa police station on May 5, 2014.
Alexey Albu thanked director Paul Moreira for the opportunity to express his views and vision of the situation in Ukraine to the general public — a possibility of which he was deprived in his own country.

“Despite all the difficulties, despite all the dirt poured on me by pro-regime agitators, despite the announcement that I am wanted by the Ukrainian authorities, in spite of pressure from the Ukrainian security services on my relatives — I do not stop the struggle for the liberation of my native city from the neo-Nazi gangs,” concludes Alexey Albu’s statement.

Translator’s note: As of Feb. 4, YouTube has censored the English-language version of “Ukraine: Masks of the Revolution.” LiveLeak is releasing English-dubbed and subtitled clips; the first is here and the second here. A Russian-dubbed version can be watched here; there is also a transcript in Russian. The full French-language version can be seen here.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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