Yushchenko will push the Verkhovna Rada to recognize soldiers of the OUN-UPA
The President will seek review as soon as possible by the Verkhovna Rada of a draft law on giving official status to soldiers of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Resistance Army [Ukrainska Povstanska Armia] in World War II. This is outlined in the Presidential Decree “On all-sided forgiveness and the objective presentation of the actions of the Ukrainian liberation movement and promotion of national reconciliation” signed on Saturday 14 October.
“As President I do not determine this status however I can encourage the government and parliament to consider this issue and to make the appropriate decisions. This is the objective of the Decree I signed this morning”, Viktor Yushchenko stated to journalists in the Sumy region.
The Presidents press service reported that in speaking about the historical reconciliation of soldiers of OUN-UPA and the Soviet Army, the President once again stressed that this conflict is based on a distorted knowledge of the period of history, and said that the conflict needs to be resolved as soon as possible. “We must provide a response to the issue of historical justice, and pay tribute to each person who fought for this land”, the President said.
He added that any procrastination in resolving this conflict could only add to discord in society.
The Head of State mentioned that a year ago he instructed the government to create a commission to make a thorough study of the role and place of OUN-UPA. The commission completed its work around four months ago, and it is now necessary that on the basis of this study a legislative initiative be tabled in parliament establishing the status of fighters in the Resistance Army.
Through this Decree, the President calls on the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, in cooperation with the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, to draw up a range of measures for 2006 and 2007 aimed at studying and bringing to light he participation of Ukrainians in the Second World War and in other military conflicts in the twentieth century. These measures should include carrying out fundamental research; holding conferences, international seminars, roundtables; publishing historical and broader-level literature on these issues; organizing the making and showing of wider-audience information films and documentary publicist programs, as well as carrying out the appropriate explanatory and educational work, including in the mass media
The Cabinet of Ministers, together with the National Academy of Sciences, should also prepare a draft law on the Ukrainian liberation movement of the 1920s to 1950s, the status and social protection of those who took part in it, which would, for example, envisage recognizing the activity of organizations which fought for a Ukrainian independent united state during those decades as the Ukrainian liberation movement.
Yushchenko also instructed the Ministry of Education and Science to work together with the National Academy of Sciences in ensuring, through the use of scholarly studies on the subject, the objective coverage in education of issues regarding the participation of Ukrainians in the Second World War and in the Ukrainian liberation movement, including the role of the Ukrainian Resistance Army, the Ukrainian Liberation Organization, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Central Liberation Council,.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, the regional, as well as Kyiv and Sevastopol city state administrations have been instructed to update their museum exhibits on events connected with the Ukrainian liberation movement. There are also instructions to the State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine to ensure coverage in the mass media of measures aimed at consolidating Ukrainian society, studying the role and significance of the Ukrainian liberation movement and establishing historical and social justice.