BERLIN — It was once as though Ukraine’s ambassador in Germany was once vying for the identify of maximum undiplomatic diplomat: Decided to spur Berlin into extra pressing beef up for his embattled country, he mocked the chancellor, instructed a former lawmaker to “close your lure,” and posted memes on Twitter likening Germany’s lagging guns deliveries to a snail with a bullet taped to its again.

But it was once now not the controversies of the current that ended Andriy Melnyk’s profession in Berlin. As an alternative, it was once a thorny query in regards to the previous.

Ukraine disregarded Mr. Melnyk ultimate weekend after an interview during which he defended a nationalist Ukrainian chief who collaborated with the Nazis, and whose fans took phase in massacres of Jews and Poles.

Two weeks in the past, at the German YouTube program “Jung & Naiv,” Mr. Melnyk was once challenged on his determination a number of years in the past to put vegetation on the grave of Stepan Bandera, the chief of the Group of Ukrainian Nationalists. Bandera, the journalist famous, held antisemitic, fascist perspectives that in the long run spurred his independence opponents to collaborate with the Nazis.

“I’m towards blaming all crimes on Bandera,” Mr. Melnyk mentioned. “There’s no proof that Bandera’s troops murdered masses of 1000’s of Jews,” he mentioned, contradicting an overview shared through maximum historians. “Those are narratives that the Russians are pushing to at the present time, which to find beef up in Germany, Poland and in addition in Israel.”

His feedback provoked outrage amongst a few of Ukraine’s most crucial allies, together with Poland, the place Bandera and his team are remembered for massacring tens of 1000’s of Poles, and Germany, the place acknowledging crimes of the Nazi previous is noticed as a type of nationwide responsibility.

However to many Ukrainians, Mr. Melnyk’s perspectives are uncontroversial: Bandera — who was once assassinated in Munich through Soviet brokers — is noticed as an anti-Soviet freedom fighter who made tough compromises within the struggle for independence. They deny his Nazi collaboration through mentioning that Germany later interned him in a focus camp over his independence efforts.

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