WWII veterans planning to march on what may be Ukraine’s last Victory Day public holiday have been threatened with attack by fascist paramilitaries.

Street fighters of the C14 group, a Transcarpathian Cossack outfit linked to the neonazi Right Sector party, attacked veterans on May Day with cries of “Ukraine is free” and “Commies to the gibbet,” according to witnesses.

The group’s name does not refer to a number in Ukrainian but is derived from the resemblance of the Cyrillic form of “sich,” a Cossack word for a command group, to C14 in Western script.

Police held the attackers back, but the group’s website congratulated them and posted comments including: “Just wait for May 9! Send the reddish spawn to hell!” and “Knife the veterans!”

Ukraine’s government since the EU-backed coup of 2014 associates itself with the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, which fought alongside the nazis in the second world war and helped carry out the Holocaust, and legislation removing May 9 — the anniversary of the nazi surrender to the Soviet Union — as a public holiday is going through parliament.

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