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Nationalists stage torchlight march in Kiev to celebrate Stephan Bandera’s birthday

January 01, 22:55 UTC+3 KIEV
The far-right activists shouted traditional anti-Russian slogans and "Glory to the nation!" and also criticized the government
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© Petr Sivkov/TASS, archive

KIEV, January 1. /TASS/. More than 1,000 people participated in a torchlight procession in Kiev on Sunday marking the 108th birthday of leader of Ukraine’s nationalist movement Stephan Bandera.

The far-right activists shouted traditional anti-Russian slogans and "Glory to the nation!" and also criticized the government. Some 700 law enforcers ensured security in the center of the city, where traffic was partly blocked.

No public order violations were registered. Similar marches were staged by Ukrainian nationalists in Bandera’s home town Stary Ugryniv, in western Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankovskaya region and Lvov.

Stepan Bandera, the leader and ideologist of Ukraine’s nationalist movement in the 20th century, closely collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. He headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1941-1959.

The units of OUN - UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) killed more than 100,000 Poles, Czechs and Jews in Western Volyn. Thousands of Ukrainians, who refused to cooperate with OUN, were also killed. Besides, the supporters of Bandera also fought against the Soviet Union’s army.

On January 20, 2010, Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the order of Hero of Ukraine. In April that year, the Donetsk district administrative court declared the president’s decree illegal. The court decision was passed on a lawsuit filed by Professor Anatoly Solovyov of the Donetsk University.

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