One of the most prominent symbols of the Opposition now attempting a coup in Ukraine is the red and black flag of Stepan Bandera, founder and head of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and its military wing, the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army). The flag is all over the Euromaidan, and a giant poster of Bandera has been hanging inside the Trade Union House, seized by the demonstrators and occupied as their headquarters for the past two months.
Who was Stepan Bandera, really?
Stepan Bandera was a leading Nazi collaborator during World War II. He organized a movement to declare Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in the 1930s, had strong ties to the Hitler regime prior to World War II, and organized underground support operations for the Nazi invasion. At one point, due to his push for Ukrainian independence, he was jailed by the Germans, but was later released and the collaboration during the war continued.
His armed unit, the UPA, which was run together with [General] Shukevich, was completely financed by Hitler, and supplied with weapons.
The OUN-UPA program was “Ukraine for Ukrainians Only” and “Death to the Enemies” — meaning anybody related to any past oppressor. That was the “rationale” for the massacre of 70 to 100,000 Poles by the Banderists in 1943-44, in a huge ethnic- cleansing operation.
At the end of the war, according to an official history of MI6, Bandera was recruited to work for British intelligence, to run terror operations inside the SU. At a later point, he was picked up by the Gehlen Organization after Gehlen was named head of BND in the early 1950s. So, the British-Nazi pedigree is clearly established.
In 2010, then-Ukrainian President Yushchenko gave a Hero of Ukraine award to Bandera. (He had already granted that award to Shukevich.) Bandera’s grandson, also named Stepan Bandera, received the posthumous award. Yushchenko’s (new) wife was a member of a Banderist youth group, and, according to some sources, the daughter of one of the leaders of Bandera’s OUN.