Ukraine`s Foreign Ministry dismissed statements by the Russian ambassador about a Ukrainian WWII army and Soviet-era famine as being against diplomacy, according to RIA Novosti.
In an interview with Russia`s Vremya Novostei popular daily Friday, Viktor Chernomyrdin spoke critically of the attempts to romanticize the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which has been said to cooperate with the Nazis in WWII. He also slammed President Viktor Yushchenko`s initiative to prosecute those who deny the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine known as Holodomor.
"Ukrainian political and scientific elite and the public can well qualify historical events of their nation without any additional commentaries based on ideological and stereotyped principles," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The UPA was formed in 1942 on the initiative of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). UPA operated mostly in western Ukraine, historically opposed to Russian domination, and fought against the Soviet Army. UPA is known to have cooperated with the Nazis, even though at the end of the war, it fought against them and the Soviet Army altogether.
In 2007, President Yushchenko signed a decree to celebrate the date of UPA formation as a state holiday. He also awarded a title of the Hero of Ukraine posthumously to UPA leader Roman Shukhevich.