Polish President Lech Kaczynski has said a decree by outgoing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to declare Stepan Bandera, whom many see as a Nazi collaborator during WWII, a national hero, runs contrary to the historical truth
Bandera was a leader of the Ukrainian national movement in Western Ukraine and headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1941-1959. The Soviet authorities accused him of numerous acts of murder and terrorism and authorized his assassination by the KGB in Munich, Germany, on October 15, 1959.
“An estimate of activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army is categorically negative in Poland,” Kaczynski said in a statement.
He said the OUN and the UIA “carried out large-scale massacres” of the Polish people in eastern territories of the former Rech Pospolita, and “more than 100,000 Poles died just because they were Poles. “These killings raise unambiguous protest in Polish society,” he said.
“The Ukrainian president’s latest actions are aimed against the process of historical dialogue and reconciliation. Current political interests defeated the historical truth,” the president added.
Previously, Yushchenko awarded the Hero of Ukraine title to another leader of Ukrainian nationalists, Roman Shukhevych.
Friday, February 05, 2010