The ramifications of out-going Ukranian President Viktor Yushchenko’s decision to award a posthumous honour to a controversial Ukranian nationalist have reached Poland.
There have been a number of protests in several cities including Warsaw and Krakow.
And Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski has slammed Yuschenko for putting “current political interests” over “historical truth”.
The honour has gone to Stepan Bandera whom
Warsaw holds responsible for the mass killing of Poles in interwar Poland.
Bandera, the leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, was assassinated by the KGB in Munich in 1959.
Yushchenko bestowed National Hero status on him for his fight for Ukrainian independence and last year a stamp marked the centenary of his birth.
But although Bandera is indeed seen as a hero by many for fighting both Soviet and Nazi forces, others see him as a Nazi collaborator with much blood on his hands.
The award has already been condemned by Moscow and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre whic blames his followers for the deaths of thousands of Jews.