Ukrainian People's Militsiya

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Ukrainian People's Militsiya
Ukrainian: Українська Міліція
German: Ukrainische Miliz[1]
Active23 June 1941 – November 1941
CountrySelected cities and rural areas of General Government and Reichskommissariat Ukraine

Ukrainian People's Militsiya (Ukrainian: Українська Народна Міліція, romanizedUkrainska Narodna Militsiia)[2] or the Ukrainian National Militsiya, was a paramilitary formation created by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in the General Government territory of occupied Poland and later in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine during World War II. It was set up in the course of Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union.


Ukrainian People's Militsiya, created in June 1941, preceded the official founding of the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police in mid-August 1941 by Heinrich Himmler. There is conclusive historical evidence indicating that members of the Ukrainian Militsiya took a leading role in the 1941 Lviv pogroms, after the German army reached Lwów (Lemberg) at the end of June in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine).[2][verify] Initially the Ukrainian Militsiya acted independently, with the blessings of the SS, but later were limited to joint operations (Aktionen) with German units or otherwise functioned directly under the Nazi command.[3]

The Ukrainian People's Militsiya was active in occupied territories behind the Wehrmacht lines, assisting the German Security Police and the Einsatzgruppen while the army kept advancing in the direction of Zhytomyr, Rivne and Kiev.[citation needed]

Heinrich Himmler was appointed Chief of SS and Police for the Eastern Territories on 17 July 1941 and decreed the formation of the Schutzmannschaften from among the non-German auxiliaries. In mid-August he regrouped the indigenous Militsiya which had sprung up under military rule to form the core of the official Ukrainische Hilfspolizei.[4] Before that, members of the Ukrainian Militsiya in formerly Polish cities with sizeable Polish-Jewish presence compiled lists of targets for the branch offices of the KdS[clarification needed] and assisted with the roundups (as in Stanisławów, Włodzimierz Wołyński, Lutsk).[a][5][6][7] In Korosten, the Militsiya rounded up 238 Jews described as "a source of continuous unrest" and carried out the killings by themselves.[8][verify] In Sokal, on 30 June 1941 they arrested and executed 183 Jews dubbed "the commissars". Other locations followed.[1][8]

By 7 August 1941 stations of Ukrainian People's Militsiya were established in most areas conquered by the Wehrmacht including Lviv (Lwów, Lemberg), Tarnopol, Stanislavov (Stanisławów) (now Ivano-Frankivsk), Lutsk (Łuck), Rovno, Yavoriv, Kamenetz-Podolsk, Drohobych (Drohobycz), Dubno, Sambir, Kostopol, Sarny, Zolochiv, Berezhany, Pidhaytsi, Kolomyya, Rava-Ruska, Radekhiv, Terebovlia, Zbarazh, Zhytomyr, Fastov and others.[9][verify]

Ukrainian People's Militsiya instructions[edit]

The stated duty of the Ukrainian People's Militsiya was to maintain order in the newly occupied territories by defending the Ukrainian population from attacks by scattered remnants of the Red Army, killing resistance members or Soviet parachutists caught behind the German lines, confiscating weapons, registering former communist officials or specialists brought into western Ukraine from eastern regions, and shooting looters or those caught hiding firearms as well as collaborators with the Soviet state and the Soviet diversionaries. The regulations of the Ukrainian People's Militsiya allowed Jews to join in but only under strict rules requiring them to wear yellow stars on their clothing. Poles and Russians were expressly prohibited from joining the force.[10][11]

The OUN controlling the Ukrainian People' Militsiya was strongly opposed to the Soviet power structure that had been established in Galicia after the Soviet annexations, particularly the NKVD. The command sought to neutralize those particular elements that the OUN felt were critical to projecting Soviet power over Ukraine. Instructions issued in May 1941 by OUN in Distrikt Galizien were very specific about who the enemy was.[12]

There are elements that give support to the Soviet regime and NKVD, which, with the creation of the new revolutionary power in Ukraine must be neutralized (i.e. liquidated; унешкідливлені). These elements are:

  1. The Muscovites (Russians) sent to Ukrainian lands in order to strengthen Moscow’s power in Ukraine
  2. The Jews, individually and as a national group
  3. The foreigners, mostly Asians, which Moscow uses to colonize Ukraine in order to turn the country into an ethnic chessboard
  4. The Poles on the West Ukrainian lands who have not given up the dream to build a Greater Poland at the expense of the Ukrainian lands, even if Greater Poland will become Red.[6]

The objectives of the People's Militsiya were to facilitate the eradication of the suspected members of the NKVD and the Communist Party including Soviet prosecutors or citizens who during the Soviet rule collaborated with them. All prominent non-Ukrainians were to be interred. The People's Militsiya – according to instructions – were advised to act in such way that "the army and the authorities of the ally" (i.e. the German Security Police and the Gestapo) would draw obvious benefits from the existence of the People's Militsiya."[13]

State security department of the Militsiya[edit]

The Ukrainian People's Militsiya structure also included a "political department" similar to the Gestapo (familiar to the OUN-R organization) named the "Secret State Police ".[14][verify]

On 25 June 1941 Yaroslav Stetsko wrote to Stepan Bandera that OUN had "formed a Militsiya to remove the Jews".[11][verify] After the proclamation of "Ukrainian Statehood with the leader of Stepan Bandera"[clarification needed] its government was created by UDB (Department of the State Security). On 2 July 1941 Bandera's OUN People's Militsiya established by the Yaroslav Stetsko group at Lemberg was placed under the command of the Security police and Secret police.[15][verify]

If available, personnel of the Bandera's OUN People's Militsiya were to use captured Soviet Army uniforms with a yellow-blue armband worn on the left sleeve. If such military clothing was not on hand, members were to wear a white armband stamped with the name People's Militsiya (Народна Міліція).[16][verify]

See also[edit]


a. ^ The KdS stands for the Kommandateur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, or the Regional Command of the Sipo (Sicherheitspolizei) and SD (Sicherheitsdienst, the intelligence branch of the SS).


  1. ^ a b Dr. Frank Grelka (2005). Ukrainischen Miliz. pp. 283–284. ISBN 3447052597. Retrieved 17 July 2015. RSHA von einer begrüßenswerten Aktivitat der ukrainischen Bevolkerung in den ersten Stunden nach dem Abzug der Sowjettruppen. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  2. ^ a b Prof. John-Paul Himka (25 February 2013). "Ще кілька слів про львівський погром (A few words about the Lviv pogrom)". Наявні фотографії із львівського погрому. Історична правда. With links to relevant articles. For the English original, see: John-Paul Himka (2011). "The Lviv Pogrom of 1941: The Germans, Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Carnival Crowd". Canadian Slavonic Papers. 53 (2–4): 209–243. doi:10.1080/00085006.2011.11092673. ISSN 0008-5006. JSTOR 41708340. S2CID 159577084 – via JSTOR.. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  3. ^ Jakob Weiss, The Lemberg Mosaic, New York: Alderbrook Press, 2011; pp. 165–174 (chpt. Prison Massacre), 206–210 (chpt. Petlura Days).
  4. ^ Symposium Presentations (September 2005). "The Holocaust and [German] Colonialism in Ukraine: A Case Study" (PDF). The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 15, 18–19, 20 in current document of 1/154. Archived from the original (PDF file, direct download 1.63 MB) on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2014. Himmler rolled out his plans for recruiting and utilizing Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian police auxiliaries. As the newly appointed chief of SS and police forces in the East, he decreed the formation of non-German auxiliaries, known as Schutzmannschaften. In accord with Himmler's July 1941 order, these police collaborators were chosen from the local militias that had sprung up under the military occupation and from the screening of acceptable racial groups among the POWs, first and foremost from the Volksdeutsche and then Ukrainians. Many of the fresh Ukrainian recruits had been active in the nationalist movement.
  5. ^ PWL. "Mord w Czarnym Lesie (Murder in the Black Forest)". Województwo Stanisławowskie. Historia. PWL-Społeczna organizacja kresowa. Archived from the original on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b I.K. Patrylyak (2004), Військова діяльність ОУН(Б) у 1940—1942 роках (The Military Activities of the OUN (B), 1940–1942). Shevchenko University; Institute of History of Ukraine, Kiev, pp. 522–524 (4–6/45 in PDF).
  7. ^ Іван Качановський (30 March 2013). "Сучасна політика пам'яті на Волині щодо ОУН(б) та нацистських масових вбивств" [Contemporary politics of memory about OUN (b) in Volhynia and the Nazi massacres]. Україна модерна. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b Ronald Headland (1992), Messages of Murder: A Study of the Reports of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Security Service, 1941–1943. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, pp. 125–126. ISBN 0838634184.
  9. ^ Р. П. Шляхтич, ОУН в 1941 році: документи: В 2-х частинах Ін-т історії України НАН України (OUN in 1941: Documents in 2 volumes). Institute of History of Ukraine. Kiev: Ukraine National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 2006, pp. 426–427. ISBN 966-02-2535-0. Abstract, with links to PDF files. Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Patrylyak 2004, pp. 527 (9 in PDF), and 563 (45 in PDF).
  11. ^ a b Dzyobak, Ilyushyn I.I. and I.K. Patrylyak et al. та інші Організація українських націоналістів і Українська повстанська армія (The Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army). Institute of History of Ukraine. Kiev: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 2004, p. 63. (in Ukrainian)
  12. ^ Patrylyak 2004, p. 524 (6 in PDF).
  13. ^ Patrylyak 2004, p. 550.
  14. ^ Lysenko, A.E. and I.K. Patrylyak. Матеріали та документи Служби безпеки ОУН (б) у 1940–х (Materials and Documents of the Security Service of the OUN (b) in the 1940s). Kiev: Institute of History of Ukraine, 2003, p. 7. ISBN 966-02-2729-9. (in Ukrainian)
  15. ^ Patrylyak 2004, p. 231.
  16. ^ OUN in 1941, p. 130. Stepan Bandera faction.