Ukrainian nationalists of the Carpathian region of the OUN and the Romanian underground (1940s – early 1950s): cooperation in conditions of confrontation totalit

Ilnytskyi V.I, Oнar A.O.



Abstract. The OUN’s foreign-policy activity, which during the Second World War changed cardinally – from the orientation toward some great state or a group of such states to the foundation of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations) (ABN) and attraction of all the enslaved peoples into the common struggle, is a key element of the concept of the OUN’s national revolution. Considering the struggle of the Ukrainian people as a component of the all-European anti-totalitarian resistance movement, the Ukrainian nationalists tried to prove that the victory over the Bolshevism was possible only on condition of common efforts of all the oppressed peoples. Carrying out the concept of a national-liberation revolution and having created the national departments of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), in the years of the Second World War it became possible to involve the peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia into the struggle. No doubt, all that was preceded by a long and carefully thought-over work among the representatives of different peoples. Propaganda raids became one of the forms of this work. The appearance of the Ukrainian insurgents in the territories of the neighboring states (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania) became a bright demonstration of Ukrainian feelings and refuted a long chain of myths created by the Soviet propaganda, such as “the image of the Ukrainian nationalist-criminal”, absence of any resistance to the Soviets and impossibility of struggling with them, etc. In other words, the pictorial example of the carriers of ideas of the Ukrainian nationalism became the best propaganda for the population of the neighboring states.

In the article on the basis of the unknown and little-known archival documents the features of the activity of the Karpatskyi krai (the Carpathian area) of the OUN in the line of making good contacts with Romanian anticommunist movement in the 1940s – beginning of the 1950s are clarified. A dozen of descriptions of the propaganda raids into the territory of Romania, staged by Ukrainian nationalists with a mission of rendering objective truth about the OUN and UPA and attracting members of Romanian underground into the common struggle, are described. That even a partial efficiency of such raids had a powerful effect, at least – by forming an objective representation about the Ukrainian liberation movement and demonstrating a possibility to struggle against the Soviet totalitarianism, is proved. Despite the lack of details about the common struggle of the Ukrainian and Romanian anti-Communist structures (though the individual participation – of several Romanians in Karpatskyi krai underground – is undeniable), the mutual recognition and understanding of the necessity of the common struggle was certified by the very fact of their negotiations, arrangements, exchanges of materials, products, and information. Besides, it should be underlined, that, contrary to all complexities, Ukrainian national liberation movement managed to refute the myths created by the Soviet ideological-propaganda machine, to impart to the population of the neighboring countries (for example, Romania) the necessity and, moreover, the possibility of serious resistance, so vividly acknowledged by a long-term activity of the Ukrainian nationalist underground. As can be concluded, these are the reasons that pushed for expansion of the Resistance movement against the Soviet totalitarian system in the countries of central and eastern Europe.

Keywords: Romania, Karpatskyi krai (the Carpathian area) of the OUN, Ukrainian and Romanian underground, raids.