Ukraine MP Burns Passport In Protest Against Bandera Heroization

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine -- A Ukrainian MP burned his passport on Sunday in protest against President Viktor Yushchenko's decree to make a hero of Stepan Bandera who was a nationalist leader in 1930-1960.

Stepan Bandera

Yushchenko, who leaves office soon after losing last week's presidential elections, said Friday he awarded the Hero of Ukraine title to Bandera.

Konstantin Zarudnev, a parliamentarian from Sevastopol in the Crimea, showed his passport to journalists and then burned it throwing the ashes into a garbage can, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

"I am convinced that everyone living in the state of Ukraine thinks the way I think. My actions indicate that I do not want to be an MP or a citizen of a country where terrorists and serial killers become heroes," Zarudnev said.

"I think my next passport will not be Ukrainian," he said.

Police fined Zarudnev 850 hryvnias ($105).

Bandera, the son of a clerical family, was a leader of the Ukrainian national movement in Western Ukraine and headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1941-1959.

The Soviet authorities accused Bandera of numerous acts of murder and terrorism and authorized his assassination by the KGB in Munich, Germany, on October 15, 1959.

Bandera is a controversial figure in Ukraine. His supporters consider him a hero, while others see him as a Nazi collaborator.

Source: RIA Novosti