The Court of Kiev Decided to Uphold the Renaming of Streets in the Capital in Honour of Hitler’s Henchmen

The Sixth Court of Appeal of Kiev upheld the decision of the Kiev City Council to rename “Moscow Avenue” to “Stepan Bandera Avenue” and “General Vatutin Avenue” to “Roman Shukhevych Avenue”, said the people’s deputy Vladimir Vyatrovich on his Facebook page. “Bandera and Shukhevych Avenues in Kiev will be! We won in the Court of Appeal,” he wrote.

Recall that on July 7th 2016 the Kiev City Council renamed “Moscow Avenue” to “Stepan Bandera Avenue”. 87 of the 97 deputies present at the meeting of the capital city council voted for this decision, no one spoke against it.

On June 1st 2017 the Kiev City Council voted to rename “General Vatutin Avenue” as “Roman Shukhevych Avenue” (69 out of 120 deputies in favour). On June 12th of the same year the District Administrative Court of Kiev prohibited the Kiev Council from signing and publishing the decision to rename the avenue, and the Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the District Administrative Court.

On June 25th 2019 the District Administrative Court of Kiev cancelled the decision to rename “Moscow Avenue” and “Vatutin Avenue” in honour of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, respectively. The Administrative Court explained why it rejected the renaming of Bandera and Shukhevych avenues.

Vladimir Vyatrovich, then head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM), announced his intention to appeal against the decision. Mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko in turn also declared that the decision of the District Administrative Court will be appealed. He also announced the re-adoption by the Kiev Council of the relevant decisions to rename the two avenues.

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On July 31st the UINM filed an appeal against the decision of the District Administrative Court of Kiev to cancel the decisions of the Kiev Council to rename the avenues.

Elena Berezhnaya, the initiator of the lawsuit to ban the renaming of “Moscow Avenue” as “Stepan Bandera Avenue” and “General Vatutin Avenue” as “Roman Shukhevych Avenue”, which was cancelled on December 9th 2019, said she would challenge this decision in the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court. “The decision itself along with the reasoning part will be ready in five days, and after receiving the decision we will challenge it in the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court,” said Berezhnaya in comment.

“We will file with the Supreme Court. There is still the ECHR. There was no reason to cancel the decision of the District Administrative Court of Kiev to ban the renaming of these streets. Members of the ‘Svoboda‘ party and the UINM themselves admitted during the consideration of this case that the names ‘Moscow Avenue’ and ‘Vatutin Avenue’ did not fall under the de-communisation law in any way, however, in the case file there is a reference to this law on de-communisation. I believe that this decision was made under pressure. By this decision, the court sent greetings to Zelensky, who in May at the grave of his grandfather spoke about how his grandfather fought [in the Red Army – ed]. We expect the further appearance of Hitler, Himmler, and Goebbels streets in Kiev,” she said.

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