Nazi collaborator earns this honor in Ukraine

Kyiv residents overwhelmingly vote to rename central street after creator of Nazi-affiliated Ukrainian volunteer brigade, which is believed to have slaughtered Jews and Poles during World War II.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Officials in Ukraine’s capital city are expected to name a street after a notorious Nazi collaborator, according to a Jewish watchdog group in the embattled Eastern European country.

The Kyiv city council recently passed a motion renaming a street after Volodymyr Kubiyovych, who was instrumental in the formation of the Waffen-SS Galizien, a Nazi military unit composed of Ukrainian volunteers.

Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told The Jerusalem Post that the council had put forth a vote for residents allowing them to choose from several options of national heroes, after whom a central street in Kyiv will be renamed.

Kubiyovich, who publicly advocated for a Ukrainian state free of Jewish and Polish residents, received the most number of votes – nearly double that of the other candidates.

The Waffen-SS, the umbrella Nazi group with which the Ukrainian division created by Kubiyovich was affiliated, was found to be responsible for numerous atrocities during the Nuremberg trials, with members having exterminated tens of thousands of Jewish and Polish civilians in its territories.

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Although the Galizien division was never held officially to account for war crimes, senior SS official Heinrich Himmler praised the group for its efforts to murder Jews during a speech in 1943.

“Your homeland has become so much more beautiful since you have lost – on our initiative, I must say – those residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia’s good name, namely the Jews,” Himmler told soldiers from the Waffen-SS Galizien during a speech in 1943.

As recently as 2021, Ukrainian nationals marched through the streets of Kyiv in parades honoring the Nazi-affiliated brigade.

Despite the fact that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is Jewish, the country has a long history of hostility towards Jews and rampant antisemitism.

Zelensky has repeatedly compared the Russian invasion to the Holocaust but has remained silent on the ongoing veneration of Nazi collaborators within the country.

The Babi Yar mass murder, in which 40,000 Jews from Kyiv and the surrounding areas were killed, is believed to be one of the largest massacres of the Holocaust. Nazi troops rounded up Ukrainian Jews, many of whom were turned in by their Ukrainian neighbors, shot them, and tossed their bodies in a large ravine.