Item #807 Zv’iazkova Vira [Liaison Officer Vira Babenko]. Yurko Stepovy.
Zv’iazkova Vira [Liaison Officer Vira Babenko]
Zv’iazkova Vira [Liaison Officer Vira Babenko]

Zv’iazkova Vira [Liaison Officer Vira Babenko]

Munich: Vyd-vo im. Mykoly Khvyl’ovoho, 1948. Illustrated wrappers. Item #807

Book measures: 20.5 x 14.5 cm. 68 pages. Text in Ukrainian. Approved by UNRRA, team 107. October 1946. Edited by Julian Tschajka. A slightly worn copy.

A documentary story about Vira Babenko (1902-1921), a the rebel liaison and a remarkable figure in the Ukrainian liberation movement. Born into a prosperous Ukrainian family in the village of Veseli Torny, she received her education at the Katerynoslav gymnasium. Vira Lukyanivna Babenko served as a scout in the Steppe (Alexandriiv) Division. In early March 1921, following instructions from the rebel leadership, she undertook a dangerous journey to the Polish city of Tarnow, where she made contact with the government in exile of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) and the headquarters of Chief Otaman Symon Petliura. Vira Babenko obtained valuable instructions for the rebel organization during this mission. Tragically, both Vira and her older sister Pasha, who was also a liaison with the rebels, were captured by Chekists. Despite enduring brutal torture, they did not divulge any information about the rebel's plans. On August 28, 1921, the heroic sisters, along with other rebels, were executed.

The author of the documentary novel "Zvyazkova Vira" emphasizes that Vira's portrayal in the book primarily covers the years 1917 and 1918, with her further life and involvement unfolding in a subsequent historical novel titled "In the Kherson Steppes," which delves into the liberation struggle in 1920. Additionally, the image of Vera Babenko is featured in a dramatic work of the same name (published by the Union of Ukrainian Women of Canada in 1936) and in the historical novel "For Ukraine" by O. Lugovoi (printed in the American daily "Svoboda" in 1938).

Vira Babenko (1902-1921) served as a liaison officer for the Ukrainian insurgents. She was responsible for maintaining communication between the insurgent staff in the Katerynoslav district and the UNR (Ukrainian National Republic) government in exile located in Tarnów, Poland. After returning to Ukraine in the spring of 1921, Babenko was captured by the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, and was tortured to death along with other insurgent staff officers.

Yurko Stepovy (1908-1987), born Fedir Yuriyovych Pestushko, was a distinguished writer and public figure. He pursued his education at Kyiv University after completing his high school studies in Pyatikhatki. Stepovy later served as a professor at the same university. He actively participated in the German-Soviet war and held a prominent position within the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Following the Second World War, he went into emigration. For 18 years, he served as the editor of the Ukrainian Catholic newspaper "Nova Zoria" and, for a decade, helmed the magazine "Ukrainian Life." Renowned for his impeccable command of the Ukrainian language, Stepovy authored documentary works focusing on the Hanniv insurgents led by Chief Stepov-Blakytny's brother, Kost Pestushko. He also penned historical novels like "Connecting Faith" and "In the Kherson Steppes," a collection of short stories recounting the 1932-33 Holodomor titled "Laughter through Tears," and "Son of Transcarpathia" detailing the Ukrainian revolutionary underground in Kyiv from 1941 to 1942.

Price: $300.00

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