Ukrainian polar explorers have refurbished a signpost at the country’s Antarctic station, commemorating the country’s “allies,” while also giving it a neo-Nazi tint. The makeover was announced by the National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine in a Facebook post on Saturday, with the agency praising the explorers for their “incredible job.”
The signpost is located at the Akademik Vernadsky polar station, formerly known as Station Faraday before it was transferred to Kiev by the UK in the mid-1990s. The signpost had remained untouched for some 20 years and direly needed to be repaired, the agency explained.
The ‘upgrade’ of the post included adding plaques for the capitals or “iconic cities” of Ukraine’s top supporters in the ongoing conflict with Moscow, including Ottawa and New York, among others. The work also involved efforts to “de-communize” and “de-Russify” the installation, the agency explained.
The explorers switched the Russian spelling of the cities of Odessa and Vinnitsa to the Ukrainian version, while also changing the name of the city of Kirovograd to Kropivnitsky to reflect a renaming carried out in post-Maidan Ukraine in 2016 amid a “decommunization” drive spearheaded by then-President Pyotr Poroshenko.
The plaques denoting the cities were repainting in the colors of the Ukrainian flag – and also received a neo-Nazi touch. The signpost received plaques for Mariupol, a formerly Ukrainian city in what is now Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic, and also for the Kiev suburb of Bucha, the site of an alleged massacre of civilians attributed by Ukraine and its backers to Russian forces.
Both plaques were painted in the red and black of the so-called Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a paramilitary force that originally emerged during the WWII era and was known for collaboration with Nazi Germany and assorted atrocities against Polish and Soviet civilians. In modern Ukraine, the UPA is hailed as a “liberator” force, with its members glorified as Ukrainian ‘heroes,’ while its flag is commonly used by present-day Ukrainian neo-Nazis.