The Ukrainian foreign ministry has distanced itself from statements made by the ambassador in Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, about former nationalist leader Stepan Bandera (1909-1959).
“The opinion of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, which he expressed in an interview with a German journalist, is his personal and does not reflect the position of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry,” the agency said on Friday night on its official website With. Melnyk also became known in Germany for his criticism of the federal government’s Ukraine policy.
In the statement, which was written in English, the Foreign Ministry also thanked Warsaw for the current “unprecedented help” in the war against Russia. It literally says: “We are convinced that relations between Ukraine and Poland are currently at their peak.”
In Poland, Melnyk’s statements were met with criticism. In an interview with the journalist Tilo Jung, the ambassador defended Bandera and said: “Bandera was not a mass murderer of Jews and Poles.” There is no evidence of this. As ambassador, Melnyk reports to the Foreign Ministry.
Bandera was the ideological leader of the radical wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Nationalist partisans from western Ukraine were responsible for ethnically motivated 1943 expulsions in which tens of thousands of Polish civilians were murdered. Bandera fled to Germany after World War II, where he was murdered in 1959 by an agent of the Soviet secret service, the KGB. dpa