Kyiv has sacked its envoy to Germany, Andrey Melnik, leaving behind a long trail of scandals and controversies
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky relieved Ambassador Andrey Melnik of his post on Saturday. While neither his potential successor nor the future fate of the now ex-envoy is currently known, media reports have suggested the controversial diplomat may end up being promoted and taking up a post as deputy foreign minister.
Melnik was elevated to the post of ambassador to Germany for post-Maidan Ukraine in December 2014, succeeding Pavlo Klimkin in that role. For the latter, the post became a stepping stone to the post of Ukrainian foreign minister under then-president Petro Poroshenko.
Ukraine fires controversial ambassador
The envoy quickly became the subject of various controversies, with Melnik’s last few months in office becoming particularly outrageous due to his questionable ways of rallying support for kyiv amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Commemoration of Nazi collaborator Bandera
Shortly after assuming the post of ambassador, Melnik was embroiled in his first major scandal after visiting the grave of Stepan Bandera – a staunch Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II and is considered a national hero in today’s Ukraine.
Почав свй Вззит до ююнхена з покладання рзом з громаoursES pic.twitter.com/q5ShYDandu
—Andrij Melnyk (@MelnykAndrij) April 27, 2015
“I started my visit to Munich by laying flowers with the community, and [partaking in] a memorial service at the grave of Hero of Ukraine Stepan Bandera,” Melnik tweeted.
Blowing up ‘botched’ German military aid
After the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow erupted in late February, Melnik repeatedly criticized the scale and pace of military aid from Berlin. For example, the diplomat posted on his social media a photo of a snail with a rifle bullet stuck to its shell, sarcastically captioning it “German help is already on its way to us.”
“Deutsche Waffen für die Ukraine bereits unterwegs” 🤦♂️Gerade von einem Regierungsmitglied aus Kyjiw per WhatsApp zugeschickt bekommen. Yes. Russia darf den Krieg nicht gewinnen pic.twitter.com/giDldA20tv
—Andrij Melnyk (@MelnykAndrij) May 25, 2022
“Offended Liver Sauce”
Perhaps the most publicized scandal was sparked by Melnik in May, when he described German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as a “offended liver sauce” on his refusal to go to kyiv. Scholz’s decision stems from Kyiv’s refusal to host German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in mid-April, due to his allegedly too cozy ties with Russia.
While Melnik had repeatedly defended his remark and insisted he was “no way to apologize” he admitted at the end of June that he had finally “regret” the offensive statement and promised to personally apologize to Scholz.
Exposing leading German intellectuals
At the end of June, Melnik launched a vicious assault on a group of leading German intellectuals, who wrote an open letter advocating an end to arms supplies to Ukraine and urging the West to force kyiv to negotiate peace .
“What a bunch of pseudo-intellectual (sic) losers”, Melnik tweeted, listing some of the intellectuals by name and suggesting they “should go to hell with [their] defeatist council.
Nicht schon wieder, what a bunch of pseudo-intellectual losers 🤦♂️Ihr alle Varwicks, Vads, Kluges, Prechts, Yogeshwars, Zehs & Co. sollt euch endlich mit euren defätistischen „Ratschlägen“ zum Teufel scheren. Tschüßhttps://t.co/maeCCkxrBUpic.twitter.com/R6W19c66om
—Andrij Melnyk (@MelnykAndrij) June 29, 2022
More Bandera Whitening
The most recent scandal that Melnik got entangled in, ironically enough, turned out to be linked to the controversial Ukrainian national “hero” again. During an interview with German podcaster Tilo Jung, the diplomat repeatedly defended Bandera, saying he was a universally revered Robin Hood figure.
Ukrainian envoy compares Nazi collaborator to Robin Hood
He also claimed that Bandera was not involved in the mass murder of Jews and Poles, drawing criticism from Poland and Israel. The fallout from his interview proved so severe that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had to intervene to explain that the remarks did not represent Kyiv’s official position.
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