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Ukraine Marks Battle Between Liberation Army, Soviets

Ceremonies were held in Rivne to mark the 65th anniversary of the battle.
RIVNE, Ukraine -- Ukrainians have marked the 65th anniversary of the largest battle between the Ukrainian Liberation Army (UPA) and Soviet troops during World War II, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

At a place called Hurbi, near the town of Rivne, 5,000 UPA fighters from the Bohun division clashed with 30,000 Soviet Red Army and Interior Ministry troops (NKVD) from April 22-25, 1944.

A special commemoration ceremony was held in Hurbi on April 21.

UPA veteran Dmitro Avdeev told RFE/RL that thousands of soldiers from both sides were killed during the fighting, including his two brothers and several friends.

He was wounded and was later sentenced to 25 years in jail by the Soviets.

The UPA fought against Nazi German forces, the Polish underground army, and Soviet forces. It was disbanded in 1949 but some units continued operations until 1956.