[UPDATE: We have come across a pamphlet issued by the National Archives on 10 December 2010 to accompany the release of the cache of declassified CIA documents we present here. The pamphlet, entitled: Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence and the Cold War was written by Richard Breitman and Norman J.W. Goda; it is an indispensable explanatory guide to the documents you will read here. You will find the chapter on the CIA’s use of Ukrainian fascists in Chapter 5, page 81 – IWPCHI]
We are publishing the second in our series of complete sets of the OSS/CIA files on various WWII Ukrainian war criminals that the US Government conspired to help avoid capture and trial by the USSR for crimes against humanity. In this instance, we are publishing a complete collection of what the CIA has released on Yaroslav Stetsko, notorious Ukrainian fascist leader and comrade-in-arms of Stepan Bandera, a fellow fascist war criminal. Together, organizations under their combined leadership were responsible for the murders of thousands of Poles, Jews Communists and rival Ukrainian fascists. They were both allowed to escape war crimes trials through the kind offices of the US Government’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and later with the aid of OSS’s successor organization, the Central Intelligence Agency. Documents we have published in our Bandera release prove that elements of the OSS sought, successfully, to “tip off ” Bandera, the OSS having been made aware of his imminent capture by Nazi-hunters from the US military and the Soviet Union, who were in hot pursuit of this escaped war criminal.
Stetsko, the documents published below reveal, was made into an “operational contact” of the CIA no later than 1949 and may have been working with the British as early as 1946.
STETSKO_CIA_’OPERATIONAL CONTACT’ (see page 4 of document)These documents, retrieved from the CIA’s own online Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room at http://www.foia.cia.gov/search-results?search_api_views_fulltext=STETSKO&field_collection=1705143 reveal that the US Government’s collaboration with Ukrainian Nazis did not start this year when Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Party Senator Chris Murphy appeared onstage in Kiev with Oleg Tyahnybok of the fascist Svoboda Party – the fact is, the US Government started working with Ukrainian Nazis probably even before WWII ended, so as to use the Ukrainians as cat’s paws against the Soviet Union in the US’ holy war against communism. We can not pretend to be experts on the details of the Ukrainian fascist movement of the 1930s and 40s. Our readers will have to do a bit of research as we are doing now in order to piece this story together. These documents will aid in filling in the sketchy profiles of these notorious Ukrainian war criminals like Stepan Bandera and Yaroslav Stetsko.
Stetsko worked hand in glove with Bandera and Hitler’s Nazis against the USSR, founding a fascist “Ukrainian State” in 1941 in which, during its not-brief-enough life carried out massacres of Poles, Jews and Communists in the Ukraine in collaboration with Hitler’s SS. Tens of thousands of people were slaughtered during the existence of the first “Ukrainian State”, which today’s Ukrainian fascists like Tyahnybok dream of resurrecting from its’ well-deserved grave.
Stetsko and Bandera organized and led the fascist Bandera branch of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN/B) that has been charged with having committed numerous atrocities against Poles, Jews and Communists in the Ukraine; Stetsko led this organization – with plenty of US and UK Government assistance from WWII on – until his death in 1986.
Wikipedia’s article on Stetsko credits him with being the man who declared the inauguration of the “Ukrainian State” on 30 June 1941 and Stetsko became its first “premier”. Not having first obtained the blessings of Hitler for the declaration of an independent fascist Ukraine, Stetsko was arrested along with Bandera by the Nazis and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where they were imprisoned along with other high-profile POWs such as former prime minister of France Leon Blum. Conditions at the camp were significantly better than in most German concentration camps: the Red Cross actually visited the camp regularly and “prisoners were able to send and receive parcels from their relatives”.
In 1943, Stetsko organized the “Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations” (ABN) and appointed himself its leader.
The US Government never really had a problem with the rise of fascism; many US congressmen, senators and major capitalists like Henry Ford visited the land of Hitler in the ’30s and came back to the US with glowing reviews. As far as they were and are concerned, any regime that can completely smash the militant union leaders – who tend to be communists – is A-O.K. They think nothing of forming political and military alliances with even the most ruthless dictators so long as they are willing to crush the workers movement; the US has backed such regimes as the Saddam Hussein government, the Shah of Iran, the military dictatorship of the generals in Greece after WWII, the Nazis after WWII who the US helped escape to South America via the “Rat Lines”; the military dictators in El Salvador’s death squad governments; the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua; the Pinochet government in Chile; the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines; the Diem government in Vietnam and the military dictatorships in South Korea and elsewhere all offered the US capitalist class what they desire the most in a “third world” government: the complete suppression of the workers movement so that the US capitalists can make megaprofits off the brutal exploitation of the workers without interference from union leaders and working class political activists.
Here is the full copy of the CIA’s recently-released tranche of documents on WWII-era Ukrainian fascist war criminal Yaroslav Stetsko. We have just downloaded them ourselves, so we haven’t even had the time to look at them. As we do, we’ll post the most interesting docs we run across at the bottom of this page in separate .pdf files so you can save yourself the trouble of digging through the whole pile. If you find something awesome, let us know and we’ll publish it here. And feel free to copy and distribute these files to your heart’s content.