JTA — A senior state historian of Ukraine said that protests by Poland and Israel about his country’s glorification of Nazi collaborators was Russian propaganda.
Volodymyr Vyatorovych, director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, offered his opinion last week on social media in connection with a joint letter of protest by the Israeli and Polish ambassadors to Ukraine.
In an unusual move, the two diplomats wrote to the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankisvsk protesting the unveiling there of a monument honoring Roman Shukhevych, a collaborator with the Nazis who is implicated in the murder of countless Jews and ethnic Poles by his UPA nationalist militia during the 1940s.
“The letter is in English, but its essence is Russian. The content — this is also a repetition of the Russian propaganda against the UPA,” Vyatorovych wrote.
Vyatorovych is a consistent advocate of the UPA and other pro-Nazi outfits. But his claim that Israel and Poland are serving Russian propaganda is unusual. Russia last year blamed Israel for the downing of a Russian military plane by Syrian defenses during an Israeli strike in Syria, an accusation rejected by Jerusalem.
Israel routinely strikes Iranian-linked targets in Syria, a close ally of Russia, as well on occasion those belonging to the Syrian regime.
Poland, where anti-Russian sentiment is rife, is a prominent member of the NATO alliance, which is largely devoted to checking Russian expansionism. Polish President Andrzej Duda is seeking a permanent US military base in Poland and advanced fighter jets to counter what his government sees as a growing Russian threat, Radio Liberty reported this week.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.