Russia: March 21, 2002

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Another unwelcome ghost from the Soviet past has showed up in Ukraine, where the government has awarded pensions to those who served in the German military during World War II. When Germany overran Ukraine, they encouraged Ukrainians to fight with the Germans against Russia (the Soviet Union). Many young Ukrainians thought this a splendid idea, and the Germans obtained volunteers for the army, the Waffen SS (elite Nazi combat units) and concentration camp guards. While many of these collaborators were killed or imprisoned by the Soviets when they returned, many were not and are not quite old. The majority of Ukrainians feel that anyone who resisted the Russians, even if in the service of Nazi Germany, was doing the right thing.

 

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