Press Release by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Winnipeg, MB, Canada - February 1, 2010 -Ukrainian Canadians welcome the long-overdue recognition of Ukraine's freedom fighters as "Heroes of Ukraine". Today's anniversary of the battle of Kruty (January 29, 1918) will remain historically memorable for the fact that outgoing President Yushchenko chose this date to recognize the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and a list of other military formations as "Heroes of Ukraine". This follows last week's specific recognition of Stepan Bandera, the leader of the OUN who was assassinated in Munich by the KGB in 1959, as a "Hero of Ukraine" which was presented to his Ukrainian Canadian grandson Stepan Bandera.
"We commend President Victor Yushchenko for recognizing those who struggled and perished for Ukraine's independence," stated Paul Grod, National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. "President Yushchenko has made incredible progress in elevating the national consciousness of Ukrainians. It is critical now that Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers and the Parliament of Ukraine bring forth the appropriate legislation, regulations and educational programs to implement this decree."
With few veterans still alive the practical aspects of this gesture remain largely symbolic but would still allow the OUN-UPA veterans to receive a military pension comparable to Soviet war veterans. Aside from the social and education benefits that might pass to their children and grandchildren, the decree is also valuable for the moral if not "official rehabilitation" afforded to tens of thousands of such descendants whose lives were blighted by the scourge of soviet officialdom in the post war period of the 20th century.
The UCC calls upon the Government of Canada to make changes to Canada's War Veterans Allowance Act by expanding eligibility to include designated resistance groups such as OUN-UPA and to limit eligibility of Soviet War Veterans to those who served after 1941 when the Soviet Union switched from being allies of Nazi-Germany to become allies of Canada.
For text of the President's decree click here- Читайте текст Указу Президента за адресою: