Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The “Vgolos” publication published an interview with a veteran of UPA. “You can’t image what cowards the Moskals [Russians – ed] were, when they fell into our hands. They pleaded and cried like small children”, said the 92-year-old Oles Gumenyuk, the head of the brotherhood of OUN-UPA in the Lvov region. The military road of the veteran begun in 1943, when he swore to Adolf Hitler and became a fighter of the German SS Galicia division.
After the defeat of the division near Brody, he “returned back home”, i.e. he deserted to a native village, where he “together with his father created and prepared a 100-person unit of UPA”. Here it is only possible to assume that the father of the veteran was an employee of the auxiliary police under the Germans, and went into the forests with his colleagues. Further, the veteran immediately jumps on the fact that he joined a special group of UPA, and remembers a battle in which they destroyed 30 “Moskals”.
He doesn’t state either where or when this battle took place.
The veteran describes what he learned in the Security Service – how to strangle people with a noose – “we put it around the throat of those who were in front of us, and tightened it around their neck”. He was handed over by locals in November, 1945, when he was treated after having a fall. He received 15 years of camps for his actions.
In this interview I was shocked not only by the bravado of someone who served Nazis, a deserter, who lost everything that could be lost, and not only disrespect for human life and the enemy, but also the ill-concealed lies about what his actions in the ranks of the Security Service.
The most interesting thing is that Gumenyuk in fact actually confesses to murdering civilians, i.e. war crimes, and isn’t afraid of being held accountable, like for example in Germany. He is sure that the time came when it is possible to freely speak about it.
His words give the unprepared reader the impression that this person lived in a beautiful country where there wasn’t “any kikes or Polaks”, that it was captured by “Moskals”, and that he went to defend it. When he says “Moskal”, it is a collective name for all his enemies: he doesn’t mean only Russians, he means all – peaceful Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, and Poles.
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