Russian propagandist site RT (Formerly Russia Today) published a story claiming that the Ukrainian popular greeting – Glory to Ukraine! – is “a well-known slogan used by World War II Nazi collaborators”. This greeting in fact came into use well before WWII and it became popular again in Ukraine after the 2013-2014 Maidan protests.

Website screenshot RT

RT’s story appeared after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel greeted Ukraine on its Independence Day in a tweet that ended with the phrase Glory to Ukraine. According to RT, the tweet brought on a vale of protests as the greeting is “an infamous slogan used by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) a nationalist paramilitary group that actively collaborated with the Nazis in WWII and was under the political leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists led by Stepan Bandera”.

Screenshot @AlexB7734

Screenshot @anti_prop

The only protests that RT uses to illustrate its claim are all from Russian accounts, they are filled with reposts of conspiracy theory tweets and pro-Russian propaganda.

According to historians, ‘Glory to Ukraine” was first used as a greeting in 1919 among partisans resisting the Bolshevik invasion of Ukraine. Later Ukrainian National Republic cavalry regiments took up the greeting, as did the the Hetmanate, independent Ukrainian states that were unable to defeat the Bolsheviks. The greeting became an official slogan of the Ukrainian Nationalists only in 1941,  when the response ‘Glory to the Heroes’ was added.

Website radiosvoboda.org

The greeting entered the mainstream after the Maidan revolution; today it is used as a patriotic greeting and a sign of support for Ukraine.