Translated by Ollie Richardson
The Verkhovna Rada on 04.04.17 adopted the law “On the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repressions”, which approves pension payments to veterans of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – Ukrainian Insurgent Army. These organizations before and during the Great Patriotic War closely coordinated their activity with the intelligence agencies of Hitler’s Germany, and fought against the Soviet Union.
(The current Ukrainian state propaganda calls Banderists “fighters for the independence of Ukraine” — allegedly, they fought against “Soviet occupation”).
The text of the law was presented from the Rada’s tribune by the Deputy Yury Shukhevych, the son of the UPA Commander Roman Shukhevych. He called to support the “victims of the totalitarian Bolshevik regime – the fighters for the independence of Ukraine”, and to enter a 25% supplement to the pension of Banderists who were in prisons, and 12.5% for those who were in exile.
“There were not so many people who stood up until death for the independence of our country. Who for decades were in prisons. I myself was brought up in the OUN-UPA brotherhood in the Volyn region and I know these people. They remain a handful. We have to do everything possible so that these people feel the care of our State, in particular, financially speaking. This is something that we owe thanks to these people for,” said the Deputy from Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s party Igor Guz to the correspondent of Politnavigator.
“I urge everyone in the hall to support the bill. It is a law about justice, historical memory, about honouring the people who had the dignity to fight for the future of Ukraine, which will take a worthy place in the European family of nations. Let’s honour a handful of these strong people,” said Ivan Kirilenko from Yulia Tymoshenko’s party.
“This law corrects historical justice – it couters how 70 years of Soviet occupation killed our national consciousness,” continued the deputy Andrey Lozovoy from Oleg Lyashko’s party.
And Roman Semenukha from the mayor of Lvov’s party “Samopomich” suggested to go even further. “Ukraine renewed independence in 1991, but it did not recognize the Russian occupation from 1922 to 1991. The Russian Federation has to bear responsibility for these terrible crimes,” he said.
“In the hall there are a lot of people whose families endured repressions. My family was sent to Siberia where my father lived nearly 10 years,” said the speaker Andrey Parubiy, urging the hall to vote.
As a result the law was adopted by 258 votes.
It is interesting that none of the deputies representing the “Oppositional bloc” or those elected in majority districts in the Southeast dared to take the floor and to speak out against the rehabilitation of Banderists.
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