How the Last Banderists Were Finished off Near Lvov: Secret Report

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The Zvezda TV channel continues the series of publications from the so-called “special folder” of Stalin – absolutely classified documents that were placed on the table of the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks).

Some of these reports are still classified, but the ones included in this article were recently declassified. Chosen for publication were the ones from the period 1944 to 1953 – from the time when the Red Army launched a successful attack on Hitler’s troops, up to Josif Stalin’s death.

On the 18th of December, 1944, the leadership of the NKVD reported to Stalin about the carrying out in the Lvov area of Ukraine of an operation on the destruction of the HQ of the military district of UPA (the so-called Ukrainian Insurgent Army), from which Banderists of all units in Lvov were led. The operation took place on December 13th, 1944, in the village of Radekhov of the same-named region.

“In an attempt to get deep into the villages, the fighters were fired at from guns and machine-guns from houses and attics. In the ensuring firefight a group of border guards, having broken into one of the houses of the suburb, captured a bandit alive, who later turned out to be the assistant of the commander of the hundred-strong ‘Cheremysh’ for supply – Karmelyuk,” it is said in the document addressed to Stalin.

The captured Karmelyuk said that in the village of Radekhov there is a HQ of the military district of UPA, headed by the commander Vorony. In total, as the captured Banderist said, in the village there were 150 bandits.

“The gang took up a perimeter defense, showed a stubborn resistance to our coming units, and made some attempts to breakthrough the ring of encirclement. At nightfall the bandits set fire to buildings in three places of the village, and under the cover of the formed smoke they tried to also escape from encirclement. All these attempts were beaten off by the gunfire from our units,” the document says.

At night the bandits several times went on the offensive, trying to breakthrough encirclement of the Soviet troops. In the morning on December 14th, units of the Red Army entered the village of Radekhov and finally “eliminated the gang”.

In total 146 Banderists were killed, five were captured alive. No bandit left the encirclement, it is reported in the document. Among the eliminated supporters of UPA there were the Commander of the military district of UPA “Bug” Vorony, the chief of regional residency of SB Goloila, commanders of kurin, a hundred-strong. It is reported that many bandits committed suicide by attaching grenades to others.

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In addition to a large number of weapons, typewriters and a multiplier, a radio station and UPA documents were also found in the village.

“It is confirmed by these documents that the military district of UPA ‘Bug’ brings together all the armed forces of UPA located in the territory of the Lvov region,” it is reported by the NKVD.

In the conclusion of the report of the People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic it is asked to encourage heads and performers of operations.

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