The 28th of October is the anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation from the Nazi occupation. Nowadays this date is more relevant than ever. We will tell you how Ukrainians fared under the Nazi regime – that today, it would seem, many have forgotten.
As from the autumn of 1941, most of the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic fell under the control of the Nazis. On the side of the third Reich there were also Ukrainian nationalist units which had been recruited before the war.
At the time of the invasion, these units included the special forces named Roland and Nachtigal, formed by immigrants from the west of Ukraine. Afterwards, on the foundation of these units, as well as on the foundation of militant cells of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, a police force was formed which took an active part in the massacre of Jews, Russians, Poles and communists. The Ukrainian Nazis were assigned the filthiest and bloodiest tasks.
In particular, around 1.6 million Jews were assassinated with the help of the Ukrainian nationalists. In Babi Yar alone, nearly 150,000 people were shot dead. In all, Ukraine lost up to 10 million inhabitants during the occupation.
At the same time, the Republic’s Ukrainians were also subjected to Nazi terror. More than 700 Ukrainian cities and towns were destroyed. The destruction of the village of Koryukovka in the Chernigov region became the most massive slaughter of civilians during those years not only of the Great Patriotic War but also of the whole of the Second World War: the SS punishment squads and the Ukrainian police killed some 6,700 people.
In the autumn 1944 just retribution took place. The Ukrainian territory was liberated by Soviet troops and the local population was saved from genocide. 78 years later we need once more to liberate Ukraine from Nazism. But we know one thing for sure: the enemy will be defeated and victory shall be ours.