Ukrainian parliament removes Twitter post commemorating Bandera

Photo: NurPhoto/ GettyImages

A Twitter post commemorating Ukrainian World War Two nationalist leader Stepan Bandera has been taken down from the website of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) after protests from Poland, a Polish minister said on Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk said that Poland opposed any celebration of Bandera. While the Ukrainian is hailed as a freedom fighter by some in his native land, he is also held responsible for the murder of around 100,000 Poles by his Ukrainian Insurgent Army in what became known as the Volhynia Massacre.

“There is no acceptance to commemorations of Stepan Bandera by the Polish state,” Mularczyk told Polish Radio. He added that the disappearance of the post from the Verkhovna Rada website indicated that the Ukrainian side “heard Poland’s voice”.

An unfortunate choice

On Sunday, the Verkhovna Rada published on Twitter a photo of the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, next to a portrait of Bandera and quoted several passages from books written by him.

On Monday, the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Polish prime minister expressed their discontent with the Twitter post.