Publication

100 Years since the Birth of the Legend of the Rights Movement in Ukraine

A participant of the national liberation struggle, a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, an author of “samvydav” (self-published press). 42 years, 6 months and 7 days of imprisonment in Polish, German and Russian prisons, camps and exile.

In 17 years Sh. began fighting with the Polish occupation regime, joined the Communist Party of Western Ukraine. In 19 he was convicted and spent 5 years and 4 months in Polish prisons.

In1939 he returned home, and taught geography in schools. Due to disagreements with the Soviet communists he was suspended from teaching.

On 15.05.41 Sh. was arrested by the Soviet authorities as “a brother of the enemy of the people”. Being in prison he was called up for military service in the Red Army. As part of penal battalion he participated in the battles with the Wehrmacht. Those were the Red who disarmed same battalion. Being unarmed, Sh. was captured. He was kept in a concentration camp for prisoners of war in the City of Khorol in the Region of Poltava. He managed to escape. Later he organized a guerrilla group in his homeland, which in 1943 flew into the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA). Due to fundamental differences in views with the leadership of UIA Sh. refused to take part in hostilities and taught economic geography on military courses.

After the arrival of the Soviet Army in summer of 1944 Sh. was a commander of a group of UIA in the Region of Zhytomyr. Due to a desperate situation he dismantled the forces. In December 1944 he was arrested and in 1945 convicted according to Article 54-1, Paragraph “a” and Article 54-2, Paragraph “a” of the Criminal Code (“treason of the native land”) to the penalty of death by firing squad, which was replaced by 20 years in camps. He served sentence in the 3rd convict camp in the City of Norilsk. Sh. was one of the organizers of the uprising of prisoners in Norilsk in June – September 1953, for which he was transferred to the Vladimirskaya prison. In 1953 Sh. described the rise of the prisoners in his memoirs “Beyond the eastern horizon” (Smoloskyp Publishing House, 1974).

In 1956 Sh. was released. He returned home, but under pressure of the Committee of State Security (KGB) had to leave to the Region of Dnipropetrovsk.

On 19.11.57 Sh. was called to the KGB and offered to cooperate with “the bodies”. Sh. refused. The next day the dwelling of Sh. was searched, and a day later he was arrested and taken to jail in the City of Lutsk.

On 05.05.58 at the closed judicial session Sh. was sentenced under Article 54-10 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR (“propaganda against the Soviet power”) to 10 years in labour camp. He served his sentence in Vorkuta, then in Taishet (Village of Vykhorivka). For the memories found during a search of the camp Sh. spent a lot of time in the barrack of robust security regime. In 1962 Sh. was transferred to Mordovia camp ЖХ-385/7, and on 21.10.67 he was taken from there to Kyiv and released on November 20.

Since autumn 1967 Sh. lived in Bohuslav in the Region of Kyiv, worked as a guard in a children camp, and as a sailor at the beaches improvement plant in Kyiv.

In 1968 Sh. met “the sixties”, in particular, with I. SVITLYCHNYI, N.SVITLYCHNA and Y. SVERSTIUK.

In 1970 Sh. completed the second part of his book of memoirs, which was published in the West.

On 12.01.72 Sh. was arrested again on charges of carrying out “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” (Article 62, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR) and providing “false evidence” (Article 197 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR). During the arrest the memories of Sh. were seized as well as a letter of Sh. recognized as a program document, which was kept by I. SVITLYCHNYI.

On July 5-7, 1972 Sh. was sentenced by Kyiv Regional Court to 10 years in special regime labour camp and 5 years of exile. He was recognized as a very dangerous recidivist. He served his sentence in Mordovia, Sosnovka camp.

In 10.10.72 Sh. addressed the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. After outlining its case and biography, Sh. concluded: “… I ask the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to release me from the Soviet citizenship. It will be easier for me to die … in severe bondage outside Ukraine, not being a citizen of the USSR”.

Similar statements Sh. repeated also in 1973 and 1974.

In captivity Sh. took an active part in numerous protests, hunger strikes, though he had problems with health and repeatedly got to the hospital with a stomach ulcer and other diseases. In 1978 Sh. was recognized a disabled person of group II. Then a group of prisoners (E.KUZNYETSOV, O.MURZHENKO, M.OSADCHYI, and V.ROMANYUK) appealed to the Parliament and the government of Canada to "multiply" their efforts to release Sh. for disastrous state of his health. However, Sh. had to serve his sentence completely.

Since February 1979 Sh. was a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG).

On 01.03.80 Sh. was taken to the special regime department of the camp ВС-389/36-1 (Village of Kuchyno, District of Chusovsk, Region of Perm), and then he was transferred to a strict regime of the same zone, then – to the camp ВС-389/35 (Vsekhsvianska Station).

In 1982 Sh. was convoyed to the exile in the Village of Karatobe of the Region of Ural (Kazakhstan), where he was under administrative supervision till 04.01.87.

After more than 42 years of wandering in the prisons, camps and exiles in 1987 Sh. left for permanent residence in Canada, Toronto. On 28.11.2002 he moved to Krasnoarmiisk, Region of Donetsk, to his daughter.

Sh. is an author of such books as “Beyond the eastern horizon”, “Experiences and thoughts: from the GULAG to the free world”.

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