U.S. Senators Name Anti-Russia Sanctions Bill After Ukrainian Nazi Collaborator Slogan 'Heroiam Slava'

Memorial in Legnica, Poland to those massacred by Ukrainian collaborators with the Nazis.

On March 2, Republican U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Chuck Grassley announced that they were introducing a new bill to further sanction Russia by targeting "companies controlled or owned by Moscow -- such as Rosneft, Gazprom, Rosatom, Aeroflot, and RT -- access to critical American capital," reads a statement announcing the bill.

The bill is called the Halting Enrichment of Russian Oligarchs and Industry Allies of Moscow's Schemes to Leverage its Abject Villainy Abroad Act. The acronym is HEROIAM SLAVA, which translates as Glory to the Heroes. It is the greeting of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators during World War II. 

The slogan first arose in the 1920s when the Legion of Ukrainian Nationalists, a predecessor to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), adopted it as a response to the cry Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine). The Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the OUN military wing, collaborated with the Nazi massacres in the Holocaust and carried out its own massacres, including most notoriously the killing of 60,000 Volhynian Poles in 1943 and 1944 as well as pogroms against Jewish communities, such as in Lvov in 1941.

Polish victims of a massacre committed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in the village of Lipniki, Wolyn (Volhynia), 1943.

"The Jews in the USSR constitute the most faithful support of the ruling Bolshevik regime, and the vanguard of Muscovite imperialism in Ukraine," the OUN party program declared. "Moskali [an ethnic slur for Russians], Poles, and Jews that are hostile to us are to be destroyed in struggle," it added.

During the period of Nazi collaboration, the greeting Slava Ukraini/Slava Heroiam in the style of the Nazi greeting Heil Hitler, was accompanied by a "Roman salute" -- the full-arm Nazi salute.

Today, the slogan has been adopted by the U.S. and NATO official circles as part of their campaign to turn Ukraine into a forward base to encircle and humiliate Russia and establish the U.S. as "indispensable nation." It was used by U.S. President Bill Clinton during a visit to Kyiv in 1995 after which it has systematically become an official slogan of both Ukraine and its U.S. NATO backers. Hiram's 1555 Blog points out, "It gained more popularity after the U.S.-backed coup in 2014, in which far-right nationalists stormed the Verkhovna Rada and overthrew President Vyktor Yanukovych after he rejected an EU association deal that would have forced large loans on Kyiv.

"The coup effort was explicitly directed by the United States and spearheaded by neo-Nazi groups Right Sektor, Svoboda, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO), who hold bigoted views of Russians, Jews, and other non-Ukrainians in Ukraine and who attempted to force some of the most radical aspects of 'Ukrainization,' including the attempted removal of Russian as one of the national languages of Ukraine.

"The groups also led an assault on Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, including the Donbass, but also the anti-coup protests in largely-Russophone Odessa, the crushing of which culminated in the torching of the Trade Unions House and the deaths of 46 people trapped inside.

"The slogan was banned in the former Soviet Union, as were all forms of fascist ideology and expressions of racial hatred. After the Red Army liberated Ukraine from Nazi occupation, the OUN/UIA continued its guerrilla and terrorist war against the Soviets until a combination of counterinsurgency operations and extensive government investment in rebuilding the region weakened them and they were defeated by 1948. Some went underground, but others fled to the west, including OUN co-founder Mykola Lebed, who was given shelter by the CIA, for whom Lebed gathered intelligence on the Soviet Union through a front group called Prolog Research Corporation.

"A CIA report declassified in 2007 revealed that Prolog, as a research arm of the OUN-formed Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR), ‘publish[ed] periodicals and select books and pamphlets which seek to exploit and increase nationalist and other dissident tendencies in the Soviet Ukraine.’

"In an effort to achieve Ukrainian independence, the ZP/UHVR [External Representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council] has collaborated with the CIA in clandestine operations since 1949," the report states.

"During the early years of its association with the CIA, ZP/UHVR re-established communications with resistance forces in the Ukraine. [...] [I]n its distribution operations Prolog has utilized the services of Ukrainian emigres in various countries who are sympathetic to the ZP/UHVR. Since the 1950s, Ukrainian collaborators in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia have infiltrated a great amount of Prolog material into the USSR. Prolog has been more able than other CIA assets to ferret out and approach dissident Soviet Ukrainians in the USSR."

In 2018, then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made Glory to Ukraine/Glory to the Heroes the official greeting of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and later of its national police as well. 

Today it has become an official slogan of the government of Canada, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and many others following their lead.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 3 - March 6, 2022

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