Kiev plans birthday parties for Nazi collaborators; Ukrainian Communists sound alarm
Far-right nationalists carry torches and a portrait of Stepan Bandera during a rally in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 1. The rally was organized to mark the birth anniversary of Bandera, founder of a rebel army that fought alongside Hitler and the Nazis during World War II. Bandera is one of several far-right historical personalities that the Kiev city council is planning birthday celebrations for this year. | Efrem Lukatsky / AP

Ukrainian Communists issued a stark warning about the glorification of fascists today after the city council of Kiev, the country’s capital, announced that it was to celebrate the birthdays of what the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) described as “Nazi killers, thugs, executioners and anti-Semites.”

The party, which has itself been subjected to state-imposed bans, urged the world not to ignore the “flagrant manifestation of neo-Nazism” taking place in the country.

The city council has been accused of an attempt to hide details of the resolution on its website after it was passed by a majority in the chamber last week. But far-right Svoboda Party leader Yuri Sirotyuk published the full text of the motion, revealing a shocking list of anniversaries to be celebrated across the year.

This includes the centenary of the birth of Nazi collaborator and war criminal Vasyl Levkovych, who, as head of the Ukrainian auxiliary police in Dubno, organized anti-Jewish pogroms and the murder of 5,000 Jews and thousands of Poles.

Also included in the celebrations is the 115th birthday of notorious anti-Semite Ulas Samchuk, a member of the extremist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), who described the murder of the Jews of Kiev, which included thousands of children, as “a great day.”

Ukrainian fascists have been emboldened by the European Parliament’s resolution last year equating communism with Nazism. It called for the erasure of all memorials of “totalitarianism” across Europe, including those dedicated to the Soviet Union’s Red Army, which liberated much of eastern Europe from Hitler’s troops.

It has led to proscriptions on the Communist Party of Ukraine and the banning of the party newspaper, Rabochaya Gazeta, after it published articles quoting Karl Marx.

No such action has been taken against the far right, which has sought to use the legislation to attack communists and progressives while promoting its own hatred, including making it a criminal offense to criticize Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

List of anniversaries to be celebrated in Kiev

130 years—Ivan Poltavets-Ostryanitsa—Nazi, assistant of Alfred Rosenberg and Erich Koch, head of the Ukrainian Nazi Cossacks.

100 years—Vasyl Levkovych—Nazi collaborator, commandant of the Ukrainian auxiliary police in Dubno, organizer of Jewish pogroms, executioner and murderer of 5,000 Jews and thousands of Poles, a war criminal.

115 years—Ulas Samchuk—anti-Semite, Nazi collaborator, publisher of the Volyn newspaper, OUN activist, participant in the extermination of Jews in Rivne. Samchuk incited and called for the extermination of Jews during the massacre of 25,000 Jews in Rivne—including 6,000 children. Samchuk noted that the murder of the Jews of Kiev in Babi Yar was “a great day.”

110 years—Vasil Sidor—Nazi collaborator and war criminal, fighter of the Nakhtigal battalion, oberzugfuhrer of the 201st Schutzmannschaft battalion, participant in the mass killings of Jews and Poles, punitive operations against civilians in Belarus.

120 years—Yuri Lipe—OUN activist, a Nazi collaborator, major proponent of the notion of Ukrainian racial purity.

120 years—Vladimir Kubiyovich—Nazi collaborator, organizer of the SS Galicia division.

100 years—Vasil Galasa—OUN activist, organizer of Jewish pogroms in western Ukraine in the summer of 1941, a participant in the destruction of the Polish population in 1943-44.

130 years—Andriy Melnik, head of the OUN, Nazi collaborator, agent of the Nazi intelligence services. Melnik organized an auxiliary police force from OUN members in occupied Kiev. Melnik’s militia took part in the executions of Jews in Babi Yar, Chernivtsi, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, and other cities.

Morning Star


Steve Sweeney
Steve Sweeney

Steve Sweeney writes for Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. He is also a People's Assembly National Committee member, patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, and a proud trade unionist. Steve Sweeney escribe para Morning Star, el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña. También es miembro del Comité Nacional de la Asamblea Popular, patrocinador de la campaña Paz en Kurdistán y un orgulloso sindicalista.