Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Canadian Bandera Network

Ukraine Canada Toronto Catholic Nazi fascism education history war memorials statues Bandera OUN-B

The other day, I was informed that Oksana Prociuk-Ciz, the CEO of the Buduchnist Credit Union (BCU) Financial Group, is allegedly the present-day leader of the underground Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera (OUN-B) in Canada, and that before her, it was Oleh Romanyshyn. The latter is the nephew of Stepan Bandera’s longtime deputy Yaroslav Stetsko, a Nazi collaborator and fascist war criminal who led the OUN-B’s international apparatus from 1968 until his death in 1986. At first when I received this information about Prociuk I didn’t know enough to judge whether or not it sounded plausible to me. I do now, and it does, so I think it’s about time I map out the basics of what remains in Canada of the secretive, crypto-fascist cult of personality centered around the long-dead Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The foundation of the OUN-B network in Canada is the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC), formerly known as the Canadian League for the Liberation of Ukraine, founded in 1949 by Bandera followers who took orders from the OUN-B leadership in Europe. The Canadian branch of the international OUN-B affiliated Ukrainian Youth Association (Спілка української молоді, CYM, established in 1946) is essentially the youth group of the LUC. Homin Ukrainy, or “Ukrainian Echo,” is the Banderite newspaper in Canada, and began publication in 1948, by which time the OUN-B “had an organized if modest nationalist network in place” in Canada, according to Ukrainian Canadian nationalist historian Lubomyr Luciuk. (Romanyshyn was for years the editor-in-chief of Homin Ukrainy.) In addition to the Society of Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women (LUCW), this LUC-led coalition is today known as the Canadian Conference in Support of Ukraine (CCSU).

The CCSU is itself a branch of the so-called “International Council in Support of Ukraine” (ICSU), the global coordinating body of OUN-B affiliated organizations. Its real name is the “World Council of Ukrainian State Organizations,” but it is only called that in Ukrainian (Ради Українських Державницьких Організацій Світу, RUDOS). It was originally called the “Organizations of the Ukrainian Liberation Front” during the Cold War, and it has had numerous names since then, but I will use the first one I mentioned.

Like the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), the ICSU is currently headquartered in Toronto, as is the LUC. I outlined this much and more about three and a half months ago in an article for The Grayzone. There is, however, more to the story. For starters, the largest Ukrainian financial institution in Canada and the self-described “heart of the Ukrainian-Canadian community,” Oksana Prociuk’s BCU Financial Group, was a “platinum sponsor” of the “Tribute Gala” I’ve already written about that was held in Toronto this past February in honor of the LUC, LUCW, and Homin Ukrainy, at which the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper (wittingly or not) praised the Canadian Banderite network and received the ICSU’s “Pinnacle Award.” BCU Financial, a division of BCU Financial Group, issued a statement regarding the event that identified the LUC, LUCW, and Homin Ukrainy as “among the founding organizations of Buduchnist Credit Union.”  (more...)

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