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Ukrainian nationalists honor WWII-era paramilitary group

Members of the nationalist movements attend a rally marking Defender of Ukraine Day in centre Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — About 10,000 people have marched through the capital of Ukraine in an annual nationalist commemoration of the formation of the World War II-era Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

About 1,000 police officers were deployed for the Defender of Ukraine Day march. Demonstrators lit colorful flares and shouted slogans such as “We are returning Ukraine to Ukrainians.”

There was a scuffle when riot police intervened to stop some protesters attempting to destroy a Soviet-era monument near the parliament building.

The march in Kiev took place amid growing concern about radical far-right nationalists attacking Roma encampments and LGBT and women’s rights activists.

Sunday was the 76th anniversary of the formation of the paramilitary group, known by the acronym UPA, that fought against the Soviet army, sometimes in collaboration with Nazi forces.

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