Preamble: “The March of Heroes”—a torchlight procession of Right Sector activists—took place today in Odessa. It was arranged by two nationalist social and political organisations: Social-Nationalist Assembly (SNA) and the social organisation “Patriot of Ukraine”. They were joined by fighters of the Azov Battalion, who had returned to civilian life from the ATO zone as a result of the recent troop rotation. Azov is staffed by activists of the SNA and, according to the organisers of the march, “it was initially considered a Right Sector battalion.” Right Sector football fans and other “patriotic youth” also participated in the procession. The march has threatened to become the main event in the city of late. A “March of Heroes” was also held in Kiev and Kharkov. It is not yet clear what the consequences are for the residents of those cities. We will probably find out later. However, we take this opportunity to recall some of the “heroic deeds” engraved in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army’s history.
On October 14, on the occasion of the anniversary of the foundation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA), members of the UIA decided to make an exotic gift to their “general”—five severed heads, freshly cut from Poles. The general was mightily pleased with both the gift itself and the creativity of his subordinates. This kind of zeal shocked even seasoned Germans. The Commissioner General of Volhinya District, Obergruppenführer Schenne pleaded with Bishop Polikarp Sikorsky to restrain his congregation: “Nationalist bandits conduct their activity by attacking unarmed, defenseless Poles. According to our calculations up to today at least fifteen thousand Polish people have been slaughtered. Yanova Dolina settlement no longer exists.”
In the records kept by the “Galychyna” Division of the SS, we read: “March 20, 1944. We were notified of a certain Ukrainian insurgent, originally from Volhinya, but now rumoured to be in Galicia, who was boasting that he himself, “armed” with just a noose, had single-handedly strangled three hundred Poles. He is considered a hero.”
The Poles have published dozens of tomes containing similar facts of this genocide. None of which have yet been refuted by the Banderites. Similar stories about the Armia Krajowa [Home Army, Polish resistance forces -ed.] could fill no more than a single notebook. Countless questions have anyway been raised regarding the veracity of many of the latter allegations, concocted as an exculpatory footnote to UIA-OUN crimes.
To the credit of the Polish side, in publicizing the accounts of the atrocities they took great care to record acts of compassion demonstrated by Ukrainian men and women. To cite just one such example: in the village of Virka (Kostopolsky District) Mrs. Francisca Dziekanska was carrying her five year old little girl, Jadzia, when she was fatally wounded by a Banderite bullet. The same bullet that killed the mother also wounded the little child’s leg. For ten days the little girl stayed beside her dead mother, surviving by eating ears of wheat. A Ukrainian teacher finally rescued the girl.
In doing so, the kind man very likely knew what the cost of such a good deed towards “foreigners” could be. After all, in the same area, the Banderites slaughtered two Ukrainian children simply because they had been adopted by a Polish family. Three year old Stasik Pavlyuk, held by the legs, had his head smashed against the wall.
The same horrible fate awaited those Ukrainians who showed no animosity to the liberators of the Soviet Army. OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, led by Bandera -ed.] member Ivan Revenyuk (nicknamed “Gordiy”) later testified: “At night time they brought in a young girl of about seventeen or maybe even less, a simple village girl from Khmyzovo. She was accused of attending dance parties along with other village girls at the time when a unit of the Red Army was stationed in the village. The militiaman Kubik (ranking commander of UIA battalion “Tury”) asked permission to interrogate her personally. He demanded that she confess to “mingling” with enemy soldiers. The girl swore by God and the saints that nothing improper had ever happened. He replied with a smile, “let’s check it out,” while sharpening a pine stake with his knife. After that he proceeded to impale her on a stake driven through her genitals.
One night the bandits attacked the ethnic Ukrainian-populated village of Lozovoye and slaughtered over a hundred of its inhabitants in less than two hours. At the home of the Dyagun family the Banderites cut down three children. The smallest one, four year old Vladislav, had his arms and legs hacked off. In the Makukha family home the murderers found two children, three year old Ivasik and ten month old Josif. The little toddler, awoken in the middle of the night, smiled broadly at the stranger picking him up, and giggled, showing four brand new baby teeth. The merciless butcher sliced the child’s head off with a knife, then returned to his brother and butchered the three year old with an axe.
One night, the Banderites kidnapped an entire family from the village of Volkovyia, and brought them to the forest, to be tortured just for the sadistic pleasure of the bandits. Upon seeing that the wife of the head of the household was pregnant, they cut her belly open, tore out the unborn child and replaced it with a live rabbit.
“In their brutality they exceeded even the sadistic German SS. They torture our people, our villagers. Don’t we know how they butcher little children, smash their heads against stone walls, spattering the brains? Horrific atrocities are perpetrated by these rabid wolves,” pleaded Yaroslav Galan [Ukrainian writer, anti-fascist, exposed Banderite crimes, killed in 1948 in his own house in Lvov, his body found chopped up by an axe -ed.]. Other Ukrainian groups—the Melnyk faction of the OUN [Andrey Melnyk, the founder of the OUN back in the 1920s, who objected to Nazism and violence, and was pushed out of the OUN by Bandera -ed.], the UIA faction of “Bulba”-Borowets [a faction that refused to participate in the genocide of Poles -ed.], the government of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic in exile, the Canada based United Hetman Organization [conservative monarchists -ed.]—all denounced the atrocities committed by the Banderites in similarly angry terms.
Even though it is too late for the victims, at least some of the participants in the atrocities are now beginning to repent their crimes. In January, 2004, an elderly woman came to the editors of “Sovetskaya Luganschina”, a local Lugansk newspaper—she handed them a package, in the name of her recently deceased female friend. The visitor explained to the journalists that she was fulfilling the last request of her friend, born in Volhynia, an active Banderite in her past, but who—at the end of her life—came to realize what she has done and decided that, by her confession, she could at least make a small step in paying for her unforgivable sins.
“I, the undersigned, Nadezhda Timofeevna Vdovichenko, native of Volhynia… I beg you to grant me and my family forgiveness posthumously, because as you read this I will be no more (I trust my best friend with the mission to deliver my testimony).
We were five siblings in the family—all of us ardent Banderites: my brother Stepan, myself, my sisters Anna, Olya and Nina. We all joined Bandera. In the daytime we rested in our huts; during the night we would drive or walk to neighbouring villages. We were given an assignment to strangle anyone who was harbouring runaway captured Russians, as well as those Russians. But it was a man’s task. We girls just sorted the clothes and household goods, took care of the livestock of those killed—slaughtered the animals, skinned and butchered them, cooked, salted, packed them… Once during a single night in the village of Romanovo, they strangled eighty-four human beings. Well, they strangled the adults and elderly, but children—we would simply pick them up by their legs, swing them against the wall—and finished, time to go. We felt very sorry for our men—they were so overworked with such a hard task, the daytime was barely enough for them to regain their strength and resume the killings the next night. There were those who tried to hide. If we did not find any men we would start with the women.
In the village of Verkhovka, the wife of Tilimon Kovalchuk refused to tell us where he was hiding. She did not even want to open the door to us but we threatened her and she had to let us in. We told her: “We just need to chat with your husband, we are not going to harm you.” She said that he was hiding in a haystack. We dragged him out and beat him up until he expired. They had two children, very nice kids—Stepan and Olya were their names, twelve and fourteen years old…. The young girl, we just tore her in half. It spared us the effort of killing her mother—she died of a heart attack on the spot. We took strong healthy guys in our ranks—strangling is no easy task. Two brothers Levchuki from the village of Verkhovka, Nicolay and Stepan, refused to strangle people, ran away and returned home. We condemned them to capital punishment. When we came to their house to pick them up for execution, their father said, “If you are taking my sons, take me too.” Kalyna, his wife, stepped forward and said, “If you are taking my husband, take me too.” We took an entire family; led them away. On the way Nicolay’s sister, Nadya, pleaded with us to let him go. Nicolay answered her, “Don’t plead, Nadya, don’t humiliate yourself, Bandera never showed mercy to anyone.” We killed Nicolay, his father, mother, Nadya. We kept Stepan alive, and took him along; he was imprisoned for two weeks—it was winter time—in an unheated barn, with no clothes other than underwear, severely beaten daily with iron ramrods; we wanted him to tell us where the other members of the family were hiding. But he was strong-willed, he did not betray them. The last evening, after we beat him yet again, he asked to go to the outhouse. The guard took him, but there was a huge blizzard; the outhouse was made from straw, Stepan broke through the straw and escaped from our clutches. All the information was given to us by Verkhovka locals: Petro Rimarchuk, Zhabsky, Puch.
…We were informed that in the village of Novoselki, Rivne oblast, there was a girl who had joined the Komsomol. Motrya was her name. We took her to Verkhovka. The old man Zhabsky pulled the heart out of the still living girl, with a stopwatch in his other hand—to measure how long the heart would keep beating in his hand. Later, after the Russians had come, his sons wanted to set up a monument to him, saying he had fought for Ukraine.
There was a Jewish girl, with a little child—she had run away from the ghetto. We ambushed her in the forest, butchered her and buried her right there… One of our Banderite guys befriended some Polish girls. When the news got out, he was ordered to kill them. He obeyed the order by drowning them in a stream. Their mother came, crying, asking if anybody had seen her girls who had gone missing. I told her, “No, not really. But let’s go look for them together.” I took her to the same place where her daughters had been drowned and pushed her into the stream as well. We were given orders to kill all Jews, all Poles, all Russians, any runaway prisoners of war and those who aided them. Kill them all—without mercy. We went after the Severin family, strangled them all. But their daughter was away—married, she was living in another village. She soon returned and, wailing over her dead parents, she proceeded to unearth the valuables her family had hidden underground. The Banderites came, took away the unearthed goods, put her in the same box she had just dug out and buried her alive in it. She left two small children at home. If she would have taken them along, the children would have ended up in the same box. There was someone in our village named Kublyuk. He was sent [by the Soviet authorities -ed.] to the town of Kotov, in Kivertsy district, to work. He had not completed his first week in the new job when his head was chopped off. The guy next door, Vasily, very much in love with Koublyuk’s daughter Sonya, protected her. He was given the order from the Banderites to kill her, or else… Vasily said to Sonya, “I am going to the forest to chop some wood. Come with me.” She did. He brought her back dead. His explanation was that she was killed by a falling tree.
There was a very ancient man in our village, named Timofey Oytsyus. People honoured him as God’s prophet, for he was never wrong in his predictions. When the Germans arrived, the fame of this clairvoyant reached even them. They would visit him respectfully, asking him to prophesy about their future. He replied, “I don’t dare to find out because what if it is bad—are you going to kill me?” Via the translator, the Germans promised that no harm would be done to him whatever he might say. Then the old man meditated and told them, “You will reach Moscow very quickly, but you will run from Moscow even quicker.” The Germans kept their world and let him be. But when the old man told the Banderites that their slaughter of innocent Ukrainians would not bring them victory they savagely beat him until he passed away.
Now I want to talk about my family. My brother Stepan was an ardent follower of Bandera, but I did not lag behind and fought for the Banderites even though I was married. When the Russians came, they started arresting people, sending them into exile. Our family was proscribed too. My sister Olya made a deal with the Soviets before the departure, agreeing to cooperate with them. The Soviets let her go but the same night the Banderites came and strangled her. My father, mother and sister, Nina, ended up in Russia. My parents were already old and weak, my sister, Nina, the only able-bodied member of the family, flatly refused to work “for Russians”. They even offered her a good clean secretarial job but she said that she would never hold anything Soviet—even a pen—in her hand. They were still trying to make her relent, saying “Okay, you don’t want to work—fine. We can let you go back home—but only if you agree to cooperate with us and bring the murderers to justice.” She signed the deal, without even thinking very hard (and without intending to abide by it). The moment she set foot back in her village, the Banderites were waiting for her. They called a secret meeting and at that meeting they condemned her to die, “to show everyone what awaits the traitors.” Until this day I do not know what they did to her.
All my life I have carried a heavy burden in my heart—I trusted Bandera, I could have killed anybody who said one wrong word about the Banderites. Cursed people, may they be damned by God and by humankind for eternity! How many innocent lives did they destroy? And now they demand to be called “the defenders of Ukraine”? From whom they were “defending” Ukraine? From their own kin? Soulless bastards! How much blood is on their hands, how many did they bury alive? Even those who were back then sent into exile—they do not want to return to this accursed land of Bandera.
I implore you, people, forgive my sins.”
[Letter published in “Sovetskaya Luganschina”, January 2004, #1]
Here is a list of documented atrocities against civilians—the tortures and murders perpetrated by the OUN-UIA members—according to official investigation records.
- Nailing a big thick nail into the skull.
- Scalping (tearing away of skin and hair from the head).
- Hitting the skull with the handle of an axe.
- Hitting the forehead with the handle of an axe.
- Carving out an “eagle” on the forehead.
- Nailing a bayonet into the temple of a victim.
- Knocking-out of an eye.
- Knocking-out of both eyes.
- Amputation of the nose.
- Amputation of an ear.
- Amputation of both ears.
- Spearing a child with a stake.
- Transfixing the head with a sharpened thick wire stretched from one ear to another.
- Amputation of lips.
- Amputation of the tongue.
- Slitting the throat.
- Slitting the throat and pulling out the tongue through the wound.
- Slitting the throat and inserting a snip into the wound.
- Knocking-out teeth.
- Breaking the jaw.
- Tearing off the mouth from ear to ear.
- Stuffing the mouth with tow while transporting still alive victims.
- Slitting the neck with a knife or a sickle.
- Striking the neck with an axe.
- Сleaving the head with an axe.
- Rotating the head 180 degrees backwards.
- Crushing the head, gripped in a vice, tightening the clamps around it.
- Decapitation with a sickle.
- Decapitation with a scythe.
- Decapitation with an axe.
- Stabbing the neck with an axe.
- Inflicting stab wounds to the head.
- Slicing off narrow strips of skin from the back.
- Inflicting other types of chopped wounds to the back.
- Sticking the back with a bayonet.
- Breaking ribs.
- Hitting with a knife or a bayonet at heart or near it.
- For women—amputation of the bust with a sickle
- Amputation of the bust and sprinkling the wounds with salt.
- For men—amputation of genitalia with a sickle.
- Sawing the body of a victim in half with a carpenter saw.
- Inflicting stab wounds to the body of a victim with a knife or a bayonet.
- Piercing pregnant woman’s belly with a bayonet.
- For adults—slitting the belly and pulling out the intestines.
- Slitting the belly of a woman in late pregnancy and replacing the foetus, for instance with a cat or a rabbit, with subsequent suturing up of the wound.
- Slitting the belly and pouring boiling water inside.
- Slitting the belly, putting stones inside of it and throwing the victim into the river.
- Slitting the belly of a pregnant woman, filling it up with broken glass shards.
- Pulling out the sinews from groin to heels.
- Inserting red-hot iron rods into vagina or anus.
- Inserting pine cones, narrow tip forward, into victim’s vagina.
- Inserting a sharpened stake into the vagina and pushing it until it comes out at the throat.
- Slitting a female torso with garden scissors, from the vagina to the neck, pulling the intestines out.
- Hanging a victim up by the intestines.
- Insertion of a glass bottle into the vagina, and breaking the bottle.
- Insertion of a glass bottle into the anus, and breaking the bottle.
- Slitting the belly, filling it with animal feed, exposing a victim to starving pigs which eat the feed along with victim’s intestines.
- Chopping off an arm with an axe.
- Chopping off both arms with an axe.
- Piercing the palm of the hand with a knife.
- Amputation of fingers with a knife.
- Amputation of a hand.
- Burning the palm of a hand on a superheated coal furnace.
- Chopping off the heel of a foot.
- Chopping off the whole foot.
- Fracturing hand bones with a blunt instrument at multiple points.
- Fracturing leg bones with a blunt instrument at multiple points.
- Sawing a torso, restrained by planks, half-and-half with a carpenter saw.
- Sawing a torso half-and-half with a rip saw.
- Amputation of both legs with a saw.
- Sprinkling red-hot coal over tied legs.
- Nailing hands to a table, and feet to the floor.
- Nailing the victim’s hands and feet to the cross in a Catholic church.
- Striking the back of a head with an axe, victims put lying on the ground.
- Inflicting axe wounds all over the body.
- Quartering of the whole body with an axe
- Breaking bones of lower and upper extremities with a specially invented device.
- Nailing a small child’s tongue to a table, so that the child is hanged up by the tongue.
- Quartering a child with a knife, throwing the body parts all around.
- Tearing open a child’s belly.
- Nailing a small child to a table with a bayonet.
- Hanging a male child by his genitalia from a door handle.
- Knocking out the leg joints of a child.
- Knocking out the arm joints of a child.
- Smothering a child by rags put over the face.
- Throwing a live child into a deep well.
- Throwing a live child into a burning house.
- Smashing babies’ heads by dashing them, held by the feet, against a wall or a furnace.
- Impaling a child on a stake.
- Hanging a monk up by his feet at the pulpit in a Catholic church.
- Hanging a woman up by her feet on a tree, followed by amputation of bust and tongue, tearing open her belly, gouging her eyes and cutting out pieces of her flesh with a knife.
- Nailing a small child to a door.
- Hanging a victim up on a tree.
- Hanging a victim up on a tree by the feet.
- Throwing a victim into a lighted bonfire, while girls are dancing around and singing songs accompanied by live music from an accordionist.
- Piercing a body with a stake, attaching it to the ground.
- Tying a victim to a tree and shooting at him or her as at a target.
- Taking a victim, naked or in only underwear, out in the severe frost.
- Smothering a victim with a lathered noose.
- Dragging a body on the ground, tied by a noose around the neck.
- Tying up a woman with feet and hands to two trees, slitting her from groin to breast.
- Tearing up the torso of a victim with chains.
- Dragging a victim, tied to a carriage, along a roadway.
- Dragging along the roadway a mother and her three small children—arranged in the following way: one leg of the mother is tied to the carriage; a leg of the eldest child is tied to the other leg of his mother; a leg of the younger child is tied to another leg of the eldest etc.
- Transfixing a body with a carbine barrel.
- Сonstriction of a victim with barbed wire.
- Сonstriction of several victims together with barbed wire.
- Recurrent tying up of a body with barbed wire and regularly drenching with ice water every few hours, in order to bring round the victim and to continue painful torture.
- Burying a victim in the ground up to the neck and leaving them in such position.
- Burying a victim in the ground up to the neck with subsequent decapitation with a scythe.
- Tearing a victim apart by tying the body to two horses and driving them apart.
- Throwing adults into a burning house.
- Setting aflame a victim doused with flammable liquid.
- Laying round a victim sheaves of straw, setting him or her aflame—so-called “Nero’s torch”.
- Jabbing a knife into a victim’s back, leaving it inside the wound.
- Sticking a baby on a pitchfork and throwing it into the bonfire.
- Cutting off the skin from a victim’s face with a blade.
- Nailing oak stakes along victim’s rib bones.
- Hanging a victim up on barbed wire.
- Tearing the skin off the body of a victim, pouring ink or boiling water over the wounds.
- Tying a victim to a pier, with subsequent using for knife-throwing practice.
- Tying up the hands with barbed wire.
- Inflicting mortal blows with a spade.
- Nailing the hands to the threshold of a house.
- Dragging a victim along the roadway with legs tied.