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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian War Criminals Live in Britain

LONDON - A British television documentary alleged that a Ukrainian unit of the Nazi SS committed war crimes in Poland and that thousands of members of the unit were allowed to settle in Britain after World War II without adequate checks into their activities.

"There were 8,000 members of the division (the 14th SS Division Galizien) allowed into Britain who were never subject to accurate screening," said Julian Hendy, producer-director of the documentary broadcast on the ITV network Sunday.

The program said 1,500 Ukrainian members of the SS still lived in Britain.

"We are not suggesting that every one of these 1,500 men was a war criminal but a small minority were - and they should be investigated," Hendy said.

The program alleges that members of the Nightingale battalion, a Ukrainian police unit that later joined the SS Division Galizien, took part in the June 1941 mass murder of thousands of Jews in Lvov, in Galicia. Lvov, a Polish city annexed to the Ukraine by the U.S.S.R. in 1939, was occupied for much of World War II by German forces who killed most of the Jewish population.

The program said Galizien's troops killed more than 800 Polish civilians in the village of Huta Pieniacka in February 1944 and killed 44 unarmed civilians in Chlaniov, Poland in August 1944.

The program said members of the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, another unit that merged with the division, suppressed the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and that some of the men helped capture downed British and American airmen who were turned over to the Gestapo.

A Home Office spokeswoman said police would investigate the accusations.

"We will pass allegations made in this program to the police, who will investigate them as necessary," she said on customary condition of anonymity. "The government takes very seriously any allegations that suspected war criminals are believed to be in the U.K."

Lord Janner, secretary of the Parliamentary War Crimes Group, said he has asked the home secretary, who is responsible for law and order, to open a full investigation.

"The government's excuse at the time was that these were just ordinary soldiers - it is now clear they were not," Janner said.