Sunday, January 24, 2010
Yushchenko's move on nationalist embarrasses rivals
Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko, in a move likely to embarrass the two rivals fighting to succeed him, onJan. 22elevated a controversial wartime nationalist leader to the status of hero of Ukraine.
Yushchenko issued a decree conferring the honour on Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist forces (OUN) which fought against both Nazi invaders and Soviet forces in World War Two and after.
Bandera continued to resist Soviet rule in Ukraine well into the 1950s. In the Soviet period he was the embodiment of anti-Sovietism and "bourgeois nationalism" and the very mention of his name was a post-war criminal offence in the Soviet Union.
He was assassinated in 1959 by a KGB agent in Munich.
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Source: Kyiv Post