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posted: 3/10/2014 4:01 AM

West should not trust Ukrainian political party

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I have been watching the unrest in Ukraine, with great foreboding. Especially ominous is the rising power of Svoboda, the Ukrainian Nationalist Party, with its leader Oleh Tyahnybok and their choice of hero -- Stepan Bandera, the brutal Nazi collaborator who in 1943, with his Nazi-trained Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA and OUN-B) units, slaughtered an estimated 500,000 Polish men, women, children. Their villages, schools, churches with people still in them, were burned to the ground to eliminate all traces of Poland, which went back to the 14th century.

They succeeded, helped by the infamous Yalta Conference in the Crimea in 1945, when Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill "gifted" Poland to Josef Stalin, condemning it to 44 years of Communist slavery. They also annexed 30,000 square miles of Eastern Poland, an area the size of Belgium and the Netherlands combined, into the Soviet Union.

At the Svoboda Congress, Tyahnybok greeted party members, holding his hand in a Nazi salute. He has spoken of his admiration for Bandera in public on numerous occasions. Like Bandera, Tyahnybok has charisma and ability to win over audiences. His adopting a brand of politics even more extreme than Bandera's is cause for great concern, but hellbent on clinching a free trade accord between Kiev and the European Union, politicians close their eyes to this very disturbing development.

In 2012 a statue of Bandera was erected in Lviv. In May 2013 the World Jewish Congress labeling the party as "neo-Nazi" and called for European governments to ban it. Members of the Israeli Knesset, in a letter to the president of the European Parliament, accused Svoboda of openly glorifying Nazi murders and war criminals. Ukraine will not be a democracy the West can trust if it espouses Svoboda's policies.

Barbara Wroblewski


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