According to the decree of the President of Ukraine dated October 14, 99-year-old Myroslav Simchych, the 100th member of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a political prisoner, was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
“For the heroism shown in the struggle for the independence of Ukraine, outstanding personal merits in the establishment of Ukrainian statehood, many years of fruitful public activity, I decree: To confer the title of Hero of Ukraine with the awarding of the Order of the Golden Star to Myroslav Vasylyovych Simchych – a Ukrainian military and public figure, a centurion of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army , a political prisoner of Soviet concentration camps,” the presidential decree says.
Myroslav Simchych lives in Kolomyia. He was born on January 5, 1923 in the village of Vyzhny Berezov near Kosov in the Carpathian region. In 1941, he joined the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). At the age of 19, in 1943, Myroslav Simchych joined the UPA and chose the pseudonym “Kryvonis”.
“I understood that the UPA would liberate us from all the occupiers. There were mainly young people there, but there were also older ones, former Ukrainian snipers, and there were also officers. And we, young people, were village and city boys. During the war, the UPA consisted mainly of Ukrainians,” Myroslav Simchych said in an interview with Radio Liberty.
In February 1945, he participated in the battle for Kosmach, in which he became famous. In this battle, Ukrainian soldiers killed 386 Enkavedists, according to Myroslav Simchych, including Russian lieutenant colonel Oleksiy Dergachev.
In 1948, Myroslav Simchich was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in the labor camps. In 1963, he was released, but 5 years later he was convicted again. Myroslav Simchich spent 32 years in prison. He was released in 1985. It was rehabilitated only in 2017.
- The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) is a military-political formation that operated on the territory of Ukraine in 1942–1956.
- The purpose of the creation of the UPA was to unify the disparate armed groups of nationalists under the leadership of the OUN(b). The UPA declared its main task the preparation of an uprising after the communist USSR and Nazi Germany exhausted each other in a bloody war. The UPA advocated the creation of an independent Ukrainian cathedral state, which was supposed to include all ethnic Ukrainian lands.
- The time of its foundation is considered to be October 14, 1942, and one of the last battles of the UPA with the troops of the NKVD was the battle to block Soviet military convoys on the way to Hungary to suppress the anti-communist uprising of 1956.