A ghost of World War II history haunts Ukraine’s standoff with Russiatags: World War II, Russia, Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine — The West may be feeling the chill of a new Cold War. But for Ukraine and Russia, no era or actor is more omnipresent in their crisis today than World War II and Stepan Bandera.
Born in an obscure village in 1909, Bandera for decades fought for an independent Ukraine, but in the early 20th century its territory was carved up between Poland and the Soviet Union. Honoring what they see as his legacy as a thorn in the side of the Soviets, Ukrainian nationalists have strung up a massive poster of their hero in this city’s Independence Square, using him as a rallying cry against the new menace in Moscow.
But if Bandera is idolized by some in the capital and western Ukraine, he is reviled as a fascist in much of the heavily ethnic-Russian east and south as well as in Russia itself. There, memories are still fresh of Soviet-era campaigns that sought to discredit Bandera, and his quest for a Ukrainian homeland, by playing up his ties to Germany’s Third Reich.
The fierce debate has made history a protagonist here, with love and loathing of a larger-than-life figure now vividly on display on Ukrainian streets.
comments powered by Disqus
- David Rosand, an Art History Scholar Whose Heart Was in Venice, Dies at 75
- NYT interviews Rick Perlstein about his book
- OAH issues a statement in support of the AP standards
- Daniel Pipes says in interview that the absence of anti-Israel protests in Muslim countries is highly significant
- A historian who studies China has discovered an overlooked angle in the debate about the Middle East. Could he have figured out a key reason for Iraq’s failure to defeat ISIS?