Havryliv Ihor Omelyanovych


Military and Political Activities of UVO- OUN in the Struggle for Ukrainian State (1920 – 1941)


The work shows the position of the Ukrainian nation after the World War 1, the defeat of liberation struggle and decline of the Ukrainian state and the distribution of its land among the four neighboring states. It reveals the assimilation activities of foreigners and invaders which put Ukrainian nation to the verge of existence. This was envisaged by the radical groups of national intelligence, former military and members of realistically minded political forces. Ukrainian patriotically oriented leaders did not surrender at the mercy of the enemy but, in the ignoring of the Ukrainian question the Entente states which were drawing up of the post-war world order, had to use all kinds of available and possible means to continue the national liberation struggle. Idiological and theoretical basis of such struggle was the current doctrine of Ukrainian nationalism developed by thinkers starting from our national Prophet Taras Shevchenko and to the most radically configurable leaders such as M.Mikhnovskyj and D. Dontsov. This doctrine could enfold the range of people with national idea – to reset age-old chains of enslavement, to revive statehood in all athnic and historical territories of Ukrainian residence. For this, people had to be prepared accordingly to active struggle for freedom, for independent life, thirst for expansion and power in their own state.

The liberation movement in Galicia and other parts of West Ukraine acquied special development , acuteness and upheaval.Galicia became a part of Zhech Pospolita II( that was the name of Poland at that time) and during interwar period Ukrainian political forces based on pre-war experience of their activity and availability of sructured national organizations ( parties,churches, civic, economic, commercial,sport and patriotic institutions) carried out constant pressure at the Polish occupation regime. Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) consisting of reformatted social and political institutions became the armed force which by constant forced methods compelled the Polish authorities to make certain compromises at the Ukrainian demands despite acute confrontation between two nations.

The attention is focused in this work on the process of uniting of all Ukrainian nationalist organizations based on UVO into united Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). The program objectives of OUN as well as forms and methods of their implementation into life are described in our work as well. The work reveals military trainings of Ukrainian youth which were used in a number of expropriational and fighting actions, actions of civil disobedience and demonstrations which directed Ukrainians into permanent revolutionary activity.

Despite massive repressions of ocupation authorities (implementation of colonists, “pacification”actions, numerous trials with big sentences, construction of concentration camp named Bereza Kartuska and so on) all these did not lessen tension between two nations. Successful activity of UVO-OUN not only the lands of West Ukraine but also among emigration circles as well as conducting of a series of propaganda actions on the international scene showed to the world the potencial of our national liberation movement. As the result worked out by members of OUN geopolitical doctrine stipulated the place of Ukraine in terms of preparation for the predicted for the global cataclisms. The events of 1938-1939 in Carpatian Ukraine became the probation of the existing military and political situation, when Ukrainian patriots were the first to begin resistance to aggressors which started to restribute the post-war borders and it became the prelude of a new world war.

Thus, Ukrainian nationalists predicted the course of inernational events and, despite unfavorable for Ukrainians situation and splitting of their ranks by inspired enemy agents, managed to cosolidate existing national political parties and to proclaim restoration of Ukrainian state on the 30th of June, 1941 by the “Act of Renovation of Ukrainian State” which became the milestone for further struggle for freedom and national sovereignty.Twenty years of UVO-OUN activity was able to adjust the Ukrainian populace to resist occupation and encroacment of outsiders.

Ukrainian Insurgent Army, created by Ukrainian Nationalists, showed the world aan example of heroic struggle being in the ring of enemy forces and without any allies. Later it gave encouragement for the next generations to carry the banner of liberation struggle and in 50 years, in1991, to declare the renovation of Ukrainian statehood and Ukrainians joined the world community as a full member of international relations.

 Key words: Ukrainian State, UVO (the Ukrainian Military Organization), OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists), military activities, national liberation movement, the occupation regime, armed struggle.

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