The trial of Ukrainian-born John Demjanjuk, charged with involvement in the murder of 27,900 people during World War II, started in Munich on Monday, a court spokesman said, according to RIA Novosti.

Demjanjuk, 89, a former death camp guard, was formally charged in July 2009 and declared fit to stand trial for "complicity to murder."

Earlier, Demjanjuk's son insisted that his father would not stand trial due to his old age and poor health. However, prosecutors in Munich confirmed a medical certificate saying that Demjanjuk would be quite capable of attending at least two 90-minute sessions on trial days.

Alexander Dyukov, director of Russian foundation Historical Memory, said the old man should undoubtedly be tried.

"Regardless of their age, all those involved in Nazi crimes, mostly the ones committed on the occupied territories of the former Soviet Union, should be punished," he told RIA Novosti.

Dyukov described as absurd statements by Ukrainian nationalists, including members of the Lvov legislature in western Ukraine, that the Demjanjuk case had been fabricated by the KGB and its Russian successor, the Federal Security Service.

"We believe the case is fabricated and is a conspiracy of Zionists against Ukraine, as well as an evil agreement between Russia and Germany," Rostislav Novozhenets, Ukrainian parliament deputy from the Lvov Region, said on the Russia Today television channel.

The Ukrainian MP urged Ukrainians "to stand up to protect a Ukrainian, who for three decades has been accused of crimes he never committed."

Demjanjuk first faced the accusations in the late 1970s. U.S. authorities revoked his citizenship in 1981, on the grounds that during his 1952 entry into the country he did not mention his past as a Nazi guard.

A retired auto worker, Demjanjuk was sent from the United States to a Munich prison in May after having lost his legal fight against deportation on grounds of ill health.

Demjanjuk is accused of being a notoriously brutal SS guard at the Treblinka camp, where he was allegedly known as "Ivan the Terrible."

The man denied the accusations saying he was a Red Army soldier who was captured by the Nazis. He once said he "had sold his soul for a slice of bread," but insisted he had killed no one.

Dyukov said Demjanjuk was not the only living Nazi criminal to have escaped punishment. The historian referred to Vladimir Katrjuk, now living in Canada, who first served for the so-called Bukovina Kuren, a military group of Ukrainian nationalists, and then for Schutzmannschaft 186 operating in Belarus. He said Katrjuk was one of those responsible for the 1943 Khatyn massacre, when Nazi troops wiped out an entire Belarusian village.

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