But proud Ukrainian nationalists resisted Soviet rule, led by a fierce (if divided) resistance.The Soviets responded with massive troop deployments that killed an estimated 100,000 “bandits” from 1944-46.
Authorities there insisted on putting him on trial for murder, with the goal of a life sentence.
Unsurprisingly, the loudest cries for vengeance came from Bandera supporters.
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One journalist decried Stashinsky as “the degenerate who will go down in history as a personification of baseness.” But Stashinsky’s testimony was damning to the Soviet leadership.
The murder apparatus he described went all the way to the top — to Premier Khrushchev and the KGB’s Shelepin. Plokhy, who had access to CIA archives, found no such involvement by Washington.Their disillusionment was so deep that in 1961 they fled to West Berlin.Stashinsky approached the CIA station, which passed him on to West German security.He was based permanently in Moscow for intensive training to work undercover in Europe.He met regularly with such big-wigs as Aleksandr Shelepin, KGB chair at age 40, a riser in the Kremlin hierarchy. Stashinsky married an East German woman, and the couple experienced the cultural shock of life in Moscow — crammed housing, food shortages, filth everywhere, a sordid existence by every measure.The leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Stepan Bandera, was driven into refuge in Munich, Germany, where he called for an independent state.In a show of strength, he also arranged the assassination of Yaroslav Halan, a pro-Soviet Ukrainian. His chosen instrument to direct revenge was underling Nikita Khrushchev, then the party boss in Ukraine.Stashinsky made a convincing argument that he joined KGB under duress not of free will. As events worked out, Stashinsky served only three years. In fact, Stashinsky found refuge in South Africa, whose polyglot population made anonymity easier, and whose security agency, BOSS, could make life safe for him.And he defected because “it was my duty somehow to make up for my misdeed and try to warn people against anything of the kind.” He admitted his guilt, but asked that the court “be guided more by considerations of mercy than of law.” Stashinsky contended that his experience displayed the realities of “peaceful coexistence” that marked Soviet foreign policy. Subsequent press reports said CIA spirited him to the U. With Russian assassins once again on the roam as part of Vladimir Putin’s attempt to regain former Soviet holdings, including Ukraine, Stashinsky’s story, although more than half a century old, is a grim reminder of the institutional criminality that continues to pervade in Moscow.He was introduced to a sophisticated new weapon: “a metal cylinder, eight inches long and less than an inch in diameter.” The cylinder contained an ampoule with liquid.When the trigger was pressed, a striker set off by a gunpowder charge hit the ampoule with poison, spraying the face of the target.