Sunday, July 14, 2013

Polish president egged during visit to Ukraine massacre site

KIEV (Reuters) - A Ukrainian man smeared Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski with a broken egg when he visited the site of a 1943 massacre of Poles in neighboring Ukraine on Sunday, police said.

The attack followed a move by the Polish parliament last week to recognize the massacre by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) during World War Two as "ethnic cleansing bearing the hallmarks of genocide".

The move upset Ukrainian nationalists who view the UPA as heroes and freedom fighters. [...]

The territory of Volyn was long disputed by Poland and Ukraine. Historians believe tens of thousands of people died in the massacre during the wartime Nazi occupation.

Seventy years later, public opinion in Ukraine remains split on the insurgent movements which co-operated with the Nazis in hope of driving out the Soviet government and creating an independent Ukrainian state.

In the last days of his presidency in 2010, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko awarded wartime nationalist leader Stepan Bandera the title "Hero of Ukraine".

The award was annulled by a court under his successor, current President Viktor Yanukovich.