A court in Ukraine issued an injunction against the naming of two streets in Kiev after nationalists who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
The district administrative court of Kiev on Tuesday issued the injunction, ordering the municipality to reverse the 2016 renaming of two main streets for Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych. But Mayor Vitaly Klitschko on Wednesday wrote on Facebook that the municipality will appeal the ruling, the Regnum news agency reported. In the meantime, the streets in question will be renamed Moscow Avenue and another avenue named for Nikolai Vatutin, a Soviet general who was killed in 1944 by militiamen from Shukhevych’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA.
Bandera and Shukhevych were among numerous Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi Germans, including SS volunteers and mass murderers of Jews and Poles, who are now celebrated as anti-communist heroes in Ukraine and by its government.
Despite protests by Jews, this glorification became mainstream following the 2014 overthrow of the government of former president Viktor Yanukovych, whose critics call him a corrupt Russian stooge. It ushered in a wave of nationalist sentiment.
In 2015, a law passed making it illegal to insult the memory of any anti-Soviet fighter, including war criminals, declared a national hero.
In Lviv last year, hundreds of men marched wearing the SS uniforms of Ukrainian collaborators in a city-approved event. At least three Ukrainian municipalities in recent years have unveiled statues for Bandera’s deputy, Yaroslav Stetsko, who during the Holocaust openly called for “the extermination of the Jews.”