Activists of the Svoboda (Freedom) and Right Sector Ukrainian nationalist parties hold torches as they take part in a rally to mark the 106th birth anniversary of Stepan Bandera, one of the founders of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), in Kiev January 1, 2015.
The chilling slogans and a flagrant demonstration of nationalist symbols during the neo-Nazi march in Kiev reminded the Czech President Milos Zeman of Hitler's Germany. He said something was “wrong” both with Ukraine and the EU which didn’t condemn it.
Zeman was commenting on the appalling scenes, which showed thousands of Ukrainian nationalists holding a torchlight procession across the Ukrainian capital on Thursday to commemorate the 106th birthday of Stepan Bandera, a Nazi collaborator and the Ukraine nationalist movement’s leader during World War II.
"There is something wrong with Ukraine,” the Czech Republic's leader told radio F1 on Sunday. “Yesterday evening I was browsing the Internet and discovered a video showing the demonstration on Kiev’s Maidan on January 1.”
“These demonstrators carried portraits of Stepan Bandera, which reminded me of Reinhard Heydrich,” Zeman said referring to one of the main architects of the Holocaust and at the time a Reich-Protector of Czech Republic’s territories.
“The parade itself was organized similar to Nazi torchlight parades, where participants shouted the slogan: ‘Death to the Poles, Jews and communists without mercy,”Zeman explained.
Bandera was the head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which collaborated with Nazi Germany, and was involved in the ethnic cleansing of Poles, Jews and Russians.
“Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!", "Ukraine belongs to Ukrainians" and "Bandera will return and restore order", were the repeated slogans during the neo-Nazi march. Some of the participants wore World War II Bandera's insurgent army uniforms while others paraded with red and black nationalist flags.
The Czech President said something is “wrong” not only with Ukraine, but also with the European Union, which did not protest or condemn this action.
February 2014 - Euromaidan, Kiev, at the front there
is a portrait of Bandera.
"Don't forget that Bandera is considered a national hero in Ukraine, his image is hanging in the Maidan, his statue is in Lvov. In reality, he was a mass murderer," Zeman said last summer on Czech Television.
Stepan Bandera in German uniform