Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk has denied allegations that his comments about Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera downplayed the Holocaust. “Anyone who knows me knows: I have always condemned the Holocaust in the strongest possible terms,” Melnyk wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. The allegations against him are “absurd”.
The background is statements by Melnyk in an interview that can also be seen on the social media platform TikTok. In the one-hour conversation with journalist Tilo Jung for his program “Jung und Naiv”, Melnyk had defended Bandera and put forward the controversial thesis that he was “not a mass murderer of Jews”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv directly distanced itself from these remarks.
On Monday, TikTok blocked the controversial portion of the video for allegedly violating its “Community Guidelines.” The interviewer Jung spoke of “censorship”.
The social media platform responded shortly thereafter and unblocked the video section in question. TikTok did not provide any real justification for its actions. A statement to Der Spiegel simply said: “We know we don’t always get it right – this is a complex and nuanced area and we continue to invest in strengthening our policies and enforcing our strategies, as well as training ours.” team.”
Most recently, the federal government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, criticized Melnyk’s statements as “problematic”. The statements “feed the Russian narrative” on the war of aggression against Ukraine and rather caused “division and lack of understanding” among states friendly to Ukraine, Klein told the newspapers of the “Funke Mediengruppe”.