KYIV -- Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's parliamentary bloc and several smaller center-right and right-wing parties have condemned the opening of an exhibition about World War II massacres, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.
The photo exhibition, organized by a pro-Russian parliament deputy from the governing Party of Regions and the Polish-based Society of the Victims of the
Ukrainian Nationalists' Movement, opened on April 8 under the title "The Volyn Slaughter: Polish and Jewish Victims of the OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army).
At least 13 activists from the right-wing Svoboda party who tried to disrupt the opening of the exhibition were taken into police custody, RFE/RL reports. Svoboda deputy head Andriy Mokhnyk accused President Viktor Yanukovych's administration of inciting "ethnic and religious hatred" and insulting the "national dignity" of Ukrainians.
The exhibition is being shown at the Ukrainian House, an exhibition and cultural center managed by the president's administration.
Tymoshenko's press service quoted her as saying that "the new authorities hate everything Ukrainian." The oppostion parties have demanded the release of those detained.
The Volyn killings are one of the bloodiest incidents in Ukrainian-Polish history.
Between 1943-1944, tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the Nazi-occupied Ukrainian region of Volyn -- which was then heavily populated by Poles. Many of the killings were carried out by members of nationalist groups and historians have long argued over who is to blame for the killings.