What you should know about Roman Shukhevych

28 December 2023

On 21 October 1933, in the Soviet consulate in Lviv, the special representative of the NKVD and the plenipotentiary representative of Joseph Stalin for control over the diplomatic institutions of the USSR in the territory of the Second Commonwealth of Nations Oleksii Mykhailov (at the time of the murder, formally, the secretary of the USSR Consulate in Lviv) was killed. The assassination was committed as a sign of protest against the artificial Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933, organised by the Bolsheviks. Mykola Lemyk, a member of the OUN, committed the murder. Roman Shukhevych, the future commander-in-chief of the UPA, participated in the preparation of this symbolic act of revenge for the Holodomor.

As evidenced by the latest sociological survey conducted by Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in September-October 2023, the question “Do you know, have you heard, read or seen anything about Roman Shukhevych?” 44% of respondents disagreed. And 90% of respondents claim that Ukrainians’ knowledge of Roman Shukhevych is distorted by Soviet and Russian propaganda.

In order to dispel Soviet myths and convey to the general public true information about the activities of the UPA general, the Liberation Movement Research Centre is working on the project “The Shukhevych Dossier: Propaganda, Stereotypes, Disinformation”, implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund.

“For a long time, Roman Shukhevych was one of the main objects of defamation by Soviet propaganda. And this is not surprising since he was one of the main organisers of the liberation movement. At the same time, there are enough ambiguous moments in his life from the point of view of modernity. Both the one and the other have become fertile ground for the creation of stereotypes, myths and the success of disinformation. Now is the time to dot the i’s, says the head of the project, historian-researcher Olesia Isayuk.

Using the example of Roman Shukhevych’s story, the project team intends to tell how Russia continues to use Soviet myths about the past for its own propaganda purposes. In addition, the researchers will prepare recommendations for countering disinformation and Russia’s instrumentalisation of history.

We bring to your attention products already created within the framework of this project.

Research by historian, doctor of philosophy, researcher of the National Museum-Memorial “Prison on Lontsky” and the Centre for Research of the Liberation Movement Olesia Isayuk: scientific-analytical report “Roman Shukhevych Dossier: political mythology in the academic research”;

article for “Istorychna Pravda”;

the results of the all-Ukrainian sociological survey on the knowledge and perception of the activities of Roman Shukhevych and the UPA:

full results;

main indicators of the study;

video lecture by journalist, and ex-director of the Liberation Movement Research Centre Daria Hirnaya “What was UPA Commander-in-Chief Roman Shukhevych like?”.