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On 5/6/14 9:33 AM, Paul Flewers wrote:
I know Chris Ford well and readily acknowledge his expertise on the history
of Ukraine, but I'm surprised that he wrote that 'put
simply without Stalinism there would have been no Bandera'. The hard-line
Ukrainian nationalism -- 'integralism', as it was often called -- that
Bandera espoused was around well before Stalin's taking over the reins in
Moscow, and the integralist OUN, of which Bandera became a major leader,
was formed in 1929, that is, just as Stalin took over and some years before
the famine in Soviet Ukraine, and Bandera had become its chief propaganda
officer in 1931. No doubt the famine in Soviet Ukraine reinforced Bandera
in his views, but he was an integralist well before it happened.

Yes, in fact it was during the "heroic days" of the Comintern that hostility to communism--or at least a distorted form--took root. Let me refer to that FI article that I scanned in to remind you of the circumstances:


Skrypnyk, a personal friend of Lenin, and a realist always studying the relationship of forces, was seeking a minimum of Ukrainian federation with Russia and a maximum of national independence. In his opinion, it was the international extension of the revolution which would make it possible to resist in the most effective fashion the centralising Greater Russian pressure. At the head of the first Bolshevik government in the Ukraine he had had some very bitter experiences: the chauvinist behaviour of Muraviev, the commander of the Red Army who took Kiev, the refusal to recognize his government and the sabotage of his work by another commander, Antonov-Ovseyenko, for whom the existence of such a government was the product of fantasies about an Ukrainian nationality. In addition, Skrypnyk was obliged to fight bitterly for Ukrainian unity against the Russian Bolsheviks who, in several regions, proclaimed Soviet republics, fragmenting the country. The integration of Galicia into the Ukraine did not interest them either. The national aspiration to sobornist’, the unity of the country, was thus openly flouted. It was with the “Katerynoslavian” right wing of the party that there was the most serious confrontation. It formed a Soviet republic in the mining and industrial region of Donetsk-Kryvyi Rih, including the Donbas, with the aim of incorporating it into Russia. This republic, its leaders proclaimed, was that of, a Russian proletariat “which does not want to hear anything about some so-called Ukraine and has nothing in common with it”. This attempted secession could count on some support in Moscow. The Skrypnyk government had to fight against these tendencies of its Russian comrades, for the sobornist’ of the Soviet Ukraine within the national borders set, through the Central Rada, by the national movement of the masses.

The first congress of the CP(B) of the Ukraine took place in Moscow. For Lenin and the leadership of the Russian CP(B) the decision of Tahanrih had the flavour of a nationalist deviation. They were not ready to accept an independent Bolshevik party in the Ukraine or a Ukrainian section of the Komintern. The CP(B) of the Ukraine could only be a regional organization of the pan-Russian CP(B), according to the thesis “one country, one party”. Is the Ukraine not a country?

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