Kyiv Post | 23Jan2010 | Interfax Ukraine
Russian MPs rap Ukraine president
for honoring nationalist
Members of Russia's upper house of parliament on Friday condemned a
decree by outgoing Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko that
posthumously conferred the title of Hero of Ukraine on Stepan Bandera,
leader of a militant nationalist movement in western Ukraine in the
1940s, who was assassinated by the KGB in 1959.
"It is simply shameful. If our grandfathers and fathers learned about
it they would simply turn in their graves with indignation," Yury
Vorobyov, deputy speaker of the Federation Council, told Interfax.
Yushchenko's decree reflects complete disregard for historical facts
and "runs against common sense and the entire course of history,"
Vorobyov said. It also conflicts with the position of member countries
of the World War II-era anti-Nazi coalition, the deputy speaker said.
"Stepan Bandera is an odious figure, and he is definitely not a hero of
the Ukrainian people," Vorobyov said.
Alexander Torshin, first deputy speaker of the house, said Yushchenko
has a poor knowledge of his country and its history and accused him of
"disrespect for the memory of the slain soldiers who gave their lives
for the freedom of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people."
"All these moves that Yushchenko has been making consistently over a
number of years by supporting obvious criminals who have been
condemnedaccording toall international canonswith their crimesproved by
numerous court trials and witness testimonies are simply offensive and
provocative," said Federation Council member Alexander Pochinok.
Pochinok said Yushchenko was bound to be aware of Bandera's role in
history. "He was bound to realize that he was supporting a criminal. It
is an offensive move and it is not in the interests of Ukraine or its
people," the lawmaker said.