The Council of Europe has been doing a lot in order to achieve a major goal that is to develop as much as possible co-operation between European nations. In recent past Europe was torn apart by numerous wars driven in particular by nationalism. At the same time European history provides plenty of examples of positive co-operation between different nations. Those who inspired us to build a new Europe, a Europe of tolerance and freedom are our real heroes.
It is impossible to build up a united tolerant Europe by educating the young generation through examples of militant nationalism.
We are concerned by the fact that the President of Ukraine awarded the highest nation distinction "The Hero of Ukraine" to Stepan Bandera at the end of January 2010 and to Roman Shukhevich in 2009. Both collaborated with the Nazi regime and with Nazi units such as SS Galichina division and Nachtigall and Roland diversion battalions. Shukhevich had a rank of Wehrmacht captain and was awarded by the Nazi regime with an Iron Cross. Both Bandera and Shukhevich glorified Hitler in their political statements.
Bandera and Shukhevich are responsible for regular massive extermination of Poles, Jews and Byelorussians by squadrons under their command. These crimes are proved by numerous documents and eyewitnesses' testimonies.
These examples are hardly suitable to educate young people.
The Parliamentary Assembly should carefully consider controversial cases of "domestic" nationalists having been honoured as heroes and develop a set of recommendations for national authorities having in mind creation of a united Europe.