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Symon Petlyura: “The Society Should Know the Positive Importance of This Service and Surround Its Work with Compassion and Help"

May 22 marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of Ukrainian national and political figure Symon Petlyura.

Head of the Directory, Chief Otaman of the Army and Navy of the Ukrainian People's Republic Symon Petlyura paid great attention to the role of Intelligence in the struggle for independence of the Ukrainian State. Here is what he wrote in one of his letters to the Chief of the General Staff, Khorunzhyi- General V. Petriv:

”... The tasks that are within the competence of the Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence Department, should be specified,  and new, pure and state traditions of this service should be established... it is necessary to form a core of state-minded, intelligent senior officers who would create new directions in this matter... I think that this can be achieved not only through personal selection, but also through creation of appropriate literature, courses, etc.... And here, in my opinion, it is necessary first of all to achieve neutralization of this harmful, and possibly, criminal prejudice, which our army (especially commanders), and our society have had towards the above- mentioned work. Perhaps this prejudice can be explained, but in fact, it is stupid, and in its consequences it is criminal, since it goes without saying that without a properly organized aforementioned service, our state government will always be in a poor shape... The society should know the positive importance of this service and surround its work with compassion and help".

Earlier, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine declassified and published on its website a series of documents related to Symon Petlyura, which were kept at the SZRU's State Archive. Thanks to this, general public could get acquainted with completely secret documents of the Foreign Department of the OGPU (Foreign Intelligence of the Joint State Political Directorate) dated from June, August and December 1926 and concerning Symon Petlyura's assassination and sociopolitical processes which at that time were taking place in Ukraine, Poland, Germany and England. Among other things, was made public Chairman of the GPU of the Ukrainian SSR Balytskyyi's internal report to Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party / b / of Ukraine Kaganovich “On the Assassination of Petlyura”.

In particular, the SZRU's State Archive declassified 11 unique letters written by Symon Petlyura. The letters are original and exclusive, written in pencil by Symon Petlyura himself, and had not been known to general public before. They are in the multi-volume archival file of the personal archival case of Khorunzhyi- General of the Army of the Ukrainian People's Republic Yurko Tyutyunnyk, who in 1923, as a result of the Chekists' operation, was brought from abroad to the territory of the former USSR, arrested and later executed under sentence.

S. Petlyura's letters were addressed to Andriy Livytskyi, Prime Minister of the UPR's government in exile, as well as to the Military Minister, Lieutenant-General Mykola Yunakiv and to Ambassador of the UPR Government in France Oleksandr Shulhin.

The letters assess the political situation in Europe and Ukraine at the time, determine the tasks of the leaders of Ukrainian emigration, reflect some aspects of state-building, express the attitude to different events.

Making the materials available to general public, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine hopes that they will contribute to the revival of the history of the Ukrainian people's complex and multifaceted struggle for independence.


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