Yevhen Konovalets

Yevhen Konovalets (Ukrainian:Євген Михайлович[1] Коновалець) (June 14, 1891 – May 23, 1938) was a military commander of the UNR army and political leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. He is best known as the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists between 1929 and 1938.

Yevhen Konovalets
Євген Михайлович[1] Коновалець
Yevgen Konovalec
BornJune 14, 1891
Zashkiv, Galicia, Austria-Hungary
DiedMay 23, 1938 (aged 46)
Rotterdam, Netherlands
AllegianceUkrainian National Republic
Service/branchArmy
Years of service1914-1915, 1917-1919
RankColonel
UnitLemberg District Defense, Sich Riflemen
Commands heldSich Riflemen
Battles/warsCommunist Uprising, Ukrainian–Soviet War
Other workPolitician, creator of the UVO

Biography

Early Years

Konovalets was born June 14, 1891 in the village of Zashkiv in the Austro-Hungarian Galicia; today it is in Zhovkva Raion, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine. In his youth he studied in Lviv and in 1909 enrolled in the University of Lviv, where he studied mathematics. In 1910 he participated in the protest to accommodate Ukrainians with their own university in Lviv. During this protest at least one person was killed. He became an active member of the Prosvita, the Ukrainian educational association, and a representative in the Executive Committee of the National-Democratic Party. He became the secretary of the Lviv department of the Prosvita organization in 1912. In 1913 he became one of the leaders of the local student movement. He was greatly influenced by the nationalist ideology and rhetoric of such prominent Ukrainians as Ivan Bobersky, Myroslav Sichynsky, Dmytro Dontsov, and others.

Military career

In the summer of 1914, Konovalets was mobilized into the Austro-Hungarian Army and during the First World War rose to the rank of a second lieutenant serving in the 19th Regiment of the Lviv Regional Defense. In 1915 he was taken prisoner of war by the Russians during the battles near the mountain Makivka (Carpathian Mountains) and interned in a POW camp near Tsaritsyn, Chornyi Yar. In 1916 he was transferred into the concentration camp near Dubovka. While in captivity he joined a group of former Galician officers (such as Andrii Melnyk, Roman Sushko, and Fed Chernyk among others) who fled to Kyiv together. In November 1917, together with the Galician-Bucovina Committee, he organized the Halytsko-Bukovynsky Kurin of the Sich Riflemen as part of the Doroshenko Regiment. Two months later he assumed its command and helped suppress the Communist uprising in Kyiv as well as resisting the Antonov-Ovseenko offensive. In March 1918 his riflemen, together with the Zaporizhia Corps of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the reformed Haydamaky Kish of the Sloboda Ukraine, liberated Kyiv from the Soviets. In May 1918 his military unit was disbanded due to its political views.

Political career

In the summer of 1918 he convinced Pavlo Skoropadskyi, Hetman of Ukraine, to create a Special Platoon of Sich Riflemen, which was established in Bila Tserkva. In November 1918 he officially requested a void of the Federal Union with Russia from the Hetmanate and actively supported the forces of the Directoria in the battle of Motovylivka (fought at Motovylivka railway station, near Motovylivka, Kiev Oblast) in the ousting of Skoropadskyi. On December 6, 1919, by the Order of the Head Otoman he demobilized his military formations. The same year he was taken prisoner and interned in a Polish POW camp in Lutsk, although he was released in the spring of 1920 and moved to Czecho-Slovakia. In 1920, as a result of the shattered struggle for Ukrainian independence, Konovalets set up a new organization capable of clandestine activities within the borders of the new occupying powers, Poland, Bolshevik Russia, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. Created in August of that year in Prague, the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) was aimed at armed resistance against Poland and Russia and was involved in the military training of youth and the prevention of any form of cooperation between Ukrainian and Polish authorities. The foundation of the organization became the leaders of the Ukrainian Halych Army. After the end of the Polish-Bolshevik War and the battle for Lviv, Konovalets became the leader of the UVO in the city. However, after several acts of sabotage his organisation was broken by the police, and in December 1922 Konovalets fled the country.

Exile and assassination

During his exile years he lived in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. In 1929 he took part in the first congress of Ukrainian nationalists in Vienna. During the congress it was decided to form the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), and Konovalets was elected as its leader. He then actively promoted its influence among the Ukrainian emigres throughout Europe and America while establishing contacts with intelligence offices of Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and others. With his direct help were formed the Societies of Sich Riflemen in North America. The goal of the OUN was to revive an independent Ukraine through armed struggle.

Konovalets' activities raised fears in the Kremlin because of penetration of the OUN into the Soviet Union. On May 23, 1938, he was assassinated in Rotterdam by a bomb rigged to explode hidden inside a box of chocolates. This booby-trap was disguised as a present from a close friend. This friend, however, was in reality an NKVD agent who had infiltrated the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Pavel Sudoplatov, who on a recent visit to the Soviet Union had been personally ordered by Joseph Stalin to assassinate Konovalets in retaliation for the assassination of a Soviet diplomat at the consulate in Lwów in 1933. Pavel Sudoplatov has beforehand slipped into Finland in July 1935 using the alias 'Pavel Gridgdenko' after a period of training.[2] According to Sudoplatov, Stalin had told him, "This is not just an act of revenge, although Konovalets is an agent of German fascism. Our goal is to behead the movement of Ukrainian fascism on the eve of the war and force these gangsters to annihilate each other in a struggle for power."[3]

Legacy

Могила Євгена Коновальця
Tomb of Yevhen Konovalets in Rotterdam

Due to his sudden disappearance, the OUN immediately suspected Sudoplatov of Konovalets' murder. Therefore, a photograph of Sudoplatov and Konovalets together was distributed to every OUN unit. According to Sudoplatov,

In the 1940s, SMERSH... captured two guerilla fighters in Western Ukraine, one of whom had this photo of me on him. When asked why he was carrying it, he replied, "I have no idea why, but the order is if we find this man to liquidate him."[4]

Commemoration

In 2006, the Lviv city administration announced the future transference of the remains of Yevhen Konovalets, Stepan Bandera, Andriy Melnyk and other key leaders of OUN/UPA to a new area of Lychakivskiy Cemetery specifically dedicated to heroes of the Ukrainian liberation movement.[5]

In June 17, 2011 in Vilnius, Lithuania took place the conference "Yevhen Konovalets: Lithuanian citizen - the Ukrainian patriot. Celebration of 120th birthday" organised by The Lithuanian Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, People's Liberation Movement Research Centre (Ukraine) and Ukrainian organizations in Lithuania.

Sources

References

  1. ^ a b Видатні українські націоналісти
  2. ^ West, Nigel (15 August 2017). Encyclopedia of Political Assassinations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 132. ISBN 978-15381-0239-8.
  3. ^ Pavel Sudoplatov, Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness, a Soviet Spymaster, pages 23-24.
  4. ^ Pavel Sudoplatov, Special Tasks, page 16.
  5. ^ Information website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
  • Volodymyr Kubijovyč, Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Toronto: University of Toronto Press 1984 - 2001.
  • encyclopediaofukraine.com
  • Dovidnyk z istorii Ukrainy, Kyiv: Heneza 2002.
  • Vladislav Moulis, Běsové ruské revoluce, Praha: Dokořán, 2002.

External links

Act of restoration of the Ukrainian state

The act of restoration of the Ukrainian state or proclamation of the Ukrainian state of June 30, 1941 was announced by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) under the leadership of Stepan Bandera, who declared an independent Ukrainian State in Lviv. The prime-minister was Yaroslav Stetsko, and the head of Council of Seniors was Kost Levitsky.

The OUN intended to take advantage of the retreat of Soviet forces from Ukraine. Some members thought that they had found a new powerful ally in Nazi Germany to aid them in their struggle against the Soviet Union. Days after the Nazi invasion of Lviv, however, the leadership of the newly formed government was arrested and sent to concentration camps in Germany. Within two years of the declaration, the Nazis had imprisoned or killed 80% of OUN-B leadership.

Andriy Atanasovych Melnyk

Andriy Melnyk (Ukrainian: Андрій Ме́льник) (December 12, 1890 – November 1, 1964) was a Ukrainian military and political leader.

Battle of Kiev (1918)

Battle of Kiev (1918) (Ukrainian: Штурм Києва (1918)) was a Bolshevik military operation of Petrograd and Moscow Red Guards formations directed to sack the capital of Ukraine. The operation led by Red Guards commander Mikhail Artemyevich Muravyov as part of the Soviet expeditionary force against Kaledin and the Central Council of Ukraine. The storming of Kiev took place during the ongoing peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk) on February 5–8, 1918 (January 23–26, old style). The operation resulted in occupation of the city by Bolsheviks troops and evacuation of the Ukrainian government to Zhytomyr.

Crooswijk General Cemetery

Crooswijk General Cemetery (Algemene Begraafplaats Crooswijk) is a cemetery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Ivano-Frankivsk Municipality

Ivano-Frankivsk Municipality is an administrative subdivision of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast located within the Tysmenytsia Raion and is completely surrounded by that raion. It consists of the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, the administrative center of the oblast, and a number of rural localities. Population: 251,509 (2016 est.).

Kiev Arsenal January Uprising

Kiev Arsenal January Uprising (Ukrainian: Січневе повстання Sichneve povstannya), sometimes called simply the January Uprising or the January Rebellion, was the Bolshevik organized workers' armed revolt that started on January 29, 1918 at the Kiev Arsenal factory during the Ukrainian-Soviet War. The goal of the uprising was to sabotage the ongoing elections to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly and to support the advancing Red Army.

List of Soviet and Russian assassinations

This is a list of people assassinated by Soviet Union (1918–1991) and Russian federation (1992–present). Some assassinations took place overseas.

Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) (Ukrainian: Організація Українських Націоналістів (ОУН), Orhanizatsiya Ukrayins'kykh Natsionalistiv) was a Ukrainian-nationalist political organization established in 1929 in Vienna. The organization first operated in Eastern Galicia (then part of interwar Poland). It emerged as a union between the Ukrainian Military Organization, smaller radical right-wing groups, and right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and intellectuals represented by Dmytro Dontsov, Yevhen Konovalets, Mykola Stsyborsky and other figures.The OUN sought to infiltrate legal political parties, universities and other political structures and institutions. As revolutionary ultra-nationalists the OUN have been characterized by most historians as fascist. OUN strategies to achieve Ukrainian independence included violence and terrorism against perceived foreign and domestic enemies, particularly Poland, Czechoslovakia and Russia.In 1940 the OUN split into two parts. The older, more moderate members supported Andriy Melnyk and the OUN-M, while the younger and more radical members supported Stepan Bandera's OUN-B. After the start of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 (Operation Barbarossa), the OUN-B in the person of Yaroslav Stetsko declared an independent Ukrainian state on 30 June 1941 in occupied Lviv, while the region was under the control of Nazi Germany. In response, the Nazi authorities suppressed the OUN leadership. In October 1942 the OUN-B established the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

To pre-empt future Polish efforts at re-establishing Poland's pre-war borders, in 1943-1944 some UPA military units carried out large-scale ethnic cleansing against Polish people. Historians estimate that 100,000 Polish civilians were massacred in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.After World War II the UPA fought against Soviet and Polish government forces. During Operation Vistula in 1947, the Polish government deported 140,000 Ukrainian civilians in Poland to remove the support base for the UPA. In the struggle Soviet forces killed, arrested, or deported over 500,000 Ukrainian civilians. Many of those targeted by the Soviets included UPA members, their families, and supporters.During and after the Cold War western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, covertly supported the OUN.A number of contemporary far-right Ukrainian political organizations claim to be inheritors of the OUN's political traditions, including Svoboda, the Ukrainian National Assembly and the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists. The role of the OUN remains contested in historiography, as these later political inheritors developed a literature denying the organization's fascist political heritage and collaboration with Nazi Germany, while also celebrating the Waffen-SS Galizien.

On the other hand, some scholars argue that political opponents emphasized the far-right or extreme-right aspects of modern OUN descendants for electoral purposes.

Pavel Sudoplatov

Lieutenant General Pavel Anatolyevich Sudoplatov (Russian: Пáвел Aнатóльевич Cудоплáтов; July 7, 1907 – September 26, 1996) was a member of the intelligence services of the Soviet Union who rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He was involved in several famous episodes, including the assassination of Leon Trotsky, the Soviet espionage program which obtained information about the atomic bomb from the Manhattan Project, and Operation Scherhorn, a Soviet deception operation against the Germans in 1944. His autobiography, Special Tasks, made him well known outside the USSR, and provided a detailed look at Soviet intelligence and Soviet internal politics during his years at the top.

Sergey Spigelglas

Sergey Mikhailovich Spigelglas or Spiegelglass or Shpigelglas (Russian: Серге́й Миха́йлович Шпи́гельглас) (29 April 1897 - 29 January 1941) was acting head of the Soviet foreign intelligence service, then part of the NKVD, from February to June 1938.

Spigelglas was born into the family of a Jewish bookkeeper in Mosty in present-day Hrodna Voblast, Belarus. After graduating from Warsaw Technical High School, he entered the law school at Moscow University. In 1917 he was drafted into the Russian Army and served as an ensign in the 42nd reserve regiment. Following the October Revolution, he joined the Cheka, and because of his facility with languages—he spoke French, Polish, German, and Russian—he became a member of the Foreign Department. In 1926, he was stationed in Mongolia, perhaps reporting to Yakov Blumkin, where he conducted active intelligence work against China and Japan.

In 1930, Spigelglas became the chief undercover agent of the OGPU, later the NKVD, in Paris. As a cover for his operations, he worked as the bourgeois proprietor of a fish store near the Boulevard Montmartre. Spigelglas's main task was spying on the White Russian and Trotskyist organizations in Paris, where he controlled the penetration agents Mark Zborowski and Roland Abbiate. He successfully recruited the double agent Nikolai Skoblin and his wife Nadezhda Plevitskaya.

Spigelglas returned to Moscow, where he trained new agents in counterintelligence and acted as deputy director of the Foreign Department reporting to Abram Slutsky. His particular forte was the liternoye (top secret) or liquidation operation. He engineered the assassination of the Ukrainian nationalist Yevhen Konovalets in Rotterdam in May 1938, the execution of the defector Ignace Reiss in Switzerland in September 1937, and the kidnapping of the leader of Russian All-Military Union (ROVS), General Evgenii Miller, in France in September 1937. It has also been suggested that he was the mastermind behind the murder-decapitation of the Trotskyist leader of the Fourth International, Rudolf Klement, in France in July 1938, and the murder of the defector Georges Agabekov in France in 1937. When Slutsky died in February 1938, poisoned by order of Nikolai Yezhov, Spigelglas became the acting director of foreign intelligence.

The head of the NKVD, Lavrenti Beria, had Spigelglas arrested seven months later on November 2, 1938. He was held in Lefortovo prison and attempted a hunger strike which failed once his jailers began a regimen of intravenous feeding. After "strong pressure," a euphemism for torture, he began to make a confession in May 1939, and a tribunal convicted him of treachery on November 28, 1940. (In his confession, Spigelglas claimed that Lev Sedov died of natural causes, not the victim of NKVD foul play.) He was executed on January 29, 1941.

Historical opinion on Spigelglas is divided. Some, following the lead of Alexander Orlov, portray him as a "careerist" ready to liquidate dozens of honest people to advance himself, a man who could disingenuously claim that the deaths of those he murdered were necessary in the Bolshevik's struggle against their enemies. Others, following Sudoplatov, believe he was polite, business-like, intelligent, and a patriot. The Russian government rehabilitated him in 1991.

Sich Riflemen

The Sich Riflemen Halych-Bukovyna Kurin (Ukrainian: Січові Cтрільці) were one of the first regular military units of the Army of the Ukrainian People's Republic. The unit operated from 1917 to 1919 and was formed from Ukrainian soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army, local population and former commanders of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen in Austria-Hungary.

The first kurin was formed in Kiev on 13 November 1917. Commanded by Col. Yevhen Konovalets with his chief of staff Andriy Melnyk, the Sich Rifles had up to 25,000 men at their peak, including artillery, cavalry, reconnaissance and machine gun units.

The Sich Riflemen defended the government of UNR against the Bolshevik insurrection in the capital and later against regular Red Army forces that advanced into Ukraine in 1918. When Kiev was recaptured in March 1918 the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen guarded government buildings in the capital and maintained order in the city. The unit later expanded to include two infantry detachments, a cavalry unit and an artillery battery. With the establishment of Hetmanate of Pavlo Skoropadsky the Sich Riflemen refused to serve him and were disarmed by the German forces that supported the hetman. Soldiers from the unit joined other forces, notably Second Zaporozhian Regiment of Petro Bolbochan and attempted to reestablish the unit under the new command. In August 1918 Skoropadsky finally allowed a partial reestablishment of the unit in Bila Tserkva. The new unit consisted of 1200 men and was divided into an infantry regiment, an artillery battery and a technical unit. In Bila Tserkva, the Sich Riflemen led the revolt against hetman Skoropadsky and the ranks of the unit increased by November 1918 to 11,000. Later the two other Dnieper and Black Sea divisions joined the unit. In November 1918 with new recruits the ranks of the Riflemen swelled to 25,000. It played a crucial role in the establishment of the Directorate under Symon Petlura. In December the unit captured Kiev and was subsequently divided into smaller units.

Different detachments of the unit fought against advancing Bolshevik armies in Ukraine. Together with the Directory the Sich Riflemen fled from Kiev when it was recaptured by the Bolsheviks. The Riflemen also fought on different fronts against the White Russian forces of General Denikin. In 1919 the unit took heavy losses in combat and later from typhus. On 6 December 1919 the unit was finally demobilized. Some former soldiers were interned by the Polish army, others continued to fight in other smaller detachments in Ukraine.

Sobor on the Blood

Sobor on the Blood (Unity on Blood) is a Ukrainian documentary film of 2006. Joint project of Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 and Studio Teleсon.

In December, 1991 Ukraine became an independent state. However the young state, which has been held down with economical difficulties and political fights, could not give sufficient attention to learning its own history. The majority of usual citizens of Ukraine even today know almost nothing about greatness and tragedy of the Ukrainian national-liberation movement, and so any discussion about this theme remains at a level of stereotypes of the Soviet epoch.

The series "Sobor on the Blood" for the first time comprehensively and fairly will tell viewer about the struggle for unity and independence of our country for the period from 1919 to 1949. This struggle is considered in the series as a part of the all-European history. In fact Yevhen Konovalets and Andriy Melnyk, Stepan Bandera and Andrey Sheptytsky, Taras Bulba-Borovets and Roman Shukhevych lived and acted in a difficult situation of the grandiose geo-political conflict between Hitlerite Reich, Joseph Stalin Empire and the western democracies. Such approach allows understanding and comprehending the reasons of events and acts in common to all mankind sense, but not from one or another with stereotypes flushed point of view.

One the top 3 top awards of the TV programs contest "Teletriumf".List of episodes of "Unity on Blood"

Download announcement of "Unity on Blood" ( 9.6M KB, DivX) [1]

Birth of great bluff Download demo of episode "Birth of great bluff", 11M KB, DivX)

Candy for commandant (Download demo of episode "Candy for commandant", 6.5M KB, DivX)

One day of independence (Download demo of episode "One day of independence", 9.9M KB, DivX)

Halych mirage (Download demo of episode "Halych mirage", 10M KB, DivX)

False gold of September (Download demo of the episode "False gold of September", 11M KB, DivX)

Policy of accomplished facts (Download demo of the episode "Policy of accomplished facts", 10M KB, DivX)

Army without state (Download demo of the episode "Army without state", 13M KB, DivX)

Fight for people (Download demo of the episode "Fight for people", 12M KB, DivX)

Alliances on the brink of precipice (Download demo of the episode "Alliances on the brink of precipice", 10M KB, DivX)

Triumph of great bluff (Download demo of the episode "Triumph of great bluff", 12M KB, DivX)

Stepan Fedak

Stepan Smok Fedak (1901 in Lviv – 1945 in Berlin; aka Smok, "Dragon") was a Ukrainian independence activist who, on September 25, 1921, attempted to assassinate Poland's Chief of State, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, as the latter visited Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine) for the opening of that city's first Eastern Trade Fair.

Ukrainian Galician Army

Ukrainian Galician Army (Ukrainian: Українська Галицька Армія, romanized: Ukrayins’ka Halyts’ka Armiya, UHA), was the Ukrainian military of the West Ukrainian National Republic during and after the Polish-Ukrainian War.

Ukrainian Military Organization

The Ukrainian Military Organization (Ukrainian: Українська Військова Організація, UVO) was a Ukrainian nationalist resistance and terrorist organization active in the Poland's Eastern part of Lesser Poland (Eastern Galicia) during the years between the world wars. Initially headed by Yevhen Konovalets, it promoted the idea of armed struggle for the independence of Ukraine. The headquarters of the organization was located in Lwów (today Lviv) Second Polish Republic.

Velyki Ukraïntsi

The Greatest Ukrainians (Ukrainian: Великі українці) was a Ukrainian TV project. The programme was the result of a vote conducted to determine whom the Ukrainian public considers the greatest Ukrainians have been in history.

The show is running under a license from the BBC and originally appeared on British TV under the name 100 Greatest Britons and was a successful show. Such countries as Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and many others have also created their own versions.

Yevhen

Yevhen (Ukrainian: Євге́н, romanized: Jevhén [jɛu̯ˈɦɛn]) is a common Ukrainian given name. Its Old Church Slavonic form Евгении came from the Greek Εὐγένης, Εὐγένιος (masculine form), names derived from the Greek adjective εὐγενής, literally "well-born".Yevhen is the Ukrainian equivalent of the English given name Eugene.

Zashkiv, Zhovkva Raion

Zashkiv (Ukrainian: Зашків) is a village not far from Lviv in Zhovkva Raion (district) of Lviv Oblast (region) in western Ukraine.

Zhovkva Raion

Zhovkva Raion (Ukrainian: Жо́вківський райо́н) is a raion in Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine. Its administrative center is Zhovkva. Population: 110,393 (2016 est.).

It was established in 1940.

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