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Name: The Struggle Against Insurgent Movement and the Nationalist Underground: Interrogation Protocols of OUN and UPA Leaders Arrested by the Soviet State Security Organs. 1944-1945
Volume: 9
Editor(s): S. Kokin
O. Ishchuk
Editorial board: Ya. Dashkevych
V. Lozytsky
S. Bohunov
R. Pyrih
P.J. Potichnyj
P. Sokhan'
L. Futala
Iu. Shapoval
H. Boryak
Sponsors: Federal Credit Union "Samopomich", New York, USA
Publication Year: 2007
ISBN (Canada): 978-1-897431-00-9
ISBN (Ukraine): 978-966-2105-01-8
Pages Count: 912

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Description

INTRODUCTION (short)

In recent years a large number of important documents have been published on the history of the creation and activity of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). Undiscovered before now, these documents are stored in the state archives of Ukraine. The key documents among these recently published materials are those of the Soviet organs of state power and administration; readers have had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with some of them in the preceding volumes of the new series of Litopys UPA.[1]

Attention is being focused on these documents because, unlike many other repressive actions that the Bolshevik (communist) regime instituted against the Ukrainian nation, the struggle against the UPA in 1944-1955 was a bona fide armed conflict against an organized and rather large adversarial force that was convinced of its rightness and which enjoyed the support of a significant part of the population of the western Ukrainian region.

In keeping with their status and functions designated by the party state leadership of the USSR, the struggle against the UPA was conducted primarily by the organs and troops of the NKVD-MVD (1944-1947) and the NKGB-MGB (1944-1953); after the merger of these departments, by the MVD (from March 1953); and after their demerger, by the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR (from March 1954). Thus, the documents of the Soviet special organs are an important source for the study of the history of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

To a certain degree the scale, character, and consequences of this conflict are revealed by statistical data cited in a memorandum dated 22 April 1953, which Pavlo Meshyk, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian SSR, sent to Lavrentii Beria, Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR. The memorandum states that «according to the records of the former MGB of the Ukrainian SSR, in the western oblasts of Ukraine for the period from 1944 to 1953, for the most part as a result of mass military operations, 153,259 bandits and abettors of bandits were killed»; 103,003 were arrested; 76,672 individuals were «brought out of the underground and legalized» (up to 40 percent of them «legalized themselves on the direct instruction of the underground and did not cease their hostile work»); and 65,895 families (203,737 people) were deported from the region as «abettors of bandits.» The number of people affected by these operations totaled 536,671.

Those insurgents who continued the struggle or left the USSR should be added to this number. In addition, 88,132 families (324,086 people) «whose relatives were killed during operations, arrested, deported, became illegals, or fled the country» remained in Ukraine’s western oblasts.[2] The total number of people that the MGB of the Ukrainian SSR considered to be involved in the armed struggle was 860,757 (excluding active insurgents and fugitives who escaped abroad).

A report of the 10th Department of the KGB at the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, dated 17 April 1973, lists the following data among the results of this struggle: in 1944-1953 Ukrainian nationalists killed 30,676 Soviet citizens, half of whom were collective farm workers and peasants (15,355 people); Red (Soviet) Army troops and interior and border troops (3,199); members of extermination battalions (2,590); officials, including teachers, doctors, et al. (1,931); employees of internal affairs organs (1,864); heads of village councils (1,454); personnel of oblast, municipal, and raion executive committees (1,276), MGB personnel (697); workers (676); heads of collective and Soviet state farms (314); and party and Komsomol activists (251 and 207, respectively). A separate group includes children, housewives, elderly people, and others (860).[3]

These are the official Soviet statistics. They may be verified and their true contents understood only by studying other documents of the state security organs as well as the entire complement of historical sources that bear upon this topic. We trust that the present volume will help to shed some additional light.

The documents of the NKVD-KGB that are stored in the Specialized State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine (henceforward: HDA SBU) and illustrate the conflict with the UPA are divided into several main groups according to their type and content. Normative-administrative documents (orders, directives, instructions, and guidelines) contain information about the tasks assigned to the personnel of the security service organs. Informational-reporting documents (special announcements, memoranda, surveys, reports, and notes) provide a general idea of the course and results of the implemented tasks. Various operational documents, whose appearance was sparked by the existing normative-administrative base of activity of the state security organs, are the raw material of the preceding group of documents.

The largest group of documentary sources organically linked to the preceding ones is comprised of archival criminal cases that were opened by the organs of state power against arrested and convicted members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the UPA. This is a broad variety of cases against various individuals, ranging from rank and file OUN members and UPA soldiers to members of the Central Leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (TsP OUN), and commanders of battalions, formations, and military okruhas. This collection of documents from the HDA SBU is presented in our book. Our interest in these documents is explained by the fact that during interrogations arrested OUN members and UPA soldiers were forced to disclose not only their own activities but also those of all insurgent subunits to which they were privy. In view of the circumstances under which they were forced to provide information, interrogation reports may be regarded as a valuable historical source for the study of the insurgent movement.

The book contains excerpts from the reports of interrogations of the most important – in our estimation – leaders of the OUN and the UPA, who were arrested by the Soviet organs in 1944-1946. For a significant period of time, Mykhailo Stepaniak, Ievhen Basiuk, Artemiziia Halyts’ka, Mykola Haiduk, Iaroslav Bilyns’kyi, Iurii Stel’mashchuk, Oleksandr Luts’kyi, Petro Duzhyi, Mykola Duzhyi, Volodymyr Pavlyk, Dmytro Vitovs’kyi, Omelian Pol’ovyi, Fedir Vorobets’, and Vasyl’ Levkovych occupied various leading posts in the OUN and the UPA. They were aware of the most trivial details of the inner life of these formations and provided Soviet investigators with a considerable amount of information about the formation and activity of the UPA. An analysis of the information that they provided during interrogations and its juxtaposition with other historical sources attest to a high degree of authenticity.

A comment is in order concerning the lexicon of the interrogations, which fully corresponds to the terminology of Soviet propaganda of the time, as well as the slang used by members of the security organs. According to the unwritten rules of writing reports, an opponent of the communist regime who was arrested or killed with or without weapons in his/her hands could not be called anything but a «bandit.» Any UPA detachment or subunit, regardless of the nature of its operations, was called a «band» (gang) and a leader of a subunit – a «ringleader of a band,» or «leader.»

The documents in the book grouped according to the topical-chronological principle: the order of the chapters is determined by the date of individuals’ arrests, while the placement of documents in the chapters is determined by the date when they were created. The documents cover the period 1944-1946 chronologically as well as geographically – all of western Ukraine, i.e., it is reasonably representative.

Bearing in mind the specific features of office work in the Soviet state security organs – speedy analysis and systematizing of acquired data, and instantaneous reporting to superiors of all operationally significant questions – we have been able to reconstruct the process of accumulating information about the UPA in the heart of the special services and to determine exactly what the Soviet side knew about its opponent as of, e.g., 1 September 1944 or 1 January 1945, and how this state of informedness influenced the further course of the armed struggle, the conduct of Chekist-military operations, etc.

The first important UPA leader who was captured by the NKVD and NKGB organs was Mykhailo Stepaniak («Serhii,» «Bohdan»). He was taken into custody on 30 July 1944, when he was captured in a hideout in some woods located between the villages of Bushcha and Derman’ in Mizoch raion, Rivne oblast. During his capture, he was badly wounded by a grenade that was tossed into his hideout from where he was pulled out unconscious.[4]

Mykhailo Dmytrovych Stepaniak was born on 24 January 1905 in the village of Dzvyniach in the Stanyslaviv area (Solotvyna raion in Ivano-Frankivs’k oblast) into a large peasant family (he had four sisters and two brothers). From 1918 to 1926 he studied at the Stanyslaviv gymnasium, and in 1926-1931 he was a student at the Faculty of Law at L’viv University. At the time Stepaniak was sympathetic to communism and even maintained links with the communist movement. Thus, he was arrested by the Polish police after he graduated, but owing to the lack of evidence, he was released in April 1934 and returned to his native village.

Starting in early 1935, he worked as an assistant in a private law firm in the city of Berezhany, in the Ternopil’ region. In September 1939 he was employed as a secretary in the temporary county administration of the Berezhany area. In December 1939 he headed the general department of the Berezhany raion executive committee, and in March-April 1940 he was the secretary of the Berezhany municipal council.

In April-May 1940 Stepaniak joined the OUN to which he was recruited by Hryhorii Goliash («Bei») an envoy of the TsP OUN, who had come from Cracow, and Lev Zatsnyi («Troian»), a member of the Krai Leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (KP OUN). They invited Stepaniak to join the organization, which needed a qualified lawyer to draft a plan to organize bodies of state rule of an independent Ukraine. In the fall of 1940, when Stepaniak was hiding in various villages of western Ukraine (with funds supplied by the OUN), he drafted such a plan.

In May 1941 the leader of the L’viv KP OUN, Ivan Klymiv («Legenda») informed Stepaniak that the draft of the state system had been adopted for practical implementation. After the German-Soviet war began, the OUN began to create bodies of power. After the proclamation of the Act of 30 June 1941 Stepaniak was appointed assistant to Lev Rebet, the head of the «Government System» at the TsP OUN. In September 1941 the Germans arrested Rebet, and Stepaniak became his replacement.

In 1941-1943 he headed the most important structural underground unit: KP OUN Halychyna, or the KP OUN in the Western Ukrainian Lands (ZUZ). In late 1941 Mykola Lebed’ («Ruban») made Stepaniak a member of the TsP OUN. Stepaniak took part in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd conferences of the OUN, and during the Third Extraordinary Grand Assembly of the OUN in August 1943 he was elected a member of the Main Council of the OUN. He took part in drafting a significant number of official OUN documents, particularly those that were published in the journal Ideia i Chyn (Idea and Action, the official organ of the OUN). In mid-December 1943 Stepaniak was dismissed from the TsP OUN and dispatched by Roman Shukhevych to Volyn,[5] where he took part in underground activity.

The reports on Stepaniak’s interrogations highlight a number of interesting topics: details of his biography and work in the OUN, the 3rd Extraordinary Grand Assembly of the OUN, the creation of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Organization (NVRO), and military questions that were discussed at meetings by the members of the TsP OUN in 1942-1944. Stepaniak took part in several such meetings and was able to provide a rather complete description of the process of the UPA’s creation and the views on this of the members of the TsP OUN. Considering that most of these individuals were eventually killed, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of his information.

At the time of Stepaniak’s arrest NKVD and NKGB investigators had already interrogated dozens of OUN and UPA members, so they had a certain idea about these organizations. However, with the precise help of Stepaniak’s information, for the first time the Soviets acquired an entire gamut of data on the history of the creation and activity of the Ukrainian underground, as well as details concerning its structure, leaders, and the whole system of the TsP OUN’s work in 1940-1944.

The Chekists sought to exploit the acquired information as effectively as possible and, at the same time, to conceal the fact that such a high-ranking leader of the OUN and the UPA had been arrested. There were no official announcements about this, even those with a propagandistic goal. For a long time Stepaniak’s case did not make it to court.[6] He helped identify killed members of the OUN and the UPA; sometimes he was re-interrogated and transferred from L’viv to Kyiv and then back to L’viv.

On 26 March 1947 the Military Tribunal of the Interior Troops of Kyiv Oblast sentenced Mykhailo Stepaniak under articles 54-1a and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR to the maximum punishment – to be shot.[7] However, on 23 June 1947 the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, citing article 3 of the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, dated 26 May 1947, commuted his death sentence to twenty-five years’ imprisonment in corrective labour camps (VTT).[8]

Stepaniak served his sentence in the Peschanyi Camp (Karaganda oblast, Kazakhstan). After Stalin’s death, he submitted several failed petitions to various official channels, demanding a review of his case. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR pardoned him and overturned his conviction only on 8 April 1961, and on 12 April he was released. Stepaniak died on 13 February 1967 in the village of Dzvyniach. In January 1995 the prosecutor’s office of Rivne oblast exonerated him.

The next set of materials in the book consists of documents from the archival criminal case against Ievhen Mykhailovych Basiuk. He was born in 1922 in the village of Khoriv, which is today part of Ostroh raion, Rivne oblast. In 1936 he completed a seven-grade rural elementary school and later studied at a locksmith school and worked in Kovel’. In 1938, under the influence of Ukrainian historical literature and the events taking place in Carpatho-Ukraine, the sixteen-year-old Basiuk left for Galicia and tried to cross illegally into Transcarpathia. He was taken into custody and brought to the city of Khust, where he was interrogated by the Ukrainian police and at Sich, the headquarters of the Supreme Command of the Ukrainian Army of Carpatho-Ukraine. Afterwards, he was released to the care of a high school.

In February 1939 the leadership of Sich sent him for studies at a non-commissioned officers’ school. Soon after he took part in battles against the Hungarians, was wounded, and then captured. In July 1939 the Hungarians handed over Basiuk and other Ukrainian POWs to the Germans. He ended up in Vienna, where first he obtained medical treatment in a sanatorium and later studied in a German officers’ school created with the participation of the TsP OUN. There, in December 1939, he joined the OUN.[9]

After completing his studies in November 1940 and obtaining the rank of lieutenant in the German Army, Basiuk went to Cracow for a month-long furlough. When it was over, acting on the instructions of the organization’s leaders, he did not serve in the German Army. He became unemployed and until the beginning of the German-Soviet war received financial assistance from the Ukrainian Central Committee (UTsK).

In July 1941 Basiuk returned to his native village. In approximately one month «Ostap», the Rivne oblast commandant of the legal Ukrainian youth organization Sich, appointed him commandant of this organization for Hoshcha raion. But within three days the Germans disbanded the organization, and in September Basiuk began working as an expediter in a cooperative in the city of Ostroh. Eventually, he returned home.

In March 1942 Basiuk was arrested by the German police on suspicions of belonging to the OUN and deserting the German Army. He was imprisoned in the Rivne jail until November 1942, was sentenced to death in absentia, and then transferred to a concentration camp near the village of Shubkiv in Tuchyn raion, Rivne oblast, from where he soon escaped with twenty-five other prisoners. He hid with his parents and other family members.[10]

In April 1943 Basiuk joined the UPA, eventually becoming the chief of the headquarters of the Kholodnyi Iar formation (division), which was part of the Kyiv General Military Okruha of the UPA. He held the rank of an UPA colonel and used the pseudonyms «Chornomorets’» and «Kompaniiets’.» On 7 September 1944 he was arrested during a Chekist military operation in the vicinity of Khoriv,[11] brought to Rivne, and from there sent under guard to Kyiv, where he spent nearly ten days in the NKGB prison of the Ukrainian SSR.[12]

The report of Basiuk’s interrogation, dated 28-29 September 1944 (forty-four typewritten pages) was attached to the documents of the archival criminal case, most of which date to the period from May to December 1949.[13] It is quite likely that in September 1944 the NKGB investigators intensively interrogated Basiuk during a rather short period of time and combined all his most important answers ranging from his biography to information about the UPA into one report.

Basiuk later wrote the following about the next five years of his life: «…From the month of September 1944 I actively fought against the ‘OUN-UPA’ bands, for which the bandits took brutal revenge on me by killing all my relatives. I myself was seriously wounded in battles against the ‘OUN-UPA’ bands. For five years I smashed the ‘OUN-UPA’ bands as much as I had strength and ability; the bandits took brutal revenge on me for this, they killed my mother, sister, two brothers, fiancee, and also repeatedly made attempts on my life.»[14]

On 19 November 1949 a Special Session of the Ministry of State Security of the USSR convicted Basiuk under articles 54-2, 54-11, and 206-17a of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR and sentenced him to twenty-five years’ imprisonment in corrective labour camps.[15] He served his sentence in the Stepovoi and Peschanyi camps in Kazakhstan. On 28 May 1956, during the period of Khrushchev’s «thaw,» a commission of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, appointed to review the cases of people imprisoned in the Karaganda corrective labour camps, released Basiuk after overturning his conviction.[16] On 10 September 1991 he was exonerated by the Prosecutor General of the Ukrainian SSR.

The next part of the book includes extracts from the reports of interrogations of two UPA organizers in Bukovyna: Artemiziia Halyts’ka («Motria») and Myroslav Haiduk («Fedir»). They were captured on 29 December 1944 during a Chekist military operation in the village of Vaslovytsi in Chernivtsi oblast. When she was being taken into custody, Halyts’ka, like many other underground members in this situation, tried to shoot herself in the head. Gravely injured, she was brought to Chernivtsi and later nursed back to health.

Artemiziia Hryhorivna Halyts’ka was born in 1912 in the village of Sadhora (today: Chernivtsi oblast) into a large urban family. She was the sixth child and had four brothers and one sister. After completing a teachers’ seminary in 1932 in the city of Botosani (Romania), she taught school for ten years. The Romanian government banned Ukrainian-language instruction in schools, but she stubbornly conducted enlightenment work and taught children the Ukrainian language and culture, which led to her frequent job transfers.

Halyts’ka’s acute sense of national humiliation spurred her to join the OUN. In 1940 she befriended some Ukrainians who had arrived from Galicia: A. Boiko, S. Chîrnukha, T. Shynkaruk, and L. Shcherbanovych. In time, she became friends with some members of the Bukovyna Society of Ukrainian Emigrants. In 1940, at their request, she organized two drives to collect medicine, clothing, and money (35,000 leu were raised) among the local population for arrested Ukrainian nationalists, thus earning a solid reputation.

In the spring of 1941 Halyts’ka became acquainted with a couple of members of the OUN(B), Hryhorii Barabash («Iavors’kyi») and I. Konrad («Ivan») whom the TsP OUN had sent to Bukovyna to work among the local Ukrainians and probably to create an OUN organization. They drew up a list of OUN sympathizers, including Halyts’ka. During 1941 Barabash visited her three times, bringing literature about the disputes between the OUN(M) and the OUN(B).

At the beginning of 1942 the Romanian police arrested twenty-two OUN members in Chernivtsi and conducted a search of Halyts’ka’s apartment, but nothing was found. Having avoided arrest, in February she sent 1,050 leu and food to the imprisoned OUN members. At the request of the arrested leader of the OUN leadership in Bukovyna, Mykhailo Kolotylo («Kobzar»), in March Halyts’ka left for the Romanian city of Iassy, where he was being given medical treatment and awaiting his trial. She brought him clothing and food supplies, and in June 1942 helped him escape from the hospital and avoid trial.

Kolotylo suggested that Halyts’ka leave for Bukovyna. She agreed, and in the village of Shubranets’ they met with the new leader of the OUN in Bukovyna, D. Hyriuk («Orel»), who had been sent from Galicia by the TsP OUN, as well as with other underground members. Seeing as the Romanian police was looking for Halyts’ka, D. Nahorniak («Lys») and M. Luk’ianenko («Kryha»), who were responsible for liaison among the OUN units (lankas) in Galicia and Bukovyna, helped her and «Kobzar» to cross illegally into Galicia.

There they made contact with the leader of the Kolomyia OUN okruha, Vasyl’ Andrusiak («Riz’bar,» future UPA battalion commander «Rizun») and «Odarka», the TsP OUN’s courier, who helped them make contact with the TsP OUN in L’viv. Halyts’ka met with H. Barabash, who officially accepted her into the ranks of the OUN and assigned her to the chief of the 2nd department of the TsP OUN, Iaroslav Starukh («Synii»). This department was in charge of preparing forged documents for OUN members. It had its own press that printed passport forms of various European states and the USSR, which Halyts’ka later filled out.

In November and December 1942 the Germans launched a new wave of arrests of Ukrainian nationalists. Klymiv and Starukh were among the functionaries of the TsP OUN in L’viv, who were arrested. In order to evade arrest, Halyts’ka went to Barabash, who advised her to go to his relatives in the village of Koniukhy in the Stryi area. But Kolotylo, who was then working in the Propaganda Section of the L’viv KP OUN, invited her to accompany him to Kolomyia to carry out some assignments for the KP OUN: establish contact with the OUN leadership of Bukovyna and to head it. Halyts’ka agreed.

They reported to the leader of the OUN leadership of Stanyslaviv oblast, Iaroslav Mel’nyk («Robert») and, at his request, took part in a ten-day training session for county and raion leaders of the OUN attached to the Okruha Leadership of the OUN for Kolomyia. Halyts’ka taught ideology and Kolotylo – political history. They also organized the publication of the first issue of the newspaper Mechem (By Sword), the organ of the Bukovyna OUN leadership. The print run of the newspaper was 2,000 copies, of which 1,500 were sent to Bukovyna (where Kolotylo went shortly afterwards), and 500 were shipped to the TsP OUN.

Later, Halyts’ka taught ideology and medical services at a training course for female OUN members, which was organized by «Kropyva», the OUN county leader in the Sniatyn area. The training lasted fourteen days and was attended by nine people. In March 1943 Mel’nyk again summoned Halyts’ka to Stanyslaviv and instructed her to conduct training for nine women. Eventually, she taught two more training courses for the women’s OUN networks in the counties of Stanyslaviv and Halych.[17] Halyts’ka conducted a total of 14 different training courses for 140-150 people.[18]

In April 1943 Halyts’ka received a message from Kolotylo about the mass arrests of OUN members in Bukovyna, and therefore decided to remain in Galicia. At Kolotylo’s request, the KP OUN ZUZ appointed Halyts’ka responsible Bukovyna leader for liaison between Galicia and Bukovyna. «Ulas,» the responsible leader for finances in this leadership, allocated 60,000 zloty to Halyts’ka, which were used to purchase literature that was later sent to Bukovyna. She also created an organizational network in villages on the territory adjacent to Bukovyna, which conducted intelligence work and liaison with the OUN leadership of Bukovyna.

In December 1943 Halyts’ka learned of Kolotylo’s arrest and informed the Stanyslaviv Oblast Leadership and the KP OUN ZUZ, which decided to temporarily halt the activity of the OUN leadership in Bukovyna and ordered Halyts’ka to start organizing a women’s OUN network in Galicia. The leadership organized training for women. Halyts’ka conducted two training courses, training seven instructors who were then dispatched to various oblasts.

Halyts’ka did not manage to complete the organization of women’s work because in January 1944 she was recalled to L’viv by Lebed’, the head of the External Relations Section («R-ZZ») of the TsP OUN. She left for the city with Ivan Beleilovych («Dzvinchuk»), the future leaders of the UPA military okruha in the Drohobych area, and a courier named «Iurko.» In L’viv Halyts’ka met with the UPA organizer in Galicia, Oleksandr Luts’kyi («Andriienko»), and later had several meetings with Lebed’.

Lebed’ informed Halyts’ka that «Iarema,» the leader of the OUN leadership in Odesa, had begun negotiations with the Romanians, in connection with which she absolutely needed to meet with «Iarema» and transmit the demands of the TsP OUN to the Romanian authorities. The demands were that the Romanian government must recognize that the OUN’s struggle is just, release Ukrainian political prisoners from jails, recognize Ukrainians as a national minority in Romania, permit the creation of a Ukrainian governorship on the territories of Bukovyna and Bessarabia with the possibility of opening Ukrainian schools, churches, and printing houses, and recognize the Ukrainian state (in the event that one would be established) within its ethnic borders.

Lebed’ questioned Halyts’ka about possible candidates for the formation of a Ukrainian government in Bukovyna if favourable conditions arose. She named a few candidates with which Lebed’ concurred. He instructed her to form a Ukrainian government if consensus on this issue were reached with the Romanians. In addition, Lebed’ instructed Halyts’ka to leave for Bukovyna after the Germans’ withdrawal and organize an OUN network there. Later, she was to travel to Romania with «Iarema» and with the help of the Romanians – if they agreed to the demands of the TsP OUN – and prepare passports for OUN members. Lebed’ promised Halyts’ka that one day he would assign her to the Diplomatic Section.

Shortly afterwards, Halyts’ka left for the Stanyslaviv area, where she met Mel’nyk, transferred control over the women’s network of the oblast OUN leadership to the female underground member «Halychanka,» and then left went to the Kolomyia area. There she informed «Iarema» about the instructions she had received from Lebed’. «Iarema» recounted his meeting with the Romanians and the negotiations that were attended by representatives of the TsP OUN. Later, Halyts’ka noted that the Romanians had agreed to the demands of the TsP OUN about securing cultural rights for Ukrainians, but had refused to recognize Bukovyna and Bessarabia as Ukrainian lands, insisting that the international borders of 1939 had to be upheld.

After the negotiations were concluded, the representatives of the TsP OUN left Galicia to report on their results and receive further instructions from Lebed’. For a certain period of time Halyts’ka was waiting for couriers to bring materials from Lebed’ so that she and «Iarema» could leave for Romania, but there was a breakdown in communications.[19] At this time the Red Army began advancing and the front moved westward.

On 26 March 1944 Halyts’ka with a ten-man bodyguard unit left for Bukovyna, where she began creating a new organizational OUN network and UPA detachments.[20] This is the period reflected in the materials included in the present volume. Halyts’ka’s information is valuable in that she provided a detailed account of the structure and membership of the underground in Bukovyna, naming more than 200 individuals. The data that she revealed forms a rather complete picture of the creation and activity of the OUN and the UPA in Bukovyna in 1943-1944.

Halyts’ka was formally arrested by the NKVD Directorate of Chernivtsi oblast on 18 April 1945. The specific features of the Soviet investigative system were such that people were held in prisons for months without formal arrest charges. During this time the Soviets would try to determine and exploit the usefulness of the detainees and then later arrest them officially. On 31 August 1945 the Military Tribunal of the NKVD troops of Chernivtsi oblast convicted Halyts’ka under articles 54-1a and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR and sentenced her to be shot.[21]

However, according to a decision passed on 10 October 1945, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, «taking into consideration that defendant Halyts’ka helped the Soviet organs with the liquidation of the underground organization OUN on the territory of Bukovyna,» commuted the death sentence to ten years’ imprisonment in corrective labour camps.[22] The file does not contain any information about her subsequent fate.

The next section of the book contains extracts from reports on the interrogations of Mykola Ivanovych Haiduk, the responsible leader for military affairs in the OUN leadership in Bukovyna and the organizer of local UPA subunits. He was born in 1920 into a peasant family in the city of Vyzhnytsia, Chernivtsi oblast. After graduating from a gymnasium, he completed his studies at an architectural technical school in Chernivtsi. In 1939 he began working as a foreman in the construction section of the NKVD in the village of Shepit, Vyzhnytsia raion, where the military town was being rebuilt.

After Germany attacked the USSR, he lost his job. He joined the OUN(B), took the pseudonym «Bihun,» began recruiting members to the OUN(B), and spoke out actively against the Melnykites, condemning them for collaborating with the Germans. Haiduk was soon arrested by the Romanian police. After spending three months in jail in Vyzhnytsia, he was released for lack of evidence. He was then placed under police supervision and did not take part in the nationalists’ work.

In the fall of 1942, on the suggestion of the head of the OUN(B) leadership in Bukovyna, D. Hyriuk («Taras»), Haiduk was appointed to this leadership and became the responsible leader for organizational matters. Between fall 1942 and spring 1943 a new OUN network was created, mostly in the raions of Vyzhnytsia, Vashkivtsi, and Storozhynets’. In spring 1943 the Romanians arrested «Taras», and in August 1943 the leadership was headed by «Kobzar» («Volodymyr»). In late 1943, as a result of new mass arrests, practically the entire leadership and quite a few members of the OUN(B) were imprisoned; only a few underground members remained at liberty.[23]

Haiduk’s statements best illustrate the period from late March 1944, when Artemiziia Halyts’ka first arrived in Bukovyna and appointed him responsible leader for organizational matters in the OUN leadership of Bukovyna. She instructed him to revive the OUN organization and form UPA detachments to conduct an active struggle against the Soviet government.

Haiduk was officially arrested on 20 June 1945. Until then the Soviets had sought to use him to the maximum. On 22 August 1945 the Military Tribunal of the NKVD troops of Chernivtsi oblast sentenced Haiduk to death under articles 54-1a and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR. The sentence was executed on 11 October 1945 in Chernivtsi.[24] On 23 March 1994 the Prosecutor General’s Office of Chernivtsi oblast declared that Haiduk had been justifiably convicted and thus not eligible for exoneration.

The next section of the volume contains extracts from reports of the interrogations of UPA battalion commander Iaroslav Bilyns’kyi («Bystryi»). After being seriously wounded (his left leg was later amputated) he was captured in the village of Bosyry in Probizhna raion, Ternopil’ oblast on 7 January 1945 and officially arrested twenty days later, on 27 January.[25]

Iaroslav Mykhailovych Bilyns’kyi was born in 1921 (according to other sources: 1920) into a peasant family in the village of Tovsten’ke, county of Kopychyntsi (today: Chortkiv raion), in Ternopil’ oblast. He completed his studies at a pedagogical college, and until July 1941 he taught at an elementary school in the village of Osnyky in Lanivtsi raion. Later, he was imprisoned in a German concentration camp near Rivne, from where he escaped. In February 1943 he joined the UPA,[26] rising through the ranks from a rank and file soldier to a group commander. Bilyns’kyi’s statements permit researchers not only to trace his career ascent in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army but also to map out the activity of his detachments in Ternopil’ and Kam’ianets’-Podil’s’kyi oblasts.

On 12 February 1946 the Military Tribunal of the NKVD troops of Ternopil’ oblast sentenced Bilynsky to death under articles 54-1a and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR, and he was shot on 24 April 1946.[27] On 28 June 1993 the Court Collegium for Criminal Affairs of the Ternopil’ oblast court re-examined his case and found no grounds for exonerating Bilyns’kyi.

The extracts from reports of the interrogations of Oleksandr Andriiovych Luts’kyi are extremely important. Luts’kyi was one of the chief organizers of the UPA, and his biography is filled with interesting facts about the history of the Ukrainian underground movement of the 1930s and 1940s. Luts’kyi was born in 1910 into a peasant family in the village of Bodnariv in Stanyslaviv county (today: Kalush raion in Ivano-Frankivs’k oblast). In 1932 he graduated from the Stanyslaviv gymnasium, where he participated in various nationalist youth organizations. The following year the head of the Okruha Leadership of the OUN in Stanyslaviv, Mykola Sen’kiv, recruited him to the organization.

In 1932-1933 Luts’kyi served in the Polish Army, and in the fall of 1933 he was sentenced to six years in prison for his membership in the OUN. His trial received wide press coverage, and he became well known to large segments of the Ukrainian public. In February 1938 he was released but deprived of certain rights. He returned to his native village, where he worked in the office of a local dairy. In March 1939 he was rearrested for nationalist activity and was incarcerated in the Stanyslaviv prison until 17 September 1939.

After the arrival of the Red Army and his release from jail, Luts’kyi was actively involved (according to his testimony) in establishing local organs of Soviet power in Bodnariv and eighteen other villages. The local population elected him delegate to the People’s Assembly in L’viv, which adopted a resolution on the annexation of Western Ukraine to the Ukrainian SSR. After returning to his native village, Luts’kyi applied to L’viv University, but in November 1939, fearing possible arrest, he fled to Cracow. He met with Ia. Starukh, the secretary of the Ukrainian Relief Committee to assist refugees from the USSR, and told him about his OUN activities in the Stanyslaviv area.

At the time there were quite a few well-known Ukrainian nationalists in Cracow, particularly such members of the OUN(B) as Roman Shukhevych, Vasyl’ Sydor, Vasyl’ Kuk, and Omelian Pol’ovyi, who were carrying out important organizational work by training nationalist cadres and preparing them for the struggle against the Soviet government for Ukrainian statehood.. Starukh placed Luts’kyi at the disposal of the leader of the military section of the OUN(B) I. Kremins’kyi. Luts’kyi took part in stocking the OUN’s military library, completed a three-month training course for the command staff of a future Ukrainian army, as anticipated by the members of the OUN.

In March 1940 the TsP OUN dispatched Luts’kyi to the Ukrainian SSR, to the KP OUN ZUZ (L’viv) where he was appointed leader of the Okruha Leadership of the OUN in Stanyslaviv. In November 1940, on instructions from Dmytro Myron («Orlyk»), the head of the L’viv KP OUN, he returned to Cracow, where he continued working in the military section of the TsP OUN and completed a four-month training course for senior OUN commanders.

In early March 1941 Luts’kyi, together with other OUN members, left for the German city of Neuhammer, where a Ukrainian military unit was being formed: the Ievhen Konovalets’ Battalion (Nachtigal) commanded by Shukhevych. With the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, Luts’kyi, as a member of this subunit, took part in a campaign across Ukraine. After the unit was disbanded in August 1941, its members were brought to Cracow and from there to Neuhammer and Frankfurt an der Oder, where they merged with a similar Ukrainian subunit, Roland, under the command of Ievhen Pobihushchyi. For a while the Germans provided military training, and in March 1942, after the formation of Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201, it was sent to Belarus. By the end of 1942 it was disbanded because the soldiers refused to continue serving. Luts’kyi, like many others, escaped from the battalion’s area of deployment and hid out in L’viv.

In April-May 1943 Luts’kyi made contact with Shukhevych, the responsible military leader of the TsP OUN, and launched active military work in the OUN – the subject of the reports of his interrogations. In July 1943 Shukhevych ordered him to create the Ukrainian National Self-Defence (UNS) in Galicia, modeled on UPA units that were already operating in Volyn’. Within a short period of time Luts’kyi completed the important work of organizing armed detachments. Eventually, the UNS was renamed UPA-West and its first commander was O. Luts’kyi.[28]

His statements are substantial and accurate and not coincidentally they comprise the largest part of the book. It should be noted that from the moment Luts’kyi was arrested on 26 January 1945 until 29 June 1945 he fooled his interrogators into thinking his name was Antin Andriiovych Bodnar. It took the NKVD five months to learn his true identity. During this time the OUN underground and UPA detachments changed their liaison system and averted possibly large losses.

At first Luts’kyi was held in the Stanyslaviv prison and was later transferred to Kyiv. On 10 August 1946 the Military Tribunal of the Interior Troops of the Ukrainian District sentenced him to be shot.[29] According to existing documents in the archival criminal case, the sentence was carried out on 13 November 1946.[30] After Ukraine became independent, the prosecutor’s office and the courts reviewed Luts’kyi’s case but did not exonerate him.

Luts’kyi’s wife, Iuliia Fedorivna Luts’ka (Plisak) , was arrested with him on 26 January 1945. She knew many of the underground leaders and had been actively involved in its work since 1936. She directed the women’s network and was the responsible leader for organizational matters in the Ostroh County Leadership of the OUN for which activities she was arrested and convicted by the Poles in 1938. After her release, in September 1939 she returned to Rivne oblast anin November of that year she crossed the border with other OUN members and reached Cracow. There she took part in the work of the TsP OUN, training cadres slated to be dispatched to the USSR. In 1940 she completed a training course for wireless operators/encoders and as a fluent Russian speaker taught this language to other OUN members.

In the summer of 1941 Luts’ka, as a member of the «middle» OUN expeditionary group, reached the town of Vasyl’kiv, where she was arrested by the Germans in September 1941. She was held in the Cracow prison until January 1942. After her release she went to Rivne, where she made contact with Dmytro Kliachkivs’kyi («Klym Savur»), the leader of the Volyn KP OUN, and took part in the leadership’s work in 1942-1943. Meetings of the leadership were held in her apartment, and she was in charge of sending organizational literature from L’viv to Kyiv. Kliachkivs’kyi insisted that Luts’ka head the women’s network of the OUN in Volyn, but she was unable to participate fully in this work because her health was weak since the birth of her child.

In March 1943 the Germans arrested Luts’ka, but released her in July. She went underground again, and organized and taught training courses for medical personnel for the UPA in Polissia. In December 1943 she went to L’viv, where in February 1944 she finished training six wireless operators for Lebed’, the head of the diplomatic section of the TsP OUN. In the summer of 1944, when the Red Army was advancing, she and her husband fled to the Carpathian Mountains.

During her imprisonment, Luts’ka, like her husband, concealed her real surname, calling herself Iuliia Luts’kevych. The investigators were never aware of this. On 22 May 1945 the Military Tribunal of the NKVD troops of Stanyslaviv oblast convicted her under the surname Luts’kevych under article 20-54-1a of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR and sentenced her to ten years’ imprisonment in corrective labour camps.[31]

The present volume contains those reports of Luts’ka’s interrogations, which supplement the information on her husband’s activity and her membership in the OUN and the UPA, particularly the medical training that she organized in Volyn’. In addition, the book includes reports of interrogations of individuals who knew them well and could describe their concrete involvement in the UPA.

The next section of the book features reports of the interrogations of Iurii Oleksandrovych Stel’mashchuk, the commander of the UPA’s Turiv Military Okruha and the Zavykhvost formation of UPA groups, who was captured on 26 January 1945, when he was sick with typhus. He was born on 17 October 1920 into a peasant family in the village of Korshiv, Senkevychivka raion, in Volyn’ oblast. Until the age of fourteen he lived with his parents and attended the village school. After he completed his schooling, he worked on his parents’ farm.

In 1935 Stel’mashchuk began studying at the Ukrainian gymnasium in Luts’k. In May 1939 he and his cousin Stepan Stel’mashchuk, an OUN member, were arrested by the Polish police on suspicions of membership in the OUN underground, but they were released after two days. Stel’mashchuk returned to his parents’ home in Korshiv, where, following the arrival of Soviet power, he worked for one and a half months as the secretary of the village council. He then continued his studies at the gymnasium in Luts’k.

In the gymnasium was a group of students who were secretly studying OUN literature and discussing the possibility of creating an independent Ukrainian state. Stel’mashchuk joined this group whose existence was uncovered by the oblast NKVD Directorate. Soon, Iurii and his sister Hanna were summoned there and interrogated about OUN members with whom they were acquainted. Fearing arrest, Stel’mashchuk returned to his parents’ home to warn them about his impending escape. In January 1940 he illegally crossed the border and settled in the city of Hrubeshiv. In time he made another illegal visit to his native village and then went back.

Thanks to the Ukrainian Relief Committee to assist refugees from the USSR, Stel’mashchuk obtained an identity card (Ausweis) and continued studying in the gymnasium in Kholm. In December 1940 he passed examinations without attending lectures and graduated from the gymnasium. He then joined the OUN and began recruiting new members to the organization, distributing literature, and carrying out a variety of other tasks. He spent one month in the village of Vil’ka Uhruis’ka, where he was supposed to create an OUN underground. But after falling ill, he returned to Kholm, where he received a directive from the OUN in March 1941 to go to Cracow.

Eventually, he and 128 other OUN members were dispatched to the military school in the city of Brandenburg, which was created to train command personnel. The training lasted until late May 1941. After the course ended, Stel’mashchuk and twenty-five other OUN members were sent to Neuhammer and from there – to attend training courses for military intelligence agents and saboteurs. They attended these courses only for a couple of days – until 6 June. Two days later they were transported to Cracow.

On 14-16 June 1941 June, Stel’mashchuk and other OUN members obtained assignments from German intelligence and the OUN, and were moved to Uzhhorod. From there they were brought across the border into Soviet territory (Slavs’k raion, Drohobych oblast) to carry out intelligence work and sabotage. The Germans issued weapons to them, false Soviet passports, and explosives. For a few days the saboteurs moved around secretly at night. The beginning of the war found them in the woods near the village of Trukhaniv in Skole raion, Drohobych oblast, where they were spotted by a Soviet troop column and shot at. During their escape the saboteurs lost their equipment and found shelter in Trukhaniv, where they stayed until the Germans arrived on 2 July 1941. Then they set out for L’viv, where they met with Lebed’, who heard their report. He ordered them to go their assigned locations and begin working in OUN organizations.[32]

Stel’mashchuk went by truck to Volyn’ oblast with some members of the TsP OUN: Iaroslav Starukh, Vasyl’ Kuk, and Dmytro Maivs’kyi. Along the way they began talking and got to know each other. Kuk invited Stel’mashchuk to go with them to eastern Ukraine, and he agreed. Soon they arrived in Zhytomyr, where Kalzen, the head of a Gestapo operative group, who was familiar with Stel’mashchuk’s biography, found out that the latter was in the city. Kalzen suggested – in the form of an ultimatum – that Stel’mashchuk become his interpreter. He refused and after obtaining Kuk’s permission to leave, went back to Rivne, carrying mail for Iaroslav Stets’ko. In Rivne he saw Volodymyr Robitnyts’kyi, the head of the OUN in the Northwestern Ukrainian Lands (PZUZ), and then went on holiday to the village of Korshiv. There he learned that his parents had been deported to Oms’k oblast in May 1941.

In August 1941 Stel’mashchuk arrived in Luts’k and was appointed responsible military leader of Sich, the oblast OUN youth organization.[33] In September, when the Germans began persecuting the members of the OUN(B) and then disbanded Sich, Stel’mashchuk returned to his village and eventually became an illegal. In early February 1942, appointed by A. Kucher («Hai,» «Herasym»), the Luts’k okruha leader of the OUN, he began working as the responsible leader for military affairs of the Kovel’ Okruha Leadership of the OUN and took an active part in teaching young people and forming UPA detachments.[34]

Stel’mashchuk was thus closely involved with the beginnings of the OUN’s military buildup, and the reports of his interrogations fully illustrate the creation and activity of the UPA in Volyn and its participation in the anti-Polish action of 1943. (The volume also contains reports of interrogations of witnesses in Stel’mashchuk’s case, who confirmed the mass killings of Poles by OUN members and UPA soldiers.)

After capturing Stel’mashchuk, the Soviet special services exploited him effectively. Lieutenant-General Tymofii Strokach, Deputy People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian SSR, personally interrogated him on 8-9 February 1945. According to Stel’mashchuk’s admissions, the location of Kliachkivs’kyi, the head of UPA-North, was determined.[35] As soon as Stel’mashchuk provided this information on 9 February, his interrogation was terminated at 7:40 p.m., and an NKVD operation was launched the very next day, as a result of which Kliachkivs’kyi was finally killed on 12 February. Leaflets about his death, featuring a photograph of the dead Kliachkivs’kyi and bearing Stel’mashchuk’s signature, were dropped in villages and forests. Later, Stel’mashchuk was taken to various public meetings to give talks against the OUN and the UPA, which caused some demoralization in the ranks of the UPA soldiers who had known Stel’mashchuk well.

However, none of this helped Stel’mashchuk, and on 6 August 1945 the Military Tribunal of the NKVD troops of Kyiv oblast sentenced him to be shot under articles 54-1a and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR.[36] The sentence was carried out on 5 October 1945.[37] On 6 May 1996 the prosecutor’s office of Volyn’ oblast found that Iurii Stel’mashchuk was justifiably convicted and thus not eligible for exoneration.

The next section of the book contains extracts from reports of the interrogations of Petro Duzhyi and his brother Mykola, who were arrested together with other underground members on 4 June 1945 in the village of Dev’iatnyky in Novo-Strilyshchanskyi raion, Drohobych oblast (existed until 1959).[38]

Petro Opanasovych Duzhyi was born into a peasant family in 1916 in the village of Kariv in Rava-Rus’ka raion, L’viv oblast. In 1933, when he was a student at the Rava-Rus’ka gymnasium, he joined an OUN youth organization. The following year he was arrested twice. He was kept under guard in L’viv and later released. In 1935 he resumed his studies in L’viv, and in 1937 he enrolled in the L’viv External Trade Institute. In April 1938, when the Polish government was conducting mass arrests of young Ukrainians, P. Duzhyi was rearrested and imprisoned for one month. After his release he continued his studies, which were interrupted again in September 1939.

At the beginning of 1940 P. Duzhyi illegally crossed the Soviet-German border and in the city of Tomashiv made contact with the local OUN organization. From this point until the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR he was the responsible OUN youth leader in Tomashiv County.

In June 1941 he returned to Kariv and through M. Hrytsyna («Khazar»), the county leader of the OUN in Rava-Rus’ka, made contact with V. Kuk («Iurko»), the responsible TsP OUN leader for organizational matters, for whom he worked as a courier until May 1942. After Kuk was appointed krai leader of the OUN in the Southeastern Ukrainian Lands (PSUZ), Duzhyi and Kuk left for Dnipropetrovsk, where the former was the responsible leader of the KP OUN for organizational matters in the PSUZ. Eventually, he organized an OUN underground in the Kirovohrad and Chyhyryn areas.

In July 1943 P. Duzhyi was arrested by the Gestapo in the town of Oleksandrivka in Kirovohrad oblast and was held under guard until late October 1943. During his confinement he was savagely beaten during interrogations. When he was being transported under convoy to the city of Pervomais’k in Odesa oblast, he and several other prisoners managed to escape from the train and reach Uman’, where he made contact with Kuk. With his permission, he returned to L’viv to seek medical treatment.

Petro Duzhyi spent January and February 1944 in his village. Later, Myroslav Prokop («Volodymyr») the responsible leader for propaganda in the TsP OUN, sent him to the village of Dev’iatnyky, the headquarters of the KP OUN ZUZ, to take over the post of krai responsible leader for propaganda. In November 1944 the leader of the OUN, Roman Shukhevych, appointed P. Duzhyi to replace Prokop and made him a member of the TsP OUN. He remained in both these posts until his arrest.[39]

After his arrest Petro Duzhyi called himself Marko Dem’ian Opanasovych, but on 19 June 1945, during an interrogation by Tymofii Strokach, Deputy People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian SSR, he admitted his real identity.[40] Extracts from the reports of P. Duzhyi’s interrogations, which are published in the present volume, contain valuable information about members of the underground, the preparation of UPA publications, etc. He was imprisoned for a considerable length of time in Kyiv, where the Soviet investigators used him to identify killed OUN members and describe their activities.

On 22 March 1947 the Military Tribunal of the Interior Troops of Kyiv oblast convicted Petro Duzhyi under article 54-1a of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR and handed down a death sentence.[41] However, like other OUN leaders (M. Stepaniak, et al.) he was not shot. On 23 June 1947 the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, in accordance with article 3 of the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, dated 26 May 1947, commuted his death sentence to twenty-five years’ imprisonment in corrective labour camps.[42]

Thirteen years later the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR passed a resolution dated 25 August 1960, pardoning Petro Duzhyi, who was released five days later.[43] Eventually he returned to L’viv. After the restoration of Ukrainian independence, he participated in civic and political life, was active in the work of the Brotherhood of UPA Veterans, and wrote and published a number of works. On 12 October 1994 the prosecutor’s office of Kyiv oblast exonerated him. He died on 24 October 1997.

At the time of his arrest Mykola Opanasovych Duzhyi («Vyrovyi») was the chief editor of various UPA military and political publications. He was born in the village of Kariv in 1901. When he was still a high school student, in November 1918 (after the founding of the Western Ukrainian National Republic) he enlisted in the Galician Army, the future Ukrainian Galician Army (UHA), where he held the rank of sublieutenant until March 1920. After the UHA was absorbed by the Bolsheviks and following its reformation he continued to serve in a brigade of the Red Sich Riflemen, fighting against the Poles. In late May 1920 he was captured in the vicinity of the city of Chudniv.

After his release, M. Duzhyi began a course of independent studies and in 1921, after passing exams without attending lectures, he obtained a diploma from the gymnasium. He then enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Ukrainian University of L’viv, graduating in 1924. In those years he was arrested twice by the Polish police. The first time was in 1922, for taking part in protest actions against the elections to the Polish Sejm, which were being boycotted by a considerable part of the Ukrainian population. He spent one month in prison. He was arrested a second time in 1924 for studying at a university that was officially banned and operating illegally. He was released from prison after one and a half months.

In December 1924 M. Duzhyi was drafted into the Polish Army. He spent seven months as a rank and file soldier in the 26th Infantry Regiment. Later he spent nine months studying in a school for sub-lieutenants at the 6th Corps in the city of Zalishchyky. He graduated with the rank of sergeant and returned to his regiment, where he spent two months as a company commander. In June 1926 he was demobilized and placed into the reserves.

Mykola Duzhyi then ran up against the typical problem afflicting young Ukrainians: he could not find employment in his specialization because the Polish government did not recognize his diploma from the Ukrainian University. He was thus forced to enroll in the Polish Jan Kazimierz University in L’viv, which he successfully completed in 1932. From 1929, while he was still a student, he began taking active part in the work of the Ukrainian Prosvita Society, and in 1931 he was elected a member of the Main Executive. In 1933 he was appointed secretary of this society, and he remained in this post until 1939. To boost his earnings, he moonlighted by doing various technical jobs.

When the Red Army occupied Western Ukraine, M. Duzhyi was living in L’viv. In October 1939, when the NKVD organs were arresting Ukrainian activists, he and his brother Petro left for the Kholm region, where Mykola worked in Tomashiv, organizing the work of the local Prosvita Society. In the summer of 1940, he accepted the invitation of Professor Volodymyr Kubiiovych and became the responsible leader for cultural work of the Ukrainian Central Committee (UTsK) in Cracow. But in early June 1941, after quarrelling with Kubiiovych, M. Duzhyi left the UTsK and returned to the Kholm region, where he obtained medical treatment and rested. Meanwhile, in 1940 the Soviet organs arrested his mother and deported her from Kariv (she died in Kazakhstan in 1942) as well as his brother Ivan, who died in prison.

After the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, M. Duzhyi returned to L’viv and worked as the secretary of the Prosvita Society. Before long, Stepan Lenkavs’kyi, the responsible leader for propaganda of the TsP OUN(B) invited him to work with the Banderites. In July 1941 M. Duzhyi, who until this time had not supported either the OUN(B) or the OUN(M), filled out an application to join the OUN(B) and agreed to keep Lenkavs’kyi informed about the work of the Prosvita Society and to prevent the OUN(M) and other political forces from exerting influence over it.

After the Germans banned the Prosvita Society in April 1942, Mykhailo Kushnir invited him to work in the cultural section of the Ukrainian Central Committee. In 1941-1942 he maintained contact with the head of the KP OUN ZUZ, Mykhailo Stepaniak, and the editor of the journal Ideia i Chyn, Mykhailo Palidovych («Karpats’kyi»). Duzhyi gave his preliminary agreement to Stepaniak about taking part in the new organization, Revolutionary People’s Liberation Organization (NVRO), to which the latter was planning to invite representatives of various political forces with the goal of consolidating them and expressing the will of the Ukrainian people during the difficult war years. However, this idea was never realized because shortly afterwards Stepaniak was relieved of his post in the TsP OUN and sent to Volyn’.

In the spring of 1944, when it became clear that the communist regime was returning to Western Ukraine, M. Duzhyi faced the question: should he remain in Ukraine or emigrate with the retreating Germans and the Ukrainian Central Committee. At this time various political forces were interested in him, as he was a well known Ukrainian civic activist. In March 1944 V. Sydor invited him to join the UPA, but he refused. In June 1944 Duzhyi was summoned to Gestapo headquarters, where it was suggested that he join the SS Galicia Division and go for training in Czechoslovakia, but he also declined this proposal.

Fearing arrest, M. Duzhyi went into hiding. A few days later, when Mykhailo Medvid’ («Chechkevych,» «Karpovych») the chief of staff of UPA-North, proposed that he join the UPA, he no longer hesitated. Around 20 July 1944 they left for Drohobych oblast, where they joined up with the UPA detachments in the Carpathians.[44] The extracts from the interrogations of M. Duzhyi reflect events from this point onwards. These materials concern the main figures of the UPA, Duzhyi’s participation in the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR), the preparation of UPA publications – the journals Povstanets’ (Insurgent), Ideia i Chyn, Za samostiinu Ukrains’ku Derzhavu (For an Independent Ukrainian State), as well as Boiovyi pravyl’nyk pikhoty (Infantry Combat Statute).

After his arrest M. Duzhyi was under investigation for a long time, at first in L’viv and later in Kyiv. On 4 February 1946 the Military Tribunal of the NKVD troops of Kyiv oblast sentenced him to be shot under articles 54-1a and 54-11 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR.[45] But on 19 April 1946 the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR reviewed this decision and «not finding an absolute necessity to apply the highest degree of criminal punishment to Duzhyi,» commuted his death sentence to twenty years’ imprisonment in corrective labour camps.[46] He was released on 23 April 1955 and returned to L’viv, but died soon after, on 23 May.[47] On 1 June 1993 the prosecutor’s office of L’viv oblast exonerated Mykola Duzhyi.

The next section of the book contains documents from the dossier of Volodymyr Ivanovych Pavlyk («Irka»), the deputy head of the 6th (Peremyshl’) Military Okruha of the UPA. Pavlyk was born in 1915 in the city of Graz (Austria), where his father worked as a railway stoker. Soon after his birth the family moved to Peremyshl’. After graduating from a Polish gymnasium, he studied at the Faculty of Philosophy of L’viv University (1935-1938). There he acquainted himself with OUN publications and was a member of the student brotherhood in Peremyshl’, which was under OUN influence. He took part in organizing a meeting in support of Carpatho-Ukraine’s independence from Hungary. Fearing arrest, Pavlyk left for Czechoslovakia in November 1938 and from there to Austria, where he worked at an aviation plant in the city of Wiener Neustadt.

In January-April 1939 Pavlyk and a group of Ukrainians completed a military training course in Bavaria and later a skiing course in the Alps. In October he was assigned as the senior policeman of a team of security guards at a factory near the city of Braunschweig (Germany), and in December 1939 he was transferred to the city of Stalowa Wola in Poland. In May 1941 he was drafted into the German Army, completed training in the city of Neuhammer, and served in Nachtigal Battalion. After the battalion was disbanded, he took part in training in Frankfurt an der Oder from November 1941 to March 1942 and continued to serve as a commander of a platoon in a company in Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201. In late 1942 he deserted and lived in various places: the town of Syniava in the county of Yaroslav (Poland; until the end of 1943); L’viv (until June 1944); the village of Triitsia in the former county of Dobromyl’ (Poland; until September 1944); the village of Bandriv in Nyzhni Ustryky raion; the village of Halivka; and the village of Rip’iana in Strilky raion of Drohobych oblast.

Pavlyk’s activity in the UPA began in March 1944, after his meeting in L’viv with O. Luts’kyi, who invited him to take part in creating UPA detachments in the Peremyshl’ area, where Pavlyk was a familiar figure to the local inhabitants and had greater chances of successfully accomplishing this mission. This was the guiding principle behind the organization of UPA subunits in Volyn’ (Iu. Stel’mashchuk), Ternopil’ (O. Pol’ovyi), and Subcarpathia (V. Andrusiak). Pavlyk moved to the Peremyshl’ area, established contact with Vasyl’ Halasa («Orlan»), the head of the Peremyshl’ Oblast Leadership of the OUN(B), and set to work.

Pavlyk did not remain long in his position. After the Red Army arrived in the territory of the Peremyshl’ area, in August-September 1944 he abandoned his activity and left for his native village of Bandriv. After three weeks he moved to the village of Halivka, and after three more weeks he went to the village of Rip’iana, where he worked as a teacher in the village public school.[48] It appears that Pavlyk, who had a wife and son to support, and could not and did not want to be in the UPA, wanted to legalize himself and live a peaceful life. However, the Soviet special organs found out about him, and on 21 July 1945 Pavlyk was arrested. Five days later, on 26 July, his wife was also arrested.[49]

. . .

 
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