The Peremyshl and Lemkivshchyna regions made up the OUN Peremyshl okruha,
which was formed from the Peremyshl oblast, created shortly after the Soviet
retreat in 1941. During the underground's structural reorganization of 1944, the
okruha's territorial organization remained unchanged, except that the povit was
replaced by the raion and nadraion.3 In spring 1945, the Peremyshl okruha became
the First OUN Okruha of the Zakerzon krai.
The First Okruha consisted of three nadraions: the "Kholodnyi Iar" nadraion, which included the Peremyshl region and had five raions, one of which was inactive; the "Beskyd" nadraion, which had eight raions (until September 1946); and the "Verkhovyna" nadraion, which had two raions. The latter was formed in autumn 1946 from the seventh and eighth raions of the "Beskyd" nadraion and it existed only briefly, for less than 11 months. The table below shows the organizational structure of the Zakerzon krai in 1947.
Later in this volume, we provide detailed information on the nadraions, their personnel and their functions. We also provide the organizational structure of the "Beskyd" nadraion, based on available information, and the underground codenames for individual raions, kushchs (village groups) and villages that were developed by the organizational section head, "Ostap".4 This is interesting because there were attempts to give codenames to all localities, although it was never done for the entire Lemkivshchyna region. However, the codenames do not appear to have been widely used. For example, they are not found in most of the materials published in this volume. It is, however possible, that the codenames were used in reports and other materials which have not yet been discovered, so we are publishing them in case they may be useful to some future researcher.
The materials published in this volume come from various sources and their content completes that of Vol. 33 of Litopys UPA - "UPA 26 Military District "Lemko": Lemkivshchyna and Peremyshl Region." Some of the documents were obtained from the ZCh OUN, the ZP UHVR archive and the private collection of Stepan Golash ("Mar"). Copies of all documents signed by Myroslav Onyshkevych, with the notation "znaleziono u mnie," were obtained from the Archive of Poland's Security Department and are part of the Peter J. Potichnyj Collection on Ukrainian Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency housed at the University of Toronto. For each of these documents, we indicate the box or microfilm number in the collection. Most of the photographs in the book came from the private collection of Dr. Modest Ripeckyi, while the rest were obtained from other individuals.
The documents in this volume are organized by territory - Lemkivshchyna region and Peremyshl region. The first group also includes information pertaining to the Western Lemkivshchyna region. The part of the volume covering the Peremyshl region also contains some reports relating to the part of the Peremyshl povit that entered into the Second OUN Okruha "Baturyn". The third and shortest part of the volume consists of instructions from the Zakerzon krai leader, Iaroslav Starukh ("Stiah", "Stoiar", "Iarlan", "h") and other materials. The instructions relate to various underground matters, such as refraining from the selection of disgraceful pseudonyms, using explosives, documenting the liberation struggle, security problems, seeding operations, etc. Also published here is the "OUN Appeal to Deportees" and a Pastoral Letter from the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church imprisoned in Siberia.
The materials provide a very interesting overview of the difficult conditions in which the Ukrainian population of this territory lived in 1945-1947. Constant terror, persecution, plunder and killings, not only by Polish civilian bands, but also the Polish nationalist underground and especially, the country's communist authorities, made life for Ukrainians almost unbearable. However, they fought for their right to live on their ancestral lands and were not ready to abandon them voluntarily. Only through brutality and force was it possible to remove them from their land. Those responsible for this situation were the communist dictators in Moscow and Warsaw. The Ukrainian underground, which conducted the liberation struggle, made every possible effort to defend the Ukrainian population. The reports published here document the tragedy experienced by the Ukrainian people and the heroic battle waged in their defense.
The materials collected in this volume give an extensive, although incomplete, picture of the organization and activity of the underground network on this territory. The territory's clear organizational and administrative structure, the staffing of positions of leadership, the accountability and reporting relationships, the accurate and regular reports and the well-developed courier service all show that the underground was relatively well organized and fully able to perform the work of providing rear support to the armed UPA units operating in this underground okruha. The Instructions of the Zakerzon krai leader, Iaroslav Starukh, demonstrate the care with which the underground leadership monitored events in the field and the attention they gave to the reports from all their organizational units.
Two types of reports are presented in this volume: "Visti z terenu" (News from the Field), which provided general information on events occurring within the territory, and "Informatyvni zvity" (Information Reports) or "Politychni zvity" (Political Reports), which served an organizational purpose and provided an analytical look at situations and events. In some raions, especially at the beginning of 1945, the raion level general reports were called "Perehliad podii" (Overview of Events), while the others were called "Orhanizatsiini zvity" (Organizational Reports). In addition to these reports, every raion and nadraion leader was obliged to provide detailed reports about particularly significant event, such as Polish Army (WP) actions, terrorist actions against Ukrainians, or punitive actions by the UPA. These special reports are published in this volume under the title "Pol's'ki aktsii" (Polish Actions).
Unfortunately, we were not able to find reports from the kushch level. Only two brief reports are given here for informational purposes. As we see from their content, the quality of these reports depended on the educational level of the reporter, which was usually not high.
The SB section heads also provided reports, but these, especially if they were not operational reports, were not disseminated outside the section. This volume provides two such general reports, "News from the Field - "Kholodnyi Iar nadraion", written by nadraion SB section head "Potap", and "The Destruction of the Hospital on Khreshchata", by nadraion SB section head "Horyslav - Olen".
Other materials published here include the Pastoral Letter written in 1945 by Ukrainian Catholic bishops in Siberia, which was widely disseminated in the Zakerzon krai.
Input of these materials on the computer was done by Ivan Lyko, for which we thank him. He also made corrections to the text, which are indicated in the notes, and prepared the summary for translation into English. Dr. Modest Ripeckyj provided us with his collection of photographs from the "Beskyd" nadraion and his group's raid to West Germany. We thank him, as well as the members of the editorial board, Dr. Bohdan Kruk and Iryna Kaminska, for additions and corrections to the text. We also thank Mykola Kulyk for administrative assistance.
Petro J. Potichnyj