Two streets in Kiev will no longer be named after Nazi collaborators
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Two streets in Kiev will no longer be named after Nazi collaborators

Court in the city ordered its municipality to undo a 2016 renaming of streets for Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych

Colourised picture of Stephan Bandera (Author: CC-BY. Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Colourised picture of Stephan Bandera (Author: CC-BY. Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A court in Ukraine issued an injunction against the naming of two streets in Kiev after nationalists who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

The district administrative court of Kiev ordered the municipality to undo the 2016 renaming of two main streets for Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych on Tuesday.

But Mayor Vitaly Klitschko on Wednesday wrote on Facebook that the city will appeal the ruling, the Regnum news agency reported. In the meantime, the streets in question will be renamed Moscow Avenue and another will be named for Nikolai Vatutin, a Soviet general who was killed in 1944 by soldiers from Shukhevych’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA.

Bandera and Shukhevych were two of Ukraine’s several Nazi collaborators. Some were SS volunteers and mass murdered Jews and Poles, and are now celebrated as anti-communist heroes in Ukraine and by its government.

Despite protests by Jews, this glorification became mainstream following the 2014 overthrow of the government of former president Viktor Yanukovych, whose critics call him a corrupt Russian stooge. It ushered in a wave of nationalist sentiment.

In 2015, a law passed making it illegal to insult the memory of any anti-Soviet fighter, including war criminals, declared a national hero.

In Lviv last year, hundreds of men marched wearing the SS uniforms of Ukrainian collaborators in a city-approved event. At least three Ukrainian municipalities in recent years have unveiled statues for Bandera’s deputy, Yaroslav Stetsko, who during the Holocaust openly called for “the extermination of the Jews.”

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