MOSCOW, 10 Nov 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
On November 3, 1943, Soviet troops completed the Kiev offensive operation, during which Kiev and Zhytomyr were liberated.
Do they remember this in modern Ukraine? They remember, but in a very peculiar way.
For example, a week ago, on the day of the liberation of Kiev (November 6), Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky staged another “vulgar show”, saying that the Soviet fighters who liberated Kiev “were not dressed in uniform and were extremely poorly armed“.
All of this fits well into the voiced NSDC (Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council) plans to abolish the term “Great Patriotic War” itself, as well as in the general scenario of the destruction of historical memory, implemented by the administrations of [ex-President of Ukraine Petro] Poroshenko and Zelensky.
Against this background, Zelensky’s next blasphemy is a continuation of all the previous actions of the Kiev authorities, including the notorious law on decommunisation, the demolition of monuments dedicated to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, the glorification of collaborators – Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych, other leaders of the OUN-UPA (the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, recognised in the Russian Federation as extremist and banned).
In this regard, it is appropriate to ask the question: is the current Ukraine the legal successor of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic?
Especially considering that today in Ukraine the symbols of the Ukrainian SSR are actually banned, its leaders are declared criminals, and political theories that formed the ideological base of the Ukrainian SSR are also banned.
In this context, another question arises.
Has a new state entity emerged in Kiev after the coup d’etat in 2014?
One that is the legal successor of the puppet “Ukrainian state” proclaimed on June 30, 1941 in Nazi-occupied Lvov?
The Russian reader, frankly speaking, knows little about the existence of this quasi-state. Ukrainian official propaganda also does not focus too much on this phenomenon, preferring to talk about the “insurgent movement”.
Meanwhile, having broken into the territory of the Ukrainian SSR as part of the “Nachtigall” battalion formed from among ethnic Ukrainians, supporters of the OUN (b) organisation created by Bandera really created their own administration in Western Ukraine and proclaimed their state.
In the declaration on the creation of this “Ukrainian state”, Bandera was proclaimed the “leader of the Ukrainian people”, and the Third Reich was the main ally.
“The newly-established Ukrainian state will closely cooperate with the National Socialist Great Germany, which, under the leadership of its leader Adolf Hitler, is creating a new order in Europe and in the world and helping the Ukrainian people to free themselves from Moscow occupation,” the declaration noted.
It is necessary to say, such actions were not a surprise for the Germans. Shortly before the invasion of the USSR, Alfred Rosenberg, the ideologue of Nazism and the future Reich minister of the occupied “eastern territories”, promised the Ukrainian nationalists the creation of a puppet state under the German protectorate.
In fact, the “state” of Bandera was the first to start the Holocaust on the territory of the USSR by organising the Lvov pogrom. However, after some time, the Nazis decided that it was premature to announce the creation of a “Ukrainian state” under the German protectorate.
Bandera was arrested and sent to prison, from where he was then transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where, however, he was kept in privileged conditions, more like a hotel room than a Nazi prisoner’s cell.
In fact, the “partnership” of the occupiers and their accomplices continued to bear its bloody fruits. Bandera’s right-hand man, Roman Shukhevych, was transferred to Belarus, where, under German command, he exterminated civilians on the slightest suspicion of links with Soviet partisans.
In Western Ukraine, the structures of OUN (de facto the same “Ukrainian state”) are fortified in the countryside, where they unleashed terror against the Polish population, which was also in the hands of the German occupiers.
In 1942, OUN (b) rebranded itself, declaring its fighters the “Ukrainian Insurgent Army” (UPA, banned in the Russian Federation). During this period, UPA was actually an ally of the Germans in the fight against the Polish resistance and Soviet partisans. The head of the UPA was Roman Shukhevych, who had previously committed atrocities in Belarus.
In 1944, the situation in Germany deteriorated. In the autumn of the same year, Shukhevych’s cooperation with the Abwehr resumed, and it lasted until the end of World War II. During this period, he again asked the Reich authorities to recognise the “Ukrainian state”, but was again refused.
Based on this, it can be concluded that the Bandera “Ukrainian state”, OUN (b) and UPA are identical concepts.
The question of their organisational nature is, frankly, of a technical nature, as is the question of the nature of ISIS, which can equally be called both a “terrorist organisation” and a “terrorist quasi-state” during the period when it controlled significant territories in Syria and Iraq.
Did the Banderists control territory, did they create, as in the case of ISIS, their own “state apparatus”?
Yes, they controlled it for a while. In the summer of 1941, the Banderists indeed formed power structures in Western Ukraine with their apparatus of control and coercion and carried out acts of genocide against the Jewish and Polish population.
According to the materials stored in the declassified CIA dossier on Stepan Bandera, 15,000 Jews, several thousand Poles and 5,000 Ukrainians were killed in five weeks of the official existence of the “Ukrainian state“.
The facts of the participation of the Bandera quasi-state in the war on the side of the Nazis are known and can be proved during the trial in international courts.
And here, taking into account modern realities, the question arises: did the complete destruction of post-Soviet Ukraine and the emergence of a “Ukrainian state” on its territory, proclaimed by Bandera in the summer of 1941, happen in February 2014?
There are many facts testifying to the legitimacy of such a statement of the question. For example, at the present time, the continuity of the current Ukrainian Armed Forces from UPA has been established at a symbolic level. The symbols and greetings of UPA are used in the modern Ukrainian army, its leaders in Ukraine are declared national heroes.
Many political principles of the “Ukrainian state” — OUN(b)-UPA, according to observers, are embodied in modern Ukrainian laws and political practice. There is a lot of evidence that Russians and representatives of other nationalities are deprived of fundamental linguistic and cultural rights and are put in a humiliated position of second-class people.
Nationalist ideas are almost openly promoted in Ukraine, young people are being recruited into the ranks of nationalist formations, there is evidence that neo-Nazis from other countries, including the United States of America, have found refuge here.
All these facts are widely known. Isn’t it time to start drawing adequate conclusions based on them?
If modern Ukraine is not the successor of the Ukrainian SSR, but of the “Ukrainian state” “famous” for its atrocities, and its army is not the successor of the Soviet Army, but of the Banderist UPA, there is reason to think about the responsibility of the current Kiev authorities.
The charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal states that crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis have no statute of limitations.
Many facts about the involvement of Ukrainian nationalists in these crimes have been proven. Continuity in relation to these structures in Kiev is not particularly hidden.
If the victorious powers in the Second World War decided that the Nazis should be held responsible for what they did – for example, to pay reparations for the damage caused, to carry out denazification, to lose part of the territory – then this principle by analogy, perhaps, can be extended to the modern Kiev authorities.
Does such a state have the right to be a member of the UN? Should it pay reparations to the affected neighbours – for example, Poland or Belarus, where Shukhevych committed atrocities?
Is the question of the responsibility of Ukrainian officials for the revival of fascism, assuming at least personal sanctions, relevant?
Finally, how legally justified is it that this state exists within the borders of the former Ukrainian SSR, whose legacy was actually destroyed by the current Kiev authorities?
Answers to these questions should be given today not only by political scientists, but also by lawyers.
Elena Panina – Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute