Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suggested a new name for Ukraine, as Kyiv considered using a different name for Moscow.
According to the RT news agency, Vice Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, former President Dmitry Medvedev said on March 11 that Ukraine should be called “Bandera-Reich”.
Mr. Medvedev appeared to be referring to the fact that some Ukrainian politicians idolize Stepan Bandera, leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) during World War II.
Stepan Andriyovych Bandera is a Ukrainian political activist and leader of the Ukrainian nationalist and independence movement. He is a controversial historical figure both in Ukraine and internationally. The Russians allege that Bandera collaborated with Adolf Hitler’s government during the early stages of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. After the war, Mr. Bandera went to West Germany and was assassinated in 1959.
In modern Ukraine, Mr. Bandera is celebrated as a hero with streets and buildings named after them. Nationalists hold annual torch relays on Bandera’s birthday in Kiev and other cities.
Ukraine has not yet commented on Mr. Medvedev’s comments, but earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he was considering a new name for Russia, Moscovia, an unofficial name centuries ago.
This move comes after the Ukrainian government received a petition with tens of thousands of signatures claiming that using the word Russia (Russia), meaning Ukraine is agreeing to the claim that Russia is a direct descendant of Kievan Rus, a medieval country that both Russia and Ukraine claim to be the origin of their countries. Ukrainian nationalists believe that their country is the only true heir to Kievan Rus.