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European parliament hopes new Ukraine's leadership will reconsider decision to award Bandera title of hero

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Feb. 25, 2010, 4:30 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
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Brussels, February 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) - The European Parliament has criticized a decision by ex-president of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko to award Stepan Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine and expressed hope the new leadership would reconsider this. This is stipulated in paragraph 16 of a European parliament resolution on Ukraine, which was supported by the European MPs in Brussels on Thursday.

The European parliament said it deeply deplored the decision by outgoing President of Ukraine Viktor Yuschenko to posthumously award Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), "which collaborated with Nazi Germany, the title of National Hero of Ukraine."

The European parliament expressed hope, in this regard, that the new Ukrainian leadership would reconsider such decisions and would maintain its commitment to European values.

As reported, on January 22, Oresident Yuschenko awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Bandera.
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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 5:03 p.m.    

Брехня! You are liars!

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 6:46 p.m.    

Why doesn't the European parliament deplore the Putin's revision of history with regard to Stalin one o f the biggest collaborators with Nazi Germany and Hitler (remember the AXIS) until it became inconvenient for both and then they fought. How many years were they allies? And if Bander was a such a big Nazi why wasn't he at prosecuted? He lived in Germany. Why where his two brother killed in concentration camps? Why?

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 10:08 p.m.    

Ukraine to EU with Bandera as a hero, never, never. We Poles never forget crimes committed by UIA on Polish population.

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Anonymous March 1, 2010, 5:26 a.m.    

Crimes against polish poulation?

How long did Poland oppress Western Ukraine? Any &quot;crime&quot; commited by Ukrainians were not simply because the victims were polish but because they were using Ukrainians as alve labour.

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 5:28 p.m.    

Why doesn't the European Parliament keep its nose out of Ukraine's internal business.

Bandera fought for Ukraine's independence. Stalin collaborated with Hitler and the Nazis -- how soon and conveniently we forget.

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 5:37 p.m.    

Keep your nose out of Ukraine's business. We didnt ask for your opinion. We will do what we like.

Yours sincerely,

The people of Ukraine

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 9:13 p.m.    

Dear People of Ukraine,

please stay orderly in line for your visa application to us and don t push and press for Europe. We have more than enough of your people here cleaning floors and picking fruits.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 3:55 a.m.    

this is disgusting!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 11:26 a.m.    

but the truth

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 6:33 p.m.    

Bandera was a NAZI.

He is no hero of my country. Giving him this honor was another absurd move by an absurd ex-president.

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 11:23 p.m.    

Of course your country Russia hates Bandera because he fought against the Russian occupation. I wonder why the West Europeans find a man who fought against both WW II tyrranical forces, Nazis and Soviets, so distasteful? Bandera and the UPA fighters are Ukrainian heroes all the more because while Europe was kissing up to the Soviets after WW II the Ukrainians were still fighting them and the West Europeans ignored that fact. They also ignored the Holodomor and did not want to offend the butchers of Ukraine, how disgusting. They even ignore the fact that Bandera was murdered by a Soviet agent over a decade after WW II. But guess what? Bandera and the UPA have finally won, against all odds, with the help of God and a few good men like Pope Paul and Ronald Reagan who had the courage to call the Evil Empire for what it was when the Europeans were quaking in their boots in fear of the Soviets.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 4:04 a.m.    

amen!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 4:03 a.m.    

Then your country is not Ukraine.

Bandera fought for a free Ukrainian state his entire life. He gave his life for Ukraine.

How dare you call this hero a Nazi?

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 6:57 p.m.    

Does anyone have a link to this article in the EU websites??

or is this another example of mis-information spread by Nashi and co?

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 8:31 p.m.    

Good question.

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 9:52 p.m.    

Here's the text:

RC-B7-0116/2010

A. whereas Ukraine is a neighbour of strategic importance to the EU; whereas its size, resources, population and geographical location give Ukraine a distinctive position in Europe and make it a key regional actor,

B. whereas Ukraine is a European state and, pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, may apply for membership of the EU like any European state that adheres to the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law,

C. whereas the conclusions of the OSCE/ODHIR Election Observation Mission describe the elections as being mostly in line with international standards,

D. whereas the fact that the presidential elections that took place on 17 January and 7 February 2010 were conducted smoothly with respect to civil and political right, including freedom of assembly, association and expression, shows that Ukraine is able to conduct free and fair elections,

E. whereas although non-governmental organisations were not permitted officially to observe the elections, the presence of domestic and international observers significantly increased transparency during the electoral process and voting day,

F. whereas, on 17 February 2010, after an appeal by Prime Minister Tymoshenko, Ukraine's Administrative High Court suspended the Central Election Commission's decision establishing the results of the presidential elections and recognising Victor Yanukovich as President of Ukraine, and whereas the Prime Minister withdrew her appeal on 20 February alleging that the court was not willing to give her justice,

G. whereas the campaign atmosphere of the second round was adversely affected by mutual accusations of fraud and last-minute amendments to the election law,

H. whereas it should be remembered that Ukraine is a country that has experienced Soviet domination and has come a long way to overcome the negative legacies this has left behind,

I. whereas one of Parliament's main foreign policy objectives is to enhance and foster the European Neighbourhood Policy, which aims at strengthening the political, economic and cultural relations of the countries concerned with the EU and its Members States,

J. whereas the Eastern Partnership is taking shape; whereas Parliament expects the new Ukrainian authorities to work in order to fulfil its objectives; whereas the Eastern Partnership can be successful and contribute to the peaceful development, stability and prosperity of all the Eastern neighbours, including Ukraine, only if it is based on practical and credible projects and is sufficiently funded,

K. whereas the EU favours a stable and democratic Ukraine that respects the principles of the social market economy, the rule of law, human rights and the protection of minorities and that guarantees fundamental rights; whereas Ukraine's domestic political stability and focus on internal reform is a prerequisite for the further development of relations between the EU and Ukraine,

L. whereas, since the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has regrettably lost more than five years in properly addressing its major constitutional and institutional deficits, especially in solving the conflicts of competence between the President and Prime Minister; whereas, as a consequence, important reform projects in the public, economic and social sectors have been delayed, inconsistently implemented or not completed at all,

M. whereas, irrespective of the presidential elections results, Ukraine must now start to implement constitutional reforms in order to establish a viable and efficient system of checks and balances to define a clear distribution of competences between the President, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada,

N. whereas EU-Ukraine relations have made substantial progress in the last years in general, and in particular in the areas of foreign and security policy and trade, financial and economic matters; whereas insufficient progress has been made in the fields of energy and the environment,

O. whereas Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) marks an important step in its acceptance of international and European economic standards and of enhanced trade links with the EU, speeding up the negotiations on the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Area (DCFTA) as an integral part of the Association Agreement,

P. whereas the accession of Ukraine to the Energy Community Treaty is of great importance for all parties,

Q. whereas the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine must serve as an instrument of the reform process and give a stronger role to civil society,

1. Welcomes the fact that the report of the International Election Observation Mission on the presidential elections in Ukraine states that significant progress has been made compared to previous elections, with this election having met most OSCE and EU standards on free and fair elections;

2. Welcomes the statement by the OSCE/ODHIR Election Observation Mission on respect for civil and political rights, including freedom of assembly, association and expression in a pluralistic media environment;

3. Welcomes the relatively high voter turnout, which shows the active involvement of Ukrainian citizens in deciding the course of their country; welcomes the fact that this election saw a diverse field of candidates representing alternative political views, offering the electorate a genuine choice;

4. Regrets that election rules remain an ongoing subject of discussion and points out that the existing election law, as amended in August 2009, is regarded by OSCE/ODHIR as a backward step compared to previous legislation, resulting in an unclear and incomplete legal framework; regrets the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the highly controversial amendments to the presidential electoral law proposed by the Party of Regions just a few days before the second round; therefore encourages the Ukrainian authorities to review and complete the country's electoral legislation; urges more transparency in the financing of candidates and political parties and calls for more transparent campaign financing during pre-election periods;

5. Recognises that Ukraine, as a European country, shares a common history and common values with the countries of the European Union, and acknowledges Ukraine's European aspirations;

6. Expects Ukrainian politicians and authorities to recognise the need for, and to work for, political and economic stabilisation, notably through constitutional reform, consolidation of the rule of law, the establishment of a social market economy and renewed efforts to combat corruption, and improve the business and investment climate;

7. Stresses the importance of reinforcing cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the field of energy and calls for further agreements between the EU and Ukraine aimed at securing energy supplies for both sides, including a reliable transit system for oil and gas;

8. Calls on Ukraine to fully implement and ratify its accession to the Energy Community Treaty and swiftly to adopt a new gas law which complies with EU Directive 2003/55/EC;

9. Underlines the fact that, although progress has been made, the existing visa facilitation agreement should be re-examined with long-term objectives in mind, and calls on the Council to mandate the Commission to revise this agreement with the Ukrainian authorities in order to work on a roadmap to visa-free travel for Ukraine, including the intermediate objective of abolishing the existing visa fees;

10. Asks the Commission to work with the Member States and Ukraine to prepare special measures to be introduced in relation to the 2012 European Football Championship, with a view to facilitating travel by ticket holders;

11. Welcomes Ukraine's active support for the Eastern Partnership and the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and its commitment to consolidating its efforts to ensure greater democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as to the social market economy, sustainable development and good governance;

12. Supports Eastern Partnership flagship initiatives, most notably on integrated border management, energy, a Free-Trade Area and comprehensive institution building;

13. Expects Ukraine to reiterate its determination to continue along its path towards European integration, as well as towards strong cooperation with the EU in the neighbourhood area under the Eastern Partnership and Black Sea Synergy policies;

14. Calls on the Commission and the Council to reaffirm the EU's willingness to help Ukraine in this direction through the instruments proposed by the Eastern Partnership and the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda; calls on the Commission to align closely the Association Agenda with the National Indicative Programme 2011-13;

15. Stresses that the Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement should ensure Ukraine's gradual integration into the EU internal market by extending the four freedoms to the country;

16. Welcomes the intention to set up a European Investment Bank (EIB) representation in Kiev, and stresses the importance of further extending the EIB engagement in country-regionUkraine;

17. Stresses the importance of stepping up cooperation on youth and student exchanges and the development of scholarship programmes which will enable Ukrainians to become acquainted with the European Union and its Member States;

18. Appeals to all neighbouring countries to fully respect the democratic system of the Ukrainian state and to refrain from any pressure or interference aimed at overturning the democratic will and decisions taken by Ukraine in relation to its political, social and economic development;

19. Deeply deplores the decision by the outgoing President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, posthumously to award Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which collaborated with Nazi Germany, the title of 'National Hero of Ukraine'; hopes, in this regard, that the new Ukrainian leadership will reconsider such decisions and will maintain its commitment to European values;

20. Calls on the Commission to provide the necessary technical assistance in order to improve radically the energy efficiency of Ukraine’s electricity grid and to step up cooperation as regards reform of the gas sector, in order to bring it into line with EU standards; asks for consistent European support for a Ukrainian strategy to reduce energy consumption and to increase energy efficiency, as the best way to reduce spending on gas and its dependency on energy imports;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Ukraine and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and NATO.

RC-B7-0116/2010 replaces several other resolutions — a few of which go into much more elaborate detail regarding European direction and policy towards Ukraine. There are intentions iterated in these other resolutions that hint at deeper levels of cooperation and support — and should give heart to Ukrainians.

Ironically, this is Yushchenko's gift to his country.

By overturning Bandera's &quot;Hero&quot; status, Yanukovych undoes something Europe finds distasteful — and can demand something in return that both placates the ardent anti- and soothes the paranoid pro- camps.

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Anonymous Feb. 25, 2010, 11:37 p.m.    

Who cares what the European Parliament thinks. They didn't support Ukrainian aspirations for freedom during the Cold War and many even refused to recognize any of the Captive Nations as nations occupied by Soviet Russia. They often called all of the citizens of the Soviet Union &quot;Russians&quot; and the Soviet army the &quot;Russians&quot;. They NEVER thought that GOD would bring that EVIL EMPIRE down, but GOD did. Bandera fought all of his life against tyrrany and against the oppressors of his nation whether from they were German Nazis or Russian Soviets. He will always be a Hero to the Ukrainian people regardless of what any foreigners think of him because of the foreigner's dishonest assessments of who he was and what he really did, preferring to listen to the opinions of those who hate Ukraine rather than to the Ukrainian people and to the record of FACTS. If Bandera was such a criminal whey didn't the Germans and the Jews bring him to trial when he was living in Munich, Germany after the War? He was not in hiding like the criminal German Nazis in various countries of South America under false names where he could not be found. The ANSWER is, is that Bandera was not a criminal, as alleged by Ukraine's enemies. Bandera was a HERO not only for Ukrainians but also for all true democrats and lovers of freedom; he was a true Champion of Liberty, and one day even the West Europeans will recognize him as such, because they really aren't so stupid, just as many of them today do recognize that the Soviet Russians did commit Genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 11:39 a.m.    

What Bandera fought for was his own fachist beliefs. Stop your selective reading and take in the full documented writings on this man and you will find just how much he cared about Ukraine and the ukrainians. We were all Soviet Russians at the time of the famine, and it was not just Ukraine affected by it. What is it you want? A trial for the person or persons you belive responsible for the famine. Or, compensation of some kind (probably for personal gain) from the Soviet Union? Well friend. The USSR is no longer and I think I am right saying that the people in power at the time are a long time dead, even the ukrainian ones that enthusiastically carried out their orders.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 7:32 p.m.    

No.

The national policies of the Soviet Union did not make us all &quot;Soviet Russians&quot; at the time of the famine. This is obvious to anyone with a Soviet passport — (or even a Russian Federation passport issued before 2010) where the nationalities line clearly distinguishes Russian from Ukrainian, Tatar, Uzbek, Turkmen, etc.

Ukraine was not the only area affected by the famine — but the areas of famine in the USSR hardest hit were not areas dominated by ethnic Russians. Volga Germans, Kuban Ukrainians, Kazakhs starved in greater numbers. This is not because there were larger numbers of Volga German or Ukrainian peasants than Russian peasants, nor because meteorological conditions happened to be particularly harsh in areas settled by Ukrainians or Volga Germans. The Kazakhs weren't agriculturalists to begin with — they were nomadic herdsmen. But in each case the fundamental reason for the scale of the disaster was the same: it was a matter of natural calamity amplified by deliberate policy.

In the case of Ukrainians, Kuban Ukrainians and ethnic Germans, who had demonstrated a capacity to organize armed and intransigent resistance against the bolsheviks in 1917, in 1918, in 1920, in 1930 — the decision was taken to permanently pacify precisely the same villages which had a history of resisting under the Tsars yet — in the latter half of the 19th century.

The USSR is no longer, but its recognized successor state under international law is the Russian Federation — to which treaty obligations, privileges and status, and liability attach.

The famine was a genocide — but it will not be recognized as a genocide. The reasons for this are political and actual, rather than historical. Likewise, the project to fix the famine at the core of Ukrainian identity is a political, actual and ideological project rather than anything that corresponds to historical Ukrainian identity. It is based, at least in part, on a misapprehension of the Jewish community's political use of the Holocaust. The misapprehension is that the political use of the Holocaust has played a positive role in the Jewish community — when it has not. The trauma of genocide has been perpetuated over generations — abused and exploited by the same sort of people who are asking Ukrainians at home and abroad to pay the salaries of &quot;professional ethnics&quot; — whose money and influence depend entirely on their ethnic group being hated, despised, reviled, long-suffering, eternal victims.

The equation has been turned on its head. In the case of the Jewish community, where once anti-Semitism was &quot;the socialism of idiots,&quot; anti-Semitism has become the Judaism of idiots. In the Ukrainian community, the knowledge that &quot;Russia hates us&quot; trumps everything — and prevents people from delving into any sort of educated, informed, dispassionate inquiry about what it means to be Ukrainian. Martyrdom, suffering, death itself is glorified — and everything which makes life important is rooted out.

Suffering abounds — it's pervasive, it suffuses everything. It isn't what makes a Jew Jewish, it isn't what marks a Ukrainian.

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 2:51 a.m.    

Stepan BANDERA &quot;was never in hiding in Munich&quot; because when he lived in Munich, it was under the name Stepan Popil. Why? Because he was in hiding.

He was in Munich after the war for the same reason he was in Sachsenhausen during the war rather than a rotting corpse at the bottom of a very deep pit: he and his boys were being held in reserve, in case things got sticky with the Soviet Union. That is the only reason the radicalization of Ukrainian Displaced Persons in camps outside the Soviet zone was permitted — and the reason why a blind eye was turned toward those who had actively collaborated or marched with the Germans.

If Bandera was such a Champion of Liberty, Defender of Democracy and Lover of Freedom, why wasn't he being paraded down the Dali Lama carpet in the White House at the height of the Cold War?

The answer is: because he was none of those things, which you will discover by reading the articles approved by the OUN Conferences and Congresses: 1927 - Berlin, 1928 - Prague, 1929 - Vienna, 1939 - Rome, 1940 - Cracow.

What you're describing is a fusion of two completely incompatible experiences: what OUN was — and what you IMAGINE it was, based on the idea that Bandera was aiming to achieve something more or less identical to the lifestyle you enjoy in the United States or Canada.

That is never what Bandera proposed, that is never what he espoused, that isn't what drove him to orchestrate the liquidation of anti-Soviet, anti-German UKRAINIAN political competitors.

He WAS NOT a Ukrainian George Washington. The closest modern parallel to the sort of state Bandera proposed was Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania.

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Anonymous Feb. 27, 2010, 9:31 a.m.    

You speak the Truth!!!

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Anonymous Feb. 26, 2010, 2:43 p.m.    

one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. the EU should stay out, they arent helping Ukraine much anyway, theyre just taking advantage of the gas pipelines going to them.

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Anonymous March 16, 2010, 6:27 a.m.    

To understand why the kremlin has been promoting disinformation and propaganda against Bandara, (for over 70 years) one has to listen to the following:

ORIGINAL RECORDING OF SPEACH BY STEPAN BANDERA FROM 1959:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E23fpnYajU

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