I originally was thinking about writing on Xenophobia for this week’s blogpost, but upon seeing the topic of Ukraine after the war I knew this would be the topic I wrote on. I have always been very interested in the Ukrainian conflict that took place in the early to middle part of this current decade. On a larger scale the aspects of Ukrainian politics and culture have always been intriguing. In some ways because they share great similarities with their Russian neighbors, but still have many differences that have resulted in tension through the course of history.
On the note of nationalism, the Soviets and Ukrainians were as alike as were the differences, in the context of rallying citizens across all aspects of life for the war effort. Also, in the sense they felt they were fighting out of necessity to defend their homelands. But while the Soviet army pushed into Germany and foreign territory, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (UON) were fighting with guerrilla tactics and disrupting the Soviets primarily in western Ukraine.
The many posters showcased within the Seventeen Moments in History section for this topic help to visualize the strange and complex relationship between the UON and Nazi Germany. These posters are excellent pieces of propaganda in their ability to help sway Ukrainians against the Soviets. Some seem to be better crafted and believable than others. For example, one has an almost iconoclastic depiction of Hitler which I doubt would appeal to many Ukrainians, on the basis that a foreign leader in Germany would have little to no influence on Ukrainians thoughts on the war. A better image is the one with a Ukrainian and German solider, claiming “they are heading for peace together”. This particular poster represents the mentality of the alliance between these two groups, as literal of a representation of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” as it gets.
I found this topic to be so interesting because I actually had no idea this fighting / conflict even occurred. I had read about the Catholics being persecuted in Ukraine during the second world war, but nothing of this magnitude. The essay claimed at one point the UON had around 90,000 members.
In the spirit of the “Big Deal”, this fight against the closely cultural connected Ukrainians helped to propagate trust between the citizens of Russia and the leadership of the Soviet Union. For more information on this topic, “The Forgotten and Bloody History of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army” provides valuable insight into the topic.
“The Forgotten (and Bloody) History of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.” MilitaryHistoryNow.com, 18 Apr. 2015, militaryhistorynow.com/2014/03/03/stuck-in-the-middle-the-forgotten-and-bloody-history-of-the-ukrainian-insurgent-army/.
“Ukrainian Insurgent Army.” Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine , www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CU%5CK%5CUkrainianInsurgentArmy.htm.