Thousands march to honor WWII Nazi collaborator

Ukrainian nationalists paraded in torchlight procession in Kiev with portraits of Hitler ally

Jan.2, 2021

Ukrainian far-right ultra nationalists held a torchlight procession in Kiev on Saturday night, celebrating a controversial WWII-Nazi collaborator. Israeli diplomats said the march “insulted” the memory of the Holocaust.

The activists chanted “Glory” and “Our land” as they marked the birthday of Stepan Bandera, a former leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which was aligned with Adolf Hitler’s Germany.

Some carried portraits and banners with images of the controversial figure and shouted “Bandera, come and restore order.” One person was filmed wielding what appeared to be a ceremonial sword.

The procession ended with a rally in front of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Israeli Embassy in Kiev condemned the procession. “The glorification of those who supported Nazi ideology, insults the memory of the victims of Holocaust in Ukraine,” diplomats said in a statement on Facebook, demanding that Kiev investigate “manifestations of anti-Semitism” during the march.

Bandera collaborated with the Nazi regime in Hitler’s war against the USSR, and his followers were responsible for massacres of Poles and Jews. In 1959, he was assassinated, in reprisal, by a Soviet agent in Munich, Germany.

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