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The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine mentioned Stepan Bandera on its Twitter profile yesterday. A spokesperson for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed the issue. “Our attitude to the crimes committed by the UPA remains unchanged. We hope that the rapprochement of the Polish and Ukrainian nations will lead to a better understanding of our common history,” Łukasz Jasina reported.
To mark the 114th anniversary of Bandera’s birth, the Verkhovna Rada, the unicameral parliament of Ukraine, on Sunday published on Twitter a photo of the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, next to the portrait of the UPA leader, and quoted several quotes from books written by Bandera.
The content of the tweet is presented below. Verkhovna Rada deleted it later.
🇺🇦1 січня виповнюється 114 років від дня народження Степана Бандери (1909-1959). Степан Бандера: 📌Коли між хлібом і свободою народ обирає хліб, він зрештою втрачає все, в тому числі і хліб. Якщо народ обирає свободу, він матиме хліб, вирощений ним самим і ніким не відібраний. pic.twitter.com/NxEmHa0SA7 — Верховна Рада України (@verkhovna_rada) January 1, 2023
Polish MFA reaction
Polish MFA Spokesperson was asked whether there would be a Ministry’s reaction to the commemoration of Bandera on the profiles of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Today, Polish MP and ECR Vice-President Radoslaw Fogiel also commented on the issue.
Bandera, a Ukrainian wartime nationalist leader, remains a deeply divisive historical figure. To some, he is a hero who fought for a free Ukraine, while to others he is a criminal, responsible for the murder of countless thousands of Poles and Jews.
The OUN was an ultranationalist organisation that in October 1942 established the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). The UPA was responsible for the Volhynia Massacre in which Ukrainian nationalists slaughtered around 100,000 Poles in the Volhynia and East Galicia regions between 1943-45