Kyiv Post | 26Jan2010 | Interfax-Ukraine

Russia strongly criticizes hero title award for Bandera

Moscow, January 26, 2010 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has called "repulsive" the decision by Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko to award Stepan Bandera with the Hero of Ukraine title.

"The decree awarding Bandera the Hero of Ukraine title is an event of such a repulsive nature that it could not fail to cause an unambiguously negative reaction, primarily in Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement issued on Jan. 26, 2010.

A number of Ukrainian politicians have already said that these sort of decisions do not help consolidate the Ukrainian public opinion, the Russia Foreign Ministry said. "It prompted many negative reactions from outside Ukraine as well," it said.

"As for the Russian reaction, media outlets and public organizations have made exhaustive statements on this matter, the tone of their assessments ranging from pungent irony to harsh criticism, which is in full agreement with the public sentiments and opinion in Russia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

President Victor Yushchenko, who came fifth at the Jan. 17, 2010 election, said on the Day of Ukrainian Unity last week that he had signed a decree conferring the Hero of Ukraine title on Stepan Bandera, who was accused by many of cooperating with the Nazis during World War II.

Bandera was killed by a Soviet KGB agent in Munich in [Oct. 15] 1959.

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