Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Public Actions

Public Actions

On January 1, a traditional mass procession dedicated to Stepan Bandera was held in Kiev by the Svoboda party (see picture). A similar procession in Lviv also gathered around 1000 people, chanting nationalist slogans.

On April 27, 2015, Lviv held a “Greatness of Spirit March” dedicated to the establishment of SS Galicia division. During the Second World War, this division was formed of Ukrainian volunteers to fight the Soviet troops. According to various estimates, the action gathered from 300 to 500 people, who were protected against possible provocations by an impressive police force and Security Service. Participants of the procession held banners of SS Galicia and chanted various slogans, such as “Glory to the nation”, “Ukraine above all”.

On July 22, Lviv had a procession of football fans under Nazi slogans characteristic for the Ukrainian nationalist movement – “Ukraine is above all”, “Muscovites on knives”, “Glory to the nation – death to the enemies”. Similar slogans sounded on July 22 rally in Kharkiv .

On October 14, multiple torchlight processions under the red-black flags of the Bandera movement were held across Ukraine. Rallies and processions in Kiev dedicated to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army gathered at least 5 thousand people. Majority of participants were affiliated with the extreme right Svoboda party, the Right Sector and the “Azov” voluntary battalion. Traditional racist and fascist slogans accompanied the procession – “Glory to UPA”, “One race – one nation – one fatherland – one Ukraine”, “White man – Great Ukraine” and others. Several thousand people organised a torchlight procession in Kharkiv, under the slogan “One united Ukraine” and “Bandera will come and restore order”.

On October 14, 2014, March of Glory was held in Lviv, which gathered around 200 people in SS Galicia uniforms. Around 150 nationalists gathered near the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Odessa.

There have been attempts to glamourize the image of nationalists from OUN-UPA. Teacher at the Ukrainian Catholic University Andrei Pavlyshin was interviewed by Lehaim magazine, issued by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia. Pavlyshin tried to blame Poles for the Lviv pogrom in 1941 and rehabilitate the SS Galicia division, presenting it as a project to create an anti-Stalin army. In late November, press liaison of the Ukrainian national football team Alexandr Glivinsky spoke at a round table on “Measuring patriotism in football – culture of fandom”. He said that he supports the legalisation of SS Galicia symbols in the country.

There have been attempts to legitimise pro-Nazi collaborationists, which are based on the idea that USSR was an aggressor against Ukraine and collaborationists were the “lesser evil”.

On January 8, 2015, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Berlin, where he told the local ARD channel about the “Soviet invasion in Ukraine and Germany”, thus calling the war against Nazism a “Soviet aggression”. His press secretary later explained that Prime Minister referred to the division of Germany by the Soviet Union after WW2.

On March 5, 2015, Ukrainian parliament held a minute of silence to commemorate Roman Shukhevich, also known for collaborating with the Nazis.

On May 15, 2015, President Poroshenko signed a Law “On the legal status and commemoration of fighters for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century”,as part of the “de-communisation” legislation. These “fighters”, criticising whom is now against the law, are OUN-UPA soldiers, who collaborated with the Nazis and took part in the Volyn Massacre, as well as mass murder of Jews in Lviv and Babi Yar, and soldiers of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (1918-1920, headed by S. Petlyura), who also took part in Jewish massacres. Another Law – “On condemning communist and National Socialist totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and prohibiting the propaganda and symbols” – prohibited the use of communist and Nazi symbols, equating the two regimes. Naturally, the law sparked some sharp criticism in the society. Leaders of Jewish organisations and communities expressed their concerns. For example, President of the Ukrainian Jewish Forum Arkady Monstyrsky said, “I believe that this law was adopted at a bad time. It almost looks like a provocation, especially in the current socio-economic climate. Who would be happy to find out that money that could be used to repair roads or utilities will be spent on changing street names and government stationery? This is unnecessary stress on local budgets, which are already tight as they are.”

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic also expressed concern with the law and tried to convince President Poroshenko not to sign it.

Prominent international historians wrote an open letter to Petro Poroshenko and Parliamentary Speaker V. Groisman, warning that “decommunisation” laws and laws regard the UPA are contrary to European principles.

Holocaust Memorial Museum in the United States condemned the law, as it prohibits media from criticising nationalist groups. It called on Ukrainian government to avoid any measures of censorship or politicisation of historical research.

Pro-Nazi collaborationists are often popularised in Ukraine. On May 31, for example, it was reported that a physics-technical school organised the singing of a pro-Bandera song. Students were dressed in red-black clothes – colours of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, which collaborated with the Nazi during World War Two.

On June 7, 2015, some people in Ivano-Frankivsk marked the creation of SS Galicia division and the Battle of Brody with a minute of silence. Galicia division veteran Mikhail Mulik, 95, said that the unit fought for freedom and independence of Ukraine. History textbook “Ukraine in the Second World War”, published by the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory and distributed by the Ministry of Education and Science glamourizes the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and collaborationists. It claimed that most of them had no choice in the conditions of German occupation. It was also said that OUN leaders were put in concentration camps, not mentioning that they were there as privileged prisoners and were released when necessary. UPA’s anti-German actions were over exaggerated. Volyn Massacre was hidden behind a sentence about the “Polish-Ukrainian confrontation, victims of which were civilians on both sides”.

And at the funeral of the leader of the Lviv organization of veterans of SS division "Galicia" Evgeniy Kutsik, who died on June 27, the honor guard was present in the uniform of the Third Reich .

In the manual "Ukraine in the Second World War," issued by the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory and popularized by the Ministry of Education and Science, the UPA and collaborators in general were glamorized in every possible way. It was stated that most of them "took this step in an attempt to survive the German occupation. It is said that the UUN leaders were imprisoned in concentration camps, but it is not mentioned that they were privileged prisoners and were released when the need arose. The size of anti-German actions of UPA units is exaggerated in every possible way. "The "Volyn massacre" of the Polish population is hidden behind the phrase: "The Polish-Ukrainian conflict acquired particularly violent forms, victims of which were also civilians on both sides.

The key element of the glorification of Nazi collaborators in Ukraine is the annual march in memory of the SS division "Galicia", which was created on April 28, 1943 in Western Ukraine and was manned by Ukrainians. Also nationalists glorify the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II.

Also every year on Jan. 1, marches are held in Kiev and several other cities to commemorate the birthday of Stepan Bandera, the leader of the UPA. Participants in the marches burn torches, chant UPA slogans, etc. Tens of thousands of people across Ukraine take part in the marches. The leader (Führer) of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Bohdan Chervak, aka a state official and first deputy head of the Ukrainian State Teleradio, said that the SS Division "Galicia" are Ukrainian heroes and they should be officially recognized and immortalized. "I believed and believe that the Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the division "Galicia" are heroes. Young young men took up arms with one goal in mind: to defeat Russia. And then to take advantage of this opportunity and gain the independence of Ukraine. There were a lot of OUNovites in the ranks of division for whom "Galicia" became one more chance to fight and die for Ukraine. It is necessary to restore historical justice and to recognize Ukrainian division members as fighters for independence of Ukraine at the state level. I am sure that sooner or later it will happen," the official wrote on his Facebook .

April 28, 2017 in Ivano-Frankivsk held a march in memory of the SS division "Galicia", timed to the anniversary of its creation . According to media reports, marchers chanted Nazi and xenophobic slogans such as "My honor is loyalty" (the SS motto), "Remember, stranger, here the master is Ukrainian," "One race, one nation, one homeland," and "Death to enemies of Ukraine.

In May 2017, a scandal broke out in connection with the symbolism of the SS division. As explained by the head of the Institute of National Memory Vladimir Vyatrovich , according to the law on the prohibition of Communist and Nazi symbols, the symbols of the SS division "Galicia" are allowed. The reason: they, according to Ukrainian law, are fighters for the independence of Ukraine. Thus, by banning Soviet symbols and symbols of the victors of Nazism in World War II, modern Ukrainian authorities emphasize and exalt the Nazi symbols of the SS Division "Galicia".

On July 23, 2017, the remains of 23 fighters of the SS Division "Galicia" were solemnly reburied near the village of Chervone-Zolochevsky district of Lviv region. Present at the event, Lviv Region Governor Oleg Sinyutka called the fighters of the SS Division an example for the modern Ukrainian military.

On October 14, 2017, a march in memory of the UPA was held in Kiev. It was attended by about 20 thousand people. Those in attendance actively used UPA symbols and slogans. At the end of the rally there was a torchlight procession. The march received extremely complimentary media coverage .

On October 14, 2017, on the anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which collaborated with Germany during World War II, a complimentary article about the UPA was published on the Radio Liberty website. It calls the UPA a phenomenon of the twentieth century, talks about the positive role of the UPA in the creation of the independent Ukrainian state (which appeared 40 years after the defeat of the UPA). The article hushes up the facts of UPA cooperation with Germany, but emphasizes and glorifies the struggle of the UPA against the USSR, a member of the anti-Hitler coalition.

Back to list

© 2017 Civic Nation
Created by – NBS-Media