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Stepan Bandera
Bandera
Historical Figure
Nationality: Soviet-dominated Ukraine (born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire)
Date of Birth: 1909
Date of Death: 1959
Cause of Death: Assassination by cyanide gas
Occupation: Politician
Political Party: Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Armistice
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Tilting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Coup d'Etat;
Last Orders
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Stepan Bandera (1 January 1909 - 15 October 1959) was a Ukrainian politician and nationalist. Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bandera spent much of the period between World War I and World War II agitating for Ukrainian rights against both Poland and the Soviet Union. He became the head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1933, at one point facing execution for OUN's assassination of Poland's Minister of the Interior in 1934. His sentence was commuted, however, and Bandera was eventually released at the start of World War II in September 1939. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, Bandera proclaimed an independent Ukrainian State. However, relations between the OUN and the Nazi Party, always purely opportunistic before, soured quickly. Bandera was arrested and held in Berlin until 1944, when it was hoped that Bandera could rouse Ukrainians against the advancing Soviets. He failed.

After the war, as Ukraine fell under Soviet rule, Bandera continued his efforts abroad. He was killed in Munich on 15 October 1959 by the KGB, who used cyanide gas.

Bandera's legacy continues to be controversial even in modern Ukraine.

Stepan Bandera in The Hot WarEdit

Bands who followed Stepan Bandera were still active in the Ukrainian countryside when World War III broke out in 1951.[1] Ihor Shevchenko did wonder if the atomic bombing of a number of Soviet cities, including Kiev, would drive people to join the remaining Banderists.[2]

Stepan Bandera in WorldwarEdit

Stepan Bandera had initially welcomed the Germans when they invaded the Ukraine in 1941, but they imprisoned him a few months later. When the Race invaded in 1942, the Germans released him to promote solidarity between the Ukrainian people and the Germans. Instead, Bandera and his followers began collaborating with the Race.[3]

Stepan Bandera in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Stepan Bandera and his followers took advantage of the outbreak of the Second World War in 1938 and the subsequent multi-national invasion of the Soviet Union led by Germany beginning in 1940, to push for Ukrainian independence. His followers, "Banderists" proved an occasional hindrance to the Soviet Red Army as it attempted to push back against the invaders.

In Winter 1941, Ivan Kuchkov's unit came across a group of Banderists in an orchard somewhere west of Kiev. Rather than fight, Kuchov convinced them they were outnumbered and to retreat. The Banderists agreed, retreating without a firefight between the two groups.[4]

Bandera's followers kept up their fight against the Soviets even as the Second World War ended in Europe in mid-1944.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bombs Away, pg. 49, HC.
  2. Ibid., pg. 374.
  3. Tilting the Balance, pg. 237, PB.
  4. Coup d'Etat, pg. 398.
  5. Last Orders, pgs. 364-367, 387.

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