Voices from Russia

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Ukrainian Jewish Committee Warns Kiev About Glorifying World War II Murderers of Jews

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On Friday, Eduard Dolinsky, Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told golos.ua:

The veneration of World War II-era Nazi groups and surging anti-Semitism in the Ukraine will inevitably affect relations with Israel. Currently, both countries enjoy a good relationship. However, the Ukraine’s glorification of the murderers of the Jewish population will eventually come back to haunt Kiev in its relations with Israel. This’ll happen shortly. This’ll depend on how the Ukraine acts. For example, Poland, as you know, banned entry for (the director of the Institute of National Memory) Vyatrovich as well as some of his allies and nationalists. Israel may also take similar measures. Besides, ultra-right sentiment and extremist groups will grow in the Ukraine if the government remains idle. The whole world is witnessing mounting rightwing extremist sentiment and stepped-up activity by radical groups in social life. If they take no action to counter this, this’ll build up day by day. In addition, their numbers would increase, eventually making the fight against them more difficult.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the number of anti-Semitic incidents doubled in the Ukraine in 2017 year-on-year, which comes against the backdrop of a glorification of nationalist leaders responsible for the murders and expulsion of Jews during World War II. It noted:

For a second successive year, the Ukraine saw the biggest number of anti-Semitic incidents among the former Soviet Union republics. There was anti-Semitic propaganda in politics, vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries, buildings, and social centres, as well as monuments to Holocaust victims. However, they don’t take any effective action against vandals, with anti-Semitic incidents qualified as just hooliganism and not as hate crimes.

In May 2015, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko signed a law glorifying the OUN (Ukrainian nationalists) and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), a terrorist group outlawed in Russia, labelling their activity as a struggle for the country’s independence. Statues to nationalist Nazi collaborators S A Bandera and R I Shukhevich arise across the Ukraine, memorial events and torchlight processions occur in their memory, and they name streets after them.

1 June 2018

TASS

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