Stepan Bandera

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Stepan Bandera
Степан Бандера
Bandera in 1934
Personal details
Stepan Andriyovych Bandera

1 January 1909
Staryi Uhryniv, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine)
Died15 October 1959(1959-10-15) (aged 50)
Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Manner of deathAssassination by cyanide gas
Resting placeWaldfriedhof Cemetery
SpouseYaroslava Bandera [uk]
Alma materLviv Polytechnic
AwardsHero of Ukraine (annulled)
Military service
Battles/warsWorld War II

Stepan Andriyovych Bandera (Ukrainian: Степа́н Андрі́йович Банде́ра, IPA: [steˈpɑn ɐnˈd⁽ʲ⁾r⁽ʲ⁾ijoʋɪt͡ʃ bɐnˈdɛrɐ]; Polish: Stepan Andrijowycz Bandera; nickname Baba[1] aka Stefan Popel;[2] 1 January 1909 – 15 October 1959) was a Ukrainian far-right leader of the radical, militant wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the OUN-B.[1][3][4][5][6][nb 1][nb 2][nb 3][7][8]

Bandera was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in Galicia, into the family of a priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.[9] Involved in nationalist organizations from a young age, Bandera was sentenced to death for his involvement in the 1934 assassination of Poland's Minister of the Interior Bronisław Pieracki, commuted to life imprisonment.

Bandera was freed from prison in 1939 following the invasion of Poland, and moved to Krakow. He prepared the 30 June 1941 Proclamation of Ukrainian statehood, pledging to work with Nazi Germany after Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.[10][11]: 50 [nb 4] The Germans disapproved of the proclamation. For his refusal to rescind the decree, Bandera was arrested by the Gestapo. After the war, Bandera settled with his family in West Germany. In 1959, fourteen years after the end of the war, Bandera was assassinated by KGB agents in Munich, West Germany.[12][13][2]

Bandera remains a highly controversial figure in Ukraine.[14][15] Many Ukrainians hail him as a role model hero[16][17] or as a martyred liberation fighter,[6] while other Ukrainians, particularly in the south and east, condemn him as a fascist[18] Nazi collaborator[16] who was, together with his followers, responsible for massacres of Polish and Jewish civilians during the Second World War.[19][9][20][21][22][8]

On 22 January 2010, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, awarded Bandera the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine, which was widely condemned, leading to the annulment of the award.

Early life

Young Stepan Bandera in the Plast uniform, 1923

Stepan Bandera was born on 1 January 1909 in Staryi Uhryniv, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (officially the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, created after the first partition of Poland, now in Western Ukraine)[23] to Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church priest Andriy Bandera (1882–1941) and Myroslava (1890–1921) into a family that would number eight in total.[5]: 557  Bandera's younger brothers included Oleksandr, who would go on to earn a doctorate in political economy at the University of Rome, and Vasyl who finished a degree in philosophy at the University of Lviv.

Bandera grew up in a patriotic and religious household.[1] He did not attend primary school due to the First World War and was taught at home by his parents.[1]: 91  Young Stepan Bandera was undersized and slim.[1]: 97  He sang in a choir, played guitar and mandolin, enjoyed hiking, jogging, swimming, ice skating, basketball and chess.[1]: 93 

The house of Bandera's family in Staryi Uhryniv, Ukraine

After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in the wake of World War I, Galicia briefly became the West Ukrainian People's Republic. Bandera's father, who joined the Ukrainian Galician Army as a chaplain, was active in the nationalist movement preceding the Polish–Ukrainian War, which was fought between November 1918 to July 1919 and ended with Ukrainian defeat and the reintegration of the West Ukrainian People's Republic into eastern Poland. His mother moved with her sons to the town of Yahilnytsya in Chortkiv Raion while her husband Andriy was away. The Chortkiv offensive in June 1919 initially saw the Ukrainian Galician Army successfully capture land in the area, but they were outnumbered about five to one and were pushed over the river Zbruch. With Poles arriving to reclaim the area and her husband away, Myroslava and her sons began the almost 100-mile voyage back west to Staryi Uhryniv. She became ill on the way and never fully recovered. She died from tuberculosis at the age of 31.[citation needed]

Mykola Mikhnovsky's 1900 publication, Independent Ukraine, influenced the young Bandera greatly.[5]: 558  After graduating from a Ukrainian high school in 1927, where he was engaged in a number of youth organizations, Bandera planned to attend the Husbandry Academy in Czechoslovakia, but he either did not get a passport or the Academy notified him that it was closed.[citation needed] In 1928, Bandera enrolled in the agronomy program at the Politechnika Lwowska in Lwów, but never completed his studies due to his political activities and arrests.[1]: 93–94 

Pre-World War II activity

Early activities

Stepan Bandera in folkloristic Cossack costume

Stepan Bandera had met and associated himself with members of a variety of Ukrainian nationalist organizations throughout his schooling, from Plast, to the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Українська Визвольна Організація) and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

In the early 1930s, in response to attacks perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists, Polish authorities carried out the pacification of Ukrainians in Eastern Galicia against the Ukrainian minority. This resulted in destroyed property and mass detentions, and took place in southeastern voivodeships of the Second Polish Republic.[24][nb 5]

At the same time, Bandera was actively recruiting groups of Ukrainian nationalists and was arrested six times for unlawful crossings of the Polish-Czechoslovak frontier while smuggling prohibited OUN periodicals into Poland.[1]


General Council of the Red Viburnum Detachment at the Academic House in Lwów, Second Polish Republic. Stepan Bandera, standing fourth from the left. October 21, 1928.

Bandera joined OUN in 1929, and quickly climbed through the ranks, becoming the chief propaganda officer in 1931,[citation needed] the second in command of OUN in Galicia in 1932–1933,[25]: 18  and the head of the OUN national executive in Galicia in June 1933.[9]: 99 

In 1931, Polish politician Tadeusz Hołówko was assassinated by two members of the OUN. Although there is no direct implication of Bandera's involvement in his assassination, Bandera is known to have expanded the OUN's network in the borderlands between Poland and today’s Ukraine, known as Kresy, directing it against both Poland and the Soviet Union. An internal CIA report from 1946 stated that from 1932 Bandera was assistant chief of OUN and around that time controlled several "warrior units" in Poland in places such as the Free City of Danzig (Wolne Miasto Gdańsk), Drohobycz, Lwów, Stanisławów, Brzezany, and Truskawiec.[25]: 18  Bandera collaboratorated closely with Richard Yary, who would later side with Bandera and help him form OUN-B.

To stop expropriations, Bandera turned OUN against the Polish officials who were directly responsible for anti-Ukrainian policies.[citation needed] Activities ranged from terrorist acts, such as attacks on post-offices, bomb-throwing at Polish exhibitions and murders of policemen[25]: 18–19 [26] to mass campaigns against Polish tobacco and alcohol monopolies and against the denationalization of Ukrainian youth.[citation needed] In 1934 Bandera was arrested in Lwów and tried twice: first, concerning involvement in a plot to assassinate the minister of internal affairs, Bronisław Pieracki, and second at a general trial of OUN executives. He was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to death. The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.[9][2]

Press report from the trial of Bandera and his associates for the murder of Polish minister Bronisław Pieracki, November 20, 1935

After the trials, Bandera became renowned and admired among Ukrainians in Poland and abroad[citation needed] as a symbol of a revolutionary who fought for Ukrainian independence.[1]: 535  While in prison Bandera was not completely isolated from the world political discourse of the late 1930s thanks to Ukrainian and other newspaper subscriptions delivered to his cell.[1]: 112 

Bandera was freed from Brest (Brześć) Prison in Eastern Poland in early September 1939, as a result of the invasion of Poland. There are differing accounts of the circumstances of his release.[nb 6] Soon thereafter Eastern Poland was occupied by the Soviet Union. Upon release from prison, Bandera moved to Kraków, the capital of Germany's occupational General Government in the German-occupied zone of Poland, where he established close connections with the German Abwehr and Wehrmacht.[11][10][1] There, he also came in contact with the leader of the OUN, Andriy Atanasovych Melnyk. In 1940, the political differences and expectations between the two leaders caused the OUN to split into two factions, OUN-B and OUN-M (Banderites and Melnykites) each one claiming legitimacy.[32]

The OUN-M faction led by Melnyk preached a more conservative approach to nation-building, while the OUN-B faction, led by Bandera, supported a revolutionary approach, however in terms of radical nationalism, fascism, anti-semitism, xenophobia and violence both factions didn’t contradict each other.[33][1][34][35] The vast majority of young OUN members joined Bandera's faction, which was devoted to the independence of Ukraine, a single-party fascist totalitarian state free of national minorities[36][nb 7][37] and was later responsible for the ethnic cleansing,[38][39][40] pogroms,[9][41] implicated in collaboration with Nazi Germany[42][nb 8][43][11][8] and the Holocaust.[6][nb 9][44][45][5][46][nb 10][47][1]

Formation of Mobile Groups

Before the independence proclamation of 30 June 1941, Bandera oversaw the formation of so-called "Mobile Groups" (Ukrainian: мобільні групи) which were small (5–15 members) groups of OUN-B members who would travel from General Government to Western Ukraine and, after a German advance to Eastern Ukraine, encourage support for the OUN-B and establish local authorities run by OUN-B activists.[48]

In total, approximately 7,000 people participated in these mobile groups, and they found followers among a wide circle of intellectuals, such as Ivan Bahriany, Vasyl Barka, Hryhorii Vashchenko and many others.[citation needed]

Formation of the UPA

World War II

Before World War II territory of today’s Ukraine was split between Poland, the Soviet Union, Romania and Czechoslovakia.[49][nb 11] Prior to 1939 invasion of Poland, German military intelligence recruited OUN members into Bergbauernhilfe unit, also smuggled Ukrainian nationalists into Poland in order to erode Polish defences by conducting a terror campaign directed at Polish farmers and Jews. OUN leaders Andriy Melnyk (code name Consul I) and Bandera (code name Consul II) both served as agents of the Nazi Germany military intelligence Abwehr Second Department.[50][7][11] Their goal was to run diversion activities after Germany's attack on the Soviet Union. This information is part of the testimony that Abwehr Colonel Erwin Stolze gave on 25 December 1945 and submitted to the Nuremberg trials, with a request to be admitted as evidence.[11]: 20 [nb 12][51][52][53]

In the spring of 1941, Bandera held meetings with the heads of Germany's intelligence, regarding the formation of "Nachtigall" and "Roland" Battalions. In the spring of that year, the OUN received 2.5 million marks for subversive activities inside the Soviet Union.[48][54] Gestapo and Abwehr officials protected Bandera's followers, as both organizations intended to use them for their own purposes.[55]

Bandera's OUN and Nazi officials at joint Celebration dedicated to the establishment of Ukrainian Statehood in Western Ukraine, 7 July 1941. Occupied Eastern Poland.

On June 23, 1941, one day after the German attack on the Soviet Union, Bandera sent a letter to Hitler arguing the case for an independent Ukraine.[10] On 30 June 1941, with the arrival of Nazi troops in Ukraine, Bandera and the OUN-B unilaterally declared an independent Ukrainian state ("Act of Renewal of Ukrainian Statehood").[46] The proclamation pledged a cooperation of the new Ukrainian state with Nazi Germany under the leadership of Hitler with a closing note "Glory to the heroic German army and its Führer, Adolf Hitler".[11] The declaration was accompanied by violent pogroms.[46][34]

Bandera's expectation that the Nazi regime would post facto recognize an independent fascist Ukraine as an Axis ally proved to be wrong.[46] The Germans also barred Bandera from moving to newly conquered Lviv, limiting his residency to occupied Cracow.[1] On 5 July, Bandera was placed under house arrest[56] and later, as an honorary inmate in a Berlin prison.[57] On 12 July, the prime minister of the newly formed Ukrainian National Government, Yaroslav Stetsko, was also arrested and taken to Berlin. Although released from custody on 14 July, both were required to stay in Berlin. The Germans closed OUN-B offices in Berlin and Vienna,[1] and on 15 September 1941 Bandera and leading OUN members were arrested by the Gestapo.

By the end of 1941 relations between Nazi Germany and the OUN-B had soured to the point where a Nazi document dated 25 November 1941 stated that "the Bandera Movement is preparing a revolt in the Reichskommissariat which has as its ultimate aim the establishment of an independent Ukraine. All functionaries of the Bandera Movement must be arrested at once and, after thorough interrogation, are to be liquidated".[58]

In January 1942, Bandera was transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp's special prison cell building (Zellenbau) for high-profile political prisoners such as Horia Sima, the chancellor of Austria, Kurt von Schuschnigg or Stefan Grot-Rowecki[59][10]: 212  and was kept in special, comparatively comfortable detention.[29][1]: 538 [60] In April 1944, Bandera and his deputy Yaroslav Stetsko were approached by a Reich Security Main Office official to discuss plans for diversions and sabotage against the Soviet Army.[61] In September 1944,[62] Bandera was released by the German authorities and allowed to return to Ukraine in the hope that his partisans would unite with OUN-M and harass the Soviet troops, which by that time had handed the Germans major defeats. Germany sought to cooperate with the OUN and other Ukrainian leaders. According to Richard Breitman and Norman Goda in Hitler's Shadow, Bandera and Stetsko refused to do this, and in December 1944 they fled Berlin, heading south.[29][nb 13]

In February 1945, at a conference of the OUN-B in Vienna, Bandera was made the representative of the leadership of the Foreign Units of the OUN (Zakordonni Chastyny OUN or ZCh OUN). At a February meeting of the OUN in Ukraine, Bandera was re-elected as leader of the whole OUN. It was decided by the leadership that Bandera would not come back to Ukraine, but remain abroad and make propaganda for the cause of the OUN. Roman Shukhevych, another OUN nationalist, resigned as the leader of the OUN, and became the leader of OUN in Ukraine.[9]: 288 

Postwar activity

Kreittmayrstraße 7 in Munich where Bandera lived at the time of his assassination.

After the war, Bandera and his family moved several times around West Germany, staying close to and in Munich, where Bandera organized the ZCh OUN center. He used false identification documents that helped him to conceal his past relationship with the Nazis.[9]: 318–319  He remained the leader of the OUN-B and worked with several anti-communist organizations, such as the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, as well as, according to some sources, with the US and British intelligence agencies.[63]

A September 1945 report by the US Office of Strategic Services said that Bandera had "earned a fierce reputation for conducting a 'reign of terror' during World War II".[64]: 27  Bandera was protected by the US-backed Gehlen Organization but he also received help from underground organizations of former Nazis who helped Bandera to cross borders between Allied occupation zones.[9]: 322  One faction of Bandera's organization, associated with Mykola Lebed, became more closely associated with the CIA.[65]: 236 

According to author Stephen Dorril, Bandera re-formed the OUN-B in Munich in 1946 with the sponsorship of MI6. According to Dorril, the organization had been receiving some support from MI6 since the 1930s.[65]: 224, 233 

In 1946, agents of the US Army intelligence agency Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) and NKVD entered into extradition negotiations based on the intra-Allied cooperation wartime agreement made at the Yalta Conference. The CIC wanted Frederick Wilhelm Kaltenbach, who would turn out to be deceased, and in return the Soviet Union proposed Bandera. Bandera and many Ukrainian nationalists had ended up in the American zone after the war. The Soviet Union regarded all Ukrainians as Soviet citizens and demanded their repatriation under the intra-Alied agreement. The US thought Bandera was too valuable to give up due to his knowledge of the Soviet Union, so the US started blocking his extradition under an operation called "Anyface". From the perspective of the US, the Soviet Union and Poland were issuing extradition attempts of these Ukrainians to prevent the US from getting sources of intelligence, so this became one of the factors in the breakdown of the cooperation agreement.[66] However, the CIC still considered Bandera untrustworthy and were concerned about the impact of his activities on Soviet-American relations, and in mid-1947 conducted an extensive and aggressive search to locate him.[29]: 80  It failed, having described their quarry as "extremely dangerous" and "constantly en route, frequently in disguise".[29]: 79  Some American intelligence reported that he even was guarded by former SS men.[49]: 173 

The Bavarian state government initiated a crackdown on Bandera's organization for crimes such as counterfeiting and kidnapping. Gerhard von Mende, a West German government official, provided protection to Bandera who in turn provided him with political reports, which were relayed to the West German Foreign Office. Bandera reached an agreement with the BND, offering them his service, despite the CIA warning the West Germans against cooperating with him.[29]: 83–84 

Following the war Bandera also visited Ukrainian communities in Canada, Austria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, UK and Holland.[9]: 336 

His views

Dmytro Dontsov's book Nationalism (Ukrainian: Націоналізм) was published in 1926.

According to Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe "Bandera's worldview was shaped by numerous far-right values and concepts including ultranationalism, fascism, racism, and antisemitism; by fascination with violence; by the belief that only war could establish a Ukrainian state; and by hostility to democracy, communism, and socialism. Like other young Ukrainian nationalists, he combined extremism with religion and used religion to sacralize politics and violence."[1]: 115 

Historian John-Paul Himka writes that Bandera remained true to the fascist ideology to the end.[34]

Swedish-American historian Per Anders Rudling said that Bandera and his followers "advocated the selective breeding to create a 'pure' Ukrainian race[18] and that "the OUN shared the fascist attributes of anti-liberalism, anti-conservatism, and anti-communism, an armed party, totalitarianism, antisemitism, Führerprinzip, and adoption of fascist greetings. Its leaders eagerly emphasized to Hitler and Ribbentrop that they shared the Nazi Weltanschauung and a commitment to a fascist New Europe."[46]

American historian Timothy Snyder has described Bandera as a fascist.[36][nb 14] Political scientist Andreas Umland characterized Bandera as a "Ukrainian ultranationalist", and also told Deutsche Welle that he was not a "nazi", noting Ukrainian nationalism then was "not a copy of Nazism".[16]

Historian David Marples described Bandera’s views as "not untypical of his generation", but as holding "an extreme political stance that rejected any form of cooperation with the rulers of Ukrainian territories: the Poles and the Soviet authorities". For Bandera, Russia was the chief adversary, but he also lacked tolerance for Poles and Jews. Marples also described Bandera as "neither an orator nor a theoretician" and wrote that he had minimal importance as a thinker.[5] Marples considered Rossolinski-Liebe to place too much importance on Bandera's views, writing that Rossolinski-Liebe struggled to find anything of note written by Bandera, and had assumed he was influenced by OUN publicist Dmytro Dontsov and OUN journals.[67]

Ukrainian historian Andrii Portnov writes that Bandera remained a proponent of authoritarian and violent politics until his death.[68]

Views towards Poles

Monument to Poles killed by UPA, Liszna, Poland

In late 1942, when Bandera was in a German concentration camp, his organization, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, was involved in a massacre of Poles in Volhynia and, in early 1944, ethnic cleansing also spread to Eastern Galicia. It is estimated that more than 35,000 and up to 60,000 Poles, mostly women and children along with unarmed men, were killed during the spring and summer campaign of 1943 in Volhynia, and up to 133,000 if other regions, such as Eastern Galicia, are included.[69][70][71]

Despite the central role played by Bandera's followers in the massacre of Poles in western Ukraine, Bandera himself was interned in a German concentration camp when the concrete decision to massacre the Poles was made and when the Poles were killed.[clarification needed] According to Yaroslav Hrytsak, Bandera was not completely aware of events in Ukraine during his internment from the summer of 1941 and had serious differences of opinion with Mykola Lebed, the OUN-B leader who remained in Ukraine and who was one of the chief architects of the massacres of Poles.[72][73]

Views towards Jews

Bandera held antisemitic views.[nb 15][nb 16] Speaking about Bandera and his men, political scientist Alexander John Motyl told Tablet that antisemitism was not a core part of Ukrainian nationalism in the way it was for Nazism, and the Soviet Union and Poland were considered to be the primary enemies of the OUN. According to him, the attitude of the Ukrainian nationalists towards Jews depended on political circumstances, and they considered Jews to be a "problem" because they were "implicated, or believed to be implicated" in aiding the Soviets take Ukrainian territory, as well as not being Ukrainian.[74] Norman Goda wrote that "Historian Karel Berkhoff, among others, has shown that Bandera, his deputies, and the Nazis shared a key obsession, namely the notion that the Jews in Ukraine were behind Communism and Stalinist imperialism and must be destroyed."[6]

On 10 August 1940 Bandera wrote a letter to Andriy Melnyk saying that he would accept Melnyk's leadership of the OUN, provided he expelled "traitors" in the leadership. One of these was Mykola Stsibors'kyi, who Bandera accused of an absence of "morality and ethics in family life" due to having married a Jewish woman, and especially, a "suspicious" Russian Jewish woman.[75]

In June 1941, Yaroslav Stetsko sent Bandera a report in which he stated "We are creating a militia which will help to remove the Jews and protect the population."[76]

However, Rossolinski-Liebe and Umland both note that Bandera personally had no part in the murders of Jews; Rossolinksi-Liebe said: "he had found no evidence that Bandera supported or condemned 'ethnic cleansing' or killing Jews and other minorities. It was, however, important that people from OUN and UPA 'identified with him'".[16] Similarly, Portnov notes that "Bandera did not participate personally in the underground war conducted by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which included the organized ethnic cleansing of the Polish population of Volhynia in north-western Ukraine and killings of the Jews, but he also never condemned them."[68]


Bandera's grave in Munich, July 2022

The MGB, and from 1954, the Soviet KGB, multiple times attempted to kidnap or assassinate Bandera.[1]: 347  On 15 October 1959, Bandera collapsed outside of Kreittmayrstrasse 7 in Munich and died shortly thereafter. A medical examination established that the cause of his death was poison by cyanide gas.[77][78][verification needed] On 20 October 1959, Bandera was buried in the Waldfriedhof Cemetery in Munich.[1]: 407–408  His wife and three children moved to Toronto, Canada.[9]: 339 

Two years after his death, on 17 November 1961, the German judicial bodies announced that Bandera's murderer had been a KGB agent named Bohdan Stashynsky who used a cyanide dust spraying gun to murder Bandera acting on the orders of Soviet KGB head Alexander Shelepin and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev.[29][79] After a detailed investigation against Stashynsky, who by then had defected from the KGB and confessed the killing, a trial took place from 8 to 15 October 1962. Stashynsky was convicted, and on 19 October he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Stashynsky had earlier assassinated Bandera's associate Lev Rebet by similar means.[80]


Stepan Bandera's family in Volya Zaderevatska, 1933

Bandera's brothers, Oleksandr and Vasyl, were arrested by the Germans and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp where they were allegedly killed by Polish inmates in 1942.[81][verification needed]

His father Andriy was arrested by the Soviets in late May 1941 for harboring an OUN member and transferred to Kyiv. On 8 July he was sentenced to death and executed on the 10th. His sisters Oksana and Marta–Maria were arrested by the NKVD in 1941 and sent to a gulag in Siberia. Both were released in 1960 without the right to return to Ukraine. Marta–Maria died in Siberia in 1982, and Oksana returned to Ukraine in 1989 where she died in 2004. Another sister, Volodymyra, was sentenced to a term in Soviet labor camps from 1946 to 1956. She returned to Ukraine in 1956.[82]


Ukrainian postal stamp commemorating the centennial of Bandera's birth
Ukrainian nationalists march through Kyiv, holding a banner with Bandera's portrait, as well as the flags of the Right Sector and Svoboda.

The glorification and attempts to rehabilitate Stepan Bandera are growing trends in Ukraine.[83] According to The Guardian, "Post-war Soviet history propagated the image of Bandera and the UPA as exclusively fascist collaborators and xenophobes."[84] On the other hand, with the rise of nationalism in Ukraine, his memory there has been elevated.

Attitudes in Ukraine towards Bandera

Lviv soccer fans at a game against Donetsk. The Ukrainian banner reads "Bandera – our hero"

Bandera continues to be a divisive figure in Ukraine. Although Bandera is venerated in certain parts of western Ukraine, and 33% of Lviv's residents consider themselves to be followers of Bandera,[85] he, along with Joseph Stalin and Mikhail Gorbachev, is considered in surveys of Ukraine as a whole among the three historical figures who produce the most negative attitudes.[86]

A national survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in Ukraine in 2013 inquired about attitudes towards Bandera. It produced the following results:[42]: 224 

Attitudes towards Bandera by region
Region Very positive Mostly positive Neutral Mostly negative Very negative Unsure
Galicia 53% 24% 20% 1% 2% 2%
Volhynia 4% 31% 43% 5% 1% 16%
Bukovyna 13% 9% 37% 0% 26% 15%
Transcarpathia 0% 5% 22% 4% 0% 68%
Kyiv 9% 13% 37% 8% 21% 12%
Other center 5% 9% 44% 13% 12% 16%
Crimea 6% 3% 24% 10% 32% 26%
Other south 0% 6% 32% 21% 26% 15%
Donbas 1% 2% 11% 16% 57% 13%
Other east 3% 7% 26% 17% 32% 16%

A poll conducted in early May 2021 by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the Razumkov Centre's sociological service showed that 32% of citizens consider Stepan Bandera's activity as a historical figure to be positive for Ukraine, as many consider his activity negative; another 21% consider Bandera's activities as positive as they are negative. According to the poll, a positive attitude prevails in the western region of Ukraine (70%); in the central region of the state, 27% of respondents consider his activity positive, 27% consider his activity negative and 27% consider his activity both positive and negative; negative attitude prevails in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine (54% and 48% of respondents consider his activity negative for Ukraine, respectively).[87]

Torchlight procession in honor of the 106 anniversary of the birthday of Stepan Bandera, Kyiv, 1 January 2015.

Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, where references to Bandera and "Banderites" featured in Russian propaganda, Bandera's favorability appeared to shoot up rapidly, with 74% of Ukrainians viewing him favorably, according to an April 2022 poll from a Ukrainian research organization. Bandera continued to cause friction with countries such as Poland and Israel.[16]

Historian Vyacheslav Likhachev told Haaretz that for public consciousness in Ukraine the only important thing about Bandera was that he fought for Ukrainian independence, and that other details are not important, especially in the context of events from 2014 onwards, where the struggle for Ukrainian independence became more prominent.[88]

Political scientist Andreas Umland wrote in 2017 that issues of remembrance in Ukraine are complicated by its history of existing between and being terrorized by two totalitarian regimes, where millions of Ukrainians were killed, but some collaborated, and the extensive exploitation and manipulation of this history by an aggressive neighbor, Russia. According to him, public debate on these issues is also "spoiled" by biased narratives about the OUN and especially Bandera perpetuated by the Kremlin or "Western dilettante commentaries" featuring "frequent factual imprecisions and indiscriminate historical accusations". He wrote that these inaccuracies are deconstructed with "relish" by OUN apologists within Ukraine, and this has perpetuated a view within Ukraine that the Western public is not well informed about recent Ukrainian history, and even brainwashed by Soviet and Russian propaganda. However, he wrote, research from well regarded universities over the last decade was showing in greater detail where Ukrainians connected to the OUN did, and did not, take part in the Holocaust.[89]

2014 Russian intervention in Ukraine

Headquarters of the Euromaidan, Kyiv, January 2014. At the front entrance there is a portrait of Bandera.

During the 2014 Crimean crisis and unrest in Ukraine, pro-Russian Ukrainians, Russians (in Russia), and some Western authors alluded to the bad influence of Bandera on Euromaidan protesters and pro-Ukrainian Unity supporters in justifying their actions.[90] According to The Guardian, "The term 'Banderite' to describe his followers gained a recent new and malign life when Russian media used it to demonise Maidan protesters in Kiev, telling people in Crimea and east Ukraine that gangs of Banderites were coming to carry out ethnic cleansing of Russians."[84] Russian media used this to justify Russia's actions.[18] Putin welcomed the annexation of Crimea by declaring that he "was saving them from the new Ukrainian leaders who are the ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler's accomplice during World War II."[18] Pro-Russian activists claimed: "Those people in Kyiv are Bandera-following Nazi collaborators."[18] Ukrainians living in Russia complained of being labelled a "Banderite", even when they were from parts of Ukraine where Bandera has no popular support.[18] Groups who idolize Bandera took part in the Euromaidan protests but were a minority element.[18][91]

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

References to Bandera and "Banderites" in Russian propaganda featured during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Vladimir Putin making references to "Banderites" in his speeches.[16][92] Russia heavily promoted the theme of "denazification", and used rhetoric that was similar to Soviet era policy of equating the development of Ukrainian national identity with Nazism due to Bandera's collaboration, which has a particular resonance in Russia.[93] The Washington Post reported on Russian soldiers rounding up villagers who were deemed to be "Nazis" or "Banderites".[94] Deutsche Welle reported that media in Ukraine included many eyewitness accounts of Russian soldiers pursuing Bandera supporters, and wrote that "whoever is deemed to be a supporter faces torture or death".[16]

Hero of Ukraine award

The Hero of Ukraine award.

On 22 January 2010, on the Day of Unity of Ukraine, the then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded to Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine (posthumously) for "defending national ideas and battling for an independent Ukrainian state".[95][96] A grandson of Bandera, also named Stepan, accepted the award that day from the Ukrainian President during the state ceremony to commemorate the Day of Unity of Ukraine at the National Opera House of Ukraine.[96][97][98][99]

The European Parliament condemned the award, as did Russia, Poland and Jewish politicians and organizations, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center.[100][101][102][103][104] On 25 February 2010, the European Parliament expressed hope the decision would be reconsidered.[105] On 14 May 2010, the Russian Foreign Ministry said: "that the event is so odious that it could no doubt cause a negative reaction in the first place in Ukraine. Already it is known a position on this issue of a number of Ukrainian politicians, who believe that solutions of this kind do not contribute to the consolidation of Ukrainian public opinion".[106] On the other hand, the decree was applauded by Ukrainian nationalists in western Ukraine and by a small portion of Ukrainian Americans.[107][108]

President Viktor Yanukovych declared the award illegal, since Bandera was never a citizen of Ukraine, a stipulation necessary for getting the award. On 5 March 2010, Yanukovych stated that he would make a decision to repeal the decrees to honor the title of Heroes of Ukraine to Bandera and fellow nationalist Roman Shukhevych before the next Victory Day,[109] although the Hero of Ukraine decrees do not stipulate the possibility that a decree on awarding this title can be annulled.[110] On 2 April 2010, an administrative Donetsk region court ruled the presidential decree awarding the title to be illegal. According to the court's decision, Bandera was not a citizen of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (vis-à-vis Ukraine).[111][112][113][114]

On 5 April 2010, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine refused to start constitutional proceedings on the constitutionality of the President Yushchenko decree the award was based on. A ruling by the court was submitted by the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on 20 January 2010.[115] In January 2011, the presidential press service informed that the award was officially annulled.[116][117] This was done after a cassation appeal filed against the ruling by Donetsk District Administrative Court was rejected by the Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine on 12 January 2011.[118][119][120] Former President Yushchenko called the annulment "a gross error".[121]

In December 2018, the Ukrainian parliament considered a motion to again confer the award on Bandera, but the proposal was rejected in August 2019.[122]


Stepan Bandera monument in Ternopil

In late 2006, the Lviv city administration announced the future transference of the tombs of Stepan Bandera, Andriy Melnyk, Yevhen Konovalets and other key leaders of OUN/UPA to a new area of Lychakiv Cemetery specifically dedicated to victims of the repressions of the Ukrainian national liberation struggle.[123]

In October 2007, the city of Lviv erected a statue dedicated to Bandera.[124] The appearance of the statue has engendered a far-reaching debate about the role of Stepan Bandera and UPA in Ukrainian history. The two previously erected statues were blown up by unknown perpetrators; the current is guarded by a militia detachment 24/7.[when?] On 18 October 2007, the Lviv City Council adopted a resolution establishing the Award of Stepan Bandera in journalism.[125][126]

On 1 January 2009, his 100th birthday was celebrated in several Ukrainian centres[127][128][129][130][131] and a postage stamp with his portrait was issued the same day.[132] On 1 January 2014, Bandera's 105th birthday was celebrated by a torchlight procession of 15,000 people in the centre of Kyiv and thousands more rallied near his statue in Lviv.[133][134][135] The march was supported by the far-right Svoboda party and some members of the center-right Batkivshchyna.[136]

In 2018, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to include Bandera's 110th birthday, on 1 January 2019, in a list of memorable dates and anniversaries to be celebrated that year.[137][138][139] The decision was criticized by the Jewish organization Simon Wiesenthal Center.[140]

There are Stepan Bandera museums in Dubliany, Volia-Zaderevatska, Staryi Uhryniv, and Yahilnytsia. There is a Stepan Bandera Museum of Liberation Struggle in London, part of the OUN Archive,[141] and The Bandera Family Museum (Музей родини Бандерів) in Stryi.[142][143]

There are also Stepan Bandera streets in Lviv (formerly vulytsia Myru, "Peace street"), Lutsk (formerly Suvorovska street), Rivne (formerly Moskovska street), Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chervonohrad (formerly Nad Buhom street),[144] Berezhany (formerly Cherniakhovskoho street), Drohobych (formerly Sliusarska street), Stryi, Kalush, Kovel, Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Horodenka, Dubrovytsia, Kolomyia, Dolyna, Iziaslav, Skole, Shepetivka, Brovary, and Boryspil, and a Stepan Bandera Avenue in Ternopil (part of the former Lenin Avenue).[145] On 16 January 2017, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance stated that of the 51,493 streets, squares and "other facilities" that had been renamed (since 2015) due to decommunization 34 streets were named after Stepan Bandera.[146] Due to "association with the communist totalitarian regime", the Kyiv City Council on 7 July 2016 voted 87 to 10 in favor of supporting renaming Moscow Avenue to Stepan Bandera Avenue.[147][148] In September 2022 a street that was named after Otto Schmidt in Dnipro was renamed to honor Bandera.[149] (This street had originally been the Gymnasium Street until it was renamed to Otto Schmidt Street by Soviet authorities in 1934.[150]) In December 2022 recently liberated Izium decided to rename Pushkin Street to Stepana Bandera Street.[151]

After the fall of the Soviet Union, monuments dedicated to Stepan Bandera have been constructed in a number of western Ukrainian cities and villages, including a statue in Lviv.[152] Bandera was also named an honorary citizen of a number of western Ukrainian cities.[citation needed]

In late 2018, the Lviv Oblast Council decided to declare the year of 2019 to be the year of Stepan Bandera, sparking protests by Israel.[153][154] In 2021, the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory under the authority of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, included Bandera, among other Ukrainian nationalist figures, in Virtual Necropolis, a project intended to commemorate historical figures important for Ukraine.[155]

Two feature films have been made about Bandera, Assassination: An October Murder in Munich (1995) and The Undefeated (2000), both directed by Oles Yanchuk, along with a number of documentary films.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ This study investigates the life and the political cult of Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian far-right leader who lived between 1909 and 1959. ... In 1932–1933 Stepan Bandera was arrested six times for matters such as an illegal crossing of the Polish- Czechoslovak border, smuggling illegal OUN journals to Poland. ... Because of the extremist nature of the OUN and its involvement in the Holocaust and other kinds of ethnic and political mass violence during and after the Second World War, OUN émigrés and UPA veterans began producing forged or manipulated documents during the Cold War, by means of which they whitewashed their own history... In terms of extreme nationalism, violence, fascism, and antisemitism, the two factions did not differ greatly from each other."[1]
  2. ^ From page 560: "A Second Extraordinary Congress of the OUN in April 1941 formally elected Bandera the leader of this more militant wing. As the head of terrorist activities in the recent past, he was considered the natural choice."[5]
  3. ^ As an uncompromising leader of the militant, terrorist branch of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). ... To this day, many Ukrainians view Bandera as a martyred freedom fighter.[6]
  4. ^ The proclamation issued by Stetsko on behalf of the Bandera faction of the OUN promised that the new Ukrainian state would faithfully 'cooperate with National Socialist Great Germany, which under the leadership of Adolf Hitler is establishing a New World Order in Europe and the world'. The proclamation's closing flourish called for: 'Glory to the heroic German army and its Führer, Adolf Hitler' ... In the confusion that accompanied the German invasion of Poland, Lebed and Bandera were released from prison in 1939 and allowed to continue their political work.[11]: 50 
  5. ^ From pages 75–76, 157: "In July 1930, Ukrainian nationalists began sabotage actions in Galicia, destroying Polish properties and homes throughout the region in hundreds of terrorist actions. In September, Piłsudski ordered the pacification of Galicia, sending a thousand policemen to search 450 villages for nationalist agitators... "In 1930, as the OUN terrorized the Galician countryside...Volhynia remained comparatively peaceful..."[24]
  6. ^ According to some accounts and sources, Bandera was released,[10][27][5] or walked out of prison.[28] According to others, he escaped.[1]: 167 [5][29]: 73 [30] According to Snyder, he was released due to Poland freeing its political prisoners to spare them German captivity.[31] According to Bandera's own account, he escaped on September 13, 1939, with the help of Ukrainian prisoners in the turmoil of WWII.[1]: 166  In her book Borderland, author Anna Reid states that Germans freed him, but her sources for that are unclear.
  7. ^ Bandera aimed to make of Ukraine a one-party fascist dictatorship without national minorities.... UPA partisans murdered tens of thousands of Poles, most of them women and children. Some Jews who had taken shelter with Polish families were also killed.[36]
  8. ^ However, historical studies and archival documents show that the OUN relied on terrorism and collaborated with Nazi Germany in the beginning of World War II. The OUN-B (Stepan Bandera faction) by means of its control over the UPA masterminded a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Poles in Volhynia during the war and mounted an anti-Soviet terror campaign in Western Ukraine after the war. These nationalist organizations, based mostly in Western Ukraine, primarily, in Galicia, were also involved in mass murder of Jews during World War II. The 2009 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology survey shows that only minorities of the residents of Ukraine have favorable views of the OUN-B and the UPA and deny involvement of these organizations in mass murders of Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews in the 1940s."[42]: 15 
  9. ^ It is a sad comment on Ukrainian memory that the man declared a Hero of Ukraine in January headed a movement that was deeply involved in the Holocaust.[6]
  10. ^ The UPA’s ethnic cleansing of the Poles in Volhynia and Galicia continued through 1943 and much of 1944, until the arrival of the Soviets. Whereas the UPA also killed Jews, Czechs, Magyars, Armenians, and other ethnic minorities, Poles were their main target. “Long live the great, independent Ukraine without Jews, Poles, or Germans. Poles behind the San, the Germans to Berlin, and Jews to the gallows,” went one OUN(b) slogan in the late fall of 1941.[46]: 11–12 
  11. ^ From page 164: "Before 1939, Ukraine was not united in one republic, but remained divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia."[49]
  12. ^ ... in the Abwehr's Second Department, which specialized in sabotage and subversion under the direction of General Erwin Lahousen and Colonel Erwin Stolze. Skillfully playing one man against the other, Canaris bestowed Konovalets' former Abwehr code-name, Consul I, on Melnyk while Bandera became known as Consul II. In advance of the 1939 cam- paign against Poland, Canaris ordered Ukrainian exiles smuggled into Poland to weaken Polish defenses by launching a terror campaign against the Jews and the Polish farmers. According to General Lahousen's testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, the mission was to provoke an uprising in which all Polish homes would be set afire and Jews killed.[11]: 20 
  13. ^ From page 76: Berlin hoped to form a Ukrainian National Committee with both OUN factions and other Ukrainian leaders. The Committee was formed in November, but Bandera and Stetsko refused to cooperate. They escaped from Berlin in December and fled south, emerging after the war in Munich.[29]
  14. ^ The incoming Ukrainian president will have to turn some attention to history, because the outgoing one has just made a hero of a long-dead Ukrainian fascist. By conferring the highest state honor of 'Hero of Ukraine' upon Stepan Bandera ... Bandera aimed to make of Ukraine a one-party fascist dictatorship without national minorities. During World War II, his followers killed many Poles and Jews.[36]
  15. ^ Deeply embedded in Ukrainian nationalism, both types of antisemitism must have reached Bandera's consciousness in his youth. Either in his high school years in the 1920s or in his student life in the first half of the 1930s, the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism made Bandera aware of the 'Jewish problem' in Ukraine, the different and alien nature of the Jewish race, and the intrinsic link between Jews and communism. After the Second World War and the Holocaust, both Bandera and his admirers were embarrassed by the vehement antisemitic component of their interwar political views and denied it systematically [1]: 107 
  16. ^ From page 565: "His views were not untypical of his generation, although they represent an extreme political stance that rejected any form of cooperation with the rulers of Ukrainian territories: the Poles and the Soviet authorities. Like Dontsov, he regarded Russia as the principal enemy of Ukraine, and showed little tolerance for the other two groups inhabiting Ukrainian ethnic territories, Poles and Jews"[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Rossolinski, Grzegorz (1 October 2014). Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist: Fascism, Genocide, and Cult. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-3-8382-6684-8. His most popular nickname was baba (woman)..(page 97)
  2. ^ a b c CIA. "National Archives NextGen Catalog". pp. 1, 251, 259. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  3. ^ McBride, Jared (21 July 2016). "Ukrainian Holocaust Perpetrators Are Being Honored in Place of Their Victims". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 15 October 2022. ..Kyiv city government just voted to name a street after far right-wing nationalist leader, Stepan Bandera..
  4. ^ Kuzio, Taras; D'Anieri, Paul J. (2002). Dilemmas of State-led Nation Building in Ukraine. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-275-97786-3. The OUN divided in 1940 into a radical wing under Bandera and a more conservative one under Melnyk ...
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Marples, David R. (2006). "Stepan Bandera: The Resurrection of a Ukrainian National Hero". Europe-Asia Studies. 58 (4): 555–566. doi:10.1080/09668130600652118. ISSN 0966-8136. JSTOR 20451225. S2CID 144243956.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Goda, Norman J. W. (22 January 2010). "Who Was Stepan Bandera?". History News Network. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  7. ^ a b Reid, Anna (29 September 2022). Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine. Orion. ISBN 978-1-3996-0918-0. Stepan Bandera, leader of the Nazi-sponsored terrorist group OUN.
  8. ^ a b c Winstone, Martin (30 October 2014). The Dark Heart of Hitler's Europe: Nazi Rule in Poland Under the General Government. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-85772-519-6. .. who followed the terrorist Stepan Bandera (page 104) .. These hopes were almost immediately dashed and many leaders (including Bandera in Krakow) were arrested by the Germans. Nonetheless, both wings of the OUN largely continued to work with the Nazis (page 104) .. Stepan Bandera, the leader and ideological mentor of the nationalist murderers of Poles and Jews (page 249)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rossolinski, Grzegorz (2014). The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist : Fascism, Genocide, and Cult. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9783838206844.
  10. ^ a b c d e Piotrowski, Tadeusz (9 January 2007). Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918–1947. McFarland. pp. 221, 363. ISBN 978-0-7864-2913-4. [p. 221] On June 30, 1941, the Bandera faction unilaterally declared Ukrainian independence! This event was preceded by a letter to Hitler from Bandera, who argued the case for an independent Ukrainian state but said nothing about the OUN-B's intended course of action. The letter was dated June 23, 1941, just one day after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. There was no reply from Hitler. ... [p. 363] After their release from Bereza Kartuska (September 5–10, 1939), Bandera and the others contacted the Abwehr and, after a rest, returned to their operational base (called Kochstelle by Volodymyr Kubiiovych) in Krakow. There, they maintained close contact with Wehrmacht officials.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Littman, Sol (2003). Pure Soldiers Or Sinister Legion: The Ukrainian 14th Waffen-SS Division. Black Rose Books. ISBN 978-1-55164-219-2.
  12. ^ Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Basic Books, 1999. ISBN 0-465-00312-5, p. 362.
  13. ^ Kondratyuk, Kostyantin. Новітня історія України 1914–1945 [New History of Ukraine]. — Lviv: Видавничий центр ЛНУ імені Івана Франка, 2007. (in Ukrainian)
  14. ^ "Ukrainians march in honour of controversial nationalist hero Stepan Bandera". euronews. 2 January 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  15. ^ Cohen, Josh. "Dear Ukraine: Please Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Goncharenko, Roman (22 May 2022). "Stepan Bandera: Ukrainian hero or Nazi collaborator?". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  17. ^ "Russia uses Israeli tweet against neo-Nazi march". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Faiola, Anthony (25 March 2014). "A ghost of World War II history haunts Ukraine's standoff with Russia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  19. ^ Henryk Komański and Szczepan Siekierka, Ludobójstwo dokonane przez nacjonalistów ukraińskich na Polakach w województwie tarnopolskim w latach 1939–1946 (2006), p. 203 (in Polish)
  20. ^ Arad, Yitzhak (2009). The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780803222700. OCLC 466441935.
  21. ^ Himka, John-Paul (2011). "The Lviv Pogrom of 1941: The Germans, Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Carnival Crowd". Canadian Slavonic Papers. LIII (2–3–4) – via
  22. ^ Filtenborg, Emil (19 March 2021). "In Ukraine, Stepan Bandera's legacy is a political football... again". Euronews. Retrieved 29 October 2022. There are few figures in Ukrainian history as controversial as Stepan Bandera, and fewer still are able to influence so profoundly modern politics more than six decades after their death. Bandera, who died in 1959 after being poisoned by Soviet agents, is seen as a national hero who fought for Ukrainian independence during the 1930s and 1940s. To others, he is a war criminal whose nationalist forces carried out atrocities against Jews and Poles during WW2.
  23. ^ Encyclopedia of Nationalism, Two-Volume Set. Elsevier. 27 October 2000. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-08-054524-0.
  24. ^ a b Snyder, Timothy (2007). Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300125993.
  25. ^ a b c William Holzmann; Zolt Aradi [in Hungarian] (1946). The Ukrainian Nationalist Movement: an interim study (PDF) (Report). Central Intelligence Agency.
  26. ^ Shephard, Ben (22 February 2011). The Long Road Home. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-59548-5. Stepan Bandera, who had led a gang carrying out terrorist attacks in Polish-ruled western Ukraine in the 1930s. Both factions were funded by the Germans..
  27. ^ Fatic, Aleksandar; Bachmann, Klaus; Lyubashenko, Igor (26 November 2018). Transitional Justice in Troubled Societies. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-78660-590-0.
  28. ^ Plokhy, Serhii (6 December 2016). "Chapter 1: Stalin's Call". The Man with the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-09660-2. had walked out of the prison in 1939 following the German invasion of Poland, slipping through Soviet hands
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Breitman, Richard; Goda, Norman J. W. (2010). "Hitler's Shadow" (PDF). National Archives.
  30. ^ Plokhy, Serhii (6 December 2016). "Chapter 17: Man At The Top". The Man with the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-09660-2. Khrushchev's major regret was that in September 1939, when the Red Army had crossed the Polish border under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and taken over Western Ukraine and Belarus, Bandera had been able to escape his Polish prison
  31. ^ Snyder, Timothy (2003). "The Causes of Ukrainian-Polish Ethnic Cleansing 1943". Past & Present. 179 (179): 197–234. doi:10.1093/past/179.1.197. ISSN 0031-2746. JSTOR 3600827.
  32. ^ Carynnyk, M. (2011). "Foes of our rebirth: Ukrainian nationalist discussions about Jews, 1929-1947". Nationalities Papers. 39 (3): 315–352. doi:10.1080/00905992.2011.570327. S2CID 159894460.
  33. ^ "Ukraine :: World War II and its aftermath – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  34. ^ a b c Himka, John-Paul (2010). "The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army: Unwelcome Elements of an Identity Project". Ab Imperio. 2010 (4): 83–101. doi:10.1353/imp.2010.0101. ISSN 2164-9731. S2CID 130590374. It is an undeniable fact, though, that OUN organized pogroms and mass violence against Jews and others throughout Western Ukraine in July 1941.German documentation and Jewish testimony are unanimous that Ukrainians were the pogromists. The pattern of the violence exhibits many features of coordination over the whole territory .... Both were anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and admirers of the Italian fascists and German national socialists. Both were involved in atrocities, though the Bandera wing was much more deeply involved .... after Stalingrad and after Kursk, OUN began to distance itself from fascism, particularly at its Third Extraordinary Grand Assembly in August 1943. Bandera himself, however, remained true to the old ideology to the end.
  35. ^ Brown, Kate (30 June 2009). A Biography of No Place. Harvard University Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-674-02893-7. The OUN had many factions and was rife with ideological disputes, but on the whole it harmonized with the fascist, integral-nationalist, anticommunist, and antisemitic profile of German National Socialists.
  36. ^ a b c d Timothy Snyder (24 February 2010). "A Fascist Hero in Democratic Kiev". The New York Review of Books. NYR Daily.
  37. ^ Radeljić, Branislav (18 January 2021). The Unwanted Europeanness?: Understanding Division and Inclusion in Contemporary Europe. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. ISBN 978-3-11-068425-4. For instance, the chant, "Glory to Ukraine!" (Slava Ukraini!), followed by "Glory to the Heroes!" (Heroiam slava!), had its origins in Ukraine's national revolution of 1917-1920, but it became widespread as a slogan under the wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) under the leadership of Stepan Bandera. By 1941, the Bandera wing of the OUN had embraced the ideals of fascism and Nazism, emphasizing militarism, one-party rule, and the cult of the leader.
  38. ^ Sakwa, Richard (2015). Frontline Ukraine : crisis in the borderlands. Internet Archive. London : I.B. Tauris. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-78453-064-8. Beginning on 'bloody Sunday, 11 July 1943, the UPA slaughtered some 70,000 Poles, mainly women and children and some unarmed men, in Volyn, and by 1945 it had killed at least 130,000 in Eastern Galicia. Whole families had their eyes gouged out if suspected of being informers, before being hacked to death.
  39. ^ Delphine, Bechtel (2013). The Holocaust in Ukraine - New Sources and Perspectives - The 1941 pogroms as represented in Western Ukrainian historiography and memorial culture (PDF). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 3, 6. Some Ukrainian immigrant circles in Canada, the United States, and Germany had been active for decades in trying to suppress the topic and reacted to any testimony about Ukrainian anti-Jewish violence with virulent diatribes against what they dismissed as "Jewish propaganda"...the Ukrainian Insurrectional Army (UPA), which was responsible for ethnic "cleansing" actions against Poles and Jews in Volhynia and Galicia.
  40. ^ Winstone, Martin (2015). The Dark Heart of Hitler's Europe: Nazi Rule in Poland Under the General Government. I.B. Tauris & Company Limited. pp. 104, 205. ISBN 978-0-7556-2395-2. Both factions of the OUN hoped that the Germans would permit the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state, at least in Galicia... OUN-B who used it as a vehicle to perpetrate ethnic cleansing — indeed genocide — across Wolyn. As German forces abandoned the countryside, UPA units murdered the entire populations of Polish villages (and many Ukrainians as well) in an attempt to frighten the remainder into fleeing.
  41. ^ Rossoliński-Liebe, Grzegorz. "Holocaust Amnesia: The Ukrainian Diaspora and the Genocide of the Jews". German Yearbook of Contemporary History 1 (2016). On 22 June 1941, the first phase of the Holocaust in these territories began when at least 140 pogroms broke out, resulting in the murder of thirteen to thirty-five thousand Jews. In the largest pogrom, in Lviv, which began around ten o'clock at night, just a few hours before the proclamationof the Ukrainian state, four thousand Jews were killed. The perpetrators of this pogrom consisted of the militia of the OUN-B, which worked together with the Germans, groups of local civilians, as well as various German units, including some from the Wehrmacht.
  42. ^ a b c Ivan Katchanovski (2015). "Terrorists or national heroes? Politics and perceptions of the OUN and the UPA in Ukraine". Communist and Post-Communist Studies - Paper Prepared for Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association, Montreal, June 1–3, 2010. 48 (2–3): 217–228. doi:10.1016/j.postcomstud.2015.06.006. ISSN 0967-067X.
  43. ^ Friedman, Philip; Friedman, Ada June (1980). Roads to extinction : essays on the Holocaust. Internet Archive. New York : Conference on Jewish Social Studies : Jewish Publication Society of America. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-8276-0170-3. After the outbreak of World War II, the Germans constantly favored the OUN, at the expense of more moderate Ukrainian groups. The extremist Ukrainian nationalist groups then launched a campaign of vilification against moderate leaders, accusing them of various misdeeds...As early as the spring of 1940, a central Ukrainian committee was organized in Cracow under the chairmanship of Volodimir Kubiovitch...Shortly before the outbreak of Russo-German hostilities, the Germans, through Colonel Erwin Stolze, of the Abwehr, conducted negotiations with both OUN leaders, Melnyk and Bandera, requesting that they engage in underground activities in the rear of the Soviet armies in the Ukraine.
  44. ^ Efraim, Zuroff. "Wiesenthal Center Harshly Criticizes Kiev March to Mark Birthday of Ukrainian Nazi Collaborator Stefan Bandera". Retrieved 20 September 2022. Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted Bandera's role in Holocaust crimes and the tens of thousands of Jewish victims murdered in Ukraine...
  45. ^ International, Radio Canada; Himka, John-Paul American-Canadian historian and retired professor of history of the University of Alberta (13 August 2018). "Canadian monument to controversial Ukrainian national hero ignites debate". RCI | English. Retrieved 20 September 2022. Himka says attempts to whitewash UPA's wartime record harm Ukraine's fledgling democracy by encouraging the far right in Ukraine and negatively impact democratic practices within the Ukrainian community in Canada. I think personally that you can't be making heroes out of Holocaust perpetrators and ethnic cleansers, says Himka.
  46. ^ a b c d e f Rudling, Per A. (2011). "The OUN, the UPA and the Holocaust: A Study in the Manufacturing of Historical Myths". The Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies (2107). doi:10.5195/CBP.2011.164. ISSN 2163-839X.
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  49. ^ a b c Rudling, Per Anders (2006). "Historical representation of the wartime accounts of the activities of the OUN–UPA (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists—Ukrainian Insurgent Army)". East European Jewish Affairs. 36 (2): 163–189. doi:10.1080/13501670600983008. ISSN 1350-1674. S2CID 161270139.
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  51. ^ "Nuremberg – The Trial of German Major War Criminals". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  52. ^ "CIA examples of Soviet Propaganda" (PDF). CIA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  53. ^ Mueller, Michael (18 August 2018). Canaris: The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781591141013. Retrieved 18 August 2018 – via Google Books.
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  55. ^ p.15 ОУН в 1941 році: документи [The OUN in 1941: documents]. Kyiv: Institute of Ukrainian History, Shevchenko University, 2006. ISBN 966-02-2535-0. "У владних структурах рейху знайшлися сили яки з прагматичних міркувань стали на захист бандерівців. Керівники гестапо сподівалися використовувати їх у власних цілях а керівники абверу а радянському тилу." [In the power structures of the Reich, there were forces that, for pragmatic reasons, came to the defense of Bandera's people. The leaders of the Gestapo hoped to use them for their own purposes, and the leaders of the Abwehr for the Soviet rear.]
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Further reading

External links