“Dobosh Case”: the Biggest Failure of ZCH OUN Security Services in Resistance to KGB Apparatus

Yaroslav M. Antoniuk.

 Abstract. The article carries out a research on circumstances of the arrest of Yaroslav Dobosh, who was a courier of the OUN Foreign cells (hereafter – ZCh), by the KGB authorities, using the documents of the Branch State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine as its basis. It was indicated that the mentioned arrest had a significant influence on the dissident movement in Soviet Ukraine. It was proven that the KGB bodies used the “Dobosh case” to launch their massive repressions against the anti-Soviet intelligentsia (“Block” operation), and also to undermine the OUN’s credibility among the Ukrainian diaspora environment in the Western countries. The consequences of that event were reflected in the development of the entire Ukrainian national liberation movement of the 1970s. After analyzing the personality of Yaroslav Dobosh, we discovered that he had been raised in a nationally conscious and religious environment of the Ukrainian diaspora of Belgium. From his early years he joined the Ukrainian Youth Association and agreed to conduct a dangerous mission in Ukraine solely because of his convictions. During that period the OUN Foreign cells had been trying to establish connections with the dissident movement in Ukraine and support it. The tourism was one of the most effective ways of bringing couriers to the Soviet Union. The KGB bodies regularly arrested those couriers. Nevertheless, there was no better communication means between the ZCh OUN and the dissidents. Yaroslav Dobosh had walked into a trap, previously prepared and set by the KGB employees, that was a reason why he failed to spot any danger and was arrested. During interrogations, he revealed his connections with the dissidents in Kyiv and Lviv – Zinovia Franko, Ivan Svitlychnyi, Leonid Selezenko and Stephania Gulyk. In addition to that, he agreed to publicly make a repentance. After that Yaroslav Dobosh was allowed to return home. In Belgium he immediately abandoned his testimonies and claimed that he had been forced and pressed to come out with a speech. However, those statements were of no importance. The KGB organs actively used Dobosh image as a proof of the dissidents cooperation with the Western intelligence services. Emphasizing the failure of the ZCh OUN operation, they launched a campaign to combat “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism” in Western Ukraine and made provocations to intensify disputes in the anti-Soviet camps of the Ukrainian diaspora.

Keywords: dissidents, KGB, ZCh OUN, UYA, Belgium, “Dobosh case”, repressions, ”Block” operation, Kyiv, Lviv, Soviet, diaspora.