An Affair to Forget: The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists’ Fateful Relationship with the Abwehr

  • Alysha Zawaduk


It was not until Soviet Union dissolved that a truly independent Ukraine emerged. Long before this, and long before geographic unification after the Second World War, there were those that fought for an independent Ukraine. In 1929 many of them formed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). It faced immense obstacles, so it sought help wherever it could. In the 1930s this assistance came from the Abwehr, Germany’s military intelligence service. The Abwehr wanted the OUN’s help mainly in provocation and sabotage missions in enemy lands. In return the Abwehr promised to help the OUN create a Ukrainian state. The relationship looked promising, but its foundations were unstable. Neither were committed to the promises they made, and both focused on their own goals, while ignoring disparities between the Abwehr’s declarations and official Nazi policy. Ultimately the relationship crumbled and proved to be a hindrance to both parties.