RETURN TO WESTERN UKRAINE FROM CAMPS AND SPECIAL SETTLEMENTS OF PARTICIPANTS OF THE UNDERGROUND INSURGENT MOVEMENT (1956–1957)
Keywords:camp, resettlement, anti-Soviet activity, collaborators of the gangs, nationalist underground, OUN, UPA
In article the return to the Western Ukraine in 1956–1957 of the repressed participants of the Ukrainian nationalist underground and insurgent movement from camps and special settlements is analyzed. It is shown that during the process of destalinization the Soviet government decided to release from exile a number of groups of the special settlers. They paved the way for the return to Western Ukraine of former OUN members and UPA fighters. By May 1, 1957, almost 66,000 people had arrived there and began to influence the socio-political situation in the region. The party leadership of the republic requested the CPSU Central Committee to ban the transfer of “former leaders and active members of the Ukrainian nationalist underground” to the region. Using archival materials, which have been introduced into science for the first time, the author found out that the newcomers found themselves in extremely difficult conditions. Their homes and property had been confiscated. Due to the purposeful policy of the Party and Soviet authorities and the efforts of local activists, they were surrounded by an atmosphere of harassment, hatred, hostility and rejection. There were also dramatic, contradictory, taunting pages of previous activities of some of them towards their fellow countrymen. This led many to move to eastern provinces on their own, with resettlement, organised recruitment or to return to the places of prior exile.