Written by Paxton Quigley
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Sunday, 3 June 2012

The government of Ukraine hit back at concerned critics today defending perceived racism and homophobia among its citizens as "harmless horseplay and banter".

At a hastily convened press conference for the international media intended as a damage limitation exercise, an apparently inebriated and flustered Mr. Yuri Sodoff from the Ministry of Culture said that he was appalled to have Ukraine's reputation "dragged through the mire" by the press and in particular the BBC. Reading a prepared statement he claimed that recently circulated film and video clips of Asian students and Gay Pride event organisers on the receiving end of violent attacks by neo Nazis and football hooligans were "nothing to worry about" and were merely a traditional manner of reacting to "those who do not conform to the norms of a civilised society".

As the conference began to deteriorate into an attack on the British media for raising the subject, Mr. Sodoff warned the BBC not to send "that Manish Bhasin and that camp guy Lawro" to Euro 2012 as he could not "guarantee their safety". In the ensuing uproar Mr. Sodoff was ushered from the room by Ministry of Culture officials and was heard to shout "what's the problem? It's only the f*cking queers and blacks who care"....

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