Kiev, September 24, 2021
The schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and the Youth Nationalist Congress signed a cooperation agreement during a meeting at the Kiev residence of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko yesterday.
The Congress openly describes itself as followers of the Ukrainian nationalist, Nazi collaborator, and war criminal Stepan Bandera. He is widely venerated among Ukrainian nationalists today, and his birthday was declared a national holiday in late 2018.
The cooperation of the OCU and the Banderite organization is a natural pairing, as Dumenko himself has talked about how the OCU is proud to be called Banderites.
During a visit to the Lvov National Agrarian University in April 2019, the fake metropolitan told students: “Among the graduates of the university, it is worth noting and remembering the genius of the Ukrainian national and nation-creating spirit Stepan Bandera. He is a glorious graduate of your university, and when we are called Banderites, we are proud of this.”
Dumenko welcomed the leadership of the Youth Nationalist Congress at his residence yesterday, together with “Archbishop” Nestor of Ternopil, chairman of the OCU’s Department for Interaction with Youth and Patriotic Public Associations, reports the OCU press service.
The sides discussed “issues of cooperation in the spiritual, moral, and patriotic education of young people,” after which “Archbishop” Nestor signed a memorandum of cooperation with Congress Chairman Sergei Repik.
According to the Youth Nationalist Congress’ website, it was created at the initiative of followers of Bandera: “On February 10, 2001, at the initiative of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderites), the all-Ukrainian Youth Nationalist Congress public organization was established.”
According to the history presented on its site, the Congress is heavily involved in politics and revolutionary movements. It has published books about the Banderite organization that founded it and it holds courses for “Young Banderites” throughout Ukraine.
Stepan Bandera (1909–1950) was a leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement in Galicia, now western Ukraine, but during his lifetime part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and later the Second Polish Republic. His Ukrainian independence movement collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, and his followers were responsible for atrocities against Jews and Poles in Galicia and Volhynia. His memory is currently an inspiration for Ukrainian nationalists and Neo-Nazi parties in Ukraine today.