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A look back at turbulent tenure of Ukraine’s envoy to Germany

Kiev has dismissed its envoy to Germany, Andrey Melnik, who leaves behind a long trail of scandals and controversies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky relieved ambassador Andrey Melnik from his post on Saturday. While neither his potential successor nor the future fate of the now ex-envoy are currently known, media reports suggested the controversial diplomat might end up promoted and assume a post of deputy foreign minister.

Melnik was elevated to the position of ambassador to Germany for post-Maidan Ukraine in December 2014, succeeding Pavlo Klimkin in that role. For the latter, the post has become a springboard into the position of Ukraine’s foreign minister under then-President Petro Poroshenko.

READ MORE: Ukraine dismisses controversial ambassador


The envoy has promptly become the subject of assorted controversies, with the past few months in office becoming particularly scandalous for Melnik over his questionable ways of rallying support for Kiev amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Commemorating Nazi collaborator Bandera

Shortly after assuming the post of ambassador, Melnik became embroiled in his first major scandal after he visited the grave of Stepan Bandera – a hardcore Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and is deemed to be a national hero in present-day Ukraine.

“Began my visit to Munich by laying flowers together with the community, and [partaking in] a memorial service at the grave of the Hero of Ukraine Stepan Bandera,” Melnik tweeted.

Blasting ‘sloppy’ German military aid

After conflict between Kiev and Moscow broke out in late February, Melnik has repeatedly criticized the scale and the pace of Berlin’s military aid. For instance, the diplomat posted on his social media a picture of a snail with a rifle bullet taped to its shell, sarcastically captioning it “German help is already on its way to us.”

‘Offended liverwurst’

Arguably the most high-profile scandal was sparked by Melnik in May, when he described German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as an “offended liverwurst” over his refusal to pay a visit to Kiev. Scholz’s move stemmed from Kiev’s own refusal to host German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in mid-April, over his allegedly too cozy ties with Russia.

While Melnik had repeatedly defended his remark and insisted it was “not a matter of apologizing,” he admitted in late June he ultimately “regretted” the offensive statement and promised to apologize to Scholz personally.

Denouncing leading German intellectuals

In late June, Melnik launched a vicious assault on a group of leading German intellectuals, who penned an open letter advocating the end of arms deliveries to Ukraine and urging the West to make Kiev negotiate peace.

“What a bunch of pseudo-intellectual loosers (sic),” Melnik tweeted, listing some of the intellectuals by their names and suggesting they “should go to hell with [their] defeatist advice.”


More Bandera whitewashing

The most recent scandal Melnik got himself entangled in, rather ironically, turned out to be again related to the controversial Ukrainian national ‘hero.’ During an interview with German podcaster Tilo Jung the diplomat repeatedly defended Bandera, claiming him to be a universally-revered Robin Hood-like figure.

READ MORE: Ukrainian envoy likens Nazi collaborator to Robin Hood


He also claimed that Bandera was not implicated in the mass murder of Jews and Poles, prompting criticism from both Poland and Israel. The fallout from his interview turned to be so bad that Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry had to step in to explain the remarks did not represent Kiev’s official stance.

https://ift.tt/RSOCwMc 10, 2022 at 02:45AM
from RT – Daily news

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