Emigre strategies face Soviet and Ukrainian realities

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Nov. 17, 2011, 2:47 p.m. | Op-ed — by Taras Kuzio

Taras Kuzio

Special to Kyiv Post

After the liquidation of the organized nationalist underground in Ukraine (UHVR [Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council], UPA [Ukrainian Insurgent Army], OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists]) by the early 1950s, emigre nationalists followed two different strategies in the next four decades towards their goal of liberating Ukraine. Both strategies had their own rationale but they also had positive and negative consequences. The external representation (zp) UHVR, and the Prolog Research and Publishing House it established in 1952, understood that this was a new era and adopted a strategy of not establishing underground groupsin Soviet Ukraine. Theyadopted a new strategy aimed at the development of“peaceful revolution” and strengthening of the opposition’s potential through non-violent means, decades before this same strategy was adopted in the Orange Revolution.

Two Prolog leaders also headed the U.S. government-funded Radio Svoboda which played an important role in the provision of independent information to Soviet Ukraine.

In contrast OUNb pursued a strategy common to all organized emigre political parties of building underground structures in Soviet Ukraine. As developments showed, the KGB was only too happy to assist them in this endeavour.

Prolog was not a typical emigre organization but a research think tank and publishing company that also undertook covert activities vis-a-vis Soviet Ukraine. zpUHVR/Prolog supported opposition groups and dissident movements, including national communist tendencies within the Communist Party of Ukraine. National communism was an important factor in Soviet Ukrainian politics from the late 1950s to the early 1970s and in the second half of the 1980s.

From the 1950s through to the 1980s the two emigre publishing houses that published the greatest volume of dissident literature and samvydav, that ranged across the ideological spectrum from national communist, liberal to nationalist, were Prolog and Suchanist, its Munich publishing arm, and the Baltimore-based Smoloskyp publishing house run by Osyp Zinkevych. The only samvydav published by OUNb came from a narrower spectrum of dissidents, nationalists based in Western Ukraine.

Soviet intelligence service infiltration of OUNb

Soviet security services infiltrated OUNb on many occasions from the 1950s to the 1980s, as revealed by existing information and former KGB documents in the SBU archives on these operations. Many of these documents are now in the West and will be useful for researchers working in the future on the history of emigre inter-action with Soviet Ukraine from the 1950s to 1980s. The OUNb will never be transparent about its activities and will therefore not publish its own objective account of this period.

In 1951 the head of OUNb’s Security Service, Myron Matvieyko, was parachuted by the British intelligence service into western Ukraine. In the parachuted group headed by Matviyeyko was a KGB agent and they were “delivered” directly into the KGB's hands. zpUHVR courier Vasyl khrymovych, who was parachuted at the same time by the CIA was captured by the KGB on Oct. 6, 1952 and after his refusal to co-operate was executed in May 1954.

Matviyeko agreed to cooperate with the KGB and played the role of a double agent until the early 1960s. Why the head of OUNb SB, one of the most senior positions in the emigre nationalist organization, was sent on such a dangerous mission remains unclear. If he was caught he could reveal everything to the KGB about the émigré OUNb – which is what he did.

Matviyeko’s capture and agreement to work for the KGB provided them with the intelligence to plan the assassinations of OUNz leader Lev Rebet and OUNb leader Stepan Bandera in 1957 and 1959 respectively in Munich. OUNz (OUN abroad) professed allegiance to the democraticprogram adopted by OUN in Ukraine in 1943, split from OUNb in 1954 and supported zpUHVR.

KGB assassin Bohdan Stashynsky defected to Germany in 1961 and after a brief period of imprisonment allegedly returned to the USSR. He continues to live in Kyiv and collects a pension from independent Ukraine, the country that under President Viktor Yushchenko awarded state awards to Bandera, the person Stashynsky assassinated.

One of OUNb’s underground leaders in the following decade, Sviatoslav Panchyshyn, was a Soviet agent for the next three decades. At the end of the 1960s the emigre OUNb approached Panchyshyn to be head of its Lviv underground. Panchyshyn agreed to the proposal but promptly informed the KGB and became a double agent until the late 1980s.

Panchyshyn was elevated to a position within the ruling council of OUNb (Provid) which gave him secrets at the very core of the émigré organization. He was appointed head of the Organized Court (Organizatsiynoho Sudu) of OUNb and Chief of the OUNb Security Service (SB) in Ukraine. Panchyhshyn therefore followed in the footsteps of Matviyeko.

Panchyshyn’s work on behalf of the émigré OUNb was seen as so “valuable” that the organization awarded him with the "Golden Cross" medal and " Bandera Silver Medal".

In September 1988, Panchyshyn and Yuriy Ivanchenko, head of the Kyiv OUNb underground, who was also a KGB double agent, held a press conference in Kyiv where they revealed their life as Soviet agents. The KGB strategy of building a controlled, artificial OUNb underground in Ukraine was codenamed ‘Operation Boomerang.’

Panchyshyn and Ivanchenko gloated at the press conference at how they had “neutralized” 20 OUNb emissaries from the US, Britain, France, and Western Germany. One of the “neutralized” emissaries was the Belgian young emigre Jaroslav Dobush from the Association of Ukrainian Youth (SUM).

Dovbush was arrested in January 1972 by the KGB and charged with ‘espionage.’ His public confession, prepared by the KGB, linked Ukraine’s dissidents and cultural activists to émigré nationalists. This false allegation was used to launch the 1972 wave of arrests in Ukraine described as a ‘pohrom’ (pogrom) by the samvydav journal Ukrainski Visnyk (Ukrainian Herald).

The Communist Party of Ukraine required “proof” of the alleged ties between emigre nationalists and Ukrainian dissidents and cultural activists to provide ideological justification for their campaign of arrests. Communist strategy was facilitated by KGB control of the fake “OUNb underground” in Soviet Ukraine. The Dobush affair had all the hallmarks of an inside provocation organized by KGB double agent whom the OUNb believed were working for them over two decades.

KGB becomes SBU in independent Ukraine

When Ukraine became an independent state the emigre OUNb aligned with the small DSU (State Independence of Ukraine) party whose leaders had links to the National Front that had been active in Western Ukraine in the 1960s and 1970s.

OUNb distanced itself from the largest, at that time, home grown nationalist group, the Inter-Party Assembly (which became the Ukrainian National Assembly [UNA]) and its paramilitary arm, UNSO (Ukrainian Peoples Self Defense Force). OUNb therefore did not support UNA leader Yuriy Shukhevych’s candidacy in Ukraine’s December 1991 presidential elections. Yuriy Shukhevych had spent thirty years in the Gulag for being the son of the legendary UPA commander Roman Shukhevych who died in a 1950 shootout with KGB troops.

In 1992 the OUNb continued its four decade-long strategy of establishing political structures in Ukraine. the only Ukrainian émigré political group to establish a new political party in independent Ukraine, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (KUN). OUNz/zpUHVR and OUNm (Andrei Melnyk), which was registered as a NGO, continued their different four decade non-violent strategy of focusing on educational and civil society work. The émigré Smoloskyp publishing house moved its publishing operations to Kyiv where they still exist.

KUN was headed by OUNb leader Yaroslava Stetsko from 1992 until she passed away in 2003. Throughout this period KUN was plagued by rumors of infiltration by the SBU, the KGB’s successor structure. KUN deputy leader Serhiy Zhizhko successfully ejected Roman Zvarych, an OUNb activist from New York, in 1995. Zvarych and many other members of KUN believed that Zhizhko was a SBU agent but Stetsko always supported Zhizhko.

Zvarych was elected to parliament in 1998 in Rukh, then in Our Ukraine in 2006 and 2007 and more recently has joined Front for Change. Zvarych was briefly Minister of Justice in 2005 but this ended in scandal when it was revealed he had falsely claimed on his CV to having an MA and PhD from Columbia University.

It has also long been suspected that leaders of the Social National Party of Ukraine/Svoboda had links to the SBU. More recently, rumors persist that Svoboda receives funding from the Party of Regions, a claim even the pro-Yanukovych American Institute of Ukraine criticized in two reports.

After Stetsko passed away, KUN’s new leader became gas trader Oleksiy Ivchenko who had been active with other Western Ukrainians in the gas trade since the 1990s. In 2005 Ivchenko was appointed head of the state gas company Naftohaz Ukrainy but was disgraced by his purchase of a $250,000 Mercedes and was replaced by President Yushchenko.

KUN failed to enter parliament in the 1998 elections when it was one of three parties in the National Front bloc. KUN with its new leader entered parliament in Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine bloc in the 2002 and 2006 elections but did not join the Our Ukraine-Peoples Self Defense bloc in the 2007 pre-term elections.

In the second half of the last decade KUN led by Ivchenko has cut earlier ties to OUNb which has been led by second generation Ukrainians from Germany and (currently) Australia. The Stepan Bandera Sports-Patriotic Association “Tryzub” (Trident), split from KUN in the late 1990s and is today a separate structure.

The main nationalist party in Ukraine today is Svoboda (Freedom) which is home grown, not imported from the Ukrainian diaspora. OUNb meanwhile has resumed its life as an émigré organization.

The supreme irony is that today in Ukraine and the diaspora there are four organizations and parties that claim to be “Banderite” (i.e. followers of Stepan Bandera) in Ukraine - Svoboda, KUN, OUNb “Tryzub” – but they do not work with each other. Emigre OUNb has poor relations with all three. Ukrainian nationalists are therefore as fractured as national democrats.

OUNb pursued a misconceived strategy of establishing underground groups in Soviet Ukraine and a political party in independent Ukraine. In both cases this led to infiltration by the KGB and its successor structure, the SBU.

Émigré groups and parties that pursued a different strategy of educational and cultural work vis-a-vis Soviet Ukraine and independent Ukraine, such as zpUHVR/Prolog, Smoloskyp and the OUNm Olzhych Foundation, have been far more successful. They, in contrast, have not given the KGB or SBU the means to infiltrate and subvert their work.

Taras Kuzio is a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, School Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Nov. 17, 2011, 10:18 p.m.    

What is this article suppose to prove ? Create more divide in the diaspora, smear the members of OUNb, and justify the actions or lack thereof of CIA and M6 agents like yourself !

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Anonymous Nov. 19, 2011, 12:39 a.m.    

The article is not aiming to prove or disprove -- it is shedding light on history and thereby helping us better understand the present. Wise individuals, leaders, communities and societies seek out and reveal the truth. They research, analyze and study history. By uncovering the truth about history they create greater knowledge and understanding. Ultimately this knowledge can help prevent and avoid, in the present and future, the mistakes of the past for the benefit and the betterment of the common good.

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Anonymous Nov. 19, 2011, 5:12 a.m.    

Ukraine hasn't learned a damn thing in 500 years! Same crap over and over.

It'll eat its own young before ceasing to be fanatically stubborn.

History has taught it nothing. Too Bad!

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Anonymous Nov. 17, 2011, 11:11 p.m.    

Slinhead klozynsky started this with his ridiculous article attacking Kuzio and Prolog.

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Anonymous Nov. 17, 2011, 11:11 p.m.    

Slinhead klozynsky started this with his ridiculous article attacking Kuzio and Prolog.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 12:45 a.m.    

This reminds me of the IRA during WWII.

One of the Nazi spies sent to infiltrate the Irish Republican Army during WWII, and to provoke actions against England, said after the war:

&quot;The Irish were good at dying for their country; they were not good at fighting for it.&quot;

Ukrainians are good at fighting each other about their country, or, at times, doing nothing for their country.

And never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity to develop into a vibrant, thriving European democratic state.

They are not good at doing something good for their country.

Everyone's a hetman, and everyone has &quot;views,&quot; and ultimately you wind up with a rotten, stinking, cancerous ball of hot air like Ukraine.

Where sovok mafia vampire thugs have taken over.

And everything just seems to be the same old sh$#.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 3:41 a.m.    

Elmer the Party of Regions is looking out for the national interest as it develops Ukraine into a vibrant,thriving democratic state.What some have a hard time accepting is that can only be achieved within a Eurasian Union in other words a kinder,gentler USSR.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 5:49 a.m.    

What utter poppycock and cow pies!

How does it promote the national interest for Kluyev and the Party of Rats to partake in over $370 million worth of corruption through Livela?

How does it promote the national interest for fat ass The Pineapple to have a $350,000 gold toilet in Mezhihirya?

How does it promote the national interest for appellate judges to be removed - because they exercised independent judgment and let Makarenko, one of 12 former officials being selective politically persecuted along with Lutsenko, out on his own recognizance, rather than continuing to keep him in jail during his &quot;trial&quot;?

Do you think noone notices the brutal attacks on judges who show some independence from The Pineapple and his fellow thugs?

How does it promote the national interest for the government &quot;not to know&quot; who put up the fence around Parliament?

How does it promote the national interest for fat ass The Pineapple's son to be in Parliament, along with Pshonka's (&quot;I'm on the president's team as prosecutor general&quot;) son - for no good reason at all?

How does it promote the national interest to shut down opposition TV stations?

How does it promote the national interest for drunk mazhory big shots to be simply let out of jail after killing people due to drunk driving at extremely high speeds?

How does it promote the national interest for zArazov and the rest to keep lying about talks with Russia?

How does it promote the national interest for The Pineapple to keep lying about how pensions and benefits are being paid to Afghan vets and Chornobyl workers - when they are NOT?

How does it promote the national interest for The Pineapple and his sovok mafia thugs to try to resurrect another sovok dictatorship - there is no such thing as a &quot;kindler and gentler USSR&quot; - it's impossible!!!

How does it promote the national interest to give Firtash, the &quot;savior of Ukraine,&quot; $5 billion worth of gas?

How does it promote the national interest to eliminate political opposition through stalinist show trial kangaroo courts?

How does it promote the national interest for Boyko, the &quot;energy minister,&quot; to profit from corruption to the tune of $200 million, in a crooked rig deal through the government?


You unfortunate delusional little sovok mafioso.

You keep pumping out crappola, and you think that people are stupid and will fall for it.

Another комуністична морда shows twisted, perverted &quot;logic&quot; - and lack of brains.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 12:54 p.m.    

Excellent response.

These sovok provocateurs who in reality hate Ukraine...are everywhere.

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Anonymous Nov. 19, 2011, 6:17 p.m.    

Not everywhere, the handful of them simply make their meager living trolling Ukrainin news sites.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 6:17 a.m.    

What about all the $$$$$$$$$$$ wasted on HURI ??? And the anti Ukrainian cabal takeovers at U of T and CIUS !??? The pseudo-intellectuals haven't done much better than the Banderite grunts ...losers ALL!

In the end our fate is at the mercy of &quot;others&quot;...

We are a pathetic petty jealousy flawed nation!

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 10:44 a.m.    

Very good article !!!

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 3:32 p.m.    

As a Diaspora person myself, I'm perfectly happy to consider myself a citizen of the nice, successful Western country in which I was born, and to commit myself to making THAT country better.

My family left Ukraine the better part of a century ago, and I no longer consider myself Ukrainian, and I don't think I have the right to get involved in Ukrainian politics.

I know, I know, I'm crazy. Also evil.

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Anonymous Nov. 19, 2011, 5:49 p.m.    

Just irrelevant, and self contradictory... If you think you have no right to speak, then just shut up and go away.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 7:47 p.m.    

&quot;Two Prolog leaders worked at Radio Svoboda a US funded government entity&quot; (...oh you mean the CIA). You want to beleive that if the CIA paid their organizational bills and personal salaries the Olzlych, Smoloskyp zpUHVR people wrote and pursued a &quot;independent&quot; political agenda. Your distain for anybody that had or has anything to do with OUNb is evident every time the topic is raised. People like Lozynsky, Stesko and Zvaryh put their lives on the line for what they beleived while you and yours sat with your hands under your butt. How dare you compare the Orange Rev. to the actions of puppets in Prolog and Smoloskyp - you dishonor the people who demonstrated courage and action for their beleifs. Who pays your rent and food bill Mr. Puppet Come clean you coward ! Jamestown is a National Endowment for Democracy (NED)funded entity, and in turn NED is funded by the US Congress under Reagan's initiative to support covert CIA organizations.

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Anonymous Nov. 18, 2011, 10:17 p.m.    

Hey, Batshi%t, you really don't have a clue.

It's very typical in Ukraine for brainless sovok mafiosi to spout off, not knowing anything at all.

&quot;Always wrong - never in doubt.&quot;

That's the motto of brainless Ukrainians sovok mafiosi.

Here is the Jamestown web site, for &quot;support&quot;:

And here is part of the description on that page which openly states that Jamestown seeks donations - which are tax-deductible, because it has met the statutory requirements for being a qualified tax exempt organization under US tax laws.


The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan organization supported by tax-deductible contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals. We provide our supporters with a unique array of specialized publications and research, regarded throughout the world as indispensable sources of information and insight by government officials, the academic community, journalists and businessmen.

Both general support and program contributions are welcome.

The foundation is a nonprofit tax exempt organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. tax code.


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Mykhayl Nov. 19, 2011, 9:57 a.m.    

A lot better article than the followup comments shot from the hip.

How about the Church; Greco Catholic, Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic, / OCA, Carpatho Russian Orthodox. Ukrainian Catholic, Byzantine Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox?

Who replaced the Diaspora's Pastoral Care for Radical Orthodoxy?

Does KGB Pope Kirill consider the Church freemen or serfs locked to canonical territory?

Did the 1988 Millennium command the spotlight away from Russian disinformation by the unprecedented blitz by the Ukrainian secular Diaspora's secular subjective static?

Did the Kingdom of God bring the Evil Empire to their knees?

With no USSR what is the SBU promoting?

How is this different from Ukrainian Nationalists?

How does this differ from the Ukrainian Diaspora?

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Anonymous Nov. 19, 2011, 3:37 p.m.    

Interesting history.What is the future direction of Emigre-Ukrainian relations?

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Anonymous Nov. 28, 2011, 9:35 p.m.    

Hey Batman!

Let's not get too carried away here by placing Lozynsky and Zvarych in the same basket with the late Mr. &amp; Mrs. Stetsko. The real heroes who &quot;put their lives on the line for what they believed&quot; were members of the YBO, OYH and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) who in the 1920's thru the 1950's fought against the chauvinistic Polish occupational regime, and then the Soviet and Nazi occupational regimes.

And besides, everyone knows what a self-centered, pompous a$#hole &amp; liar Zvarych is. And Little Napoleon isn't much better.

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