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Torch march of Ukrainian nationalists ends in downtown Kiev

January 01, 2013, 22:50 UTC+3

The march was organized by the nationalistic party Svoboda

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KIEV, January 1 (Itar-Tass) —— A torch march of the Ukrainian nationalists in memory of Stepan Bandera ended in downtown Kiev on Tuesday. The march was organized by the nationalistic party Svoboda, which succeeded to elect 36 deputies of the party for the first time at the latest elections in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.

Over 2,000 marchers under the blue banners with the symbols of the party Svoboda with three fingers up, went from the traditional venue of the Ukrainian nationalists that is the Monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko to the “Red Building” of the Kiev State University along with the Kreshchatik Avenue to the Maidan Square, chanting the slogans “Glory to Ukraine!” The marchers were carrying the posters, saying “Bandera will come to establish the order” and “The heroes are not dying” in front of the marching column. The police patrols ensured security during the march. The Ukrainian nationalists held a rally on the Maidan Square near the main New Year tree in Ukraine. At the rally the Svoboda leaders stated that the Tuesday march is “an act of demonstration of the political strength.”

The events, which were dedicated to Stepan Bandera (1909-1959), were held in the Carpathian Region at the historical memorial museum in Stary Ugrynov, at the monument to Bandera in Ivano-Frankovsk and other cities in western Ukrainian regions on Tuesday.

Ideologist of the Ukrainian nationalistic movement in the twentieth century Bandera, who was collaborating with the Nazi Germany during the Second World War, is taken quite ambiguously in the modern Ukrainian society. The assessments of his activities range from absolutely positive in several western Ukrainian regions to sharply negative opinions in other Ukrainian regions. In 2010 the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Bandera with the title of the Hero of Ukraine, but in the same year the Donetsk administrative court cancelled this decision, finding it unlawful. Yushchenko filed an appeal, which the Donetsk court of appeal did not satisfy as well. The Ukrainian Supreme Administrative Court upheld the verdicts of the Donetsk courts in 2011.

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