“Bandera is a Nazi, Petlyura is an anti-Semite.” What is written in the Western media about nationalism in Ukraine
In Ukraine, discussions around the article by the American magazine Newsweek, in which Bandera is called “a well-known Nazi employee,” and Petliura, an anti-Semite, do not abate.
Ukrainian pro-government media critics have called the publication “a repetition of Russian and Soviet propaganda stamps.” Although this is not the first article in the Western media criticizing Bandera, the glorification of the OUN-UPA in modern Ukraine and the support of nationalist groups by the authorities.
Strana figured out what was said in the acclaimed Newsweek publication and who and what else wrote in the world about Bandera and the Ukrainian nationalists lately.
The growth of neo-Nazi groups
The informational occasion for the article in Newsweek was the next celebration of the birthday of Bandera on January 1, as well as the announcement of 2019 as the “Year of Stepan Bandera” in the Lviv region and a critic of Israel. True, the reporter made an inaccuracy by writing that Bandera’s birthday was declared a national holiday in Ukraine (in fact, the Verkhovna Rada resolution said about the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the birthday of the OUN-UPA, which fell this year). For this inaccuracy, the reporter was especially strongly criticized by those close to Bank criticism.
Newsweek wrote about Bandera himself that he was a Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with German Nazis during World War II, because he believed that they would help his country gain independence from the now-defunct Soviet Union.
Newsweek also drew attention to the fact that in December the State Committee of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting banned the book of the Swedish historian Anders Rydell about “another anti-Semitic leader” Simone Petliura because of the unattractive portrait of the head of the UNR as a Jewish hater.
“In it, the author critically analyzed the actions of the Ukrainian nationalist Petliura, whose forces killed a large number of Jews in the early 20th century,” writes Newsweek.
In general, according to Newsweek, human rights activists are seriously concerned about the growth of neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine.
“In Ukraine there are many organized radical right-wing groups,” confirms Matthew Schaaf, director of the American Freedom House project in Ukraine.
Opponents parry: in Ukraine, according to a study by the American organization Pew Research Center, the lowest level of anti-Semitism in Central and Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, in December, an article with even sharper tonality appeared in the Polish edition of Polityka, and was also timed to coincide with the announcement of the year 2019 of Bandera in Lviv.
Bandera mobilizes the right electorate
Publicist Weslaw Romanovsky connected the strengthening of “love for Bandera” with the upcoming presidential elections.
“Stepan Bandera is a constant motive not only of historical politics. He significantly mobilizes the right and the far right electorate, especially in the west of Ukraine,” writes Polityka.
The author of the text believes that Bandera brought on the issue of the independence of Ukraine and Ukraine itself more losses than good. And that it will be difficult to enter Europe, glorifying him (the same thesis was once announced by the leader of the ruling Polish party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski).
“Stepan Bandera was a professional terrorist. He studied this profession in Galicia and at German intelligence courses in Gdansk and Berlin. He knew how to kill. Before his arrest after killing Polish Interior Minister Bronislav Peracki, who was the greatest terrorist success, he killed several Ukrainian villagers and students suspected of collaborating with the Polish authorities. Since he was a terrorist, Bandera belongs to a totalitarian world that Europe would like to forget as soon as possible “, writes Roman vsky.
Even earlier, the Bandera-nationalist topic surfaced in another American edition – Foreign Policy, where in the article “Dear Ukraine, please don’t shoot yourself in the foot” criticized the law according to which the organization of OUN-UPA was recognized as fighters for the independence of Ukraine. The law was called ambiguous, “sending the wrong signals about the past and threatening the freedom of speech.”
The OUN and UPA, as the newspaper writes, “were involved in the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing of the Poles in western Ukraine during and after World War II,” and their inclusion in the law is “deeply disturbing.”
They say that Ukraine’s desire to move away from its Soviet legacy can be understood, but an attempt to pay tribute to the OUN and UPA is “stupid and erroneous” and can hit the country’s international reputation.
In addition, if Kiev wants to win the battle for the souls and minds of the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine, accepting the narrative of Western Ukrainian nationalists is the wrong way to achieve this goal, the newspaper writes.
By the way, a lot is written about the Holocaust and Bandera. For example, the New York Times published a column by the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, in which he is indignant at the glorification of “upivtsev.”
“The OUN and its military wing of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) are glorified today as fighters for freedom. At the same time, nothing is said about the xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideology of the OUN, whose adherents called the Jews a“ foreign body inside our national organism. ”Nor is it mentioned that members of the OUN-UPA participated in the Holocaust, and also destroyed from 70 to 100 thousand Poles for the sake of creating an ethnically pure Ukraine. Despite these atrocities, many Ukrainians, especially in the west of Ukraine, consider the members of the OUN-UPA to be heroes The 1950s waged a guerrilla war with the Soviets, which, in their opinion, finds a response in today’s fight against Russia. Rehabilitation of the OUN-UPA is supported by government departments. Under the leadership of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, the history of the Second World War is rewritten and OUN-UPA is glorified and the crimes of this organization are being silenced in every way, “wrote Dolinsky.
In his opinion, this is not just a struggle for history.
“In recent years, violent nationalist right-wing groups have gained fame and influence in Ukrainian politics,” adds the author of the column and concludes that “the glorification of such organizations as the OUN-UPA is incompatible with Western values.”
“Not related to democracy”
In the Czech Argument agree with this opinion. So, on January 9 of this year, the publication also devoted an article to the theme of the Kiev authorities ’glorification of Stepan Bandera and Ukrainian nationalists, which, in the author’s opinion, has nothing to do with democratic values.
“Even more interesting is the fact that in 2010 the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it criticized Ukrainian President Yushchenko precisely because he made Bandera a“ hero of Ukraine. ”The resolution speaks about Bandera as a leader of the movement who“ collaborated with Nazi Germany “The European Parliament then expressed the hope that” the new Ukrainian leadership will reconsider this decision and take into account its obligations regarding European values. “And voila: the time has passed and this position has been considered Soviet propaganda,” writes Argumen t.
“In 2018, Ukraine at the official level turns to controversial chapters of history, chooses from it those moments that are beneficial to it (first of all, these are anti-Russian and anti-Soviet episodes), while others forget or push into the background … It is unlikely that is associated with liberal democracy and “European values”, that is, with at least a theoretical convergence with European norms, which were so often talked about before and after Euromaidan. Mentally, Ukraine is more likely to move away from the regulatory prerequisites for joining Europe European Union. First of all, politicians who use ambiguous and controversial historical themes for their own purposes, thereby harming both society and history. All nations, including ours, have skeletons in the national cupboard, but in this case Ukraine is rather ritually removes them from the closet and clothes them with clothes from illusions and mythology. But Ukraine has rather less controversial figures that it can be proud of, “concludes the publication.
Nazi symbols and Hitler
The theme of growing anti-Semitism against the background of strengthening nationalist ideology was also raised in the American online publication Daily Beast. In Ukraine, according to the resource, the number of fans of the Nazi ideology is gradually growing.
“Millions of Ukrainians call President of Russia Vladimir Putin“ Putler ”- you can even buy toilet paper on which it is written. But, if Putin is as nasty as Hitler, what do Ukrainian fans of Hitler think about? Meanwhile, Kremlin officials insist that the pro-European Maidan movement was actually “fascist” and that Ukraine is now controlled by the neo-Nazi government. And as if to confirm the version of Moscow, dozens of ultra-right movements, groups and music groups are used to Cystical symbolism and praise the cruelty of Hitler against the Bolsheviks – the invaders of Ukraine, “writes Daily Beast.
In the USA, where there is a strong Jewish lobby, I am not thrilled with such trends in Ukraine. The publication recalls a letter from the US Congress to the State Department, which describes the “unacceptable” situation with anti-Semitism in Ukraine. The letter said that Ukraine “glorifies the Nazi collaborators and provides for criminal liability for denying their” heroism. ”
US congressmen indicated that Nazi collaborators such as Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych, and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, killed Jews and Poles from 1941 to 1945.
“In fact, from the point of view of many modern Ukrainians, these historical figures are true heroes, although today Ukraine receives more help from Washington than ever before. Washington is selling Kiev the Javelin anti-tank systems to Kiev, in order to strengthen the Ukrainian army, which fighting against pro-Russian militias in the east of the country, ultra-right activists insist that Kremlin agents are behind every anti-Semitic action, and representatives of the Jewish community demand that Brushes put Hitler fans who just attract a lot of attention, “- says Daily Beast.
As an example of the growing Nazi sentiment lead scandal in Lviv, where the deputy director of the 100th school Mariana Batiuk was fired for publishing a photo, in which she and her students threw up their hands in a characteristic Nazi salute. She also published a portrait of Hitler on her Facebook page, signing him: “Great man, whatever one may say.”
They recollect marches of ultra-right paramilitary units, which “looked very threatening, and very few people wanted to stand in the way of muscular guys in black masks covering their faces.”
But the Nazi notes are already audible in children’s camps, which caused a huge scandal in the Western media.
“Zigi” in children’s camps
On the community of young “Bandera” in Western Ukraine, in which children and adolescents are taught to kill with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and educated in a racist spirit, told on CNN, Euronews, in the Washington Post. Schoolchildren there openly ziguyut and talk about Europe without Muslims and “black”.
The video report supplemented the torchlight processions of the nationalists and added that the military camps of the young nationalists are sponsoring the authorities.
In general, the plot creates the image of Ukraine as a “Nazi state” abroad, and this is shown not by the Russian media, but by the American and European media.
Experts believe that the “Bandera theme” can seriously hit not only the reputation of Ukraine, but also on statehood.
“It is demonstrated that Ukraine is deeply infected with the worst form of radical nationalism, which can become very dangerous,” says Irina Vereshchuk, director of the Center for Baltic-Black Sea Studies, to Strana.
The government, according to Vereshchuk, is mistaken, believing that it will be able to control the modern fans of Nazism.
“This myopia may cost Ukraine statehood, because not everyone in society approves of such things,” she says.
Information taken from: https://strana.ua/articles/181026-chto-pishut-v-zapadnykh-smi-o-bandere-i-ukrainskikh-natsionalistakh.html