Starukh, Yaroslav

Starukh, Yaroslav [Старух, Ярослав; Starux, Jaroslav; pseudonyms: Stiah, Stoian, Yarlan], b 17 November 1910 in Zolota Sloboda, Berezhany county, Galicia, d 17 October 1947 near Liubachiv, Rzeszów voivodeship, Poland. Political activist of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), insurgent, and publicist; son of Tymofei Starukh. He joined the OUN in 1930 and became a member of its executive committee in Galicia (and, later, Volhynia and Podilia) and a political instructor for its youth wing. At the same time he was an editor of several nationalist publications, notably the Lviv weekly Nove selo. In 1939 he was sentenced to a 13-year term during a major political trial of 23 Ukrainians which took place in Rivne. During the German occupation of Ukraine he was an OUN organizer in the Zhytomyr and Kyiv regions, and Stepan Bandera’s chief of propaganda. He was arrested in Lviv by the Gestapo in December 1942, but in the fall of 1943 he was sprung from prison by OUN members and put to work as director of an underground OUN radio station located in the Carpathian Mountains. In 1945 Starukh (under the code name Stiah) became OUN regional chief for Zakerzonnia and also led Ukrainian Insurgent Army troops in that area. He published Opyr fashyzmu (The Specter of Fascism), which was translated into Polish and English and widely distributed. He died in his command bunker after refusing to surrender to Polish military forces during Operation Wisła.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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