On the 65th anniversary of UPA the arguments still rage
14 October marks the official founding date of the Ukrainian Resistance Army [UPA]. An administrative court in Kyiv on Friday allowed all applications make by the Kyiv City State Administration to restrict mass actions by political factions and organizations with very different attitudes to the date. The issue is a desperately difficult and emotive one, and although the Kyiv authorities have shown a penchant for applying for bans, there have been conflict situations in the past which were doubtless cited in the applications.
A roundtable held in Kyiv on the eve of the anniversary called for official recognition that fighters in the UPA were engaged in a struggle to liberate Ukraine.
They were highly critical of a recent address given by Russian President Putin to the European Jewish Congress where he declared his opposition to any “whitewashing of members of the OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists] and UPA” who had? he claimed? taken part in the mass extermination of Jews in Ukraine.
Ukrainian historians point to documents which refute these allegations, and show that there were Jewish people who worked with the UPA.
They also maintain that in Soviet times many myths were generated around the UPA. The participants in the roundtable believe that it is time to break these down, but stress that the government must take part in this, not just society. They agreed that more educational work was needed, especially in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine where most people have a negative attitude to the UPA. Roman Krutsyk from the Institute of National Remembrance believes that literature in this area needs to be published in Russian.
A representative of BYuT [Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko) asserted that the new Verkhovna Rada would have the political will to recognize the UPA.