The Ukrainian parliament’s tweet celebrating an infamous Nazi collaborator’s birthday has caused a backlash among Kiev’s supporters.
A post appeared on social media by Ukraine’s parliament, which celebrated the birthday of WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera (1909-1959), reports the EuropeNews. The post has sparked outrage among Polish, American and Israeli officials, researchers and journalists. The Verkhovna Rada deleted its tweet amid the outcry.
The post was celebrating the Nazi collaborator Bandera, who would have been 114 on January 1, featuring a quote from him and a photo of the Ukrainian Armed Forces chief, General Valery Zaluzhny, with a large portrait of the Nazi collaborator in the background.
According to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, the Rada deleted another post, which quoted Bandera as saying that „the complete and supreme victory of Ukrainian nationalism will be when the Russian Empire ceases to exist.”
The posts drew major condemnation from Ukraine’s backers in the West, particularly from Poland.
„Bandera was the murderer responsible for the genocide of Poles in 1943-44,” tweeted Kacper Plazynski, head of the EU Affairs Committee in the Polish parliament. Plazynski added that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) – a militant wing of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) led by Bandera – „horribly killed about 100,000 Polish civilians.”
Several other officials echoed Plazynski’s condemnation, and even Kiev’s strongest supporters appeared to be angered by the official tweet.
In Israel, a Haaretz journalist said, „a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and antisemite whose followers engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Jews and Poles during World War II,” in response to Kiev’s tweet.