Ukraine’s ally Poland demands it stop glorifying Nazi collaborators
Ukrainian fascists carry torches and a portrait of Stepan Bandera during a rally in Kiev, Jan. 1, 2022. The rally was organized to mark the birthday of Bandera, founder of an armed group that fought against the USSR and aided Hitler during his invasion of Soviet Ukraine in 1941. Poland is demanding that the Ukrainian government stop glorifying Bandera and recognize the genocide of Poles and others that he helped commit during WWII. | Efrem Lukatsky / AP

Ukraine must acknowledge the genocide of Poles by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in World War II, a Polish official says.

Warsaw has proposed a joint commission to exhume mass graves and give victims a proper burial but received no response from Kiev, Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin told reporters on Tuesday.

Ukrainian authorities have rebuffed protests from Poland and Israel about their glorification of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and his organization the UPA, which massacred over 130,000 Jews and Poles in an ethnic cleansing program during the Second World War.

Bandera, who fought with the Nazis against the Soviet Union, has been given Ukrainian national hero status as an anti-Soviet militant since the “Maidan” coup of 2014, with his birthday named a public holiday in his honor.

Children play around the monument to Stepan Bandera, Hitler’s WWII ally in Ukraine, erected by the government in Lviv, Western Ukraine, March 19, 2022. Bandera’s forces helped the Nazis in their genocidal rampage through Soviet Ukraine during the war. | Bernat Armangue / AP

The public rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators provided Russian President Vladimir Putin with one of the claims he used to try to justify his invasion of Ukraine in February.

Sellin said the UPA’s massacres met the definition of genocide. “This is a historical fact. Sooner or later, Ukraine will have to acknowledge it,” he said.

“The traditions of this military formation and the nationalist political movements behind it are unacceptable, worthy of condemnation.

“They have to acknowledge it because it’s a fact. It’s simply a fact. A political decision was made and implemented for ethnic cleansing, the extermination of the entire national minority that has lived there for centuries,” a Polish diplomat added.

Poland designated July 11 a national day in memory of the genocide in 2016, earning a rebuke from Ukraine, which has also dismissed Israeli objections to rallies celebrating Bandera as “counterproductive.”

Morning Star


Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.