Ukrainian People's Revolutionary Army - Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)

Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)

In December 1941 Bulba removed “The Polissian Sich” from his formation name (numbering by this time only 300 persons), calling his formation the “Ukrainian Insurgent Army”. In February 1942, he made an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate with the Germans for the renewal of his formation. The winter of 1941/42 was spent by Taras Bulba-Borovets at the General Government, while his formation was inactive. In March 1942, the Germans activated their program of the brutal exploitation of Ukraine. As a reaction to such measures, military units controlled by Borovets rapidly expanded with volunteers. These included Soviet POWs, local peasants, different type of nationalists from the OUN which had not adopted official line. At this time Borovets' force became an anti-German force. However, its activities were limited to actions that interfeed with the economical exploitation of selective regions by local German administrations. In general, its activities were limited to passive self defense of several rural areas and attacks on German food warehouses. On 19 August 1942 Bulba’s detachments at Shepetivka captured 4 railway coaches with military equipment. Throughout the summer and autumn Taras Bulba-Borovets tried to find a compromise with German administration and even Nazi security police and SIPO representatives met several time with Borovets' UPA to negotiate future cooperation. However, such meetings did not have any known results. During the autumn and winter of 1942 Borovets also conducted negotiations with Soviet partisans and reached tricky “non-aggression” agreement, which lasted until February 1943.

Borovets' UPA refused to conduct military operations against Poles.

By the end of February 1943, the Bandera wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists(OUN-B) decided to create its own military formation. While conducting negotiations with Borovets about cooperative actions (in fact demanding that Borovets' units be placed under direct OUN-B control) on March 20, 1943 OUN (Bandera wing) issued an order about own military formation creation “using Bulba’s military personnel”. Such “formation” often involved forcible acquiring of Bulba units. Due the fact that Bulbas UPA was well known and popular amongst the local population, the commander of the OUN-B military formation Dmytro Klyachkivsky issued an order renaming the OUN-B military detachments as UPA.

Thus, from May 1943 two antagonistic Ukrainian nationalistic forces shared a common name, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrayins’ka Povstans’ka Armiya," or "UPA"), without merging into one army.

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