(JTA) — Ukraine unveiled a statue for a nationalist leader who guided a regime that killed tens of thousands of Jews in pogroms during the Russian Revolution.
The memorial for Symon Petliura was unveiled Saturday in Vinnitsa, a city in the western part of the nation, on Defender of Ukraine Day, a national holiday, the RT news site reported. It is located in an area once known as Yerusalimka, or Jerusalem, and located next to a small synagogue that is still in operation.
The statue, which RT calls the first official monument to Petliura, though there is a bust of the early 20th-century leader in the capital, shows him sitting on a bench with a map of the country in his hands.
During Petliura’s time as head of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, 35,000 to 50,000 Jews were killed in a series of pogroms between 1918 and 1921.
Petliura was killed in 1926 by a Ukrainian-born Jewish watchmaker, Sholom Schwartzbard, who was acquitted by a French court that ruled he was acting in the heat of the moment after 15 of his relatives were killed in the pogroms.
This story "Ukraine Honors Nationalist Leader Blamed For Pogroms" was written by JTA.