Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
October 25, 2021
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) is a Ukrainian socio-political movement that aims to establish an independent Ukrainian state, preserve and develop it. The main regions of the OUN's activity were Eastern Galicia and Volhynia, and its governing structure was called the "National Executive of the OUN in Western Ukraine." Defining itself as a movement and not as a party, the OUN condemned all legal Ukrainian parties in Galicia as collaborationist. Founded on February 3, 1929 in Vienna, legalized in Ukraine in 1993 as a public organization. The OUN emerged as a result of the unification of the Ukrainian Military Organization (UMO) and student nationalist unions. The OUN emerged as an underground organization and soon became a relatively powerful force. Despite the repression, the OUN always numbered 10,000 to 30,000 members. Against the terror of the occupying authorities, the organization was forced to use underground activities, terrorism and political assassinations. Neither the Polish nor the Soviet authorities managed to completely destroy the OUN. Therefore, in the conditions when after the Soviet annexation of the western Ukrainian lands all other political forces were defeated, it was the OUN led by Melnyk that survived and continued the underground struggle of a large part of the Ukrainian population for independence. On February 10, 1940, the OUN split into two parts: the majority of emigrants (but a minority of all OUN members) continued to support Andriy Melnyk's organization, the OUN (led by A. Melnyk), while the majority of OUN members in Ukrainian lands elected the OUN Revolutionary Leadership. At the "Great Assembly in Krakow" convened by them on April 1-4, 1941, she elected Stepan Bandera as its leader and proclaimed a separate Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (revolutionary). In 2013, the OUN (m) and the OUN (b) issued a joint statement on the desire to "consolidate the Ukrainian nationalist movement and, above all, restore the unity of the OUN," signed by the heads of the organizations, Stefan Romaniv and Bohdan Chervak.