Page 218. UPA na tretiomu etapi
This represents a very astute analysis of the political and military situation in which the UPA-West and the Ukrainian liberation movement found itself after retreat of the German armies from the territory of Ukraine.
The Soviet anti-guerrilla operations were massive. In addition to the Red Army which for three months was blocking the main parts of the territory, some 132,000 internal troops were thrown into battle against the UPA. In addition, in order to utilize the anti-German sentiment of the population, the liberation movement was labelled as the “Ukrainian-German Nationalists”. As well the Soviet “Agentura” made a large effort to penetrate the underground. The police and “military” terror was supplemented by the bacteriological warfare against the population of the region. Arrested people were kept in in cells infected by typhus and when those people became ill they were released back into community. Young girls were captured and given to rapists who were affected by syphlis, and later released into community without treatment.
The military manouvers and anti-guerrilla tactics are also described in detail., as well as arrests, killings, and deportations of the population.
The article also describes the complexity of the Polish-Ukrainian relations in that period.
The strategy and tactics of the Ukrainian liberation movement are also outlined and explained. The UPA undertook to move its units in various reids over different parts of territory both for military and propaganda reasons with a great deal of success. The article describes the reids of kurin (battalion) “Siromantsi” commanded by “Iastrub”, kurin “Pidkarpats’kyi” sommanded by “Hrehit”, zahin (division) “Lemkivshchyna” commanded vy “Ren”, kurin “Berezhanskyi” commanded by “Bodnarenko”, zahin Hrupy “Lysonia” commanded by “Ostap”, kurin “Chortkivs’kyi” commanded by “Hordienko”, kurin “Smertonostsi”, and various smaller units usually of a company strength operating on the territory of the UPA-West.
Page 219. Zahalnyi zvit po zhovten 1945 from 23 November 1945
The beginning of the report states that as of 1 May 1945 Hrupa “Sian” was removed from Hrupa “Buh” and as an independent unit it is subordinated directly to a higher command. Also that as of 1 November the commander of the Group is First Leutenant “Orest” on the basis of an order received by him on 29 October 1945.
From November 1945 kurin is commanded by First Leutenant “Konyk”.
Describes the situation of kurin “Druzhynnyky” 1 which in the Spring of 1945 came into Peremyshl region and underwent demobilization and later on the remobilization of the units. In southern part of TV “Lemko” operated the folloving companies: “Udarnyk-1” commanded by “Bir”, “Udarnyk-2” commanded by “Didyk” , “Udarnyk-3” commanded by “Khrin”. At that time the kurin had 52 killed, among them 3 platoon leaders and 4 squad leaders. From the entire group of 250 members, 95 were sent home.
In Peremyshl region the unit was composed of the following companies: “Udarnyk-4” commanded by “Burlaka”, “Udarnyk-5” commanded by “Hromenko” and “Udarnyk-6” commanded by “Lastivka”. Former company commander “Veselyi” was MIA (missing in Action), and company commander “Buryi” was courtmartialled and suspended.
The report also describes the surrender of 22 UPA soldiers and the heroic stand of “Medic” “Lahidnyi” (Lev Futala), when one of the soldiers betrayed a hideout to Polish Unit.
The report further shows various skirmishes against the Polish Army and police units and describes activities against Polish villages that served as bases for Polish Army, Militia or terrorist groups which were harrasing Ukrainian villages. In addition to Peremyshl region, short reports for Iaroslav (“Zalizniak”) and Kholm (“Iahoda”) are also appended.
The report which has no author was received somewhat skeptically by M. Onyshkevych (“Oleh”) as is shown by his comment at the top-right corner of the report. The comment states: “Who wrote this? Much of this does not correspond to truth! See reports of individual KV” vvykonuiuchyi obov’iazky k-ra Shtabu Hrupy Sian from 1.XI.45 “Oleh”.
Page 220. Istoriia kurenia “Rena”
These memoirs are written by a participant of the unit from its inception on 15 August 1944 which was being formed north of Balyhorod in Lemko region.
The author, Modest Ripeckyj, then a young medical student and a member of the OUN was sent to Lemkivshchyna in order to reconnoiter and to report on the activities of Soviet partizans in that region. His task was very difficult as the OUN network was nearly destroyed by the Gestapo. Utilizing individual contacts the author was able to gather important information but unable to establish contact with his superiors in Lviv, who by then found themselves under Soviet control, the author joined the medical unit of the kurin which was being organized. His story is an eye witness account not only of the “Ren” formation but also attempts to reestablish underground network in the Peremyshl oblast, in which Lemkivshchyna made up one of the Okruhas. A very interesting part of the story was the process of selection of the commanding staff of the unit, training of the formation and finally an attempt to become an official part of the UPA. To that end as a member of the delegation, the author relates the meeting with the Commander of the 5th VO UPA “Makivka” “Dzvinchuk”, Commander of the UPA-West “Shelest” and the Chief of Staff of the UPA High Command Gen. Hrytsai-“Perebyinis”, who were less than enthusiastic to receive under their command such a large military unit under very difficult circumstances of the necessity for this unit to cross the Soviet-German front. In the end they agreed and ordered all UPA units that were located west of Turka to subordinate themselves to “Ren’s” command. Thus the kurin composed of the 4 companies commanded by “Veselyi”, “Burlaka”, “Bulba” and “Iskra” became a zahin when the companies of “Nychai”, “Baida”, “Hromenko”, “Osyp”, “Evhen” and other smaller units joined it.
The author relates various problems and difficulties that the formation faced not only in crossing the frontline (such as the battle with the Hungarian Army), but subsequently by operating in the Soviet occupied territory. Here the formation was split into two kurini one commanded by “Ren” and the other by “Evhen”. Commander “Bulba” received permission to organize a separate unit and to join the UPA forces in his native Zolochiv region., while the OUN Sambir terrain workers under the command of “little Ren” left for their assingments.
The “Ren’s” kurin was now composed of companies commanded by “Veselyi”, “Burlaka”, “Nychai”, and “Baida”. The “Evhen’s” kurin was comprised by the companies of “Hromenko”, former “Bulba’s” now commanded by “Krisovyi”, and “Osyp’s” which was formerly commanded by “Evhen”. While “Ren” took his unit to eastern regions of the Carpathians, “Evhen” was supposed to return into Peremyshl region.
After a battle for the town of Perehinske “Ren” and his unit returned to Lemkivshchyna, but on the way they was encircled by the Soviet units and had to fight a very difficult battle in Storonna in which it sustained heavy casualties. The author describes other skirmishes and battles of the “Ren” unit and ends his memoir by providing an organizational distribution of various units in Lemkivshchyna.
Page 221. Operatyvni zvity poodynokykh viddiliv 1-11, 1945
The report written by “Ren” covers the period when UPA companies returned into terrain afetr successfully crossing the front lines in late 1944. It discusses the battle with Soviet forces in Strubovyska and in Vetlyna of the UPA company led by “Veselyi”. In the latter skirmish commmander “Veselyi” went MIA, which resulted in the dispersal of the company. “Ren” was able to reassemble the unit and gave command to Platoon Leader “Iarych” who came from Peremyshl region. Some two months later the command of the company was given to “Didyk”. In August the company was demobilised and was reassembled only in November 1945.
The origin of “Hromenko” company is given as the end of July 1944, reid with “Lemkivs’kyi” zahin, the battle of Skole, and return to Peremyshl region in October of that year. At that time his unit was demobilised and he was training local Selfdefence units until March 1945. Between April and September there were almost no military activity with the exception of the liquidation of the Polish village Borivnytsia which served as the base for terroristic activities against the Ukrainian settlements. It was only in September and October that under the pressure of deportation of Ukrainians to the USSR various small UPA units and the local Selfdefence units were brought together to form the company again. Later on there are descriptions of battles in Iavirnyk Rus’kyi and in Kuzmyna, a Polish village which was liquidated in October 1945.
Essentially the report discusses the activities of various UPA units that returned to this terrain after crossing the front lines to the east in 1944. The activities of “Veselyi”, “Hromenko”, “Buryi”, “Burlaka”, “Didyk”, “Bir”, “Iar” and “Karmeliuk” companies as well as smaller UPA units such as Platoon of “Horbovyi” are reported on.
Page 223. Zvit orhanizatsiino-mobilizatsiinoho referenta for Nadraion “Beskyd”
This is a report of SKV activities in the period of August-October in the Lemkivshchyna region jointly with the reiding company of “Karmeliuk” and Platoon of “Horbovyi”. It also mentions the attack on village Pelnia under command of “Khrin” who at that time was reassigned to that region.
Page 223. Zvit orhanizatsiino-mobilizatsiinoho referenta Nadraion “Kholodnyi Iar”
The report covers the period from 05.06.45 to 29.12.45, and the activities of the SKV and from October the UPA units in Peremyshl region (“Kholodnyi Iar”). Some of the larger actions were the attack on v. Zhohatyn and the retailatory action against Dyliahova, Silnytsia, Bartkivka, Pavlokoma and Lonchky on 3.10.1945.
Page 223. Zvit pro dii viddiliv, 24.01.46 – 30.07.46
This is an unsigned report about the activities of the following UPA units of TV “Lemko”.
“Udarnyk-1” commanded by “Didyk”;
“Udarnyk-2” commanded by “Orskyi”, “Hromenko”;
“Udarnyk-7” commanded by “Lastivka”;
“Udarnyk-4” commanded by “Burlaka”;
“Udarnyk-5” commanded by “Khrin”;
“Udarnyk-6” commanded by “Iar”;
“Udarnyk-3” commanded by “Bir”;
The company commanded by “Myron”;
The company commanded by “Karmeliuk”.
Of the major battles, the report mentions attack on town of Bircha on 07.01.1946 where the UPA lost 23 killed, including “Konyk” and “Orskyi” and 22 wounded, and in village Limna where “Burlaka” suffered 11 killed. The report also records a number of atrocities committed by Polish Army on the Ukrainian population of the region and various UPA actions designed to prevent deportations of Ukrainians to the USSR.
Page 224. Druzhe Komandyr
It is a report of a newly appointed Commander of the UPA VO-6 “Sian” Myroslav Onyshkevych (“Bilyi”) from his inspection tour of TV “Lemko” to Commander of UPA-West “Shelest”. In it he describes the organizational matters in the area and the activities of TV commander “Ren” and his deputy “Konyk”. The report explains the demobilization phase of the UPA in early 1945, and the creation of larger units in the latter period of that year. The report mentions that Onyshkevych was able to establish contact with all commanders in the region and to issue instructions and orders for their activities. He ordered that one copy of all reports from TV “Lemko” be send to Commander “Shelest”. He also informs “Shelest” that he will move to TV “Bastion” in order to continue his inspection tour.
Page 428. Operatyvni zvity TV “Lemko”. December 1945 - July 1946.
These reports provide detailed information on all activities of the UPA units in the TS “Lemko”, battles, skirmishes, and ambushes, including on situation of personnel, numbers, health, casualties and equipment. All major encounters are illustrated by 45 Operational diagrams. The numbers and activities of the Polish Army, Militia (Police), and local Polish armed detachments are also provided. This is a rich source of information on the situation in Lemko and Peremyshl regions in 1945 and 1946.
Page 520. Operatyvni zvity poodynokykh viddliliv. August 1945 - March 1947
These are detailed reports of individual UPA units. Here predominate descriptions of separate battles and skirmishers which provide greater details than the Operational Reports of TS “Lemko”, such as the attacks on the town of Bircha and village of Kuzmyna (22.10.45), battles of Iaselko (23.3.46), Vysochany, Kozhushne, Mokre (26.4.46), Seredne Velyke, Luhova (20.3.46), Mokre (19.3.45), Volkovyia (14.7.46), Iavirnyk Rus’kyi (24.7.46), and three reports, on Khotsen (19.1.46), and Mykiv (8.10.46). Here we also find a fragment of a report on the activities of kuren “Pidkarpatskyi” commanded by “Prut” in Peremyshl and Lemko region, and short reports of the reid into Slovakia by a subunit of “Myron’s” company (2.9.45). A report “Viddily UPA ne kapituliuiut’”) describes actions of “Khrin” unit in Hichvytsia (1-2.5.46), as well as, of “U-1”, “U-3”, “U-4”, “U-5”, “U-7”, “Myron” units, and especially destruction of bridges and communication lines in order to stem deportations of Ukrainian population.
“Opys herois’koi postavy politvykhovnyka “Lahidnoho” (Lev Futala)”, describes how on 20.8.45, an UPA platoon was ambushed by the Polish unit, and all of its soldiers surrendered except for one who escaped and “Lahidnyi” who, although wounded, resisted until evening, and in the process after killing several enemy soldiers, was also able to escape.
This section also contains “Chronicles” of companies comanded by “Khrin” (5.11.45-30.3.46), “Stakh” (1.6.-31.12.46), “Burlaka” (16.1.-28.2.46, 3.10.-23.12.46, 2.2.-28.2.47, 1.3.-31.3.47), and “Krylach” (1.3.-31.3.47).
A very interesting letter from “Khrin” to “Orest” of 27.1.46 describes the massacre of Zavadka Morokhivs’ka by a Battalion of Polish troops in which, as a preliminary estimate, he reports some 68 women, children and old people killed. He also reports that in a pitched battle of previous day in the same vicinity between the Polish Army and the UPA unit commanded by him, Polish casualties numbered some 80 soldiers.
Page 577. Instruktsii, nakazy, lystuvannia.
This section contains a number of orders, instructions and correspondence of “Lir” (Iaroslav Starukh), Leader of Zakerzonnia, maj. Myroslav Onyshkevych (“Oleh”), commander of VO-6 “Sian” and maj. Vasyl M. Mizernyi (“Ren”), commander of TS “Lemko”.
The most important order of “Lir” (9.9.45), gives instructions on countermeasures to forcible deporatations of Ukrainians and in a special supplement explicitly forbids burning and destruction of Polish habitations and limits this activity to Ukrainian villages whose population has been forcibly deported to the USSR. His other undated instruction concerning deportations entitled “Druzhe!”, probably from the same period, and signed “h”, criticises a flood of instructions pertaining to deportations which remain on paper and which are not followed in practice.
The Order Nr. 4/46 (1.11.46) of commander of VO-6 “Sian” – “Oleh”, contains extracts from the Order Nr. 17 of 1 January 1946 by commander of UPA-West “R. Shelest” which recommends not to engage the enemy aggresively during winter months, and to limit raids to tactical necessities rather than the usual propaganda activity. In addition the Order requires that VOs and TSs provide geographical-strategic characteristic of the terrain, and the future tactics in consideration to terrain relief, population and “occupiers”, addreses question of discipline, commendations and rewards, recruitment and transfer of the command personnell, and political education of troops.
As well, it announces that a Bronze Cross of Military Valour was awarded on 1.1.46 to “Iahoda” TS commander and “Shum” and “Bis”, company commanders in VO-6.
The Order further announces the transfer of Company commander “Didyk” to staff duty at the TS and assigns “Brodych” to take over Company 94.
Transfers “Lys” from Company 100 (TS “Bastion”) to the function of Warrant Officer of Company 98, appoints “Krylach” Company Commander of Company 96a (TS “Lemko”), appoints “Kalynovych” Commander of Company 97, and “Tucha” Commander of Company 98. Also, transfers “Iar” Commander of Company 98a to staff duties at VO Headquarters after his company was dispersed among other units in October 1946, and appoints “Kruk” Commander of Company 97b, and “Sokil” a Platoon Commander of Company 100. The Order is signed by “Oleh” and “Dubrovnyk”, his Chief of Staff.
The Order Nr. 6/I/47 (22.1.47) of “Oleh” which contains extracts from “Zamok” Order Nr. 19 (1.6.46), and in particular, confirms decorations and promotions of officers.
A fragment of an instructions which shows corelations between military ranks and military functions, and request to nominated also those who fell on a Field of Glory.
The Proposed Posthumous Nominations, Decorations and Promotions of military personnell in TS “Lemko” dated 5.2.46.
The Order Nr. 1/46 (22.4.46) of “Ren” TS “Lemko” releaves Commander “Didyk” from command of Company U-94 because of ill health. Order Nr. 2/46 (28.4.46), appoints Commander “Brodych” Commander of Company U-94. Order Nr. 3/46 (15.6.46) offers harsh criticisms of the behaviour of some commanders as well as soldiers of various units of TS “Lemko”. Some of the problems mentioned are the improper behaviour of soldiers with respect to members of the civilian underground network and the population at large, alcoholism, desertions, plunder, improper care for wounded, lack of conspiratory methods, inadequate political education, and improper and late reporting.
The letters of “Oleh” to “Hromenko” (16.3.46 and 9.6.46), “Burlaka” (16.3.46 and 3.6.46), “Zenko” (9.6.46), and “Khrin” (1.11.46), raise various matters such as appointments, discipline and military activities. The letter to “Khrin” discusses various disagreements between him and the underground administrative leadership. The letter of “Ren” to “Oleh” (3.11.46) reports on various appointments and events in TS “Lemko”, and a letter of “Oleh” to “477” (“Ren”) (22.10.46), criticizes various reports that were sent to him from TS Commander or his subordinates.
The various letters from “Ren” to “Oleh” which indicate a number of reports and situational diagrams that were sent by the TS Commander.
The instructions of “Ren” on “How to write a monthly military report” (30.8.45) with a hand written note from “Bilyi” (“Oleh”, “Orest”), “ in agreement with my instructions”.
The undated and unsigned “Program of a 3-week military retraining of “kushch orhmoby” (organization-mobilization leaders of a group of villages), gives a detailed schedule of military training of recruiting and leadership personnel of the village self-defense units.
Page 712. Reidy UPA
This section contains reports of the UPA raids on the territory of TS “Lemko”, in Krynytsia region, in Slovakia, in Polish territories of Peremyshl region, and the Great Raid of the UPA units to Western Germany in 1947 written by the Platoon Leader of “Hromenko” company, Mykhailo Ozymko (“Zalizniak”).
The report about the raid in Krynytsia region gives interesting information about the situation of Ukrainian population in this territory during the months of November-December, 1945, a a detailed description of villages after the resettlement action, but also talks about difficult organizational dillemmas, that the underground must solve in this westernmost part of the Ukrainian ethnic territory.
This is followed by detailed reports of Commanders “Myron”, “Karmeliuk” and “Taras” (U-6), about the raids in Slovakia, followed by a report about the meeting of “Khrin’s” company with the soldiers and officers of the Czechoslovak Army, and descriptions of several reids of platoons of “Hromenko” company in Polish areas of Peremyshl region.
The memoir of the Platoon Leader Mykhailo Ozymko (“Zalizniak”) is valuable because it shows a difficult situation in which the UPA units found themselves during the Akcja Wisla on the terrain of the Tactical Sector “Lemko”. He ends his memoir with the entry for June 30, 1947, having described in detail the previous 28 days of the march of “Hromenko” company in Slovakia, which after heavy fighting with the Polish Army and harrassment by the Czechoslovak troops with heavy losses (from 140 men only 36 came to Germany as an organized unit), nevertheless made it to Germany and surrendered its weapons to United States occupational authorities on September 11, 1947.
Page 757. Pidstarhynska shkola im. Polk. “Konyka”
This section contains various materials that pertain to the operation of the “Konyk” Non-Commisioned Officers School that was set up in Peremyshl region in May and functioned until mid July 1946.
The first document is a Draft School Programme to last for 36 days or 360 hours of continuos training with an outline of field and theoretical subjects to be covered in the school.
The second document is a report of the subjects that were taught in the school between 8.6.-1.7.1946, (Zaluchnyk Nr. 1), the military units from which the candidates were recruited, and the military equipment and food posessed by the school. The report is illustrated by a diagram of school’s dislocations and battles with the Polish forces.
The Orders Nrs. 1-3, represent the Official statement on the opening of the school (3.5.46), daily schedule of the school (3.5.46), and the organizational division of the school (3.5.46), all three of them signed by “Baturyn”.
This is followed by an Operation report (1.7.46) signed by “Zenko” and a Situational diagram of the battle with the Non -Commisioned Officers School of the Polish Army, which took place on 27.6.46 near the villages of Kormanychi, Brylyntsi, Rokshychi and Koniusha of Peremyshl region. In this battle members of the school “Dovhyi” and “Tuhar”, were killed.
Zaluchnyk Nr. 7 repeats some of the details of the Operational report. Appended to it, but not a part of the Zaluchnyk is a partial list of successful candidates and a list of 20 who did not complete the school.
This is followed by a list (Spysok) of successful candidates that completed the training, with their date of birth, previous education, previous military service, length of service in the UPA, the UPA unit, final examination results, the order of completeion, and the recommended rank. Of 110 members, the school was completed by 90 candidates, while 20 failed to pass.
The Order Nr. 6, (30.6.46), signed by “Zenko” declares the closing of the school and the reassignment of personnel to their former units.
The last two items are a Report (31.8.46), of Commander of TV “Lemko” “477” (“Ren”) to Commander VO “Sian” (“Oleh”), and the reply (15.9.46), of “Oleh” to “Ren”. Among other things the report discusses the completion of the “Konyk” NCO School, the appointment of Commander “Baida” as an inspector for the Peremyshl region, several battles with the Polish Army in Lemkivshchyna, and various security matters. The reply of “Oleh” states that all reports have reached him, and complains about the affair of “Vuiko” who pretended to be a physician, and that improper moves on the part of local authorities make it difficult to investigate the affair properly. “Oleh” expresses surprise at the incompetent handling of a military security by “Khrin” in village Khotsen, which resulted in personnel loses in the battle with the Polish Army.