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Dictionary of terms
All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the USSR – the highest body of state authority of the USSR during the period between the All-union congresses of Soviets that started functioning with the formation of the USSR in 1922 and existed until the formation of the Supreme Court of the USSR (supreme body of the state authority in the USSR according to the Constitution of 1936) in 1938.
All-Russian Emergency Commission, VCheKa (Russian: Всероссийская чрезвычайная комиссия, Vserossiyskaya chrezvychaynaya komissiya, ВЧК) – state-political punitive body of the Bolskevik government, established for “struggle with counterrevolution and sabotage” in 1917-1922. It was headed by Feliks Dzerzhynskyi.
All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee (Ukrainian: Всеукраїнський центральний виконавчий комітет) – the supreme legislative, administrative, executive controlling state power of the Soviet Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR) between the sessions of the Congress of Soviets that acted between 1917 until 1938.
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – the highest party official body in between the Congresses of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. During the plenary session the Central Committee elected the Politburo (the Presidium), the Secretariat, the Orgburo, and the Control Committee (1934-1990).
Communist Party of the Soviet Union, KPRS – political organization, the purpose of which was to build socialism and communism. Theoretical foundation of the Communist party was Marxism-Leninism and proletarian (socialistic) internationalism. Starting from the first Congress (in 1898) the party was called Russian socialistic-democratic labor party (RSDRP); from 1917 it was called Russian socialistic-democratic party (of Bolsheviks), RSDRP (b); VII Congress (1918) changed the name of the party to the Russian communist party (of Bolsheviks), RKP (b), XIV Congress changed the name to the All-Soviet Communist party (of Bolsheviks), VKP (b); XIX Congress (1952) changed the name to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, KPRS.
Corrective labor camp, VTT (Russian: исправительно-трудовой лагерь, abbr. ИТЛ) – one of the two main structures – places of imprisonment in the USSR. It was established on July 11th, 1929 for people imprisoned for the period more than 3 years. On October 15th, 1956, all corrective labor camps of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR came under jurisdiction of republics of the USSR and they were transformed into corrective labor colonies. Prisoners of corrective labor camps were widely used in industrial construction and for developing of natural resources of the USSR.
Council of People's Commissars of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Ukrainian: Рада Народних Комісарів РРФСР, РНК РРФСР) – Soviet government during 1917-1946. After the foundation of the USSR in 1922 similar bodies were established in the union republics. In the structure of the Soviet government the People’s Commissariat corresponds to the present-day Cabinet of the Ministers of Ukraine, and the position of people’s commissar corresponded to the position of minister.
Exile government – government in exile, which voluntary or due to certain circumstances remains outside of its country, but has some legal rights to govern it. Several exile governments existed during the XXth century (WUPR, UPR, and the Ukrainian State).
Front of Ukrainian Revolution, FUR – Ukrainian insurgent organization that existed during the Soviet-German war, which was formed in autumn 1942 in Kremenets region. The FUR was headed by the former Red Army lieutenat Tymosh Basyuk-“Yavorenko”. The FUR claimed faithfulness to democratic ideas and traditions of national movement of 1917-1921, cooperated with the Polissian Sich, with military units of UON-B and OUN-M. In July 1943 the majority of soldiers from the FUR joined UIA.
Joint State Political Directorate (Russian: Объединённое государственное политическое управление при СНК СССР), Obyedinyonnoye gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravleniye under the SNK of the USSR, or ОГПУ (OGPU) – the highest punitive body in the USSR, predecessor of the NKVD. It existed from 1924 to 1934. It was set up at the Government of the Soviet Union. Its work was based on struggle with national and political movements through massive repressions. In the Constitution of the USSR the task of the ODPU was singled out as following: struggle with political and economic counterrevolution, spying, and banditry. Gradually functioning and rights of the ODPU expanded. In 1924-1925 the ODPU conducted the so-called political control (censorship, supervision over printing and spreading of portraits of political leaders etc.); in the second half of the 1920s – control over the currency, market, circulation of gold and other noble metals. The ODPU was also empowered with broad extra-judicial rights that were implemented by corresponding extra-judicial bodies – the Special council at the ODPU, judicial assembly of the ODPU, and “the groups of three” of the ODPU.
League of Nations – the first international interstate organization aimed at securing peace and developing cooperatiob between nations. It was created during Paris Peace Conference 1919-1920 on the initiative of the President of the USA Woodrow Wilson. It is a prototype of the UN.
Main administration of places of imprisonment (Russian: Главное управление местами заключения, Glavnoye upravlyeniye myestami zaklyuchyeniya) – a structural subdivision of the NKVD, set up in October 1922 by the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR in order to unite all camps and to govern over all places of imprisonment (except of the prisons of general type). All functions of the Main administration of places of imprisonment were assigned to the GULAG of the NKVD in 1934.
Ministry of State Security (MDB) (Russian: Министерство государственной безопасности, Ministerstvo Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti) – successor of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affaires (Russian: НКГБ). It existed since 1946. It was liquidated on March 7th, 1953, as a result of merging with Ministry of Internal Affairs. The head of the MDB was Lavrentiy Beriya.
People's Commissariat for Justice of the RSFSR, NKU of the RSFSR (Russian: Народный комиссариат юстиции) – state body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the USSR that was ruling over judicial institutions. It was established on October 26th, 1917. In 1946 the People’s Commissariat for Justice was transformed into the Ministry.
People’s Commissariat of the State Security of the Ukrainian SSR, NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR (Russian: Комитетгосударственнойбезопасности) – Union-republican body of the state security (March 12-August 1941, May 1943 - March 25, 1946). It was set up on March 12th, 1941. Structure and tasks of the NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR were assigned according to the structure and tasks of NKVD of the USSR. Under the authority of the NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR were: intelligence work abroad, struggle with “undermining, spying, sabotage and terroristic” work of foreign intelligence services on the territory of the USSR, efficient elaboration and liquidation of remains of “anti-Soviet parties and counterrevolutionary formations” among different social strata.
Plast – Ukrainian scout organization aimed at assisting comprehensive patriotic education and self-education of youth on the basis of Christian ethics. The organization issued some newspapers: “Plastun”, “Karpaty”, “Na stiytsi”, “Skob”. In 1938 scouts actively participated in creating and developing the Organization of national self-defence “Carpathian Sich”. Organisation exists nowadays.
Polissian Sich, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army led by the otaman (chief) Bulba-Borovets – underground armed formation, organized in Polissya in summer 1941 in a village Nemovychi, Rivne region, by the chief Taras Bulba on the initiative of the exile Ukrainian People’s Republic in exile. The foundation for this organization was laid down in 1940, and the first armed formations were set up after the breakout of the German-Soviet war in June 1941. The army fought against both the Germans, and the Soviets. Time from time they cooperated with one of the sides. In summer 1943 the army was forced to unite with the UIA.
Politburo of the Central committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks – the administrative body of the Communist party that determined the policy of the party in all directions of public life in conditions of one-party system and was governing its activity over the period between the plenary sessions. The Politburo was elected during the plenary session of the Central Committee of the Comunist Party of the Soviet Union.
Prosvita – is Ukrainian non-governmental organization of cultural-educational character, founded in Lviv in 1868. Its activity was aimed at popularization of Ukrainian culture, preservation of the Ukrainian language, strengthening Ukrainian national consciousness. Due to “Prosvita” hundreds of reading rooms were set up together with amateur choir and drama circles, hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books were published for the common reader.
Regional executives – the main administrative body of the OUN on the territory of Western Ukraine.
Russian cultural-enlightening society named after O.Dukhnovych (Russian: Русское культурно-просветительное общество имени Александра Духновича, Обществоим. А. Духновича) – is a social and cultural-enlightening organization of Russophile orientation, founded on March 28th, 1923, in Mukacheve to counterbalance Ukrainian “Prosvita”. Objecting the existence of Ukrainians as a separate nation, “Alexander Dukhnovich society” demanded implementation of the Russian language to all areas of life and was contributing to spreading of Russian culture. In order to do this they organized “Days of the Russian culture”, celebrations of important days from Russian calendar, anniversaries of Russian poets bad writers. After annexation of Carpatho-Ukraine to USSR in 1945 the Society was closed down.
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, RSFSR (Russian: Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, tr. Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika) – an official name of the Russian communist state (from 1917) that was a part of the USSR (in 1922-1991). From 1922 de juro it was considered to be just one of the union republics, but de facto it was one of the forms of the Russian empire.
Solovky Special Purpose Camp (Russian: Солове́цкий ла́герь осо́бого назначе́ния, Solovetsky Lager' Osobogo Naznachenia, SLON) – was the biggest concentration camp in the 1920s on the Solovetsky islands, organized by the decree of the Council of the People’s Commissars of the USSR on October 13th, 1923 on the basis of Pertominsk forced labor camp. The camp was given all property of the Solovky monastery, which was closed in 1920. In December 1933 the camp was reorganized into the branch of the White Sea – Baltic camp, in 1937-1939 it continued its functioning as the “Solovky prison of the Main Administration of the state security of the NKVD of the USSR”.
Sovietization – forced implementation economic, social, political, and cultural norms that were typical for the totalitarian USSR.
Subcarpathian Rus Teachers’ community – is a professional organization of teachers from Carpatho-Ukraine, founded in 1929 on the initiative of Avhustyn Voloshyn. It played an important role in formation of Ukrainian Transcarpathia, in particular in fight for Ukrainisation of schools; it published two professional magazines: “Holos vchytelya” and “Nasha shkola”. It existed till 1939.
Terror – policy of intimidation and destruction of political opponents; violent actions coming from the government towards separate political or class groups or ethnicity as a whole. Different regimes used terror on the territory of Ukraine during the XXth century. Terror was used the most as a part of Nazi and Bolshevik regimes’ policy.
The Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Комуністична Партія України Komunistychna Partiya Ukrayiny, КПУ, KPU; Russian: Коммунистическая партия (большевиков) Украины) – a part of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that was in charge of all spheres of public life and had absolute power. It was created from the Bolshevik centers of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor party (RSDLP), which were functioning in Ukrainian provinces of the Russian Empire. It was founded on April 18-20 in the city of Tahanroh (now the territory of Russia) at the council of representatives of the Bolshevik organizations of Ukraine from the initiative of Mykola Skrypnyk under the name the Communist party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine. In 1952 the name was changed for the Communist party of Ukraine (CPU).
The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) (Ukrainian: Організація Українських Націоналістів, Orhanizatsiya Ukrayins’kykh Natsionalistiv or ОУН) – political movement, which aimed at the revival of national statehood on all Ukrainian ethnic territory. The OUN appeared as a result of merging of Ukrainian Military Organization (Ukrainian - Українська Військова Організація: Ukrayins'ka Viys'kova Orhanizatsiya, the UVO) and a few of student national unions – the Group of Ukrainian National Youth, the League of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Union of Ukrainian Nationalistic Youth. It was founded on February 3rd, 1929. The Leader of the OUN was colonel Yevhen Konovalets before he was killed by the NKVD agent in Rotterdam in 1938. The death of Konovalets caused conflicts among the OUN members concerning the new leader. The crisis in the Organisation brought to light substential differences between the OUN members in Western Ukraine (more radical ones) and members of the OUN administration (more conservative ones) who lived abroad. The Second Grand OUN Congress in Rome on August 27th, 1939, elected Andriy Melnyk as the leader of the OUN and gave him the title of the “chief”, proclaiming him responsible only “before God, the nation, and his own consciousness”. A group of young nationalists headed by Stepan Bandera, who after German occupation of Poland came back from prisons, demanded from the OUN leadership and its head A.Melnyk to change the OUN tactics, and to dismiss several of its members (Yaroslav Baranovskyy, Oleksa Senyk, and Sydor Chuchman). The conflict led to the split in the Organization. Supporters of Stepan Bandera in February 1940 founded “Revolutionary OUN administration” and took up a different name OUN-B (later – OUN-SD, OUN-R). The majority of the OUN members who remained abroad gathered around Andriy Melnyk and organized OUN-M. The struggle began between two branches of once united Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, even though their strategic aim remained the same – independence of Ukraine.
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (Народныйкомиссариатвнутреннихдел, Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del), abbreviated NKVD) – was the republican body of state security (March 12 – August 1941, May 1943 – March 25, 1946). It was founded on March 12th, 1941. Structure and tasks of the NKVD in Ukrainian SSR were determined according to structure and tasks of the NKVD in the USSR. Under the authority of the USSR NKVD were: establishment of intelligence activity abroad, struggle with “sabotage, espionage, subversive and terroristic” activities of foreign intelligence services on the territory of the USSR; operational development and liquidation of remains of “anti-Soviet parties and counterrevolutionary formations” among different social classes of people.
The Red terror – repressions of the Bolsheviks against many groups of people who were claimed to be “class enemies” or who were accused of “counterrevolutionary activity” without trial and inquest. According to the decree “On the red terror” signed on September 5th, 1918, all enemies of the Soviet government had to be physically destroyed or isolated in concentration camps.
The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrainian: Українська Повстанська Армія (УПА), "Ukrayins’ka Povstans’ka Armiya", or UPA) – army that emerged in Polissya and Volyn, first of all for protecting local people from German terror, and also from Soviet and Polish guerilla fighters. It was operating from spring 1943 under the command of Dmytro Klyachivskyi. At first it was set up as an armed unit of OUN-B. Founders of UIA viewed it as a possible basis for future regular Ukrainian army on the territory that was a part of the general government of Reichskommissariat Ukraine. After the rest of patriotic forces joined the UIA, the organization had the following structure: in spring 1943 “UIA-North” (Volyn and Polissya) was created under command of Klym Savura-“Okhrima” and “UIA-South” was set up (Kamyanets-Podilsk, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsya, and southern part of Kyiv regions) commanded by Omelyan Hrabets-“Batko”. In summer 1943 the Ukrainian People’s Self-defense in Galicia reorganized in “UIA-West” (Galicia, Bukovyna, Carpatho-Ukraine, and Trans-Curzonia), headed by the colonel Vasyl Sydor-“Shelest”. From summer 1943 to 1959 the main commander of the UIA was General Roman Shukhevych, in 1950-1954 it was headed by Vasyl Kruk. Armed resistance of several UIA units continued till the end of the 1950s.
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR; Ukrainian: Українська Радянська Соціалістична Республіка, Українська РСР) – one of 15 union republics of the former USSR. It existed till the end of August 1991. Until 1937 it was called the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR (Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik), abbreviated to USSR – socialist federate totalitarian state that existed in 1922-1991 in Eastern Europe, Central and Northern Asia.
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army (Russian: Рабоче-крестьянская Красная армия; РККА or Raboche-krest'yanskayaKrasnaya armiya; RKKA) – official name of the armed forces of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) and the USSR from January 15th 1918 till February 25th 1946. From 1946 till December 25th, 1991 – it was called the Soviet Army. It included ground forces, air forces, navy forces, frontier forces and domestic forces. According to the official Soviet version the Red Army was founded on the 23th of February, 1918.
Ukrainian Galician Army (UGA) – WUPR’s troops (1918-1921). UGA was created on the basis of the Sich Riflemen legion and other subunits of Austro-Hungarian army after the Battle of Lemberg; participated in the Ukrainian-Polish (1918-1919) and Ukrainian-Russian (1917-1921) wars.
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) (Ukrainian: Українська Греко-Католицька Церква (УГКЦ), Ukrains'ka Hreko-Katolyts'ka Tserkva) – institutional existence of the Greek-Catholic church in Ukraine started from the Union of Brest in 1956, when in the city of Brest (now the territory of Belarus) at the church Council recommencement of full unity with the Holy See was proclaimed. According to the agreements of the Union of Brest, the Church was subordinate to the Pope; it had to follow the Byzantine ceremony and Julian calendar. The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic church was flourishing the most in the end of the XIX – the beginning of the XX century. In the first half of the XX century the leading figure in the Greek-Catholic movement was the metropolitan from Lviv Andrey Sheptytskyi. When the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church was under the rule of Soviet regime it was dismissed. It continued its functioning in the underground. Only in 1989 during the Horbachov “perestroika” the Church resumed its existence.
Ukrainian Military Organisation (UMO) – illegal military-political union of former soldiers and sergeant majors of Ukrainian armies in 1920-1929. UMO promoted the idea of armed struggle for the independence of Ukraine.
Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR) – the name of the state of Ukraine in 1917-1920. After Bolsheviks seized power, and the Soviet Russia began its aggression against Ukraine, the Central Council on January 9-11, 1918, claimed independence of UPR. After Pavlo Skoropadskyi took over the power in April 1918 the name UPR was changed for Ukrainian State. In December 1918 the name UPR was resumed by the Directorate of Ukraine. UPR stopped existing in the end of November 1920 as a result of final capture of Ukrainian territory by Russian Bolsheviks.
Ukrainian People’s Self-defense, UPS – armed formations of Ukrainian national Resistance movement that was operating in Galicia in 1943. The necessity in such forces appeared due to the need to protect local people from the guerilla unit of S.Kovpak that was operating at that time in the region. The first two units of the UPS - “Siromantsi” and “Mesnyky” - were formed in April 1943 in Stanislav region. During July 1943 under the command of Oleksandr Lutskyi already existing subdivisions were reorganized and new subdivisions were set up. In December 1943 the UPS was renamed as “UIA-West”.
Vlasovtsi – soldiers of the Russian liberation army (Russian: Русская освободительная армия, РОА) – anti-Soviet military union under command of the General Vlasov that were fighting during the Second World War on the side of Germany against the USSR. In the beginning of 1945 the Russian Liberation Army had approximately 200 thousand people.
West Ukrainian People’s Republic (WUPR) – Ukrainian state, created on the territory of Ukrane that affiliated to Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First Wolrd War. It existed from October 18th, 1918 to July 18th, 1919, the exhile government of WUPR was functioning up till March 15th, 1923.
Zakerzonnya – is an informal name for Ukrainian ethnic territories, situated to the west of the Curzon Line, which belonged to the territory of Poland, namely Lemkivshchyna, Pidlyashshya, Posyannya, Sokalshchyna, Ravshchyna, and Kholmshchyna. Under the conditions of the Soviet-Polish Treaty signed on August 16th, 1945, (insignificantly changed by the Soviet-Polish Treaty of 1951) this primordial Ukrainian territory was annexed to Poland.