Nationalism and War: Western Ukraine, 1939-1956

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2016 (EN)
Nationalism and War: Western Ukraine, 1939-1956 (EN)

Kassaras, Thomas (EN)

School of Humanities, MA in Black Sea & Eastern Mediterranean Studies (EL)
Sfetas, Spyridon (EN)
Mylonas, Haris (EN)
Proedrou, Filippos (EN)

This thesis will examine the history of the geographic area comprising Western Ukraine (Galicia, Volhynia, Carpatho-Ukraine, and Northern Bukovina) through its political, military, and religious/cultural aspects, during a turbulent period characterized by violent political changes, war, and extreme ethnic/ideological animosity. Beginning with an overview concerning the origins of the Ukrainian nationalism, I will then focus on its primary exponents in the examined period: the OUN, the UPA and the Greek-Catholic Church that eventually became the "spiritual" pillar of the movement. I continue with the issue of collaborationism during the German occupation, including the participation of Ukrainians in the implementation of the Holocaust, in anti-partisan operations, and the culmination of their commitment with the formation of the 14.Waffen-Grenadier-Division SS 'Galizien'. Furthermore, I will examine the violent shift of regional control, leading to a titanic war of extermination: the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine (1939-1941), the Nazi invasion and occupation (1941-1944), Red Army's counteroffensive and the recapture of the region (1944), the final fate of Ukrainian collaborators following the retreating Germans (1944-1945), and the localized insurgency fought between the Ukrainian nationalists and the Soviet state (1944-1956). Finally, I close my thesis with a brief mention about the Ukrainian nationalist movement's legacy today, and its catalyst role in the unfolding Ukrainian crisis since November 2013. (EN)


Διεθνές Πανεπιστήμιο της Ελλάδος (EL)
International Hellenic University (EN)



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