Thursday, June 23, 2011
Authorities in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Wednesday pinned up posters on billboards equating Nazism to Communism to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
The posters, with the slogan “Communism = Nazism”, were a hugely provocative gesture in a country whose east still fondly remembers the rule of the USSR, which the more nationalist west regards as an occupation.
The billboards were put up at the behest of the local authorities and show two pictures, one of locals murdered murdered by the Soviets in 1941 and another of seven people hung in public by the Nazis in 1942 after the invasion.
“The inhabitants of Lviv suffered both under the Nazi and Communist regimes in the war,” said deputy mayor Vasyl Kosiv.
“Prisons and concentration camps were used by both the Soviet NKVD and the Gestapo.”
“These were two forces identical in their criminal actions,” he added.
When the Nazis entered western Ukraine in 1941, some greeted them as liberators from the Soviets.
Nationalist guerrillas continued to fight Soviet forces in the mountains of western Ukraine into the 1950s and are regarded as heroes in the region to this day.