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You're reading: Hero one day, but not the next: Stepan Bandera debate flares
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Former President Viktor Yushchenko sparked the ire of east Ukrainians a year ago, shortly before leaving office, by posthumously declaring World War Two nationalist Stepan Bandera a Hero of Ukraine.

Bandera was the ideological leader of nationalist fighters who fought for independence in western Ukraine in the turbulence leading up to the outbreak of war and beyond.

Bandera, who was assassinated by the KGB in 1959, has near-saint status among many people there and thousands of Bandera loyalists flock to the capital Kyiv every year and march hrough the streets in his honor.

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