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    On May 9, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law on the glorification of the notorious Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and gave social benefits to its fighters. In particular, militants of UPA and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) were hailed as freedom fighters in Ukraine.

    During a telephone conversation with his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he will make amendments to the law on "the legal status and commemoration of Ukrainian freedom fighters of the 20th century," the Polish Press Agency reported, citing Yaromir Sokolowski, advisor for the Polish president.

    On May 9 the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law on the glorification of the notorious Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and gave social benefits to its fighters. In particular, militants of the UPA and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) were hailed as freedom fighters in Ukraine.

    "The Ukrainian President said that in the near future, he would submit a bill to the Verkhovna Rada to change the provisions on liability for violation of the law on Ukrainian freedom fighters’ status," Sokolowski said.

    The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was established in October 1944 as a separate militant formation of the OUN. Its purpose was to fight for independence in Ukraine. UPA militants were active mostly in the western part of the country and fought against Soviet forces in collaboration with the Nazis. After World War II, the UPA continued its struggle against the Soviet government using extremist methods. Its militants attacked intellectuals, local authorities, Komsomol and Party activists.

    The glorification of the UPA/OUN and their leaders – Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich – has sparked harsh criticism from many WWII veterans and politicians who urge not to forget about nationalists’ atrocities during the war.

    In particular, the UPA/OUN militants were responsible for the Volhynia massacre in 1943, a mass killing of Polish residents of Volhynia which was mostly part of Poland until September 1939. According to researchers, the total number of victims in Volhynia ranges from 36,000 to 100,000.


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    Nazism, militants, law, Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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