Russian Defense Ministry declassifies WWII documents on Ukrainian nationalists

The Russian Defense Ministry website has posted a series of documents from the ministry's central archives dedicated to the activity of Ukrainian nationalist organizations in western Ukraine during World War II, the ministry press service and information department said.

The Russian Defense Ministry website has posted a series of documents from the ministry's central archives dedicated to the activity of Ukrainian nationalist organizations in western Ukraine during World War II, the ministry press service and information department said.

"The series includes originals of historic documents, which have been classified and accessible only to a narrow circle of specialists until recently. These are messages, memos and reports of Red Army commanders and Ukrainian guerrilla movement leaders containing documentary evidence of the genesis and development of the nationalist movement in Ukraine, its partnership with the Nazis, the membership of nationalists in armed units, their armed struggle against the Red Army and repressions against the civilian population," the report said.

"The activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) have been actively studied in scientific editions and have been given different interpretations by publicists and memoir writers," it said.

"Bearing in mind this circumstance and seeking to prevent falsifications of the historical truth, the authors of the series focused on the subjects of the most heated debates, which to a large degree result from the absence of public access to credible documentary sources," it said.

Researchers of the domestic history and the history of Ukraine will obviously be enthusiastic about a report of Soviet Interior Minister Lavrentiy Beria to the Red Army main political department head Lev Mekhlis dated January 19, 1942, about "attempts of the German command to set up 'a Ukrainian army' on the Ukrainian territory and to form punitive units of ethnic Ukrainians and deserters."

The atrocities and "inhumane" treatment of compatriots by the Banderovites - the execution of 115 residents of the village of Nova-Brikula in the Strusov district of the Ternopil region and the raid against Horodnytsya in the Zhytomyr region - are proven with a report of the commission of the 1st battalion of the 206th guard light artillery regiment dated April 11, 1944, and a report of Kiev military district political department head Col. Lukashuk to the Red Army main political department head Col. Gen. Shcherbakov dated February 6, 1945.

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