Israel urges Ukraine to remove Nazi collaborators from its ‘List of Heroes’

Israeli ambassador asks country’s parliament to stop celebrating pro-Nazi author, military commander involved in anti-Semitic pogrom

Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion. (Wikimedia Commons/Dovernewyork )
Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion. (Wikimedia Commons/Dovernewyork )

Israel’s embassy to Ukraine on Thursday asked the country’s parliament to remove from its “List of Heroes” 10 people who oversaw massacres of Jews or supported the Nazi regime.

The Israeli ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, presented the request to a special parliamentary committee.

“I was glad to have been given the opportunity to present our position re. controversial Ukrainian historical personalities. We had an open and genuine discussion,” Lion wrote on Twitter.

The 10 figures include Nazi collaborators, commanders of Cossack regiments that carried out pogroms against Jews, and cultural figures who called for cooperation with the Nazis, the Ynet news site reported.

In 2020 Ukraine will celebrate its national heroes in official ceremonies and events. Israel’s request is controversial in Ukraine because the list of people Israel wants removed includes well-known and celebrated personalities.

On the list are Andriy Melnyk, who was connected to military units that collaborated with the Nazis, Ulas Samchuk, a writer who was involved with the Nazi regime, and Maksym Zalizniak, a Cossack commander in an 18th-century massacre of Jews in Uman.

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