Ukrainian Military Organization

Ukrainian Military Organization

The Ukrainian Military Organization ( _uk. Українська Військова Організація, UVO) was a Ukrainian resistance and sabotage movement active in Poland's Eastern Lesser Poland during the years between the world wars. Initially headed by Yevhen Konovalets, it promoted the idea of armed struggle for the independence of Ukraine.

Created by former members of the Sich Riflemen in August 1920 in Prague, the UVO was a secret military and political movement. Initially operating in all countries with Ukrainian minorities (that is Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bolshevik Russia and Romania), with time it concentrated on actions in Poland only. It was also active among the Ukrainian diaspora abroad, most notably in Germany, Lithuania, Austria and the Free City of Danzig.

Apart from military education of the Ukrainian youth, the UVO tried to prevent all kinds of cooperation between Ukrainians and Polish authorities. The UVO was involved in a bitter struggle with the Poles in the twenties. The group was treated harshly and retaliated with some acts of violence. It was, however, rather a military protective group rather than a terrorist underground. [John Armstrong. "Ukrainian Nationalism". second edition Libraries Unlimited, 1963. p 21] It organized a number of assassination attempts on some of the most renown Polish and Ukrainian politicians, some of which were successful. Among such attempts were failed assault on Józef Piłsudski and Voivod of Lwów Kazimierz Grabowski on September 25, 1921, a successful murder of a Ukrainian poet Sydir Tverdohlib in 1922 , failed attack on president of Poland Stanisław Wojciechowski in 1924 and deputy chairman of the BBWR party Tadeusz Hołówka. It also organized an assault on the Eastern Trade Fair organized in Lwów in 1929 . The terrorist actions of the UVO became one of the reasons for creation of the Polish Border Defence Corps.

Although formally it existed until World War II, between 1929 and 1934 it became part of the newly-formed Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. Apart from Yevhen Konovalets, notable leaders of the UVO included Andrii Melnyk and Y. Indyshevskyi.


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