History of Fascism in Ukraine Part 4 1962-1992: The Global OUN Network in Exile, ABN The Fascist International, The Destabilization of the USSR and the Rebirth of Fascism in Ukraine
With Special Thanks to Dr. T.P. Wilkinson
A brief scandal erupted in Canada September 22, 2023 when during Ukrainian President Zelensky’s visit to Canada’s House of Commons. Anthony Rota Speaker of the House praised a 98 Year old veteran of the Waffen SS Galicia division Yaroslav Hunka to the applause of Zelensky and the House of Commons as a hero who had fought Russia during World War 2 as part of the Ukrainian National Army. Ukrainian Canadian scholar Ivan Kochanavoski quickly uncovered Hunka’s back story since it is well known that the Ukrainian National Army is what the Ukrainian 14th Waffen SS Galicia division was renamed a couple weeks before the end of World War 2. A jewish Ukrainian American journalist Lev Golinkin who had been trying to expose the monuments the Ukrainian diaspora had erected to the Waffen SS Galicia, the OUN/B and the UPA in Canada and the U.S. picked up the story and for some strange reason it actually received mainstream coverage for a couple of days. Canada’s speaker of the House was forced to resign in embarrassment.
Trudeau’s hawkish Deputy Prime Minister Chrsytia Freeland who has often praised her Nazi collaborator Ukrainian grandfather Michael Chomiak and been photographed waving the red and black flag of the genocidal OUN-UPA remained untouched. Canada’s powerful Ukraine lobby had briefly been a victim of it’s own success. It was used to being immune to criticism of it’s glorification of fascist war criminals. In the wake of the “Nazigate” scandal it was revealed that the Canadian government had given over 2 million dollars to OUN front groups and the University of Alberta and it’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies had a dozen endowments named after Waffen SS veterans and other Ukrainian fascists and collaborators including Yaroslav Hunka. Edmonton Canada home to University of Alberta is also a home to monuments to the Waffen SS Galicia and the mythical “Holodomor.” It has been the site of many celebrations of Stepan Bandera, the OUN/B, the UPA and the Waffen SS Galicia. Canada’s nazi monuments are built at tax payer expense and perversely justified as celebrating Canada’s multicultural heritage. Vandalizing these monuments is considered a hate crime.
40 years ago in the United States there had also been a series of scandals related to the Ukraine lobby that were quickly forgotten as the Cold War ended. The Village Voice exposed fascist war criminal Mykola Lebed Stepan Bandera’s former head of intelligence a notorious torturer who ran the OUN/B’s assassination programs living happily in New York under CIA protection. Journalists exposed the World Anti-Communist League which united drug dealing fascist mass murderers in Asia and Latin America with former nazi collaborators lead by Yaroslav Stetsko’s ABN, along with conservative politicians in the U.S. and Europe. Yaroslav Stetsko and his wife Slava had been invited to meet with Congress, President Reagan and Vice President George Bush in July 1983. The year before in 1982 congress had flown the red and black OUN-UPA flag over the U.S. Capitol building. Then in 1988 journalist Russ Bellant who had spent a few years infiltrating the meetings of the ABN, the OUN/B controlled Ukraine lobby, and the remnants of the Romanian Iron Guard exposed the Republican parties decades long alliance with fascist emigres as part of it’s Republican Heritage Groups Council. 8 members of Bush’s Presidential campaign were forced to resign including Ukrainian-American OUN/B members Bohdan Fedorak and Ignatius M. Billinsky. Fedorak had received visits from both Reagan in 1984 and Bush in 1988. Bush had nodded approvingly when Fedorak had ranted about the need to stop the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations halfhearted campaign to hunt down Nazi war criminals. After Stetsko’s death Fedorak became head of the OUN/B’s government in exile.
This was the era when Christopher Simpson’s book Blowback came out on U.S. intelligence use of former Nazis including the Ukrainian fascists. Such shocking revelations were suppressed by the mainstream press and then largely forgotten with the end of the “Cold War”. Meanwhile before President Bush had left office the OUN/B had moved it’s headquarters from Munich to Kiev and Ukrainian presses were busy churning out OUN propaganda. Ukraine was soon home to a number of fascist movements inspired by the legacy of the OUN. In 2004 the “Orange Revolution” brought Viktor Yuschenko to power his wife Kateryna (her maiden name was Chumachenko) was a member of the OUN/B dominated Ukrainian American diaspora and had served in the Reagan administration. She had been mentored by Lev Dobriansky who dominated the Ukraine Lobby, the Captive Nations Movement, and co-created the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. After the 2014 coup in Ukraine when neo-nazi paramilitary groups provided the muscle to overthrow President Yanukovych the shocking truths exposed back in the 1980’s became more relevant then ever as new generations of researchers began tracking down old books to understand the hidden history of fascism in Ukraine. The seeds of the 2014 coup were already being planted in the early 1990’s.
The Ukraine lobby’s tentacles stretch around the world and the OUN/B have been able to retain a high degree of influence over the lobby and in many cases total control of it. I’ve compiled a partial list which is bound to be incomplete. On the international level there is the Ukrainian World Congress originally called World Congress of Free Ukrainian founded in 1967 the same year as the World Anti-Communist League or WACL. There is also the International Council in Support of Ukraine originally the World Ukrainian Liberation Front. In Britain there is the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain an OUN/B front that created a secret Stepan Bandera museum in Nottingham that was later moved to London. There is also the Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain. In Australia there is the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations headed by the former worldwide head of the OUN/B Stefan Romaniw. In Canada there is the UCC the Ukrainian Canadian Congress which is influenced by the OUN as well as the League of Ukrainian Canadians which is an OUN/B front. The CYM the Ukrainian Youth Association is the youth branch of the UCC. Youth branches have long played a vital role in preserving the OUN/B. The Bandera generation had been indoctrinated from an early age in the youth group SUM and the scouting organization Plast and they recreated these groups in exile. Without the youth groups the OUN/B movement would have died out from old age long ago instead they have managed to indoctrinate their children and grandchildren. In Ukraine itself children receive not just indoctrination but paramilitary training in summer camps.
In the U.S. there is the UCCA the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America which was strongly influenced by the OUN/B until 1980 when the OUN/B staged a complete takeover masterminded by Askold Lozynskyj. The UCCA has a propaganda branch the Ukrainian National Information Service. The OUN/B also operate the front group ODFFU the Organization for the Defense of the Four Freedoms of Ukraine founded in 1946. The Ukraine lobby’s youth group is the Ukrainian American Youth Association. There are at least 5 OUN/B run summer camps in the U.S. In the U.S. the Ukraine lobby was and is part of a vast network of right wing lobbies and think tanks like the Heritage foundation, the Coalition of Peace Through Strength, the Council on National Policy, and the Atlantic Council. It is also allied with all the fascist emigre groups (Croatian Ustashe, Hungarian Arrow Cross, Romanian Iron Guard etc) both globally and domestically through the ABN, the Captive Nations Movement, and the Republican Heritage Groups Council. In the years since Bellant’s expose the Ukraine lobby has also built close ties to the democratic party. In each country the OUN/B operates it’s lobby group is an umbrella group made up of dozens of member organizations like Waffen SS Galicia and UPA veterans groups. They operate cultural centers in various cities that glorify OUN/B leaders like Stepan Bandera, and Roman Shukhevych. They are allied to Greek Catholic Church and elements of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches. They have their own musical groups, theatrical companies, and literary societies. The Ukrainian nationalists have their own calendar of holidays to bring them together semi-regularly. There is Stepan Bandera’s birthday January 1st and the anniversary of his death October 15, On June 30,1941 they celebrate the OUN/B declaration of Ukrainian Independence, the third week in July is Captive Nations week, they also celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the UPA. They dress in Ukrainian folk costumes or in their Hitler youth style youth group uniforms sing, read poems and put on plays to celebrate.
A key figure in both the UCCA and the National Captive Nations Committee or NCNC was Lev Dobriansky who I introduced at the end of part 3 of this series where he attended the unveiling of the Stepan Bandera monument in Ellenville, New York home to an OUN/B summer camp. Dobriansky was a veteran of military intelligence and was born in America. It’s unclear (none of my sources discussed his childhood or parents) but seems likely that his parents were part of the pro-OUN diaspora in the U.S. before the war. In any case by 1948 Dobriansky became a political adviser to the UCCA and would gradually move into the orbit of the OUN/B. He remained a reserve member of military intelligence while serving as an economics professor at Georgetown University a school that played a key role in training U.S. cold warriors for future work at the CIA or state department. Dobrianksy was also a member of Young Americans for Freedom a right wing group that laid the seeds for the later Reagan counter-revolution. Dobriansky is believed to have played a key role in helping the Moonies a cult backed by the Korean CIA that was a key player in WACL. The Moonies used bribery and sex trafficking to exert tremendous influence over congress in what became known as the Koreagate scandal. Originally Dobriansky had been neutral on the split between the OUN/B headed by Bandera and Stetsko and the CIA backed UHVR (Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council) headed by Mykola Lebed a notorious sadist and nazi collaborator according to American intelligence. Lebed had recommended that Dobriansky and another Military intelligence veteran and OUN member Walter Dushnyk head the Voice of America’s Ukrainian section.
Dobriansky attracted the attention of the CIA when he bragged that the UCCA was in direct contact with “resistance movements” behind the Iron curtain which he compared to an ideological atom bomb. In 1952 the CIA sent Dobriansky and Dushnyk on a fact finding mission to Europe to see if there was any way to unite the Russian fascist emigres who had joined Vlasov’s armies and the Ukrainian OUN/B emigres for CIA operations director Frank Wisner’s AMCOMLIB. Dobriansky gave up in disgust deciding that the CIA was full of “Russia Firsters.” From 1957-1958 Dobriansky taught at the National War College. in January 1958 Dobriansky became Lt Col. in the 352 Civil Affairs Unit reserve who’s job it was to do contingency planning on setting up American puppet states in the wake of mid-east invasions. Meanwhile Dobriansky also kept busy on Capitol hill as a consultant to the House Committee to Investigate Soviet Aggression and testifying on the Communist menace to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. In 1962 Allen Dulles and host of luminaries listened to Dobriansky’s lectures on Psywar at Fort Meade.
Dobriansky’s greatest triumph was to write and get passed the Captive Nations resolution which President Eisenhower signed into law on July 17, 1959. Captive Nations was a reference to the socialist world. Working for the benefit of society instead of to line the pockets of multinational corporations was according to cold war propaganda the worst form of slavery imaginable and the entire communist world was viewed as one giant prison camp. Fascist emigres who had helped the nazis enslave their own people and carry out genocide were considered freedom fighters and heroes. In Ukraine for example the Nazis had captured 2.5 million people to be used as forced Laborers and killed more then a million civilians. They had deliberately starved 3.5 million Red army prisoners to death many of whom were Ukrainians. Ukrainian nationalists portray themselves as a national liberation movement but they are willing to turn Ukraine into a colony for any empire to exploit and ultimately destroy so long as the imperialists are westerners Germans, British or American and not Russians.
The Captive Nations resolution institutionalized this cold war mythology that demonized the communist world and whitewashed the histories of the former Nazi collaborators turned “freedom fighters.” Even a cold warrior like Dean Rusk thought it was “one of the wildest kinds of Cold War things you’ve ever seen in your life.” Every year the Captive Nations movement would call for not just the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact but the dismantling of the Soviet Union itself. Even that was not enough they also wanted to dismember Russia liberating countries that only existed in the unrealized plans of Hitler’s head of the Ostministerium Alfred Rosenberg like the “Idal Urals” and “Cossackia” In 1960 the National Captive Nations Committee was created with Lev Dobriansky serving as it’s head. His co-founder was Lee Edwards a very influential player on the right wing political scene. Also in 1960 Dobriansky got Eisenhower to sign into law a plan to build a monument to Taras Shevchenko the 19th century Ukrainian poet who made Ukrainian a literary language inspiring the birth of Ukrainian nationalism. The monument lead to a feud between Lebed and Dobriansky over whether the OUN/B or the UHVR would get to deposit Ukrainian soil at the monument.
By 1965 Dobriansky was openly exposing the CIA’s backing of Prolog while Lebed was demanding the CIA pressure Dobriansky to shut up. The year before Dobriansky had served as vice chair of the Republican parties Nationalities Division for the Goldwater presidential campaign. Dobriansky would remain a key figure in the Republican heritage groups council which used fascist emigres to get out the vote in their ethnic communities. The program had been set up during the 1952 Eisenhower campaign and would be fully institutionalized by Nixon’s 1968 campaign victory. Dobriansky would be a key member of the U.S. branches of the World Anti-Communist League the ACWF and the USCWF. He was close to Stefan Possony who claimed he was responsible for Reagan’s infamous SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) or “Star Wars” in retrospect an expensive way to line the pockets of the military industrial complex working on super weapons that are 40 years later still impossible and a psyop against the Soviet Union which may have succeeded in terrorizing the spineless Mikhail Gorbachev. Possony was also an expert on Pan-turkism and the Promethean League who doubtless played a behind the scenes role in the U.S. weaponization of fundamentalist Islam. For decades Dobriansky was the OUN/B’s most important lobbyist in the U.S. In 1958 Dobriansky finally managed to get Yaroslav Stetsko a visa for example.
President Reagan began his presidential campaign at an ethnic labor day festival with close ties to the captive nations movement. Once he was elected he rewarded Lev Dobriansky by making him Ambassador to the Bahamas where he blocked a number of drug enforcement cases that could have interfered with his WACL allies drug smuggling during the Iran/Contra era. Dobriansky’s career is an example of deep politics Ukrainian-American style connecting the worlds of military, intelligence, academia, NGO’s, political lobbying, fascism and drugs. His daughter Paula Dobriansky who served on Reagan’s National Security Council became a powerful State Department official serving as George W. Bush’s Undersecretary for Global affairs at the time of her fathers death in 2008. She was also a member of PNAC(Project for a New American Century). She was one of a number of Ukrainian Americans with close ties to the Ukraine lobby who were given influential positions in Government. during the Reagan and Bush years. Today Paula Dobriansky serves on the Atlantic Council.
In addition to working as spies and setting up lobbies the OUN friendly Ukrainian diaspora also managed to gain control of the academic study of Ukraine. By the 1980’s their distorted view of history had become the accepted mainstream version. Those Ukrainian scholars that refused to whitewash the history of the OUN/B, the UPA and the Waffen SS Galicia division like John-Paul Himka and Per Anders Rudling would later become pariahs among their fellow Ukrainians for exposing the OUN/B role in the Holocaust during the 1990’s. The whole field of area studies was to some extent a CIA brainchild to fight the Cold War the empire would need an army of experts. Harvard and Yale are notorious for their CIA ties. Harvard is home to HURI the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute founded in 1973. HURI promoted Ukrainian nationalist narratives and demonizes the Soviet Union. Mykola Lebed spent a lifetime retyping and falsifying the records of of the OUN/B and the UPA and when Lebed died he donated his papers to HURI. In the 1990’s HURI invited Volodymyr Viatrovych to study this whitewashed history. He has since become infamous back in Ukraine as a “holocaust distorter” and glorifier of the OUN-UPA. He headed the infamous UINP the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory and wrote Ukraine’s decommunization laws which make it illegal to criticize the OUN-UPA or the Waffen SS Division or to praise the Soviet Union.
In Canada there is the University of Alberta’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) founded in 1976. It churns out books that whitewash the role of the OUN-UPA in Ukraine. CIUS teemed up with the Shevchenko Scientific Society to create a Ukrainian encyclopedia edited by the top Ukrainian nazi collaborator during the war Volodymyr Kubiiovych who played a major role in the creation of the 14th Waffen SS Galicia division. The encyclopedia presented a pro-OUN/B version of Ukrainian history and did not even have an entry on the holocaust. As I mentioned in the introduction CIUS has over 2 million dollars in endowments named in honor of a dozen Ukrainian fascists including Kubiiovych. More extreme then either HURI or CIUS is the OUN/B dominated Free University of Ukraine (UVU) which was located in Munich with a branch in New York City. Many of it’s professors were OUN leaders, UPA veterans and Waffen SS Galicia veterans. Shockingly many Ukrainian war criminals ended up as University professors at prestigious American or Canadian Universities.
In the 1980’s the Ukrainian nationalist dominance of academia was used to launch a campaign to recognize the Ukrainian famine as a deliberate genocide carried out by the Soviet Union. They dubbed it the Holodomor in order to counter the popularity of the term the Holocaust. The OUN it will be remembered were living in what was then Poland during the famine which took place across the Soviet Union during collectivization. They did not experience it themselves and it was a cynical ploy to use it to justify their crimes during the war. In order to dramatize the Holodomor they relied on photos used in the hearst press anti-soviet propaganda campaign that echoed the earlier Nazi German Propaganda campaign in the 1930”s. By the time the Hearst press covered the famine it was already over and the photos they used were actually from the much earlier famine during the Russian civil war. The photos were credited to journalist Thomas Walker who was in reality the escaped convict and forger Robert Green. His reporting on the famine was exposed as equally fraudulent by other Americans who had been in the Soviet Union at the time. There was no way the Soviets would have let an American journalist wander freely about Ukraine at the time. The fraud was exposed by the U.S. press back in the 1930’s yet Harvard and the University of Alberta still used the fraudulent photos and fake accounts in their campaign to get the Holodomor recognized as a genocide in the 1980’s. They put together the documentary “Harvest of Despair” using these discredited photos. They churned out books on the topic. They hoped to make the Holodomor part of the Canadian school curriculum. Sadly 40 years later the Holodomor myth lives on propagated by unscrupulous academics like Timothy Snyder. Canada has recently announced plans to add the Holodomor to the school curriculum and has a $400,000 Holodomor bus project to travel the country propagandizing the public.
The CIA front Prolog Research Corporation headed by Mykola Lebed the former head of the OUN/B’s intelligence branch the SB. Prolog was the most prestigious Ukrainian intellectual and cultural institution during the Cold War. All the top Ukrainian poets, intellectuals, and academics were published by Prolog and few realized it was a CIA front. During the war Lebed had trained his men at the Gestapo school by kidnapping random jews and torturing them until they made false confessions before killing them. He also ran the OUN/B assassination program targeting political rivals and suspected traitors. In 1949 the CIA had illegally smuggled him into to the U.S. so he could run his CIA backed UHVR faction of the OUN/B. Lebed’s old ally Ivan Hrn’okh stayed behind in Munich to run the Prolog branch there which had a huge press churning out CIA propaganda.
Starting in 1960 the CIA trained Anatol Kaminsky to spot potential informants. Kaminsky was soon operating a network of informants who interviewed travelers from Soviet Ukraine to gather information and recruit agents. By 1966 Kaminsky was Prolog’s chief operations officer. Prolog provided the CIA detailed intelligence on Ukrainian artists, politicians, and dissidents. In late 1960’s Ukraine a generation of dissidents who would be called in Ukrainian the Shistdesiatnyky “the 60’s Generation” influenced by Prolog and by prior nationalists strains in Ukrainian culture some of them would become sympathetic to the OUN-UPA. Dissident Valentyn Moroz was inspired by Dmytro Dontsov and became an ardent admirer of the OUN-UPA the Soviets deported Moroz to the west where he participated in OUN/B marches memorializing Stepan Bandera. Many dissidents were sent to prison where they mingled with UPA veterans and began to admire them although remaining liberals. This crackdown was in part due to concern over Prolog’s influence. The “60’s Gen” as I’ll call them for convenience would lead one of the two main dissident factions in Ukraine responsible for dissolving the Soviet Union the other being Rukh during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Both were liberal groups that sympathized with and had ties to fascists. An alliance that would bear fruit in the 2004 and 2014 coups in Ukraine. 1960’s Ukraine also saw the revival of an OUN inspired fascist movement the Ukrainian National Front.
In addition to influencing and keeping track of Ukraine’s dissident movement Prolog provided intelligence on the KGB, as well as Soviet Missile and airbases providing information to the U.S. that might have been used to destroy Ukraine in a nuclear war as the UPA had done during the 1940’s and 1950’s. In 1975 Mykola Lebed retired as head of Prolog although he remained an adviser and a consultant. In 1978 Roman Kupinsky a Ukrainian journalist who had only been one year old at the end of the war became Chief of Prolog. In 1977 President Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski approved an expansion of Prolog. Brzezinski a Pole from Galicia drew inspiration from the Pilsudski backed Promethean League which aimed to use soviet minorities (With particular focus on Ukrainians and Pan-Turkists in Central Asia) to destroy the Soviet Union. Appropriately it was Brzezinski who funded the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to provoke a Soviet Invasion a strategy that helped lead to the fall of the Soviet Union and the birth of Al Qaeda. In the 1990’s Brzezinski would write of the need to get Ukraine into the western orbit which he felt would prevent Russia from ever becoming a world power again.
In the 1980’s Prolog was expanded to target other Soviet minorities including ironically soviet jews. By at least as early as the mid 1970’s the Ukraine lobby, the Israel lobby and the neo-conservatives had formed an alliance to oppose Detente with the Soviet Union. The Ukraine Lobby and the Neo-cons were united by membership in hawkish think tanks like the American Security Council. The Israel Lobby hoped to destroy the USSR so that Soviet Jews would move to Israel. This explains why many jewish organizations have remained silent while monuments to the SS were being built. Why Paula Dobriansky joined PNAC and why Neo-con Victoria Nuland supervised a neo-nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014. It would require a separate article to do justice to the topic of zionist ties to nazis and other fascists including Ukrainan fascists. However I’ll at least mention that Benjamin Netanyahu’s father was the secretary to Ze’ev Jabotinsky the fascist founder of revisionist Zionism who formed an alliance with Ukrainian nationalist Simon Petliura whose forces were infamous for slaughtering Jews during the Russian civil war. This is only the tip of the iceberg on the connections between Israel and Ukraine.
It would be interesting to know what role Prolog had in destabilizing the eastern bloc during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The Ukrainian dissidents of this era modeled themselves on and maintained close ties to Polish Solidarity, the Lithuanian and other other Baltic independence groups. Polish Solidarity at least was heavily funded by the CIA via Vatican cut outs. In 1985 the General Accounting Office mentioned Lebed and the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations which had been created to hunt down Nazi War criminals living in the U.S. began an investigation of Lebed. The CIA denied that Lebed had any connection to the Nazis and blocked the OSI investigation which was quietly dropped in 1991. In 1990 the CIA gave Prolog 1.75 million dollars and supposedly gave up control of it. Prolog was privatized and would operate independently although realistically the CIA would have maintained secret ties after this. Lebed would make frequent trips to Ukraine after it gained independence working to revive fascism there. In 1998 Lebed died and his papers (which he had heavily falsified) were donated to the Harvard Ukrainian Research institute.
In 1966 the World Anti-Communist League or WACL was formed. It was the most sinister and scandalous organization in the Cold War (other then the CIA). It united fascists, terrorists, death squads, drug dealers, organized crime and mind control cults with “respectable” politicians under the banner of Anti-Communism. I’ve been obsessed with it for a decade but it’s received remarkably little attention. It ties all the CIA’s dirty wars, terrorism and drug smuggling together. The most powerful WACL sections were the Ukrainian controlled ABN (Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations) founded in 1946 and the Taiwanese and South Korean controlled APACL (Asian People’s Anti-Communist League.) The ABN was headed by Yaroslav Stetsko Bandera’s right hand man who had declared Ukrainian “Independence” on June 30, 1941 in the hopes of founding a Nazi Puppet state like Croatia or Slovakia and then unleashed the horrific Lviv Pogroms which massacred 10,000 jews in sadistic fashion in a couple days. Stetsko had founded the ABN on instructions of MI6 in 1946 although it traced it’s roots to the earlier nazi backed version created in 1943. The ABN then absorbed both the Intermarium and the Promethean League. The ABN united all the nazi collaborators from central and eastern Europe except the Russians. Each nation had it’s own fascist movement and Waffen SS branch that recruited from it. In Hungary there was the Arrow Cross, in Romania the Iron Guard, in Slovakia the Hlinka Guard in Croatia the Ustashi, in Bulgaria the Bulgarian Legion. During the Cold war these escaped war criminals claimed to be legitimate governments in exile. And the Ukrainian OUN/B lead the ABN. This was also an interesting time for the OUN/B’s old allies the Croatian Ustashi who during the 1970’s would carry out bombings, plane hijackings, and assassinations. There was a great deal of overlap between the Captive Nations, the ABN, Coalition of Peace Through Strength’s ethnic Affiliates and the Republican Heritage Groups Councils.
APACL was founded in 1954 in the aftermath of the Korean War. Stetsko and other ABN leaders would make frequent trips to Taiwan to attend APACL meetings. Taiwan was created by the retreating nationalist KMT forces who fled China before Mao’s victory. In 1947 the KMT had massacred 10,000 native Taiwanese (Formosans) who tried to rise up. The KMT had also controlled the global heroin trade since before World War 2. KMT guerrillas set up shop in Laos and Burma controlling the golden triangle heroin trade. Taiwan’s powerful “China Lobby” used their drug money to bankroll Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare of the 1950’s which targeted critics of the KMT. South Korea was a brutal fascist dictatorship set up by the Americans after World War 2 that massacred tens of thousands of suspected communists before the Korean War even began. The biggest backer of APACL in South Korea Park Chung Hee seized power in a coup in 1961 During the Korean war the U.S. would kill millions of Korean civilians and engaged in biological warfare. Other APACL members included the notorious Japanese War criminals and Yakuza members Ryoichi Sasakawa and Yoshio Kodama. Sasakawa and Kodama were major backers of the South Korean CIA’S (KCIA) pet project the Unification Church better known as the Moonie cult. Reverend Sun Myun Moon hoped to become dictator of global theocracy and elevated himself above Jesus Christ in the moonies’ theology. Moon’s drug money laundering empire was used to bankroll the christian right, set up anti-communist think tanks, bribe politicians, and helped launch the Bolivian cocaine coup. APACL also included Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam where the U.S. would slaughter millions during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The Laotian WACL delegate was arrested with a suitcase full of heroin precursor in France.
The Latin American branch went through several name changes but was most infamous as CAL (Latin American anti-communist confederation) dominated by the bizarre Mexican secret society the Tecos. The Tecos were a pro-nazi group that dominated the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. The Tecos caused WACL’S 1st major scandal when they handed out deranged semi-pornographic propaganda leaflets attacking the Vatican as dominated by jews and free-masons. This offended the U.S. WACL branch the ACWF which would eventually disband over the controversy. Yet these same ACWF members who claimed to be horrified by the Tecos had no problem with the Ukrainian fascists or the ABN. More importantly CAL included the most notorious fascist death squad leaders in Latin America members of Operation Condor in South America, and the notorious fascist killers Roberto D’Aubuisson in El Salvador and Mario Sandoval Alarcon in Guatemala.
Every part of the world had it’s WACL branch as well as many countries. for the sake of brevity I won’t go into Western Europe except to say that WACL included Greek, Italian, Spanish, and other fascists as well Gladio terrorists from across NATO. The OUN/B also set up a european support group the European Freedom Council. Nor will I discuss the Middle East except to point out that many of WACL’S most active members were close Israeli allies (Argentina, Taiwan etc.) Apartheid South Africa was a major WACL backer and WACL was very interested in supporting U.S./South African proxy wars against (or in) Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique.
The U.S. WACL branch was originally the ACWF the American Council for World Freedom. It included Lee Edwards and Lev Dobriansky among others. When it disbanded it was replaced by the Council on American Affairs headed by Roger Pearson in 1976. Pearson was a British nazi white supremacist who had headed the fascist Northern League and yet remained a respectable member of the American Right editing a number of journals. Pearson was expelled from WACL for being too fascist after briefly heading WACL world wide and recruiting a bunch of SS veterans into the group. Even after Pearson had been expelled from WACL for being too fascist President Reagan felt compelled to write him a letter praising his life work which Pearson used for fundraising.
A new U.S. branch was created by General John Singlaub the USCWF the U.S. Council on World Freedom. Singlaub was a former OSS/CIA/and military special forces veteran who would run WACL in it’s golden age during the Reagan Era. Singlaub was an early OSS “China Cowboy” working with the KMT. He headed SOG the Special Operations Group in Vietnam where he helped the CIA carry out tens of thousands of Phoenix program assassinations. He was forced to resign as head of U.S. forces in South Korea for publicly criticizing Carter’s plans to reduce U.S. troops there. He became a hero for right wing Americans. He joined the American Security Council with his friend General Daniel Graham former head of the DIA. The two took an infamous trip to Central America where they raised illegal campaign donations for Reagan and encouraged El Salvadoran and Guatemalan death squads to go on a rampage of mass murder.
Singlaub spoke at the 1980 APACL conference in 1980 where he met the Stetskos. In 1982 Singlaub visited OUN/B headquarters in Munich. In1983 Singlaub was promoting the idea of the “holodomor.” In July 1983 Singlaub had arranged for the Stetsko’s to meet with President Reagan who told them “Your struggle is our struggle, Your dream is Our Dream.” They also met with Congress, Vice President Bush and U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Under Singlaub’s leadership WACL would become actively involved in all the covert wars of the Reagan era with Singlaub ending up a key figure in the Iran/Contra scandal selling arms and donating supplies to the Contras worth $20-30 million dollars. According to journalist Daniel Hopsicker Singlaub owned the umbrella corporation that leased the drugs/arms smuggling planes used during Iran/Contra. WACL would reach it’s height at it’s 1984 conference in San Diego and it’s 1985 Conference in Dallas Texas where drug smuggling Nicaraguan Contra death squad members shared the stage with drug smuggling Afghan Mujahideen terrorists. Yaroslav Stetsko was too ill to attend so his wife Slava “The Iron Lady” of the ABN/OUN/B went in his place. CMA a bunch of mercenaries involved in aiding the Contras provided security for the Dallas WACL conference. WACL vowed to supply support to “freedom fighters” (counter-revolutionary terrorists and death squads) in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. After the end of the Cold War Singlaub would be brought in to head the rebranded version of WACL the World League For Freedom and Democracy. Singlaub would live to be 98 only dying January 29, 2022. ABN head Yaroslav Stetsko would die in Munich July 5, 1986. His wife Slava would succeed him and was elected to the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) in the 1990’s.
The Reagan years in addition to being the golden age of WACL were also a golden age for the OUN/B diaspora in the U.S. One anonymous OUN/B member bragged to Russ Bellant “You have to understand we are an Underground Organization. We have spent years quietly penetrating positions of influence.” Russ Bellant shows in his book that this was no idle boast. Lev Dobriansky’s daughter Paula Dobriansky was on the National Security Council. George Nesterczuk of the UCCA’s propaganda arm the UNIS (Ukrainian National Information Service) was appointed deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management and then in 1984 he was appointed deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency. Bohdan Futey was appointed head of the U.S. Foreign Claims Commission. Both Futey and Nesterczuk had close ties to Bohdan Fedorak who ran the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren Michigan that Reagan visited for Captive Nations week during the 1984 election and Bush visited in 1988 accompanied by Katherine Chumachenko former director of the UCCA’S National Captive Nations Committee who would later marry Viktor Yushchenko and become first lady of Ukraine after the 2004 Orange Revolution (coup.) Yushchenko would have both Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych declared “Heroes of Ukraine.” Katherine Chumachenko was appointed Deputy Director for Public Liaison at the White House.
When then Vice President George H. W. Bush ran for the presidency in 1988 his campaign suffered a brief Nazi-Gate scandal. Bush’s father Prescott Bush had been part of the same group of American businessmen who had illegally done business with the Nazis during the war as the Dulles brothers. In fact Prescott Bush had narrowly escaped having his assets seized by the U.S. government. Prescott Bush was close friends with Allen Dulles and George H.W. Bush had been secretly recruited by the CIA in the 1950’s a fact he managed to hide when he became CIA director in 1976. 1976 was the year the Cuban exile terrorist group Alpha 66 who also belonged to WACL conducted a series of bombings including blowing up a Cuban airliner. It was the year when CIA director Bush looked the other way as Chilean intelligence orchestrated the car bombing which killed Chilean exile Orlando Letelier and a U.S. Citizen Ronni Moffitt in the heart of the U.S. Capitol. It was the year when British Nazi Roger Pearson was put in charge of WACL.
Bush had also been elected to head the RNC in the mid 1970’s so he was intimately informed about their infamous Ethnic Outreach program the Republican Heritage Groups Councils. It was the brainchild of President Eisenhower and the Dulles Brothers. Eisenhower had run on a platform of “Rollback” ie covert war to Roll Back communism and “Liberate” Eastern Europe. The Truman Administration’s overt foreign policy was containment but it had already adopted Rollback as it’s secret policy and had backed covert wars to destabilize the eastern Bloc including of course the UPA in Ukraine. The Dulles Brothers and Eisenhower were well aware of this since Allen Dulles ran the operations division at CIA while the CIA director was Eisenhower’s old right hand man W.B. Smith. Furthermore the Soviet’s had had time to restore order and crush CIA backed resistance movements. Yet Eisenhower hoped that the Rollback could be used to get votes from Americans of Eastern European dissent.
This plan was carried out in the most sinister manner possible. The influx of fascist Emigres were encouraged to seize control of their ethnic communities and then get them to vote republican. Many of them were escaped war criminals responsible as individuals for thousands of deaths. This was the GOP strategy to counter the Jewish support for democrats, to create a Nazi voting bloc. It was also useful for institutionalizing the Cold War as these fascist emigres were called upon to block any relaxation of cold war tensions. Once Eisenhower was elected he opened the floodgates allowing a massive increase in the amount of former Nazi collaborators in the U.S. From 1952-1968 this was an informal arrangement and the fascist emigres were mobilized only during Presidential elections. In 1968 Richard Nixon promised Laszlo Pasztor to make the arrangement permanent if he won. Nixon had been Eisenhower’s Vice President.
The Republican Heritage Groups Council (RHGC) formed in 1969 after Nixon’s election victory and Laszlo Pasztor was made the Chairman. Pasztor had been a leader in the Fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross’s youth branch and had then been appointed the Arrow Cross’s personal liaison to Adolf Hitler. Already by 1971 columnist Jack Anderson had exposed the Nazis on the RHGC but his expose was ignored then forgotten. By 1988 the RHGC consisted of 34 Nationality federations and 25 State Councils. It included fascists from Hungary, Romania, Belarus, Slovakia, Croatia, and of course Ukraine. Lev Dobriansky led the Ukrainians in the early years. It included former members of the Romanian Iron Guard, The Croatian Ustashi etc. When he was Governor of California Ronald Reagan had once endorsed April 30, 1941 as Croatian independence day. It was the day the Ustashi Nazi puppet state had been established before launching it’s genocidal campaign against Jews and Serbs that killed 750,000 people in the most brutal manner imaginable. Reagan was forced to backpedal. Journalist Russ Bellant spent years infiltrating the RHGC and the ABN. This was made easier by the fact that his hometown of Detroit was a hotbed of fascist emigre activity. In 1988 during the election he finally went public with his research and mailed copies of his forthcoming book “The Old Nazis, and the New Right” to 20 media organizations. There were literal Nazis involved in the Bush campaign. Many were wanted war criminals who had killed thousands during the war. Only a couple of papers were courageous enough to pursue the story. The New York Times, The Washington Post, AP, Reuters and the T.V. refused to cover the story. Yet there was enough of a scandal for the Bush campaign to force 8 of it’s members including the Ukrainian-American Bohdan Fedorak to resign. Or so the Bush campaign claimed often journalists discovered that Bush campaign whenever asked about RHGC members would say they had resigned but when they asked the RHGC members about it they were still working on the campaign. The RNC promised to do a full investigation which they never carried out. Bush was elected anyways despite the Nazis in his campaign or his deep involvement in the Iran-Contra Scandal.
President George H.W. Bush would oversee the final destruction of the Soviet Union a process that had begun during the Reagan Administration. Mainstream history claims that the Soviet Union merely collapsed because socialism doesn’t work. Communist historians place the blame on Gorbachev and his disastrous brand of Prague spring inspired revisionism. The process of decay began with Khruschev, under Andropov plans for market reforms and KGB control of the black markets were established. It culminated with Gorbachev’s who’s market centered reforms unleashed total chaos in the soviet economy. Certainly Gorbachev is undoubtedly the most incompetent ruler in human history because there are no other examples of someone coming to power and in a few years letting everything unravel to such an extent over so vast a territory.
However the destruction of the Soviet Union was also due to to a successful campaign by the U.S. and it’s allies to wage economic warfare and to destabilize the Soviet Union with the same techniques it would later use in Post-Soviet countries like Ukraine in it’s “Color Revolutions.” It was under Reagan that the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) was created as part of “Project Democracy.”Obviously it would require a whole article or a book to do this topic justice. However relying on Sean Gervasi’s classic article “A Full Court Press: The Destabilization of the Soviet Union” from Covert Action Information Bulletin #35 I can offer a brief summary of the Reagan era strategy as laid out by UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and rephrased by me.
- A massive U.S. Arms Buildup
- New Defenses” (SDI/Star Wars
- Develop and deploy advanced weapons in Europe and the U.S.
- Withhold advanced technology from the Soviets
- Support for “Freedom Fighters” ie wage World War 3 across the 3rd world targeting left wing or non-aligned governments
7. Provide assistance to expand Freedom (a veiled reference to the NED)
8. Gervasi points out that what she doesn’t mention is the destabilization of Eastern Europe
9. or Denial of economic resources,
10. or the Use of arms negotiations to moderate soviet response to the U.S. arms buildup.
Gervasi explains that the U.S. destabilizes governments through a combination of external pressure and internal manipulation. In 1983 U.S. “external pressure” in the form of the Able Archer war games exercises nearly lead to a nuclear war as the Soviet’s truly believed that the U.S. was preparing to launch a nuclear 1st strike and was strongly considering launching a preemptive attack on the west. As for internal manipulation there is of course the CIA, the NED, and a host of front groups and NGO’s. According to Doug Valentine Bill Casey the CIA director was running a successful program to recruit KGB and GRU officers onto it’s payroll. They would have targeted the military for recruitment as well. It is also likely that some of Gorbachev’s economic advisers were either intelligence assets or had been manipulated via other U.S. methods of soft power.
In the case of the Soviet Union one of the more dramatic examples of an NGO’S impact as detailed in another article in Covert Action #35 by Russ Bellant and Louis wolf was the little known Free Congress Foundation (FCF) which had been created by Paul Weyrich back in 1974 as Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress. Weyrich had also created the highly influential Heritage Foundation. The FCF lobbied for right wing causes and was part of the vast network of right wing NGO’s that brought Reagan to power. In 1989 the FCF turned it’s attention to Eastern Europe at the urging of one of it’s directors Robert Krieble (who also ran the Krieble Foundation.) Weyrich and four associates visited Hungary and the Soviet Union. The FCF would later appoint RHGC chairman and Hungarian Arrow Cross member Laszlo Pasztor to head it’s Eastern European operations.
In the Soviet Union the FCF met with Boris Yeltsin and his faction the IRG the Inter-Regional Group of Governors. They returned from the Soviet Union full of enthusiasm. The Soviet leadership were on board with the reintroduction of capitalism ie a “Free Market economy.” In the Soviet Union which had no experience with American style politics, PR, or advertising the FCF were able to have a huge impact. Recruiting and training soviet officials on how to win elections and what to do once elected. Yeltsin was elected head of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic. He would use his position to dissolve the USSR at a meeting of the Leaders of the Ukrainian and Belorussian Soviet republics. The Soviet Union which Gorbachev hoped to transform into a Socialist democracy ceased to exist. President Bush never trusted Gorbachev and backed the coup. Earlier in August 1991 there had been a coup attempt aimed at ousting Gorbachev and halting the dissolution of the Soviet Union. According to journalist Patrick Cockburn the NSA provided Yeltsin with minute by intelligence to foil the coup and come out looking like a hero. He then became a drunken U.S. puppet who allowed his country to be looted. Russia became a poverty stricken, crime ridden, chaotic, neo-liberal hellhole. The “End of History” had arrived.
The FCF had it’s own Ukrainian ties as well. The FCF treasurer Charles Moser was on the advisory board of the UCCA’s Ukrainian Quarterly. In 1989 the FCF sent a top U.S. OUN/B member Askold Lozynkyj to Ukraine to advise on the March 1990 election there. More needs to be learned about the role of the NED & Prolog in Ukraine during the breakup of the Soviet Union. I had to give myself a crash course on the history of Ukraine in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and my sources Taras Kuzio and Andrew Wilson weren’t the type to go looking into CIA/MI6 operations in Ukraine but rather to go to work for foreign policy think tanks.
Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute was another NED backed NGO that was highly involved in the destabilization of the USSR. Marcie Smith did a brilliant expose of Gene Sharp. The AEI has become infamous after the color revolutions that have rocked Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the middle east. It was also involved in the failed attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government. Sharp was one of the stranger individuals in the Cold War. Sharp was a pacifist who offered his services to the American Empire during the Vietnam war. For decades he carried out his research as part of the Harvard Center for International Affairs or HCIA which did indeed have ties to the CIA. HCIA included figures like the notorious war criminal Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Samuel “Clash of Civilizations” Huntington, National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy and a future CIA deputy director Robert Bowie. Sharp had been recruited by the economist and nuclear war planner Thomas Schelling to join HCIA. There he spent decades developing the techniques that would be used in Color Revolutions. In his “Politics of Non-Violent Action” he laid out the elements of his strategy.
- Target the pillars of a society like the media, universities, police and military. Topple or subvert the pillars and you can topple a government.
- He compiled a list of 198 techniques of non-violent struggle which included tactics used by prior protest movements but also techniques corporations use to crush labor movements.
- He devised a system of political ju-jitsu by resisting non-violently protests maintain moral legitimacy. When the state attempted to use force it would lose it’s legitimacy. (And be demonized in the western press)
Sharp had a very useful ideological blindspot he completely ignored economic issues and in fact opposed not just socialism but any attempt to regulate the economy. In 1983 the HCFIA created a new branch for Sharp the Program of non-violent Sanctions in Conflict and Defense. (HCIA was forced to add an F to it’s acronym in 1971 after being repeatedly occupied by antiwar protestors) 1983 the same year the NED was created Sharp created the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI). On the board was Sharp’s cynical partner Peter Ackerman who worked for the notorious junk bond king Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham and Lambert. Ackerman was also a part of the CATO institute, the Atlantic Council and later ran the CIA front Freedom House. AEI also included DIA Col. Robert Helvey who often supervised on the ground training. In 1985 Sharp published a book aimed at NATO “Making Europe Unconquerable.” it naively hoped to convince NATO to adopt non-violent resistance to thwart a hypothetical Soviet attack. However it also offered the suggestion that his non-violent techniques could be used offensively ie to overthrow governments in the Soviet Bloc. In the late 1980’s AEI was busy destabilizing Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Activists in Lithuania bragged that Sharp’s book was better then the atom bomb. In the final months of the Soviet Union November through early December 1991 the AEI were busy coaching Yeltsin.
HCFIA had another branch the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) It got a contract from the CIA front USAID to supervise Russia’s privatization process. As former Soviet state assets were being auctioned off HIID only allowed the Harvard Management Company and George Soros to bid. HIID was so wildly corrupt that the Department of Justice and the FBI investigated them. Earlier during the destabilization of the USSR HIID was also involved in a scheme to deliberately crash the Ruble, destabilize the Soviet economy and topple Gorbachev.
Ukraine went through 3 leaders during the breakup of the Soviet Union. The first Volodymyr Shcherbyts’kyi was opposed to Ukrainization and the revival of fascism/nationalism. The second was Volodymyr Ivashko a Gorbachev flunky who set the ball rolling on independence before being called to Moscow as Gorbachev’s second in command. Finally there was Leonid Kravchuk the “National Communist” who allied with the Ukrainian fascists of the UNA and became the first President of independent Ukraine. Then there were the “National Democrats” which consisted of the 60’s gen who had been freed from prison in 1987-1988 and Rukh. The 60’s gen had created the Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG) back in 1976. As part of it’s detente with the west the Soviet Union had signed the Helsinki protocols on human rights. Soviet dissidents then formed Helsinki groups to pressure the USSR to meet their demands. The UHG was later renamed the Ukrainian Helsinki Union again revealing the overlap between Ukrainian liberals and Ukrainian fascists many later left the UHU and formed fascist (Ultranationalist) groups.
Rukh was originally formed to back Gorbachev’s Perestroika reforms in February 1990. Originally it was called the All Ukrainian Movement for Perestroika. Perestroika meant restructuring ie Gorbachev’s disastrous market reforms. Glasnost Gorbachev’s other buzzword meant openness or transparency ie free speech in practice it meant turning soviet media over to fanatical anti-communists so they could bombard people with anti-soviet propaganda. Rukh underwent a rapid radicalization in 1990 with it’s head Ivan Drach backing full independence. At the 2nd Rukh congress the reference to Perestroika was dropped and they accused Gorbachev of planning a Tianamen square style crackdown in Ukraine.
Rukh had a right wing faction from Western Ukraine who were strong supporters of the OUN-UPA. Future leader of Svoboda Oleh Tyahnybok got his start in the intelligence section of Rukh called Varta Ruha. Plus a leader of Rukh Chornovil addressed the OUN/B created KUN at their first conference and claimed “I do not feel a single ideological divergence between [ Rukh and KUN].” In 1990 Rukh staged a series of mass protests in favor of Ukrainian independence. In January 1990 Rukh organized a human chain of 300,000 people and used the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine for the first time. Blue and yellow had been the colors of the Galician coat of arms and then of the short lived Ukrainian National Republic during the Russian civil war. Blue symbolizes the sky, yellow symbolizes fields of grain. In September 1990 Rukh organized protests of 100,000 against resigning the Union treaty which would have preserved the Soviet Union albeit in a looser form. Yet the next year on March 17 1991 over 75% of Soviet citizens including in Ukraine voted in favor of the Union treaty preserving the Soviet Union.
Most significant for the future was the Rukh protests and hunger strikes of October 2-17 1990 that became known as the “Granite Revolution” or “Revolution on Granite.” Protestors from Lvov, Kiev and Kharkov took over Maidan square then known as “October Revolution Square.” set up tents and staged a 157 person hunger strike. They were protected by thousands of supporting protestors. As with the later “Orange Revolution” and “Maidan Revolution” they also set up a stage to provide entertainment and cultural propaganda. The Government ended up granting most of their demands including the resignation of the chairman of the Council of Ministers Vitaliy Mosol and a later agreement that the Ukrainian military would serve only in Ukraine. This would form a blue print for the later “Orange Revolution” and “Maidan Revolution” coups. The Granite Revolution or “Revolution on Granite” is a little known event and of the two articles I could find on it one was from RFE/RL a CIA front the other by a Ukrainian liberal academic who wrote glowingly of Maidan and the Orange Revolution. Unsurprisingly neither made mention of any CIA or NED ties to Rukh or the Granite Revolution. Perhaps the Ukrainians invented the color revolution on their own or perhaps they were receiving outside advice from NED funded advisers. Rukh was receiving advice and support from the Ukrainian diaspora and their Ukraine lobbies. Rukh also maintained close ties with dissident movements in Lithuania and the Baltics who were being trained by Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute and other NED tied NGO’S in the tactics of color revolution. In January of 1991 Gorbachev attempted a military crackdown on the NED trained Lithuanian independence movement which left 14 dead and further radicalized the Ukrainian dissidents. The NED became active in the Soviet Union as early as 1984. Veterans of the Granite Revolution would later train the protestors who carried out the 2004 “Orange Revolution” and the earlier protest movement against President Kuchma.
In the end it was Leonid Kravchuk and the panicked reaction in Ukraine to the failed August 91 coup attempt in Moscow that lead to Ukrainian independence. Days after the failed coup the Ukrainian Rada declared independence on August 24, 1991. They also banned the Communist party. On December 1, 1991 Ukraine voted for independence in a referendum 90% of voters voted yes. Leonid Kravchuk was elected President and on December 8, 1991 signed the Belavezha accords with Yeltsin and Belarussian President Stanislav Shuskevich Shushkevich dissolving the Soviet Union.
Before Ukraine had become independent the OUN/B had already returned. In fact in June of 1991 they had even held an ABN conference in Kiev. The rebirth of fascism in Ukraine had two elements. First with censorship loosened Ukrainian’s began to form their own fascist parties. Second the OUN/B Diaspora began to work with these groups as well as with liberal dissidents. The four most important fascist aka ultranationalists were UNA-UNSO, KUN, DSU, and SNPU. The UNA-UNSO was the Ukrainian National Assembly and it’s Paramilitary branch UNSO. UNA grew out of the UNP (Ukrainian Nationalism Party) established October 1989, the UNS (Ukrainian National Union) established November 1990 and UMPA or UIA (Ukrainian Interparty Assembly) established July 1, 1990. UNA modeled itself on the OUN/B. UNA launched a campaign to have Ukrainian citizens register as citizens of the UNR (the short lived Ukrainian state backed by Germany and then Poland during World War 1 and the Russian Civil War 1917-1921.)When that scheme failed it allied itself with Leonid Kravchuk it had it’s members vote for him in the December 1991 elections. Elements of the Kravchuk administration began financially backing UNA-UNSO and having it do their dirty work. UNA was headed by the head of the UPA Roman Shukhevych’s son Yurii Shukhevych who had spent years in soviet prisons for refusing to denounce the OUN-UPA. After the failed coup in Moscow in August 1991. UNA created a paramilitary branch UNSO (Ukrainian People’s Self Defense Forces) in September 1991 to resist a possible Soviet invasion in Ukraine. To circumvent the law they disguised themselves as a sports club. After the collapse of the Soviet Union UNA-UNSO would fight a number of proxy wars against Russian backed separatists in Transistria, which is a breakaway part of Moldova, they fought on the side of Georgia as they tried to ethnically cleanse Abkhazia and South Ossetia receiving medals. They also fought in Chechnya on the side of the terrorists in the Shamil Basayev faction where they became infamous for their sadistic tortures of Russian POWS. UNA-UNSO veterans would provide some of the most infamous members of Right Sector during the 2014 Maidan coup. Until summer of 1991 the OUN/B emigres worked closely with UNA. In March of 1992 hundreds of UNA-UNSO members descended on Crimea they were denied entry to Sebastopol so they began blocking railway lines forcing the local government to relent. Once inside the city they began tearing down Russian flags, shouting angry slogans and alienating the population. In May of 1992 Crimea voted to declare independence from Ukraine. The UNA announced that Crimea would either be Ukrainian or depopulated.
KUN was the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists it was created after the OUN/B moved their headquarters from Munich to Kiev. Slava Stetsko the head of the ABN had returned to Ukraine in July of 1991. KUN was an OUN/B front created to unite the fascist parties and even the liberal national democrats. It was founded by Slava Stetsko herself on March 28-29, 1992. It held it’s inaugural congress October 1992 in Kiev. The returning OUN/B emigres also created the TsDVR the Institute for the Study of Liberation Movement which would have a major role in promoting the glorification of the OUN-UPA and the whitewashing of their history. With it’s vast resources KUN proved to be an enduring influence in Ukraine reprinting the works of Dontsov, Bandera and Stetsko. However KUN would fail to achieve it’s goal of unifying the Ukrainian nationalists because the Ukrainian fascists constantly rebelled at KUN attempts to have them rein in their open fascism in order to become respectable and get votes. Slava Stetsko managed to get elected to the Ukrainian Rada along with other KUN candidates.
The DSU (The Nationalist Union Ukrainian State Independence) was the most successful of the openly fascist parties. UNA-UNSO tried to avoid being openly anti-Jewish and Anti-Russian talking points adopting a pan-slavic ideology in the attempt to appeal to Eastern Ukrainians even allowing Russian speakers to join as the Azov Battalion does. This was also part of UNA-UNSO’s geopolitical strategy to continue to ally with the OUN/B’s allies in eastern europe and Central Asia. DSU was open only to ethnic Ukrainians who spoke Ukrainian. It modeled itself on the OUN-UPA It blamed all of Ukraine’s problems on Russians and Jews. Several of it’s leaders had served in the earlier Ukrainian National Front during the 1960’s.
The SNPU was the Social National Party of Ukraine ie it was a play on National Socialism (Nazism) it was created in Lviv in 1991 as shock troops for Valentyn Moroz’s Nationalist block. Moroz was the dissident who had been expelled from the Soviet Union in the 1970’s for his fascist pro Dontsov and pro OUN/B views. The SNPU would later become better known when it changed it’s named to Svoboda in 2002 and began achieving electoral success. The SNPU’s armed wing Patriot of Ukraine would later give birth to the Azov Battalion. In the 1990’s the SNPU became notorious for it’s army of black clad neo-nazi skinheads.
Ukrainian fascists were still a tiny minority in the early 1990’s. They were popular mostly in Western Ukraine especially Lvov. Still before the Soviet Union was even dissolved monuments were being erected to Stepan Bandera and museums were being built to glorify him. In Staryi Uhryniv the youth group SNUM constructed a Stepan Bandera monument it was unveiled for a crowd of 10,000 people on October 14, 1990, the day before the anniversary of Bandera’s assassination. It was then blown up by Soviet security forces on Dec 30, 1990 to prevent the celebration of Bandera’s birthday on January 1st. However the monument was rebuilt bigger and better and unveiled June 30, 1991 (The anniversary of the OUN/B puppet state in Lviv 50 years earlier) Again it was blown up by Soviet security forces who also shot and wounded a SNUM member guarding it. Finally on August 17, 1992 in Kravchuk’s newly independent Ukraine a third Stepan Bandera monument was unveiled this one had a full statue of Bandera made from a melted down Lenin monument. The monument was now guarded by the Ukrainian police
It would take 2 CIA backed coups AKA Color Revolutions the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Maidan revolution in 2014 for Ukrainian fascists to attain their present power and political influence. In the process they would provoke a civil war and set the stage for a Russian invasion. The rise of fascism in Ukraine in the post cold war era will be the topic of future articles in this series.
History of Fascism in Ukraine Part 1
History of Fascism in Ukraine Part 2
History of Fascism in Ukraine Part 3
Stepan Bandera The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist: Fascism, Genocide and Cult by Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe is the definitive book on the history of the OUN.
Marcie Smith’s article on Gene Sharp’s Neo-Liberal Non-Violence is one of the most important pieces of research in the last 30 years.
Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party: Domestic fascist networks and their effect on U.S. cold war politics by Russ Bellant is a must read. It’s available as a free PDF in the link below
Also check out the Coors Connection by Russ Bellant for more on the vast network of right wing NGO’s in the Reagan/Bush era
“Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard” by Douglas Tottle explains the origins of the Holodmor Myth and thoroughly debunks it. He also exposes the Ukraine lobby and the domination of the Pro-OUN diaspora over the study of Ukrainian history, and the role of Waffen SS Galicia veterans in Canada.
“Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990’s: A Minority Faith” by Andrew Wilson gives a detailed account of Ukraine during the destruction of the USSR and the rebirth of OUN inspired fascists (or ultra-nationalists) in a a vey dry mildly pro-nationalist manner.
Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union By Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny explains how Gorbachev’s disastrous reforms destroyed the Soviet Union.
“Inside the League” by Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson provides a great portrait of The World Anti-Communist League.
Neo-Nazis & Euromaidan: From Democracy to Dictatorship by Stanislav Byshok and Alexey Kochetkov. Is a history of Right Sector and the Svoboda party from a pro-Russian perspective. Although focused on 2014 the book does cover the early 90’s. The link to the PDF is below.
I also relied on sections from Covert Action Information Bulletin issues 25, 33, and 35
“Hitler’s Shadow” by Richard Breitman and Norman J.W. Goda covers Mykola Lebed and Prolog in chapter 5
You can get a great overview of the history of the OUN by watching these 5 lectures on youtube 2 from the aforementioned HURI. And 3 from a recent conference in Germany dedicated to the Bandera Complex.
Author Trevor Erlacher’s biography of Dymytro Dontsov the man who inspired the OUN and Stepan Bandera
Erlacher discusses’s Dontsov’s feuds, views on gender, and the women in his circle with Ukrainian academics note their ambiguous attitude to fascism.
Moss Robeson lecture at the Bandera Complex Conference on the history of the OUN
Moss Robeson lecture at the Bandera Complex Conference on the Ukraine Lobby
Russ Bellant Lecture at the Bandera Complex Conference on the ABN and Republican Heritage Groups Councils
Moss Robeson interviews Russ Bellant on his book Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party and his experience infiltrating WACL and the RHGC. Subscribe to Moss Robeson’s youtube channel for more great interviews and documentaries on the OUN and the Ukraine lobby.
Sean Gervasi on the destabilization of the USSR
Moss Robeson on Canada’s Nazigate scandal
Russ Bellant interview from 2014 on his book “Old Nazis, New Right” and the revival of fascism in Ukraine after the cold war
Taras Kuzio on Radical Nationalist parties in post-soviet Ukraine 1989-1994 provides a detailed account of the revival of fascism (Radical Nationalism) in Ukraine from a pro-Ukrainian perspective. (Kuzio has done work for a number of sinister think tanks and CIA fronts)
Moss Robeson on Lev Dobriansky
Moss Robeson on John Singlaub
Moss Robeson’s Bandera Lobby Blog
Moss Robeson’s Blog on the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and the Captive Nations Movement
Moss Robeson’s blog on Ukraine
CIA front RFE/RL on the Revolution on Granite
Olga Onuch on the Granite Revolution
Harvard’s role in looting Russia
Bush orders NSA to help Yeltsin during failed August Coup
Our Hidden History sent me this link to search the Ukrainian weekly archive which was very helpful in researching the Ukrainian diaspora’s ties to Rukh and other topics