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Ukraine parliament to debate nationalist army role as WWII combatants

December 01, 2014, 15:19 UTC+3 KIEV
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army may be recognized as warring combatants in the Second World War
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© Mykhailo Markiv/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS

KIEV, December 1. /TASS/. A bill recognizing the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as warring combatants in the Second World War has been registered for debate in Ukraine's parliament.

The way is open for discussion in the Verkhovna Rada of activities by two organizations charged at the Nuremberg post-war trials for collaboration with the forces of Nazi Germany.

OUN was founded in western Ukraine in 1939 and allied itself with Nazi invaders fighting Soviet partisans. In 1943, the group was reorganized to become the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, notorious for mass executions among the population.

Stepan Bandera, an ominous figure in the Soviet history, was proclaimed the OUN-UPA leader. Bandera and his followers attempted with Nazi support to create an "independent" Ukraine by exterminating the entire non-Ukrainian ethnic population, proclaiming "Ukraine is for ethnic Ukrainians only."

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