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Heroes and Villains

David R. Marples

Chapter 7. Writing New History in Ukraine

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1This chapter examines the emergence of new history in Ukraine, as well as the issue of the rehabilitation of the OUN and UPA, which has been taken on as a goal by the government of President Viktor Yushchenko. The intention is to ascertain the degree to which—after 15 years of independence—Ukraine has changed the way it looks at the recent past, particularly the events cited in this study that are so controversial, painful, and remain in people’s memories. It begins with school textbooks, a prime indicator of how a new generation of Ukrainian citizens will perceive its past, and examines the interpretations of the Famine, and those of the Second World War and afterward. It continues with an overview of Ukrainian thinking about the Second World War in general, and the way that this war is commemorated in the country today. In what ways, for example, is this occasion different from that of the Soviet period, when Victory Day (9 May) constituted one of the main holidays in the Soviet calendar? What questions are being raised about the commemoration and to what degree has the Ukrainian government continued past traditions or tried to change them as part of the new image of Ukraine? The later focus of the chapter is devoted exclusively to the issue of the wartime insurgent movement and the most recent debates and narratives in the media and in academic writing.

2The discussions have occurred amid a background of profound political change in Ukraine, a period of turmoil and crisis that at the time of writing was far from over. Much has been written about the Orange Revolution of 2004, when mass protests in the streets of Kyiv successfully overturned an official election result that would have seen Leonid Kuchma’s Prime Minister, and designated choice as successor, Viktor Yanukovich, elected president. Instead, in a repeated second round, the winner was opposition leader and head of the Our Ukraine party, Viktor Yushchenko. That election was marred by the attempted poisoning of Yushchenko, the intrusion into the campaign of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and an attempted separatist breakaway movement in the eastern regions of Ukraine, particularly the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, where the Orange triumph was perceived as the result of Western influence on Ukrainian political life. With the victory of Yushchenko, Ukraine appeared committed to joining the EU and other European structures, as well as the military organization of NATO. In many ways, Ukraine appeared to leave the Russian orbit altogether and embark on a new course under the leadership of Yushchenko, and another pivotal figure in the Orange Revolution, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. This change of regime, had it remained in place, might have acted to further amend the official conceptions of the past as it appeared to signal that at last the country would rid itself of the problematic legacies of the Soviet period: former Communists in power; corruption at the highest levels of government; oligarchs controlling key commodities; and uncertainty about the national image and future strategies. The inauguration of Yushchenko as president of Ukraine in January 2005 therefore appeared to herald a fundamental shift in Ukrainian politics and outlook.

3Some eighteen months later, the new government came unraveled. It took just nine months before the Cabinet headed by Tymoshenko was dismissed as a result of internal bickering and disagreement over policies, particularly the privatization of large companies. Yushchenko acted as an executive-style president and declined to delve deeply into the corruption and misdeeds of his predecessor and his prominent officials. This live-and-let-live policy resulted in a public image as an indecisive leader, and during the parliamentary elections of March 2006, Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine found itself in third place. Leading the polls was the Party of Regions led by the once disgraced Yanukovich, who had substantial backing from the wealthy Donets’k oligarch, Renat Akhmetov. Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc came in a clear second. Four months of wrangling followed as groups sought to put together a ruling coalition. Initially it appeared that an Orange coalition was again feasible and that Tymoshenko would return as Prime Minister. However, the defection of the Socialist Party, led by Oleksandr Moroz, rendered this impossible. Moroz received the position of Speaker of Parliament and joined a new coalition headed by the Party of the Regions, and also featuring as members of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Yushchenko then had 15 days to contemplate the prospect of Yanukovich returning as Prime Minister. Ultimately his Our Ukraine faction joined the new coalition, and Yanukovich, Yushchenko, and Moroz signed a new Declaration of National Unity, by which the signatories agreed to continue the course outlined by the president in the direction of Europe and Yanukovich agreed to abandon his policy of promoting Russian to the status of a second state language. On the issue of NATO, Ukraine decided not to join without a national referendum and the public currently is opposed to membership.

  • 1 Yaroslav Hrytsak, “On the Relevance and Irrelevance of Nationalism in Ukraine,” Second Annual Stas (...)

4So where does this leave Ukraine? Its position is uncertain and in some ways it seems no further ahead in resolving the problem of regionalism than it has been in the past. In virtually every election for president, Western Ukraine has voted for one candidate and Eastern Ukraine for another. The diametrically opposite attitudes to elections, to policies, and to the historical past have been illustrated in an article by historian Yaroslav Hrytsak, which compares viewpoints in the cities of L’viv and Donets’k.1 L’viv is Ukrainian speaking, oriented toward Europe, and in the most recent presidential election provided the firmest supporters of Yushchenko; Donets’k is Russian speaking, oriented toward Russia, and the political base of Yanukovich. The situation is not so straightforward, however, because Yanukovich is avowedly pro-Europe, particularly in business dealings. Nevertheless, the comparison is useful because these two parts of Ukraine are also on opposite sides when it comes to constructing a national history and the way in which history should be written. National historians, writers, politicians, and polemicists maintain that modern history includes a genocidal famine, inflicted by the Moscow government on Ukraine, and that the wartime period witnessed a national liberation movement for Ukrainian independence headed by the OUN and UPA. In this perception they have the widespread support of Ukrainians in the West. The opposite view can certainly be found in places like Donets’k. Here the memory of the Soviet period is quite different. Many still deny the existence of the Famine as an act of genocide, ironically, in that this is the territory in which it occurred. There is also a continuing tendency to regard the OUN and UPA as traitors and collaborators. In terms of reanalyzing recent history, however, deep changes have already taken place despite the uncertain political direction of the country, and we will now examine them in turn.

School Textbooks

  • 2 Oleksandr Marushchenko, “Ukraina v Druhii svitovii viini: istoriohrafichni doslidzhennya 90h rokiv (...)

5This survey of school textbooks is not intended to be comprehensive but rather to provide a general overview of what has been written recently in Ukraine about the events under discussion. Many of them either did not appear in Soviet textbooks or, if they did, the narrative was distorted to fit the ideological line prevailing at the time. Clearly there have been some new and innovative approaches to historiography in Ukraine. In an article published in 2000, Oleksandr Marushchenko provides an analysis of such new methods and highlights some of the thinking of the new historiographers, beginning with M. Koval’. It was Koval’, says Marushchenko, who maintained the necessity of reevaluating Soviet historiographic approaches to the events of the Second World War in a new and objective fashion. Koval’ felt it essential to reanalyze the reasons why the Soviet armed forces were so poorly prepared for the German invasion. Further, he suggested a new interpretation of events in Ukraine in 1943-44, such as the suggestion that Soviet forces “occupied” rather than “liberated” Ukrainian territories during the course of the war. He also wanted a debate on terminology and definitions used to refer to some of the wartime events and some changes in phraseology. For example, should one refer to the period 1941-45 as the Great Patriotic War or the German- Soviet war? The “national liberation” movement in Ukraine should be considered, in Marushchenko’s view, as a civil war led by the Ukrainian people against foreign occupants, and this would mean re-periodizing the war beyond the Soviet stereotype.2

  • 3 Ibid.

6The article then introduces the views of V. Stetskevych, who authored a book on the Second World War published in Dnipropetrovs’k in 1992. Stetskevych contends that Second World War history should be regarded as part of the history of the Ukrainian people, rather than war history per se. The people, in turn, should be perceived in their entire context, with all political and social divisions rejected. This approach is described as “humanistic” or “anthropocentric.” The overall goal is to seek a national ideology orientation that would help to consolidate the nation. In short, Stetskevych proposes to use history for nation-building. I. Pavlenko, on the other hand, carried out a critical analysis of how Soviet historians interpreted the history of the war, and he makes five conclusions. First, Soviet history characterized the Ukrainian national liberation movement as “treacherous,” “criminal,” and “bourgeois-nationalist.” Second, historical writings were of a propagandistic rather than of a research character. Third, the use of archives and other sources was strictly limited. Fourth, the interpretation of available materials was superficial; and lastly the significance and scale of the armed clashes between members of the “national liberation” forces and the Red Army was deliberately played down. A. Podols’kyi’s focus is on the Holocaust, and he has suggested that a new, generalized research needs to be undertaken on the fate of Ukrainian Jews during the course of the war. Marushchenko’s article also makes brief references to some writings published by members of the Ukrainian Diaspora and states that the efforts of Ukrainian historiographers, both at home and abroad, should be used for a revised version of the history of the Second World War.3 These ideas have already been fruitfully applied to some of the new textbooks for schools that are appearing in Ukraine, which for the first time are discussing in depth the issues of the Stalin period.

  • 4 Nancy Popson, “The Ukrainian History Textbook: Introducing Children to the ‘Ukrainian Nation’,” Na (...)
  • 5 Viktor Mysan, Opovidannya z istorii Ukrainy (Kyiv: Heneza, 1997), pp. 174-179.

7One can begin the survey of textbooks with a short monograph written for students in grade five by Viktor Mysan, the second edition of which was published in 1997, and which has been cited earlier in conjunction with the important article by Nancy Popson.4 The topics are neatly divided into subject areas and the explanation of events is clear and simple, but also in its own way quite ideological. Mysan devotes five pages to the Famine of 1932-33, writing that peasants joined collective farms “with pain and terror.” Those who did not wish to join were labelled kulaks and branded as enemies of the people. Millions were sent to Siberia. He writes that the 1932 harvest was no worse than earlier years but special food detachments came to the villages and confiscated everything. There are then two short sections on the same topic. Un-der the heading “It is interesting to know,” Mysan writes that historians to date have been unable to determine the number of deaths from the famine, which is somewhere between 3.5 million and 8-9 million people. The “Holodomor” is one of the worst tragedies of Ukraine. Soviet power kept silence about the existence of the Famine and did not provide any help to the population. It also refused help from abroad. The second section is entitled “Genocide” and seems unrelated to the earlier narrative. It is also ambivalent, stating that the Famine was a black page on the history of Ukraine but that it also affected other former peoples of the USSR. Mysan also describes the Purges and maintains that Ukraine was the worst affected by these also. As in the years of the Holodomor, children suffered the most. The author ends this section as follows: “Remember this! You—the young part of the Ukrainian people. Our people endured famine, were sent to Siberia, perished, and were shot. But they lived and will continue to live!”5

  • 6 Ibid., pp. 179-181.

8Concerning the start of the Second World War, Mysan states that the population of Western Ukraine greeted the Soviet army happily, but the new Soviet order brought the creation of collective farms, a ban on religion, and punished those people who wished to see a free Ukraine. The Bolsheviks were occupiers rather than liberators. Yet “from the first days” of the war the Ukrainian people began to struggle against the plunderers [the Germans] and Partisan units, and underground organizations rose up.6

  • 7 Ibid., pp. 188-190.

9Already the book would surely confuse the average 10-year-old because the author makes no distinction between the Soviet Partisans and the UPA, other than to state that the UPA fought on two fronts until the end of military operations because its members did not want either Fascists or Russian Bolsheviks on Ukrainian lands. Earlier he has provided examples of Ukrainian Partisans so the appellation of Bolshevik clearly does not apply to people like Sydir Kovpak. The apparent confusion is then heightened by the statement that at the end of October 1944, Ukraine was liberated from “Fascist bandits” and 9 May is a day of happiness. Remember this! He tells the pupils, the deaths of millions of people brought this victory. Finally, he adds that for residents of Western Ukraine, the postwar period was complex because units of the UPA actively resisted the Soviet regime. Family members of UPA soldiers were arrested and sent to Siberia and the Far East. For a long time the UPA warriors were known as Banderivtsi, but it should be remembered, Mysan writes, that the insurgents were on their own land and had no wish to give up this territory. They led a liberation war because they protected their lands and families, and did not want to live “under Bolshevik slavery.” Once they were defeated, in the second half of the 1950s, Russification was imposed on Ukraine. In the postwar years, many people did not comprehend that it was necessary for Ukraine to build its own independent state.7 The logical question that arises is that if the Bolsheviks represented slavery then why is 9 May a day of happiness for Ukraine? There is also no clear relationship between the heroic Ukrainian Partisans and the Soviet occupation forces. For the pupils, there is then a considerable gap in their knowledge of Ukrainian history because after the comments on the UPA, the next topic is the Chornobyl dis-aster of 1986!

  • 8 F. H. Turchenko, Novitnaya istoriya Ukrainy: Chastyna persha 1917-1945 (Kyiv: Heneza, 1998), pp. 2 (...)

10F. H. Turchenko has written a new history of Ukraine for the tenth grade that provides a more detailed outline of the 1932-33 Famine. The Famine is described as one of the worst atrocities of Stalinism against the Ukrainian people, and the reason for it is cited as punishment for those villages that refused to accept the new kolkhoz system at the start of collectivization. State procurements drained the lifeblood of the villages, and famine arose as a result. The peasants were then too weak physically to carry out spring sowing for 1932. There was also a lack of order on the farms and the peasants were disinterested in working on them. Because of low-quality threshing of the cultivated crop, part of the areas sown perished. All these “unnatural causes” brought about the tragedy of the Ukrainian peasantry, despite the fact that the 1932 harvest was only 12 % less than the average for 1926-30. Turchenko cites the 7 August 1932 law about the theft of socialist property. He also de-scribes the extraordinary commissions, headed by Molotov, that were sent into the villages and regions that allegedly sabotaged grain procurements. Attention is paid to the role of P. Postyshev as Stalin’s plenipotentiary in Ukraine and the repressions in the Ukrainian Communist Party. The partystate apparatus based in Moscow knowingly doomed peasants to their death before starting to provide some aid in May-June 1933. Turchenko concurs that the number of deaths has yet to be established and that figures are in the range of 3-4.5 million people—a lower range than in many other works. The Holodomor was entirely the creation of the Stalin leadership, in his view. The empty villages were replenished with new settlers who came mainly from Russia.8 What Turchenko fails to do is address in any way the concept of genocide or to explain the ethnic dimensions of the Famine. There is no indication here of why the regime caused the Famine other than the Ukrainian opposition to collective farms. Thus this interpretation retains something of the original Soviet version of events, at least in the description of collectivization.

  • 9 Volodymyr Lytvyn, Valerii Dmolii, and Mykola Shapovatyi, Ilyustrovana istoriya Ukrainy (Kyiv: Al’t (...)
  • 10 Ibid., pp. 189, 204-205, 217, and 226.

11The lavishly illustrated history of Ukraine edited by Volodmyr Lytvyn and others leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that the 1932-33 Famine was an organized act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. It is described as a physical assault and an attack on people’s consciousness. After the Famine, the authors write, Ukraine in effect became a colony of Moscow. The “genocide” also embraced North Caucasus, the home of over 3 million Ukrainians, with the Kuban and Don regions suffering especially.9 The book covers the background to the formation of the OUN—though inexplicably it states that the organization arose from the ashes of the UVO and was led by A. Mel’nyk (rather than Konovalets’). The OUN-B is assigned the key role of liberation movement during the war years and there is no mention of its earlier harmonious relations with the Germans. Though there is no reference to the SS Division Halychyna, there is a photograph of its members marching down a street bearing a large swastika flag and carrying SS emblems that is more damning than any text. There are also numerous photographs of key figures on the Soviet side, such as T. Strokach and S. Kovpak. In Western Ukraine after the war, the authors write, the population remembered well the methods of Stalin, Sovietization and repressions, and either joined the UPA or sympathized with it. The insurgency controlled—more or less—some 150,000 square kilometers of territory, and it cites official figures on the number of people arrested and deported. It includes a photograph of the statue of UPA leader Roman Shukhevych in the village Tyshkivtsi (Ivano-Frankivs’k oblast), UPA leaflets, and the statue to UPA members from the Bukovyna region in Chernivtsi oblast.10 In this way, the book offers a partial acknowledgement of the Soviet contribution to the war, but adheres firmly to the perspective that the OUN-B and UPA were national liberation movements, from which are excluded the activities of the SS Division Halychyna.

  • 11 O. D. Boyko, Istoriya Ukrainy (Kyiv: Akademvydav, 2003), pp. 398-399.

12In a more recent account, O. D. Boyko provides a section on the “Causes of the Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933.” He points out that historians have failed to reach a consensus on this question. Western historians have a tendency to cite national-political factors. He cites James Mace’s explanation that Moscow wanted to curb the spread of Ukrainian nationalism among the peasantry as this was a threat to its imperial interests. Thus Stalin, Kaganovich, Postyshev, and others planned in Moscow the destruction of the Ukrainian peasants as the most nationally conscious sector and tried to realize this goal in Ukraine by means of the mass famine of 1932-33. This position is supported by Robert Conquest and by French researcher Alain Bezancon who focuses on the planning behind the operation. On the other hand, Boyko writes, some Russian, Ukrainian, and Western historians (V. Danilov, N. Ivnyts’kyi, V. Marochko, N. Werth, and others) consider that the Famine resulted from various social and economic causes, first and foremost the enforced grain procurements that were unwarranted and based on coercive policies in the countryside. Boyko then states his view that the most acceptable position is that of the collective authorship of the monograph “Stalinism in Ukraine” (V. Danylenko, H. Kas’yanov, and S. Kul’chyts’kyi), who have explored the diverse perceptions and analyzed available sources and reached the conclusion that the various hypotheses need to be combined to come up with the correct analysis, that both economic and political factors lay at the root of the tragedy. Still, the researchers have been unable to come up with a firm figure of the number of victims. Conquest cites 5 million deaths; Werth from 4 to 5 million; and Kul’chyts’kyi 3.5 million. The data of V. Tsaplin, on the other hand, indicate 2.9 million deaths in 1933 alone. Many of the deaths could have been avoided had Stalin offered help, this author states.11

  • 12 F. H. Turchenko, P. P. Panchenko, and S. M. Tymchenko, Novitnaya istoriya Ukrainy, Part 1: 1939-20 (...)

13Turchenko, cited above, together with P. P. Panchenko and S. M. Tymchenko, published another history textbook in 2001, the second part of which covers the period after 1939. The early section of the book deals with the Soviet annexation of Western Ukraine at the outset of the Second World War in September 1939. The authors note that the population of Western Ukraine, hoping that all would turn out well, offered a warm greeting to the Red Army. Soviet propaganda declared that the Red Army had crossed the border in or-der to forestall a Nazi occupation. In conditions where the population was completely ignorant of the secret agreement between Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union, this propaganda had a significant psychological impact on local Western Ukrainians. They hoped for a reunion with the “East Ukrainian brothers,” and the image of the Soviet soldier as a liberator was enhanced by the longstanding Polish-Ukrainian animosity in the region. The authors point out that many of the omens for the change of ruler were good: the Ukrainian national intelligentsia welcomed the spreading of a network of Ukrainian schools, higher educational institutes switched to the Ukrainian language, and the L’wow Jan Kazimierz University became known as the L’viv Ivan Franko University. The opera theater began to function in Ukrainian and was renamed the Theater of Opera and Ballet “Ivan Franko.” Ukrainian newspapers also began to appear. However, the new authorities also brought with them a system of acute political terror. The NKVD eliminated political parties, including the Prosvita Society, which had been very popular. Its leaders, like many others, were declared “enemies of the people” and imprisoned. Wholesale arrests followed, including of lawyers, bank managers, the leaders of cooperative societies, priests, and middle and richer peasants.12

  • 13 Ibid., pp. 8, 25.

14Along with the more prominent officials, the three authors continue, students and pupils of senior classes were also arrested and without any trial they were interned and later deported to the eastern regions of the USSR. This was done to intimidate the population and prevent opposition. The authors de-scribe how the NKVD put 59 members of the OUN on trial, most of whom were students and the youngest only fifteen years of age. Forty-two people were sentenced to death. In 1939-41, 10 % of the population of Western Ukraine was imprisoned, and the immediate victims were Poles, but Ukrainians followed soon afterward. This short period of Soviet rule convinced the population, the authors maintain, that its future lay not in integration into the Soviet Union but in the creation of its own independent Ukrainian state. However, the authors provide no evidence for such a claim, which appears premature in the context of this period. The authors mention briefly, with regard to the early part of the German-Soviet war, the creation of a Central Headquarters of the Partisan movement headed by P. K. Ponomarenko in May 1942, and the Ukrainian headquarters under T. Strokach formed in June 1942. There follows a much lengthier section on the OUN, which is dealt with in great detail. The authors do not conceal their disapproval of the OUN-M for its rapprochement with the Germans, or their approval of and respect for the OUN-B under Bandera. They maintain that the OUN-B represented the majority, and that Bandera, not discounting the possibility of cooperation with the Germans, supported the creation of a Ukrainian army and began an active struggle for an independent Ukraine, leaning on the forces of the Ukrainian people.13

  • 14 Ibid., p. 27.

15The main theme therefore is of the OUN-B in the war years. The authors state that the Nazi leadership of Germany, rejecting the concept of Ukrainian statehood, nevertheless agreed to cooperation with the OUN, which they hoped to use in the struggle against the Red Army. They agreed especially to the formation of the Nachtigal and Roland battalions, which were staffed with Ukrainian nationalists, and were to be deployed for acts of sabotage in the USSR. For its part, the OUN-B considered these formations the nucleus of a future Ukrainian army. There follows a detailed description of the declaration of independence of 30 June 1941, which is portrayed as a heroic act that had the support of Metropolitan Sheptyts’kyi. The Germans responded by dissolving the government formed by Yaroslav Stets’ko and arresting Stets’ko and Bandera. The repressions, the authors write, affected the attitude of the Roland and Nachtigal battalions, the troops of which refused to carry out German orders. They were thus disbanded and their Ukrainian officers arrested. The OUN began preparing its own armed forces for a struggle with the occupiers and began to spread its underground network. The authors describe the expeditionary groups that accompanied German forces into the major cities of Eastern Ukraine. Reportedly, they had orders to set up civil organizations in each settlement, but their situation was rendered difficult by the refusal of the Germans to support an independent Ukraine. The portrayal of the impact of these groups appears exaggerated. The authors write, for example, that in the Donbas region the expeditionary group organized an independent underground, which led a campaign under the slogans “Down with Hitler! Down with Stalin! Soviet power—without the Bolsheviks!” Presumably the advocacy of Soviet power was offered to assuage a largely non-nationalistic part of the population. According to the authors, the support for Ukrainian independence, especially in Left-Bank Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine, came as a complete surprise to the Germans. The occupants saw with alarm that the leaders and members of the expeditionary groups united not only the local intelligentsia, but also young people, workers, and peasants.14

  • 15 Ibid., pp. 28-29, 40-41.

16The authors discuss the UPA and what they term “the defense movement in 1943” at some length. They mention that among those executed at Babyn Yar was Olena Teliha, the well-known Ukrainian poetess, and that after November 1941, the occupation regime received orders to arrest and eliminate all leaders and members of the OUN underground. However, coordinated efforts between the OUN and the Soviet underground were hindered by deep ideological differences and both sides would reveal the whereabouts of the other to the Gestapo with tragic consequences. In Western Ukraine, the social basis for the national movement was wider than elsewhere, and members of the OUN were subject to relatively light acts of repression by the German occupiers. Several units of the OUN united under joint leadership in Volhynia and Polissya and received the name Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The date 14 October 1942 is the day of the creation of the UPA. The authors cite approvingly the Partisan raids led by Kovpak, and they provide a figure of up to 220,000 people in Partisan formations and the non-nationalist underground at various times during the war. The formation of the UPA in its OUN-B variant is discussed without detail as to the in-fighting that occurred among the different groups. The conflict that followed is described exclusively in terms of the German-UPA conflict. Hitlerite terror, combined with Soviet sabotage and Partisan formations, as well as Polish military formations made the situation desperate for the Ukrainian inhabitants.15 Again the link between the Partisans as heroes and Partisans who opposed the national liberation movement requires better explanation. However, it is a sign of the failure to not have developed a clearly delineated theme for pupils, even after ten years of independence. Clearly now the OUN and UPA have been designated as the forces of national liberation, but the attitude taken toward the Soviet forces is uncertain. As yet, it is not uniformly hostile.

  • 16 H. D. Temka and L. S. Tupchienka, ed., Istoriya Ukrainy: Posibnyk (Kyiv: Akademiya, 2002), pp. 308 (...)

17In 2002, a new history of Ukraine appeared in Kyiv, edited by H. D. Temka and L. S. Tupchienka. The book provides individual biographical information about the leading figures of the Ukrainian national movement, which is depicted as a response to Polish assimilation policies and the “repression” of 800 villages in Eastern Galicia from the spring of 1930 onward. Dmytro Dontsov is not assigned biographical space but is described as the main ideologue of the OUN. The biography of Bandera is detailed for the period from his membership of the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) in 1929 until he became leader of the Revolutionary Wing of the OUN at its Second Congress in 1941. The next statement pertains to 1947 and his election to the military wing of the OUN, leading the armed struggle of the Ukrainian national underground movement against Soviet power. Bandera’s writings, it is stated, supported the concept of Christian revolutionary-liberation nationalism and the independence of Ukraine. Mel’nyk is listed as heading the moderate wing of the OUN after its split in 1940, with nothing of note cited for his activity between 1941 and 1959. The authors write that on the eve of the Second World War both wings oriented themselves in different ways toward political and military assistance from Germany. The leaders of the OUN were guided by Dontsov’s formula that Ukraine would liberate itself in the shadow of a German invasion of the Soviet Union. The German people from 1918 to the end of the 1930s were respected in Ukrainian lands as representatives of enlightenment and sophisticated behavior—a statement that might reflect the relatively civilized military occupation of Ukraine in the later months of the First World War. What the authors presumably are trying to do is limit the damage of Ukrainian links with Hitler’s regime on the part of the nationalists. Thus on 14 April 1941, Andrii Mel’nyk wrote a letter to Hitler in which he suggested that the German leader create a Ukrainian state under German protection extending from the Danube and Carpathians, to the Caspian Sea, the mountains of the Caucasus, and including Crimea, Bessarabia, half of the Voronezh and Kursk oblasts and part of Belgorod oblast! Mel’nyk projected that Ukraine would border Kazakhstan on the Volga River, while the Russian Far East could be colonized by Japanese settlers. He promised to join his forces with those of Hitler and the wing of the OUN under Bandera.16

  • 17 Ibid., pp. 342-344.

18Temka and Tupchienka then outline Stets’ko’s aborted attempt to form a Ukrainian government in L’viv, which is portrayed as an independent action rather than one in which the Ukrainians openly solicited the support of the Germans. A laudatory biography of Stets’ko is included. Hitler’s response to the Ukrainian declaration of independence was rapid, the authors state, and on 5 July, the same day that Stets’ko formed his government, Stepan Bandera was arrested in Krakow and four days later Stets’ko and 300 OUN activists were detained, many of whom were later executed. They describe another abortive attempt to set up a Ukrainian national government in Bukovyna on 1 July 1941 after the Romanian army had left this region at Stalin’s request. The Germans subsequently turned down requests for cooperation from Mel’nyk and others in July. The role of the expeditionary groups in Kyiv and other cities is highlighted and the authors express regret that the members of the two wings of the OUN were unable to unify. This book devotes unusual attention to the UPA established by representatives of the exiled UNR government un-der Taras Bul’ba Borovets’. In the summer of 1941, the text reads, Borovets’ formed the UPA-Polis’ka Sich with some 6,000 men. It attacked the retreating Red Army and helped the Germans to transfer production facilities and raw materials to the Reich. The Germans disbanded the unit on 16 November 1941, but as the military situation changed, a new treaty between the German commanders and the UPA was signed on 23 November 1942. Simultaneously in 1942, the authors note the treaty between the OUN-B and OUN-M, made in order to enable the two wings to combine actions against the Germans, Polish nationalists, Soviet Partisans and bandit groups made up of Red Army deserters. From 9 April, the OUN-B had begun negotiations with Borovets’ about a common political platform based on Bandera’s ideas, which included elimination of the Polish population. The conflict that followed during the OUN-B’s enforced takeover of the UPA from Borovets’ is well described, as well as the open fighting between the OUN-B Security Service, on the one hand, and the OUN-M and the UPA-Polis’ka Sich on the other. Borovets’, the authors write, turned himself in to the Germans following the murder of many of his colleagues by the OUN-B Security Service.17

  • 18 Ibid., pp. 345-348.

19The book’s coverage of the Volhynia massacres is short but balanced, and includes a comment from Kubiiovych that “If the OUN-B-UPA continues to conduct war against six enemies, they will lead Ukraine to the grave.” It highlights the assaults on sixty Polish settlements on 11-12 June 1943 on the orders of the OUN-B. In civil war situations, some 40-50,000 people from both sides were killed in the conflict with the Poles. Also, during 1943 the OUN conceived of the idea to ask the West to defend Ukraine, based on the model by which the Japanese ruled the Philippines. There follows a detailed account of the formation of the SS Division Halychyna which, the authors note, came after the formation of two Latvian SS Divisions and one Estonian SS Division, the creation of the Russian Liberation Army under Vlasov, and military units of other Soviet peoples. The initiative for the Ukrainian Division came from Galician governor Otto Waechter, and had the support of Kubiiovych’s Ukrainian Central Committee, which provided unanimous backing. However, since there were some Germans who held a negative attitude toward such an enterprise, a decision was made not to permit the creation of an all-Ukrainian army, but merely a regional Galician unit led by the SS. The officer corps was also mixed German and Ukrainian. Prior to its creation, both the UPA and the OUN had a negative attitude toward it. The Division’s military actions and its transformation in 1945 into an exclusively Ukrainian force under General P. Shandruk are elucidated carefully. When the war ended, the British refused to repatriate the Division troops and they were given permission to settle in Britain. The final section devoted to the war is occupied with the Soviet-UPA conflict. The malevolent and ruthless role of N. S. Khrushchev, First Secretary of the CPU, is explained in more intricate detail than in most sources, particularly his application of mass terror in Western Ukraine. The authors also note that the number of mass arrests far exceeded the actual figures for UPA insurgents and therefore the majority of those killed or arrested must have been “peaceful citizens.”18

  • 19 Ibid., p. 349.

20The authors conclude this remarkably candid outline in the following way. They write that the end of the German-Soviet war, and the victory over Fascist Germany and Imperial Japan failed to bring peace and calm to Ukraine. The OUN-B had no hope of overcoming the powerful Soviet Union and therefore its uprising was doomed to failure. In turn, in terms of turning the world against Soviet power and its ideology, the narrative states, the nationalists also did not succeed, despite their brave examples in the conflicts that lingered. But the vicious vendetta of the Soviet authorities against the population of Western Ukraine erased any positive aspects of the changes brought by Soviet rule. A regime which brought industrialization, a cultural renaissance, the eradication of illiteracy, and a strengthening of Ukrainian culture. But they all came at a very high price. They were impeded by Sovietization, and the malevolence and colonial behavior of the new rulers deeply alienated the population.19 This explanation for disaffection in Western Ukraine, combined with the comments about the ideological and military failure of the OUN-UPA struggle, provides a much more realistic perusal of Ukraine in this pivotal period than do most of the new histories. Indeed, one could posit that the brutality of Soviet rule—or as it is sometimes described: the period of the second Soviet occupation—was more likely a conduit to later demands for independence than the insurgency of the UPA. What Temka and Tupchienka stress is that the mass arrests and deportations embraced a broad section of the population, much of which had no part in the military conflict. All too often the insurgency and popular disaffection for the Soviets are accepted as one and the same thing, with the UPA depicted as the manifestation of such discontent.

  • 20 V. D. Mironchuk and H. S. Ihoshyi, Istoriya Ukrainy (Kyiv: MAUP, 2002), pp. 215-216, 221-222.

21A book that appeared in the same year by V. D. Mironchuk and H. S. Ihoshkin devotes space to the subject of Ukrainian nationalism, and of what it comprised. The authors date the impact of nationalism in Western Ukraine to the 1920s, and analyze the role of the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO). The OUN’s formation under Konovalets in 1929 is discussed. The authors write that OUN ideology was based on “integral nationalism,” which put feeling above reason, national interest above individualism, and was dedicated to achieving Ukrainian independence by all possible means. At this time totalitarian tendencies developed in many European countries. However, Ukrainian integral nationalism cannot be compared with Italian or German Fascism since it developed in an environment in which governmental structure was lacking. The OUN began with acts of terrorism and the movement was only strengthened by Polish acts of repression that followed the assassination of Interior Minister Bronislaw Pieracki in June 1934. However, the mur-der of Konovalets’ in Rotterdam in May 1938 left the OUN leaderless on the eve of one of the most decisive periods in European history. The Nazi-Soviet Pact that followed in August 1939 and the secret Soviet-German Treaty of 28 September 1939 are described as cynical acts as the two powers were happy to carve up Polish territory. Nevertheless, the authors questionably add, workers in Western Ukraine were delighted to welcome the Red Army initially because they saw the unification of the region with the Soviet Union as protection against Germany.20 The statement echoes official Soviet propaganda of the time, and most recent accounts posit that the welcome to the Soviet forces signaled relief at the end of Polish rule and/or support for the reunion of Ukrainian ethnic territories.

  • 21 M. O. Skrypnyk, et al, Istoriya Ukrainy: nachal’nyi posibnyk (Kyiv: Tsentr navchal’noi literatury, (...)

22The penultimate book in this general survey appeared under the authorship of an editorial team led by M. O. Skrypnyk. Like Mironchuk and Ihoshkin, the team refuses to accept official Soviet excuses for signing the pact with Hitler. If this pact is to be properly evaluated, one author writes, it meant an end to attempts to create a bloc of anti-Fascist states. True, it may have been an attempt of the Soviet Union to avoid a war with Germany, but the protocols, which were kept secret for fifty years, place the USSR on the same moral level as Nazi Germany and can be qualified as an agreement between two aggressors. The OUN is introduced as one of the most influential forces in the terri-tory of Western Ukraine with the goal of establishing an independent Ukraine. The author, however, makes a clear and partial delineation between the two branches that emerged in 1940. While both relied on Germany to accomplish their main goals and felt it inevitable that Germany would be victorious in its eastern conflicts—thus allowing for the creation of a Ukrainian state—the OUN-M offered unconditional support. The OUN-B, on the other hand, considered the alliance with Germany to be temporary, as it regarded Germany, along with the USSR, as enemies of Ukrainian independence. Repression of the OUN-B began after Germany demanded that the Act of Independence be annulled. In similar fashion, the UPA is described as a massive popular movement that included all Ukrainian partisan formations, including the OUN-M. The UPA took it upon itself to protect the local population from the anarchy imposed by the occupiers and from German conscription of foreign labor. An open armed struggle with the Fascists began in February 1943 and had such scope that the Germans were obliged to bring in 10,000 troops to try to crush the uprising. As whole areas came under UPA control, the Soviets also panicked and moved their own forces into the area, resulting in conflict between the UPA and Soviet Partisans. The Polish issue is limited in this book to a brief comment about associated casualties and deaths of peaceful residents because of their ethnicity.21

  • 22 Ibid., pp. 262-263.

23The Soviet-UPA conflict receives extensive attention. In general, the authors are favorable to the goals of the UPA and, like others, they condemn the barbarity of the Soviet regime in the early postwar years, singling out Khrushchev as the worst culprit. This book gives a good indication of the massive scale of operations, with the Soviet side deploying more than 200,000 soldiers and officers, and both sides using brutal methods, provocations, and indulging in bestial acts that fostered mutual enmity, hatred, and deep divisions in West Ukrainian society. The book, more than other sources, takes into consideration the historical background of the occupied region, with local popular customs, strong religious beliefs among the population, and a traditional local way of governing the area that was completely unlike that in the rest of Ukraine. These people, it is stressed, had nothing in common with the Soviet way of life. As the Soviet front line moved westward, UPA’s task was to prevent Soviet control over Western Ukraine, and it established Ukrainian government structures in a territory of over 150,000 square kilometers while conducting widespread armed actions in 1945. Many UPA leaders perished in the conflict that followed, eventually forcing the UPA to change its tactics and resort to underground guerrilla warfare, avoiding overt confrontation and relying on ambushes and sudden attacks. In consequence, “tens of thousands” of military personnel and Soviet employees lost their lives, while the Soviet side responded with mass repressions. After the death of Shukhevych in 1950, veterans of the resistance could not expect any reconciliation on the part of the government. The authors condemn Soviet methods, which they say only made the situation worse. In May 1945, while the whole world was celebrating the victory over Fascism, Khrushchev was in L’viv meeting local oblast leaders and the NKVD at a secret venue to discuss the coming crackdown, which would see the arrests of villagers, OUN family members, representatives from the intelligentsia, and Greek Catholic priests. Over 500,000 Western Ukrainians would be deported. The active operations ceased but, the authors emphasize, the authorities failed to stop passive opposition in this region.22

  • 23 Boyko, Istoriya Ukrainy, pp. 479-480, 505-507.

24We return finally to the textbook by Boyko, cited above with reference to the Famine of 1932-33. In his comments on the Famine, Boyko essentially takes a moderate line, outlining the various perspectives and then stating that they need to be combined to provide the most accurate perspective. On the OUN and the UPA he is less equivocal. They are regarded as the main organs of liberation that were turned on both totalitarian state: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Boyko accepts that from July 1944, on the initiative of the OUN-B, the movement evolved in a democratic direction. He acknowledges that there was an agreement of non-aggression between a small part of the UPA located in the hills on the German side of the front, and the Wehrmacht, but adds that the step was compelled by the situation of the respective sides in July 1944. OUN-UPA actively strived to take on the role of a “third force” in the war in order to attain Ukrainian independence. The book contains a section on the “struggle of the OUN-UPA with the Soviet machine of repression,” the title of which provides a good indication of the contents but does not differ fundamentally from other recent sources in its general line. Boyko then includes a section on Operation Vistula that is unusually detailed, and is outlined under the heading “Mass repressions of the Soviet regime against the population of Western Ukraine.” Operation Vistula, he writes, was the conclusive stage of the process of resettlement of the Ukrainian population from the territory of Zakerzonnya (Lemkivshchyna, Posyannya, Pidlyashshya, and Kholmshchyna), organized by the USSR and the temporary government of Poland. The author divides the process into three stages: the first, of “voluntary resettlement,” from September 1944 to August 1945; the second, of “forced deportation,” from September 1945 until August 1946; and the third, Operation Vistula, from April to July 1947. The first stage saw the removal of 81,000 residents, and the second 482,000. The third was a response to the assassination at the hands of the UPA of Polish Deputy Minister of Defense, K. Swierczewski. The “repressive action” was coordinated with the NKVD and the Czechoslovakian army, which blocked the southern and eastern borders of Poland. According to Polish figures, says Boyko, 140,500 people were deported, 3,800 of whom were interned in the Jaworzno camp, and over 650 were killed.23

25From the books surveyed at all levels of the school and university system of Ukraine, it can be seen that the narrative of events critical to the history of Ukraine in the 20th century, which can be called decisive in the formation of a national history, has changed radically from the Soviet period. However, the change, though fundamental, appears to be still in process and is not simply a case of what was right in the past is now wrong. On the Famine, for example, there does not appear yet to be a very clear narrative and issues such as its origins and whether or not it constituted an act of genocide—a statement that would be accepted in Ukrainian circles of North America as no longer meriting discussion—have yet to be resolved. The consensus on the emergence of the OUN is that it reflected the political environment of the time and the harsh political conditions of interwar Poland. Most sources make a distinction between the pro-German line of the OUN-M, and the more tactical position of the OUN-B. Historians seem to go out of their way to try to show that the OUN-B formed an alliance with the German army for its own purposes. In doing so, they have a tendency to start the story with 30 June 1941 and to ignore the earlier and close cooperation between the OUN-B and certain elements in the Hitler government, particularly the German army and intelligence forces. The Nazi-Soviet Pact is treated in unanimous fashion as a cynical action on the part of the Stalin regime, though there is disagreement as to why one of its consequences—the warm welcome given to the Soviet invaders of Western Ukraine—occurred. The formation of the UPA is regarded as the beginning of a long liberation struggle. Some authors frown upon the attempt to eliminate the Poles of Volhynia, others see it as part of a mini-war in which both sides suffered. The leadership of the OUN-B in UPA’s struggle is an accepted fact, as is the heroism of that struggle. The general histories place that contest in the context of the quest for an independent Ukraine that was successful in 1991. Despite the inconsistencies in the narrative, and despite some of the horrors and depravity carried out by both the Soviets and the UPA, it is possible to perceive the future emergence of a very clear narrative of liberation that would examine the evolution of modern Ukraine from a struggle that took place in a relatively small and alienated part of the modern country.

Reviewing the Issue of the OUN and the UPA

  • 24 “O popytkakh politicheskoy rehabilitatsii OUN-UPA: rezolyutsii XXVIII s’ezda Kompartii Ukrainy,” P (...)
  • 25 V. Lutsenko, “Demokratychna metushnaya,” Nadnipryans’ka pravda, 7 August 1991, p. 2.

26Even before the end of the Soviet period, the question of rehabilitation of the OUN and UPA had surfaced. The 28th Congress of the CC CPU in December 1990 condemned such attempts which, it claimed, were being promoted by the Rukh, the Ukrainian Republican Party, the Ukrainian National Party, and the Union of Ukrainian Youth. The Second Congress of Rukh had resolved to rehabilitate OUN-UPA. The Communist Congress, on the other hand, expressed its anger at attempts to organize celebrations and liturgies, and to rename streets and squares, and erect monuments to Bandera, Shukhevych, and other nationalist leaders. The Congress resolution acknowledged that among the insurgents were a lot of duped and intimidated, as well as unjustly repressed people. Nevertheless, it added, this is no reason to present followers of Bandera as part of a national-liberation movement or as strugglers against Stalinism, which the Congress condemned “resolutely,” along with the violent anti-popular reprisals with which it was associated by this time. But such condemnation could not excuse the terror against the public that had been unleashed by the nationalists. People who had brought fear, grief, and death could not be reconstituted as national heroes. The Communists refused to permit the rehabilitation of OUN-UPA combatants who shed innocent blood, served the Fascists, and committed war crimes.24 The issue soon became a talking point because of the rapid renaming of streets and buildings in Western Ukraine. Thus the Rivne city council decided to rename Lenin Square as Independence Square and Lenin Street as Cathedral Street in the summer of 1991. One author declared that this was not the first attempt to create anti-Communist hysteria to defame the cause of Lenin and that every action was geared to the revival of nationalism and the political rehabilitation of OUN-UPA. How could this policy be countered? This writer suggested that older people and war veterans should tell children “the truth about the past,” young people should be advised to ask their elders about the bloody atrocities of nationalists and fascists, and all honest people should put their “houses in order” before “lies get the better of reason.”25

  • 26 Cited in Visti z Ukrainy, No. 27 (1991): 1.
  • 27 A. Boita, “U skhidnii Ukraini-dobri lyudy, a v zakhidnii-lyshe zlochyntsi,” Visti z Ukrainy, No. 3 (...)
  • 28 “Pershyi zbir soyakiv UPA,” Literaturna Ukraina, 6 February 1992, p. 7.
  • 29 Editorial, Literaturna Ukraina, 16 April 1992, p. 1.

27On the other hand, in Western Ukraine, the sentiments were quite different. Thus Mykola Porovs’kyi, a parliamentary deputy from Rivne oblast, draws attention to the problem of rehabilitating participants in armed resistance against German Fascism who fought in UPA units. That the insurgents attacked the Germans is indisputable, he claims, and he suggests that UPA members that cannot be accused of fighting against the Soviet army should be rehabilitated.26 Another author writes that it is impossible to root out from the memory of Western Ukrainians their slain parents, brothers, and sisters. He calls for reconciliation and understanding of such sentiments. One way to do this, in his view, would be to erect a monument to all Ukrainians who perished in different historical periods, which could be a monument “of national reconciliation.”27 Ukraine’s main literary weekly informed its readers in early 1992 about the creation of an All-Ukrainian Brotherhood of former UPA soldiers. Its first assembly was held in Ivano-Frankivs’k, and the newspaper reissued its appeal to young people, which purported to explain the past misinterpretations of the UPA as a hostile force in Ukraine.28 In the spring of the same year, an editorial in this newspaper states that “we” have learned the truth about many things: about the so-called reunion with Russia, the Central Rada of 1917-18, the wars that followed the revolution, the affair of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, and the enforced Famine of 1932-33. Now, says the writer, it is time to study the emotional pages in the history of the liberation phenomenon: OUN-UPA. October 1992 would mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of UPA, so the newspaper planned to acquaint its readers with many names and events connected with the UPA struggle “against the enslavers of Ukraine.” It began by publishing writings of one of the bestknown publicists of the Diaspora, R. Rakhmannyi, originally issued as a brochure in London in 1984.29 The excerpts duly appeared in nine issues of the newspaper between 7 May and 16 July 1992.

  • 30 Larysa Khorolets’, “Heroyam slava!” Literaturna Ukraina, 13 August 1992, p. 2.

28The anniversary of the official creation of the UPA was the occasion for a speech by the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, Larysa Khorolets’, which was published in Literaturna Ukraina. She begins by declaring that at the next stage of the strengthening of Ukrainian statehood “we bow our heads” to those upon whom Ukraine called for its defense at a time of great turmoil. She evokes images of past heroes, such as Ivan Mazepa, Taras Shevchenko, and the Sich Sharpshooters, and then adds that on the eve of the first anniversary of the declaration of Ukrainian independence everything that is related to the history of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army returns to our official narrative of history. Under the new “democratic conditions,” the attitude to UPA’s role in the Second World War is changing. Historians have not yet shed light on all aspects of this heroic formation, but already Ukrainians could be confident that with the assistance of foreign historians, a revised, unbiased version of UPA history can be written. This would be undertaken in the name of historical justice, and it would not try to diminish the sacrifices of those Ukrainians who fought against the Germans in the Red Army. People should not be upset with those who do not recognize the UPA because for a long time “an alien spirit” was directing the way that people think, Khorolets’ said. After the Second World War, insurgents were left alone to fight the mightiest army in the world. Today people must express their debt to the victims of this fratricidal war, during which the Ukrainian nation lost its most active stratum. The task therefore is to recognize every single person who fought for Ukraine, and Khorolets’ took the opportunity to single out the role of women in the UPA as nurses, messengers, cooks, and sometimes even combatants. These people sacrificed love and family lives for the struggle to create a Ukrainian state. She then makes reference to the dead mothers of the graying old men who were listening to her speech, mothers that could not stop the “hate machine” created by the leaders in Moscow and Berlin that operated on the blood of Ukrainian people. Ukrainians ended up fighting on both sides, but all should be regarded as martyrs, and as a mother, she says, she did not know who possessed the moral right to judge such people.30

  • 31 Yurii Shapoval, “Skazaty vsyu pravdu: do 50-richchya UPA,” Literaturna Ukraina, 1 October 1992, p. (...)
  • 32 Volodmyr Yavors’kyi, “Yakshcho derzhava ne pustyi zvuk,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 18 May 1993, p. 2.

29Khorolets’ passionate speech seemed to herald a new era in the evaluation of Ukraine’s recent past: the government’s recognition of the place of the UPA as a heroic army dedicated to Ukrainian independence. Changes, however, did not come as rapidly as anticipated, even with allies in high places such as the Minister of Culture. Yurii Shapoval recalls that in August 1992 in Kyiv there was a scientific conference to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UPA. The speeches of veterans and scholars continued for two days and Shapoval recognized clearly how difficult it was to deal with the history of the insurgents—a complex scientific and political problem for post-Communist society. In reality, people who declare their profession to be a fighter for nationalism and are labeled as traitors and fascists cannot be declared national heroes overnight. He also recognizes that it would be dangerous to idealize the history of the UPA as some historians have started to do. What is required is understanding and elucidation of those facts that have been consciously suppressed. This would provide an opportunity for an objective appraisal of the history of the UPA.31 Meanwhile at the regional level, progress seemed to be discernible. In 1995, for example, the L’viv oblast government recognized the UPA as a combatant in the Second World War and participant in the national liberation movement as freedom fighters for Ukraine. Nevertheless, the deputies of the L’viv government considered that after 11 years of independence, members of the UPA were still outcasts in society. Why was this? One author set out to explain the reasons through the concept of the “national idea,” i.e., nationalists in Ukraine make up a minority of the population. Almost 70 % of ethnic Ukrainians, he writes, have a very low level of ethnic consciousness and on the level of ideas they are thoroughly Russified. They do not understand why it is necessary to have an independent Ukraine, nor do they feel impelled to protect Ukrainian statehood. For the most part they identify themselves not with Ukraine and Ukrainian culture, but with the Soviet Union and a culture that is Russian or Soviet.32

  • 33 Ibid.
  • 34 Viktor Koval’, “Ukrains’ka Povstans’ka Armiya: dovidka Instytutu istorii AN URSR dlya Komisii Verk (...)

30How do such people relate to the OUN and UPA? The author writes that they oppose the rehabilitation of these organizations because allegedly Ukrainian nationalists were in the service of the Nazis; they killed innocent civilians; and they attacked Soviet army units. He will have none of it. The OUN, he writes, was always independent of the Germans other than a mild form of collaboration that occurred until the summer of 1941, which was dictated by tactical requirements. The UPA fought the Germans. He also refutes the charge that the UPA killed innocent civilians, which he dismisses as Communist propaganda directed at “ignorant” people in Central, Southern, and Eastern Ukraine. The best retort to such fabrications, he writes in a strained form of logic, is that the UPA is least liked in those areas where there was no nationalist insurgency. As for the third charge, he has less concern about it other than to note that UPA’s opposition to Soviet rule is the main reason why it has not been rehabilitated. Yet the Soviet army, and today’s Soviet veterans, were not protecting Ukraine but rather were fighting for its destruction and the success of Russian colonial policies and NKVD terror.33 Remarkable in this narrative is the casual dismissal of the views of a majority of Ukrainians as a result purely of ignorance (and implicitly stupidity) and Russian influences. In turn, the perspectives of a part of the Western Ukrainian population are used as representative of what all of Ukraine should be thinking. One view is wrong; the other is correct. Those who think in a mistaken way are either Russified or “Little Russians.” This outlook matches exactly that of Viktor Koval’ who writes that the UPA saved Western Ukraine from a disastrous calamity, and that the UPA has done the most for the national honor of Ukraine, which it rescued from captivity. Therefore wherever Ukrainians live they will remember “the proud name of UPA.”34

  • 35 Nina Romanyuk, “Ya istymu lushpaiky, aby Ukraina bula!” Ukraina moloda, 2 September 1998, p. 6.
  • 36 Wiktor Poliszczuk, Bitter Truth: The Criminality of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and (...)

31In the 1990s, writers often differed in their assessment of the impact of the campaign to restore the memory of the OUN and the UPA in Ukraine. Even though the Ukrainian government had established a commission to investigate the question, profound cleavages remained in Ukrainian society. One Rukh activist and former UPA member, who was depicted as living in poverty not far from Luts’k, commented in 1998 that the attainment of a Ukrainian state has not affected the issue substantially. People go “where the wind blows” and although Ukraine has its own army; it does not hold prayers, as in UPA. He recalls that among the Communists in the Soviet period there were many good people, because in their hearts they had remained Ukrainians. He calls for forgiveness and reconciliation between the UPA and Soviet Partisans, or Red Army soldiers. Yet he cannot comprehend why former NKVD members whose task it was to destroy insurgents should be living well and receiving pensions today, whereas those who conceivably are about to be rehabilitated “by history and the state” receive nothing.35 Poliszczuk, on the other hand, perceives the physical and spiritual transfer of UPA ideology to Ukraine, along with a “rebirth of OUN fascist ideology.” He notes that the Rukh leader Ivan Drach, described as a democrat, contributed R1,000 for the construction of a monument commemorating the UPA in Rivne, and describes the physical arrival in Ukraine of emissaries of the OUN abroad, such as Taras Hunczak, former editor-in-chief of the journal Suchasnist’, created by Mykola Lebed. A nationwide conference of Ukrainian nationalists occurred in 1992, and the OUN newspaper, Ukrains’ke slovo, had relocated from Paris to Kyiv.36

OUN-UPA in 21st Century Ukraine

  • 37 Stanislav Kul’chyts’kyi, “Ukrains’ki natsionalisty v chervono-korychnevii Yevropi (do 70richchya s (...)
  • 38 Iziaslav Kokodnyak, “50 rokiv bezsmertiya,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 3 March 2000, p. 3.

32Entering the 21st century it might have been feasible for historical narratives to have advanced beyond the Soviet/nationalist perspectives or that history could be divorced from politics and the impact of political thinking and political views on past events. Yet the divisions of Ukraine in terms of their regional perceptions of the past have remained. There are also contrasting opinions as to how the country should proceed in reassessing the past. Kul’chyts’kyi, for example, has called for an objective and thorough examination, applauding the establishment of the government commission, and arguing that no black-and-white vision should be acceptable in evaluating the matter.37 Writing in Za vil’nu Ukrainu, Iziaslav Kokodnyak, on the other hand, believes that the population of Ukraine has to be rendered nationally conscious, and that the Ukrainian state must become national in content, not just in name. He advocates the dissemination of “nationalist myths” that would supplant Soviet imperialist myths concerning UPA crimes against their own people. The nationalist myths would permit the psychological unification of Western and Eastern Ukraine. In order to achieve such harmony, organizations of the nationalist variety must “impose their will” on the organs of state and the mass media, making use of the ample evidence of UPA’s two-front war during the Second World War. The figure of Roman Shukhevych, in his view, would be the ideal instrument for the construction of a nationalist myth.38 This idea is quite unusual in that the author is not seeking accuracy or “historical truth,” the terms that usually enter the rhetoric, but the adoption of new propaganda and myths.

  • 39 Roman Rytiak, “Za shcho my skorodyly spysamy vorozhi rebra?” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 28 July 2000, p. 4
  • 40 Roman Serbyn, “‘Tretya syla’ v p’yatomu kuti,” Ukraina moloda, 21 June 2001, p. 4.

33Another writer who joined the OUN in 1931 calls on the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet to recognize the OUN and UPA as combatants in the Second World War, and to grant participants the honorary rank of officer in the current Ukrainian army corresponding to the rank of company commander in the UPA. UPA veterans should receive pensions in the region of Hr 1,000 (approximately US$200) per month, and those in need should be provided with an apartment and the same benefits enjoyed by Soviet war veterans. He proposes that such a law covering all these points should be adopted before 14 October (2000), and on that day—the anniversary of the official founding of the UPA—the decorations to former soldiers should be distributed at a ceremony.39 Roman Serbyn, a Diaspora historian, continues this same line of thought, but feels that the creation of a commission to study the UPA actually casts suspicion on the organization. He says that no special investigation is needed because the role of the UPA is well-known, and that there is a double standard in operation since no commission has been established to study the activities of the Red Army and Soviet Partisans. Like most supporters of the UPA, he describes it as the only organization that fought both Nazi Germany and Soviet power. Ukraine today, he writes, is divided into three camps: adherents of the UPA; opponents of the UPA; and “pragmatists” who are willing to recognize only those insurgents who fought against the Germans. In the latter category is to be found the head of the Union of Veterans, Ivan Gerasimov, a Russian who has lived in Ukraine since the 1940s and is nostalgic for Soviet times, as is evident from the pictures of Stalin and Soviet military veterans hanging in the residence of the Union.40

  • 41 Ibid.

34Serbyn then elaborates on his comments with reference to modern-day Ukraine. Gerasimov was the editor of a Book of Memory, and in the preface he has written that “OUN and its armed formations developed and fought as mercenaries of Fascist Germany against the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and established themselves as Fascist collaborators.” According to Serbyn, President L. D. Kuchma was a supporter of such views. The key problem here was that Kuchma had linked Ukrainian statehood directly to the victory of the Red Army, since this victory signified a return to Ukraine of a Communist regime that had committed crimes against the Ukrainian people. Another trend in Ukraine is typified by Academician Petro Tron’ko, a former Red Army officer who took part in the removal of the Germans from Ukraine. Tron’ko seeks a compromise, namely granting the status of “veterans” to those insurgents who confined their activities to fighting against Fascism. To Serbyn such a solution, despite its appeal to academics and government officials, is unacceptable because it is unethical. Instead he calls for unity and the recognition of UPA. Moreover, he goes further. Those Ukrainians who continue to object to the recognition of UPA veterans “of all the sons and daughters of the Ukrainian people”—placed by fate on opposite sides of the fronts in the Second World War—must bear the huge burden of responsibility “before their own conscience and before history.” He wonders whether such people will find the power to cast aside someone else’s burden and join in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the freedom for which they fought.41 This appeal, published in Ukraine from an academic who is a leading member of the Canadian Ukrainian community, was one of the strongest to date, but it also followed the dictum that there is a single, correct version of the past that all right-thinking Ukrainians need to adopt. Yet it would be unusual if the history of any organization that operated on the fringes of the Second World War, and for the most part was confined geographically to one corner of Ukraine, could really fall into the category of being well-known in terms of its history.

  • 42 Ivan Khmil, “Hucksterish Circumlocutions of the OUN-UPA Apologists,” The Day Digest, 9 October 200 (...)
  • 43 Cited in RFE/RL Newsline, 28 March 2002.

35From a different perspective, some people were irked by the way historians who wrote in the Soviet period appeared willing to change their opinions. On the pages of The Day Digest, for example, Ivan Khmil devotes his attention to Stanislav Kul’chyts’kyi, an historian he incorporates into the title of his outburst “Hucksterish circumlocutions of the OUN-UPA apologists.” In order to undermine Kul’chyts’kyi he begins by attacking his credentials, noting that his candidate’s dissertation was in the field of economics, and that one of his main research papers from the past was entitled “The economic development of Soviet Ukraine.” But since Ukraine became independent, writes Khmil, Kul’chyts’kyi has changed with the political wind and taken positions that are antithetical to what he wrote in the Soviet period. Khmil writes that the new interpretations of OUN-UPA are “one-sided.” However, attention should be paid in his view to the study of the OUN by A. Kentii, in which he writes that the Ukrainian nationalist movement was created from political groups that earlier had been closely associated with Germany and its allies. Kentii is also cited for his comment that OUN-UPA was always careful not to direct its attacks against German military installations.42 The same debate found its way into current politics. On 28 March 2002, a live television debate was held on Kyiv’s 1+1 station between Communist leader Petro Symonenko and Premier Anatolii Kinakh. During the discussion, Symonenko made reference to the alleged preparation of a presidential decree to rehabilitate the UPA and to the recent decision by the Ivano-Frankivs’k city council to declare the veterans of the SS Division Halychyna “freedom fighters” and accused the Ukrainian government of promoting Fascism. Kinakh responded that the time for such enmity had passed and that only through harmony and mutual comprehension would it be possible for the Ukrainian state to make progress. “A grave is not the place for rallies, it is a place for prayer,” he concluded.43

  • 44 Kost Bondarenko, “Istoriya, kotoruyu ne znaem ili ne khotim znat’?” Zerkalo nedeli, 25 March-5 Apr (...)
  • 45 Serbyn makes essentially the same point in his June 2006 interview. Roman Serbyn, “Ukraine should (...)

36The controversial article by Kost’ Bondarenko, which has been cited earlier, appeared in the Ukrainian media in the spring of 2002. He focuses initially on the confusion around the various Second World War organizations, commenting that the average citizen was unable to differentiate between the ideas of the OUN, the Halychyna Division, the UPA, Nachtigal or Roland. Consequently parliamentary deputies try to rehabilitate OUN-UPA, even though these organizations are different and the approach to them cannot be identical. In his view the OUN could be rehabilitated without delay and its contributions to the struggle for independence recognized. Also, by focusing on these two organizations exclusively, the contributions of many others tend to be overlooked among those resistance movements that fought both the Nazis and the Red Army. What is essential in Bondarenko’s view is that national history be viewed from the perspective of citizens of Ukraine, rather than people who live in Russia, Poland, or the United States. Also, he maintains, this history should be judged based on “Ukraine’s interests, independence, and future.” This history has to be founded on archival documents as opposed to memoirs or histories of the Communist Party. The collaboration of nations that had attained statehood should be contrasted with that of nations that had not reached this stage, and the differences between the SS Division, the UPA, and the OUN should be acknowledged to avoid mistakes. Having written such statements, Bondarenko then appears to reverse his views by appending that history should be left to the historians and politics to the politicians.44 Presumably, then, the historians must keep in mind the national interests of Ukraine, which might also be taken to mean that only Ukrainians or residents of Ukraine could make a meaningful contribution to Ukrainian history.45

37Since the mid-1990s the Ukrainian government especially has been deeply involved with changing political interpretations of the Second World War and the formation of a new historical narrative applicable to Ukraine. On 10 July 2002, five years after the creation of the State Commission (the task force was under the leadership of Kul’chyts’kyi) for the study of the OUN and UPA by President L. D. Kuchma, it approved a draft law “On the restoration of historical justice toward the fighters for Ukraine’s freedom and independence.” The Commission’s statement was much criticized by members of left-wing political groups, but others defended its position. In general, the period since 2001 has seen the creation of a new narrative that rejects completely the former Soviet version of the war and accepts much, if not all, of the narrative that perceives the OUN and UPA as heroes and freedom fighters. What is notable is that the history produced, as in the past, is based largely on black and white perceptions. In other words, the past is being made to conform to the political needs of the present and the result is a history that, in some respects, is no more objective than it was in the Soviet period, mainly because crimes or mistakes are unacceptable for one’s own side.

  • 46 Oleh Hryniv, “Zatavrovani abreviaturamy,” Ukraina moloda, 30 August 2002, p. 4.

38Thus shortly after the draft law was issued, several articles appeared in the media supporting its main goals in the strongest manner, directing attacks against “Communist myths” about the OUN and UPA. The language employed by the writers often militates against an objective appraisal. For example, Oleh Hryniv, having denounced the “semantic nonsense” of the term OUN-UPA, turns to the issue of war crimes, and says that the biggest question is who is defining the crime, and on this issue he sees a direct lexical link between past Soviet propaganda and current propaganda emanating from the Russian Federation. Both refer to UPA insurgents and Chechen separatists as “bandits.” Does this signify, he asks, that anyone opposing Russian domination is a bandit? Even Russian intellectuals think in this way, he feels, and Vladimir Putin called “our great Hetman Mazepa” a villain. Like others, Hryniv blames the population outside Galicia for its lack of enlightenment. He declares that the history of the OUN and UPA should be studied in historical context. The OUN appeared as a reaction to the failure to attain a Ukrainian state in 1918-21. Similar movements appeared elsewhere in a European continent disillusioned with democracy. The UPA was not a German ally, he continues, but an instrument to protect the Ukrainian population from the Germans and Poles who collaborated against Ukrainians, and that is why the UPA attacked Poles in Volhynia. Two final points made by Hryniv are that it should be accepted that Moscow occupied Ukraine after the war, as is demonstrated by the famine that occurred in 1946-47 (the logic of this statement is unclear) and the events of the 1940s-50s were not a civil war, as is often written, but a war between a people and a foreign occupier that made use of Eastern Ukrainians to subdue their compatriots.46

  • 47 Anatolii Fomenko, “Pravda pro UPA,” Ukraina moloda, 10 October 2002, pp. 4-5.

39A similar tone is adopted in an article by Anatolii Fomenko, who states at the outset that his intention is to comply with the goal of the State Commission and inform the public about the activities of the UPA. He does so by citing the work of one of its main apologists, Volodymyr Kosyk. Fomenko agrees that a majority of Galicians might have welcomed the Red Army in September 1939, but states that their attitude changed after the start of Soviet deportations and reprisals. The NKVD murder of political prisoners in June 1941 is linked directly to what is described as a brief period of nationalist collaboration with the Germans. The nationalists rejected such a program of action immediately once the Germans had refused to countenance an independent Ukraine and arrested OUN-B leaders. The OUN, writes Fomenko, and also following Kosyk, did not collaborate. He cites several German documents that describe the OUN-B as the most dangerous of the anti-German units. He also quotes an OUN document that threatens members with the death penalty for collaborating with the Germans. In Fomenko’s view this is sufficient evidence that the OUN never collaborated. Concerning the NKVD-UPA conflict, he takes issue with accusations that the UPA killed civilians. Though some murders were committed, he says, the NKVD killed more people, and often did this under cover and dressed as UPA insurgents. Besides, the UPA fought for freedom and the interests of the Ukrainian people. He emphasizes that it was a multi-ethnic organization comprised of many different nationalities. But in Ukraine, he says, an abnormal situation has existed for 11 years in which those who destroyed the Ukrainian people have enjoyed the status of war veterans and receive benefits, while the “freedom fighters” are deprived of this same status. He concludes with an appeal for unity on the basis of the recognition of UPA.47

  • 48 Information provided by V. P. Futala, Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, No. 2 (2003): 145.
  • 49 Yuri Kril, “Yuri Shukhevych: the Truth about UPA will be known,” The Day Digest, 15 October 2002; (...)

40While the Working Commission was fulfilling its task, the Ivan Franko Drohobych State Pedagogical University held its 6th International Scientific Conference entitled “The National-Liberation Movement in the West Ukrainian Lands in the 1920s-1950s.” It was organized by the history faculty of the Drohobych University and L’viv National University, with the participation of Drohobych city council, and invited speakers from Ukraine and Poland. In a public statement about the event, the local political leaders outlined the role of the UPA in the “struggle of Ukrainians for freedom and their own state” and expressed the wish that “the conference will restore historical reality”! By this phrase they signified the recognition of UPA combatants as official participants in the Second World War. Among the papers presented, one by M. S. Savchyn, Dean of the Faculty of History, outlined the essence and the content of the “national revolution of the OUN” in the 1930s, and showed how it developed and changed in the 1940s from “elements of totalitarianism” to democracy. K. H. Kondratyuk, head of the department of the contemporary history of Ukraine at L’viv National University, discussed how the UPA was formed, and the various forms of its struggle against the German occupiers in Volhynia, Polissya, and Galicia. Two other speakers were Volodymyr Serhiichuk (Kyiv) who examined national formations in the composition of UPA, and S. I. Makarchuk (L’viv) who spoke on “Soviet methods of struggle with the OUN and UPA,” based on materials from Drohobych and L’viv regions in 1944-45.48 In this same month of October 2002, Den’ featured an interview with Yurii Shukhevych, son of the UPA leader, Roman Shukhevych, who was asked why nothing had been done to date to recognize the UPA officially. Shukhevych responded that the attitude toward the UPA had developed over several decades, with a hostile attitude toward everything linked to the struggle for national liberation. The truth would be known within one or two decades, he added, “It must be and it shall be.”49 Implicitly therefore there is a correct version of these events that must be elaborated, and the duty of historians is less to ascertain information than to propagate the new version.

  • 50 O. E. Lysenko and O. V. Marushchenko, “Vseukrains’ka naukova konferentsiya ‘Ukrains’ka povstans’ka (...)

41Another conference in October 2002 took place in the village that was the birthplace of Stepan Bandera, Staryi Uhryniv, in Kalush region, IvanoFrankivs’k oblast under the title “UPA as a Phenomenon of National History.” It was organized by the Subcarpathian University and the Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and attended by scholars from Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Kryvyi Rih, Ternopil’, and Chernihiv, as well as by UPA veterans. Conference participants were greeted by the president of the Ivano-Frankivs’k branch of the Brotherhood of UPA soldiers, Fedir Volodymyrs’kyi, who expressed his certainty that the gathering would contribute to the search for “historical truth about the liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people in the 1930s-1950s and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.” Eight papers were presented and covered such topics as the problems of national history in the 20th century, methodological approaches to the study of the Ukrainian national movement from the 1930s to the 1950s, contemporary national historiography of UPA, and the various stages of the struggle between the “Soviet totalitarian regime” and the insurgents in the postwar period. As the conference ended, participants visited the Stepan Bandera Museum in the village and listened to a talk by Taras Fedoriv, head of the village administration, about the main episodes in the life and career of Bandera. Next the famous local singer Mykhailo Kryven’ performed a number of UPA songs that were “received emotionally by the audience.” It can probably be assumed therefore that the conference’s final recommendations—for intensification of research directed at “an unbiased portrayal of UPA”—would be somewhat more difficult to attain given the setting and conditions in which this gathering was held.50

  • 51 Roman Zahoruiko, “Zezlamnyi hin do voli,” Ukraina moloda, 14 October 2003, p. 10.

42In an article on the 61st anniversary of the creation of UPA, Roman Zahoruiko, an UPA veteran, places this event in the context of an age-old Ukrainian struggle against “foreign conquerors-enslavers” of Ukraine, which included Poles, Romanians, Magyars, Germans, Slovaks, and Russians. The struggle of the UPA was the most intense of all because of the way it had united the Ukrainian people. He refers to the insurgency as “the awakening of the spirit of the nation.” The UPA was a phenomenal army made up of “enthusiastic patriots and idealistic fanatics.” It was an army without a state and without a uniform, and no salary was required for serving in it. As an army, it may have left something to be desired, but its shortcomings were compensated for by qualities such as dedication, patriotism, and the commitment of its members. Sometimes, in his view, literature about the UPA is too romantic: the reality was a permanent lack of sleep, constant hunger, and always the danger of the enemy. There was also constant uncertainty concerning who was a friend and who was an enemy. Insurgents were never sure whether or not someone would betray them to the NKVD for a financial reward. The heavy casualties eventually convinced the UPA leadership that the struggle was lost, but Ukraine was an “El Dorado or Klondike” for which foreign conquerors—very similar in outlook even though they were opposed to each other—were fighting. The UPA was the “third force” that battled only for freedom and the independence of Ukraine on its native land. He concludes by denouncing the Ukrainian state that has failed to recognize its heroes: the world has recognized OUN and UPA insurgents as heroes, but the state, like a stepmother, which acquired independence thanks to the blood shed by these people, does not.51

  • 52 Yevhen Sverstyuk, “Tsyu riku ne zahatyty,” Ukraina moloda, 20 November 2003, p. 6.

43Zahoruiko’s hyperbole, particularly regarding “world recognition” is more than matched by an article by Yevhen Sverstyuk that appeared in late 2003. The author analyzes social processes in contemporary Ukraine in the context of the debates over the status of UPA. The question of who supports recognition and who is opposed, he writes, defines who is who today. Looking into this historical mirror, everyone can see their own reflection. However, the whole issue is misguided and senseless, because the phenomenon of the UPA towers over the debate. The UPA is the “tributary of the river of the Ukrainian people that flows from primordial foundations. This river was raging during the times of the Cossacks, and although its flow was at times impeded, it was always a river of the independence struggle.” He cites heroes such as Myroslav Symchych, whose entire life was a struggle, and who even changed the face of the Gulag, transforming it into a hotbed of resistance to both Stalinism and the criminals in the camps. That, for Sverstyuk, is UPA. But what of those who do not wish to recognize or oppose it? The failure of the Ukrainian government to recognize the UPA is a symptom of the lack of identity of the country’s new rulers. They are “spiritually alien and nationally empty post-Communists,” whose lives are distant from those of nationally conscious Ukrainians. The achievement of independence, in Sverstyuk’s view, was a result of UPA’s struggle. He recalls his own career and interrogations during his arrest, and how he would be comforted by remembering the OUN Decalogue while in prison. The idealism of the Ukrainian dissidents of the 1960s, he writes, was motivated by UPA’s battles and inherited from the insurgents. It was an honest struggle that could not be controlled by Communist propaganda and repression. People must remember the heroes and victims of the liberation struggle, the article concludes.52

  • 53 Serhiy Stepanyshyn, “Nationalist Internationalism: The Conference of the Captive Nations of Easter (...)

44Idealizing the UPA in this way served as a contrast to the former Soviet writing that demonized the insurgents, though it may have proved equally unhelpful in the quest for a dispassionate assessment of this organization. Den’ newspaper focused on this negative image in an article by Serhiy Stepanyshyn, issued to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the conference of captive nations in Eastern Europe and Asia. Stepanyshyn considers that this type of propaganda served to separate people from their historical roots and to consolidate hostile regimes in power. Regarding UPA, he remarks that Bolshevik propaganda never used the correct acronym in the official media but always replaced it with phrases that used the name Bandera, which equated insurgents with an image of a murderer or bandit; or a follower of the Nazis; or a “bourgeois-nationalist,” etc. The falsehoods about the UPA and who it served were easily propagated in the Soviet Union and even in Ukraine, since people were completely unaware of the situation in Western Ukraine. To be a follower of Bandera—or Banderite— was the worst designation possible, and was adopted by people in Russia and Eastern Ukraine as a general term to depict Western Ukrainians. To some extent such stereotyping could be advantageous, and Stepanyshyn comments how as a Western Ukrainian being conscripted into the Soviet army, he was treated with some respect and not subjected to the bullying that was the common practice. Yet apprehension about Banderites is still enough to intimidate people and make it difficult for them to accept that insurgents of the UPA deserve the same respect as that accrued to any Second World War veteran. They were not brutes, but rather “heroes who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of their native land from the aggressors.”53

45At the end of the Kuchma era, the issue of full recognition of the OUN and UPA as participants in and veterans of the Second World War had not been resolved. As the narratives illustrate, those supporting such recognition were becoming more insistent in their demands, and the portrayals were linked consistently to a centuries-long struggle for independence on the part of the Ukrainian people. Conversely, those who did not support recognition and those in other parts of Ukraine generally were often branded as ignorant or dupes of Soviet propaganda, and as people who did not know their own history. Aside from some qualified remarks—such as the warning not to romanticize the UPA by the former insurgent—the depiction generally to this point was idealistic and always employed a national, rather than regional background. That comment applies not only to UPA, but also to accounts of the interwar period and the rise of the OUN, the earlier years of the war, and the postwar period. Historical memory takes on a singular and narrow image of selfless warriors fighting only for their native land and independence. In 2004, following the Orange Revolution, the Kuchma regime was replaced by a presidency, won over the course of a frenzied election campaign (eventually entailing three rounds of voting) by the leader of the opposition, Viktor Yushchenko, as noted above. The new government, which began with a remarkable degree of unity and international acceptance of change in Ukraine— particularly a move away from the Russian orbit and toward Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures—immediately faced the question of recognition of the national insurgents. The first summer of the Yushchenko government also marked the 60th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Second World War. Thus we will examine in turn the narratives around this event and then analyze the attitude of the post-Kuchma government toward the question of recognition and how the issue stands today in contemporary Ukaine.

The Great Patriotic War Commemorations

46The issue of the commemoration of the Great Patriotic War is closely linked to the campaign to rewrite the history of what is termed “the national liberation movement” in support of an independent Ukraine during this period. The term “Great Patriotic War” was applied particularly in the Brezhnev period when 9 May became a national holiday in the Soviet Union that, along with 7 November, featured as one of the two most important events in the formation (and legitimization) of the Soviet Union. The phrase has at times perplexed Ukrainian historians, who have used both the German-Soviet War and the Great Patriotic War—and sometimes both together—in the titles of their books and articles. The Great Patriotic War could be portrayed as a phrase that served to unify the Soviet state and to provide a perception that all nations were fighting together to defeat the enemy. By the same token, the arrival of the Red Army and its occupation of the prewar Soviet territories was always depicted as an act of liberation. However, in Western Ukraine the perception was always different, and just as in the Baltic States, the return of the Red Army could be described as another period of occupation: the replacement of one dictator with another, and a form of rule that was equally harsh, if indeed not harsher than that of the Germans. In 2006, in Kyiv, the anniversary witnessed Red Army and UPA veterans—naturally well past their prime—coming to blows in the streets. Though most of the narratives that follow address the need to change the concept of a “patriotic war” to the German-Soviet War, and to reassess what it meant for Ukrainians and residents of Ukraine, it is fair to say at the outset that the question is far from resolved. For some Ukrainians, particularly in the eastern and southern regions, the war remains almost a sacred event. For others, it is an embarrassment, like the grotesque maternal figure with shield and sword that towers over the city of Kyiv, and which still symbolizes a war that was won with the aid of Mother Russia.

  • 54 Stepan Zlupko, “Velyka vitchyznyana chy druha svitova?” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 22 June 1993, p. 2.
  • 55 Mykhailo Lytvynchuk, “My voyuvaly ne za imperieyu,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 27 April 1995, p. 2.

47In June 1993, Professor Stepan Zlupko raised the question of what the war meant to the Ukrainian people and whether it is fair to term it the Great Patriotic War. For Ukraine, in his view, the term is false. There were millions of deaths, but it was not patriotic because it was not fought in the interests of the Ukrainian people, who performed the role of cannon fodder for the Red Army. Ukrainians in Ukraine, he writes, had no rights before, during, or after the war. True, there was a Ukrainian SSR, but this was a token state and the republican government could not even construct a cinema without the permission of Moscow. According to Zlupko, the Bolsheviks occupied Ukraine with some help from Ukrainian traitors, and began anti-human experiments, which reached an apogee with the “Holocaust” of 1932-33 and the mass destruction of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, along with the vicious reprisals in Western Ukraine. The Soviet Union therefore was not a motherland for Ukrainians, and if it was not a motherland, how is it possible to term the war “patriotic”? He explains the fact that many Ukrainians joined the Red Army by saying that they were deceived. In fighting in the Red Army, they were dying for an alien cause, and many of them had little choice in the matter because they were conscripted by force.54 The element of compulsion is also brought up by a Western Ukrainian who fought in the Soviet army, Mykhailo Lytvynchuk. If anything, he is even more forthright than Zlupko. The victory that the Russians are preparing to celebrate, he writes in April 1995 on the eve of the 50th anniversary, was for Ukrainians a repeated enslavement by “the Moscow-Bolshevik hordes.” Military boards drafted people aged 17-65 years without concern for their health. He makes reference to Soviet estimates that some 6 million Ukrainians fought in the Red Army and says these sources are silent about the fact that half of them were killed. Soldiers from Western Ukraine who were sent to the front always had to operate in the most dangerous areas, and under the guns of the Soviet security forces. After scouting missions only two to three soldiers returned alive and many older or sick soldiers were executed for desertion for being unable to keep up during long marches.55

  • 56 Ibid.
  • 57 Yaroslav Tymchyshyn, “SRSR ukraintsyam ne batkivshchyna—itzhe druha svitova viinadlya nas ne vitch (...)

48Concerning his own role in the Red Army, Lytvynchuk comments that the UPA could not accommodate everyone because of the strain on material resources. On the other hand, those who fought in the Red Army did fight for Ukraine against the mortal enemy: Nazism. Lytvynchuk promotes national unity in Ukraine on the 50th anniversary by proclaiming all Ukrainians who fought in the war fighters for Ukraine, regardless of whether they were Soviet soldiers, UPA insurgents, or members of the SS Division Halychyna.56 Another article that appeared in the same venue nine days later continued the theme under the title “USSR is not a motherland for Ukrainians; hence the Second World War is not the Great Patriotic War for us.” The war, writes Yaroslav Tymchyshyn, was unleashed by Nazi Germany with the active assistance of the Soviet Union, an even bloodier regime. These two “anti-human” regimes tried to expand their spheres of influence, capturing new territories and sacrificing entire peoples in their ambitious quests. Liberation from Nazi Germany signified further enslavement for Ukraine by the Bolsheviks. Tymchyshyn’s claim that “our motherland is Ukraine” and not the “Moscow Empire” is an attempt to monopolize Ukrainian thinking, since the statement would not be universally accepted in Ukraine. To some extent he recognizes this fact in his statement that unfortunately, many functionaries and scholars are still tied to the tenets of Moscow propaganda and the colonial policy of the “criminal” Communist Party. Obsequiousness is their common characteristic, which is why they cannot stand on their feet proudly and say the words of freedom. Ukrainians have traitors in their midst, in his view, and to accept the USSR as a motherland is to assault the foundation on which the act of independence of Ukraine was based. Victory over German Fascism derived first and foremost from the OUN-UPA and the armed underground that fought both the Germans and the Bolsheviks. The latter brought a holocaust of bloody reprisals and the deportation to Siberia of “tens of millions” of Ukrainians.57 Tymchyshyn’s outburst hardly contributed to a quest for unity among Second World War veterans; rather it sought to divide Ukrainians into those who served in OUN-UPA and the remainder of the population, which included “fifth-column Communists and Socialists” who wished to turn Ukraine into a Moscow colony yet again.

  • 58 I. Antsyshkin, “Velyka: ale chy vitchyzniana?” Ukraina moloda, 8 May 1999, p. 4.

49A somewhat more rational analysis is provided by I. Antsyshkin on the 54th anniversary of the end of the war. He attempts to elucidate what holiday is being celebrated in Ukraine. He points out the differences between Ukraine and the West: in the West, people celebrate the end of war whereas in Ukraine, the celebration is of a victory in a Great Patriotic War. Was it great and was it patriotic, he asks, answering his own question that the status of “great” is not really in doubt if measured by the number of victims, the amount of human grief, and the heroism of all the peoples of the USSR, by the shocking errors of the Soviet leadership, and the joy of those who returned home. Yet for Antsyshkin the status of “patriotic” has to be measured by the extent of popular support. The Second World War in the Soviet Union cannot be considered patriotic because nearly one million Soviet citizens served in the Wehrmacht police forces. Almost 20 national groups in the USSR were declared to be traitors and deported. Millions of Soviet citizens refused to return home from the Western zones of occupation. Antsyshkin then repeats the familiar dictum of the nationalist perspective, namely that for the Ukrainian people after the bloody Civil War, the Famine of the 1930s, and the deportations of 1939, the war could not be patriotic. The second part of Antsyshkin’s article draws attention to the Soviet tendency to diminish the importance of battles fought by the Western allies and their assistance to the USSR. From the Soviet version it seems that the Germans did not fight in the West. He attributes this way of writing to an inferiority complex of the Soviet wartime leadership and their successors. He also notes that the West and the former Soviet republics celebrate on different days, 8 May and 9 May respectively, commenting that the Germans actually capitulated on 8 May to the American General Beddell Smith. However, the USSR celebrated the following day, the date that German capitulation was ratified in Moscow. Today, he concludes, 9 May is the holiday when one can easily renounce the notion of an independent Ukraine and fail to recognize UPA veterans, and instead of being a day of remembrance, it has become a day of hatred.58

  • 59 Roman Zahoruiko, “Istorychne sharlatanstvo,” Ukraina moloda, 7 May 2003, p. 12.

50In 2003, Ukrainian film director Serhii Bukovs’kyi produced a film called “Viina: Ukrains’kyi rakhunok,” which represented a fairly balanced account of Ukraine during the Second World War. The film provoked a lengthy critique in the pages of Ukraina moloda by Roman Zahoruiko, the former UPA insurgent cited above, who chided Bukovs’kyi for a failure to capture what was termed the “in-depth Ukrainian essence” of the war and how it related to Ukraine and Ukrainians, and specifically why the war yet again separated Ukrainians into different and often hostile groups, as well as the morally correct stand of each group. Zahoruiko considers that only national historians can provide an accurate picture of the war. One could begin, in his view, by educating Ukrainians through interviewing on TV living witnesses to and participants in battles featuring Ukrainians. He is tired of hearing “veterans of the so-called Great Patriotic War.” He equates the anti-Ukrainian content of Bukovs’kyi’s film with the issue of ownership of the mass media. This film was ordered by Moscow and the pro-Moscow oligarchs around Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. Why, he wonders, did the film fail to mention 350 years of “Muscovite occupation” of Ukraine, plans to deport Ukrainians en masse from their homeland in 1944, or the matter of genocide against Ukrainians when Russian generals sent thousands of poorly armed Ukrainian youngsters to their deaths? Zahoruiko then descends into an anti-Semitic diatribe, claiming that the film was part of a Jewish intrigue, alongside Russians and new Ukrainians tied to the Kuchma regime. UPA, he maintains, was the Third Force that fought both the Soviets and the Germans, and a state that fails to recognize its own heroes should be ashamed of itself.59 Zahoruiko’s critique represents a more extreme and intolerant perspective that in some ways re-sembles the sort of integral nationalism of the prewar and early war years. It does little to assist the goal of rehabilitating the UPA and serves to bolster those in Ukraine who still consider the insurgents as representative of narrow and fanatical national interests.

  • 60 O. E. Lysenko, “Druha svitova viina yak predmet naukovykh doslidzhen’ ta fenomen istorychnoi pam’y (...)

51The Second World War in Ukraine was the subject of a more reflective article in the main historical journal in the spring of 2004. O. E. Lysenko admits that the war remains a problematic factor in contemporary Ukraine, provoking confrontation and agitated reactions in much of Ukrainian society in response to efforts to depart from the established stereotypes of the Soviet past. In his view, such a reaction can be explained by the enduring power of ideas and images internalized by many Ukrainians from the Soviet period. He transfers these perceptions to current social and economic issues—alienation from the government, lack of social guarantees, and a failure to assist Soviet veterans who are now enduring difficult times. These factors only exacerbate the irritation with the notion of rewriting the history of the war. Much now falls on the shoulders of historians to resolve this conflict, says Lysenko. Without doubt the Soviet view was one-sided, as it emphasized some issues and ignored others. The portrayal of the OUN and UPA was exclusively negative because Soviet historiography was a servant of official ideology. Therefore the historian must free his discipline from historical constraints in order to bring about an “objective reconstruction of the past.” Scholars must be both objective and apolitical. To date, from the Ukrainian side, Lysenko finds studies and documentary collections on the war years to be unsatisfactory. They reflect the weak contacts with scholars abroad, a lack of opportunity for research in archives, and the legacy of Soviet historical writing. Foreign scholars, on the other hand, are starting to provide innovative approaches to the topic. He proposes that historians should move from the macro-levels of study offered by Soviet history, and move to the micro-history of social groups, families, and individuals. Oral history is an important component that could have a positive impact on such studies.60

  • 61 Ibid., pp. 10-13.

52Lysenko is also concerned about terminology and believes that contemporary historical studies are contaminated by an ideological vocabulary that continues to be used long after its originators—the Communist leaders—have disappeared from the scene. They include terms such as “bourgeois and socialist intelligentsia,” “collectivization,” “industrialization,” “cultural revolution,” “socialist realism,” and “enemy of the people.” Such terms, says the author, obscure rather than reflect reality. Another example is the phrase “Ukrainian-German bourgeois nationalism” because the goals of the German National Socialists and the OUN were not identical, and the former consistently refused to recognize Ukrainian statehood as a legitimate goal. Thus the task for historians is to explore the parameters and characteristics of the dominant ideology, the way in which these are used, mutual influences, how the political apparatus functions, and the degree of its effectiveness. In the West—and Lysenko clearly has a very high opinion about historical writing in developed capitalist countries—most historians accept the emancipation of ideology from class or social structure, and refuse to treat ideology as the totality of ideas contained by human minds. Rather ideology affects different spheres from scientific knowledge, to religion, and everyday behavior.61 It is fair to say that Lysenko’s appeal—at least in terms of current writing in Ukraine about the Second World War—has not been widely taken up because historians or publicists still tend to write in a highly emotional fashion, basing their publications on political history and ideology rather than the microcosmic approach. His suggestions also require a considerable leap from what is clearly a non-objective approach to history, or history as propaganda, as encapsulated by Soviet writing, with the Second World War arguably the most difficult place to start, in revising past views.

  • 62 Yurii Shapoval, Ukraina XX stolittya: osoby ta podii v konteksti vazhkoi istorii (Kyiv: Heneza, 20 (...)
  • 63 Yurii Shapoval, “Ukrains’ka druha svitova,” Dzerkalo tyzhnya, No. 15, (23 April-6 May 2005).

53One historian who has constantly tried to perform such a task is Yurii Shapoval, in major publications as well as in a lengthy series of articles in Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal and regular items in the popular media. Shapoval’s book Ukraine in the Twentieth Century: People and Events in Difficult Times is a serious attempt to include the latest archival findings alongside what is more familiarly known, and he firmly rejects Soviet stereotypes.62 As the 60th anniversary of the war approached in 2005, Shapoval published an article in which he criticized Ukrainian historiography, which he feels is still dominated by retrogressive narratives that idealize and mythologize the topic and continue to promote the stereotypes of “Brezhnev-Stalin historiography.” These self-righteous scholars still reject the story of Ukraine in their narratives about the war, in his opinion. He begins with the statement that by concluding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the two dictators, Hitler and Stalin, divided Europe. There was no place in their planning for an independent Ukraine. The annexation of Western Ukraine in 1939 should be considered part of this conspiracy, and therefore one cannot praise the Soviet regime and Stalin for unifying Ukrainian lands, as is sometimes the case. In 1940-41, he adds, about 320,000 people were deported from Western Ukraine to remote regions of the USSR and thousands of prisoners and POWs were executed in 1941, just as the Soviet-German war started. Hence two totalitarian systems were in operation during the war, and Ukraine suffered under both of them. He also questions the term “Great Patriotic War,” which he maintains is an artificial and ideological term. The population during wartime was not monolithic as this term implies. There were at least three different groups: those in the Red Army by force or conviction, those who fought against the Communists, and the silent majority that was prepared or obligated to conform to the different regimes.63

  • 64 Ibid.

54Shapoval then examines Ukraine’s situation in more detail. At first—and he cites a comment by Demyan Korotchenko, the Second Secretary in the Ukrainian party leadership from 1939—a majority of the civil population tried to adopt itself to the occupation regime. Others realized that freedom would not come from either the Kremlin or Berlin. Thus when Stets’ko announced Ukraine’s independence on 30 June 1941, it was not an action taken by German collaborators, but a reflection of the thinking in Ukrainian society. In Shapoval’s view, this is why the so-called liberation of Ukraine in 1944 is a topic that should be revisited: “no such liberation took place.” True, the Nazis had been expelled from Ukrainian territory, but another war was beginning in the western regions that would last until the mid-1950s. Shapoval remarks that there were two Holocausts that took place in Ukraine during the war: the first was the total extermination of the Jews; the second was the systematic elimination of the Slavic population: Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, and Belarusians. But Stalin in his view was no liberator, and even when the Red Army crossed the Polish border, the leader’s goal was to capture Poland’s industrial installations rather than free political prisoners in Nazi death camps.64 His article fits well with the new narrative that could be termed “nationalist” and seeks to replace the former Soviet version of events. The difficulty, and it is evident even in this short article, is that the new version does not fit easily into a straightforward narrative. As we have seen, the declaration of independence of 30 June 1941 was a controversial event that was not accepted widely in Ukraine or by Ukrainians living outside Soviet borders. Moreover, it occurred at least in the belief that the Germans might accept the situation, as is evident from the tone and contents of the first communiqués of Stets’ko and his companions.

  • 65 Professor Serbyn also delivered the 2005 Shevchenko lecture at the University of Alberta on the sa (...)
  • 66 Roman Serbyn, “Ukraine should abandon Soviet-era myths,” The Day Digest, No. 25 (25 July 2006); [h (...)

55The same issue has perplexed Canadian historian Roman Serbyn, as revealed in an interview conducted in Montreal in June 2006 (which covers several topics, including the Famine of 1932-33), and published in Den’ newspaper the following month.65 Serbyn reveals that he was visiting Ukraine in the year prior to the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and felt that it was “outrageous” that Ukraine should find cause to celebrate the exchange of one tyrant for another, particularly as the Stalin regime accounted for more deaths in Ukraine than Hitler. He conducted inquiries as to the origins of the phrase “Great Fatherland War” but no one was interested. He notes that the term was coined on the first day of the war and appeared in print in an article in Pravda the following day. In his view it constitutes a myth that this was a patriotic war, based on three premises: first, the unity and patriotism of the peoples of the Soviet Union; second, that Ukraine was liberated by the Red Army; and third, that the Soviet people were victorious. However, in his view there was no freedom in Ukraine and the Red Army cannot be considered as “the real victors.” Serbyn discusses the choice of 9 May as the official Victory Day, and Stalin’s toast to the Russian people in late May 1945, at which time he cited the other nationalities of the USSR as cogs in the machine without which the leaders could not attain victory. He notes that the holiday was restored by Brezhnev in 1965, and angrily condemns the “metal monstrosity of a woman warrior” on the right bank of Kyiv’s Dnipro River, and comments that independent Ukraine simply accepted both the holiday and its accompanying myth. The interviewer, whose pro-UPA sympathies are evident, then wonders why this myth is still extant when the UPA and the Division Halychyna lack official recognition in independent Ukraine. Serbyn reels off a list of organizations that have promoted the “myth” that includes the CPSU, Red Army veterans, the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, ethnic Russians, and Ukrainian Russophones. He maintains that the concept of the “Great Fatherland War” is impeding unity between Ukrainians who took part in the war in three different military units: the Red Army, the UPA, and, especially, the Division Halychyna.66

  • 67 Lyudmyla Shanhina, “Dva dni do peremohy, abo myr nashomu domu,” Dzerkalo tyzhnya, No. 17 (7-13 May (...)

56In May 2005, an article by Lyudmyla Shanhina provides the results of a survey in Ukraine by the Razumkov Center (the number of respondents is not cited) on attitudes to Victory Day. She reports that 86 % of Ukrainians intended to celebrate Victory Day, 10 % did not, and 4 % had not decided. Of those surveyed, 60 % regard 9 May as the day of victory over Nazi Germany; and 51 % think that the victory was won by the Soviet Union; whereas 9 % feel it was won by the countries of the anti-German coalition. 21 % consider the date a day of commemoration for war heroes, and for 10 % it is a day of mourning for war victims. The survey makes several distinctions in the number of celebrants: 91 % in the eastern regions of Ukraine compared to 65 % in the west; up to 90 % in the age group over 40 intended to celebrate Victory Day compared to 79 % in the range of 18 to 29 years. For the younger generation, the day is considered part of history rather than one affecting one’s family personally (43 % versus 11 %). For those over sixty, however, the respective figures are 20 % and 35 %. In this respect the survey was unable to determine any regional differences. The survey then asked: what kind of war was the Second World War for Ukraine? The results were as follows: 59 % felt it was a just war waged by the Soviet people against foreign aggressors, an opinion held by only 31 % in the western regions, but 65 % in Central and Eastern Ukraine, and 68 % in the south. Just 14 % consider the war one of two totalitarian states on the territory of Ukraine (the figure is 27 % in the west). A reported 49 % consider the war a “just war of the Soviet people” and among older respondents that figure rises to 68 %. Finally, 67 % of those surveyed believe that Nazi Germany was responsible for starting the war (50 % in the west); 1 % blame Western countries; and 19 % think all participants were equally responsible (30 % in the west).67

57How should one evaluate these results? In the first place, the questions are somewhat limited and it would have been interesting to know the attitude of respondents to the various Ukrainian military units in the war. However, the results indicate that independence in Ukraine has not brought a radical change of perspective, a situation that Serbyn has also surmised. Implicitly at least they signal a negative attitude to the recognition of OUN-UPA, and likely there would be even less inclination to recognize the veterans of the Division Halychyna as official participants in the war. The view of the war as Soviet and one that served to unite the people of Ukraine remains in place for most residents, and even in the western regions it embraces a major portion of the population. Where Western Ukraine differs significantly from the other regions is in its perception of the war as a “just” one. Such an attitude would surely be less likely in a region that commemorates the OUN and UPA heroes through statues, museums, and street names. The Razumkov survey is startling in its illustration that the attitude to the war of the younger generation does not differ radically from that of the older generation. Thus the difference in perception is regional rather than generational. The problem in general with commemoration of the war is that whether or not one blames official propaganda and myths long perpetuated by a now defunct regime, a large proportion of the population currently accepts this perspective and refuses to change its attitude to the war. What one has to ask therefore is whether the new version being proposed, with recognition of OUN-UPA and even the Division Halychyna as combatants alongside the Red Army, will be just as rigid and propagandistic in its own way. Will the outcome be a rational discussion of the war, or will it simply replace the original (Soviet) victors with a new version that can be incorporated into the national history of Ukraine (UPA as the main heroes), the sort of interpretation that has slowly begun to be included in school textbooks?


1 Yaroslav Hrytsak, “On the Relevance and Irrelevance of Nationalism in Ukraine,” Second Annual Stasiuk-Cambridge Lecture, University of Camridge, England, 20 February 2004.

2 Oleksandr Marushchenko, “Ukraina v Druhii svitovii viini: istoriohrafichni doslidzhennya 90h rokiv,” Istoriya v shkoli, No. 5-6 (2000): 2-4.

3 Ibid.

4 Nancy Popson, “The Ukrainian History Textbook: Introducing Children to the ‘Ukrainian Nation’,” Nationalities Papers, Vol. 29, No. 2 (2001): 325-350.

5 Viktor Mysan, Opovidannya z istorii Ukrainy (Kyiv: Heneza, 1997), pp. 174-179.

6 Ibid., pp. 179-181.

7 Ibid., pp. 188-190.

8 F. H. Turchenko, Novitnaya istoriya Ukrainy: Chastyna persha 1917-1945 (Kyiv: Heneza, 1998), pp. 246-249.

9 Volodymyr Lytvyn, Valerii Dmolii, and Mykola Shapovatyi, Ilyustrovana istoriya Ukrainy (Kyiv: Al’ternatyvy, 2001), p. 174. Lytvyn, a politician, former Speaker of Parliament, and close ally of former Ukrainian president Leonid D. Kuchma, has been accused of violating copyright laws and plagiarism in his writing. See, for example, Hryhor’ii Nemyrya, “Sim mifiv abo sproba ‘koryhuval’noho presynhu?’,” Dzerkalo tyzhnya, No. 3, (26 January-1 February 2002): [].

10 Ibid., pp. 189, 204-205, 217, and 226.

11 O. D. Boyko, Istoriya Ukrainy (Kyiv: Akademvydav, 2003), pp. 398-399.

12 F. H. Turchenko, P. P. Panchenko, and S. M. Tymchenko, Novitnaya istoriya Ukrainy, Part 1: 1939-2001 (Kyiv: Heneza, 2001), pp. 5-8.

13 Ibid., pp. 8, 25.

14 Ibid., p. 27.

15 Ibid., pp. 28-29, 40-41.

16 H. D. Temka and L. S. Tupchienka, ed., Istoriya Ukrainy: Posibnyk (Kyiv: Akademiya, 2002), pp. 308, 341-342.

17 Ibid., pp. 342-344.

18 Ibid., pp. 345-348.

19 Ibid., p. 349.

20 V. D. Mironchuk and H. S. Ihoshyi, Istoriya Ukrainy (Kyiv: MAUP, 2002), pp. 215-216, 221-222.

21 M. O. Skrypnyk, et al, Istoriya Ukrainy: nachal’nyi posibnyk (Kyiv: Tsentr navchal’noi literatury, 2003), pp. 240-241, 251-253.

22 Ibid., pp. 262-263.

23 Boyko, Istoriya Ukrainy, pp. 479-480, 505-507.

24 “O popytkakh politicheskoy rehabilitatsii OUN-UPA: rezolyutsii XXVIII s’ezda Kompartii Ukrainy,” Pravda Ukrainy, editorial, 19 December 1990.

25 V. Lutsenko, “Demokratychna metushnaya,” Nadnipryans’ka pravda, 7 August 1991, p. 2.

26 Cited in Visti z Ukrainy, No. 27 (1991): 1.

27 A. Boita, “U skhidnii Ukraini-dobri lyudy, a v zakhidnii-lyshe zlochyntsi,” Visti z Ukrainy, No. 34 (August 1991): 1-2.

28 “Pershyi zbir soyakiv UPA,” Literaturna Ukraina, 6 February 1992, p. 7.

29 Editorial, Literaturna Ukraina, 16 April 1992, p. 1.

30 Larysa Khorolets’, “Heroyam slava!” Literaturna Ukraina, 13 August 1992, p. 2.

31 Yurii Shapoval, “Skazaty vsyu pravdu: do 50-richchya UPA,” Literaturna Ukraina, 1 October 1992, p. 7.

32 Volodmyr Yavors’kyi, “Yakshcho derzhava ne pustyi zvuk,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 18 May 1993, p. 2.

33 Ibid.

34 Viktor Koval’, “Ukrains’ka Povstans’ka Armiya: dovidka Instytutu istorii AN URSR dlya Komisii Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy z pytan’ bezpeky vid 1 lypnya 1991 roku,” Ukraina i Svit, No. 37 (2-8 October 1996): 10.

35 Nina Romanyuk, “Ya istymu lushpaiky, aby Ukraina bula!” Ukraina moloda, 2 September 1998, p. 6.

36 Wiktor Poliszczuk, Bitter Truth: The Criminality of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Toronto, 1999), pp. 27, 370-372.

37 Stanislav Kul’chyts’kyi, “Ukrains’ki natsionalisty v chervono-korychnevii Yevropi (do 70richchya stvorennya OUN),” Istoriya Ukrainy, No. 5 (February 1999) 6-7.

38 Iziaslav Kokodnyak, “50 rokiv bezsmertiya,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 3 March 2000, p. 3.

39 Roman Rytiak, “Za shcho my skorodyly spysamy vorozhi rebra?” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 28 July 2000, p. 4.

40 Roman Serbyn, “‘Tretya syla’ v p’yatomu kuti,” Ukraina moloda, 21 June 2001, p. 4.

41 Ibid.

42 Ivan Khmil, “Hucksterish Circumlocutions of the OUN-UPA Apologists,” The Day Digest, 9 October 2001; [].

43 Cited in RFE/RL Newsline, 28 March 2002.

44 Kost Bondarenko, “Istoriya, kotoruyu ne znaem ili ne khotim znat’?” Zerkalo nedeli, 25 March-5 April 2002.

45 Serbyn makes essentially the same point in his June 2006 interview. Roman Serbyn, “Ukraine should abandon Soviet-era myths,” The Day Digest, No. 25 (25 July 2006), []. This article is discussed below.

46 Oleh Hryniv, “Zatavrovani abreviaturamy,” Ukraina moloda, 30 August 2002, p. 4.

47 Anatolii Fomenko, “Pravda pro UPA,” Ukraina moloda, 10 October 2002, pp. 4-5.

48 Information provided by V. P. Futala, Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, No. 2 (2003): 145.

49 Yuri Kril, “Yuri Shukhevych: the Truth about UPA will be known,” The Day Digest, 15 October 2002; [].

50 O. E. Lysenko and O. V. Marushchenko, “Vseukrains’ka naukova konferentsiya ‘Ukrains’ka povstans’ka armiya—fenomen natsional’noi istorii,” Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, No. 1 (2003): 147-149.

51 Roman Zahoruiko, “Zezlamnyi hin do voli,” Ukraina moloda, 14 October 2003, p. 10.

52 Yevhen Sverstyuk, “Tsyu riku ne zahatyty,” Ukraina moloda, 20 November 2003, p. 6.

53 Serhiy Stepanyshyn, “Nationalist Internationalism: The Conference of the Captive Nations of Eastern Europe and Asia was held sixty years ago,” The Day Digest, 9 December 2003, [].

54 Stepan Zlupko, “Velyka vitchyznyana chy druha svitova?” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 22 June 1993, p. 2.

55 Mykhailo Lytvynchuk, “My voyuvaly ne za imperieyu,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 27 April 1995, p. 2.

56 Ibid.

57 Yaroslav Tymchyshyn, “SRSR ukraintsyam ne batkivshchyna—itzhe druha svitova viinadlya nas ne vitchyzniana,” Za vil’nu Ukrainu, 6 May 1995, p. 2.

58 I. Antsyshkin, “Velyka: ale chy vitchyzniana?” Ukraina moloda, 8 May 1999, p. 4.

59 Roman Zahoruiko, “Istorychne sharlatanstvo,” Ukraina moloda, 7 May 2003, p. 12.

60 O. E. Lysenko, “Druha svitova viina yak predmet naukovykh doslidzhen’ ta fenomen istorychnoi pam’yati,” Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, No. 5 (May 2004): 3-10.

61 Ibid., pp. 10-13.

62 Yurii Shapoval, Ukraina XX stolittya: osoby ta podii v konteksti vazhkoi istorii (Kyiv: Heneza, 2001).

63 Yurii Shapoval, “Ukrains’ka druha svitova,” Dzerkalo tyzhnya, No. 15, (23 April-6 May 2005).

64 Ibid.

65 Professor Serbyn also delivered the 2005 Shevchenko lecture at the University of Alberta on the same topic in March 2005 and at the VII ICCEES World Congress in Berlin in July 2005 on a panel organized by the author. In his abstract for this paper, Serbyn writes: “To the old founding myth of the Great October Revolution was thereby added a new myth of consolidation. Soon the new holiday became the most popular. It survived the collapse of the USSR in all the republics except the Baltic states. Its existence in Ukraine creates a paradoxical situation where a state born out of separatism, continues to celebrate a holiday intended to prevent disintegration.” ICCEES VII World Congress, Europe—Our Common Home? Abstracts 2005 (Berlin: Weltkongress 2005), p. 377.

66 Roman Serbyn, “Ukraine should abandon Soviet-era myths,” The Day Digest, No. 25 (25 July 2006); []. The image of a “fatherland” war is Serbyn’s rendition. Usually the reference is either to a patriotic or “motherland” war, hence the female statues in Kyiv and Volgograd (Stalingrad).

67 Lyudmyla Shanhina, “Dva dni do peremohy, abo myr nashomu domu,” Dzerkalo tyzhnya, No. 17 (7-13 May 2005) [].

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