The head of state said this during ceremonies marking Ukrainian Unity Day in Kyiv on Friday, Jan. 22.

"I decree to confer the rank of a Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera and present a state order to him," Yushchenko said.

He said that the high rank had been conferred to Bandera for his "defending national ideas and battling for an independent Ukrainian state."

Bandera’s grandson, also named Stepan, received the award from the president, an Interfax-Ukraine reporter said.

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