Business As Usual: Ukrainian Nationalists Hold Rally Commemorating SS “Galicia” Division

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Business As Usual: Ukrainian Nationalists Hold Rally Commemorating SS "Galicia" Division

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On April 28th, nationalists plan to hold a march of embroidered shirts in Kiev in honor of the SS Galicia division, formed in Lvov in 1943.

The event, which begins at 18:00 at Arsenalnaya Square, Kiev and was announced on Facebook by “Golosiyivska Kryivka”.

“Put on your most beautiful embroidered shirt and come to meet with your family, walk together in a solemn procession in the center of Kiev and remember the First Ukrainian Volunteer Division!”, the organizers wrote.

On the video attached to the poster, one can see excerpts of a black-and-white chronicle with people dressed in Ukrainian national costumes. Swastikas and the SS logo are not featured in the footage, but there is no question that they will be prominently shown at the rally.

Ukrainian member of parliament from Volodymyr Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” Maxim Buzhansky spoke from the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada on the occasion of the march of nationalists in honor of the SS Galicia division, which will take place today in Kiev.

In his Telegram channel, he wrote that he considers the demonstration to be the glorification of Nazism.

“If this is not the heroization of Nazism, then what is the heroization? What is missing, banners with a swastika? They will be,” he wrote.

Buzhansky thanked his colleagues who came to the podium to support his position, namely: Igor Negulevsky, Artem Dmitruk, Gennady Kasai, Eduard Leonov.

“My bill 2797 prohibiting the glorification of persons who were related to the SS or took part in the Holocaust was recommended by the committee for inclusion in the session’s agenda, in my opinion, the need for its adoption is more than obvious,” the MP concluded.

Another Ukrainian MP, Daniil Getmantsev believes that the march of the SS division’s supporters has nothing to do with patriotism and the struggle for the independence of Ukraine.

“The march in support of the SS division in the city that survived Babi Yar … In this mockery of the graves of the fallen and innocent murdered there is some special, blasphemous, boundless cynicism. And no, this is definitely not about patriotism and the struggle for independence,” he wrote.

According to the People’s Deputy from “European Solidarity” and ex-head of the Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Vyatrovich, the SS Galicia division was a German formation, it consisted of Ukrainians who were forced to fight for German interests by force and propaganda.

In his Telegram channel, TV presenter Maxim Nazarov noted that “only Poroshenko’s teachings to Zelensky can be more disgusting than a march of SS fanatics in Kiev.”

SS Division “Galicia” was a formation of SS troops of Nazi Germany, recruited from Ukrainian volunteers during the Second World War. The division was part of the SS troops of Nazi Germany, and in April 1945 it was formally included in the Ukrainian National Army, which was subordinate to the Ukrainian National Committee.

Nevertheless, since the time of Euromaidan in Ukraine, this division began to be elevated to a cult. Official propaganda retouched the manifestations of Nazism and claimed that it was a “volunteer Ukrainian division,” which, they say, fought for independence (apparently, within the framework of the Third Reich).

At the same time, when it came to serious discussions, statements began to sound that Ukrainians were forced into “Galicia”, so they cannot be considered collaborators. Such messages were promoted by the head of the Institute of National Remembrance Vladimir Vyatrovich.

The reputation of “Galicia” turned out to be so ambiguous that a Kiev court last year recognized its symbolism as Nazi and forbade the Institute of National Remembrance to tell Ukrainians how “good” it was.

However, further history developed predictably for Ukraine: after direct threats from nationalists, the judges canceled the ban on the appeal. And then, back in September 2020, the Kiev Court of Appeal ruled that the symbols of the SS Galicia division were not Nazi. How that makes sense is a mystery to this day.

In the Lviv region, the cult of “Galicia” has already become official. Moreover, he was supported by the governor Maxim Kozitsky, appointed by Vladimir Zelensky. He recorded a whole video in which he argued that the “Galicians” were collaborators, and stated that it was they who fought so hard against Bolshevism.

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