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President of Israel reminded crimes of glorified Ukrainian nationalists

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin spoke on Tuesday in the Ukraine Parliament in Kiev. He visited Ukraine in order to take part in the 75th anniversary of the Babi Yar Massacre. The Babi Yar ravine on the outskirts of Kiev is the site of one of the Holocaust’s most notorious massacres, when at least 34,000 Jews were murdered in 1941 by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads).
In his address, Israel’s president warned the Ukraine lawmakers that although the relationship between Jerusalem and Kiev is today focused on the future, it is nevertheless important never to forget history. Rivlin said that anti-Semitism ‘must be recognized for what it was’ when the tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews were slaughtered at Babi-Yar, and ‘for what it is today,’ and not rehabilitate or glorify anti-Semites. No interest can ever justify silence, apathy, or hesitation in the face of anti-Semites.
In his address Rivlin especially stressed not only German Nazis but Ukrainian nationalists too took part in Holocaust: “We must not play a part in the sin of forgetting or denial. Around 1.5 million Jews were murdered in the territory of modern day Ukraine during the Second World War; in Babi Yar, and in many other places of murder. They shot them in the valleys, in the woods, into pits, into mass grave. Many of the collaborators were Ukrainian, among the most notorious the members of the OUN who carried out pogroms and massacres against the Jews and in many cases handed them over to the Germans”. (see more)
This speech has provoked a wave of dissatisfaction in the ranks of contemporary Ukrainian nationalists, who glorify OUN and other right wing radicals, promote them in Ukrainian schools and culture at the official level. So Rivlin was right to remind who they are.


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