[LITOPYS UPA: Chronicle of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army]

Publications of the UPA Supreme Command. Ed. N. Cherkaska, Kiev-Toronto, Joint publication by: Litopys UPA, M.S. Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Fontology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Chief Archival Directorate of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, 1995, 481 pp., ISBN 5-7702-0832-5, hard cover, illustrations.

To know the truth

"I hung one nationalist upside down and burned him on a slow fire; I cut pieces of flesh out of him ... and he, the viper, died shouting "Glory to Ukraine!" What a viper! How many of them I tortured to death ..." These are the words of one student in the Higher Communist party school in Moscow, recorded by Oleksander Dovzhenko in his journal[1].

This unknown Ukrainian patriot who died under inhuman tortures, murdered by the Moscow butchers is a symbol of entire Western Ukraine in the claws of the communist empire during the 1940s and 1950s. One of the heroes of the people's Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which for more than ten years, without any outside help and using only the weapons captured from its enemies, fought against the forces of both totalitarian monsters - Hitler's Reich and the Leninist-Stalinist colonial "Union." UPA units also defended the population of the Kholm and Lemko regions against the brigandry of the Polish army, which herded and deported hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from their ancestral lands.

According to the information of the Soviet oppressive forces, which fought the insurgents, in 1944, when the Red Army occupied the territories of UPA operations, 57,405 UPA soldiers were killed, 50,387 taken prisoner, and 15,990 surrendered - a total of 123,782 persons; during the first four months of 1945 95,083 more men and women were killed, captured or surrendered, for a grand total of 218,865 persons[2]. Even taking into consideration the fact that the Soviets killed many peasants who did not participated in the liberation struggle, the above figures speak eloquently of the extraordinary scope and determined character of the national liberation war in Western Ukraine. In the words of the last UPA Commander-in-Chief, Col. V. Kuk, "At the time of its greatest strength, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army numbered close to half a million men if we take into account not only fighters, but also all the auxiliary services and structures."[3] Never in history has there been a national liberation struggle of such scope, endurance and intensity in conditions of such huge inequality in strength and total absence of any help from the outside world.

But the outside world remained silent. And also silent was Greater Ukraine for whose freedom the heroic insurgents fought and died, Western Ukrainian villages burned and wells filled up with dead bodies of those killed by gangs of NKVD men disguised as insurgents.

* * *

The world remained silent because it knew nothing about the UPA or its struggle. One the Soviets consolidated their rule over a huge empire, they immediately put under the censorship all sources of information and sealed up borders, isolating their population from the rest of mankind. This isolation became even more impenetrable after the Second World War, with the establishment in Eastern Europe of a belt of "People's democratic" satellite states subject to the Kremlin. If ever any negative information about the USSR leaked through that iron curtain of isolation, numerous Soviet sympathizers in the democratic countries prevented it from getting in the the press, so as not to brake the "wheel of history" the axle of which ran right through Stalin's office.

So it was during the famine starvation of Ukrainian peasants organized by the communist rulers in 1932-33 and met with silence by the West; this the same happened after the war, when the world was entranced with Stalin's victory over his cunning friend, Hitler. Even the existence in the USSR of a gigantic system of prison camps was long successfully kept secret from the world opinion. It was only in the 1970s, when Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago" broke through the information blockade, that the world shuddered to learn of the martyrdom of tens of millions of prisoners, of whom the largest number were Ukrainians, about the torturing Ukraine by the criminal communist regime. Eventually, the US Congress conducted a special investigation of the communist-engineered famine in Ukraine.

But in the 1940s, right after the war with Germany, when the UPA's national liberation war gained its greatest scope and ferocity, few people in the west heard anything about Ukraine. The information appearing in the publications of independentist Ukrainian emigres was eagerly read only by the Soviet security organs.

In Europe, those organs conducted hunts of Ukrainian nationalists. Specially trained groups of "Smersh" officers (military counterintelligence, the army wing of the NKVD-MGB) regularly kidnaped Ukrainian patriots from West Berlin. Having free access there as representatives of one of the armies occupying Germany, the Stalinist chekists could take Ukrainian nationalists out of their homes in broad daylight and transported them to the eastern sector of Berlin. This was pure terrorism, introduced by the communist state back in the 1920s. People were disappearing, but this did not greatly concern the western occupying powers. Similarly, there was little interest in the western countries in events taking place in Ukraine.

This lack of interest was just what the Kremlin needed, because Ukraine was spoiling its favorable position in the world political picture. Unless we are aware of this fact, we cannot properly assess the significance of the UPA struggle.

After the victory over Hitler, gained with significant help from the western allies, Stalin abandoned co-operation with the democratic countries. The Red Army was firmly entrenched west of Berlin and the Kremlin lord felt free to act on the international arena without restraint. Hiding behind propaganda of the struggle for peace and international co-operation, Stalin trampled down the Yalta clauses about free elections in Eastern Europe and put his communist puppets into power in those countries. Subsequently, he counted on communist successes in France and Italy, ensured communist victory in China, fanned the flames of civil war in Greece, kept Northern Iran under occupation and made territorial demands against Turkey. Soviet spies were stealing successfully all US atomic secrets and Stalin knew that he would soon have his own nuclear weapons and thus would be able to compel US to act cautiously.

It seemed that the Marxist-Leninist prophecies were being materialized: all over the world capitalism was in retreat before the communist advance. There appeared a dreadful but seemingly real prospect of the establishment of Moscow rule over the entire gigantic territory of Europe and Asia and this without any new major war. The specter of the Gulag, into which Russian communists led by Lenin and Stalin had already turned one-sixth of the Earth, loomed over the entire Old World.

The first and strongest obstacle in the path of the Gulag specter was erected by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), with its slogan "Freedom to nations and individuals!" Fighting for the freedom of the Ukrainian people, UPA soldiers also fought for the freedom of other nations. For this reason, the fact that the war, unprecedented in scope and organization, waged by Ukrainian patriots against the red empire of evil remained unknown and unappreciated by the world opinion had negative effects reaching far beyond the borders of Ukraine.

Small number of sober voices in the free world, such as that of Winston Churchill who, in Fulton (USA) on March 5, 1946, urged the West to prevent the advance of aggressive Russian communism, found a hearing among responsible leaders in America and Europe. But the bulk of politically disoriented world masses met his message with hostility. They stood on the side of the Soviet Union, on the side of Stalin, who smartly ended the war under the guise of a protector of freedom and fighter for democracy. Churchill, without any foundation whatsoever, was branded a "warmonger." Communist propaganda knew better than anyone how to fool the masses and depict its opponents as enemies of the people. As an opposite number of the communist party masters of the total lie, even the Nazi minister of propaganda, Goebbels, looked naive and truthful.

Western intelligence was constantly informed about the UPA. However, American and British political leaders failed to use this information to unmask Stalinist propaganda, which clamored about safeguarding the peace and freedom of nations from the imperialist yoke. Yet, revealing this information would have helped to change the pro-Moscow bias of world opinion. In that case the blood thirsty but cautious Kremlin dictator would hardly have dared embark on such dangerous adventures as the Berlin blockade or the Korean War, which cost the West dearly.

* * *

The silence about the UPA struggle kept by Greater Ukraine, Soviet dominated since before the war, had other reasons than those of the outside world.

The first and foremost reason was fear of repression. By the inhuman terror of the state security organs the communist regime had taught the population to remain silent. The people knew how dangerous it was not only to speak but even be present at any conversation about politics if anything anti-Soviet was mentioned.

The second reason was lack of information. East of the prewar border, very few people at all even knew about the existence of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, and far less about the political and socio-economic aims of its struggle. Communist party watchfully suppressed all information about the UPA; even its name was under taboo. All that was permitted was to speak of nationalist "bandits." However, people knew from the rumors that armed "Banderites" were operating in Western Ukraine, that they were very active and often killed representatives of the Soviet regime. In the press published in Western Ukrainian oblasts where the armed struggle continued and could hardly be kept secret the UPA was mentioned in official appeals to fighters to lay down their arms and surrender in return for amnesty. But in Central and Eastern oblasts of Ukraine such appeals were not published. Even the totally mendacious speech, "Ukrainian-German Nationalists at the Service of Fascist Germany," given by D. Manuyilsky, chief idealogue of the anti-nationalist struggle, to Western Ukrainian teachers in Lviv in 1945 was printed in eh Lviv newspaper but not in Kiev. The information blockade was effective.

The third reason was that the shrill propaganda campaign relentlessly waged in Central and Eastern Ukraine against Ukrainian nationalism by the communist regime, applying all methods of ideological influence, found a receptive psychological ground prepared by centuries of Russification and decades-long rule of deceptive internationalist ideology serving the imperial interests of Moscow.

The fourth reason was that, in Central and Eastern Ukraine, countless millions of Ukrainians, frightened by Nazi occupation, regarded the renewal of Stalinist rule as liberation, failing to understand that the brown occupying power was simply replaced by the red one. Tormented by the miseries of war, the people could not realize that during the inter-war years, the communists had killed more Ukrainians through terror and famine than the Mongols, Tartars, Nazis and all other invaders put together.

The liberators are ever thanked and praised without limitations, liberators' enemies are treated by those liberated as their own enemies. That is why all fabrications of the communist propaganda that patriotic nationalists were "German agents," "fascists," "traitors," etc. were met with full trust by the population of Greater Ukraine, particularly in russified cities. Of course there were some people who understood that those who fought for independent Ukraine could not be her traitors, but they had to be silent.

Is all of this surprising? It so happened by force of political circumstances that, at the time when in Western Ukraine UPA soldiers were fighting and dying in an uneven struggle for their nation's freedom, the greater part of that same nation, under the influence of communist propaganda, remained indifferent or regarded them as enemies and traitors.

The deformation of national consciousness of the greater part of Ukrainian society during the period of the UPA's national liberation struggle is nothing exceptional in history. Struggles for freedom are always initiated and waged by the minority of the nation's best. Alarming is a very slow awakening of national consciousness in the present conditions. It shows a deep spiritual sickness inflicted by the trauma of imperial Russification from which the Ukrainian people have still not recovered.

The "anti-banderite," that is, in fact, anti-Ukrainian stereotypes planted into the minds of the Ukrainian population and constantly reinforced by communist party ideologues continue to function and exert a strong political influence even after the formation of the independent Ukrainian state for which the heroic UPA fighters sacrificed their lives. These poisonous psychological stereotypes divide the Ukrainian society into "westerners" and "easterners" and keep open the way to power for communists. They undermine the vital strength of the Ukrainian people, preventing them from clambering out of the pit dug by the communist regime.

The only way to overcome this national sickness is to spread the truth about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, its heroic struggle and democratic ideology through teaching its history in schools and institutions of higher education in Ukraine, publications in the press, broadcast on the radio and television, depiction through art and treatment in scholarly research and collections of documents.

* * *

This volume is the first of a new series of "Litopys UPA," the most extensive publication of documents and materials relating to the history of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

The first "Litopys UPA" series was launched twenty years ago in Toronto at the initiative of the Association of Former UPA Fighters in the United States and Canada, and the General Taras Chuprynka Association of Former UPA Fighters. The editors of that series, Yevhen Shtendera (editor-in-chief) and Petro J. Potichnyj (co-editor) have accomplished an enormous task, producing more than twenty volumes of "Litopys UPA" based on historical UPA documents and materials located outside Ukraine. Enough available material remains to fill another tens of volumes, so the first series will continue with its present numeration.

The "new series", with its own numeration, will be published simultaneously under the same administration. The "new series" will be produced in Ukraine, and the joint publishers are "Litopys UPA", the Institute of Ukrainian Archeography of the National Academy of Sciences and the Chief Archival Directorate of Ukraine. The chief distinguishing feature of the new series is that it will be based on documents and materials collected in various archives in Ukraine, including very large holdings of the former Soviet punitive institutions, which battled the Ukrainian insurgents and the liberation underground supporting the UPA - the ministries of state security, internal affairs and defense, party and court organs, the procuracy.

The aims of the new series of "Litopys UPA" will be the same as those set out by the editors of the original series in the introduction to the first volume: a) to publish, unaltered, historical documents relating to the UPA struggle and activities - both UPA documents and those of its opponents; b) to reprint underground publications important to the history of the UPA which were originally printed in minor publications or periodicals; c) to publish memoirs and other material about UPA activity which have not yet been published or were scattered in minor publications and periodicals; d) to stimulate and publish works about the UPA struggle and that period of Ukrainian history; e) to publish reviews of books about UPA activity and Ukrainian history of the period; f) to prepare a bibliography of publications about the history of the UPA struggle.

The publication of the new series in Ukraine reflects a major change that has occurred in conditions of publication and well as a change in the audience to whom "Litopys UPA" is addressed. The original series was initiated in conditions of seemingly permanent triumph of communist totalitarianism over the people of Ukraine, over the very idea of freedom of nations enslaved by Moscow. That project, undertaken by the UPA veterans as a monumental memorial to the struggle for freedom of Ukraine, was intended for the Ukrainian diaspora in the free world. The diaspora was well informed about the events and did not need editorial comments about the published materials. but now the majority of the readers of "Litopys UPA" will be people living in Ukraine. Most of these people, glasnost notwithstanding, do not have a realistic or coherent idea about the holy war waged by Ukrainian patriots for the freedom and independence of their people. For this reason, in the new series of "Litopys UPA" the published documents and materials are accompanied by explanations and commentary.

* * *

The first volume in the new "Litopys UPA" series consists of publications issued by the UPA High Command. The volume is divided into two parts: the first part contains the magazines "Do zbroyi," (To arms!) "Povstanets" (The Insurgent), and "Ukrayinskyi perets" (The Ukrainian Pepper), and the second reprints the "Boyovyi pravylnuk pikhoty" (Infantry Combat Manual) which was issued as a separate publication. The periodicals are presented in chronological order.

In Ukrainian archives there exist six issues of the magazine "Do zbroyi" from 1943. Unfortunately, the 6th issue, dated December 1943, found in the archive is missing four pages (5 to 8). Copies of the journal are found in the Central State Archive (TsDAVO) and in the archive of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The size of the journal is 18 by 27 cm. Owing to technical defects, some fragments of the text are barely legible. The title states that the journal was published by the political section of the UPA.

The satirical magazine "Ukrayinskyi perets" was published annually. Three issues of this journal, from 1943, 1944 and 1945, have been located in various archives. The first issue is in the TsDAVO archive, while the second and third are in the SBU and TsDAVO archives. This illustrated journal published caricatures and cartoons in red and black. It is 17 by 23 cm in size.

The text of the "Boyovyi pravylnyk pikhoty" (Infantry Combat Manual) is reprinted from the publication found in the Scholarly Research Library of the Central State Archive of Ukraine. It was issued in four separate hardcover volumes of pocket book size (13 by 18 cm). The first volume included sections I-II; the second, sections III-VII; the third, sections VIII-XII; the fourth, sections XIII-XIV. This manual is a translation of a Red Army publication under the same title issued in Moscow in 1943. The translator was the well-known insurgent activist, Mykola Duzhyi.

* * *

The history of UPA publications, including the journals of the UPA High Command, has not yet been sufficiently researched. To date, not all of the available archival documents on this topic have been found and studied. In this volume, we are publishing only the information that has been found so far. The first UPA publications appeared in early spring, 1943, when formation of larger UPA units was launched. They consisted of radio news items and brief reports taken from the press, often with commentaries, and were intended to help the cultural-educational personnel of UPA units or commands to inform UPA soldiers and the public. Materials were copied with typewriter or mimeograph. Soon, in the spring of 1943, these publications took on the form of periodicals and some began to come out in print. At the same time, the new editorial centers issued leaflets and appeals to the public, insurgents and enemy formations acting on the UPA's territory of operations. From July 1943, the UPA High Command's political Division began to publish a larger monthly, "Do Zbroyi", which was printed in the Rivne region by the "Ukrainian Insurgent Army Printer" (issues no. 1-3); the name of the printshop was later changed tot he "Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Ukrainian Insurgent Army Printer" (issues no. 4-6).

According to unconfirmed reports, the editor-in-chief of "Do Zbroyi" was Yakiv Busel ("Halyna"), a Volyn OUN activist. The journal's staff and contributors at the time are not known. Only from a notice published in "Do Zbroyi" in December 1943 do we learn of the death of two contributors - Antin Tuchak and Dmytro Korda. They were killed in an encounter with Soviet partizans on November 4, 1943, near the village of Anelivka in Kostopil rayon. Antin Tuchak ("Hunia", "Kruk", "Haidamaka") came from Irshava in Transcarpathia. He served as a platoon (chota) leader and trainer in an unidentified UPA unit and wrote articles on military training under the pseudonym of Antin Skelia. Dmytro Korda ("Kinash"), who came from the Mykolaiv region in Halychyna, was also a platoon leader. He reported on the UPA struggle and wrote military training articles under the pseudonym of Andriy Zayats.

The journal published materials in the following topics: current military situation, military training terminology, history, memorable national anniversaries, descriptions of UPA battles, developments on the Second World War fronts, patriotic poetry, death announcements. Huge patriotic struggle required a formulation of the UPA's military doctrine. This was largely done at the UPA Headquarters. We should recall that in early August, many officers from the 1917-1920 liberation struggle. This command, in numerous orders signed by Dmytro Kliachkivskyi ("Klym Savur") and Leonid Stupnytski ("Hancharenko"), not only directed the UPA's military actions but worked out its military doctrine, for example, in the "Order" of the UPA Command dated August 31, 1943, under the title "What the UPA is Fighting For"[4]:

(1) For an Independent Unified Ukrainian State on Ukrainian territory; (2) for a new just order in Ukraine without any landlords, capitalists or Soviet commissars; (3) for a new just international order in the world, based on respect of rights of every nation to its full, independent development in its own political system; (4) against the German and Russian imperialistic invaders of Ukraine; (5) against imperialisms, as sources of war and enslavement of nations.

The introduction to this article states that "in defending the Ukrainian people against occupying powers," the UPA will develop into a "Ukrainian People's Army", which "will defend the Independent Unified Ukrainian State against external enemies." These principles remained unchanged to the end of the UPA's struggle; they were only supplemented, broadened or reformulated in minor points.

The magazine "Do Zbroyi" ceased publication some time during the winter of 1944, when the Red Army arrived in the Rivne oblast and the NKVD probably discovered the location of the "Bohdan Khmelnytskyi UPA printer". For this volume, we managed to find the first six issues of the journal, the last one dated December 1943. However, underground materials mention an issue of "Do Zbroyi" of February 1944. This gives us reason to believe that one, two or even more additional issues of the journal were published, which have not yet been found. During that period the following events took place. At the end of 1943 the unified UPA High Command was established, headed by Roman Shukhevych (Taras Chuprynka); the first UPA High Command headed by Dmytro Kliachkivski was renamed the UPA-North regional command. The new UPA High Command began to issue a similar journal, "Povstanets", only in the autumn of 1944. The first issue was dated November 1944.

We know much more about this journal from the NKVD investigation of its editor-in-chief, Mykola Duzhyi, a member of the UHVR (Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council) for north-western Ukraine [5]. Surely, not all the statements in his testimony can be taken at their face value, because evidently the accused spoke in a way as to avoid harming himself and his comrades in arms. According to his testimony, Duzhyi was named chief of all publication activities of the UPA-West Command in October 1944; in February 1945, he was made the chief of all High Command publication activities. Thus it is possible that "Povstanets" was first published by the UPA-West Command and only later, by the UPA High Command. (The journal's subtitle states: "Published by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army"). However, this claim is probably incorrect, because other data indicate that "Povstanets" was prepared by the highest underground leadership right from its beginning. The editor himself was a member of the UHVR presidium. We know that the article about UHVR published in the first issue of "Povstanets" under the title "The Highest Political Leadership of United Ukraine" was written on the advice of Yosyf Pozychaniuk ("Yevshan"), UHVR Information Bureau Chief. He provided some advice to the author and later read the article before print and passed it on for further reading to Dmytro Mayivskyi ("Kryha"), a member of the OUN Military Leadership (Boievyi provid), and Yakiv Busol, former editor of the journal "Do Zbroyi".

In terms of its topics and even its format, "Povstanets" was similar to its predecessor, "Do Zbroyi". New topics included articles about the UHVR and short accounts of UPA actions, which the editors prepared on the basis of reports by UPA unit commanders. The editor of the magazine and author of at least one or two articles in each issue was M. Duzhyi, who wrote under the initials M. K. His chief assistant was Mykhailo Medvid ("Karpovych") who, from January 1944, was UPA-North chief of staff and, at the time when "Povstanets" began publication, a member of the High command. However, Duzhyi did not say what pseudonym Medvid used. Other authors writing for the magazine are known only by their pseudonyms. The first four issues of the journal were prepared by Duzhyi and Medvid at forest posts or temporary quarters in the Novi Strilchany raion, Drohobych oblast. In March, 1945, they moved to the underground bunker of Kuzhyi's brother, Petro, a contributor to OUN publications. There they prepared the fifth and sixth issues of the journal. The bunker had a library nearby and provided quite good working conditions. However, on June 4, 1945, it was discovered by the NKVD. The people in the bunker were gassed with poisonous gas and taken prisoner; M. Medvid was killed by the gas. The fifth and sixth issues of the journal appeared only later as a double issue. Issues no. 1-6 of "Povstanets" are reprinted in this volume. There is reason to believe that in 1946, a seventh issue, and a double one, no. 8-9, were published, but these issues have not been found in the archives.

All we know about the humorous-satirical magazine "Ukrayinskyi perets" is that its editor was Yaroslav Starukh ("Syniy"), who also worded for the "Vilna Ukraina" radio station. As for underground conditions, this journal had a very good colour illustrations and cartoons. It published a variety of humorous materials, mainly written in verse form. However, we do not know the names of the illustrators, authors or other personnel. The journal was printed by the "Death to the Stalinist-Hitlerite Executioners" printshop.

* * *

The materials contained in this volume are reprinted as they appeared originally, without any alterations. The only changes are corrections of a small number of printing errors.

To the extent possible, the lexicon and specific features in the language of the originals has been maintained. Only a few punctuation and spelling corrections have been made. Corrections of printing errors appear in square brackets.

The texts were prepared for print by the compilers: Yu. Cherchenko, V. Halasa, V. Kuk, O. Vovk. The historical part of the preface was written by V. Koval and the index was compiled by O. Vovk.

1. This quotation was first published in the Moscow magazine "Iskusstvo kino" (1989, no. 9, p. 48). At the time, nobody dared to publish it in Kiev.

2. I. Bilas. Represyvno-karalna systema v Ukrayini 1917-1953: suspilno-politychnyi ta istoryko-pravovyi analiz. 2 volumes. Vol. 2, Kiev, 1994, p. 604.

3. Molod Ukrayiny, August 4, 1992.

4. A little later, a leaflet published under the same title provided in detail the program of the socio-political order in the future Ukrainian state.

5. Documents relating to this investigation were found in the Archives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Kiev.


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