The two documents reprinted here are "Minutes of Hearings" of Captain Mykola Duzhyi, dated June 20 and August 1, 1945. M. Duzhyi was a founding member of the UHVR (secretary of the UHVR General Assembly) and director of military and political publications for the UPA Supreme Command, in which capacity he edited the journal "Povstanets" and other publications. He worked in an underground bunker in the village of Deviatnyky, Novi Strilchany raion, Drohobych oblast. Working with him were his assistant, Mykhailo Medvid, his brother, Petro, propaganda director for the OUN Leadership, and five other people, assistants and guards.
The NKVD discovered their bunker on June 4, 1945, threw in gas grenades, then pulled out the unconscious activists. M. Medvid died as a result; the others were brought back to consciousness. The June 20 minutes record the first testimony given by of M. Duzhyi. The second hearing took place after the investigators had read the archive seized from the bunker, which included documents signed by Duzhyi in the name of the UHVR Presidium.
Duzhyi did not admit to being a member of the UHVR. The investigators wanted to clarify this matter and others which he did not mention in the June investigation.
The minutes are interesting because of the defense method used by the prisoner and the lack of any abusive vocabulary on the part of the investigator. The record of the prisoner’s statements does not contain any epithets against the UPA, such as "bandits", "fascists", "German lackeys", "agents of imperialism" and so on, which were the norm in the writing of such minutes. The prisoners answers sound natural, just as he might have said them. There are also no abusive epithets in the investigator’s questions. He must have been instructed to record the testimony in this way. At first glance, it appears that the prisoner revealed everything he knew and provided a lot of information about himself and the UPA.
However, close analysis of the content shows that the information given by him was already known to the NKVD. In fact, he did not say anything that could further incriminate him or other people. For example, he did not say that he was a UHVR member and secretary of the First General Assembly of the UHVR, that he took part in discussions with the Romanians, etc.
During the investigation, he played the role of a member of the intelligentsia who knew little about the underground, was rather helpless and cared for by others, had spent almost all his time in the forest or in the bunker and therefore could not know very much.
The June "Minutes" include M. Duzhyi’s biography, with information about his contacts with the underground since 1941, and in particular, from the time when he joined the UPA. He was born in 1901 in the village of Kariv, Rava Ruska povit. In 1918, while still a high school student, he joined the UHA and obtained the rank of First Lieutenant. In 1920, he was taken prisoner by the Poles. After his release, he completed high school and studied philosophy at the secret Lviv Ukrainian University in 1921-24. Then he spent two years in the Polish army, where he completed officers’ training. In 1926-32, he against studied in Lviv University, because Poland did not recognize diplomas from the secret university. From 1929, he was active in the central "Prosvita" organization; from 1931-39, he was secretary of central administration and editor of "Prosvita" publications; in 1939-41, when Lviv had a Soviet administration, he fled to the General Government to avoid arrest. He worked in the "Prosvita" in Tomashiv and fo r one year in the Ukrainian Central Committee (UtsK) in Krakow. After his return to Lviv in 1941, he worked for the renewed "Prosvita" and when the Germans banned it in April 1942, for the UtsK. From March 1944, he hid from arrest by the Gestapo and in June 1944, joined the UPA.
The minutes mention Duzhyi’s meetings with underground activists from 1941, especially during his time in the UPA. He left for the UPA with M. Chechkevych (M. Medvid), director of the UPA’s military and political publications. Until October 1944, he stayed in a forest in the Carpathians with the "Arkadiya" platoon, serving as the guard for
Ivan Beleilovych ("Dzvinchuk"), commander of the UPA 5 Drohobych Military Region. In October, he met the commander of UPA-West, Vasyl Sydir ("Shelest") and was appointed editor of UPA-West publications.
At this time, he met his brother, Petro, who in March 1945 took him to his underground bunker in Deviatnyky. In February 1945, he met with UPA Supreme Commander Roman Shukhevych and was appointed editor of UPA Supreme Command publications.
M. Duzhyi never admitted to being present at the founding convention of the UHVR and taking an active part. When questioned about his signatures in the name of the Presidium on UHVR resolutions, he replied that in March, UPA Supreme Commander Roman Shukhevych had visited Deviatnyky and asked him to sign resolutions because the members of the UHVR Presidium had either gone abroad or been killed. He was told that during the summer, the Second General Assembly of the UHVR would take place and he would be made a member of the UHVR and its Presidium. The signature in question was on resolutions concerning awarding of military ranks and decorations to UPA soldiers and soldiers killed in battle. Later, he was visited by the Chief of the Supreme Military Staff, "Perebyinis" (Dmytro Hrytsai) and they prepared the UHVR resolutions. Duzhyi said that in late July 1944, "Pavlenko" (R. Voloshyn) and "Volodymyr" (M. Prokop) informed him about the establishment of the UHVR. He spoke with them in greater detail about the U HVR. "Pavlenko" gave him the "Platform of the UHVR" and "The General Proclamation of the UHVR"; in the autumn, "Zrub" (Dmytro Mayivskyi) gave him the "Organization of the UHVR" and the appeal to Ukrainians abroad. At this time, "Zrub" commissioned him to write an article about the UHVR for the journal Ideya i chyn, no. 8. He was also commissioned to write an article about the UHVR for Povstanets, no. 1, November 1944, by "Yevshan" (Yosyp Pozycheniuk). The author gave the article to "Yevshan" for approval. It was also read by "Zrub" and "Halyna" (Yakiv Busel). They had an interesting discussion about whether the UHVR was the highest and only leadership of a united Ukraine (the OUN Leadership ascribed this role to itself). After reading the applicable parts of the "Organization of the UHVR," they decided that it was and gave the article the title "The Only Political Leadership of a United Ukraine."
The hearings were conducted by Captain Zazymko, deputy director of the Investigation Section.