To access this restaurant in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, you have to knock on a thick wooden door which opens on a man in uniform, rifle slung over his shoulder. “Glory to Ukraine” is the password. A staircase then leads to the restaurant: adjoining rooms follow one another in a maze of thick corridors. It is a former bunker.
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On the walls are hung photos of the heroes of the Ukrainian resistance, but also uniforms, machine guns: everything that recalls the struggle of Ukrainian nationalists from the beginning of the 20th century. There are also more unusual objects, such as this punching ball with the likeness of Vladimir Putin.”Yes, it was my idea because I saw people who needed to express their rage against him“, smiles Viktor, who has worked here since its inception.
Here, the waitresses wear khaki outfits, the waiters military jackets. Viktor shows us an old telephone in a corner. When you pick up the handset, you can hear a distant voice: that of Stepan Bandera, theduring his last recorded speech. “Stepan Bandera was the ideologue and leader of Ukrainian nationalists. It was he who created the concept. In short, it was under his leadership that the Ukrainian Rebel Army was founded“, says Victor.
Died in 1959, Bandera was also accused of having collaborated with the Third Reich, which the master of the Kremlin uses today to justify the “denazification” of Ukraine. A false pretext for Viktor, for whom nationalism has nothing to do with Nazism.
“To say that one is a Nazi is to say that one’s nation is superior to the others. To say that one is a nationalist is to love one’s Nation.”
At the back of the restaurant, there is another attraction: a shooting range. Here, the target is none other than the face of Vladimir Putin.
In Lviv, in a restaurant that has become a landmark for Ukrainian nationalists. Report by Valérie Crova and Laurent Machietti
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