August 24th, Ukrainian Independence Day, will see a ceremony introducing the country's new official army salute, as prescribed by Ukraine’s Presidential decree: Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to the Heroes!
"We have consulted with the Minister of Defense, National Security and Defense Council, Government and I have decided that starting from August 24 these words will be heard for the first time as part of the official military parade ceremony on the Independence Day of Ukraine," Petro Poroshenko was quoted saying on the Ukraine President's official site.
Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to the Heroes! is a slogan of the UPA, the Ukraine Rebel Army who fought on the side of the Nazis. The slogans, their origin, and history are well known in Ukraine, although the President's website does not make mention of these. Present neo-Nazi Ukrainian military formations established by order of the Ukrainian authorities appropriated the slogan from the end of 2013 onward. Now, the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator's greeting will become the official salute in that country's army.
The President also added that introducing the words Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! as an official military greetings was thoroughly discussed with servicemen and veterans, and only then the decision was made.
The Head of State also noted the new military greetings will be enshrined officially in the documents after the beginning of the Verkhovna Rada's regular session and Parliament's corresponding decision, as it requires changes in particular to statutes of all Armed Forces of Ukraine troops. But after completion of proper procedures, "these words and this greeting will become the official military greetings of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".
At a recent exhibition inside the Ukrainian parliament glorifying leading Ukrainian Nazi collaborators of World War II., current leaders of Ukraine's nationalistic organizations spoke along with openly pro-Nazi MP Jury Shuchevich, son of the SS captain and the commander of the Nachtigall division Roman Shuchevich.
In his opening speech, MP Jury Shuchevich said: "The fact of us having an independence today, in truth, is a huge cornerstone of the edifice called today the Ukrainian State. That huge cornerstone was laid into this edifice by this very struggle (of the Ukrainian nationalists) and by these very people (Ukrainian Nazi-collaborators), and I beseech you all very much to visit this exhibition which the Congress of the Ukrainian nationalists is carrying on in commemoration of this date." In any other official sources the participation of the pro-Nazi Ukrainian Nationalists Congress is not mentioned.
The official site of the Ukraine Parliament said: "In the beginning of the Second World War, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) under Stepan Bandera's leadership started preparing for re-establishing Ukraine's independence. As the German-Bolshevic War (Nazi term for WWII used today by Ukraine's Parliament) ignited, mobile OUN groups went to Ukraine to establish there Ukrainian power.
"On June 30th, Nachtigall division under the command of Roman Shuchevich and OUN group under the command of Jaroslav Stazko entered Lvov with their first aim to announce re-establishing Ukrainian statehood. The Act of re-establishing Ukrainian statehood declared the independent policy of Ukraine. By it, it has been stated to the international community that the Ukrainian people is content neither with an imperial occupation, nor with a communist one ... it will continue its struggle to the end."
Upon entering Lvov, the Nachtigall division and OUN forces initiated and conducted the unprecedentedly horrific massacre of Lvov's Jews known in history as Lvov massacre of June-July, 1941 in which at least seven-thousand Jews were barbarically murdered.
"When the Croats use Ustasha salutes, it's a source of concern," said Swedish historian Singapore University senior visiting fellow Per Rudling. "When Ukrainians use the OUN salute it needs to be seen in a different context, and a different standard need to be employed."
In Germany and Austria, as in many other countries, the mere mention of such slogans qualify one for criminal punishment. Ukrainians are proud of their Nazi associations today and are enshrining them as official policy.
"If a country adopts pro-Nazi slogans of criminal forces, murderers who committed numerous crimes of genocide, that country is doomed," said co-founder and President of the Rogatchi Foundation Dr. Inna Rogatchi. "But the world shouldn't turn a blind eye to this, as it repeatedly does with regard to Ukraine."