Thousands march in Ukraine to mark Nazi collaborator Bandera's birthday
Date Written: 2018-01-02
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22531
Some 6,500 people across Ukraine took part in marches on the first day of the year to mark the birthday of Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader considered a hero in the country despite his violent past and history of collaboration with the Nazis.
Throughout the country 57 events commemorating Bandera were held, according to police reports. The biggest one in the capital Kiev drew a thousand activists, who marched through city center carrying torches and chanting traditional slogans like "Bandera will come and bring order," "Ukraine before everything" and "Glory to Ukraine, death to the enemies." The march was guarded by 1,200 police officers and 730 military service members.
Similar events were held in other Ukrainian cities, from Lvov and Odessa to the small eastern town of Makeevka, which is located mere kilometers from the disengagement line between Ukrainian troops and rebel forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Said republics rejected the 2014 armed coup in Kiev and took up arms partially because the Ukrainian nationalists, who were a major driver of the violence, were perceived as a threat to the predominantly-ethnic-Russian people living in the east. Despite its proximity to the rebels, the Bandera march in Makeevka – the first of its kind – reportedly passed without incident.