A ghost of World War II history haunts Ukraine’s standoff with Russiatags: World War II, Russia, Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine — The West may be feeling the chill of a new Cold War. But for Ukraine and Russia, no era or actor is more omnipresent in their crisis today than World War II and Stepan Bandera.
Born in an obscure village in 1909, Bandera for decades fought for an independent Ukraine, but in the early 20th century its territory was carved up between Poland and the Soviet Union. Honoring what they see as his legacy as a thorn in the side of the Soviets, Ukrainian nationalists have strung up a massive poster of their hero in this city’s Independence Square, using him as a rallying cry against the new menace in Moscow.
But if Bandera is idolized by some in the capital and western Ukraine, he is reviled as a fascist in much of the heavily ethnic-Russian east and south as well as in Russia itself. There, memories are still fresh of Soviet-era campaigns that sought to discredit Bandera, and his quest for a Ukrainian homeland, by playing up his ties to Germany’s Third Reich.
The fierce debate has made history a protagonist here, with love and loathing of a larger-than-life figure now vividly on display on Ukrainian streets.
comments powered by Disqus
- Moving Photographs of Japanese American Internees, Then and Now
- A One-of-a-Kind Trove Reveals What 19th-Century American Boyhood Was Really Like
- St. Louis University moves controversial statue after protests
- UNC Renames Building That Honored Ku Klux Klan Leader
- A Wartime Bomb, Unearthed in Germany, Recalls Darker Days
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize