Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How Pre-WW II Ukrainian Fascists Pioneered Brutal Terror Techniques; Later Improved By CIA, Now Ironically Taught to Descendants


Ukraine CIA OUN fascism terrorism Germany Austro-Hungarian Empire Vienna UVO Konovalets Bandera

The history of Ukraine is long and rich. For millennia, the fertile lands of Ukraine with their black earth and rich seas have been highly contested. From the Scythians of antiquity, the Varangians who would eventually become the Rurukids and the first Tsars, to the Mongols, the Hetmanate and the Ukrainian SSR, it is impossible to truly understand the situation in Ukraine today without some historical background.

Out of all those who have lived, fought and died in Ukraine, one group stands out for their importance to the events of today. The fascist terrorists, bandits and collaborators known as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

I do not intend for this to be a comprehensive history of the OUN. Rather, I want to pull on one thread that directly links the terrorists of the past to those of the present. For this, some background is needed.

Yevhen Konovalets, a former Austro-Hungarian Army Lieutenant, founded the OUN in 1929 in Vienna, Austria, from the ashes of his previous organization, the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO). The UVO emerged in 1920 from groups of right-wing Austro-Hungarian veterans of WWI who had fought for the short-lived Ukrainian People’s Republic in the early interwar period. The UVO operated mostly in western Ukraine, at the time occupied by Poland, and waged an extensive terrorist campaign against the Polish and Soviets.

Here, in the interest of fairness, it should be mentioned that the Polish regime at the time was a far-right government which had implemented an unpopular series of land reform and language laws. That said, the UVO’s genocidal response to that cannot be justified. The UVO attacked and killed far more innocent Polish civilians than it ever did soldiers or police. The group carried out numerous bombings, assassinations (both attempted and successful) and in 1921 even invaded the Ukrainian SSR, in an ultimately failed “liberation raid.”

The same year, Konovalets would begin official collaboration with German intelligence, meeting with Weimar military intelligence commander Friedrich Gempp. From 1921 to 1928, the UVO would receive several million marks in aid from Weimar Germany. Pressure from the Polish and Soviet governments led to the relocation of UVO leaders to Berlin, where Weimar intelligence would begin their training. After the Nazis came to power, nothing changed, with Konovalets and the Abwehr continuing their collaboration.

The UVO viewed terrorism as an integral part of their struggle to such an extent that they even killed moderate nationalists such as Ivan Babij for not being extreme enough. They operated mostly as bandits, a tactic which they would never abandon. For example, in 1922, the UVO launched about 2,300 attacks on Polish farms, and only 17 on Polish military and police. The UVO would raid farms for supplies, kill the owners and workers if present, and burn the crops when they were finished. Later, flying brigades were founded to “expropriate” Polish property, often turning to bank robbing to finance the organization.

The UVO would continue along the same lines for years, carrying out terrorist attacks and bandit raids with varying levels of success (they were nearly wiped out by Polish police on several occasions) until, in 1929, a merger of five Ukrainian nationalist groups led to the foundation of the OUN.  (more...)

How Pre-WW II Ukrainian Fascists Pioneered Brutal Terror Techniques; Later Improved By CIA, Now Ironically Taught to Descendants

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