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MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. Plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the Contact Group Denis Pushilin has blasted the adoption by Ukraine’s parliament of a "disgraceful law" on Thursday on recognizing members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) - Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as fighters for Ukraine’s independence.
"Our grandfathers ousted the Nazis and their accomplices in the person of [Stepan] Bandera, [Roman] Shukhevich and others not only from their territory but from Europe as well. It is unpleasant to even watch many just put up with their history being rewritten and the memory of our truly heroic ancestors darkened," Pushilin said.
"Could they have caved in to a bunch of radicals and voted nearly unanimously in the Verkhovna Rada for this disgraceful bill? It’s a shame," he told the Donetsk News Agency.
The Rada on Thursday recognized the activity of OUN/UPA as struggle for Ukraine’s independence. In the second reading, lawmakers adopted the law on "Legal status of the participants of the fight for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century." A total of 271 deputies voted for the law with 226 required.
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, an ultra-rightwing political organization, operated mostly in the western regions of today’s Ukraine. To reach their goal of creating a ‘self-ruled’ and ‘unaffiliated’ Ukraine it made use of extremist methods and was broadly oriented at chauvinism and xenophobia.
During World War II, the OUN collaborated closely with Hitlerite occupation authorities to launch struggle against the Soviet government. It organized the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in 1943.
The OUN also took an extremely active part in setting up the SS Halichina division. A number of historical and military sources suggest the members of OUN/UPA exterminated no less than a million people, including about 200,000 Poles.