From the ADL press release:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Viktor Yanukovich, the recently elected president of Ukraine, to withdraw the “Hero of Ukraine” title awarded to two partisans who fought alongside the Nazis against the Soviets in World War II and who had direct involvement in atrocities against Jews and Poles.
“The Ukrainian state does a grave disservice to its own history and to its reputation by lionizing those complicit in the mass murder of Jews,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.
This isn’t the first time the ADL has tried to meddle in Ukrainian politics. Last month we showed a clip of the head of the ADL Abe Foxman with Ukrainian officials trying to bully them in downplaying the importance of the Holodomor in comparison to the Holocaust. While the history of Jews in Ukraine is complicated to say the least, it can be shown repeatedly their relationship is constantly aggravated and exploited by Russia, Israel and special interest groups.
Meanwhile, Bandera and Shukhevych are just a few in a long list of scape goat “facists” that the Kremlin have used to conveniently push ahead their own agenda. But with the fall of the Soviet Union the archives began to open and researchers were given an opportunity to examine the details of history instead of the propaganda of the state. The declassified documents showed that Bandera and the OUN were not connected with killings of Jews in Lviv, but rather it was carried out by the Nazis (Bandera’s own siblings were prisoners of Auschwitz).
Today in Ukraine, it’s citizens are prepared to fight to honour their heroes:
Should President Viktor Yanukovych try to void the award, he might face street protests.
LVIV, Ukraine – Thousands of people from around the globe have signed a petition protesting a recent resolution by the European Parliament asking President Viktor Yanukovych to reconsider the Hero of Ukraine award that was posthumously bestowed on Stepan Bandera.
While there is no archival evidence to date that Bandera himself took part in pogroms against Jews, a brief alliance with the Nazis against the Red Army fueled Soviet propaganda which tainted him as a Nazi collaborator, and sparked widespread criticism of his movement by Jews. Supporters of Bandera see him as a hero, and are criticizing the European Parliament for siding with what they describe as a deliberate and anti-Ukrainian smear campaign.
On Feb. 25, as part of a resolution supporting Ukraine’s European integration, Europe’s parliament also called on Yanukovych to rethink the Bandera award, which was granted by ex-president Victor Yushchenko on Jan. 22. The Europeans alleged that Bandera, who headed OUN, was a Nazi collaborator.
Yanukovych appeared willing to comply when, during an official visit to Moscow on March 5, he told journalists the award would be revoked by May 9. Known as Victory Day, many former Soviet republics still annually commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany on that day. He also promised to annul a similar award that in 2007 was granted to Roman Shukhevych, who headed the guerilla Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
“As to Yushchenko’s decrees, they have caused great resonance. Of course, these decrees aren’t accepted in Europe or in Ukraine,” Yanukovych said, adding it was “not by accident” that the European Parliament turned to the new Ukrainian leadership to void the Bandera award.
“The European Parliament, unfortunately, was led by biased information, which, after all, caused the given misunderstanding,” he wrote in the letter, which was addressed to parliament president Jerzy Buzek and posted on the Ukrainska Pravda website on March 9. “Furthermore, the newly-elected president Victor Yanukovych, who is far from the ideals and principles of European democracy, now can ‘cover’ himself with the parliament’s decision in order to justify his anti-Ukrainian steps and rescind the presidential decree regarding Bandera.”