NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress applauds the Kyiv District Court for its decision to suspend the city council’s plan to honor ultra-nationalist figures of the World War-II era Ukrainian national liberation movement, who were known for their racist and antisemitic views and collaboration with the Nazis.
The Kyiv court’s ruling on 12 March came in response to advocacy efforts by representatives of the Jewish community of Ukraine, submitted in an official claim by A.V. Portnov, protesting scheduled commemorations for a number of contentious Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, including Ivan Poltavets-Ostrianytsia, Vasyl Levkovych, Ulas Samchuk, Vasyl Sydor, Yuri Lipa, Volodymyr Kubiyovich, Vasyl Halasa, and Andriy Melnyk.
In an age of increasing antisemitism and xenophobic sentiment worldwide, it is imperative that local and federal courts across Europe take note of this important step forward in our global efforts to cease the glorification of antisemitism, Nazi collaboration, and other forms of hatred against Jews.
We stand with our affiliated community, the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, in urging the Kyiv City Council to examine in meticulous detail all accessible information regarding the controversial figures slated for commemoration, in order to ensure that it never honors individuals who espouse hateful and destructive worldviews. We must work together, collectively and diligently, across all platforms, to call out and admonish neo-Nazi sentiment anywhere it rears its ugly head.