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Ukrainian consul in Germany, who celebrated birthday with ‘Mein Kampf’ cake, rejoins diplomatic corps

Ukrainian consul in Germany, who celebrated birthday with ‘Mein Kampf’ cake, rejoins diplomatic corps
Last year a Ukrainian diplomat, whose friends-only Facebook posts hailed the Nazis and invoked God’s wrath on Jews, was sacked for disgracing the service. Now he is back in the ranks, after a court ruled he’d done nothing wrong.

Vasil Marushchinets was recalled from his position as Ukrainian consul in Hamburg, Germany, and fired in May 2018. The incident occurred shortly after a popular Ukrainian video blogger posted a damning report exposing the diplomat’s friends-only posts on Facebook.

If they were public, the posts would definitely breach the law of the host country, since Marushchinets wrote about how it was “an honor to be a fascist”, how “the Jews declared war” on Hitler-ruled Germany, and how the Holocaust was a hoax. He even shared images from his 60th birthday, which featured a celebration cake fashioned to feature the Nazi leader’s book ‘Mein Kampf” as the centerpiece.

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Amid the scandal, Ukraine’s then-Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin declared that there was no place for anti-Semites in a civilized society in general –and in his ministry in particular– and promised to get to the bottom of it.

Two weeks later Marushchinets found himself unemployed, after a disciplinary commission declared he had violated the ministry’s code of ethics and tarnished its image. The commission said the diplomat may have even broken Ukrainian criminal laws on hate speech and that his case would be referred to law enforcement.

Marushchinets’ case did go to a court, but not a criminal one. He embraced all the scandalous posts and challenged his resignation on a technicality. In mid-November the judge of an appeals court ruled he had been sacked illegally. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry apparently decided not to put up a fight and complied with the court order to reinstate the man, the Ukrainian News website reported on Tuesday, citing an official response it had received from the diplomatic service.

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The ministry even paid over $9,000 in damages, as the ruling instructed, but stopped short of giving Marushchinets back his old job in Germany, contrary to what the judge said. Instead, he will be part of the ministry’s department tasked with “opposing threats from Russia” and will be stationed in Kiev. Apparently, there, his proclaimed hatred for ‘Moscals,’ a derogatory term for Russians used by Ukrainian nationalists, will be channeled into the sort of actions that Western nations find less objectionable than the public praising of Hitler.

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