Recently, the Israeli Foreign Ministery deployed protests against Ukraine's glorification of Nazis. Ukrainian officials responded that this is the inner dealings of the Ukraine. An official protest is a rather big diplomatic issue, which cannot be triggered by something minor.

But are there any examples of official Nazi glorification in the Ukraine?

If there are no such examples, then this complaint is less logical - the Ukrainian government cannot take responsibility for each and every group of radicals.


From your linked article:

the government-sponsored honoring of Bandera and Andryi Melnyk

Specifically, it was the city government of Kyiv which hung a banner of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera from a municipal building.

The original letter here. In addition to the honoring of Bandera, it also mentions public funds being spent on celebrating Andryi Melnyk - another Nazi collaborator - as well as Ivan Lypa and Yurii Lypa.

The current cases fit in with a history of glorifying Nazi colaborators such as Bandera, who was awarded the Hero of Ukraine award by president Yushchenko in 2010 and has several monuments dedicated to him.

  • I'm sorry, missed it while reading an article. Radical groups were there all the time, but such widespread support is impressing.. Jan 15 '20 at 11:11
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    @user2501323 Definitely. Though I don't want to imply that he is honored specifically for his Nazi collaboration (it's probably more his nationalism and anti-communism), nor that this is unique to Ukraine (in Germany, Schleyer or Rommel would be two of countless examples of Nazis still honored after WW2).
    – tim
    Jan 15 '20 at 11:19
  1. There can't be examples of "official" glorification. Both Nazi and Communist ideology and symbolics are condemned and banned in Ukraine. If you see it, know it's illegal; call the police.

  2. Ukrainian partisans of WWII who mentioned in the article(1) have been fully exonerated by Nuremberg Trial from accusations of collaboration with Nazi occupants nor did they collaborate with Communist occupants.

  3. There are real Nazis who are being caught and prosecuted, but they can evade the justice due to imperfections of law enforcement system and their (Nazis) support from the foreign government.

Legal Background

Ukraine has adopted Law #2558 “On Condemning the Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes and Prohibiting the Propagation of their Symbols”, (review in English).

So it is simply illegal to glorify Nazi or Communist regimes, its ideologies, flags, other symbols, or any of its members. Whoever who has evidence against a Ukrainian citizen, official, or an institution to do so, can file a request to police or SBU.


It should be mentioned that the entire population of Ukraine was forced to collaborate with either Nazi or Russians during the WWII. Some people made the difference, but OUN/UPA generally did not; they fought for Ukraine's independence against both occupants.

This leaflet circulating in Ukraine is self-explanatory:

Not for Hitler, Not for Stalin

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg did not indict Bandera on any crimes against humanity, despite the tremendous pressure of the Russian prosecutors. The Tribunal papers contain a captured German document of 25 November 1941 that ordered (page 265):

"It has been ascertained that the Bandera Movement is preparing a revolt in the Reichskommissariat which has as its ultimate aim the establishment of an independent Ukraine. All functionaries of the Bandera Movement must be arrested at once and, after thorough interrogation, are to be liquidated..."

OUN-B, the Bandera-led faction of OUN, has been so dedicated of fighting against the Nazis that within two years 1941-1943, the Nazis had imprisoned or killed 80% of OUN-B leadership. You can hardly call this "collaboration".

Stepan Bandera himself was arrested in 1941 by Gestapo and has been enslaved in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp till 1944 specifically because of his refusal to rescind the Proclamation of Ukrainian statehood and to collaborate with the Nazi regime.

There's a sad meme in Ukrainian blogosphere,

It seems to be difficult to "collaborate with Nazis" while staying in a Nazi concentration camp.

Condemning the Nazi

Unfortunately, there are still various Nazi groups operating in Ukraine today. Ukraine condemns and prosecutes Nazis, but the process is slow due to imperfection of law-enforcement institutions of Ukraine who are unable to tackle this problem. In addition, many Nazi organizations are supported from abroad which slows down the process.

Eduard Kovalenko

Eduard Kovalenko (on photo) was sentenced for 5 years in jail.
However, on December 2019 Russia has included him in POW swap list, and Kovalenko fled to Russia evading the justice.
It is not currently known why the Russian government salvaged this Nazi from the jail.

(1) The last, but not the least, the quoted article looks very biased: it is anonymous (signed by "Hamodia Staff"), it refers to an unnamed "Ukrainian diplomat in Tel Aviv", and its repetitive "collaborators" and "murderers" clearly indicates that the entire article's goal is antagonizing Ukrainian and Jewish nations in the verge of Holocaust commemoration ceremony.


One example is the case of Karpatska Sich veterans. This is a far-right paramilitary group. It was founded originally in 1938, and was a local ally of the Nazis in the Transcarpathian Region. It was officially banned after WWII, but was reestablished in the last decades. Since then it has carried out several attacks agains minorities of the region like Hungarians, Gypsies, etc. There was no official effort from the authorities to dissolve this group.

Late March 2019 former Karpatska Sich soldiers (and other living former members of irregular Ukrainian nationalist armed groups that were active during World War II) were officially granted the status of veterans.

  • Thank you for your answer, Adam, it is good, and +1 of course, but I just think, that tim's answer contains more material. Jan 16 '20 at 6:29

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