| HOME | |

Karpo Mykytchuk:

Mission in Italy


At the beginning of summer, 1943, the author agreed to be part of the UPA mission to the western allies. The mission was organized by the OUN Foreign Liaison Section, which was led by Mykola Lebed, later the UHVR foreign affairs secretary. According to the first plan, the members of the mission were supposed to make contact with Gen. Dragutin Mikhailovych's Yugoslav partisans, where they hoped to find some allied missions.

In October, 1943, the author left for Yugoslavia, going through underground channels, along with Lt. Ravich, a Serb, who had escaped from a German prisoner-of-war camp and joined the UPA. However, in Transcarpathia they discovered that in Uzhorod, the underground contacts were broken and the author returned to Lviv. The second attempt began at the end of February 1944. At this time, the author and Yevhen Stakhiv left for Dalmatia under the pseudonyms S. Ivanytskyi and I. Kraus, as part of the team of the German construction firm, O.T. (Organisation Todt). In Dalmatia, they discovered that Mykhailovych's partisans were no longer active. So they left the O.T. organization and moved to Trieste, in order to seek links with Italian democratic partisans. They were joined there from Ukraine by Roman Myrovych, the mission chief, and Yaroslav Yavnyi. The search for contacts was not easy because in the cities there was tight police control and in the villages, communist partisans were active.

Only at the end of summer, 1944, did the author go to Spilimbergo, near Udine, where he had the address of a family which was said to have a relative among the democratic partisans. There he made contact with partisans, but they were communist partisans (the "Garibaldi" organization). With difficulty, he escaped from them and joined the Third Brigade ("Justicia",) commanded by Giorgio Simonutte ("Miro"). This brigade was part of the "Osoppo Friuli" organization, commanded by Manlio Cencig ("Mario"). The author remained with the headquarters of this organization until the end of the war, first as an UPA representative and later, also as a UHVR representative. The author had at his disposal two couriers - Dino Menegon and Odetta Butti.

During his stay with the Italian partisans, the author held informational meetings, in which he talked about the Ukrainian struggle for freedom against the Germans and Soviets. He also assisted the command in their discussions with Cossack units, which were with the German army. He had several meetings with the commander of the democratic partisans, Candido Grassi ("Verdi"), who helped get the UHVR members Yevhen Vretsiona and Roman Prokop to Switzerland. The author also met with the British mission representatives Mac Ferson (probably a pseudonym) and Patrick Martin ("Smith"), whom he informed about the UPA struggle. He gave Patrick Martin a memorandum about the UPA struggle.

Roman Myrovych and Yaroslav Yavnyi sought other ways of making contacts with Italian democratic partisans. However, they fell in among the communists. Caught in a difficult situation, Yavnyi killed himself with a grenade, while Myrovych disappeared without a trace.

The author visited Italy in 1972 and 1975. There he was welcomed by former Italian partisan friends. He took a tour along the former partisan paths, visited the homes in which he was quartered and erected a monument on the grave of Yaroslav Yavnyi. With the help of Italian friends, he also made contact with Patrick Martin and obtained from him a copy of the underground memorandum he had given him in 1945.

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