Now, in almost all publications about the actions of Ukrainian nationalists during the war, the abbreviation OUN-UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - Ukrainian Insurgent Army) is found.
This combination has already firmly entered the language and is clearly associated with the names of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych. Modern Svidomites talk about the need to rehabilitate this organization, opponents object to them. Sometimes it comes to the SS division "Galicia" ("Galicia"). But everything connected with the SS is somehow modestly, very odiously perceived.
Thus, it seems that three parties took part in the events described: the Germans, the Red Army and the OUN-UPA. However, in reality, everything was much more complicated. First, a huge number of armed formations operated in Western Ukraine. These were the Ukrainian nationalist OUN (b), OUN (m), the Legion of Ukrainian Nationalists (LUN) under the command of Roman Sushko, the Murava police unit, Bukovynsky kuren, the Volyn self-defense legion, the Polesskaya Sich, the Polish Army of Craiova, Soviet partisan detachments … These detachments either fought against each other, or created temporary coalitions.
Secondly, there were two organizations with the same name - the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Because of which there is a lot of confusion. This is especially noticeable when modern Ukrainian historians, trying to wash the image of Bandera, prove the anti-fascist orientation of the OUN and show German documents, which speak of the clashes between the UPA and the Wehrmacht. It is difficult for anti-fascists to find an answer to such arguments, because when the word UPA is mentioned, the abbreviation OUN-UPA appears right before their eyes.
This is the main catch - the UPA, which had friction with the Germans, has nothing to do with either Bandera or Shukhevych.
This formation was created in the summer of 1941 in Polesie by Vasily Borovets, who used the pseudonym Taras Bulba, therefore historical in literature it is referred to as Bulba-Borovets. Initially, Borovets units operated under the name of the District Police Command. From the first days of the German occupation, Bulba-Borovets managed to establish good relations with the Germans. The Germans were not against such an alliance, because the Bulbians guaranteed them order in Polesie. The militia was even renamed into the "Polesskaya Sich" of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, and Borovets proclaimed himself its ataman.
Borovets had nothing to do with the OUN and, although he was a moderate Ukrainian nationalist, was guided not so much by fascist Germany as other leaders of the Ukrainian nationalists Melnik and Bandera, but by the so-called government of the UPR (Ukrainian People's Republic) in exile.
Unlike the OUN, who professed a primitive, but harmonious ideological system and dreamed of establishing their power over the country, the people of Borovets were a typical self-defense detachment, whose members did not claim anything except to protect their native villages from any encroachments.
At the end of 1, the Germans demanded that the militia be disbanded, which Borovets did, but he himself, together with the backbone of the Polesskaya Sich, the UPA went underground.
At this time, the Germans began to actively requisition food from the peasants and forcibly send Volyn boys and girls to work in Nazi Germany. At the same time, the Germans often acted brutally, which caused a response from the local population. In such conditions, individual units of the UPA got out of the control of their chieftain and tried to protect the population from looting. Borovets was well aware that if he and his Ukrainian Insurgent Army did not act, a significant part of his people would simply run over to the Soviet partisans.
Therefore Borovets closed his eyes to the fact that his soldiers in several settlements attacked the Germans, destroying several hundred Nazis. The first serious operation against the Germans was a raid on the Shepetovka railway station in August XNUMX. In addition, Borovets held a series of negotiations with the Soviet partisans, concluding a truce with them, which lasted six months. But at the same time, negotiations were held with the German administration, which offered to settle misunderstandings and create police units from the UPA under German command. However, these negotiations fell through.
So the Bandera members had nothing to do with the UPA or its actions during that period of time.Moreover, they were warring groups that hated each other fiercely. With each passing month, the tension between the Bandera and Bulbovites grew. In the spring of 1942, episodic clashes between the UPA and the Nazis began. The OUN published an anti-partisan leaflet, in which the UPA actions were called sabotage. Relations even more deteriorated in the fall of the same year. It was at this time that the confrontation develops into armed clashes. At the beginning of 1943, several detachments of Bulbovites were disarmed by Bandera, and in the summer the war between the UPA and OUN (b) reached its apotheosis.
The confrontation between the OUN and the UPA was not in favor of Borovets. His not particularly disciplined army, of five to six thousand former peasants, had to confront a clearly structured, fanatical and ruthless force, behind which stood the entire might of the German army. In addition, the OUN went to the trick, creating a parallel structure with the same name - UPA. Initially, this structure was used as a means of discrediting Borovets both in the eyes of the local population and in the eyes of the Germans. In September 1943, the Bulba's headquarters was surrounded by Bandera and destroyed, and Bulba-Borovets himself surrendered to the Germans, preferring to sit out in a German prison. The remnants of his people were either destroyed or joined the ranks of the victors. And under the name of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Bandera's followers began to operate. Naturally, this UPA, headed by Roman Shukhevi-than, did not conflict with the Germans. Moreover, the Abwehr fully provided the nationalists weapons and ammunition. In addition, the required number of military instructors was allocated.
For maximum efficiency of actions, Shukhevych tried to give the UPA the appearance of a voluntary people's liberation army. In fact, the UPA was neither a voluntary nor a people's liberation army - the "mobilization" into its ranks was violent. All those who resisted the "mobilization" in the UPA were killed without delay, and often together with the whole family. To prevent the fighters from scattering at the first opportunity, the recruits were forced to kill a Jew, a Pole or a Ukrainian who had been guilty of something wrong before the bandits. And there was no way back for the "mobilized". Under the slogan of the national liberation struggle, the UPA staged an unprecedented massacre of civilians in the territories occupied by the Germans.
No wonder Taras Borovets in his "Open letter to the OUN Bandera and the UPA Head Command" dated September 24, 1943, wrote: "Your" power "does not behave like a people's revolutionary power, but like an ordinary gang ... You have already started a fratricidal struggle, since you do not want to fight together with the entire Ukrainian working people for their liberation, you are already fighting today only for power over them. Beating with ramrods and shooting Ukrainian peasants ... have become your daily activities. " In an article published in the Bul'bovskaya newspaper Oborona Ukrainy, the same Bulba-Borovets wrote to the OUN: “Was there ever such a revolutionary organization in Ukraine that its own people would fear more than the most ferocious enemy, and I would not call members any other than “way” (from the words “strangle with bonds”) and “co-workers” (from the word ax-sokir), which mucked honest and conscientious Ukrainians more than the Gestapo or the NKVD? .. What do they have in common with liberation Ukraine's Bandera attempts to subordinate the Ukrainian masses to their party dictatorship and fascist ideology, which is opposed to the Ukrainian people, against which the whole world is fighting ... I will allow myself to ask you: what are you fighting for? For Ukraine or for your OUN? For the Ukrainian State or for the dictatorship in this state? For the Ukrainian people or only for their party? "
The last question is absolutely rhetorical. Bandera fought for the creation of a state of the fascist type, in which Ukrainian nationalists would have power over the Ukrainian people. Agree, such a desire is not at all a struggle for the independence of Ukraine.
One more quote can be cited. Born and raised in Rovno, Maidan field commander and then twice minister of internal affairs in orange governments, Yuri Lu-tsenko, in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets in Donbass newspaper in 2002, said the following:
“Before the war, about 1 million 400 thousand people lived in the Rivne region. We're only approaching a million now. The massacres in the war and post-war years were so incredible that the region has not yet recovered its population. Moreover, the massacre was, shall we say, versatile.
It was in the Rivne region that the UPA was created as a weapon to fight the Polish population. It must be understood that most of these people served as policemen, and then, organized in 1943, they went to the UPA, and Polish policemen came in their place. Accordingly, the struggle began. The Poles created the Home Army also in the Rivne region, and only then did it leave for the territory of Poland and fought there until the Warsaw Uprising.
In the first years of the war, the Banderaites took up the Jews. We had about twenty percent of the population. In some regional centers, Jews were up to 60%. Almost all of them were destroyed in the first 2 years, except for those who managed to leave for the partisan detachments of Medvedev, Fedorov, Kovpak - they all passed through our region. But besides that, Bandera's supporters began to exterminate the Melnikovites. These were people who also represented the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists - ed.), But the Melnikov wing. In addition, there were still formations of the Bulbashevites, or rather the Bulb'shchv. They were also mercilessly destroyed.
- It was an armed struggle for power in the party within the OUN. Bandera almost completely destroyed the "Bulb'shschv" and very seriously battered the Melnikovites. Who was stronger, he pressed, And there were no political compromises, there was an armed struggle.
Why were the Poles massacred here? It is still a mystery to me why atrocities based on ethnicity reached such intensity, when people were thrown into wells, children were massacred, entire villages were shot on ethnic grounds? This was only in our country and in Yugoslavia. The eyes of the Yugoslavs were gouged out and thrown into the wells, and so was ours. I don’t know more such examples in Europe. Probably, there is something extremist in us. Maybe long-term communication with Asia? For a long time we were under the Tatars, and they were under the Turks ...
- Do you mean that the extermination of the Polish population was very seriously organized?
- Before Christmas 1943, UPA fighters surrounded all Polish settlements in the Rivne and Volyn regions and destroyed everyone. How many, no one knows, the Poles believe that the count goes to hundreds of thousands. Moreover, you understand, the borderland, everyone spoke a mixed language, it is difficult to whitewash people. But, nevertheless, there were purely Polish settlements. I read the diaries and letters of both Bendera and Poles ... What I came across was simply amazing.
The first executions of the Poles in 1941 were carried out by the Bulbo men. As soon as the Germans entered, the Bandera and Bulbovites appeared. But the Bulbo men were more active and were the first to create armed forces in the forests. They entered into an alliance with the Germans, offered their services for the destruction of the "Soviet partisan in the Polish hollow", in our opinion, in the Pinsk swamps. There, on the border with Belarus, we had a completely red area with a functioning underground regional party committee, where the Germans could not enter. A newspaper was published, all the partisan detachments stayed there for the night ... Swamps and swamps. The Germans could not penetrate there, they only bombed heavily.
So, I was shocked by the story. Child surviving writing. He was 5 years old, and Bulbovites came to the village. All Polish families were taken out to the Maidan and escorted into the forest. People cried, turned to their guards, they say, we went to school together, our children played together, and where are you taking us ?! They replied that they had an order to just bring you, and nothing terrible would happen. You will simply be evicted.
Nevertheless, they were taken to a forest clearing, and already another team began executions. There is a crowd of adults and children, and they take turns to be laid face down by 50 in a row, and 2 people walk from the edges towards each other and shoot in the heads. And this kid, and they had three children with their mother, two more sisters were older, looked at all this. Mother's nerves could not stand it, she could no longer endure and said that she had to go and die. She put the boy under her. The nationalist who reached her shot her in the head, and blood and brains splattered on her son's head. Therefore, the one who was walking from the left flank decided that he had been killed and did not start shooting. The boy did not lose his mind, he lay for another 5 hours under his mother, got out and survived ...
This is one small picture of what was happening then in the Rivne region. It was all around. The whole Volyn was engulfed first by the executions of Jews, then the Poles, then a showdown among themselves, then battles between the Bandera and the so-called "hawks" - the extermination battalions of the NKVD, which fought against the Bandera. The region burned for at least ten years. The fighting went on until 1952. There was a war, active somewhere until 1947, then less, but it went on. In fact, a civil war. Because the stories about the NKVDiet with the Russian language and the Moscow accent are fiction. The destroyer battalions were, as a rule, Ukrainians and, as a rule, Western Ukrainians. Therefore, it was a constant murderous war between our own people. "