The Ukrainian Ambassador in Berlin Andriy Melnyk is not a nationalist, anti-Semite or pathological enemy of Poland.

He is a thorough representative of that democratic Ukraine that is currently fighting for survival against the aggression of the Russian dictatorship.

Nevertheless, in an interview he described Stepan Bandera as a "freedom fighter" - a man who fought the Polish state as a terrorist in the interwar period, was an anti-Semite and dreamed of a Ukraine without its many ethnic minorities.

The organizations led by Bandera murdered tens of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II (while he was in German custody).

The difficult history of Ukraine

The sharp criticism of Melnyk for his praise for Bandera is therefore justified.

Bandera and his people are not suitable as a symbol for a modern Ukraine.

But Melnyk's comments should give Germans reason to reflect on Ukraine's difficult history.

There are a variety of reasons why even many unquestionable democrats in Ukraine find it difficult to condemn Bandera outright.

In the region of Eastern Europe that fell between the grinding stones of the two man-eating totalitarianisms of National Socialism and Stalinism from 1939, there could not have been any blameless heroes.