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Name: Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council. Documents, official publications, papers. Book one: 1944-9145
Volume: 8
Editor in Chief: IE. Shtendera
Co-editor in Chief: P.J. Potichnyj
Editor(s): P.J. Potichnyj
IE. Shtendera
Publication Year: 1980
ISBN (Canada): 0-920092-13-6
Pages Count: 320

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Description

VOLUMES RELATING TO THE SUPREME UKRAINIAN LIBERATION COUNCIL

The purpose of the volumes of Litopys UPA relating to the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR) is to bring together both underground documents and materials of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council itself and works about the policies and activities of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. Each volume will include descriptions of the sources of the materials contained in it, footnotes, explanations, an index of names or persons and places and English-language resumes. In this way, the volumes will serve as reliable and convenient sources of information for researchers and journalists, as well as for readers in general.

The volumes of Litopys UPA relating to the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council will comprise the following types of material: documents of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, official publications of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, and underground articles and materials about the activities of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council or, more generally, about the Ukrainian liberation movement under the leadership of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. The following official publications of the Supreme Ukrainian liberation Council are known to have existed: "Visnyk: the press organ of the Presidium of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR)", which appeared in the years 1944-45; "Samostiynist': the press organ of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR)", the first volume of which appeared in 1946, while the second volume.me, already edited, was seized by the enemy in April, 1948; the bulletin, "Biuro informatsii Ukrains'koi Holovnoi Vyzvol'noi Rady (UHVR)", which appeared from April, 1948, until 1951. The last issue of the bulletin known to have been published, issue No. 9, was dated May, 1951. These official publications will be reprinted without any omissions and all materials will be left in the same order as in original editions. Materials published in the volumes of Litopys UPA relating to the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council will be presented chronologically: for example, materials contained in the first volume pertain to the years 1944 and 1945. In addition to reprinting underground documents and materials relating to the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, the editors of Litopys UPA intend to publish a volume of memoirs and articles about the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. We invite all members of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council residing outside of Ukraine to contribute to this volume, as well as all those who personally participated in the activities of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council in Ukraine and who are able to write about these activities as eye- witnesses.

As materials relating to the history of the UPA, these volumes about the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council hold a key significance for the following two reasons: First, since the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council was the highest leading body of the Ukrainian liberation movement, all these documents and publications. pertain to the whole of the movement, including the UPA. Second, most of these materials relate directly to the UPA or to its battle activities. For example, most of the published decrees of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council deal with promotions of UPA soldiers or with battle decorations of UPA soldiers. Furthermore, publications of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council always included brief accounts of battles and skirmishes waged by UPA detachments or members of the underground. For these reasons, we considered it essential to publish these materials in book form and to supply them with an index of names of persons and places, in order to make this information easily accessible to researchers.

***

Included in the first volume relating to the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council are documents and materials from the years 1944-45, beginning with documents from the First Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. Since among the underground materials from that time there are no articles describing the preparatory work that was done towards the establishment of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council or about the First Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, we are obliged to provide some information on these matters. Further information on this subject will be included in later volumes on the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, and in particular, in the volume containing memoirs of participants.

In the "Platform of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council", it is stated that the Council was established on the initiative of the UPA. Evidence of this initiative on the part of the UPA can already be gleaned from the order issued on August 7, 1943, by the UPA Supreme Command in Volyn' concerning promotions of UPA officers and non-commissioned officers. The order states that the right to promote UPA officers will rest in the hands of "the supreme authority, which has the right to enact laws". ("Order to UPA troops", Litopys UPA, vol. l, p.134). In the earliest orders of the UPA Supreme Command from the time when it was headed by Gen. Roman Shukhevych, there are even specific references to the name of this supreme authority - "the Supreme Liberation Council". For example, "Order No. 3/44", from January 27, 1944, states that the highest decorations Golden Crosses of Battle Merit-"are given by the Supreme Liberation Council on a recommendation by the Supreme Commander of the UPA". (Litopys UPA, Vol. 1, p. 164). Even if we consider only the examples cited above, we must draw the conclusion that both the Volyn' and the later Supreme Commands of the UPA not only displayed initiative for the creation of a nation- wide center to lead the liberation struggle, but took a firm position in favour of the creation of such a center. This is perfectly understandable. From its inception, the UPA was organized as a non-partisan, all-national army; as such, it naturally required a nation-wide political leadership.

Concrete steps towards the establishment of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council were first taken in the spring of 1944, when a Special Initiatory Committee was established for this purpose. In an article entitled "To the Genesis of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council", Gen. Roman Shukhevych describes those steps in the following manner:

In order to fulfill the plan of establishing an all-Ukrainian, nation-wide political center - a plan born within the circles of the UPA Supreme Command in the fall of 1943 - an Initiatory Committee was established in the spring of 1944. The committee immediately began to work intensively towards this goal. (Biuro informatsii Ukrains'koi Holovnoi Vyzvol'noi Rady (UHVR), Vol. 1, No. 2, August: 1948, p. 9).

Since Gen. Shukhevych's article must be regarded as an official and objective elucidation on the part of the underground of various matters relating to the establishment of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, we cite from it further. (The full text of the article will be reprinted in the appropriate volume of Litopys UPA). According to Gen. Shukhevych, the Initiatory Committee adopted the following political platform:

The Initiatory Committee decided to establish a body to represent the Ukrainian people on a democratic basis. Adopting a democratic platform made it possible to include in the leadership of the liberation struggle all honest and worthy Ukrainian patriots, regardless of their party affiliation.

The principal points of the political platform, which was to serve as the basis for the establishment of the new political representation of the Ukrainian people, were as follows: 1. To recognize unconditionally the idea of a united. independent Ukrainian state as the highest ideal of the Ukrainian people; 2. To recognize the revolutionary methods of struggle for an independent Ukrainian state as also appropriate to the liberation struggle: 3. To declare a hostile position towards the forces occupying Ukraine the Muscovite bolsheviks and the Germans; 4. To recognize democracy as the organizational principle of this representative body. (Ibid, p. 11).

In this account of the work of the Initiatory Committee, the author describes the state of political organization among Ukrainians at that time. Apart from the two OUN formations, other political parties were not active, having been smashed.by the Soviets and banned by the Germans. For this reason, the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council had to be composed not of representatives from different political groupings, but of individual people with appropriate records of service in the political or public realms. The Initiatory Committee made every effort to ensure that the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council would include in its ranks representatives from all regions of Ukraine and all political circles which recognized its political platform.

The work of the Initiatory Committee culminated with the First Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, which took place on July II-15, 1944, in a forester's house in the Carpathian Mountains, on the slope of Mount Vydilok, south of the village of Sprynia, in the county of Sambir. The meeting took pace under the guard of UPA detachments. The Grand Assembly formulated and adopted the principal legislative documents of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council - the "Organization", "Platform", and "General Proclamation" of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council - and elected the officers of the Council: Kyrylo Os'mak - President; Vasyl Mudryi, the Rev. Dr. Ivan Hryniokh and Ivan Vovchuk - First, Second and Third Vice-Presidents; Iaroslav Bilen'kyi - General Justice; Gen. Roman Shukhevych - Chairman of the General Secretariat and General Secretary of Military Affairs Mykola Lebed General Secretary of External Affairs. Rostyslav Voloshyn - General Secretary of Internal Affairs; other offices were to be filled later. The Grand Assembly also adopted the oath of allegiance to be taken by UPA soldiers and other documents. The meeting of the Grand Assembly had to be hastened to an end in order to allow participants time to return to their places of work, for just at that time the Red Army was launching a new offensive from the region (of Eastern Halychyna) where the front had been to that time.

***

This volume of Litopys UPA is dedicated to four members of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council - Kurylo Os'mak, Rostyslav Voloshyn, Iosyp Pozychaniuk and the Rev. Dr. Mykola Galiant, who were killed in the years 1944- 45, that is, during the period covered by the materials in this volume. Because this volume is being published on the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Gen. Roman Shukhevych, the Chairman of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council and the Supreme Commander of the UPA, we also dedicate this book to him.

The names of Gen. Roman Shukhevych, Rostyslav Voloshyn and Iosyp Pozychaniuk are widely known. We are printing, in this volume, official notices about the heroic deaths of Rostyslav Voloshyn and Losyp Pozychaniuk, which provide basic information about their lives and activities. We hope that in future volumes of Litopys UPA more space will be given over to these outstanding activists of the Ukrainian liberation movement and the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. With respect to the participation in the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council of the Rev. Dr. Mykola Galiant, all we know is what was written in the short notice about his death that was included in the report, "The situation in Ukraine in 1945", which stated: "Father Mykola Galiant, chancellor of the Lviv Metropolitan Consistory, member of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, died under torture in NKVD dungeons in September, 1945". (Archives of the ZP UHVR [Foreign Representation of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council], M3-2, p. 52). From participants of the Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council we have learned that the Rev. Dr. Mykola Galiant consented to become a member of the Council, but was unable to come to the Grand Assembly. No official notification exists of the death of Kyrylo Osmak and to this time, nothing has been written about him, in spite of the fact that he held one of the most important posts in the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council - he was its President. The following reasons seem to explain this silence. Kyrylo Os'mak fell into the hands of the NKVD late in the fall of 1944; afterwards, he died in prison. The NKVD probably did not realize whom they had arrested, for they did not exploit this "success" in their propaganda against the Ukrainian liberation movement. Quite possibly the underground was uncertain whether President Os'mak was active or dead and for this reason, decided not to write anything about him. We present here a brief biography of Kyrylo Os'mak, based on information provided by another member of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, Vasyl Potishko, who had been a friend of Os'mak's since the era of the Ukrainian Central Rada (1917- 1918).

Kyrylo Os'mak was born about 1900, probably in Kiev. At the time of the revolution, he was a student and an active member of the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary Party. As a representative of that party, he was a member of the Ukrainian Central Rada and took part in the work of its executive bodies. During the period of the Directory, he was active in the government of the Ukrainian National Republic and later, in the insurgent movement. During the 1920s, when there was still relative freedom of action, he was one of the leading activists of the cooperative society movement. He did not come forward during the Soviet amnesties for political activists from the era of the Ukrainian National Republic. After the trials of the SVU (Union for the Liberation of Ukraine), during the period of mass arrests of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and activists of the Ukrainian national liberation movement, Kyrylo Os'mak was arrested by the GPU and sentenced to prison, probably for five years. Upon his release, he returned to Ukraine, but was soon forced to leave the country. To avoid being arrested again, he often had to change his place of residence. With the outbreak of war, he found himself under German occupation and returned to Ukraine, to Kiev. Here he again became an organizer for the cooperative movement. In his public and political activity, he came into contact with activists of the underground OUN - Myron Orlyk, Dmytro Maivskyi and Myroslav Prokop. When the Bolsheviks occupied Kiev, Kyrylo Os'mak went to Lviv, where he found work with the Ukrainian Central Committee (aiding refugees). He continued his political activities in co-operation with representatives of the OUN Leadership and the UPA-Supreme Command. At the Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, Kvrylo Os'mak was elected President.

***

This first volume of Litopys UPA relating to the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council consists of materials and documents from the years 1944-45. In the first chapter we are reprinting the principal legislative documents of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council: "Provisional Organization of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council", "Platform of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council" and "General Proclamation (Universal) of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council" to the Ukrainian people. These documents were adopted by the First Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council on July 11-15, 1944. Also included in this chapter is "The Oath of the Soldier of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army". The wording of the oath was determined and approved by the First Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. We should point out that one of the documents published here, "General Proclamation of the Supreme Ukrainian liberation Council", carried a date earlier than that of the meeting of the First Grand Assembly: it was dated "June, 1944". According to participants of the Assembly, the earlier date was given-in order to mislead the enemy police by creating the impression that the First Grand Assembly had taken place some time before, in June, and that it was thus too late to organize a pursuit of the leading political activists who had gathered for this meeting. There is another interesting aspect to the history of this document: it appeared in underground publications in somewhat differing official and unofficial versions. These different versions came about in the following manner. During the meeting of the Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council there was discussion about the original text of the "Proclamation", which was written by the Rev. Dr. Ivan Hryniokh. Certain changes and additions to the document were proposed and adopted. The definitive test of the "General Proclamation" was to be prepared by a committee for this purpose. However, since the front line was approaching, the Grand Assembly was brought to a hasty conclusion, in order to give the participants time to move away to their places of work in various parts of Ukraine. Some of the participants left before the official text of the "General Proclamation was completed by the committee. Although they did not have the official text, some of the participants of the Grand Assembly nevertheless published the "General Proclamation" in various underground publications or in the form of separate leaflets, using as a basis the original draft and their own notes from the Grand Assembly. In this way, several different versions of this document came into existence - the official one, which was completed by the committee elected at the Grand Assembly as well as unofficial versions. We are reprinting the official text of the "General Proclamation".

In this volume we are also reprinting the "Visnyk: the press organ of the Presidium of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council", No. 4 (7), Vol. 2, August, 1945. This is the only issue of Visnyk known to exist outside of Ukraine. The reprint is made from the second edition of Visnyk, which was 76 pages in length and had the dimensions 25 x 17 cm. It is not known how many issues of Visnyk came out or how long it continued to appear. That there were further issues of Visnyk is evidenced by the brochure by O. Brodovyi, "To the Genesis of the Ukrainian-German War, 1941-44". On the cover of the brochure are the words, "Reprint from the Visnyk of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, No. 2, October, 1945". The fourth issue of Visnyk, which we are reprinting here, was intended for Ukrainians living abroad. Among its most interesting materials are the official appeals to Ukrainians and to Ukrainian soldiers "living abroad" and the explanatory articles by M. V. Radovych, about the genesis of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council, and I. M. Nastasyn, about the political conceptions of the Ukrainian liberation movement. This issue also includes official communiques, materials and official resolutions of the Presidium of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council and the UPA Supreme Command.

This volume also contains underground articles, written in the years 1944-45, which pertain to general questions relating to the Ukrainian liberation movement. The above-mentioned article by O. Brodovyi is an analysis of Ukrainian-German relations, specifically during the time of the last war. Originally, this article was printed in the "Visnyk: the press organ of the Presidium of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council"; later, it was republished as a separate brochure. M.K.'s article, "The Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council", provides information about the birth of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council and analyzes the Council's structure and program on the basis of its principal documents, which were adopted by the First Grand Assembly. The article was published in the press organ of the OUN Leadership, Ideia i chyn, No. 8, 1945, and thus, to a certain extent, reflects the position of the OUN Leadership towards the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council. The article by Iaroslav Starukh ("Iarlan"), "Upior faszyzmu", provides a theoretical analysis of the fascist type of totalitarian state and at the same time, demonstrates that the regime of the USSR is a fascist regime and in many respects even worse than those of European fascist states. Ia. Starukh's article first appeared in Ukrainian in 1945, under the title "The Spectre of Fascism". Later, it was re-issued several times in Ukrainian and also published in the Polish, English, French and Slovak languages. Since we could not locate the Ukrainian text of this article, we are reprinting its Polish translation. The article by Iosyp Pozychaniuk ("D. Shakhai"), "Our Tactics with Regard to the Russian People", was not intended for publication. It was a memorandum written by Pozychaniuk for purposes of discussion on this subject among the leading members of the underground.

We should point out that during the years 1943-44, a wide ranging discussion took place within underground circles concerning a re-evaluation of the political, social, economic, religious and other questions that entered into the program of the Ukrainian liberation movement. No documentation of this discussion exists outside of Ukraine, unless we take into account its results -- later writings by underground publicists and resolutions or decisions taken at underground conferences. In this regard, Iosyp Pozychaniuk's article, or memorandum, is of great value, for it is, perhaps, the only existing evidence that this discussion took place. Since he wrote his article for a small circle of readers, the author paid little heed to language and style and often expressed himself in a harsh and pointed manner, for his chief aim was to clearly express his views and to convince his readers. For anyone researching the development of the political thought of the Ukrainian underground, this article is of great significance. For example, it would be useful to compare this discussion paper with the later article by Osyp Diakiv ("Osyp Hornovyi"), "Our Attitude Towards the Russians" and to determine on which points the two authors are in agreement and on which their opinions diverge.

***

All materials in this volume are reprinting without any omissions. Materials taken from Visnyk are left in the same order as in the original publication. Printing errors, orthographical faults and the most serious linguistic errors are corrected. Any corrections made in the documents are indicated by square brackets or footnotes. The articles by O. Brodovyi, "Iarlan" and "D. Shakhai" required a greater number of linguistic corrections.

The materials and photographs used in this volume were obtained from the Archives of the ZP UHVR (Foreign Representation of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council). The editors sincerely thank the Archives and all individuals who helped to prepare this volume of the Litopys UPA. In particular, we extend our sincere thanks to the following persons: Mykola Lebed, for his help in gathering materials, for photographs taken by him at the First Grand Assembly of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council and for information on various subjects; Vasyl Potishko, for providing information about President Kyrylo Os'mak; Antin Ivakhniuk, for corrections of texts; Volodymyr Makar, for help in proofreading; Mykhailo Pytiura, for his drawings; Zonia Keywan, for doing the translations, Nanna Malyk and Iryna Bilewycz, for retyping often-illegible texts, and Stepan Szpak for preparing the index.


Yevhen Shtendera
Petro J. Potichnyj

 
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