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Published: Hai-Nyzhnyk, Pavlo. The OUN(r-b) in the 1970s and 1980s: a vision of the socio-political system of the Ukrainian State // Східноєвропейський історичний вісник [East European Historical Bulletin]. – Дрогобич: Видавничий дім «Гельветика», 2022. – Вип.22. – C.178–193.

Abstract. The aim of the research is to analyze and highlight the programme and ideological foundations of the Ukrainian nationalism by the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists (the Bandera revolutionaries) in the 1970s and 1980s and its vision of the socio-political and socio-economic system in the future Ukrainian State. The research methodology is based on the principles of scientificity, historicism, critical analysis, systematics. During the research work, both general scientific (analysis and synthesis, systematization and generalization) and special scientific methods were used: problem-thematic, chronological, as well as system-structural. The scientific novelty of the article is to elucidate the little-known pages of the history of the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists (the Bandera revolutionaries) in general and the place and role in its leadership in the 70s-80s of the twentieth century Yaroslav Stetsko, Vasyl Oleskiv and Slava (Yaroslava) Stetsko. It is directly about changes and clarification of programme, ideological and political principles of the Organization in its concept of building the Ukrainian Independent Conciliar State and the foundations of its socio-economic system, etc., the project of reviving the role of the Ukrainian state government in the liberation movement, political life of the OUN, due to the departure of the older generation, the stagnation of the political programme of the Organization and its isolation in the diaspora from the then existing reality in Ukraine, and etc. The Conclusions. It has been determined that the long stay under the conditions of emigrant, and diasporic political life under the conditions of the “iron curtain” and the Cold War caused stagnant phenomena in the ideological and political evolution of worldviews and the concept of statehood of the future Ukraine in the OUN(r-b) at the end of the twentieth century, as well as led to its gradual organizational decline, which caused the crisis in this political force and its unwillingness to powerfully and influentially interfere in the political and state-building processes in Ukraine with its independence.

Key words: the OUN, Stetsko, national liberation struggle, Ukrainian State Board

The Problem Statement and the Analysis of Recent Research Works and Publications. Unfortunately, historiography covers this issue only indirectly or fragmentarily, focusing on earlier and more dynamic periods of existence and activity of the OUN(r-b). At the same time it is necessary to single out also separate achievements of domestic scholars, among which are, in particular, the works of Ya.Antoniuk and V.Trofymovych (Antonyuk & Trofymovych, 2021), D.Viedieniev (Viedieniev, 2005), О.Zaitsev (Zaitsev, 2012), H.Каsianov (Каsianov, 1998; Каsianov, 2004), О.Sych (Sych, 2015) and the others. At the same time, these authors focus on specific or generalized theoretical aspects of this chronological segment from the past of the OUN, however, the authors do not elucidate the very project of the state and political system model and socio-economic system model of the future Ukrainian state in the programme concept of the Organization. Thus, in the article presented to the reader, this spectrum of the OUN’s theoretical doctrine is elucidated, in which the period of the 70s and 80s of the 20th century is covered chronologically, and that is why, only official programme documents of the Organization were used for the analysis, which indicate its formally declared position (rather than the private and subjective opinions and considerations of certain politicians) in their vision of the model of the Ukrainian statehood and socio-economic and civil relations in it.

The purpose of the study is the analysis and coverage of programmatic and ideological foundations of the Ukrainian nationalism by the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists (the Bandera-revolutionaries) in the 1970s and 1980s and its vision of socio-political and socio-economic order in the future Ukrainian State.

The Main Material Statement. In the 70s of the twentieth century, in the OUN(r-b) there was only one living member of the ZCh OUN Central Committee, who was active until October of 1959 (Shche odyn, 1971, p.2). Ya.Stetsko was this living member, who was not only the leader of the Organization, but also became, in fact, its only theorist and ideologist and undisputed authority. Thus, it is not surprising that since then the internal organizational discussion had practically exhausted itself and the programme-ideological principles of the Organization had not been subjected to evolutionary tendencies. Instead, the programme-ideological principles were absorbed by the personal ideas and beliefs of Ya. Stetsko, who originated from the generation of the 1930s – the 1940s. The young intellectual and passionate generation either did not join the OUN(r-b) or stagnated within the framework of organizational discipline and its hierarchical framework.

In that situation, in the autumn of 1974 the OUN (r-b) gathered for its V Grand Assembly, young people were a significant part of the participants. As the leader and in the aureole of the last apostle of the Ukrainian nationalism, Ya. Stetsko announced the end of the period of internal organizational disputes and addressed the delegates of the Assembly with hope, that “everything small that can divide us, let it be left aside”, pointing out that the main task of the Organization is the defense and liberation of Ukraine, and all members of the OUN(r-b) were to become “obsessed with the idea of Unconquered Ukraine!” (Piatyi, 1975, p.5). At the opening of the Grand Assembly the quintessence of Ya.Stetsko’s point of view and message to the members of the Organization can be considered the following statement: “We are marching on the broad front of a reborn nation, the core of which (the front) is the OUN with its clear positions, but the liberals believe in the “greater power” of relativism, as the way to broaden the front, losing the dogmatism of the idea, which is longed for by the greatest connoisseur of the soul of Ukraine, and the greatest modern example of self-sacrifice, the most prominent fighter – a cultural figure of Ukraine…” (Piatyi, 1975, p.11).

Addressing the Ukrainians who served in the Soviet Army, delegates to the OUN Grand Assembly (r-b) denied the widespread allegation as if the Organization allegedly had sought to liberate Ukraine from communist occupation, even by means of nuclear war. “The OUN is generally against the war of foreign states on the Ukrainian soil, because it will bring destruction to our people. But the Moscow occupiers locate weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine, and in the coming war they are preparing for, they want the force of their opponents’ retaliatory nuclear strike to fall on Ukraine. Therefore, the OUN put forward another alternative: national liberation revolutions of the enslaved nations, which would destroy the Russian prison of nations from within and eliminate the danger of nuclear war”, – that was written in the collection of materials and resolutions of V Great Assembly (Piatyi, 1975, pp.27–28).

At the Assemly once again it was revealed the influence of Ya.Stetsko’s ideological dogmatism and the Christian mysticism combined with pathetic revolutionary rhetoric on the liberation of Ukraine from communist totalitarianism under the conditions of living in exile in the democratic West, such as: “The nation is the most important human community on the Earth, the source of life, an indestructible natural formation”, “the biggest of all God’s creatures on the Earth, whose powers are unfathomable and inexhaustible”, which occupies its own “collective soul”, and “the unfathomable world of the subconscious”, but in “Ukraine they associate patriotism with religious pietism”, where, in particular, it is recognized the important place of religion in the life of a human being and nation”; “a humam being is a creature created by God, that is why, he must be treated accordingly, must have the right to profess his faith”; “The world, the nation and a human being – creatures of God” and, etc. The participants of the Grand Assembly were convinced that in the Ukrainian SSR there was widespread the “worldview of the unconquered”, hostile to the violent, illegal, unjust system prevailing in Ukraine, condemning totalitarianism and dictatorship, rejecting the concept of “a cog man” and unlimited power of the state (Piatyi, 1975, p.232).

Noting that the unconquered leaders of Ukraine seek to establish a just, people’s order in future sovereign Ukraine, based on a free Ukrainian man, explicitly guaranteeing his or her rights, the OUN(r-b) asserted that “Freedom-loving Ukraine fights against imperial and totalitarian ethics, the chekist, slavish, bandit “morality”, contrasting it with its morality – heroic, human, national, Christian” (Piatyi, 1975, pp.234–235). However, it was not about dissidents, as one would have thought. In the rhetoric of the OUN(r-b) ideology of that time, the Soviet dissidents were mentioned with the words “the so-called” and only as a category of critics of the regime that may have an impact on its weakening. Dissidents were considered as nothing more than “a category of regime reformers who aimed “to fix” it while preserving the empire and the communist system”, as those who “are in fact the defenders of this empire and its system”, – said the leadership of the OUN(r-b). – Defenders of the rights of Ukraine do not belong to the category of dissidents” (Piatyi, 1975, p.280). Therefore, the attitude towards the Muscovites during the liberation revolution will be appropriate to their attitude towards the Ukrainian statehood, loyal residents of Ukraine of the Russian nationality will enjoy all civil rights, and disloyal residents will be treated “according to revolutionary laws” (Piatyi, 1975, p.280).

The OUN(r-b) also emphasized that in the socio-economic struggle against unnatural Russian collectivism it was not about turning to capitalism (for example, in the claims of private plots of land), however, it was a struggle for the institution of a private property, specific to the spirituality of the Ukrainian people (therefore against the Russian flock social system, the “community”, for the free development of the Ukrainian socio-political system) (Piatyi, 1975, p.268).

The organic principle of world order was still recognized as the national principle, and spiritual unity was considered possible only on the basis of the creativity of individual nations. The Ukrainians were required “to develop their high language, their most humane heroic criteria, their undeniable moral authority” (Piatyi, 1975, pp.255–256). In Ukraine, among the ideological and programmatic principles of the liberation process there were put forward in the first place the following ones: а) the primacy of the spiritual in philosophy and social activity; b) the primacy of the nation, which in history and in the present is the cornerstone of relations among the states of the world, and the national issue in connection with the social – the world-historical; c) the ideal of one’s own state, independent of anyone, completely sovereign; d) social justice for all segments and strata of the nation; e) only nationalism is the basis for the revival and just ordering of the world, not pseudo-internationalism, communism or anarchism; f) the dignity of a human being as a God-like being; g) faith in God and the importance of a religious life; h) tradition and native historicity; i) the cult of honour and knighthood, freedom of thought and experience; j) heroic concept of life; k) the primacy of the common over the selfish; l) heroic national humanism; m) alternative to imperialism – nationalism as a separate path from socialism-communism and capitalism (Piatyi, 1975, pp.263–264).

On political emigration, as an inseparable part of the Ukrainian nation, the OUN(r-b) assigned the task of mobilizing the pro-Ukrainian forces in the world, using Western countries for their own purposes, and spiritually militarizing revolutionary cadres abroad. Due to previous failures and because of it the OUN’s, under the leadership of S.Lenkavsky, refusal to throw marched groups into Ukraine, during the leadership of Ya. Stetsko, from the beginning of the 1970s, the development of a complex of direct action from abroad started again also by means of the preparation of new marched groups to be sent to Ukraine, the Ukrainian ethnographic lands, as well as outside the UkrSSR, in particular to Kuban, southern Voronezh and Kursk, and even to Siberia (Piatyi, 1975, p.275).

The OUN did not consider Ukraine as the periphery of world processes, but “owing to its geopolitical position, economic wealth, population, revolutionary and dynamic human potential, ideological and political concept of a new just order in the geopolitical space of Europe and Asia”, considered it as a global issue of international politics. It was assumed that in the international context, an independent Ukrainian state “will guarantee the independence of Eastern European and neighboring Asian nations”, and “the harmonious political and economic cooperation of free Ukraine with those peoples will open the door wide for the improvement of relations in Eastern Europe and neighboring Asia, and will be of great importance for the future of the whole of Europe” (Piatyi, 1975, p.302). As a result, the prison of the peoples (the USSR) in the Eurasian space will be destroyed, which will be crucial for the new structure of forces on other continents (Piatyi, 1975, p.302).

There were two visions of the idea of united Europe. If there were strong united Western Europe based on Europe-homeland (rather than a socialist attempt to nurture or diminish the weight of nations), with a projection of the decolonization of the European continent (i.e., the liquidation of the Russian Empire and the return of national independence to the enslaved peoples in the USSR and in the satellite countries), – then such event development would be recognized as positive, and Western Europe would play its creative role in regulating relations and lasting just peace not only on the European continent. However, the idea of Western European federation with a dominant role of one or another power, as predicted by the OUN leadership (r-b), would be a new imperial form, and the domination of socialist parties in various countries of Western Europe would allow Moscow to infiltrate and demobilize this formation. Therefore, the OUN(r-b) believed that Western Europe could not create any other long-term formation, except military and economic to defend against Moscow’s attack, with the prospect of supporting the liberation struggle of the enslaved peoples in the USSR and satellite countries.

Under the conditions of strong Western Europe, the bi-race of forces would become impossible, since its (including Great Britain) economic and technological potential would exceeded the capacity of the USSR. Therefore, the OUN(r-b) considered the unification of Western Europe as the creation of an important anti-Russian bastion, rather than a long-term formation. After all, Western Europe was only a part of Europe, and therefore the enslaved nations would be able to take an independent position concerning the idea of united Europe only when they had their own independent nation-states. It was added that the economic integration of Western countries and efforts to create European federation or confederation could serve as a pretext for Moscow, to state that the period of “small” independent states in Europe is over and that integration in the West requires integration and the maintenance of “federal” ties in the East. Thus, the conclusion was made: building European military capacity (including nuclear), in partnership and alliance with the United States, – in the interest of free and enslaved nations, if the appropriate precondition is met. The precondition is the policy of liberation of enslaved peoples. It was also pointed out that there was a problem not with the disarmament of the free world, but on the contrary – its rearmament, in particular with conventional weapons. Under such circumstances the OUN(r-b) gave an important role to the psychological and political war, as a prerequisite for the insurgent war, which should turn into a liberated conventional just war of enslaved nations against the Russian occupier. The enslaved nations were a spiritual superpower and the decisive force of the era (Piatyi, 1975, pp.306–307).

Renewed Christianity, which, according to the OUN leadership, was already growing in opposition to the leadership of the official Churches of that time, as opposed to the ruling circles of the Western Churches, the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, etc., was to become superpower (Piatyi, 1975, pp.313–314). As for the issue of the Ukrainian Church, the OUN(r-b) advocated the establishment of patriarchy in both the Orthodox Church and the Greek Catholic Church, and therefore, for example, considered positive the unification of the UAOC diocese at the joint Council of Bishops on October 18, 1971 and the resolution of the Synod of Archbishops of October 4, 1969 in Rome on the locality of the UCC and the patriarchate of the Supreme Archbishop, as well as the action of the clergy and laity for recognizing and implementing the locality of the UCC and the Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate headed by Patriarch Joseph (Slipy). The OUN(r-b) identified as an urgent main task the achievements of the Ukrainian Catholic Patriarchate and the unification of all metropolitans of the Orthodox Church into a single UAOC. The OUN(r-b) also expressed support for the Ukrainian Protestant Churches in their struggle against atheism and the Russian violence in the USSR and, at the same time, identified “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, “the Pentecostals”, “the Adventists”, etc., as the sects. The organization called on the faithful to demand conducting church services in the Ukrainian language and to support priests who want the best for their people, noting that “Sundays and religious holidays should be celebrated” (Piatyi, 1975, pp.332–334).

“The leadership of the OUN(r-b) also emphasized that “it opposes all discrimination against nations, racism, elder brotherhood, anti-Semitism, the theory of any herrenfolk, national socialism and all kinds of totalitarianism”, seeks to reach “an understanding with the Polish people on the basis of ethnographic delimitation of the borders between the two peoples and on the basis of respect for the state of each of them and a common front against common enemies”, that “fights against the Russian Empire, not against the state of the Russian people in its ethnographic territory”, and considered Ukraine’s natural allies, above all, “peoples enslaved in the USSR and in satellite countries” (Piatyi, 1975, pp.315–316). At the same time, relying unconditionally on the Ukrainian people’s own strength in the national liberation struggle, the leadership of the Organization took into account that the imperatives of the liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people demanded to take into consideration all possibilities of international conjuncture and various specific situations (eg, tensions between the USSR and China or the United States) to raise and resolve the Ukrainian issue positively (Piatyi, 1975, pp.316–317, 319). If the West were unable to implement, let’s say, an offensive attack against Russia for the liberation of enslaved peoples, in particular, at the UNO tribune, the OUN(r-b) advocated the UNO (as a forum for Russian and communist sabotage and propaganda) and the creation of another international organization with spokesmen of free and enslaved nations, but without Moscow agents. As a result, free, sovereign nation-states would emerge, and by the OUN(r-b) all sorts of state “unions”, “federations”, etc., were considered historical anachronisms and misleading slogans of the imperialists to deceive the people (“The [O]UN Charter, the [O]UN Resolution on Decolonization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be implemented worldwide”) (Piatyi, 1975, pp.320–322).

In the 1980s, the OUN(r-b) expressed numerous claims that “the era of revolutions and liberation wars was finally coming” and the belief that “no thermonuclear weapons would stand up to liberation nationalisms because it is also in our hands” that “nations have risen, there is nothing to break them!” and that the Ukrainian alternative, which the West neglected in World War II, “free nations will not neglect World War III if they do not want to go with their wives and children with the smoke of fires” (Manifest, 1981, p.10). It was stated in the Manifesto of the OUN, proclaimed in the autumn of 1981 at VI Grand Assembly. Even at the beginning of the 1980s, the OUN(r-b) renounced National Socialism, fascism and racism repeatedly, and once again positioned its nationalist movement as extracurricular and traditionalist, social and democratic, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist, anti-colonial and anti-totalitarian, etc. (Manifest, 1981, pp.14–15).

In the autumn of 1981, VI Grand Assembly of the OUN considered the political situation in the world, in the USSR and in particular in Ukraine, focused on a comprehensive analysis of the “modern revolutionary situation in Ukraine and in the whole complex of the Russian imperial colonial domination” (Shostyi, 1984, p.6). However, dissidents were no longer mentioned with the words “the so-called” but “heroic political prisoners” and once again the OUN declared the eve of the national revolution. The address of VI Grand Assembly to the Ukrainians in the free world on behalf of its presidium, in particular, stated: “The heroic attitude of the Ukrainian political prisoners, strengthened by the activities of the unconquered and revolutionary forces of Warring Ukraine, the growing rise of the Christian faith among people, intensification of youth participation in patriotic actions, growing resistance of the general public to chauvinistic Russification in Ukraine – all these phenomena indicate that the next stage of the Ukrainian liberation struggle, the stage of mass heroism is maturing” (Shostyi, 1984, pp.101–102). In the greeting to the Ukrainian people in their native lands, in the penitentiary and scattered throughout the Russian Empire, the OUN(r-b) called on everyone to stand up and be ready for a nationwide uprising!” (Shostyi, 1984, p.123).

One of the central issues discussed at Grand Assembly of 1981 was the threat of global or limited thermonuclear war, an alternative to which was recognized as the national liberation revolutions of Ukraine and other enslaved peoples. Ya.Stetsko (“St.Osinsky”) noted in this regard: “The concept of a limited thermonuclear war is not a solution to the global political crisis, because it can lead to unlimited nuclear war. Therefore, there is our alternative, which, for the time being, is still in a potential state in terms of its dynamic understanding by the official West. It is no longer in drawers as a reserve, but as a matter of thought” (Shostyi, 1984, p.53). There was mentioned, in particular, the war in Afghanistan, which created a new international situation around the USSR, and the need for the OUN(r-b) to involve into this complex conflict in order to mobilize the Islamic world against Russia and to contribute to the political decay among the Soviet soldiers with the help of the OUN and ABN leaflets and a radio station. In this context, Ya.Stetsko also declared his intention to address “Western officials with a proposal of appropriate suggestions concerning the actions aimed at the collapse of the Russian Empire, in accordance with the slogan “Nothing without us about us”, singling out Ukraine as the central problem of this front and as its leading force. Therefore, he was convinced that it was in Afghanistan that the Ukrainian issue would move forward, and therefore the Ukrainians should be interested in maintaining the Afghan front as long as possible and create other fronts by forming the pro-Ukrainian positions among the Islamic world systematically (Shostyi, 1984, p.54). And this is not surprising, because according to Ya.Stetsko, even at that time the world was in a state of World War III (Shostyi, 1984, p.517). At the same time, however, the circles of “Wiesenthal-type were condemned, who, for American money, initiated lawsuits against the Ukrainians, including the OUN supporters in ZSA, in Canada, according to the KGB’s plan, to isolate the OUN from Western factors as a “German collaborator” and weaken Ukraine’s sympathetic attitude towards Israel” (Shostyi, 1984, p.54). Thus, the conclusion was categorical and in the style of the 1940s: “Making the OUN a collaborating organization is vivid work of the Bolsheviks served by international Judaism together with the Masonic mafia, in which it largely dominated” (Shostyi, 1984, p.55).

In general, the worldview of the OUN(r-b) coincided with its thesis that the revival of the humanity should be based on the idea of the nation not the idea of unlimited arbitrariness of an individual, on the idea of a national social human being – not a liberal selfish individual (Shostyi, 1984, p.134). According to the worldview of the OUN, it was believed that the new state and socio-political system in Ukraine “should be based on the idea of a nation-community, and not the exclusive selfishness of an individual; the good of the family, not hedonism and sexualism; a national social, public Human Being, not class-hating and a mutual devouring; a Nation, not a class; cooperation of all segments of the nation and the exclusion of exploitation of one part of the nation by another” (Shostyi, 1984, p.138).

The OUN leadership thought, again in the spirit of the already overthrown Salazar corporatism, that one of such form of a socio-political system was the transition of power from political parties in the demoliberal system to organized social formations-professions, such as trade unions or technocratic associations. This transition, in the OUN leadership’s opinion, would indicate that a new factor in the will of the people should be taken into account when respecting the desire to create political formations that should not have a class basis, only a national one. This would mean, that instead of creating political formations on the basis of demoliberalism, they should be created on the basis of a nationalist worldview with an emphasis on one or another vital national rather than class issues. Freedom and human rights and sovereignty of the nation can be achieved not only by means of a demoliberal system. The Ukrainian democracy, according to ideologues of the OUN leadership (Ya.Stetsko) existed when demoliberalism did not yet exist in the West, and therefore, the state should be built on its priorities, respecting a Human Being – God-like being – within the Nation, which is the creature of God (Shostyi, 1984, pp.138–139).

In his report “The Ethos of Labour and the Ideal of the Hero”, Ya.Stetsko outlined his own vision based on the socio-political system of the future Ukrainian state. In the report, he pointed out that the OUN fought for the three divisions of power that would best ensure the rule of law, in particular: the independence of the legislative, executive and judicial branches, as well as for establishment of broad self-government at the lower territorial levels (regions, counties, cities, rural communities). It was stated that national minorities would have guaranteed rights to free development of their special identity. Socio-political issues were to be based on the specific values, characteristics, aspirations, needs and moral and ethical values of the Ukrainian nation. The state had to ensure the right of every citizen to private property and a guarantee for every inhabitant of Ukraine to decent living conditions, personal security, increased welfare level and social security. The totalitarian, monocratic, colonial and collectivist system introduced in Ukraine by the Russian occupiers would be subject to complete destruction and eradication, as well as collective farm systems, internal passport systems in the state, etc. Social justice and equality should create equal conditions for work and use of the products of one’s own labour under the conditions of the widest possible mass ownership, as a basis for the full use of the products of free labour of each individual-producent. At the same time, the idea of free labour, which was stated by the author as the main key to the OUN’s social programme, in his vision of the nationalist concept of society, a priori excluded the presence of the so-called hired labour (there was recognized the division into different kinds of labour, the value of which is determined by the usefulness to society) (Shostyi, 1984, pp.431–432).

It was declared consistently that “the Ukrainian national liberation struggle was waged in the plane of “superclassism” in the sense that in the future USSD the socio-political relations must be so concluded, that no “class” or stratum of people would be able to have a dominant economic position in society in order to be able to usurp various privileges and exploit other parts of people” (Shostyi, 1984, pp.430–431). According to the concept of Ya.Stetsko, the nationalist system will eliminate the injustices of the system of financial capitalism and especially communism, since each of these systems was classocratic, class, not nationcratic, supraclass, nationwide.

In the Ukrainian state, peasants should receive a plot of land free of charge in the amount of labour farms as their private hereditary property, and all other people who want to work in food sphere, would receive appropriate assistance for free food production at factorries or small enterprises and could, after providing all the people with food, be also free to export various products to other countries. At the same time, the OUN will promote the creation of economic cooperatives, unions or other forms of management, depending on the will of peasants and food producents.

Means of communication and transport (public) will be either owned by the state or private-group, but under state control. The issue of ownership of mineral resources, energy products, forests and inland waters in the country, and the ownership of heavy industry and transport was to be decided by state and provincial (regional) legislatures in the aspect of state or social property. In industry, workers must have consensus in major economic and administrative matters. The greatest possible private and group initiatives in the creation of enterprises would be allowed. The main regulator of the national economy was to be market relations, not the centralist state plan and state totalitarian rule. In the country there could coexist public, private and cooperative banking and credit systems, regulated by the state, but the Ukrainian banking system should not become dependent on any foreign capital. According to Ya.Stetsko, the OUN also advocated the full right of workers to strike within the limits set by law and the situation, whereas it is a means of equitable distribution of income, social security and the improvement of working and living conditions, as well as for the right of workers to form their own professional and trade unions as a means of obtaining better economic and social conditions (Shostyi, 1984, pp.433–434).

In the area of social security, the state had to establish a decent minimum salary that would provide basic conditions of personal and family life, as well as medical care, but with the consideration and admission of regional, local and private initiative and entrepreneurship in the care of medicine, hygiene and a high level of public health. Every able-bodied person had to be provided with the opportunity to work in the private, public or state sectors. At the same time, every citizen would have the right to choose or change work, occupation and place of residence freely. Complete equality was also to be established in socio-economic life for all citizens of Ukraine, regardless of gender, religion, origin or political views.

Outside Ukraine, all those people “whom the enemy occupation regime sent to carry out their imperial goals and they carried out these tasks” would be relocated (deported), and criminals of the occupation system should be punished for the extermination, oppression and exploitation of the Ukrainian people. At the same time, the Ukrainian state would provide assistance to all those Ukrainians who, as a result of the enslavement of Ukraine, found themselves outside its borders and who would like to return to Ukraine. The state also had to provide all necessary assistance to those Ukrainians who suffered as a result of enemy enslavement and participation in the liberation struggle. In particular, members of the families of fighters for the liberation of Ukraine had to obtain proper living conditions, and veterans of the liberation struggle, especially the disabled, should be under the full care of the community. The Ukrainian state will demand that the occupiers pay compensation to all victims during the occupation (Shostyi, 1984, pp.435–436).

Concerning education, Ya.Stetsko, speaking on behalf of the OUN, stated that the Organization saw in the future Ukrainian state the policy of promoting the spread and development of free education, assuring all citizens of the best educational opportunities and equal access to appropriate educational institutions for all who wish to acquire knowledge.

Lower and secondary general and vocational education should be free and accessible to all, and access to higher education should be equally open to all by means of examinations (opportunities for private, local and minority schools were to be allowed for different special areas). According to Ya. Stetsko, in the Ukrainian educational system, religion, should be included in the school curriculum as a compulsory subject. The teaching of religion should be organized in such a way as to meet the religious needs of students of all faiths.

In the future independent Ukraine the church and the state will be two independent sectors of a single organism, which would have to cooperate as closely as possible and help each other. However, “militant atheism”, as well as the activities of groups that weaken and destroy national spirituality, will be prohibited. Taking into account the special role of the Christian religion in the life of the Ukrainian nation, the OUN sought to ensure that all conditions for the free development of the Churches and their organizations were provided in the Ukrainian State. In addition, the state was to promote the patriarchal structuring of the Ukrainian Christian Churches. At the same time, despite the free action of the Christian Churches, full freedom to other religions should be ensured in the Ukrainian State. The Russian Orthodox Church should be banned in Ukraine, and all its influence eradicated.

Despite the fact that the OUN(r-b) was against the promotion of atheism by the state, it supported the provision of freedom of conscience. At the same time, the state was to promote the development and dissemination, including outside Ukraine, of a cultural life and creativity of the Ukrainian cultural figures. The Ministry of Culture will have the task of assisting cultural processes, but without restricting the principle of free creativity and without granting privileges to individual groups. All the harmful effects of Russification, the Russian anti-human and murderous culture, as a result of the cultural enslavement of Ukraine by Russia, were to be get rid of (Shostyi, 1984, pp.336–337).

During the lifetime of Ya.Stetsko, who died on July 5, 1986 in Munich, preparations began for the next VII Grand Assembly of the OUN. For this purpose, 15 commissions and their leaders were appointed. After the death of Ya.Stetsko, V.Oleskiv became acting head of the OUN leadership (“V.Коsovych”, “Оrlyk”), who chaired this Grand Assembly (Chairman of the Presidium was V.Krymsky) in October of 1987 and opened it with his speech (Somyi, 1988, pp.36, 5). The head of the Main Board of the OUN was elected an engineer Vasyl Oleskiv, who had previously been the head of the OUN Regional Affairs Sector (r-b), the leader of the OUN TP in Great Britain (1955–1963), a participant in seven Grand Assemblies and a member of the Main Board, Deputy Chairman of the Board under the leadership of Ya.Stetsko.

In three programme reports of the Assembly it was summarized: a) the state of the national liberation struggle in Ukraine under conditions of Moscow’s efforts to reform and modernize the Russian Empire – determination of the OUN tasks for the next years; b) the relevance of the main principles of the OUN’s foreign policy in the current international activity of reconciliation between Western powers and the Russian Empire, a significant rely on the people’s own forces and on the common front of the liberation movements of all nations enslaved by Russia; c) inclusion of the new young generation in the OUN and in the national liberation processes both in the native lands and in the diaspora (Somyi, 1988, p.6). In the ideological programme area, an extract of current resolutions of the previous Grand Assemblies with certain additions was adopted, which in fact were not qualitatively or evolutionarily updated from the decrees and principles of IV Grand Assembly of 1968 (Hai-Nyzhnyk, 2017; Hai-Nyzhnyk, 2020). To a certain extent, only the resolutions in the sphere of the Ukrainian cultural front and in terms of rather superficial slogans concerning the state of the Ukrainian science, including diaspora science, were enlarged, but not fundamentally. As for the socio-economic sphere and social and civil rights, etc., in the future Ukrainian State, the resolutions of VII Grand Assembly practically word for word duplicated the theses of the previous V and VI Grand Assemblies of the Organization (1974 and 1981, respectively) (Somyi, 1988, pp.109–112), which, in turn, were a copy of the resolutions of the IV Grand Assembly of the OUN in 1968, which testifies to the intellectual crisis, ideological and theoretical stagnation of nationalist thought in the ranks of the OUN(r-b) in the context of a dynamic change in the world and in Ukraine during the period of twenty years.

At VII Grand Assembly of the OUN it was also mentioned that in 1968 its IV Grand Assembly under the leadership of Ya.Stetsko emphasized the need to establish a political liberation center, based on the revolutionary liberation concept, on the principles and in time, which the leadership of the Organization recognized as relevant and expedient in connection with the state revolutionary formations, initiated by the OUN, in particular the Ukrainian State Board in 1941. The period of the beginning of the 1940s, in fact the OUN’s attempt to restore the Ukrainian state in 1941, was mentioned at VI Grand Assembly in 1981 in the context of the idea to revive the Ukrainian State Board in the latest political sphere, briefly headed by Ya.Stetsko after the Act of June of 30 and soon liquidated by the Germans. At the same time, in the way required by the Organization and its leader, the historical legacy was somewhat prepared to please the new political ambitions of the OUN leadership (r-b) and the personal pride of Ya.Stetsko. Thus, it was claimed that “the Ukrainian State Board was established by the will of the Ukrainian people on June 30, 1941, confirmed with great enthusiasm by the national approval throughout Ukraine, in particular, a plebiscite of the blood of the best sons of Ukraine, regardless of domestic Ukrainian political beliefs, with an overwhelming majority of the OUN members, the OUN groups, Wives of Ukrainian Nationalists (DUN), soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, never declared its solution, never obeyed the will of any occupier of Ukraine, and courageously defended the ideal of the nation – the Ukrainian Sovereign Conciliar State” and even more – that “the UDP and the Council of Seniors were the only democratic government and the only democratic parliament on the European territory of that time” (Shostyi, 1984, pp.125–127). In addition, at VI Grand Assembly it was stated that the UDP, as the state institution, had never been liquidated, in part due to its long-term systematic preservation and continuation of “this bright state tradition in the history of our nation” and its gradual development by the chairman of the UDP, i.e., – by Ya.Stetsko (Shostyi, 1984, p.129). At the same time, in 1986, after the death of Ya.Stetsko, the non-existent UDP was formally headed by an engineer B.Fedorak, under whose leadership there were established (also only nominally) three resorts: foreign, domestic and financial.

In 1987, VII Grand Assembly of the Organization took into consideration the fact that the Ukrainian State Government, which in fact existed only on paper and had no weight in the ranks of the OUN, nor among emigrant and diaspora circles, after the death of Ya.Stetsko was headed by Bohdan Fedorak, who after World War II was an inconspicuous, in the political sense, director of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren (Macomb County, Michigan, the USA). Thus, VII Grand Assembly adopted Declaration stating:

“1) The Ukrainian State Board (the UDP) is the legitimate state body of the Ukrainian State, restored on June 30, 1941.

2) Over the past decades, the UDP had a renewed mandate from the spokesmen of Unconquered Ukraine, and this mandate was an expression of the broad circles of the Ukrainian patriotic community till nowadays.

3) The UDP carried out a major liberation and political action over the past decades. The UDP is known to and recognized by leading politicians of enslaved and free peoples. The head of the UDP was recognized by prominent personalities of different states and peoples.

4) Therefore, the Great Assembly of the OUN declares its support for the Ukrainian State Board and appeals to the governing bodies of the UDP to use our unique anniversary of the Millennium of the Baptism of Ukraine-Russia to establish the All-Ukrainian State Center.

We believe that together we will obtain the Ukrainian Independent Conciliar State” (Somyi, 1988, pp.97–98).

Therefore, the UDP was recognized as the latest sovereign government of Ukraine. Therefore, VII Grand Assembly decided to give full support to the UDP in its work, in particular in the direction of the creation of the All-Ukrainian State Center (the ASC) on the basis of the Ukrainian independent formations that existed during the period from 1917 to 1944 (Somyi, 1988, p.97). It was another attempt of the OUN under the political project of the ASC to unite around itself and under its own leadership “all independent state formations of the 20th century – the UPR, Carpathian Ukraine (1939), UDP (1941) and UGVR (1944)” (Somyi, 1988, p.176).

According to the decision, first of all, the attempt was made to find a common language with the State Center of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in Exile (DC of the Ukrainian People’s Republic). In 1987 negotiations began between the UDP and the DC of the UPR, which lasted until 1989. The UDP delegation (of three people) was headed by Omelian Koval, a longtime member of the revolutionary OUN (pseudo “Dyr”, “Demian”), a former Auschwitz prisoner, at that time the head of the UDP internal affairs department, secretary of the General Council of Ukrainian Public Organizations in Belgium (1970–1991), Secretary General of the Ukrainian Assisstance Committee in Belgium, and since 1987 its head (until 2005). The DC UPR was represented by the Prime Minister of the UPR Prof. Ya.Rudnytsky in the presence of the President of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in exile M.Livytsky and one or two members of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian People’s Republic). The course of negotiations in the OUN(r-b) was reported in the following interpretation: “The challenge to the UDP Project by the interlocutors of the Ukrainian People’s Republic was obstructed, saying that it would flow into the system of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, which had the legitimacy of an exile government. The UPR delegation constantly insisted on the OUN’s turn to the UNRada, and there, at its forum, it will be possible to settle all matters, including the creation of the All-Ukrainian State Center. Having exhausted all the arguments in defense of his positions, the President of the Ukrainian People’s Republic M.Livytsky stated that he could not recognize the UDP as the second government of Ukraine, and thus its capacity as a partner for further negotiations. This was already the case when an agreement was reached with M.Plaviuk (a chairman of the PUN) on the OUN(m) to take an active part in the UNRada, which was going to conduct its 10th session. Nevertheless, they promised to transfer the issue of the Project to the 10th session of the UNR and invited the OUN delegation to participate in that session. Bearing in mind the good deeds in connection with political consolidation in the form of the All-Ukrainian State Center and successful action in the interests of Ukraine, the OUN leadership decided to send a two-member observer delegation to the 10th session of the UNRada. The issue of the Project, however, was not considered there, and the resolutions said that the UPR Central Committee should ensure that all political forces consolidate under the UPR flag. To do this, the Central Committee of the Ukrainian People’s Republic had to convene a consolidation commission. The UDP made another attempt to clarify the matter of further negotiations, but the new DC of the Ukrainian People’s Republic remained in its old position. Correspondence concerning that case between M.Plaviuk and the Chairman of the OUN(r) illustrates the attempt by M.Plaviuk to be involved in negotiations with the Central Committee of the Ukrainian People’s Republic to restore the OUN as the part of the UNRada” (Vosmyi, 1991, pp.182–183). The negotiations ended in failure.

However, despite the obvious anachronism and impracticability of such project (as well as attempts to revive the UDP at the end of twentieth century according to the model of 1941), this intention, even after the adoption of Act of State Sovereignty of Ukraine (July 16, 1990) by the Verkhovna Rada, and almost a month before the proclamation of the state independence of Ukraine, was declared on July 16, 1991, at VIII Extraordinary Grand Assembly of the Organization under the leadership of Slava Stetsko (a wife of Yaroslav Stetsko) (Vosmyi, 1991, p.7). Returning to the issue of All-Ukrainian State Center, the OUN, one moretime mentioned the need for it “considering all state acts, beginning with the Acts of January 22, 1918–1919, the Act of November 1, 1918 in Lviv, the Act of Carpathian Ukraine of March 14, 1939, the Act of June 30, 1941 in Lviv and the Manifesto of the UHVR of July 1944. The existing state formations originated from those Acts – the Central Committee of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Ukrainian State Board, should be united into one All-Ukrainian State Center for Coordination of the Ukrainian Liberation Policy until the establishment of legal power in Ukraine by means of free elections” (Vosmyi, 1991, p.169). At the same time, it was added that the sovereign power of the Ukrainian people, which would be established after free elections on the basis of universal, equal, direct and proportional voting, in the absence of imperial structures, would be elected under the control of the United Nations.

At the Assembly it was stated that the situation in Ukraine and the USSR had reached such a critical point that there could be always an opportunity to start the formation of the USSD. Therefore, the OUN noted that the UDP should prepare for such moment. In this regard, at VIII Extraordinary Grand Assembly it was decided that “The organization must, as far as possible, oppose the colonial system of the USSR the legitimate Ukrainian state represented by the UDP to the colonial system of the USSR” (Vosmyi, 1991, p.244). It was also pointed out that such opposition should be emphasized in Ukraine and in the countries of free world in order to undermine the prestige and legality of the Ukrainian SSR and strengthen the national statehood. In Ukraine, this mission was to be carried out by such political entities as the Ukrainian Inter-Party Assembly (UIA), the Association “State Independence of Ukraine” (SSU), the Ukrainian Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), the Society of Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle of the 1940s and 1950s, youth nationalist societies, etc. It should be pointed out that the OUN’s units in Ukraine were not even mentioned, which testifies to the complete isolation of the Organization’s emigration leadership from the realities of socio-political life in the Homeland and its ignorance of the real situation in the Homeland and the minimal OUN influence in public and political environment.

At VIII Extraordinary Grand Assembly of the OUN it was also advised the UDP to expand its structure, in particular to form “an appropriate legislature to which people could belong (individuals and groups) that recognize the restored state by the Act of June 30, 1941 as the newest Ukrainian state, and with it the longevity of this statehood under the guise of the UDP” (Vosmyi, 1991, p.245). According to the OUN leadership, millions of Ukrainian citizens could be represented in such a legislative body, and it could, for example, be called “the Ukrainian State Council”. When expanding the work of the UDP, it seemed possible to create an independent control body, or even a court. In addition, the OUN leadership believed that with the restoration of the Ukrainian state, in different countries there would be a need for representations of its puppet and existing mostly on paper the UDP, as a basic foundations for the embassies of the future USSD, and during the transitional period of the creation of the state, they could be unofficial spokesmen for the UDP and all those Ukrainian forces that recognize the UDP and would fight for the restoration of the USSD. Taking into consideration the above mentioned, the question arises: was the OUN(r-b) leadership aware of the real state, influence and status of its pocket UDP? Obviously, was not, because, being aware of the realities, VIII NVZ could not state publicly and “gladly” that “the mandate of the UDP is renewed by mass recognition”, “by millions of the Ukrainian citizens who sign statements organized by the Ukrainian Inter-Party Assembly and other institutions”, etc. (Vosmyi, 1991, pp.245–246).

Anachronism and detachment from the realities of Ukraine at the beginning of the 1990s were the programme materials of the VIII Extraordinary Grand Assembly, which, oversaturated with pompous and revolutionary slogans in the style of the 1950s – the 1960s, repeated the generalizing theses and statements of IV Grand Assembly of the OUN of 1968 in the socio-economic sphere (Vosmyi, 1991, pp.166–168, 170). Moreover, even in the summer of 1991, the OUN leadership was unaware of the difference between emigration levels, attitudes and internal Ukrainian problems and worldview ideas, being under the illusion of its own dogma, that “the Ukrainian nation has a ruling force – the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists”, and “the authority of the OUN is enshrined in historical events” (Vosmyi, 1991, p.212). In the end, such an ideological and political stupor of the Organization was actually confirmed at the Conference of the Ukrainian Nationalists, which took place on March 28–29, 1992 in Kyiv Teachers’ House (over 600 participants), by R.Zvarych, a secretary of the OUN leader Yaroslava Stetsko, in his foreword entitled “For a New Life” to the publication of the Conference materials (Konferentsiia, 1992, p.4). “The OUN defined its programme of state-building long ago, which was worked out in detail at IV Grand Assembly in 1968 and supplemented and clarified at the next Great Assembly”, – he said (Konferentsiia, 1992, p.5).

In her report Ya.Stetsko “The Ukrainian Nationalism and its Role in Consolidating and Building the Ukrainian Independent Conciliar State” spoke about nationalism as a system of the future, without resorting to the interpretation of its updated principles and modernized worldviews, but instead quoted an excerpt on the socio-political plane in the vision of the OUN according to the resolutions of VI Grand Assembly in 1981, not a word about the recent models of the Ukrainian state and the principles of its socio-political system, approved by IV Grand Assembly of the OUN in 1968, which were not repealed by any decisions and resolutions of the latter (Konferentsiia, 1992, pp.19–22). The leader repeated unspecified theses about private ownership of land and means of production, and that the Ukrainian people should become masters of their land in the Ukrainian Independent Conciliar State. She also said that “it is from this angle that the programme of new state-building of Ukraine and the new world order is being developed”, again without explaining what was meant and what the essence was (Konferentsiia, 1992, p.23). As for the military and security aspects, it is worth noting the support of the OUN(r-b) for the nuclear disarmament of the Ukrainian army. “We stand for a nuclear-free Ukraine, but for the destruction of nuclear weapons on our territory, not its export to Russia, so that the growing forces of reaction will not blackmail us and the whole peace-loving world with it”, – Ya.Stetsko said in conclusion (Konferentsiia, 1992, pp.24–25).

The conference ended with the call to life of a new political force – the Congress of the Ukrainian Nationalists (KUN), which in the status of a union of de facto emigrant OUN(r-b) and a number of small Ukrainian nationalist organizations formed a legal political party structure at its Constituent Congress on October 18, 1992 in Kyiv headed by Ya.Stetsko and, thus, practically buried and sent to the pages of history the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists, which was founded back in 1940 by the Revolutionary Leadership of the OUN headed by S.Bandera.

The Conclusion. At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, it became clear that prolonged stays under the conditions of emigrant and diaspora political life during the period of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War caused not only natural demographic (membership) losses in the Organization, which is characteristic of almost all long-term emigrant political circles, but also stagnant phenomena in the ideological and political evolution of worldviews and the concept of the state system of the future of Ukraine in the governing bodies of the OUN(r-b) at the end of the twentieth century, and also led to its gradual organizational decline, which caused crisis in this political force and its unwillingness to interfere in the political and state-building processes in Ukraine powerfully and influentially after the acquisition of state independence.


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The article was received April 25, 2021.
Article recommended for publishing 23/02/2022.



Анотація. Метою дослідження є аналіз і висвітлення програмових та ідеологічних засад українського націоналізму Організацією Українських Націоналістів (революціонерів-бандерівців) у 1970–1980-х рр., її бачення суспільно-політичного і соціально-економічного ладу в майбутній Українській Державі.

Методологія дослідження ґрунтується на принципах науковості, історизму, критичного аналітизму, системності. Під час дослідницької роботи використовувалися як загальнонаукові (аналізу і синтезу, систематизації та узагальнення), так і спеціально-наукові методи: проблемно-тематичний, хронологічний, а також системно- структурний. Наукова новизна статті полягає у розкритті маловідомих сторінок історії Організації Українських Націоналістів (революціонерів-бандерівців) загалом й місця і ролі у її керівництві в 70–80-х рр. ХХ ст. Ярослава Стецька, Василя Олеськіва та Слави (Ярослави) Стецько. Безпосередньо йдеться про зміни й уточнення програмових та ідейно-політичних засад Організації в її концепції побудови Української Самостійної Соборної Держави, основ її соціально-економічного ладу тощо, проєкту відродження ролі у національно-визвольному русі Українського Державного Правління та наростання і загострення кризових явищ в ідейно- політичному житті ОУН, зумовлених відходом з життя старшого покоління, стагнацією політичної програми Організації, її відірваності в умовах діаспори від тодішньої дійсності в Україні тощо.

Висновки. Було встановлено, що тривале перебування в умовах емігрантсько-діаспорного політичного життя в умовах “залізної” завіси та Холодної війни зумовили застійні явища в ідеологічно-політичній еволюції світоглядних бачень та концепції державного устрою майбутньої України в керівних органах ОУН(р-б) наприкінці ХХ ст., а також призвело до її поступового організаційного занепаду, що спричинило кризові явища в цій політичній силі та її неготовності потужно й впливово влитися у політичні й державотворчі процеси в Україні зі здобуттям нею державної незалежності.

Ключові слова: ОУН, Стецько, національно-визвольна боротьба, Українське Державне Правління.

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