Tag Archives: Stepan Bandera

Ukraine commemorates Nazi collaborators

Activists of various nationalist parties carry torches during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. The rally was organized to mark the birth anniversary of Stepan Bandera, founder of a rebel army that collaborated with Nazi Germany and murdered thousands of Jews, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

I have not seen anything yet about rallies in Ukraine commemorating the birth anniversary of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. These usually occur on January 1. Maybe such demonstrations in Kiev are banned under existing martial law. But this certainly has not stopped the commemoration of this birthday – after all Stepan Bander and other Nazi collaborators (responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians in World War II are treated as national heroes in Ukraine.

For example, I hear from Eduard Dolinsky, Director General of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee that:

“The Verhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine’s official FB and Twitter pages are celebrating the 114th birthday of Stepan Bandera.”

You cannot get a higher political level than that!

From the Twitter account of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – Ukrainian Parliament (NOTE):

🇺🇦1 січня виповнюється 114 років від дня народження Степана Бандери (1909-1959).

Степан Бандера:
📌Коли між хлібом і свободою народ обирає хліб, він зрештою втрачає все, в тому числі і хліб. Якщо народ обирає свободу, він матиме хліб, вирощений ним самим і ніким не відібраний. pic.twitter.com/NxEmHa0SA7

— Верховна Рада України (@verkhovna_rada) January 1, 2023

Translated from Ukrainian:
 “January 1 marks the 114th anniversary of the birth of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959).
Stepan Bandera:  ‘When the people choose bread between bread and freedom, they ultimately lose everything, including bread. If the people choose freedom, they will have bread grown by themselves and not taken away by anyone.’
And from the Facebook account of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – Ukrainian Parliament (NOTE):

NOTE: Both the Twitter and Facebook posts of the Verkhovna Rada were highly criticized by mainly Polish commentators. Both posts have subsequently been removed. A similar post by the Verkhovna Rada last year listing current Ukrainian “heroes” including Bandera and other Nazi collaborators was removed after complaints by Polish commentators and politicians.

Eduard Dolinsky has also commented on several other events in Ukraine marking this birthday.


Yet people try to tell me that Ukraine does not have a neo-Nazi problem. That the ultranationalists in the National Battalions formed after the 2014 coup have all been weeded out. Etc., etc. The examples above are only a small fraction of the commemorations held for Nazi collaborators in Ukraine. Then there are all the street names, statues, etc., commemorating these murderers.

Don’t tell me Ukraine doesn’t have a neo-Nazi problem!

The subtlety of neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine – ignored by our media

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"Behind him is Bandera, the Nazi who organized the Volyn massacre, in the first week this bastard executed 15,000 Jews and 5,000 Ukrainians. Europe continues to support this commander-in-chief and his country with arms and money." - Twitter comment.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Behind him is Bandera, the Nazi who organized the Volyn massacre, in the first week this bastard executed 15,000 Jews and 5,000 Ukrainians. Europe continues to support this commander-in-chief and his country with arms and money.” – Twitter comment.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our media tended to be relatively honest about the neo-Nazio problem in Ukraine. They covered things like the Azov battalion and the role of ultra-nationalist groups in the 2014 coup which overthrew the democratically elected government. Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, banned posts by the Azov battalion because of its neo-Nazi nature, and the US Congress attempted to ban the transfer of US weapons to the Azov battalion for the same reason.

Nowadays it’s a different story. Any talk of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi problem is jumped on. Citing these former stories in your social media posts and you will be accused of being a “Putin puppet.” And there are numerous articles devoted to whitewashing Ukraine. Explaining that the president is Jewish so how can Nazis have any influence, etc., etc.  You have probably heard all the excuses.

But the fact remains that ultranationalists, many with neo-Nazi characteristics, have a strong influence in Ukraine. After independence (and to some extent before independence) in 1991, there was a growth in ultranationalist influence. There have been strong moves to rewrite the history of Ukraine and to establish ultranationalist Nazi collaborators as Ukrainian state heroes. Building monuments to them. Naming streets after them. And so on – you get the picture.

The recent photograph of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, illustrates the neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine. President Zelensky may be a Jew. There may be few evident neo-Nazi political parties elected to the Rada, the parliament. But the growth of ultranationalism means that the neo-Nazi influence is everywhere.

General Zaluzhnyi may not be an open neo-Nazi – but he has been photographed in front of a portrait of Stepan Bandera. Such photographs are common. Local officials and Mayors are photographed in front of such portraits because they are so everywhere in Ukrainian government structures – a bit like the Queen’s portrait in our government departments (or is it King Charles these days?)


The Babi Yar memorial in Kiev stands at the end of two avenues which have been named after Nazi collaborators and mass murderers the Ukrainian government considers as national heroes – Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych

And then there are the memorials to these recent heroes who were Nazi collaborators and committed horrible crimes of genocide. I have illustrated some of these before (see Once again, those Russian neo-Nazis – the Wagner group), but the street names in Kiev are surely shameful. The avenues leading up to the Babi Yar memorial are now named after the two most prominent Nazi collaborators during World War Two – Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych.

Babi Yar

A German Einsatzgruppen soldier talks to two unidentified women at the top of the Babi Yar ravine, where more than 33,000 people, mostly Jews, were massacred on September 29 and 30, 1941. © Wikimedia

Unfortunately, these vital details (and there are a lot more) are not talked about these days. Our media no longer discusses the Ukrainian neo-Nazi problem. And I will be accused of being a “Putin puppet” or worse for daring to mention it.