On May 3, the British newspaper The Guardian reported that the Kiev authorities opened a criminal trial against the hero of the Great Patriotic War, Boris Efimovich Steklar.
Recall: a 94-year veteran is suspected of the elimination of the Nazi collaborator Neil Hasevich. In the criminal case itself, which Russian media reported back in late April, there is no sensation (everyone knows that there is modern Ukraine and what can be expected from there).
Unexpectedness is that the revanchism of the Ukrainian “heirs” suddenly, not even a week later, was noticed by the Western press.
The British edition indicates that Hasevich was an active member of the UPA, “involved in the genocide of Jews and Poles”. When the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine declared the UPA heroes and issued a law prohibiting criticizing them as Nazi criminals.
Earlier, the decision of the prosecutor’s office of Ukraine to begin the persecution of the 94-year-old war hero was widely covered in the Israeli press (which is understandable). In addition to accusing the Ukrainian authorities of anti-Semitism, we read in the news headlines the word “disgrace” and other rigid definitions of the actions of Ukrainian punitive agencies. It is obvious that such events can not but lead to deterioration of relations between Israel and Ukraine.
A new manifestation of revanchism had a stunning effect even on normally calm Englishmen.
Boris Steklar went through the whole war, was wounded several times, and after the victory he served in the security forces in the Rivne region, engaged in the capture of Nazi collaborators. In 1952, he led the operation to detain the propagandist of the UPA Neil Hasevich, during which he killed two of his accomplices, and then committed suicide. According to the version adopted by the prosecutor’s office of Ukraine in those days, Hasevich didn’t shut lights out, but was liquidated by Steklar.
The Guardian quoted Eduard Dolinsky, head of the Jewish Committee of Ukraine, who directly pointed out that Neil Hasevich was actively involved in the extermination of Jews and Poles and was a war criminal. We are talking about Bandera’s ally, who served under the German rule as a “world judge” and sent to death many innocent people. He also directly participated in the murder of Jews after the Germans left, in 1944.
A sharp accusatory tone in The Guardian and Israeli publications in relation to the actions of Ukraine points, perhaps, to changes in the policy of Kiev in the West as a whole. Two weeks ago in The New York Times appeared an article about the heroization of Nazism in Ukraine written by the same head of the Jewish Committee of Ukraine, Eduard Dolinsky. All the facts concerning, including the practice of legislation in Ukraine, aimed at justifying and rehabilitating of Nazism are collected there.
Until recently, such discussions did not reach the pages of leading Western newspapers.
Moreover, the Jewish organizations of Ukraine abstained until recently from an active position on the main issues of criminal ideology. Recall that the monsters of the OUN-UPA are recognized by the Verkhovna Rada as heroes, who are forbidden to criticize. After the recent anti-Semitic incidents, the Jewish organizations of Ukraine began to play an important role in revising attitudes towards the policy of Nazi glorification in the West.
In Israel itself, six months before the Maidan, 62 (out of 120) deputies of the Knesset sent an appeal to the European Parliament on the threat of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, highlighting anti-Semitism and Russophobia of the “Svoboda” party and their associates.
It can be hoped that the Knesset and the public organizations of Israel will again become more active. Of course, Ukraine is located far from Israel, which is usually focused on internal problems and complex relationships with neighbors. However, the criminal case against the 94-year-old Steklar can awaken the Israelis to a more active position in the issue of glorification of Nazism in Ukraine.