(Ivan Franko People’s Guard, People’s Guard of the Western Oblasts of the Ukraine, or Organization of the Partisan Movement in the Western Oblasts of the Ukraine), an underground, partisan, antifascist organization that operated in L’vov, Drogobych, Stanislav, and Ternopol’ oblasts in 1942–44 during the Great Patriotic War.
The People’s Guard was formed in L’vov by members of the ACP (Bolshevik), the Polish Workers’ Party (PWP), and former members of the CP of the Western Ukraine. It was made up of antifascist groups that had arisen from the first days of the fascist German occupation.
The organizers and leaders of the People’s Guard included N. D. Berezin, I. P. Vovk, T. A. Gaevskii, V. A. Grushin, I. V. Dubas, Karol’ Kuriliuk, I. P. Kurilovich, P. P. Perchinskii, A. P. Polubiak, and E. G. Tsibrukh. The directing center of the People’s Guards was the Military Council; the organization had regulations and an oath. During 1942–43 the People’s Guards were unable to establish communication with the Central Committee of the CP of the Ukraine (Bolshevik). The Central Committee of the PWP helped get the organization operating.
The People’s Guard brought together more than 600 persons. It published newspapers and leaflets in Ukrainian and Polish. These publications appealed to the population to struggle against the occupation troops and exposed the antipopular activities of the Ukrainian and Polish bourgeois nationalists. It had partisan detachments and seven local organizations and combat groups, which wiped out more than 30 military trains, ten industrial enterprises, and six large military storehouses.
In March 1944 the People’s Guard established communications with the Central Committee of the CP of the Ukraine and with the Ukrainian headquarters of the partisan movement. With the approach of Soviet forces, the organization’s combat activity intensified. Despite fascist repression and the loss of many leaders, the People’s Guard continued its struggle until the Soviet Army arrived.
REFERENCESOcherki istorii KP Ukrainy, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1972.
L ’vivshchyna u Velykii Vitchyznianii viini. Collection of documents and materials. L’vov, 1968.
Makivka, S. A. Narodna hvardiia im. Ivana Franka. L’vov, 1959.
Chernenko, A. M. “Narodnaia gvardiia.” In Geroipodpol’ia, issue 1,4th ed. Moscow, 1972.