Monday, September 10, 2007

Reminder: Former UPA still without Veteran Status

From RFE/RL newsline:

LAST COMMANDER OF UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY DIES. Vasyl Kuk died on September 9 at the age of 94, Ukrainian media reported. Kuk was the last commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in 1950-54. The UPA was a combat force created by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in western Ukraine during World War II to pursue the ideal of an independent Ukraine. It fought Soviet and Polish troops after the end of World War II. "He was struggling for Ukraine until his last breath and was a personification of Ukraine.... Ukraine's faithful son, Vasyl Kuk, will forever stay in our memory as a paragon of loyalty to the people and selfless service to our state," President Viktor Yushchenko reportedly said in a letter to Kuk's family and friends. Despite repeated attempts by UPA combatants, they have not been granted the status of war veterans that would make them equal with veterans of Soviet-led military formations. JM