But in Germany, which prides itself on its commitment to acknowledging Nazi crimes and commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, questioning that chapter in history is a red line.
Mr. Melnyk already raised eyebrows in Germany several years earlier for visiting Mr. Bandera’s grave in Munich. When confronted in the June 29 interview about the history of the OUN’s role in massacres, and Mr. Bandera’s anti-Semitic views, Mr. Melnyk said there was no proof for the claims, which are undisputed in academic circles.
“That is the narrative that the Russians are pushing to this day, and that has support in Germany, in Poland, and also in Israel,” he said.
Mr. Melnyk’s comments immediately stirred condemnation from German officials, as well as from Israel’s embassy in Germany. Two ministers in Poland, one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since the Russian invasion, also decried the statements. That prompted Kyiv to distance itself from Mr. Melnyk, saying his views did not represent Ukraine’s position.