Prokopiuk, Nikolai Arkhipovich
Born May 25 (June 7), 1902, in the village of Samchiki, now in Starokonstantinov Raion, Khmel’nitskii Oblast; died June 11, 1975, in Moscow. A leader of the partisan movement in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45); colonel (1948). Hero of the Soviet Union (Nov. 5, 1944). Member of the CPSU from 1944.
In the Red Army from 1920, Prokopiuk fought in the Civil War of 1918–20. He then served in state security agencies. He fought in the antifascist war in Spain in 1937—38. In the Great Patriotic War he was parachuted in August 1942 behind enemy lines as head of the Okhotniki Cheka Group, which under his command became the base for a large partisan unit that operated from 1942 to 1944 in the Ukraine, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. They completed special reconnaissance, sabotage, and political missions. The unit carried out 23 big combat operations. In June 1944, Prokopiuk headed the struggle of Soviet and Polish partisans against fascist German punitive troops in the Janow forests. In late September 1944, Prokopiuk’s unit captured Russkii Pass in the Eastern Carpathians and held it until the approach of the troops of the Fourth Ukrainian Front. Prokopiuk participated in the national liberation and people’s wars in China from December 1944 to July 1946. He went into the reserves in 1950.
Prokopiuk wrote several articles on the partisan movement and the resistance movement in Russian and Polish. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, various medals, and eight foreign orders.