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Russia summons Israeli envoy over Ukraine comments

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli chargé d’affaires Ronen Kraus on Tuesday over the comments made by Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky, who suggested that Ukraine’s celebration of World War II-era nationalists “cannot realistically be stopped.”

  • According to the ministry, Kraus was told that Russia and Israel have in the past “done a great deal to resist attempts to rewrite history and glorify Nazi collaborators.”

The Russian side stressed the need for “an unequivocal evaluation” of those who draw inspiration from Ukrainian historical nationalist figures, such as Stepan Bandera and Roman Shekhevich, in order to “encourage Russophobia.”

Various Ukrainian nationalist groups cooperated with Adolf Hitler’s forces during the first years of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and committed multiple atrocities against Russians, Jews, Poles, and Moscow-aligned Ukrainians.

  • Bandera, one of the leaders of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), and Shukhevich, who served in the German-run Nachtigall Battalion and later led the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), are hailed as heroes and freedom fighters by the current Ukrainian authorities.

Israeli officials have repeatedly protested against the lionization of Ukrainian figures complicit in the Holocaust. However, Ambassador Brodsky said last week that, although he did not approve of Kiev’s position on WWII-era nationalists, “for the majority of Ukrainians, these are heroes who fought for independence.” He further said that Israel should not condition support for Ukraine on its treatment of historical events.

Unlike many Western countries, Israel has refused to send weapons to Ukraine and only provided non-lethal aid. The country also refused to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Source: RT