Friday, January 29, 2010
Ukrainian president signs decree on recognition of UPA
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has signed a decree on the recognition of the ‘Ukrainian Rebel Army’ as a fighter for Ukraine’s independence, his press service reported on Friday.
The ‘Ukrainian Rebel Army’ (UPA) was created late in 1942 by a faction of the ‘Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists’ (OUN), headed by Stepan Bandera. UPA fought mostly against the Armia Krajowa of Poland, the Red Army and Soviet guerrilla fighters in Western Ukraine. The OUN-UPA men, whom people began to call the Bandera men, by the name of their leader, are guilty of numerous crimes. For example, they physically destroyed some 100,000 Poles, Czechs and Jews in the Western Volyn Region. Thousands of Ukrainians, who refused to cooperate with OUN, were also brutally murdered. For all those crimes, as well as for terrorist activities on the Polish territory before the war, Bandera is now regarded as a criminal and terrorist in Poland.
During the years of his presidency Yushchenko rehabilitated UPA veterans and conferred posthumously the title of Hero of Ukraine to UPA commander Roman Shukhevich and to OUN leader Stepan Bandera.