Ukranians march to celebrate anniversary of nationalist hero’s birthday

Ukranians march to celebrate anniversary of nationalist hero’s birthday

Ukranians march to celebrate anniversary of nationalist hero’s birthday

Written by Staff Writer

02 Jan, 2016 | 5:50 am

More than a thousand people marched through the streets of Ukrainian capital Kiev on Friday, January 1, waving Ukrainian flags and chanting nationalist slogans to to celebrate the 107th anniversary of Ukrainian nationalist hero Stepan Bandera’s birth.

Chanting “Glory to Ukraine!” people walked waving the red and black flags of Ukraine’s nationalist movement and the blue and yellow flags of the far-right Svoboda, or “Freedom”, party.

Stepan Bandera, who led the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists in the first part of the 20th century is seen in areas of western Ukraine as a hero of the independence struggle but regarded by many in Poland and Israel as well as Russia as a terrorist and Nazi collaborator who died with the blood of thousands on his conscience.

According to another march participant Mykola Ukrayinets, more and more Ukrainians are now thinking of Bandera as a hero.

Bandera’s controversial legacy has been at the center of the protests that ousted Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich and replaced him with a pro-European government almost two years ago.

After Yanukovich fled, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in March 2014 and has been accused by Ukraine and the West of backing a rebellion by separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Latest News