The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor considers the C14 and the National Corps nationalist organizations as nationalist hate groups. This is stated in the bureau’s 2018 report on human rights in Ukraine, the Ukrainian News Agency reports. “There were reports that members of nationalist hate groups, such as C14 and National Corps, at times committed arbitrary detentions with the apparent acquiescence of law enforcement. For example according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU), on March 14, members of C14 unlawfully detained a man in Kyiv region who was suspected of being a member of an armed group in the ‘LPR.’ After interrogating him while he was face down and handcuffed, C14 handed him over to the SBU… There were reports that nationalist hate groups committed attacks on journalists. For example according to he Institute of Mass Information (IMI), on July 19, members of nationalist hate group C14 in Kyiv attacked a journalist covering a trial of C14 members who had been charged with attacking a Romani camp,” According to the bureau, security forces generally prevented or responded to societal violence. At times, however, they used excessive force to disperse protests or, in some cases, failed to protect victims from harassment or violence. “For example, on June 8, a group of violent nationalists from the National Druzhina organization--established with support from the National Corps--attacked and destroyed a Romani camp in Kyiv after its residents failed to respond to their ultimatum to leave the area within 24 hours. Police were present but made no arrests, and in a video of the attack posted on social media, police could be seen making casual conversation with the nationalists following the attack," the report states. The report also cites cases of government cooperation with xenophobes. According to the report, investigative journalists exposed several instances during the year in which the government provided grant funds to or cooperated with hate groups. Media outlets reported that C14 and other hate groups had entered into formal agreements with municipal authorities in Kyiv and other cities to form “municipal guard” patrol units to provide public security. In a December 2017 media interview, the head of C14 described cooperation with the SBU and police. The report also states that human rights groups expressed growing concern about an increasingly organized set of nationalist hate groups committing violent attacks on ethnic minorities (especially Roma), LGBTI persons, feminists, and other individuals they considered to be “un-Ukrainian” or “anti-Ukrainian” in 2018. According to the report, the HRMMU noted that the failure of police and prosecutors to prevent these acts of violence, properly classify them as hate crimes, and effectively investigate and prosecute them created an environment of impunity and lack of justice for victims. “Mistreatment of members of minority groups and harassment of foreigners of non-Slavic appearance remained problems. NGOs dedicated to combating racism and hate crimes observed that overall xenophobic incidents increased considerably during the year… There were numerous reports of societal violence against Roma during the year, often perpetrated by known members of violent nationalist hate groups. In some instances, police declined to intervene to stop violence… There was frequent violence against LGBTI persons, and authorities often did not adequately investigate these cases or hold perpetrators to account. An increase in attacks was due to increasingly active nationalist hate groups. The HRMMU noted that attacks against members of the LGBTI community and other minorities were rarely classified under criminal provisions pertaining to hate crimes, which carried heavier penalties. Crimes and discrimination against LGBTI persons remained underreported,” the report states. According to the report, the HRMMU noted that the failure of police and prosecutors to prevent these acts of violence, properly classify them as hate crimes, and effectively investigate and prosecute them created an environment of impunity and lack of justice for victims. “A June 13 joint open letter to Ukrainian authorities from Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Amnesty International, and Frontline Defenders also expressed concerns about the spike in attacks and impunity, and noted ‘the inadequate response from the authorities sends a message that such acts are tolerated,’” the report states. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Interior Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov has expressed confidence that neither the Natsionalna Druzhyna nor the National Corps will interfere in the electoral process during the March 31 presidential elections.