Ukrainian Insurgent Army

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The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA and OUN-UPA in Soviet sources) arose out of separate militant formations of the OUN-Bandera faction (the OUNb).[1] The political leadership belonged to the OUNb.

According to Heroes and Villains, edited by David R. Marples and published by Central European University Press in 2007,[2] wrote,

"The subject matter is as controversial today as it was shortly after the end of the Second World War. It is a topic that continues to divide Ukraine, as exemplified by a recent survey... which indicates a geographical split in attitudes toward OUN-UPA: the most favorable are people in the western regions and the least well disposed, those in the far east and south."

The anthology explains treatment of the subject in the Glasnost period just prior to and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union:

The UPA was formed out of the OUN.[3] It's flag was the red and black "Blood and Soil" flag. are vehemently anti-Russian and the OUN/UPA's chief apologists for genocide.[4] Andrea Chalupa, who helped engineer narratives for the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, works for Euromaidanpress.
"In 1989, Pravda Ukrainy published a series of articles on the Bandera movement, which investigated both the early years of the OUN and the UPA insurgency. Having condemned OUN’s earlier leaders Evhen Konovalets’ and Andrii Mel’nyk for “personally” shooting Kyiv workers in 1918, it accuses the Nationalists of the OUN of participating in pogroms in L’viv after the German invasion of the summer of 1941. The writers selectively employ documents to demonstrate atrocities of OUN-UPA in Western Ukraine, particularly innocent victims such as old women and children, under the close supervision of the German occupation forces. The authors also acknowledge that many OUN members were “simple, honest people” who had been “duped” by their leaders.7 The ostensible purpose of such a remark is to explain to the readers why so many people in Western Ukraine appeared to sympathize with the insurgency in the later years of the war and early postwar years. The campaign against OUN-UPA also required emphasis on the cruelty of their deeds, particularly on individual examples extracted from the general conflict between the various forces. According to one account, the methods used by the insurgents exceeded those of the Germans in brutality. Before killing their victims, it was pointed out, they would poke out their eyes, cut off their noses and ears, torture them using electric currents, and bury them alive or throw them into wells.

The effectiveness of Soviet propaganda about OUN-UPA is hard to measure. But as late as 1991, a date when the press was relatively open, there were still letters appearing in the press about “nationalist crimes.” A typical example came from the Cherkasy region in the form of a letter to the weekly Visti z Ukrainy. Its author pointed out that issue 48 from 1990 had examined the horrors of the Stalin period, “which was all well and good.” But, he wanted to know, why was there nothing about the atrocities of the Banderites against their fellow Ukrainians in Western Ukraine? In his article published in July 1991, V. I. Maslovs’kyi writes that there was a deep political confrontation in Western Ukraine in 1944-52. On one side was the majority of population, the interests of which were protected by the Soviet state under the leadership of the Communist Party and Soviet organs. This sector fought for the final destruction of Nazism and now wished to overcome the political and psychological repercussions of the war. On the other side stood the Ukrainian nationalists and various sorts of German collaborators, organized in military formations and later in an underground army. They fought fiercely against the Soviet state and its people. The peak of this confrontation occurred in 1944-47. Today, the author writes, as new conceptions of many historical events are devised, political forces in Western Ukraine are changing the narrative. Destructive, ultra-radical forces disguised as democrats not only declare their heritage in the nationalist formations of the past, but also create new organizations for young people. They attempt to rehabilitate OUN-UPA, deny its collaboration with Nazi Germany, and either keep silent about the crimes of the Banderites or present them as inevitable sacrifices for freedom. They sing the praises of these same people as national heroes and erect monuments to the leaders of the OUN. Nationalist ideas appear on the pages of newspapers and all the so-called nationalists, as well as remnants of nationalist formations abroad, call the national movement of the 1940s “the national liberation struggle.”[5]