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Israel’s ambassador to Kiev ‘shocked’ Ukrainian region honors Nazi collaborator

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Israel’s ambassador to Kiev ‘shocked’ after Ukrainian region honors Nazi collaborator Bandera

The Israeli ambassador to Kiev has expressed outrage, after a region in Ukraine dedicated the year 2019 to the prominent nationalist leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

Joel Lion took to Twitter on Thursday to say he was “shocked” after the Lviv region honored Bandera in this manner. The move was to mark the 110th anniversary of Bandera’s birth.

    1/2 I was shocked to hear the decision of the Lviv Oblast declaring 2019 as the Stepan Bandera year. I cannot understand how the glorification of those directly involved in horrible antisemitic crimes helps fight antisemitism and xenophobia. @KyivPost @MFA_Ukraine @VGroysman

— Joel Lion (@ambassadorlion) December 13, 2018

    2/2 Ukraine should not forget those crimes committed against Ukrainian Jews and in no way celebrate them through honoring their perpetrators. @KyivPost @MFA_Ukraine @VGroysman

— Joel Lion (@ambassadorlion) December 13, 2018

Lion’s remarks reference the fact that, before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) had collaborated with the Nazis. However, his friendship with them didn’t last long and Bandera was arrested and imprisoned by the Germans.

Bandera is accused of condoning the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Poles in what is now western Ukraine, and Jewish groups have linked his followers to the mass murder of Jews.

Even so, many in Ukraine still regard Bandera as a hero, with lawmakers from Ukraine’s two biggest parties filing a motion earlier this month for President Petro Poroshenko to posthumously grant him the ‘Hero of Ukraine’ award.'

Read more: Israel’s ambassador to Kiev ‘shocked’ after Ukrainian region honors Nazi collaborator Bandera


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