24 Jan 2019 17:28

FJCR president blasts awarding of Hero of Ukraine title to Bandera's 'right-hand man,' who hated Jews

MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) - Alexander Boroda, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), has spoken against the awarding of the Hero of Ukraine title to Yaroslav Stetsko, the right hand man of Stepan Bandera.

"Why is this project so horrible? Because it is, unfortunately, not news, but more likely a recent tendency. The memory of Yaroslav Stetsko is perpetuated in Ukraine by more than just a monument. Although his official statements characterize him not even as an 'anti-hero,' but more as an 'anti-human," Boroda told Interfax, commenting on the reports on the intention of Verkhovna Rada deputies to ask Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to award Stetsko Hero of Ukraine title.

Boroda said Stetsko hated Jews and openly said they needed to be exterminated. "Stetsko found it 'expedient' to destroy innocent people. Even the word 'extremist' is too mild for such statements," Boroda said.

Stetsko was "the right hand man of Stepan Bandera [leader of the Ukrainian Nationalist Organization, banned in Russia], whose name became a synonym for the word 'atrocity' to many people. In 1941, Stetsko organized Ukrainian militia, whose functions included "helping get rid of Jews." His calls to kill Jews inspired many Ukrainian nationalists to participate in mass killings of Jews, Boroda said.

"Awarding a hero title to such people seems to deny the entire work that humanity did after WWII. It denies the Nuremberg process. It denies the International Holocaust Remembrance Day recognized by the UN General Assembly, which we will mark on January 27. It denies the very value of human life," Boroda said.

There are things which the duty of memory obliges everyone to reject, "and that is undoubtedly such a situation," he said.