Ukrainian nationalists seek to erase memory of WWII

A nationalist party in Ukraine has resorted to legal action in a bid to raze a monument to Soviet soldiers who fought and died in the west of the country during the Second World War.

­The Ukrainian press reported on Tuesday that the Republican Party had tried to revive a ruling made in the 1990s by a regional legislature ordering the removal of all Soviet monuments in the country’s westernmost – and virulently nationalist – Lvov Region. Now, the party is seeking to remove the Glory Monument in the city of Lvov. The local administration objected on the grounds that the earlier ruling is no longer valid.

Local political analysts said the initiative was a populist move designed to help the nationalists to win back the voters they lost after they attacked war veterans as they held a memory march on Victory Day on May 9 this year. The veterans say they are ready to defend the monument from any further threats, so the current initiative actually risks bringing more negative publicity to the nationalists.

Also on Tuesday, the Ukrainian media reported that the administration of the country’s capital, Kiev, was pondering renaming the city’s Frunze Street, which honors the famous Bolshevik and Red Army general Mikhail Frunze. The Kiev authorities want to return the street its old name – Kirillovskaya – which was taken from a nearby monastery. Public reaction to the news has been muted and the media reports that the decision will likely be approved.

Leave a comment