Ukrainian Diplomat Likens German Failure to Block Nord Stream 2 to Nazi Atrocities During WWII
15:39 GMT 23.01.2022 (Updated: 15:17 GMT 28.05.2023)
Germany committed countless war crimes and acts of genocide in The Ukraine during the Second World War — but post-Soviet nationalist governments have glorified brutal Nazi collaborators such as Stepan Bandera as national heroes.
Kiev's ambassador to the UK has compared Germany's reluctance to supply arms to Ukraine or block a Russian pipeline to Nazi Second World War crimes.
Vadym Prystaiko told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday morning he couldn't say what "I really think of Germany" since "there are cameras around".
His undiplomatic language followed comments
by German Navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach on Friday that Kiev should give up on taking Crimea back under its control, and that Russian president Vladimir Putin deserved international "respect". Schönbach was forced to resign
"I would expect Germany to be the last ones" in NATO to say such things, Prystaiko said. "So many Ukrainians still remember what Germans did in our part of the globe, and Ukraine especially."
"We are talking 80 or 90 years ago," Phillips interjected.
"We are talking about both of the world wars, and both of them were in our part of the globe," Prystaiko replied. "Our lands were occupied, and there is no Ukrainian family which was not touched by these wars."
Phillips called it a "major accusation" against the current German government that it was "repeating the treatment of Ukrainians from the last century"
"That was not what I said," the ambassador insisted. "What I said was that if I have to listen from somebody about things like Ukrainians not to be given the weapons to defend itself, the Germans would have to stay at the very end of the long, long line of our European partners."
Asked if Germany was a reliable ally, Prystaiko said: "We rely on them in economic sanctions if they're serious with that, but I don't see the seriousness when they're still keeping laying down the pipelines going around our territory."
Ukraine has vehemently opposed the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia across the Baltic Sea, fearing the shutdown of one of its few remaining income sources in the form of an older and less-efficient conduit across its own territory.
Asked if Kiev wanted Berlin to cancel the start-up of the completed NS2 pipeline, the diplomat replied: "Absolutely".
"That's what we asked them so many times," Prystaiko said. "Our pipeline allows as much of the gas to come as they want, even more, so there is no particular need" he claimed — despite the huge price surge in recent months.
German forces committed many war crimes in Ukraine during the Second World war, including the September 1941 Babi Yar massacre of Kiev's entire Jewish population of over 33,000.
23 January 2022, 08:40 GMT
Ironically, Ukraine has increasingly glorified Nazi collaborators including Stepan Bandera since the 2014 Euromaidan coup. Bandera and his Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists carried out or assisted in the genocide of Jews and ethnic Poles during the war, and fought as guerrillas against the liberating Soviet army in 1944.
Prystaiko also revealed Ukraine had several times as many troops mass near its eatern border as Russia did and was “prepared to fight”, but admitted its army was “not that well equipped for the prolonged fight with Russians.”
He also gave credence to British Foreign Office claims — quickly dismissed
by the Russian Foreign Ministry but repeated by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab on the same programme — that Moscow was planning to install a “pro-Russian leader in Kiev”.