This piece is from a week ago, January 24, but it somehow slipped past me. But that matters little – the theme is timeless. Well, actually there is a timeline. On January 18 the CIA published online nearly 12 million pages of previously declassified documents which concern the activities of the CIA since the time of its creation in 1947 and up through the 1990’s. The documents cover the period of the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and lots more. Previously, these archives were only available, as CNN notes, from four computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Visitors had to use the CIA’s standalone search tool called CIA Records Search Tool (CREST). Now the documents are online and anybody can read them. This is a good thing, it allows historians to really sink their teeth into primary documents. “None of this is cherry-picked,” stated CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak. “It’s the full history. It’s good and bads.”
Making the documents available on the internet entailed a huge, labor-intensive project of manually scanning, redacting, and publishing the archives into a format (such as PDF) where more standardized search engines can be used. This project was supposed to be completed no earlier than the end of 2017; however, advances in library science and computer technology allowed the project to be completed well ahead of schedule. Here is the CIA website which explains all of this. Instead of the 4 terminals, users can now read the documents from anywhere in the world on the CIA’s Electronic Reading Room. I tried it myself, punching in a couple of search terms and accessing some very interesting PDF documents. Couldn’t quite get the hang of it, but it’s there for people with better research skills than I possess.
Anyhow, now that we have authenticated the source of information, we can proceed to the topic of this post, namely, the relationship between the CIA and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), led by Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan (who in the CIA archives, is typically spelled as “Stefan”) Bandera.
Readers will be surprised and shocked to learn that the American CIA fostered and assisted the OUN even though the former regarded the latter as a purely terrorist organization. But then, the CIA has never been particularly squeamish about working with terrorists.
Among the documents is one from 4 February 1948, in which Bandera is dubbed a terrorist, tied to the assassination of Polish Minister of Internal Affairs Bronisław Pieracki in 1934. Disclaimer: I didn’t read this document with my own eyeballs, it’s in there somewhere, but I can’t quite figure out how to get to it. I’m used to easy search engines like Google and Wikipedia, so even this online CREST seems quite cumbersome, at least to me. Hence, I am just relying on the accuracy of the Russian reporter who wrote the piece, which I linked above, for Ria Novosti. I am assuming that the Russian government and press are all over these CIA archives, like metallic bears attracted to a giant magnetic honeycomb. As well they should be, since so many of the nefarious deeds recounted, were directed precisely against their country, i.e., the Soviet Union, and then Russia.
For example, the archives detail how, after the end of World War II, the CIA directly financed the activities of the Banderite marauders. The exact dollar sums and names of the banks involved in this financing were, however, redacted out of the documents and unavailable to curious eyes. God forbid some ordinary American citizen would go to cash their paycheck at the local bank branch, knowing that this same bank financed terror squads who literally burned people alive in the marshes of Western Ukraine.
A series of documents concern the CIA’s “Operation Aerodynamic”. Somebody over at Global Research did their homework on this, which means I don’t have to. “Aerodynamic” started in 1953 and involved covert support of Nazi “entities”. Well, Global calls them “Neo-Nazis”, but there was actually nothing “Neo” about these folks. They were the real Adolph McCoy. According to the document:
«The purpose of Project AERODYNAMIC is to provide for the exploitation and expansion of the anti-Soviet Ukrainian resistance for cold war and hot war purposes. Such groups as the Ukrainian Supreme Council of Liberation (UHVR) and its Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN), the Foreign Representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Council of Liberation (ZPUHVR) in Western Europe and the United States, and other organizations such as the OUN/B will be utilized».
The kicker here is that the CIA was supporting two rival groups who hated each others guts: the OUN and the ZPUHVR. The latter was directly controlled by the CIA and British MI-6, whereas the classic Banderites of OUN had a tendency to go maverick from time to time. Even the German Nazis got so sick of Bandera’s antics that they threw him in the pokey for a while, until he could cool off his temper.
Meanwhile, along with the Americans, the Brits, the Italians, and even the “good Germans” of West Germany, the Canadian intelligence services also got involved in these covert de-stabilizing activities — tell me it ain’t so, Dudley Do-Right! — they had their own version of AERODYNAMIC, which they codenamed REDSKIN. Both subversive AND politically incorrect at the same time! And eventually, guess who else became involved in all these wacky anti-Communist schemes? George Soros! This “hedge-fund” tycoon was probably the guy who taught the CIA how to hedge their bets. By hiring different sets of people at odds with each other, and spending umpteem millions on all kinds of farcical projects, ranging from smuggling Banderite propaganda into the Ukraine, all the way to arming vicious terrorists for guerrilla war. It all sounds a lot like the Syrian so-called “Moderate Opposition” – no?
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During those Glory Days, the Banderite main liaison to the CIA was a man named Mykola Lebed, the OUN’s Head of Security. Lebed (Russian for “Swan”) had been convicted of Pieracki’s assassination in 1934. This violent man was let out of jail when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939. Lebed is considered directly responsible for the Volhynia Massacres of 1943, a planned genocide directed primarily against ethnic Poles and also secondarily against Jews. As wiki notes:
The peak of the massacres took place in July and August 1943. Most of the victims were women and children. UPA’s methods were particularly savage, and resulted in 35,000–60,000 Polish deaths in Volhynia and 25,000–40,000 in Eastern Galicia, for the total of between 76,000 and 106,000 casualties.
With these credentials under his belt, Lebed seemed like a good fit for a position in the CIA. When his side lost World War II, he was whisked out of the Ukraine and smuggled into the U.S. The CIA-funded guerrilla war against the Soviet government continued for almost a decade but, inevitably, the Ukrainian nationalists lost. Like they always do in the end.
Lebed’s consolation prize was a cushy job in the glamorous publishing world of New York City. Now settled securely in Gotham, Lebed ran the so-called Prolog Publishing House, an anti-Communist propaganda outlet funded by the CIA, as revealed in the now-public archives. According to Lebed’s wiki: “In 1991, the CIA still considered him a valuable asset. Federal investigators would consider Lebed a possible war criminal but did not pursue prosecution. He died in 1998.”
Died peacefully in his bed, unlike those innocent angelic children who perished in Volhynia and Galicia. For no other reason than they didn’t quite fit into Bandera’s vision of a Ukrainian-speaking genetically pure fascist dictatorship led by the great and glorious Leader — you guessed it! — Stefan Bandera himself!