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The Ukraine and the Present War

I

Authorized by the Ukrainian Chief Liberation Council I have the honour to communicate to the Allied and Associated powers the attitude [of] the Ukrainian Nation towards the reconstruction of Europe after the war.

The Ukrainian Chief Liberation Council (UCLC, Ukr.: UHVR) is the chief Ukrainian political centre directing the revolutionary liberating struggle of the Ukrainian nation for the independent Ukrainian state at the present moment. The UCLC unites revolutionary liberating political forces of the Ukrainian nation. The UCLC relies upon the network of the conspirated bottom bodies spread throughout the Ukraine and upon the military forces of the Ukrainian national positions: Ukrainian Insurrection Army (UIA, Ukr.: UPA).

The opinion of the UCLC is to be regarded, therefore, as the opinion of the Ukrainian nation as a whole. The powers, aiming to the firm establishing of the international relations after the war, cannot ignore this opinion, because one must not approve a state of continual menace for peace.

In this respect the Ukrainian problem is one of the most intricate. Taking this into consideration I should like to profit by this opportunity and to give a general look on this problem.

II

I am quoting now a range of facts which have always included and will still include a constant danger for peace. These facts will prove to clear that the solution of the national problems during the last year since the Peace Conference at Versailles was not full.

A)

They are :

  1. The right of national self-determination proclaimed by President Wilson on February 11, 1918, which was the legal basis of decisions of the Peace-Conference was not applied to the 45 millions of Ukrainians, although they proclaimed their independence on January 22, 1918, and struggled her[oi]cally and without any assistance from Western Europe or from any other power against overwhelming enemy forces and although the fight was especially directed against the Soviet Russia, that is to say, indirectly defending Western Europe.
  2. The Ukrainian problem has not been settled until now, neither during the Peace-Conference nor by the League of Nations.
  3. After her struggle to maintain her independence 1917-1921, Ukraine was divided between the Soviet Russia, Poland, Czecho-Slovakia and Rumania.
  4. By violent annexation of the greater part of the Ukrainian territories by the Soviet Russia:
    1. The position of the Soviet Moscow was extremely strengthened in Eastern Europe, as Ukraine became the basis for spreading of bolshevism all over the Europe.
    2. There was created a constant menace to the existence of other states and nations;
    3. There arose a constant danger to European culture and civilization, the self-confid[e]nce of the Soviet Russia gradually growing into open menaces to invade the whole of Europe.
  5. By the violent annexation of the Ukrainian territories by Poland, Czech[o]-Slovakia and Rumania, conglomerates of nationalities were created, which had not justified their existence, and were not capable to resist Hitler's aggression, leading to the present war. Internally these states contained too large a number of nationally conscious minorities, that did not agree with the national, political and cultural oppression, struggled against it, and feeling their maturity for the independent state life, endeavoured to realize their state aspirations on right occasion. Externally they were at the mercy of their stronger neighbours, incapable to resist their aggression.
  6. By this division of the Ukrainian territories:
    1. the national unity of the Ukrainian nation was broken, and their political and cultural evolution as well as a normal economic life rendered impossible.
    2. the unsolved Ukrainian problem offered the states aiming to conquer Europe (the USSR and Germany) an opportunity of invading on the internal life of the neighbouring states.
  7. Endeavourings to reform the Peace Treaty on the forum of the League of Nations brought no satisfactory results, which finally led to internal political conflicts, that favoured the outbreak of the war.
  8. The important question of new social order was in no way settled, which caused:
    1. permanent anxiety and social disorder in the internal affairs of the post- war Europe.
    2. gave a Soviet Russian a chance to propagate her revolutionary slogans of the world revolution.
  9. In the regard to Ukraine, the Soviet Moscow applied her system to serfdom, which brought the Ukrainian population to the ruin of its national and social culture, which surpassed everything Ukrainian nation experienced during their history. The aim of this policy were:
    1. the erasure of the Ukrainian nation as a factor of international importance from the map of the world;
    2. internal reinforcement of the Bolshevic state, as to realize its imperialistic plans regarding other states and nations.
  10. Nazi-Germany accelerated the reopening of the European conflict planning to first spread her rules all over Europe, then to dictate her will to the rest of the world.
  11. The present war was between Germany and the Soviet-Russia been carried on for any progressive ideas, but for the rule over Europe, and especially for the possession of Ukraine, without which they cannot realize their aspirations.

B)

In connection with the political situation after the first European wa[r] (1914-1918) the further way of the struggle of the Ukrainian nation for their political independence will be a quite clear:

  1. After the Independence Wars 1917-1921, Ukraine ceased to exist as an international factor of rank, but owing to her heroical struggle against the Bolshevik preponderance the danger of the Soviet Russia's invading Europe was for sometime postponed.
  2. The Ukrainian nation have never approved the occupation of their national territory, and continued their fight for liberation from foreign domination in different forms, including that of a revolutionary movement under the conditions of conspiracy.
  3. Since 1921 this fight was continued by the Ukrainian Military Organization (UMO, Ukr: UVO) in the Western Ukraine occupied by Poland and by the Association for the Liberation of Ukraine (ALU, Ukr: SWU) in the Eastern Ukraine occupied by the Soviet Russia. The commander-in-chief of the UMO was the late colonel Eugene Konovaletz.
  4. These two organisations were later on (1929) transformed into a single political and military organization called Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). This organization continued the liberating fight on the whole Ukrainian territory and was the chief political factor and sole representative of the will of the Ukrainian nation as a whole: to have their own independent state. The commander-in-chief of this united organization was the late Colonel Eugene Konovaletz.
  5. Beside this revolutionary liberating struggle in the conspiracy, the Ukrainian nation also made use of the legal forms of the states, by which they were occupied. In the so-called Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Ukrainian nation struggled for the realization of the rights of the Soviet Constitution, especially the right of separation from Moscow, and for the full independence of Ukraine. This aspiration was shown in all expressions of the political, cultural and economic life of the Ukrainian nation. The Ukrainian population has been endeavouring to fully dominate the administrative and political staff in the U.S.S.R. The answer of Moscow were a awful terror and big hunger organized on purpose in Ukraine. As well under the other occupations the Ukrainian nation made use of all possibilities of the struggle in the respective states, especially in Poland. The Ukrainian economic life of the Western Ukraine, organized on the cooperation principals, gained a considerable fame all over the world. The U krainian political life in legal forms was built on the Western European patterns of the political part is distinguished by the national and democratic character.
  6. The period of the revolutionary struggle of the OUN against the occupants of Ukraine was a period of perpetual conspiracy, continual insurrections and herein sacrifices. Replying this struggle the occupant applied different means of terror as to destroy finally not only political aspirations of the Ukrainians but also all their national culture. The so-called "pacification" of the Ukrainians in Poland, which took place in September 1930, is well known all over the world to everyone who studied political events at that time.Trials and verdicts against the Ukrainians continued day by day until the fall of Poland. But the most terrible extermination of Ukrainians took place in the Soviet Russia.
    1. the Ukrainians were thrown into prison, or deported into concentration camps, condemned to compulsory work;
    2. monster-trials were arranged and the victims shot in masses in Ukrainian towns;
    3. the renowned hunger period in 1933 was organized to break the resistance of the Ukrainian peasantry against the collectivization;
    4. the power of the Ukrainian national movement in the U.S.S.R. may be attested by the fact that even among the few communist Ukrainians who ruled the country as Governor Generals appointed by Moscow, more and more [v]oices raised in favour of the Ukrainian nation; several of them, having recognised imperialistic aspirations of Moscow defended the rights of the Ukrainians, and consequently had been tried and condemned or driven to the extreme, committed suicide, Schumskyj, Balytzkyj, then the old Bolshevik and Lenin's friend Skrypnyk, th[e]n Lubchenko, as well as [e]ven, Russian by birth, Ukrainian patriot Volobuyeff.
    5. the period of the brilliant development of the Ukrainian art, literature, theatre and science also bears witness of the power and vitality of the national genius of great many writers, although members of the Communist Party, were shot, being only conscientious patriots of the Ukrainian nation such as Khwylowyi, Vlesko, Kosynka, Falkivskyi, Plushnyk, Serov.
  7. The persecution of the occupants as well as the plot on the leader of the Organization, the late Colonel Eugene Konovaletz 1938 in Rotterdam, did not succeed in breaking the Ukrainian Independence movement but united all the nation around the slogan of the late Commander-in-chief: "We'll fight out the Ukrainian state or perish in fight for it."
  8. As a result of German-Polish war, in the years 1939-1941 the whole of the Ukrainian territory was occupied by the Soviet Russia. In the struggle against the Bolshevik violence, thousands of Ukrainians gave their lives proving thus their faith in the idea of the independence of their country.

C)

  1. In June 1941, at the moment of the outbreak of the war between Nazi-Germany and the Soviet Russia, Ukraine was endangered by a new occupation. The OUN, the leader of which, became after the death of the Colonel Eugene Konovaletz, Stephen Bandera, having perceived the true plans of Germany regarding Ukraine, manifested before all the world the will of the Ukrainian nation for independent life, and thus put Germany before a fait accompli.
  2. On June 30, 1941, the Chief National Assembly at Lviv proclaimed the re-establishment of the Ukrainian state, and appointed the first Ukrainian government with Mr. Stetzko Jaroslav in the chair; members of this first Ukrainian Government were eminent Ukrainians without considering their political convictions.
  3. By this state and political act:
    1. The plans of Germany and the Soviet Russia to reduce Ukraine to a passive instrument of their political ambitions, have been crossed and annihilated at the very beginning;
    2. the will of the Ukrainian nation to build their own independent state, and the determination not to tolerate another occupation of the exhausted Ukrainian territory was manifested before all the world.
  4. Germany understood that this declaration annulled her plan to treat Ukraine as a German colony.
  5. In answer to that act of June 30th, 1941, Germany liquidated the Ukrainian political administration which had just begun to work:
    1. the leader of the OUN, Mr. Stephen Bandera, and the chairman of the Ukrainian government, Mr. Stetzko, were put in prison, which was the first step to all following persecutions of the Ukrainians by the Germans.
    2. as well some members of the Ukrainian government were imprisoned or sent into concentration camp.
    3. politics of extermination were applied to the Ukrainian population that had gladly been going to reestablish the Ukrainian state life.
    4. some other members of the government and some of the leaders of the OUN, as well as a considerable number of other compromised Ukrainians succeeded, however, to escape and to pass into conspiracy.
  6. In spite of the liquidation of the Ukrainian political administration the political act of June 30, 1941, has in no way lost its political importance, and remains an undeniable historical fact as well as unquestionable political reality. Partly conspired, partly in German concentration camps is existing the first Ukrainian government that was not willing to obey the provoking German demand to revoke the proclamation of the Ukrainian independence, and thus refused the proposition to collaborate with Germany.
  7. Although the reestablishment of the independent Ukrainian state was rendered impossible by the enemy attitude of Germany the Ukrainian state and political Act of June 30, 1941 has retained its full international significance and importance; this act fully discovered German political and military aims, and struck out of German's hands the argument of fighting against the U.S.S.R. for liberation of the population from the bloody tyranny of the Soviets. It became clear to the nation subjected to the U.S.S.R. that Germany is no protector of them but much a conqueror as a Bolshevik Moscow. This, and further the politics of the Nazi-Germany in the occupied territories of Ukraine and Eastern Europe led to the later defeat of Germany and the East.

D)

  1. Being the battlefield as well as the object of the bloody fight between the U.S.S.R. and Germany, Ukraine is still bringing great sacrifices to attain her national liberation and a just international order.
  2. The aim of the ruining of Ukraine and her populations by both belligerents is to change the populated territory into a wreck and desert without population. The Ukrainians are forced to join foreign armies and to fight for foreign interests. Millions of Ukrainians are forced to work in Germany in hard circumstances, others died of pestilence and hunger in German camps for Russian war-prisoners. Thousands of others are put into prison or concentration camps, where they died from starvation or by bullet.
  3. In spite of these methods of the Bolshevik Moscow and Nazi-Germany the Ukrainian nation continues fighting for independence. At the present moment the Ukrainian Chief Liberation Council (UCLC) is directing this fight. The UCLC relies upon the revolutionary bottom bodies as well as the military forces, and is acting on all the Ukrainian territory. This fight is visible in the following facts:
    1. The Ukrainian nation, her independence movement, as well as OUN, were and are refusing all attempts of German authorities to collaborate with Germany in the construction of the so-called "new European order."
    2. The OUN created the military detachments of the Ukrainian national partisans, to fight against German and Soviet aggressors and to defend and protect life and property of the Ukrainian population. The first bodies of the Ukrainian Partisans began their activity at the end of 1942. During the following years 1943 and 1944 the Ukrainian National partisan warfare increased and now is acting as Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA, Ukr.: UPA). The UIA has become a huge military organization of the whole Ukrainian Nation that under the name of UIA is defending herself against the terror of the occupants and is fighting for her own state. The UIA controls large spaces of Ukrainian territory and is an important political and attractive factor not only for Ukraine, but also for the whole East of Europe, especially for the Ukrainians and other members of the subjugated nations in the Red and German armies.
    3. A considerable amount of the Ukrainians who had been dep[or]ted to Germany, as to work in German war industry, succeeded in escaping and returning to the country.
    4. The Ukrainian population is not willing to give voluntarily the contingents of corn that were to be delivered to the German authorities. The Germans could only take what they succeeded to take by force. Expropriations of the Ukrainian landowners and of entire villages occurred every day, which was the punishment for not giving the contingents. To- day Mosco[w] meets the same defend of the Ukrainian nation.
    5. In this fight against the German occupant the Ukrainian nation lost their best sons. The Honourable list of those who sacrificed their lives for the independence of their nation contains thousands of names, especially members of the OUN who were liquidated by the Gestapo. Almost all of them had been old Fellows of the OUN, such as the Provincial Leader, Dmytro Myron-Orlyk, shot in Kiev; or the Provincial Leader, Ivan Klymiv-Legenda, who perished in prison of Lviv, tortured to death by the Gestapo, and other old Fellows, such as Lubak, Bardakhivs'kyi and Vankevych, shot at Djankoi (the Crimea) or Serge Sher[s]tiuk, Anna Maksymetz, poet Pronchenko, all shot at Kryvoi Rog, or Old Fellow Michael Lenyk, known all over the world by his attentat on the Soviet Council at Lviv 1933 and shot by the Germans at Poltava, or the 52 Fellows shot in November 27, 1942, at Chortkiv (Galicia), the 28 Fellows shot on the same day at Lviv, and many others shot at Kremianetz, Rivne, Zhitomir, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Stalino. At the time of the German retreat, the Western Ukraine was the theatre of the continual bloody scenes where hundreds of Ukrainians were being executed. In all cities of Eastern Galicia condemnations of Ukrainians were publicly performed for terrorist actions against German authorities. Each case of execution was communicated to the population by wireless and printed publications.

E)

  1. The Ukrainian nation and their leading organization (OUN) consider that the right of self-determination of nations and the Atlantic Charter of the allied and Associated powers recognising the right of all nations to an independent political life will be the basis on which the reconstruction of Europe has to rely. On these princip[le]s the Ukrainian nation fights for Independent Ukrainian State under the slogan: "Liberty for nations, liberty for men."
  2. The Ukrainian nation is fighting for Ukrainian Independent state reestablished on democratic princip[le]s. Democracy, but not totalizm or fascism, has been the leading idea of the Ukrainian history. The hard conditions of conspiracy require a hard centralized leading. At present therefore, the OUN is built on principles of a strictly military organization. The Ukrainian nation have their own traditions and their proper princip[le]s [of] leadership. But at the moment of the reconstruction of the Ukrainian state, all power will be given over to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly as the sole Ukrainian national and political representation. All citizens of the Ukrainian State will enjoy equal political rights. The minorities will be invited to collaborate with the Ukrainian nation and to share in the government.
  3. To express already at the time being i.e. still at the period of the liberating fight, the united will of the Ukrainian nation in the shape of the chief leading organ, there was formed on the Ukrainian territories the Ukrainian Chief Liberation Council in June 1944, the initiative of which arose in the UIA. The UCLC is the chief all-Ukrainian leading political centre, which unites all active participants of the revolutionary liberating fight of all Ukrainian territories as well as representatives of various political spheres. The UCLC relies upon the military forces of the UIA, which underlies to the UCLC as the chief political centre. Beside this the UCLC disposes of widely spread network of the conspired revolutionary military bottom bodies on the Ukrainian territories. The conspired network and military forces of the UIA were organised in Ukraine and both were and are continuing the fight recently against the German and now against the Bolshevic conquerors without any assistance from abroad. At the pre sent time the Ukrainians are among the first who organised the national partisan warfare in Europe and applied such methods of fighting as later on were accepted by other nations. The UCLC and its Chair as well as Secretariat-General are staying on the territories now being under Bolshevic occupation. Before the external world abroad the Ukrainian Foreign Delegation of the UCLC is representing the affairs of the Ukrainian nation. The OUN is continuing its action as a independent factor, but its political line matched the political platform of the UCLC as the chief all-Ukrainian centre.
  4. The UCLC announces that the restoration of the Ukrainian state is only possible after the crushing of the Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany. The UCLC preaches and realises the collaboration of all subjugated nations in the common front of fighting against the Nazi-Germany and Soviet-Russia.

F)

  1. Facts bear witness that there is or was no collaboration of the Ukrainian nation with Germany. On the contrary, the Ukrainian nation was waging a hard war against the German occupants. The Nazi-Germany is no protector of the Ukrainian nation, and when at the time of dismembering of Czecho-Slovakian she assumed the attitude of a protector of the Carpetho-Ukraine, this was done only with regard to her own aims. As a proof may be mentioned the treacherous treaty of Brest Litovsk in 1918, the Rapallo Convent, the fall of Carpatho-Ukraine in 1939, the non-aggression Pact with the USSR and dealing with the Ukrainian territory in the same time.
  2. The policy of the Ukrainian nation has always been independent and never pro-German. The objections of Germanophilism to the Ukrainian nation are only the consequences of the Bolshevic, Polish and German propaganda, which are hostile to Ukraine. The Ukrainians have always considered Germany as a factor for crushing the USSR and have always connected their certain hopes with the state of the political forces. But one cannot help stating that in Europe after Versailles there was no state beyond Germany preparing war against the USSR. This conjunctural and political attitude, which was only factual, however, had not prevented the Ukrainian nation from revealing the imperialistic plans of Germany and beginning the fight against her. The best proof of this fact is the just mentioned state and political Act of June 30, 1941.
  3. Fighting ag[ai]nst the Soviet Russia and Germany the Ukrainian nation and their leaders joined the front of these states and nations who fight for a just European order, the right of self determination, and the liberty of men.
  4. The UCLC heartily greets these Ukrainian groups that are in England, the U.S.A. and Canada and are collaborating with the Allied and Associated Powers.
  5. The Ukrainian nation consent to take part in the reconstruction of Europe, sharing the conception of a federation of free states, where the Ukrainian fight for independence and the fight of the Ukrainian nation to have their own independent state will be fully acknowledged and recognised.
  6. The UCLC believes that a just European order and durable European peace will be possible only after the defeat of Bolshevic Russia and Hitler-Germany. Only then a true friendship of nations, based on the democratic principles represented by Western Democracies, that fight for their democratic ideals, can be efficiently restored.
  7. The Ukrainian nation trust that the Allied and Associated Powers will consistently pursue their ideals of liberty and justice in international relations, and thus will restore a durable peace throughout the world.
  8. The Ukrainian nation trust that the wrong committed by the Peace-Conference after the first European War (1914-1918) with the unjust settling the Ukrainian problem will not be repeated, and that the right for self-determination will be also acknowledged to the 45 million strong Ukrainian nation, and as Independent Ukrainian State recognised. The unanimous will of the Ukrainian nation has been expressed by their fight for their independence in 1917-1921 as well as in the continual fight until now. We dare say, that nothing else is sure to cause trouble in the world as a wrong solution of the Ukrainian problem or ignoring it, which in our opinion would not be durable; a durable settling of this problem can only be the restoration of the Independent Ukrainian State on the ethnographical Ukrainian territories in the East of Europe.


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