As Russia wages a twenty-first-century war against the very existence of a Ukrainian state and nation, reanimating Soviet era propaganda that portrayed Ukrainians as Nazi collaborators and fascists, the experiences of the Ukrainian nationalist underground before, during, and after the Second World War gain new significance. While engaged in a decades-long struggle against the Ukrainian nationalist movement and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and lasting into the mid-1950s, Soviet counterinsurgency forces accumulated a comprehensive and extensive archive of documents captured from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the UPA.
Volodymyr Viatrovych and Lubomyr Luciuk have curated and carefully annotated a selection of these documents in Enemy Archives, providing primary sources the Soviet authorities collected and deemed useful for better understanding their opponents and so securing their destruction, a campaign that ultimately failed. The documents seized from the insurgents and Soviet analyses of them shed light on a wide range of experiences in the underground: how the movement struggled to maintain discipline and morale, how it dealt with suspected informers, and how it resisted the ruthless Soviet state, laying the foundations for the continuing Ukrainian struggle against foreign domination.
Volodymyr Viatrovych is a member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and a recipient of the President of Ukraine’s Cross of Ivan Mazepa.
Lubomyr Luciuk is professor of political geography at the Royal Military College of Canada, a fellow of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto, and a recipient of the President of Ukraine’s Cross of Ivan Mazepa.
Enemy Archives Soviet Counterinsurgency Operations and the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement – Selections from the Secret Police Archives is edited by Volodymyr Viatrovych and Lubomyr Luciuk, and translated by Marta Olynyk.