In the first years after the end of the Second World War units of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) carried out a series of propaganda raids on the territory of Slovakia (Czechoslovak Republic; CSR). These raids, which had immense political and social signifi cance, triggered the Czechoslovak army’s largest military operation in the postwar period. In certain aspects, these raids overwhelmed the security measures that were implemented in connection with the liquidation of the UPA’s operations in the CSR. The UPA’s penetration into Slovakia between spring 1945 and spring 1946 had an explicitly political goal and took the form of propaganda raids. Although the third round of UPA raids into the CSR in 1947 had a political subtext, it was primarily a military question, and the potential political impact on the domestic political development of Czechoslovakia gradually accrued to it. Thus, the docu-ments that focus on the UPA’s operations on the territory of the CSR are an extremely rich source of information and an invaluable aid to under-standing various important aspects of this question. These archival materials are especially interesting in that they are help-ing researchers to become aware of the forms and methods of the national liberation struggle, particularly its military and political aspects, which was waged by the UPA, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), and the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR) in the Ukrainian ethnographic lands. The raids that were organized from southeastern Poland into the CSR by UPA detachments, whose goals were to conduct anti-Soviet and anti-communist propaganda, draw attention to the Ukrainian armed resistance movement and, later, cross the territory of Czechoslovakia to the American Zone of Occupation in Germany in 1947, are refl ected in Czech and Slovak army and security service documents. These archival materials, which are slowly fi lling the information vacuum, are crucial to a thorough study of questions relating to the UPA’s operations in Eastern and Central Europe.From the Czech and Slovak standpoints, the documents that reveal the activities of the UPA in the CSR in 1945–1948 shed light on the mili-tary aspect of the measures which were implemented in order to liqui-date the UPA in Czechoslovakia. In a broader context, they are also an important component in the study of the situation in those years and the socialist republic’s domestic political development—particularly in Slovakia—during the critical postwar period. At the same time, they are crucial to the study of the military structures and security apparatus of the CSR—their status, forms of ensuring the stabilization of security in the republic—as well as the protection and security of the state borders, etc. For many decades these documents were inaccessible to the public. Their publication will help preclude the conceptualization of often frivolous statements and opinions, especially in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which for many decades have been characterized by a one-sided and stereotypical ap-proach to questions relating to the UPA (and often ignoring broader interconnections both in historiography and political essay writing).
* * * * *
Volume 48 of the Litopys UPA is the first of two volumes devoted to UPA activities on the territory of Slovakia in 1945–1946, as revealed in Slovak and Czech documents. The documents featured in this first volume cover the period from the first UPA propaganda raid into eastern Slovakia (August–September 1945)—to the end of the second raid (April 1946), as well as to late September 1946. The second volume will focus on the third penetration by UPA units into the CSR in 1947, captured UPA soldiers, and the investigation of their activities by a state commission of the CSR that was created in 1947–1948. The division of this large topic into two time periods is dictated, above all, by the huge quantity of documentary ma-terial stored in the archives of Slovakia and the Czech Republic: literally thousands of archival documents are located in the collections of several archival institutions in these two neighboring republics.