A member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) waits to depart to the frontline in eastern Ukraine, in central Kiev, March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Josh Cohen, Reuters: Vladimir Putin calls Ukraine fascist and country’s new law helps make his case

As Ukraine continues its battle against separatists, corruption and a collapsing economy, it has taken a dangerous step that could further tear the country apart: Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada, passed a draft law last month honoring organizations involved in mass ethnic cleansing during World War Two.

The draft law — which is now on President Petro Poroshenko’s desk awaiting his signature — recognizes a series of Ukrainian political and military organizations as “fighters for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century” and bans the criticism of these groups and their members. (The bill doesn’t state the penalty for doing so.) Two of the groups honored — the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) — helped the Nazis carry out the Holocaust while also killing close to 100,000 Polish civilians during World War Two.

WNU Editor: This is the first major Western wire service to investigate and report on the current Ukraine's government's eagerness to "honor" what some Ukraine groups and organizations did during the Second World War. It is also fascinating to see how the writer for this Reuters post is trying to report on the story .... do a tie in with Putin .... state that these honors have been bestowed before by previous Ukrainian administrations .... and then attempting to excuse the Ukraine government's hand in drafting the current law. Bottom line .... these former Ukrainian nationalist groups supported the Nazis and their policy of ethnic cleansing .... were the camp guards for many of the death camps run by the Nazis, and when the Nazis were fleeing .... only doubled down on their mass murder. To flash forward to today and see this "white-washing" develop in the matter that it has .... with Ukraine parliamentary support .... in the middle of a war .... I see Ukraine entering a very dark period of time. This radicalization of Ukraine by its worst elements all but guarantees no peace in the country .... as well as more conflict. Shame to the European governments to not hold Kiev and Poroshenko accountable for this .... and double shame to all of Ukraine's supporters in the West who turn a convenient eye away from the catastrophe that is unfolding in that country with the excuse that it is the fault of Putin and Russian aggression. On a personal note ....  my father (who was born south of Kiev) fought against these groups during and after the war .... he knew first hand on how evil these people were .... and I am grateful that he is not alive to see what is happening right now.

Update: Ukraine President Poroshenko has just signed this legislation into law .... Ukraine president enacts controversial laws banning Soviet symbols (AFP). It is in the last paragraph of the report, and AFP does not go into details on who and what this nationalist group did in the "mid-20th century".

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