The Ukrainian identity, complex as it is, was shaped by the many groups that inhabited the territories wedged between forces in Moscow and Warsaw. This rich culture that birthed literary geniuses like Taras Schevchenko, Ivan Kotliarevsky, and Nikolai Gogol, has become coopted by those who glorify a narrow, “Galician” view of what it is to be Ukrainian. Bandera and Shukhevych, and their clique of Lwow terrorists held little sway outside of their own domain in their time, but contemporary western backing has given them a historical reach far exceeding their grasp.
The west has internalized and regurgitated the fascist propaganda that the only representative of the Ukrainian people in 1941-1945 was the Nazi collaborationists in the OUN. The same OUN who beat Ukranian Jews to death with hammers in the streets of Lwow, burned Polish worshippers alive in Volhyna and assassinated refugees in the post war camps.
Ironically, it is only because of the Soviet Union that the Galicians are part of the modern Ukraine, Galicia had been Polish or Austrian for six hundred years prior to its annexation by the USSR.
The Galician terrorists, therefore, had no real connection to Ukraine or its people. They wanted a Galician Reich, not a Ukranian nation.
Sidor Kovpak, in his homeland of Ukraine
This deprives the actual Ukranian people of their true history, a history of heroic resistance against fascism.
Over 7 million Ukrainians fought in the Red Army, which represented nearly 25% of Ukraine’s pre-war population. Around a quarter million more fought on as partisans, refusing to surrender even in the face of monstrous brutality from the Nazis and their OUN allies. The Lwow bandits, on the other hand, could muster about 40,000 fighters at the height of their power.
Therefore, it is clear that most Ukrainians would have died rather than serve Hitler, and millions of them did just that. The names of these genuine Ukranian heroes and patriots are too numerous to list. Some have been totally erased, their entire existence blotted out by the Nazi regime leaving only holes in history. Others have been forgotten simply with the passage of time.
Some, however, distinguished themselves to such an extent that their flame can never be truly extinguished.
People like Lyudmila Pavlichenko from Bila Tserkva. She served as a sniper in the Red Army, holding the lines against the Nazis at Odessa and Sevastopol. She was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union for her many feats of valor during the defense of the cities and their people.
Pavlichenko, 09 fascists fell by her gun in over a year of nonstop combat. She was seriously wounded several times, once carrying the body of her husband and fellow sniper Leonid Kitsenko from the battlefield after a Nazi mortar killed him.
She survived the war and became active in the Communist Party, continuing to serve the Soviet people as a deputy in the Politburo until her untimely death in 1958. She never truly recovered from the wounds she suffered during the war, and it was this that led to her death.
Another would be Ivan Kozhedub, fighter ace and three-time Hero of the Soviet Union.
In his first air battle over the skies of Voronezh, he was nearly killed after being hit by a cannon burst from a Nazi Focke-Wolfe. While nursing his damaged aircraft back to base, he was mistakenly fired on by his own anti-air gunners, further damaging his aircraft. Somehow, he managed to land, and his first defeat would be his last. He did not lose another plane for the rest of the war.
Over the course of the war, Ivan shot down 64 Nazi aircraft, and he was the first to shoot down a Me-262 jet fighter. His Lavochkin chased the Nazis across the Dnieper all the way to Berlin, where Ivan cleared the skies of fascists for a final time.
After he helped liberate his homeland from the yoke of fascism, Ivan became an air marshal and Deputy of the Politburo. He died in 1991, shortly before the homeland he fought for was betrayed and dismembered against the will of its people.
Perhaps the most remarkable of all these heroes was Sidor Kovpak, a peasant and longtime Communist who became a venerated hero of the Red Partisans in Ukraine. His legendary detachment crushed both the Nazis and their OUN dogs while carrying out what was perhaps the most audacious commando raid in history.
And the regiments rode across the steppe with a loud glory and sang like nightingales. Our dear native countryside, accept a bow from the Red Horsemen!
-The Cossack’s Song
Sidor Artemevich Kovpak was born in 1887 in Kolteva, today a part of the Poltava oblast, which borders Kharkov to the west. He grew up poor, with 9 siblings in a family of peasant farmers. The Tsarist system was built to ensure he stayed that way, but Kovpak was never a man to submit to oppression.
Kovpak got his first taste of military life in the First World War. He was well suited for the job and rose quickly through the ranks. Sidor was a guardsman, entrusted with the most difficult and dangerous work, and he was awarded a half dozen medals for valor in his years of service.
During the colossal Brusilov offensive of 1916, Imperial Russia’s most glorious victory, Kovpak was an infantry commander and personally led troops on the front lines. Ironically, this offensive took place in Galicia, the same place where Kovpak would once again fight German invaders 20 years later.
In three months of fighting there were about 2 million total causalities, but the battle did very little to change the cardinal situation of the war. The collapse of Imperial Russia was imminent thanks in part to the causalities suffered during this flashy, but ultimately useless offensive.
Russian Cavalry charge during the Brusilov Offensive, 1916
All this Tsarist glory left Kovpak with a burning hatred for the system that wasted the lives of peasants like him to enrich a few inbred monarchs. In 1919, Kovpak joined the Bolsheviks, and fought against German occupiers of Ukraine for the second time as he helped repel the Central Powers from the new USSR.
Kovpak distinguished himself as a partisan just as he had a guardsman. He led a partisan detachment alongside legendary commander Alexander Yakovlevich Parkhomenko, and Kovpak very quickly proved a legend in his own right.
As true sons of Ukraine Parkhomenko and Kovpak fought as Cossacks, the same way their ancestors had for thousands of years. Their forces were a mix of light infantry and cavalry, with as much of the latter as they could support. Their lightning-fast cavalry raids sowed devastation in the enemy rear, then vanished as quickly as they came.
The Red Cossacks moved constantly, wearing the enemy down and making them almost impossible to catch. If an enemy could pin them down, the infantry would be waiting in ambush armed with horse drawn machine guns and artillery, giving them firepower far greater than other forces of their size.
The forces of the Tsar, the anarchist bandits of Makhno, the Kaiser’s soldiers and the Ukranian nationalists were all driven out or killed by the Red Cossacks, falling before their guns and blades like strands of Ukranian wheat to the sickle.
Although the Bolsheviks were victorious, Parkhomenko did not survive the war as he was killed in an ambush by Makhno’s anarchists in 1921.
Kovpak continued on as a soldier, becoming head of a military district by 1926. By 1937 he retired from the Red Army, serving as head of Putivl city council in the Sumy region of Ukraine, a city which is today contested by Russia and the Maidan regime.
Kovpak may have settled down to a peaceful life were it not for the events of 1941, when yet another army of Germans threatened to destroy his beloved Ukraine.
In the East, I intend to loot and pillage effectively. All that may be suitable for the Germans in the East, should be extracted and brought to Germany immediately. – Hermann Goering
Wehrmacht soldiers with a banner which says “A Russian must die for us to live”
If we are to tell the story of Sidor Kovpak, we must also mention why he came out of retirement to defend Ukraine once more.
As time moves ever onwards, history has a tendency to dissolve into myth. The broad strokes of the fascist reign of terror are well known, but as the details fade, the danger of losing clarity grows ever larger.
It is important when telling these stories to confront the realities of fascism, to examine in detail how this system works, and what it looks like in practice. It is only through this understanding of the enemy that we can truly defeat it, once and for all.
Over the duration of the war, at least 26 million Soviets were murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. 8 million were soldiers, the remainder and the vast majority were civilians. Of the dead 6 million have never been identified. Despite these staggering numbers inflicted by Operation Barbarossa, the invasion and subjugation of the USSR was only the first step in the Nazi plan.
This was no aberration. Hitler and the Nazis came about explicitly as a reaction to the rising tide of Communism in Germany, drawing their early support from the first generation of post-war fascist militias who had crushed the Communists in the 1920s. Judaism and Communism were always linked in Nazi ideology, and the extermination of both was the top priority of the regime. Jews were a primary target of the Nazis, but they were never the ONLY target. Post-war historiography, often written by the perpetrators of the Holocaust themselves, went to great lengths to obfuscate that fact.
The bedrock of Nazi ideology was the idea that Germany would forever be unable to compete with the colonial empires of Britian and France, and therefore needed to have an empire of it’s own to take it’s rightful place as ruler of the world. With all the best victims overseas already taken, the Germans looked east to the vast and fertile lands of Eastern Europe.
This was the ideological foundation from which the Nazis created Generalplan Ost. The plan was to exterminate the entirety of the Slavic people, every man, woman and child, gradually replacing them with German settlers. This was carried out in a number of ways.
Red Army POWs at Buchenwald
The infamous concentration and extermination camps, places like Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Treblinka that peppered Nazi occupied Europe are well known. Millions met their ends in the camps, either worked to death for the benefit of German corporations such as Krupp and IG Farben, all of whom profited enormously from the Nazi regime, or simply exterminated in the gas chambers.
Outside of the camps, life was not much better. An entire continent of slaves toiled endlessly to feed the Nazi war machine. The Nazi plan was a capitalist plan. Every last scrap of wealth was to be extracted from the Soviet Union, be it food, resources, goods or even the gold teeth from the regime’s victims.
The value of human beings and their labor was calculated down to the penny, and when they could no longer provide value to the German elite, they were exterminated. Even this was carefully planned to maximize efficiency, with the Nazis constantly experimenting to find better methods. The accountants in Berlin pushed to ruthlessly reduce the cost of this exploitation, always at the expense of human life.
Ukraine suffered tremendously from this. The breadbasket of the USSR became the breadbasket of the Third Reich, it’s grain ruthlessly requisitioned to feed the very Nazis who murdered its people. Millions died of starvation as their rations were reduced to 420 calories a day. It is worth pointing out that Galicia, home of the collaborators in the OUN, was immune from grain requisition, as Nazi racial doctrine saw Galicians as sufficiently “Aryan” to be allowed to live.
This year, between 20 and 30 million people will starve to death in Russia. And maybe that’s a good thing, because certain peoples need to be decimated. -Hermann Goering
A young woman suffering from starvation due to the Nazi siege of Leningrad
The vast majority of those murdered, however, were simply shot. Often known as the “Holocaust of bullets”, it is unknown exactly how many met their end this way.
Entire units of SS were created, the infamous Einsatzgruppen, who could “cleanse” villages in a matter of hours. People would be marched to pre-dug pits, forced to their knees and executed at close range via gunshot. They were assisted, at every step, by local collaborators. In Ukraine, this meant OUN, UPA and various other Bandera affiliated fascists.
Despite their post war efforts to portray themselves as liberators, a simple, indisputable fact remains. The OUN, the so called Galicians who despised the “Asiatics” that made up most of Ukraine, were active participants in the genocide of Ukrainians.
The Jews that the OUN massacred with hammers and axes were UKRANIANS first and foremost. Most of them had far more connection to the country and it’s people than the so called Galicians ever did. It is only by stripping them of their Ukranian identity and heritage, as the fascists did with their ideology, that one can justify calling themselves a Ukranian nationalist on one hand while committing genocide on Ukrainians with the other.
A Ukranian woman and child executed by so called Ukranian “nationalists” near Miropol, Ukraine
Sadly, this fascist framework has been accepted almost without question in the west, and in so doing have we robbed the Ukranian people of their very identity for the benefit of Nazi terrorists.
Fortunately for all humanity the people of Ukraine would not be cowed by fascist terror. They rose and fought against this darkness, at great cost and without any thought of surrender. The Nazis and their Banderite allies, accustomed to butchering unarmed civilians, thought they would have an easy victory.
They were mistaken.
The monsters who hacked people to pieces with axes and threw bodies into ovens like cordwood did not realize that they stoked the very fires that would eventually consume them.
The Flame of Liberation
We shall drive a bullet into the forehead of the rotten fascist filth, for the scum of humanity we shall build a solid coffin!
As the Nazis pillaged and burned their way through Ukraine, the old Cossack Sidor Kovpak was waiting for them. While many Soviet administrators failed to prepare for the invasion, Kovpak was far too seasoned to make that mistake. He was able to muster a detachment of 42 partisans who were sent into the Spadschansky Forest near Poltava. Kovpak stayed behind until he could personally confirm the capture of the city on September 8th, 1941.
Thanks to Kovpak’s preparations, the newly formed partisan detachment was well armed with 36 rifles, 5 submachine guns, 8 grenades, 1 pistol and approximately 1 ton of explosives. Food and supplies had been pre-placed, and the partisans were equipped with horses and wagons. On September 29th, 1941, Sidor Kovpak’s second partisan war began in earnest with the partisans attacking and destroying a Nazi food requisition unit who had come to starve Ukraine to death.
On October 9th, Kovpak joined up with the man who would become his second in command, closest friend, and staunchest ally; Commissar and Hero of the Soviet Union Semyon Rudnev. Rudnev was leading his own partisan detachment, roughly the same size as Kovpak’s, in the forest at the time.
Rudnev, like Kovpak, was a long time Communist of peasant stock. He stormed the Winter Palace in 1918 and had a distinguished career as a soldier in the Red Army. It had nearly ended when he was caught up in the NKVD’s purges of 1938, but Rudnev cleared his name and was released into what should have been his retirement as a party official in Poltava. Hitler did not allow that to happen.
The two merged their forces together, forming the now legendary Putvil Partisan detachment. Together, the Ukranian Cossack and the Russian Commissar fought to liberate Ukraine from the menace of fascism, both German and Galician. Their forces were still small but grew rapidly as they wrought vengeance on the fascist monsters.
They roamed the region on foot and horseback, and wherever the Ukranian people’s avengers went, liberation followed.
The Partisans maintained good relations with the local villagers and defended them from repeated attacks by Nazi reprisal units, even taking on SS tanks and coming out victorious. All the while, the Partisans blew bridges, ambushed soldiers and raided arms depots to such an extent that Kovpak bragged of Hitler being his arms supplier.
Kovpak, the soldier who had covered himself in glory over twenty years of defending Ukraine from German invaders, was a preternaturally talented partisan commander.
The Red Hetman, Sidor Kovpak
He knew every inch of his native terrain and how to best fight in it. As is befitting a Cossack, horses were the at the heart of Kovpak’s operation. The partisans would be mounted whenever possible and used wagons as a method of fast transport for heavy weapons, including artillery, along with infantry and supplies.
This allowed Kovpak to hit where he pleased, when he pleased and far harder than imagined at a speed the fascists could not hope to match. The horses were often limbered and unlimbered quickly as the situation required. Pack animals used to transport artillery and heavy weapons into ambush positions could then be mounted and used to facilitate rapid attack in any direction. The wagons even allowed the partisans to set up and relocate headquarters very quickly, avoiding constant attempts at encirclement by the Nazis.
At the sharp end of it all was the cavalry patrol. The backbone of partisan forces were small groups of scouts, infiltrators and outriders who could be everywhere and nowhere at the same time, darting through plains and forests like the heroes of so many Ukranian songs. Kovpak’s scouts were outstanding riders, used to handling fast horses over long distances and with few roads. Horses were rarely used in the attack, rather as dragoons, with partisans dismounting to fight, scout or hide, using the horses to get in and out quickly. The cavalry patrols gave Kovpak eyes behind every blade of grass, and a rifle to go along with it.
The Nazis were harassed constantly, through sabotage, ambush, infiltration and assassination. Kovpak’s scouts were often used to draw Nazis into ambushes and traps, where entire units could be destroyed by pre-placed guns which could vanish into the forest as soon as they were done. Cavalry roamed from Kiev to Kursk, attacking Nazis wherever they went. When they found a good target, the wagons with the rest of the partisans were not far behind.
A force of Red Partisans with the famous Tachanka wagons
In other words, Kovpak’s partisans fought like Ukrainians, and that is why they won.
The Nazis failed utterly at the task of containing the Putvil partisans. By December of 1941 they had a strength of 500 fighters and were liberating entire regions from Nazi occupation. Kovpak and Rudenko established a more permanent headquarters around that time, complete with a recently acquired radio capable of reaching Moscow.
When the NKVD regained contact with Kovpak, they were thrilled with his progress and opened the taps to give him everything they could. Now, with access to more manpower and resources, Kovpak greatly expanded his operation. By the summer, Kovpak had liberated half of Sumy Oblast, along with territory in neighboring Belarus, and now commanded 18,000 Red Partisans. Sumy would remain a Partisan stronghold and was not recaptured by the fascists until 2014.
Kovpak also built up a very effective intelligence apparatus under his chief officer, Pytor Vershigora. Vershigora was a musician and film director before the war, and upon joining the Red Army, distinguished himself as an intelligence officer. Ironically, while defending the hill on which lies the grave of Taras Shevchenko in in Kiev, Pytor escaped encirclement and certain death by swimming across the Dnepr after being wounded by a landmine.
Once healed, he was sent to join Kovpak’s new Sumy Partisan Division, and soon the charismatic partisan had informants in every village, even infiltrating Nazi command structures through the enslaved secretaries and domestic laborers of Nazi officers. Kovpak, Rudnev and Vershigora were not just comrades, but close friends. It is because of Vershigora’s writing that we know most of what we do about Kovpak.
By August 1942, Soviet command was so impressed with Kovpak’s organization that he was summoned back to Moscow, where he was personally received by Joseph Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov and awarded Hero of the Soviet Union for the first time.
The award came with a new responsibility, however, as Stalin and Voroshilov brought Kovpak to Moscow to discuss his next assignment above anything else. It was a plan so audacious that only Sidor Kovpak had any chance of carrying it out.
Oh, you worried about nothing, about your destiny you thought in vain.
Black ravens are circling and crowing over someone else’s head, not yours.
–Song of Cavalry Patrol</blockquote
As light returned to Ukraine little by little, one region was still shrouded in darkness.
To the west, Galicia bled under the brutal rule of the genocidal bandits in the OUN. The majority Polish region was brutally cleansed by the terrorists with axes, hammers and garottes, all under the watchful eye of their Nazi masters.
Sidor Kovpak’s new mission was to light a torch in that darkness, inspiring the people to rise up by showing them that liberation was near. To do this, he selected 1500 Partisan fighters, and set off on a commando raid that has few, if any, equals in the annals of history.
Kovpak’s commando unit was tasked with penetrating over 1000 miles behind enemy lines to set up a base in the Carpathian Mountains of Southwest Ukraine. Along the way, they would have to move constantly, with no hope of reinforcement or resupply. Standing against them was not only the Nazi collaborationist OUN, but also 60,000 elite Nazi soldiers including the SS Galicia Division which comprised entirely of the OUN’s best killers.
Ukranian “nationalists” marching in honor of the SS Galicia Division, 2018
On the face of it, this appeared to be a suicide mission. No one could hope to hold off 60,000 hardened executioners with a force of only 1500 isolated commandos.
No one, that is, except Sidor Kovpak.
We can trace the beginning of the Carpathian Raid down to the hour. On June 12th, 1943 at 6PM, 1517 partisans under the command of Kovpak and Rudnev crossed from Belarus into Ukraine. The wagon train stretched over 5 miles, full of supplies for the extended mission, heavy weapons and ammunition. The partisans were given several horse drawn 76mm field guns, which they would use to great effect during the raid.
In order to conceal the movements of the wagon train, the partisans utilized their knowledge of the terrain to move at night and along secondary roads. Despite this, they moved quickly, sometimes covering over 40 miles in a night. Cavalry patrols rode far ahead, often in entirely different directions from the main force, carrying out constant sabotage and harassment to distract enemy forces.
First contact between the OUN and Kovpak happened not long after the crossing. Small OUN garrisons were convinced to surrender by Rudnev, no doubt helped along by his artillery guns. By the time the OUN command got word, Kovpak was already deep into Galicia.
Roman Shukhevych, the commander of the OUN’s military wing and perpetrator of multiple genocides in Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, scrambled to raise a force to respond to Kovpak’s raid.
Roman was familiar with Kovpak, as Kovpak had already beaten his reprisal battalion in Belarus, saving thousands from being burned alive, hacked to pieces with axes and impaled by the fascist killers. Roman knew the threat that the people’s avengers posed to his terrorist fiefdom, and so stopping Kovpak was seen as a top priority.
Roman (bottom row, second from left) with Nazi Reprisal Battalion 201 in Belarus
A rabble of 6000 bandits was mustered, and despite outnumbering Kovpak more than 3 to 1, the fascists were utterly crushed by the partisans. The would-be Vikings were no match for the Cossacks, who used cavalry to lure them into traps before hidden guns cut the fascists to shreds and vanished into the night.
After two skirmishes caused such serious causalities that the terrorists ran out of guns, the OUN turned tail and ran. No further offensive action was attempted against Kovpak, with captured nationalist commanders saying they feared mass defection of their men to Kovpak’s wildly superior force. Some of them had already done that, often those forcibly mobilized by the bandits under threat of brutal murder.
The fascist militia, laughably called a self-defense force, spent the rest of the war massacring Polish civilians, against whom their courage did not fail. After the bandits were dealt with, Kovpak could turn his full attention to their masters.
In Galicia, the primary lever of oppression was Nazi run dairies. Thousands of Polish and Ukranian slaves were forced to raise and milk cattle the Germans stole from them and their neighbors then send the milk, butter and cheese back to Germany as the slaves were intentionally starved. Kovpak repeatedly struck at these dairies, liberating slaves and distributing the food to the communities.
Anything that could not be taken was burned to deny it to the fascists. Army supply was hit in the same way, and the Partisans record giving away thousands of pairs of boots, clothes, livestock and more. They recount with particular joy the capture of a Nazi cigarette warehouse containing over 600,000 cigarettes, of which the partisans took as many as they could carry and gave the rest away. Railroads were another target, both for raiding and demolition.
Train derailed by Kovpak’s partisans during the raid
The partisans had to move quickly to avoid destruction, so in many cases they were not able to interact with the population. In areas where they could, their ranks were filled with locals after they saw through the lies of Bandera and Hitler. Kovpak employed many local intelligence agents and found particular support among Polish communities and the few remaining Jews not yet murdered by Bandera.
The Poles faced a nightmarish situation. They represented a majority of Galicia’s population, and many of them had been in the region for hundreds of years at the time. Galicia was ruled by Poland for hundreds of years prior to it’s conquest by Austria-Hungary in the late 1600s.
To the OUN, though, only a Galician could be a Ukranian, and a Pole could only be dead. Polish settlements, therefore, were ruthlessly raided and burned by the Banderites. Much of the work was done themselves, such as when Shukhevych’s axe wielding maniacs crossed into Poland itself where they brutalized tens of thousands.
Polish children murdered by Shukhevych’s forces
We had a heavy machine gun (Russian) and two small calibre mortars. At nigh we prepared ourselves and on the next day the whole gang, including me, attacked a Polish church, in which a mass was under way; some 200 hundred people were there, [including] elders and small children. The church was surrounded and the killing started, we fired from the machine gun through the main entrance and windows, as a result killing many people and children; those who were trying to escape were chased and killed. Then, a pogrom of individual families started, in which I also participated”. – Iwan Hryń, UPA fighter, describing one of Shukhevych’s massacres
However, the Banderites did not hesitate to call in the Nazis to do their dirty work when the Poles were able to resist. Nazis often led the larger raids, and nationalist forces served constantly on both ad hoc and official basis as guides and interpreters for Nazi forces, along with auxiliary police units. These units were instrumental in the arrest and deportation to the death camps of hundreds of thousands of people.
Polish settlements, therefore, greeted Kovpak as the liberator he was. Partisans often found shelter in the homes of Poles, recovering from wounds or simply hiding from Nazis. Kovpak also worked closely with the Polish resistance. The two groups shared information and often rescued the other’s fighters when lost or captured. This support was instrumental for Kovpak’s partisans to escape the constant pursuit from Nazi forces.
On the 5th of July, 1943, the Battle of Kursk officially began as the Nazis launched Operation Citadel against a heavily entrenched Soviet salient a few hundred miles west of Ukraine. Thousands of tanks and millions of troops clashed in the largest tank battle in history.
After a week, the Nazi offensive was stopped and the Red Army counter-attacked the badly mauled fascists, who were eventually driven all the way to the Ukranian border. The Red Army reclaimed the initiative in the war, and they never again lost it. This victory set permanently destroyed an entire army group and laid the groundwork for later offensives which would liberate Ukraine and destroy the Nazis.
The Red Army liberating Oryol, August 1943
In light of this, the 60,000 Nazis Kovpak’s raid occupied as it crossed Galicia was a major victory. Only 1500 men prevented several divisions from being put to better use in the decisive battle to the east. On top of that, they caused major damage to Nazi transportation and supply infrastructure, destroying dozens of bridges and trains, along with thousands of tons of oil and fuel the Nazis desperately needed.
Kovpak was able to do all this while constantly staying one step ahead of the Nazis, who encircled him 20 times during the 100 day raid. The partisans lost their wagons in one of the first encirclements, so Kovpak was forced to switch from speed to stealth.
The switch in tactics suited the partisans well. The partisans escaped encirclement every time, mostly through daring breakthrough attacks on Nazi lines. Kovpak’s partisans were seasoned infiltrators, with years of experience in finding even the tiniest gap in enemy defenses before they ripped it open and passed through. SS reprisal units such as Galicia were often targeted, as their soldiers were used to butchery of civilians, not real combat. They folded easily under the blows of Kovpak’s red commandos.
Even while encircled, Kovpak still found ways to maximize the damage he did to the Nazi machine. In August, the partisans escaped yet another encirclement by attacking a headquarters garrison head on, causing hundreds of causalities and destroying 6 bridges in the attack.
On the night of August 4, it was decided to break through the blockade ring and reach the right bank of the Prut River. This decision was facilitated by the fact that with the presence of a large garrison in Nadvirna, Pasechna, Zelena, we had data, and there was no data on the arrival on the right bank of the Prut River from the Kolomyia side of the 374th Mountain Rifle Regiment.
With a swift blow, the whole part fell from the mountains into the valley of the Prut River on the city of Delyatin.
Delyatin is a junction of highways and railways entering the valley of the Prut River. It can be fully called the key to the upper reaches of the Prut River. It has 6 large bridges. At the time of our attack, the German command managed to announce with air leaflets about the complete defeat of our unit, hoping, obviously, that by using chemistry, they would certainly, if not destroy the entire unit, then, in any case, finally break the will to resist. The strike on Delyatin achieved both a political and a strategic goal.
In the entire Stanislav region, the lies of the German command were exposed and a blow was struck at an important strategic point. All 6 bridges in Delyatin were blown up, including the highway bridge over the Prut River.
In the battle, more than 500 enemy soldiers and officers, 1 tank, 1 armored vehicle, 85 vehicles, 3 motorcycles, 3 railway bridges with a length of 410 m, 4 highway bridges with a length of 250 m, a railway train, 1 steam locomotive and 45 cars were destroyed, the railway station was destroyed, where all the track facilities, food warehouse, bakery, etc. Trophies were taken: 15 machine guns, rifles, pistols, etc.
–Report on the combat activities of the unit of partisan detachments of Sumy region, Maj. Gen. Sidor A. Kovpak, twice Hero of the Soviet Union
The Partisans survived but suffered heavy losses. Among them was Kovpak’s friend and commissar Semyon Rudnev. Rudnev died a hero, holding off dozens of Nazi infantry by himself so his soldiers could safely withdraw. After his platoon escaped, Rudnev fought on until his rifle ran out of ammo, then committed suicide by pistol rather than face the monstrous torture he would suffer in Nazi captivity. Kovpak lobbied successfully to have Rudnev posthumously awarded Hero of the Soviet Union for this last stand.
Rudnev and Kovpak in happier times
Now with losses mounting and ammo dwindling, Kovpak made the decision to dissolve the detachment and return to friendly territory. The unit was split into 7 groups and under the command of the most experienced leaders, each of them set off in a different direction, with a pre-set rendezvous in October.
The weaker groups used stealth to pass through the German lines, while the stronger units attacked to distract the Nazis. Radio communication was banned to prevent enemy interception, but this meant that the partisan groups had to make their way to the front lines on their own.
The groups crossed hundreds of miles to the safety of Soviet positions while being pursued by the entire 8th SS Cavalry Division, the Nazi monsters who would later liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto and ambushed by nationalist bandits at every opportunity. The partisans employed stealth and disguise at times, and at others would move among the Polish resistance to to stay alive.
Many of them did not survive this ordeal. Of the 1500 commandos who departed from Belarus on this raid, around 900 made it out alive. Most of them died in combat with the Nazis, but an unlucky few were captured, sent to unspeakable horrors in the dungeons of the SS and Gestapo, or at the axes and chopping blocks of the Banderites.
Against this, however, were the following enemy losses:
- Killed soldiers and officers – 3360
- Captured — 96
- Derailed railway trains — 19
- 14 bridges were blown up, with a total length of 1166 m
- 33 bridges on highways and dirt roads were blown up, with a total length of 2369 m
- Oil towers blown up — 10
- Destroyed oil storage tanks – 13 from 2290 tons of oil
- Refineries destroyed — 3
- Ozokerite1 processing plants destroyed — 1
- Sawmills — 2
- Power plants — 3
- Communication nodes — 20
- Telephone sets — 179
- Communications destroyed at 245 km — 108 km
- Garages — 7
- Bakery — 1
- Distilleries — 2
- Quarry — 1
- Threshers — 10
- Tractors — 32
- Warehouses of raw materials, food and uniforms — 51
- Creameries — 15
- Folvarkov and Liegenschafts2 — 95
- Forestry — 25
- Broken milk machines and separators — 359
- Oil pipelines were blown up and oil was released in the village of Bystritsa – 50 thousand tons
- 36 police stations were destroyed, 6 of them of district significance
- Railway station Delyatin
- Cars — 333
- Autodresin3 — 2
- Motorcycles — 28
- Bicycles — 321
- 76 and 75 mm guns – 4
- 45 mm guns – 1
- Shells — 1500
- Aircraft — 2
- Tanks — 4
- Armoured vehicles — 1
- Machine guns and light machine guns — 16
- Automatons — 10
- Rifles — 51
- Ammunition more than 10 vehicles
- Rifle cartridges – 263 thousand.
Kovpak’s group survived, and he returned to the NKVD headquarters on October 21st to write his final report. A serious foot injury put Kovpak into a permanent retirement, but his partisan division was reformed and sent to Poland, where they would liberate the Bug River region under the command of Pytor Vershigora.
Kovpak was awarded a second Hero of the Soviet Union for the raid, and he continued to serve the Ukranian people as a representative in the Politburo until his death in 1967 at the age of 81. He advocated for the interests of partisan veterans until the very end.
History isn’t what happened, but the stories of what happened and the lessons these stories include. The very selection of which histories to teach in a society shapes our view of how what is came to be and, in turn, what we understand as possible. This choice of which history to teach can never be “neutral” or “objective.” Those who choose, either following a set agenda or guided by hidden prejudices, serve their interests. Their interests could be to continue this world as it now stands or to make a new world.
Now we are left with one question.
How is it that the Galician terrorist Stepan Bandera, along with his associates Yaroslav Stetsko, Mykola Lebed, Roman Shukhevych, and the rest of the OUN who despised Ukrainians and were all guilty of genocide against them are worshipped as heroes in Ukraine today?
Meanwhile Sidor Kovpak, the Cossack hero who defended his homeland against foreign invaders for over 30 years, liberating thousands of Ukrainians from slavery and saving countless Ukranian lives from extermination at the hands of both Hitler and Bandera is virtually unknown even in his beloved home.
Ukranian heroes Pavlichenko and Kovpak
The answer is that the fascist bandits carried out one final genocide. Rather than looting and burning Polish towns as they had done before, the gang of thieves stole Ukranian history from under the noses of it’s people.
After the war, the terrorists were spirited away by British and American intelligence and taken to West Germany. Under the watchful eye of Hitler’s hand-picked spymaster and Bandera’s close friend, Reinhard Gehlen (who had also been rescued by the Americans) the OUN had a new mission: to serve as the vanguard of the CIA’s operations against the USSR.
This war was both physical and ideological. After the last stragglers of the bandit gangs in western Ukraine were killed or captured in the 50s, the CIA readied another offensive, this time to remake history in it’s own image as a way to undermine Marxism. Legions of nationalist “historians”, given endless funding and prestige by western intelligence, were allowed to write and publish fantastical tales of how it was they alone who fought to liberate Ukraine.
Once the USSR fell in 1991, it was necessary to install a new ideology to replace the old. Into the void stepped the Banderites, their ideology fully formed and nurtured from decades of CIA stewardship.
The nationalist “historians” returned home, and from there set to work systematically denying the genocide of Ukrainians by the OUN, while portraying them not only as heroes, but as the ONLY true Ukrainians. The despised masses of Ukraine were inferior “asiatics”, unworthy of being a part of Ukraine or it’s history.
Of course, the thousands of Ukrainians the OUN hacked to pieces were given no say in the matter.
The nationalists built this new Ukraine brick by brick, at first in the universities4, then in the Rada, then, finally, in the streets of Ukraine where they took up arms and began again the butchery of Ukrainians in 2014.
We must fight back against the second genocide of the Ukranian people being carried out by Bandera. This time, the entire identity of a nation is being erased, replaced with the addled fantasy of a bandit warlord. We must resist this effort!
Now, when we hear the old fascist canard Glory to the Heroes, we shall respond.
Glory to the Heroes!
Glory to Sidor Kovpak, the Cossack liberator who for decades outran, outfought and outsmarted enemies both German and Galician across the plains of his beloved homeland!
Glory to Lyudmilla Pavlichenko, “Lady Death” who avenged her family and friends on 300 Nazi invaders!
Glory to Ivan Kozhedub, the iron-willed fighter ace who broke the back of the once mighty Luftwaffe that bombed his home to rubble!
Glory to the Partisans all throughout Ukraine who stood and fought against the darkness enveloping their land, never allowing the light to go out until their final victory!
Glory to the seven million Ukrainians who marched from Moscow to Berlin to slay the fascist monster that enslaved their families, stole their land and starved their people to death!
Glory to the millions of Ukrainians who drowned the colossus in their own blood, sacrificing everything to ensure that their children would never again suffer this nightmare!
Glory to Givi, the militias and the people of Donbas who fight today against the dread spawn of Bandera, once again plaguing their homeland! The day of their victory cannot come too soon!
Glory to the TRUE heroes of Ukraine! We can never forget them, and the horrors they faced at the hands of the fascist killers and torturers!
AND DEATH TO THEIR ENEMIES!
A natural wax used to insulate electrical conductors and for candle making. It was mined on a large scale in Galicia.
These are archaic terms, actually predating Nazi Germany, but refer to land held by the German army. In plain terms, these are the farms and ranches operated by the Wehrmacht as part of it’s plan to starve Ukraine.
Another archaic term referring to an armored car
Soviet era professors were purged after the fall of the Union and were replaced with nationalists. Many schools were also founded in 1991 with financial support from USAID (funded entirely by the US government) and a cornucopia of intelligence linked NGOs to teach nationalist propaganda in lieu of history.