by Rhoda Wilson, Daily Expose:
This is the true story of the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement in its form today, bought and paid for by the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Cynthia Chung has published chapter 5 from her newly released book ‘The Empire on Which the Black Sun Never Set: the Birth of International Fascism and Anglo-American Foreign Policy’ on Substack.
The chapter details how the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement post-WWII was bought and paid for by the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”).
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She begins by outlining a few important historical highlights – the historical roots of Ukrainian Nationalism. Beginning with the Kievan Rus’, a federation in Eastern-Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century. Today’s Belarus, Russia and Ukraine all recognise the people of Kievan Rus’ as their cultural ancestors. She continues to outline the history through to the founding of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1929 in a place which was, at the time, located in Poland.
The OUN assassinated Polish Interior Minister Bronislaw Pieracki in 1934. Among those tried and convicted in 1936 for Pieracki’s murder, were OUN’s Stefan Bandera and Mykola Lebed. Both escaped when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939. In August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the non-aggression pact, dividing Poland. In 1940 the OUN would split into the OUN-M led by Andriy Melnyk, and OUN-B headed by Stefan Bandera.
In June 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded western Ukraine, there were many western Ukrainians who welcomed the invading Nazis as their “liberators.” Both the OUN-M and OUN-B would spend much of the war collaborating closely with the Germans.
Eight days after Germany’s invasion of the USSR, on 30 June 1941, OUN-B proclaimed the establishment of the Ukrainian State in the name of Bandera in Lviv and pledged loyalty to Hitler. In response, the OUN-B leaders and associates were arrested and imprisoned or killed outright by the Gestapo. Stefan Bandera and his closest deputy Jaroslav Stetsko were initially kept under house arrest and then sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Mykola Lebed was able to slip through the German police net and became the de facto leader of the OUN-B leadership, also known as the Banderists.
The following year Lebed would become the leader of the underground terror wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which continued in function until 1956. By September 1944 German Army officers in northern Ukraine told their superiors in Foreign Armies East that the UPA was a “natural ally of Germany” and “a valuable aid for the German High Command,” and Himmler himself authorised intensified contacts with UPA.
Also in September 1944, the Germans released Bandera and Stetsko from Sachsenhausen.
This leads into second half of Chung’s chapter 5, see below. You can read the full chapter, with references to sources included, HERE.
The Ukrainian Nationalist Movement Post-WWII: Bought and Paid for by the CIA and served à la Lebed
“[Lebed] is a well-known sadist and collaborator of the Germans” – 1947 Report by The US Army’s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC)
In July 1944 Mykola Lebed helped form the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR), which would claim to represent the Ukrainian nation and served as an underground government in the Carpathian Mountains, in opposition to the Ukrainian SSR. The dominant political party in UHVR was the Bandera group and the UPA, which from that point on served as the army of UHVR and continued to fight the Soviets until 1956.
A feud erupted in 1947 between Bandera and Stetsko on one side for an independent Ukraine under a single party led by Bandera himself vs. Lebed and Father Ivan Hrynioch (chief of the UHVR Political Section) who were against Bandera being head of state.
At an August 1948 Congress of the OUN Foreign Section, Bandera (who still controlled 80% of the UHVR) expelled the Hrynioch-Lebed group. He claimed exclusive authority on the Ukrainian national movement and continued terror tactics against anti-Banderist Ukrainian leaders in Western Europe and manoeuvred for control of Ukrainian émigré organisations. However, Lebed who had become close with the Americans at that point was recognised, along with Hrynioch as the official UHVR representation abroad.
With the war lost, Lebed adopted a strategy similar to that of Reinhard Gehlen – he contacted the Allies after escaping Rome in 1945 with a trove of names and contacts of anti-Soviets located in western Ukraine and in displaced persons camps in Germany. This made him attractive to the US Army’s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) despite their above admission in their 1947 report.
In late 1947, Lebed who it was feared would be assassinated by the Soviets in Rome, was smuggled along with his family by the CIC to Munich, Germany in December 1947 for his safety.
Norman J.W. Goda writes:
By late 1947, Lebed had thoroughly sanitised his pre-war and wartime activities for American consumption. In his own rendition, he had been a victim of the Poles, the Soviets, and the Germans – he would carry the Gestapo “wanted” poster for the rest of his life to prove his anti-Nazi credentials…He also published a 126-page booklet on the UPA, which chronicled the heroic struggle of Ukrainians against both Nazis and Bolsheviks, while calling for an independent, greater Ukraine that would represent the human ideals of free speech and free faith. The UPA, according to the booklet, never collaborated with the Nazis, nor is there any mention of the slaughter of Galician Jews or Poles in the book. The CIC considered the booklet to be the ‘complete background on the subject.’ The CIC overlooked the fact that under its own watch an OUN Congress held in September 1947 had split, thanks to Lebed’s criticism of the creeping democratisation of the OUN. This was overlooked by the CIA which began using Lebed extensively in 1948…In June 1949…the CIA smuggled him [Lebed] into the United States with his wife and daughter under the legal cover of the Displaced Persons Act. [emphasis added]
The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) began investigating Lebed and in March 1950 reported to Washington that numerous Ukrainian informants spoke of Lebed’s leading role among the “Bandera terrorists” and that during the war the Banderists were trained and armed by the Gestapo and responsible for “wholesale murders of Ukrainians, Poles and Jewish [sic]…In all these actions, Lebed was one of the most important leaders.”
In 1951, top INS officials informed the CIA of its findings along with the comment that Lebed would likely face deportation. The CIA responded on 3 October 1951, that all of the charges were false and that the Gestapo “wanted” poster of Lebed proved that he “fought with equal zeal against the Nazis and Bolsheviks.”
INS officials as a result suspended the investigation on Lebed.
In February 1952, the CIA pressed the INS to grant Lebed re-entry papers so that he could leave and re-enter the United States at will. Argyle Mackey, Commissioner of the INS, refused to grant this.
On May 5, 1952, Allen Dulles, then Assistant Director of the CIA wrote a letter to Mackey stating:
In connection with future Agency operations of the first importance, it is urgently necessary that subject [Lebed] be able to travel in Western Europe. Before [he] undertakes such travel, however, this Agency must…assure his re-entry into the United States without investigation or incident which would attract undue attentions to his activities.
What was in West Germany? General Reinhard Gehlen, former chief of the Wehrmacht Foreign Armies East military intelligence, who had been conveniently allowed to re-enter West Germany to establish his Gehlen Organisation which would later form the Bundesnachrichtendienst (Federal Intelligence Service of West Germany) in 1956.
Dulles also wanted Lebed’s legal status changed to that of “permanent resident,” under Section 8 of the CIA Act of 1949. The INS never investigated further after Dulles’ letter and Lebed became a naturalised US citizen in March 1957.
Bandera would also be stationed in West Germany with his family after the war, where he remained the leader of the OUN-B and worked with several anti-communist organisations as well as with British Intelligence. At this point Bandera had become too much of a liability and there were multiple attempts, by both the Americans and British starting in 1953, to get Bandera to step down and for Lebed to represent “the entire Ukrainian liberation movement in the homeland.” Bandera refused and went rogue.