Stetsko, Slava

Image - Yaroslav and Slava Stetsko

Stetsko, Slava (Yaroslava) [Стецько, Слава (Ярослава); Stec’ko; née Музика, Ганна; Muzyka, Hanna], b 14 May 1920 in Romanivka, Ternopil county, Galicia, d 12 March 2003 in Munich, buried at Baikove Cemetery in Kyiv. Political leader and journalist; wife of Yaroslav Stetsko. A member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) from 1938, she studied at Lviv University from 1941 to 1943, when she was arrested by the Germans. After her release in 1944 she lived as an émigré in Germany and continued her studies at the Ukrainian Free University. She was active in setting up a Red Cross units for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and in 1946 assumed a leadership position in the OUN (Bandera faction). Stetsko also became a member of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) executive. She edited ABN Correspondence (1957–96) as well as its German edition, the quarterly The Ukrainian Review, and other ABN periodicals, and she organized and participated in a number of international anticommunist congresses. Having a gift for languages (Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese), she proved to be a good translator. She served as a member of the central executive of the Ukrainian Youth Association (1948–53). From 1968 she was head of the external affairs sector of the OUN(B). She was a co-organizer of the European Council of Liberty and became its vice-president in 1985. In 1986, following the death of her husband, she became president of the ABN and an executive member of the World Anti-Communist League.

In 1991, at the Seventh Great Assembly of the OUN, Stetsko was elected leader of the OUN(B). She retained that post until 2000. In July 1991 she moved to Ukraine. The following year (1992) she established the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, which she then headed until her death. She was first elected as a deputy to the Verkhovna Rada in 1997. She was reelected in 1998 and 2002. In 1998 Stetsko, as the Rada session’s oldest deputy, was assigned the task of leading her fellow parliamentarians in taking their oaths of office. Pandemonium ensued as Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) members, who regarded her as a Nazi collaborator and resented her strong OUN affiliations, protested vigorously. Stetsko later performed the same function at the start of the Verkhovna Rada’s session in 2002.

[This article was updated in 2015.]

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