Petro Dyachenko

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Petro Dyachenko
Петро́ Дяче́нко
Born January 30, 1895
Berezova Luka, Hadyatskyi Raion, Poltava Oblast, Ukraine
Died April 23, 1965(1965-04-23) (aged 70)
Philadelphia, USA
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukrainian People's Republic
Poland Second Republic of Poland
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Imperial Russian Army
Ukrainian People's Army
Polish Army
Waffen SS
Years of service 1914–1945
Rank General
Commands held Ukrainian Liberation Army
Battles/wars First World War
World War II
Awards Iron Cross 1st Class

Petro Dyachenko (Ukrainian: Петро́ Дяче́нко, Polish: Petro Diaczenko, January 30, 1895 in Berezova Luka, Poltava area (now Ukraine) – April 23, 1965 in Philadelphia, USA) was a Ukrainian military commander who served as a staff captain in the Russian Army (World War I), colonel in the Ukrainian People's Army (1918–1920), major in the Polish Army (1938–1939), colonel in the Ukrainian Liberation Army (1943–1945), the 104th Panzergrenadier brigade Vilna Ukraina (1945), and general in the Ukrainian National Army (1945).

In the First World War Dyachenko was the commander of the Russian 333rd Infantry Regiment. He joined the Ukrainian National Republic in its struggle against both White and Red Russian forces. On February 23, 1918 he was successively in command of the 2nd Zaporozhian Rifle Regiment, 1st Zaporozhian Rifle Division, UNR army, as battalion commander. After the reorganization of the army on July 23, 1918, he took command of the Independent Zaporozhian Rifle Regiment (formed from his battalion). After the failed Kiev[clarification needed] and the collapse of the Ukrainian state, he was interned in Poland together with the remaining Ukrainian soldiers. On July 20, 1928 he joined the Polish Army. In 1928 he served as company commander in the 1st Polish Chevauleger Regiment.

On January 1, 1934 he was deputy commander of the 3rd Polish Mazovian Chevauleger Regiment. As a major he fought in the Polish Army in September 1939. After capitulation, as an officer of the Polish army, he was captured and sent to a German POW Camp.

On July 25 Dyachenko was the member of the Ukrainian Central Committee (UCC) formed in Kraków on the German side. Dyachenko was on the staff of Polisskaja Sich (later joining the Ukrainian Insurgent Army) in 1941–1944. In March 1944 he took part in organizing the 31st Schutzmannschafts Battalion (Ukrainian Legion of self-defense in Holms) on the German side. In August 1944 he became commander of the 31. Schutzmannschafts-Bataillon der SD. After the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, Dyachenko was ordered to organize a military unit out of the battalion and he participated in crushing of Polish resistance against Nazis.[1] For his actions during the Warsaw Uprising, Dyachenko was awarded the First Class to his Iron Cross in 1944.

On January 30, 1945 he was commander of the 3rd U.V.V Regiment. In February 1945 he commanded the Panzerjagd-Brigade Freie Ukraine (Vilna Ukraina). In April 1945 he was commander of the 2nd UNA Division. In 1945, remnants of the Vilna Ukraine were attached to General Pavlo Shandruk's army, forming the Ukrainian National Army. On May 7, 1945 Dyachenko was promoted to the rank of general by Gen. Shandruk (2nd UNA).

In May 1945 he and the remnants of the 2nd UNA Division surrendered to the US forces in Austria. Later on, he lived in West Germany and the United States.

In 2015 Dyachenko was commemorated by Ukrainian Parliament with special state celebrations in his memory, raising protests in Poland[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Powstanie Warszawskie: fakty i mity Kazimierz Krajewski, Tomasz Łabuszewski Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2006, page 120
  2. ^ Leszek Miller: nasilenie tendencji nacjonalistycznych na Ukrainie; konieczna reakcja parlamentu