07:01 GMT05 June 2020
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    A Ukrainian journalist has expressed his indignation over a Second World War memorial project sponsored by the Ukrainian government which commemorates mostly non-Soviet Ukrainian war heroes, among them members of the Nazi collaborationist Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

    Anatoly Shariy, a popular Ukrainian journalist well-known for his anti-Maidan attitudes, recently released a brief video analysis of a new state-sponsored memorial project by the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance. The project includes a series of ten commemorative posters, featuring Ukrainians who fought in the Second World War.

    Analyzing the posters, Shariy became perplexed by several elements of the campaign, including the fact that among the ten heroes listed, only three are Ukrainians who fought in the Soviet Army.

    The journalist points out that five of the posters feature ethnic Ukrainians who fought in the armed forces of other Allied countries during the war, among them two Canadians, two Americans, and a Polish Air Force pilot. But that's not what he finds most concerning.

    Shariy focuses on the fact that two of the posters feature Ukrainians who fought for the collaborationist Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) with clear ties to the German army. The journalist looks into the poster of Halina Kuzmenko, who is stated to have "fought in the ranks of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as a machine gunner."

     Halyna Kuzmenko
    Halyna Kuzmenko

    The journalist points out that a simple read of her Wikipedia page shows that for "three years she went under the pseudonym 'Nadia' in the resistance underground in the Ivano-Frankivsk Region," working as a propagandist under UPA-West, commanded by Oleksandr Lutsky. Shariy notes that Lutsky was one of the organizers of the Nachtigall Battalion, which was one of the first of the German Wehrmacht's foreign battalions, formed in February 1941, before the German invasion of the Soviet Union even began.

    Petro Fedun
    Petro Fedun

    The second UPA member is Petro Fedun, a "Red Army Lieutenant, [and] later Colonel of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army." Shariy notes that Fedun served as a propagandist and key ideologue of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and that he worked as the head of the political education department of UPA's General Staff. Between 1944-1946, Fedun came to head the political department  of the Regional Military Staff of UPA-West; he was killed by Soviet forces in 1951. Shariy points out that the poster also erroneously lists Fedun as having received a Golden Cross of Merit, sarcastically adding that "he received the Silver Cross of Merit in 1947, probably when he was fighting against Nazism."

    Amet-Khan Sultan
    Amet-Khan Sultan

    Shariy calls the final hero in the poster campaign, Crimean Tatar Amet-Khan Sultan, the "cherry on the cake," pointing out that "the Institute of National Remembrance might do well to remember that Sultan was born 'a bit before' Crimea became part of Ukraine in 1954."

    The indignant journalist concludes by stating that "instead of celebrating Ukrainians who fought against the Nazis in the Second World War…we see Poles, Americans, and Amet-Khan Sultan," along with several UPA fighters. "Congratulations! Happy Victory!" he notes sarcastically.

    During the Second World War, over six million Ukrainians fought in the ranks of the Soviet Red Army, compared with about 256,000 who fought for the OUN-UPA, most of the latter recruited from regions of Western Ukraine. An estimated 1.37 million Ukrainians in the Red Army were killed or listed missing. The country also suffered over 5.2 million civilians killed, thus losing over 15 percent of its entire population in the course of the war. An estimated 153,000 OUN-UPA fighters were killed in fighting against the Red Army.


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    historical revisionism, history, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), Red Army, Anatoly Shariy, Ukraine, Soviet Union
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