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Recently, the Israeli Foreign Ministery protested against Ukraine's glorification of Nazis. Ukrainian officials responded that this is the inner dealings of 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 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.

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  • Pretty related politics.stackexchange.com/questions/71492/…
    – Fizz
    Aug 28, 2022 at 17:12
  • I can't read the article by the Israeli foreign minister because it's behind a paywall. Maybe he/she said why or what exactly they are protesting against? Or maybe at least the protest can be quoted somehow. What exactly did they say?
    – Trilarion
    Aug 28, 2022 at 20:13
  • This question is not possible to answer properly without reading the article that is all completely inaccessible without the paid subscription. As it is not possible to tell what exactly do they have in mind, the answers started to appear about some organization first time I hear about and the source claims "has Nazi roots", some red/black fag I have never seen before ... Would raising the state flag of Russian Federation over taken territories qualify? One another source cross claiming Russia itself in Nazism can be found on more pro-Ukrainian side. But maybe better to close the question.
    – Stančikas
    Sep 1, 2022 at 20:33

6 Answers 6

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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.

Disclaimer: I don't want to imply that Bandera 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). This is a problem, but in no way does it represent the whole of Ukraine, nor does it justify the current war of aggression started by Russia, which was started for no legitimate reason.

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    I'm sorry, missed it while reading an article. Radical groups were there all the time, but such widespread support is impressing.. Jan 15, 2020 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, 2020 at 11:19
  • But for what? For exactly nazism or there were other reasons?
    – Stančikas
    Aug 28, 2022 at 13:57
  • @tim Can you show some examples of oficial glorification of Schleyer or Rommel? Any monuments or streets cariing their names?
    – convert
    Sep 2, 2022 at 10:42
  • @convert There's the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, the Generalfeldmarschall-Rommel-Kaserne in Augustdorf and the Rommel-Kaserne in Dornstadt. There are also Schleyer streets in eg Aichach, Sindelfingen, Mannheim, and Mönchengladbach and Rommel streets in eg Bruck and Aalen. There's a monument for Rommel in Heidenheim.
    – tim
    Sep 3, 2022 at 15:26
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  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.


WWII

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.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Jan 16, 2020 at 16:42
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    "Condemned and banned"? The Ukrainian Neo-Nazi party is in the governing coalition.
    – einpoklum
    Aug 29, 2022 at 18:04
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    Is it? It had 3 ministers during parts of 2014 and does currently not hold a single parlamentary seat. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – lidar
    Aug 29, 2022 at 20:39
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    Are there examples of the law actually working both ways, not just against Communists? Or is it just pretends to be fair?
    – Crantisz
    Aug 30, 2022 at 9:45
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The others answers are somewhat outdated regarding the role of Stepan Bandera and the attitudes toward him in Ukraine. Specifically, president Zelensky has a few weeks ago recalled the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, over the latter's denial of the Bandera's role in the massacres of Jews and Polish during the Nazi occupation. The recall followed the protests by Israel and Poland (the latter being among Ukraine's most vocal supporters in its conflict with Russia.)

Bandera was controversially made Hero of Ukraine by President Victor Yuschenko, but this status has been since revoked:

On 22 January 2010, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded Bandera the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine. The European Parliament condemned the award, as did Russia, Poland and Jewish politicians and organizations. President Viktor Yanukovych declared the award illegal, since Bandera was never a citizen of Ukraine, a stipulation necessary for getting the award. This announcement was confirmed by a court decision in April 2010. In January 2011, the award was officially annulled. A proposal to confer the award on Bandera was rejected by the Ukrainian parliament in August 2019.

Bandera exemplifies the tragic history of the Eastern Europe during WW2, where the only way of fighting against Soviets meant allying themselves with Nazis and vice versa. Some may feel the very mentioning of Bandera Nazi collaboration as anti-Ukrainian... however one may equally point out that Ukraine has grown from a post-Soviet country, glorifying anyone anti-Russian, into a modern pro-western society, capable of facing its controversial past, the way other European countries do.

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Nazism is forbidden in Ukraine by the accepted law 2558, so the "official glorification" for exactly Nazism is legally not possible.

People and organizations may get glorification for the reasons not relevant to them seen by some or even truly being Nazi. The AZOV Battalion may get glorification for defending Mariupol. Defending Mariupol within AFU as such is not Nazism and unlikely to be opposed by Israel.

Glorification for activities completely irrelevant to Nazism is unlikely a glorification of Nazism. Israel generally seeks that organizations and people with the known Nazi or antisemitic views should not get any respect, regardless of what else have they done. Understanding the extend to which Jews suffered, this kind of respect likely should be granted for the Jew community. They have right to demand such things, with all they national populations wiped.

Quite often some group or organization participates in the resistance against Soviet army and, after the state gets independence, is honored just for this resistance. They more questionable views or even actions may not even be known by majority at that time. Then streets get renamed and memorial plaques removed, but even before that, they were glorified because of other reasons than Nazism.

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    To be fair there are places around the world that are doing things "officially" that are against the law. Not saying that is the case here but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
    – Joe W
    Aug 28, 2022 at 15:17
  • Are there examples of the law actually working both ways, not just against Communists? Or is it just pretends to be fair?
    – Crantisz
    Aug 30, 2022 at 9:47
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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 and threats 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.

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    "but was reestablished in the last decades. Since then it has carried out several attacks agains minorities of the region like Hungarians, Gypsies, etc. " Just out of curiosity, are there since sources in English available on this maybe?
    – Trilarion
    Aug 28, 2022 at 20:10
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    "Since then it has carried out several attacks against minorities of the region like Hungarians, Gypsies, etc" really needs the source and please not from PR of Russian Federation. Voting down on the source not present on the claim so strong.
    – Stančikas
    Aug 29, 2022 at 8:37
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    @Stančikas Trilarion References were added. Most importantly from Human Rights Watch: "Since the beginning of 2018, human rights groups have documented at least two dozen violent attacks, threats, or instances of intimidation by radical groups such as C14, Right Sector, Traditsiya i Poryadok (Tradition and Order), Karpatska Sich and others against Roma people, LGBT people and activists and rights activists in several Ukrainian cities." Aug 29, 2022 at 15:34
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    Karpatska Sich of 2018 and 1938 are completely different organizations. Karpatska Sich actually first joined the Czechoslovakian struggle for independence from Hungary. Then there was a quick revolt against Czechoslovak government but after Hungary began to occupy the Carpathian Ukraine region they tried to fight for independence against them and there was cooperation with Czechoslovakian units that were escaping to Romania. Aug 30, 2022 at 18:36
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    Just calling them a local ally of Nazis is complete bollocks. They may have helped Hitler in disintegrating Czechoslovakia in March 1939 (after Czechoslovakia became unable to hold Ruthenia as an autonomous area independent from Hungary) but quickly found themselves against much clearer ally of Hitler - the Kingdom of Hungary under the regency of admiral Horthy. It was Horthy's regime who then managed the Holocaust in these areas. Aug 30, 2022 at 18:38
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Yes. The state flag of Russian Federation and close derivatives of it has been raised by Russian armed forces over destroyed cities of the Ukrainian territories (image credit):

enter image description here

I initially assumed that this question is limited to the glorification of the "classical" WWII Nazi or they very close successors (SS, Hitlerjugend, etc) with relatively few symbols (swastika, etc) that are all officially banned in Ukraine. But if it expands to all "neo-Nazi" on that the references can be found and whatever symbols they use, it may be relevant to point out that it is not difficult to find some sources accusing Russia itself as a new form of Nazism (here example). This is mostly for invading another sovereign country, but also for some rhetoric that another nation they do not like should be wiped from the globe (source).

This point of view will not find a widespread support in more pro-Russian sources but maybe should be included here for the completeness of the coverage.

Letter Z that we also see in the photo is already moving towards the status of swastika

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    What this has to do with the question?
    – convert
    Sep 2, 2022 at 10:04

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