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Russian lawmakers angry Kiev declares pro-Nazi force creation date as national holiday

Many Russian legislators are deeply angered by Kiev's decision to declare October 14, the day when the pro-Nazi Ukrainian Insurgent Army was created during World War II in 1942, as Defender of the Nation Day and a public holiday. The UIA gained notoriety as an active collaborator with the Nazi force of occupation and participant in many WW II massacres of civilian population. Members of both houses of the Russian parliament interpreted this move as Kiev's official confirmation of its commitment to Nazi ideas.

President Poroshenko on Tuesday moved the holiday called Ukraine Defender's Day from February 23, the date which in the territory of the former Soviet Union is still widely celebrated as the anniversary of the army that bore the brunt of the struggle against Nazism, to October 14.

"Certainly, each country has the right to introduce its own memorable dates, but the fact that October 14 was selected to cater to the tastes of the followers of Stepan Bandera (UIA founder) regrettably shows once again that Kiev is officially supportive of Nazi ideology," said State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergey Zheleznyak. "It also confirms the dependence of the Ukrainian authorities in their decision-making on radical nationalists and the attempt to trample underfoot the common history of our countries and peoples, and ridicule World War II veterans and the memory of millions of people who gave their lives for the sake of our great victory in those awesome battles."

"Mr. Poroshenko has instituted a special holiday honouring Ukraine's number one Nazi henchman. He did that in a very cynical way by abolishing the existing holiday, revered by many millions of officers and men, both retired and still in active service," Zheleznyak said.

The chairman of the Federation Council's Defense and Security Committee, Viktor Ozerov, has slammed Poroshenko's decree as blasphemous.

"In this vulgar, blasphemous way the Ukrainian authorities change memorable dates with others, suiting time-serving trends in order to upset the spiritual matrix of our people's unity, to axe the roots of spiritual and historical unity of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples," Ozerov said at a full-scale meeting of the Federation Council.

Ozerov believes that "Poroshenko's decree ditches the memory of the best representatives of the Ukrainian people, who gave their lives in the struggle with Nazism.

"His decree is yet another step towards the betrayal of his nation and its further split," he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 15Oct14]

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