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GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UHVR

(SUMMARY)

This document consists of the minutes of the General Assembly the founding convention of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR), the highest leadership of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Ukrainian armed resistance, which took place on July 11-15, 1944 in a foresters cabin in the Carpathian Mountains. The meetings took place from approximately 8:30 AM to 11 PM and concluded on July 15 at 2 PM. The document is, in fact, not the original minutes, but a translation of them into Russian, which was done in the 1 Administration of the Ukrainian SSR MGB and confirmed with a round stamp and signature of the administration chief (the signature is illegible.) When and how the document fell into MGB hands has not been determined. The document was discovered by Yuriy Shapoval, head of the Modern Archeography Section of the Institute of Ukrainian Archeography of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, in the Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, and he passed it on to us for publication. Th e document consists of 72 typed pages.

For UHVR historians, this is a very important document. Until this time, no other documents from this convention have been found (except for M. Prokops speech), and the participants of the Assembly have left only brief and not always accurate memoirs. The minutes record step by step the course of the convention, including the content of presentations, approved resolutions, election of the governing bodies, etc. The Assembly Secretary was Mykola Duzhyi (Myroslav Kolos), an experienced editor and author, and this accounts for the high quality of the minutes.

The congress had 21 participants out of the 32 persons who had agreed to become members of the UHVR. (Thirty were invited, but 9 were unable to come). The congress was opened by Lev Shankovskyi (Roman Stryiskyi), the head of the Initiative Committee for the Establishment of the UHVR. Elected as chairman was Rostyslav Voloshyn (Ivan Chepiha), deputy chairman Zenon Pelenskyi (Ostap Zelenko) and secretary M. Duzhyi. All the participants had pseudonyms, which were used in the minutes instead of their real names (we provide the real names in parentheses). We have not succeeded in pairing the pseudonyms Vorovskyi, Kachanivskyi, R. Klymenko, Makarenko, Polonskyi and Yablonskyi with the following real names: Omelian Logush, Vasyl Potishko, Yosyf Pozychaniuk, Pavlo Turula, Petro Chuiko, Pavlo Shumovskyi and one unknown person. Of the 11 persons who did not attend the convention, we are aware of the following: Ivan Bahrianyi, Yevhen Vretsiona, Rev. Mykola Galiant, Vartolomiy Yevtymovych, Rev. Oleksander Malynovs kyi, Vasyl Okhrymovych and Illia Semianchuk.

The Assembly program can be divided up as follows: speeches, discussions of the speeches, discussion and approval of the UHVR constitutional documents and election of the UHVR governing bodies. Opening procedures and speeches took up the first day of meetings, until dinner time. Myroslav Prokop (Volodymyr Orlovych) spoke about the internal and external situation of the Ukrainian people. Roman Shukhevych (Petro Lozovskyi) gave a speech about the UPA. Mykola Lebed (Variah) spoke about the external political situation. Rostyslav Voloshyn (Ivan Chepiha) was to have spoken about internal policy.

However, as he spoke when he was elected convention chairman, he probably used the occasion to discuss the topic then. The only speech that has come down to us is that of M. Prokop. For the others, all that remains are the brief notes about the presentations contained in the convention minutes. The discussions of the speeches should rather be termed debates about the fate of the Ukrainian people during the Second World War and the prospects for their liberation struggle for an independent state.

The central questions of the discussion were how the war would end, the strategy and tactics of the UPA and the liberation struggle and the role in this struggle of the UHVR. Treated as a separate topic was the Polish question, on which detailed discussions were held. The debates carried on for almost three days and are recorded in some detail, taking up two-thirds of the minutes. Thus, the minutes capture quite well not only this Assembly, but the general drift of Ukrainian political thought at this time. And, of course, they shed light on the political thinking of the Ukrainian political figures taking part in the Assembly. In addition to the speakers, the participants who were most active in the debates were: Vasyl Mudryi (Ihor Vavrychyn), Zenon Pelenskyi (Ostap Zelenko), Kachanivskyi (pseudonym), Kyrylo Osmak (P. Horianskyi), Daria Rebet (Vilshanska), Rev. Ivan Hryniokh (Kostetskyi), Vorovskyi (pseudonym, probably Yosyf Pozychaniuk), Polonskyi (pseudonym, probably Vasyl Potishko) and Lev Shankovskyi (R oman Stryiskyi). They each spoke three or more times.

The most heated debates were over the documents that were to set out the program and tasks of the UHVR. The debates began after dinner on July 13 and lasted a full 24 hours. The minutes record that 19 participants took part and almost all of them spoke several times. The participants suggested points to be added to the proposed docu-ments, editing or stylistic changes or changes of individual words. Thus came into existence the two chief political documents of the UHVR:

Platform of the UHVR, which set out the political program, and

General Proclamation of the UHVR, which was a political appeal to the people. After the approval of these documents, a commission was elected to do the stylistic drafting of the documents. The commissions members were Daria Rebet (Vilshanska), M. Prokop (V. Orlovych), Polonskyi (pseud.), Vasyl Mudryi (Vavrychyn), Vorovskyi (pseud.) and Rev. Ivan Hryniokh (Kostetskyi).

In the evening of July 14 and the morning of July 15, similar discussions took place about the Organization of the UHVR (statute), resolutions and texts of the oaths to be taken by the Presidium, the Head of the General Secretariat and UPA soldiers. The title of the resolution document is not known, but it consisted of the Assemblys resolutions about the activity of the elected UHVR bodies.

These resolutions were guidelines for the activities of the Presidium, General Secretariat and other UHVR bodies. The discussion and approval of these documents were rather hurried. As we know from the memoirs of participants, it was decided to end the Assembly early owing to the arrival of information that the Soviet Army had begun an offensive along the Kovel-Brody-Ternopil line and the front was rapidly moving westward. Participants had to be given the possibility of travelling to various safe places and avoid being caught assembled in a single place by Soviet troops. (This is not mentioned in the minutes).

On July 15, 1944, the chairman R. Voloshyn (I. Chepiha) declared a recess from 9:40 AM to 12:50 PM, to enable the commission to complete its drafting of the documents and allow participants to prepare for the election of the UHVR governing bodies. After the break, the participants approved the text of the resolution and the texts of the oath of the UHVR Presidium and Head of the General Secretariat. Then the elections took place with the following results:

President Kyrylo Osmak (P. Horianskyi);

three Vice-Presidents Vasyl Mudryi (Ihor Vavrychyn), Rev. Ivan Hryniokh (Kostetskyi) and Ivan Vovchuk (Holubenko);

four members of the Presidium Myroslav Prokop (Volodymyr Orlovych), Zenon Pelenskyi (Ostap Zelenko), Daria Rebet (Vilshanska) and Mykola Duzhyi (Myroslav Kolos);

Head of the General Secretariat Roman Shukhevych (Petro Lozovskyi);

General Judge Yaroslav Bilenkyi (Stepan Chernyhivskyi) and General Controller Kachanivskyi (pseudonym).

All the mentioned persons were elected unanimously. The chairman also declared that the General Controller and the General Judge would each select two more persons and the Head of the General Secretariat would select four more persons. The election was followed by the official oath-taking by the President and after him, of other elected persons.

Before the closing of the convention, several matters were dealt with. The participants were not to speak about the UHVR General Assembly until after the publication of the Assembly documents. At this time, UHVR activity was to become more open. The Assembly was closed with a word from the chairman, Rostyslav Voloshyn (Ivan Chepiha), and singing by the participants of the national anthem.


Issue 1,    Winter 2000    Litopys
Published by Forum for the Studies of the History of the UPA
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