An interview with the Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, Andriy Melnyk, is again in focus at the start of the week. A controversial part of the video is said to have been blocked on the TikTok social media platform. The journalist Tilo Jung, who conducted the interview, writes this on the Twitter account of his show “Jung und Naiv”.
In a conversation with the journalist Jung, Melnyk defended the former nationalist leader Stepan 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.
Overall, the interview of the program “Jung und Naiv” lasted almost an hour. The corresponding excerpt with the statements about Bandera had apparently been removed from the platform due to a violation of the community rules.
There is currently no official statement from TikTok. However, according to reports from the industry portal “Turi2” and “Spiegel Online”, an explanation should follow in the course of the day.
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 incomprehension” among states friendly to Ukraine, Klein told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
Klein appealed to Ukraine to seek rapid admission to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This intergovernmental organization is dedicated to research and commemoration of the Holocaust. The IHRA is “the appropriate forum in which the issues raised by Mr. Melnyk can be discussed in a differentiated manner at an international level,” said Klein.