Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Keep on keeping on; Slava Ukrainie

The land that just keeps on 'fighting' continued to do so yesterday with another Rada punch-up - but not before they passed a resolution to celebrate of the birthday of an old nazi collaborator - the commander of WW2's 31st (Ukrainian) SicherheitsPolizei (security police) Regiment.  

By the time it formed, in 1944, there was little to do except shoot some 6 000 (or so) jews, Soviet prisoners and other traitors to 'the motherland' before beating a hasty retreat west with the fleeing Germans.  Those of the unit who weren't caught and killed by the Russians (or other rival Ukrainians) were 'refugeed' to new homes in Canada, the US and South America. Currently  one of the unit's sub-commanders (Michael Karkoc) is under investigation for war crimes in the USA.

 The unit commander 'Petro Diachenko' is to-day being held up to young EUkrainians as a patriotic role model. 


The Rada legislation  

Ivan Katchanovski PhD - Univ. of Ottawa - has done extensive research on the topic of Ukrainian history in the second World War, a topic which forms the basis of the current Ukrainian political schema.  He writes of the 31stst SiPo regiment below:

"A platoon (chota) of the 31st SiPo and SD battalion, which was also called the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion, deserted to the UPA in the middle of 1944, and a significant number of its commanders and members served in the UPA before joining this unit, which was organized by the SD and the OUN-M in Volhynia in the end of 1943. (Bolianovsky, Ukrainski 266, 301; Klymenko and Tkachov 193-201, 236–59). However, most of this battalion was incorporated into the SS Galicia Division. While a number of them were prosecuted in the Soviet Union and Poland, the majority of the legion’s servicemen were given refuge after the end of the war in such countries as the UK, the US, and Canada.6

A large proportion of commanders and members from the 31st security police and SD battalion served in the local militia and police in the Kremenets, Lutsk, and Volodymyr- Volynskyi areas when these formations assisted in mass murder of Jews, Ukrainians, and Poles there (Katchanovski, “OUN(b)”; Klymenko and Tkachov; Sprava 372, Vol 032, 182-96). For example, Mykola Nedzevedsky, who was the town and regional police commandant in Kremenets in 1941-43, served as an UPA commander after he was forced to join it along with many other members of his OUN-M unit in July 1943 and before most of them deserted and joined the SiPo Battalion 31 in December 1943 (Klymenko and Tkachov 99–100, 249). Most of the Volodymyr-Volynskyi police, which was under informal control of the OUN-M and the OUN-B and participated in Nazi-led mass executions of more than 20,000 Jews, Poles, and Ukrainians there, joined the UPA in 1943. A significant proportion of several dozen legion members from the Volodymyr-Volynskyi area worked in the police and Kripo/SD there, and many of them also were later in the UPA. For, example, Petro Glyn was one of several 31st battalion commanders and members, who served in the police or the Kripo/SD in the town of Volodymyr-Volynskyi and nearby locations and can be identified by name. Glyn also was an adjutant of an UPA company commander in the same area. The main UPA formation there, called “Sich,” was comprised mostly from former policemen from Volodymyr-Volynsky and neighboring towns and districts, and its commander (Porfyrii Antoniuk) was a police commander in Volodymyr-Volynskyi and Olevsk before he joined the UPA in the spring of 1943. (See, for instance, Katchanovski, “OUN(b)”; Klymenko and Tkachov 240; Tsaruk 377, 411, 867).

However, when remains of close to 1,500 people were found in 2011-13 and in 1997 near a former prison in Volodymyr-Volynskyi by Ukrainian and Polish archeologists, Ukrainian and Polish officials, media and experts initially publicly claimed that these were Polish victims of the Katyn-style executions by the Soviet NKVD in 1939-41. The evidence, such as historical studies, archival documents, eyewitness testimonies, German bullets, and predominance of children and women in some of the mass graves, indicated that these people were executed by the Germans and the police in 1941-1944. The victims primarily included local Jews, but also many Poles, specifically former policemen, a large number of whom joined the AK, and Ukrainian civilians.7 (Katchanovski, “OUN(b)”; Litopys UPA, Vol. 11, 119; Sprava 376, Vol. 071, 6, Vol, 075, 62-67).

The 31st security police and SD battalion is implicated by different sources in the mass executions of Ukrainians, Jews, and Poles in the Volyn Region of Ukraine and in Poland. For example, analysis of testimonies by eyewitnesses and former battalion members, interviews with local residents, archival documents, and the fact of the urgent redeployment of this unit from the Kremenets area to the village of Pidhaitsi near Lutsk a day before a massacre there indicates its likely involvement in the mass murder of 21 Ukrainian residents of Pidhaitsi, half of whom were children, on December 3, 1943, under the pretext of a retaliation for the killing of a German soldier.8 The same sources and a number of historical studies show that this security police unit was responsible for the execution of about 100 prisoners from the Lutsk prison on the old grounds of the Pidhaitsi School in January 1944. Testimonies by local residents and former legion members and an exhumation of one of the mass graves indicate that the victims of the execution included both Jews and Ukrainians. There are also reports that this unit located and killed the same month more than 70 Jews, who were hiding in a forest near the Pidhaitsi village (Nakonechnyi 24). Testimonies by former legion members and historical studies implicate the legion, and, specifically, one of its companies under command of Michael Karkoc, in massacres of Polish residents of Korchunky and Edvardpole in the Volodymyr-Volynskyi area and Chlaniow, Wladislawin, and Ameryka in the Lublin Region, and participation in the suppression of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. (See Klymenko and Tkachov; Littman 53-58; Majewski; Rising, Herschaft, and Scislowska; Sprava F-253).

(excerpted from “The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, and the Nazi Genocide in Ukraine” -  Ivan Katchanovski PhD - U Ott. - 2013.)

It should be remembered that as many Ukrainians, with a leftist perspective on life, sided with the Soviet Union and spent their war either in the Red Army, or as partisans - often  in combat with their fellow Ukrainians in the 'security forces'.  Some eastern Ukrainian separatist units, to-day, wear emblems and markings of the old 'soviet' forces and see the current struggle through the old lens of communism vs fascism.

Perhaps it's because the country is  in such parlous state that the 'real' Ukrainians are blaming each other now that Putin's 'invasion' has been back-burnered by a ceasefire. As so often happens when victors divide the spoils, dissension occurs. In this case however it seems to be losers dividing the blame. 

Fight abbreviates the March 3rd session of the Rada 

This is 'militia general' "freeze them in the dark" Serhei Melnychuk  - commander of the 'newly-officialized' Aydar regiment of goonic patriots (to which Ukraine's Joan of Arc belonged) being 'lustrated' by the 'mouth that walks',  Oleh Lyashko because the Aydar dirtied up the National Defence HQ until Melnychuk got a uniform and the Aidar got on the payroll.  The circus continues.