KANDYBA Ivan Olexiyovych
author: Vasyl Ovsiyenko
V.V.Ovsiyenko: On the night of October 7, 1998 we talk with Ivan Kandyba in the apartment of Vasyl Ovsiyenko in Kyiv. Sir, please start.
I.O.Kandyba: I was born in the Village of Stulno, Volodarsky Powiat, now Poland, on June 7, 1930.
At the age of seven years, as usual, I entered a primary school and studied there until I finished the fourth grade, because in our village there was no fifth or sixth or seventh grade at the school. Therefore for four years I was a fourth-grader. I went to school in order not to stay at home. However, since my childhood I became a shepherd at the age of six years. There was nobody to pasture the cows, and our grandfather had a farm to go about. He was a peasant of average means. He had ten hectares of land. I was a shepherd. I pastured cows and attended the village school. The seven-grade school was about seven kilometers away. I did not go there.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And your village, was it entirely Ukrainian?
I.O.Kandyba: Let’s say, ninety-five percent Ukrainian. It was a small village: about a hundred or so khatas. Of these, there were only about five Polish families. But they spoke our language. In schools Polish was the language of instruction.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It follows that you went to a Polish school?
I.O.Kandyba: Right, to a Polish school. It was Poland at the time.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I wonder what was the attitude of Ukrainian peasants towards the Polish language and Polish state.
I.O.Kandyba: At school Polish was the language of instruction, nobody used Ukrainian. We were even punished. For example, if we were playing football or volleyball during the recreation and pronounced a word in Ukrainian, we were punished. I also used to repeatedly catch it: I was forced to my knees or kneel on scattered buckwheat, or even clipped on the back of my head. Several times I was punished… I was considered one of the first in my class. My father trained me so that when I entered the school, I was able to read and write. I remember how my teacher−her name was Emiliya Moskaliuvna−even praised me, “Oh boy, Yasik−she called me Yasik−you’re real good at learning”. So I was an overachieving pupil.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And about your parents? When was your father born? What did he do for a living?
I.O.Kandyba: My father was a villager. My mother was also a villager. She lived in the same village. My father, Kandyba Olexiy Ivanovych, was born in 1902. Im Ivan Olexiyovych and he was Olexiy Ivanovych. My mother’s name was Olga, patronymic Ivanivna.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And what was her maiden name?
I.O.Kandyba: Bubela. Her maiden name was Bubela. She was born in the same village in 1911.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were they educated?
I.O.Kandyba: They had rural education. At the time it meant two or three grades. Well, maybe it was even four. They were born under Tsar. My mother also finished a few classes, I do not know exactly how many.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What plot of land did they own?
I.O.Kandyba: Only my grandfather had ten hectares of land. Besides my mother, my grandfather had another daughter, the youngest one, Mariya. And one daughter died in childhood. And there was a youngest daughter, Olenka. She died as a teenager; she was approximately fifteen years of age. This much is about the family of my grandfather. My grandfather’s name was Ivan Bubela, surname Mykolayovych. I know nothing about my grandfather’s family, because he was from another village, about ten kilometers away; I have never been there. My mother’s mother was Anna Prus from the Prus family. My grandmother was born in 1888, and my grandfather Bubela was born in 1887. He was a year older. This much is about family tree. I even happened to know my grandmother’s mother; that is, she was my great-grandmother. I remember my great-grandmother. She died sometime in 1945. She was very old; I do not know how old she was indeed.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And when were your parents married? Did you have any siblings?
I.O.Kandyba: My father had three brothers. The eldest was Stepan, then Andriy, then my father Olexiy, and the youngest was Pylyp. All of them finished the likely common rural schools, and the said Pylyp (junior) was the most teachable. He graduated from the seven-grade which was situated in a nearby village. The villagers considered him a literate person. And he was the one who went in for politics. He went from Poland to the Soviet Union with the aim to study there somewhere about in 1928. He was a revolutionary soul. And they shot him there for some cause. We could not get to know for what, although my father wanted it very much. He studied in Kharkiv… I do not know the name of the higher college. Anyway he was sentenced to be shot in 1937. It was the time of persecution of intelligentsia.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Yes, there were many of those who went to the Soviet Union and found there their grave.
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Now, please tell me about your family and your parents. When were they married?
I.O.Kandyba: I was born in 1930, I was the senior. I had a brother by name of Stepan; he was born in 1932.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Why do you say about him in the past time? I remember that you wrote him letters from the Urals.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, I wrote him letters. I came back to him in 1988… At the time you (and Mykola Horbal.--V.O.) were transported to Kyiv, and I was taken to Lviv. I do not remember just now when exactly I was taken there…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: You were released on September 9, 1988.
I.O.Kandyba: I was released on September 9, but all the same they kept me in Lviv prison for about two weeks.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: So what about your brother Stepan?
I.O.Kandyba: I was released in 1988. And Stepan died in 1991, three years after my return from prison. He developed a pancreas cancer; such was the diagnosis.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was he your only brother?
I.O.Kandyba: Right, my only brother. He graduated from the seven-grade school and had to work because he had no means to study.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Well, what happened when you had finished four classes in your village?
I.O.Kandyba: And then I entered the teachers seminary in Hrubieszów. My father sent me to the Township of Gruberiv. It was already somewhere about in 1941 or 1942, I do not remember. It happened during the German occupation.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What was the language of instruction in this school?
I.O.Kandyba: Ukrainian only. However, I studied there less than a year. When it came to pass at Stalingrad and the Germans were defeated, and there were Hungarians together with them, the Hungarians began to fall back at once. I studied together with a daughter of a teacher from a neighboring village. He knew my father. It was he who prepared me for the teachers seminary and both of us were placed there in Hrubieszów. It was 80 kilometers away from our village. It was far enough. It was no mean task: we had to get a train and then we had to get trucks for the rest of the way. At that time there was no such regular communication service. The Germans and, in particular, the Hungarians began to retreat, and my father together with the teacher came and took us home. They feared that anything could happen with us. The time was ripe for instability. And since then I did not study anywhere else.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I remember you once mentioned the national revival under German occupation.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, it did take place. The Germans came in 1939. They had already occupied Poland. And we lived near the Buh riverine area. And our villagers greeted the Germans wholeheartedly. They thanked the Germans for the destruction of Poland. At the same time the Germans treated us very well. It was the borderland. Not far from our village there was a mansion Old Stolno. There they had a kind of base. Their line of border defense was nearby. The German soldiers were on the watch there. We were on friendly terms with the Germans.
For example, there was such an occurrence in our village. These border guards always had German shepherds. And one of these dogs jumped on a woman. The dog didn’t bite the woman and didn’t do any harm. Nevertheless the woman was very scared and later complained. When the senior Germans, senior officers, found out about the incident, they even punished the soldier for this offense: he should have allowed the dog to attack and scare the woman. So you see that they treated us very well. The Germans immediately permitted to transform the Polish school into Ukrainian one. And from the other side of the River Buh, from Volyn, people sent us many books. The Germans allowed us to pass over to the other bank of the River Buh. When the Germans waged war against the Soviets in 1941, we received a lot of Ukrainian nationalist publications. Among the newly received books there were the History by Hrushevskyi and fiction. I read books by many authors at the time. I read everything we had. I liked it very much. Just then, against the background of anti-Polish sentiment, a kind of a natural nationalism originated. How did the Poles behave in our land? In 1938, they began to tear down our Orthodox churches. And people became very angry at Poles about this. In schools they band Ukrainian as the language of instruction. Well, when in 1939 the Germans came, we treated the Germans as liberators.
In 1945 the Bolsheviks returned. A delegation arrived from Kyiv and began to agitate that there was allegedly an agreement that the Poles could resettle the Ukrainians to Ukraine and Poles from Ukraine might settle in our places. But it was ruin here at the time. We had no idea about UPA, but we heard about the unrest on the other side of Buh. The rebellion was at full swing: the villages were set ablaze, people were murdered, and the guerrillas were at war with the Ukrainians.
By the way, as regards the border. There was the border and barbed wire fencing. Our border skirted Buh River. There were prominences along the bank. But the Germans tried and straightened the borderline: We were allowed to pasture our cows on our land beyond the fencing. The cows used to cross the river and we had to follow them; in this way we bathed in Buh. Such was our bathing on the border. Sometimes our cows crossed the state border and the Soviet border guards drove the cows back. And there were no frontier disputes at the time.
It was an interesting time. But in 1945, a part of the village decided to leave their homes anyway… Yeah, there had already been several escapades of some very undesirable types who used to come to the village suspected types campaigning against Ukrainians. There is every likelihood that they were Poles. Maybe they were specially sent in order to drive us out of our land… I just do not know. It was impossible to understand what they meant. But we had already understood that it was dangerous to stay and live here. So, a part of villagers came under their influence and agreed to go away, because, for example in Hrubieszów Powiat, the Poles began to attack Ukrainian villages. They set the villages ablaze and they killed people… We did not know it from our own experience though. But the rumor mill did its part. And my grandfather and my father decided to sign up for evacuation. Approximately half of the village decided to leave voluntarily in order to evade imminent violence.
But we did not go to Volyn, though it was possible to go to Volyn, Rivne, and Lutsk. But there was no peace over there also and we decided to go further inland. It was possible to choose Odesa, Mykolayiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, or Poltava oblasts. They gave a car per family. You could take everything you had there, including food, cattle and so on and so forth. There existed a temporary permit. So on March 25, 1945 my family together with one half of the village went to Mykolayiv Oblast. The transportation took us about a week. It was already April, spring. The more so we headed southward. I remember that we arrived in the Village of Stepove or Kalistrovo, Shyrokolanivka District, Mykolayiv Oblast (sic); this area was known for the former German colonies. The Germans had been evacuated from there. During the war there were bases and after the war the village was empty of people.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were you able to find a khata there?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. There was a wide choice. We got to the Village of Stepove. The Ukrainian name of the village is Stepove and the German name is Kalistrovo. The families chose their khatas. The settlers chose tumble-down khatas. These khatas were built of wood: shutters, doors, everything was torn away and burned because the peasants needed something to fire ovens in winter. Therefore they tore the doors and shutters off the hinges and fired their ovens. All of us were painfully impressed. In this area the soil consisted of fertile chernozem, but in the year of our arrival spring and summer happened to be very dry. The people starved in this area. Unlike the local residents and peasants in the neighboring Ukrainian villages we did not experience hunger, but they were half-starved. They tried to buy something from us. We shared food with them.
There was drought. We planted potatoes in our vegetable gardens, we wanted to have our own vegetables and potatoes but potato yield in the area was rather low. The planted potatoes were either damaged or dried out or potatoes were very small. All potatoes dug out were like nuts. We had bad harvest that summer. We did not found any collective farm; the officials named the locals The 15th Artillery Regiment Collective Farm. First of all they took away our horses for the needs of the collective farm, as well as agricultural implements. That spring our parents cultivated approximately four hundred and more hectares of land. We sowed spring grains brought to the new settlement area from our home. But the harvest was very poor. Although the soil was very good, chernozem, it did not need manuring. But it was very dry summer… I remember that they gave us only 200 or 300 grams per workday. Such were our gains…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: So you there?
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are. We didn’t take roots. I tell you about our first summer in 1945.
There was a school. We went to school in the Village of Katerynivka. It was a nearby Ukrainian village. I then went to the seventh grade. I finished it in 1945. And in the 1945/46 school year I was looking for some higher educational establishment, a college or something. I went to enter a higher educational establishment in Kherson or Mykolayiv. But I failed there. Like other children of our settlers I went then to Rivne Oblast. In Ostroh I entered the teachers college.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And what about your father and mother? Did they stay in Stepove?
I.O.Kandyba: Yeah. They remained there. By the way, in 1946, my mother fell ill and they took her to Odesa. She died there in 1946. We estimated the situation and concluded that it was unacceptable for us. We were intolerant of such climate. We were accustomed to the environment comprised of woods, rivers, and water. And fresh water was scarce in the village. There were wells. Not every draw well had water and it was salt water all the same. This village had about four hundred farm yards and only a few draw wells had fresh potable water. There was no rivers, no lakes, nothing. You need to water your cows but the cows refused to drink that water. Salt water. There were no gardens. There were only vineyards. In the Ukrainian villages there was more or less normal water, better than in those German colonies, and gardens. Everything there was buried in verdure. And our village in the German colony had no gardens though there were brick houses. Therefore it was nice to go to school in Katerynivka. There were gardens… Though there were no wooden houses, too. There were either brick houses or wattle and daub houses. But all houses were whitewashed and the wall surface was contoured with yellow clay. It was altogether the reverse of our village. In our village we had stones; there were no trees and substandard water. So we started to think of how to break away from there and go back to the West. And we chose a village where our relatives settled: a year later they had been kicked out of our village.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did they belong to those villagers that had remained?
I.O.Kandyba: Right, they belonged to those villagers that had remained. As regards their situation the tactics was as follows: at first they said that they’d better move because otherwise their life there wouldn’t be worth living. Later they gave them an advance notice: if you do decide to move, you will be able to pack up your goods and chattels into a small bundle with a two-hour notice for travel arrangements. There were no two ways about it and the rest of villagers decided to move. In our letters we warned them not to go to the south. As a rule, the villagers mostly moved westward: to Volyn and Rivne oblasts. The climate was completely different there.
Well, I then went to Ostrih and entered the teachers college there. It was in 1946/47 academic year. I studied there for a year. But it was situated too far to go there regularly. Our people moved to Rivne Oblast, but to another region, closer to Lutsk. Lutsk was twenty kilometers away. And the distance to Rivne made forty plus kilometers. In order to get to Rivne from that village one had to travel about one hundred and fifty kilometers. That is why I decided to transfer from the Ostrih Teachers College to one in Lutsk in order to be closer to my home and to my parents.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And where did your father settle? In what village?
I.O.Kandyba: In the Village of Zboriv, Ostrozhets Region. Not Ostroh but Ostrozhets Region. The Town of Ostrozhets. Rivne Oblast. You should not confuse it with Ostroh. Ostroh is a town known in our history. There lived the Ostrozky kniazes. It is a beautiful Ukrainian town. I entered the Ostrih College and then I transferred to the Lutsk Teacher’s College.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: When did you graduate from it?
I.O.Kandyba: Do you mean that Teachers College? I did not finish it. When I entered the college, it followed the three-year program. But a year later, already in 1948, they added one year and the program was designed for four years. It meant an extra year of instruction. And I did not like the idea. Having finished the second year of studies at the Lutsk Teacher’s College, I decided to go to the secondary evening school. I managed to go to the tenth grade after the second year at the college. In this way I gained one year. Instead of four years at the Teachers College I completed the tenth grade and had the right to enter a higher educational establishment.
I finished the tenth grade in 1949 and chose the law faculty of Lviv University.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you enter this university at the first try?
I.O.Kandyba: I went right after my graduation and entered the university. The term of university apprenticeship made five years. But I happened to come out in four years. I managed it because when I was going to enter the university, my relatives instructed me, “You’d rather not learn but look for a job for we run on the cheap. We won’t be able to sustain you”. They hardly made both ends meet. The collective farmers were scarcely paid. You know the realities of the collective farm. However, I went to enter law faculty of the University. I told them that if I would not qualify for a scholarship, I would sign up for postal tuition, but I would study all the same. But I got full marks at my exams. And I got scholarship at once. I became a full-time student. But then it was very difficult to study, because I had no support from home. Later I transferred to the externship. There was externship at the time.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you pass the external exams?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, in the case of proper preparation one could pass the external exams. I passed almost all exams within two years. I even went to pass state examinations. I wrote a diploma thesis. The name of the Dean of the Department was Nedbailo. He called me and said (he had been informed that Kandyba was already going to graduate from University): “Bear in mind, I will not graduate you. If you want to finish, please return to the full-time fifth year, take a course and only then you will be able to finish”. Well, of course I listened, but I turned a deaf ear to advice. I decided to do it my way. It’s nothing but bogeyman stories. I ventured to pass the state examination all the same. And he did fail me at the very first exam: tenets of Marxism-Leninism. (Kandyba is laughing).
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It is a kind of pseudoscience…
I.O.Kandyba: Therefore I had to return to the fifth year. I submitted an application and I did manage to study four years all-in-all and graduate in 1953.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It was an interesting time.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, at that very time Stalin died on March 5… am I right?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Yes, you are.
I.O.Kandyba: But there is one point. I was in the group studying criminal law. My diploma thesis had to take account of Stalin’s death. I had to revise my diploma thesis. The revised version had to reckon with Stalin’s death. I rewrote it, defended it and got my diploma. So I entered the university in 1949 and graduated from it in 1953.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were you given an assignment?
I.O.Kandyba: Assignment? During my external studies I made an arrangement in Lviv with the Ministry of Justice. At first they employed me as an officer of the law. And then they sent me to the regional notarial office. When Dean Nedbailo learned about it, he called me several times and threatened me, “Quit the job at once and go to work there and there”. I promised him, but nevertheless did not leave the job. And in the oblast department of justice they asked me to go to that regional notarial office as a notary public, because the local notary was a woman and she had either fallen ill or gone on vacation or given birth to a child. Well, I do not remember it exactly now. I agreed to it. And they promised me that after my graduation they would transfer me to Lviv notarys office. So I didn’t need job placement because I was employed already. Indeed, upon my graduation from the law department of the university they transferred me to the fourth Lviv notary public office. They kept their word. Only several graduates of the same year managed to stay in Lviv. And many would like to. So, I had a job in the fourth Lviv notary public office.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you have an apartment at the time, or what?
I.O.Kandyba: At first I did not. I rented an apartment.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you live in a dorm being a student?
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are, in a dorm. When I was transferred to Lviv, I at first, by pulling strings, slept in a dorm for a few months and then I found a let-out room. With the lapse of time I established contacts with the district leaders and they gave me public-owned room. A room and a kitchen in Lviv. I got an official order. In this very apartment, in this room we conducted our meeting on November 6, 1960. Lukyanenko, I and a few of our close comrades.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Those were exciting times: the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was at war. Did you happen to hear an echo? Were you involved in those developments?
I.O.Kandyba: No, I was not involved. However, when I was in Ostroh there were students, whose parents or relatives had died. I knew several of them, they did all the talking and I pricked up my ears. The same recurred in Lutsk. In Lutsk, when I was a second-year student, in spring 1947, a few in our group were arrested. Even those with who I was on a friendly footing. The KGB officers saw it all, they watched. So once I came to the lectures and learned that several students from our group were arrested. And there was one such Kateryna Ivanivna, I forgot her last name. She said when I walked in, “I was afraid that you also might be arrested”. I rubbed shoulders with Lakushchak at the time. And he was arrested. And I was doing well in the college. I was a stickler for details and was even praised for proper behavior.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: You worked for several years in the notarys office, right?
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are. I was transferred there in 1953 and worked there for two years. But I grew dead tired of work in sitting position: I was bored by it. I was very young and I wanted to be in the thick of things. I hated this daily routine from 9 am till 6 pm. Such was the order of the day. Then I went to the Department of Justice and asked to be transferred to a lawyer’s office; I was ready to work in the depths of the country but I wanted to change jobs. They went halfway to meet my demands and transferred me to Hlyniany Region in 1955. I immediately felt a weight off my mind. In the lawyer’s office they don’t order you to show up at 9 am. Well, you come when there is a case. You’re on the road all the time. Hlyniany is an hour’s drive from Lviv. Well, I didn’t appear at work every day (there was no such need); you work when there is a work to be done. I stayed in this office until 1959.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It is written here that you also were a judge in a Peoples Court.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, yes, I was. Sorry, it has just completely slipped from my mind. They suggested and I agreed to become a judge in a Peoples Court in Novy Miliatyn; I had to work for two years there. Their judge either had departed somewhere or become a head of the collective farm and dropped this work. Yes, yes. It’s good you have reminded me, for I’ve clean forgotten it. And Im searching my mind for those missing two years… Well, I was a member of no party. And they got at me insisting that I had to be on the move and deliver lectures. I answered that I had a case to work upon and lecturing was included into my official duties. It was Novy Miliatyn and Novy Miliatyn Region. The same was about Hlyniany. I went there and tried to cut my stay there: I used to go there when there was a case to be tried and when there was no scheduled trials I spent my time in Lviv. And the local Communist party committee and executive committee began pestering me denouncing my attitude to my work; they called my appearance at work “a good apparition”. I didn’t get on both with the local Communist party committee and executive committee. Once I even told the Head of the Executive Committee to go to hell. Our relationship was strained. Nevertheless, I worked until the end of term. I worked there from 1955 to 1957. I refused my consent to go on working there. I applied to the college of advocates to be sent to another region. Then I was appointed to go to Hlyniany.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you meet Levko Lukyanenko in Hlyniany?
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are, in Hlyniany. But I made the acquaintance of him later, in 1960. I did not frequent the regional committee of the Communist party there. I had not to, because I was a member of no party. I went there only when they called me. I did not go into the heart of doings there.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Lukyanenko was an instructor at the regional committee of the Communist party, or wasn’t he?
I.O.Kandyba: Right, he was an Instructor at the regional committee of the Communist party. Well, he wasn’t there at the time of my arrival yet. He still worked in Radekhiv. Somewhere in 1959 he came to Hlyniany.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I wonder how you got to see eye to eye on ideological grounds.
I.O.Kandyba: Now, look here. We met with him already in 1960. It happened in April. I was a lawyer in Hlyniany, and not only a lawyer but I was also appointed the head of legal advice office. I was there alone. And then on the First of April, Lukyanenko came in who was sent to that legal advice office by the Lviv Oblast Bar. Well, I welcomed him. He sent to me as an intern. He decided to leave his position of an instructor at the regional Communist party committee and go to work as a lawyer. And he graduated from Moscow University. Well, they went halfway to meet his demands and let him quit the regional Communist party committee. He then remained a Communist party member. And somehow we soon became friends with him.
It became possible due to the fact that I took in the newspapers Nashe Slovo and Nasza Kultura. I had both of them at my work, because I used to look them through while going by bus to Hlyniany, and sometimes I even stayed overnight there and I needed to have something at hand. I showed him these newspapers and he too k a great interest in them as he was from Chernihiv Oblast and never saw anything like it. The Nashe Slovo newspaper aroused his interest and was a kind of curiosity for him; the newspaper was published abroad. Poland was a foreign country at the time. The newspaper riveted his attention.
He liked my way to treat the callers who came to write an application; Lukyanenko liked free and easy atmosphere in my office. I was relaxed and knew how to get the visitor talking. I felt completely independent, I recognized no party; I beg your pardon but I didnt give a damn about it. I tried to be frank and businesslike with people. And they liked it. I could not behave in a different way. My parents were peasants and the same peasants were my visitors. I behaved not like a party boss but as a freeman. And Lukyanenko liked it. And a few weeks later we started talking about politics and about foundation of an organization. He had already acquired certain experience in Radekhiv and then in Hlyniany.
He was inclined to implement necessary changes. We had to start from something. From what? We needed a program in the first place. We had to design a program and then begin realizing it. Then we discussed the outline of the future program. He suggested: “You just try and make a sketch and I will give it a think as well.” I didn’t drag my feet on it and soon wrote my ideas on paper. He says: "OK." But I had no idea that he had already had a program. It was his way to test me. Later he acknowledged it. He says: "I already have it. It’s for the sake of good order: I’d rather have it.” Though he trusted me, he wanted to make himself safe. To my mind such testing was against the hair. But when I found out that he had already had a program, we came to an agreement, where we could meet to discuss it. I said, "We can meet at my apartment in Lviv.”
He says, “You bring your people with you and I will bring mine. We will meet and discuss the program." Well, we agreed on November 6, 1960.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: On the eve of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
I.O.Kandyba: Yeah, just the day before. It was the day off.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: How many people were there? And who came? Were they your acquaintances?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: There were my people and there were Lukyanenko’s people. His people made the majority. I brought there Yosyp Borovnytskyi, the investigator of the public procurators office of Peremyshliany Region. But he failed to come. So, then, there were only his people: Vasyl Lutskiv, Stepan Virun, whom he acquainted still in Radekhiv. Virun was from Radekhiv, Lutskiv was from Radekhiv Region. Ivan Kipysh was not his man. It was Olexandr Libovych who introduced him to Kipysh. And he met Libovych still in Radekhiv.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: So how many participants did gather there on November 6?
I.O.Kandyba: If we take into account the agent… The agent was there already. Mykola… Mykola… whats his name?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: We may peek into Levko’s book and find out
I.O.Kandyba: I’ve just forgotten his name. I’ve jotted it down in my notebook, but I have not brought it along. So the participants agreed to meet at my apartment and they included Virun, Libovych, Lutskiv, the said agent, I and Lukyanenko. Kipysh was not present at the meeting.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was that agent tried or not?
I.O.Kandyba: No, he was called as a witness. He had to appear as a witness. But he failed to appear before the court and he sent a cable that he had fallen ill.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: So this was the only meeting?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. On November 6, we discussed the project. Here are a few words about that discussion. Lukyanenko was the first to address the meeting, and then I made a speech. My certain words even led to a difference of opinions: “In general, I approve the draft program. But I do not like the fact that it uses Marxism-Leninism as basis.” Then Virun observed as follows: “Without Marxism-Leninism you can go only as far as to Kyiv.” Levko was putting it down and taking notes. They are known as “Notes taken at the meeting on November 6”.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Later these notes figured in the case, right?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, later they appeared in the case. These notes read…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Are not you a Marxist? He is a Marxist, but you are not a Marxist.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, he was a Marxist, and I was a nationalist. I do not remember how it was. To cut a long story short, it looked like this.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: To what decision did you come then? Did you pass a resolution to gather again and improve this program?
I.O.Kandyba: We then decided to replace the program and instructed Lukyanenko to submit it in another form, because it, allegedly, accentuated to an excessive degree the secessionist demands of Ukraine in relation to the USSR. And we decided that it had to be more culture-oriented: the spread of Ukrainian language and founding of more our newspapers.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you mean that the second version had to be free from propositions concerning secession and referendum?
I.O.Kandyba: No, these points had to remain in the text. But a transition period had to be allowed for.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was the initial text preserved? Was not it destroyed or removed?
I.O.Kandyba: It was not removed.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was it stolen or what? You then appointed the next meeting on January 20, 1961?
I.O.Kandyba: On January 20.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: But did the arrests begin on this very day?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, I was arrested on this very day. It happened at the hands of the traitor. Virun brought him to our meeting. Virun together with him graduated from the Lviv Communist party school. He gave this student of the party school, the traitor, a copy of the draft program. And the traitor immediately brought this copy to the KGB. So the KGB had the draft program.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: The sentence contains the names of Krasovskyi, Kozak, and Yarmolenko. Are not they the same men?
I.O.Kandyba: No, they are not. Krasovskyi and Kozak were my friends. I do not know Yarmolenko. Thanks to Krasivskyi I was able to get the said newspapers.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Well, there were also mentioned Kozhumyachenko, Obertynskyi.
I.O.Kandyba: No, no.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Well, let it be. The night brings counsel and you will remember.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, tomorrow Ill call back. (The traitor’s name was Mykola Vashchuk.--V.O.).
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Who was arrested on January 20, 1961?
I.O.Kandyba: On January 20, I was arrested. I was the first to be arrested. And Lukyanenko was arrested on the following day.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did it happen in Hlyniany or in Lviv?
I.O.Kandyba: No, I was already in Peremyshliany. After Lukyanenko had finished his internship in 1960, six months beginning April 1, somewhere in October, it seems to me, I was transferred to Peremyshliany. Lukyanenko remained in Hlyniany, because he had a family there, his wife. And I was just offered to go to Peremyshliany. I agreed with this. Hlyniany, Peremyshliany, they are situated not far from one another, twenty kilometers only. The same way led from Lviv to Peremyshliany and Hlyniany. I was bored with Hlyniany already. There was not much to look in this little town. Peremyshliany was a little bit more developed town. So I liked this change.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I wonder how you were arrested.
I.O.Kandyba: I remember that day. In Peremyshliany I was also appointed a Head of the Law Office. On that day, January 20, the hearing of a case was scheduled in court: the case of an apartment robber. And it turned out that the KGB officer had arrived in the morning on January 20. He was present in the courtroom during the whole hearing of the case and listened. He waited until the end on the trial. After the completion of the trial he led me to the KGB. I am going to tell you now, how he conveyed me there. The local Peremyshliany KGB officer came up to me after the conclusion of the trial (I had known him already) and said: "Listen, Ivan, let’s go to my place: its time we had a little talk.” Well, I went.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What place do you mean? Your office?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. And I went. I was going to take a bus. I had already gone out on the street and waited at the bus stop. He came up to me at the bus stop and said: “Let’s go to my place: its time we had a little talk. One of our officers will accompany us.” It turned out that this guy was an oblast KGB investigator who came detain me. Well, I said: "Let’s go." When we entered the office, he started talking without a peep: "Well, you were on the side of that robber.” He meant that it was a defense in good faith, something like that. But he added: "You see, he was condemned all the same.”−“Oh, well. Those were your words that I defended him in good faith, even too well. But the court gave judgment and it was its competent judgment.” He said: "Right you are." And he began to make observations concerning my case: "Are you associated with any organization?" I answered that I was not a member of any organization. He said: "There is info on you that you allegedly carry out anti-Soviet propaganda." I answered that I knew nothing of the kind. And then the out-of-towner cut in. There is info on you that you conducted a meeting somewhere. Then it came home to me.
Earlier, after 6 November, there was an incident. A relative came to me, she had to stay overnight. However, she stayed at my apartment for several days. I went to work and she remained at home. And suddenly someone opened the door and entered. And the door was locked when I went out.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And she remained inside?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, she was at home. When he opened the door and looked inside she got very frightened, and he was frightened too and hooked off on his own. He knew that I went to Peremyshliany to work. He did not know that someone remained in the apartment. When I returned, my relative told me the story. I said, "Hey, we should go and put in an application.” I went to the prosecutors office or the KGB and said: "Someone tried to break into my apartment, he had unlocked the door. There was my relative, my niece. What does it mean?" Well, they said, we would look into it. But they did not go into details.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did they find out anything?
I.O.Kandyba: Nothing. And they did not intend to. They sent him themselves.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Apparently, they were about to perform a secret search, right?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, why not. Anyway, they failed. Well, there was such episode indeed.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Now, let’s go back to your arrest. So, you were led into an office and the investigator began talking.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. The investigator joined in with the conversation. I could already see that both KGB officers were against me. We talked for half an hour or an hour. Well, he said, well, lets go now to your apartment and see what you have there. He had a car at his disposal. I was taken to my apartment.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What did they bring against you?
I.O.Kandyba: They raised no charges.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: So you just got in the car and went?
I.O.Kandyba: Right, we just got in the car and went.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: But you are a lawyer. Did you know that they needed a warrant to conduct a search or didn’t you?
I.O.Kandyba: The investigator had it. They were fully ready. He had both a search and arrest warrant.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Do you remember his last name?
I.O.Kandyba: Last name? I remember that his name was Vasyl. I should remember the last name, too.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did they manage to find anything during the search?
I.O.Kandyba: No, they did not. And they brought me to the Dzerzhinsky Street. It was the Oblast Department of the KGB. There they also talked with me for a while. And in the morning I was taken to the jail on the street…
I.O.Kandyba: It was Lontsky Street in the past. And at the time it was the Stalin Street.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Right. The jail should be on the Stalin Street only.
I.O.Kandyba: They threw me into a cell there.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was it a one-man cell? Was there anyone inside? Did they resort to all those standard procedures? What about searches?
I.O.Kandyba: There was a stool pigeon inside. There were two prisoners already. One of them did his term for underhand dealing with gold and another won, a stool pigeon, was sentenced for alleged murder.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Each of them had his own legend.
I.O.Kandyba: One of them was Khomyak or something like this. And the other one was a heavyset man. The scam artist dealing with gold. At the time the speculators in foreign currency were in the spotlight and they were dealt with without mercy. Two brothers were caught hot on the heels. Well, they were kept in different cells. He said that he might be subjected to a serious penalty.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Death penalty. Then they were shot.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. He had to face the firing squad. Both brothers were adjudged to die. They were from Sambir, as far as I recall.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: But it is another pair of shoes...
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, our topic is different. After a while, maybe two months later, Kipysh was transferred to my cell. He did not attend the meeting in my apartment. I also stayed with Virun.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: How on earth? You and your partner in crime were held in the same cell?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. Three of us were, in fact, partners in crime, and the stoolie into the bargain. So, the four of us were already in one cell.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Do you recall the names of investigators and prosecutors?
I.O.Kandyba: My case was conducted by Vasyl… For some reason it is hard to remember his last name. Every time I remember him as Vasyl. Well, the investigator was not mad as a hornet. There is every likelihood he had just recently graduated from law school. He studied together with Borovnytsky.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Let it be. You will remember later. Did the investigation last long?
I.O.Kandyba: It took three months after the arrest. The trial took place in May. It started on May 20.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was it concluded on the 20th?
I.O.Kandyba: No, no. No, it began on May 20.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: The judgment quoted in the book by Lukyanenko reads: “On May 20 the case was considered…”
I.O.Kandyba: No. It was the first day. And it ended on May 25 or 26th… It continued for four days.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: was it open or secretive trial?
I.O.Kandyba: Surely it was a secretive one. So it was written. It was so secretive that even relatives were not allowed to be present. Therefore there were no my people in the courtroom. There were supporters of Lukyanenko, supporters of Kipysh, supporters of Libovych but all of them were kept out. Only witnesses were let in. It was a secretive administration of justice. The relatives were not let in even during the pronouncement.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: How did you apprehend the sentence?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, I had no options, you know. You know that Levko was sentenced to capital punishment. I told him, "Levko! Thats nonsense! It is out of the question. Levko, they’ll change their mind, so shut your face, and do not be worried about it.” Well, it is clear that it is unpleasant. And so it happened. I said: "The sentence would be reconsidered. The Supreme Court…”
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you appeal for cassation?
I.O.Kandyba: We did, both I and Levko. My appeal was turned down. I appealed for requalification, basically.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Articles 64 and 62?
I.O.Kandyba: No, 56, part one, and 64; 64th specifies punishment for group activities and organization…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you get the 62nd as well?
I.O.Kandyba: No, I did my second term under article 62, part Two.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Are you not tired? It is past 2 am already. Maybe we’d better proceed in the morning?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, lets proceed later in the morning. Maybe, I will remember this and that.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Okay. We’ve come up to the period of the concentration camp.
I.O.Kandyba: Let’s call it a day for the time being.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: We continue in the morning of October 7, 1998. If you please, yesterday we talked about the developments down to the end of the trial. Now begins the period of transportation under guard and imprisonment.
I.O.Kandyba: We came to the opening of the trial. It was a secretive hearing. Even with a violation of their rules, because their law specifies that the hearing may be in private but at least the pronunciation of the sentence should be open to the public. Instead, they announced the sentence in camera as well. It was nothing but effrontery! We complained about that, but they didn’t give a damn. They believed that with us faults and all they might and had to violate the law. There was no question of fulfilling human rights. They didn’t care a straw about it.
They kept us there for two months more before the transportation. I was told that they would transfer us to Mordovia. So we already knew. They didn’t transport us at one stroke. Lukyanenko was left behind because his appeal was under consideration… Or else they had already satisfied his appeal… Anyway he was transported separately. Libovych was also transported separately. It seems he was taken ill. Lutskiv was also transported separately for he was a bit cracked. So, four of us were taken off together: me, Virun, Kipysh and Borovnytsky. We were taken 16 August. For four days we were kept in Kharkiv. For two days they held us in a transit prison in Moscow, and on September 1 we found ourselves in Mordovia. 1961. They managed to carry it through within the scope of one year.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And to what camp were you transported?
I.O.Kandyba: We were separated in Potma. Kipysh, Libovych and I were sent to the tenth and Borovnytsky to the seventh. A few months later Lukyanenko and Lutskiv were also brought to the seventh camp where Borovnytsky served his term. So in the seventh camp there were three of them. And Virun was also taken to the seventh. Four. Well, only later they began to mix prisoners. No strict rules were observed.
And then they sentenced me to one year in jail. I got there in 1962. In the Vladimir jail. Before that I was held in SIC during six months I was confined to a detention cell. Then they tried me. It was a local court. One year of correctional work. I was sentenced because I had underworked. They imputed agitation to me through which I impeded with their correcting the prisoners. I impeded progress of correction work… I liked staying one year in jail because I could meet there new people. And I was able to relieve the monotony of daily work in the concentration camp. I was appointed to work in a production team, the so called 46th team. It was the team of loaders. The loaders worked out-of-doors. We were ordered to load sand, cement, rubble stone, bricks, and boards. We transported this load to a factory. There was a furniture factory.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What was the name of the village? You told about the 11th camp?
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are, the 11th camp… Wait a minute.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Maybe Sosnovka?
I.O.Kandyba: No, not Sosnovka. The seventh camp is in Sosnovka. How is that…? Well, it has completely slipped from my mind. (Yavas Village in Mordovia.--V.O.). Yeah, but you keep tabs on him: the stoolie who betrayed us and who was present at our meeting on 6 November, Vashchuk. Mykola Vashchuk.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was he judged?
I.O.Kandyba: He was not judged. He was witness for the prosecution. He didn’t even appear in court. His file contained the telegram that he had fallen ill.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: They contended themselves with the evidence in the case.
So, you said that they put you in Vladimir prison. What was the routine there?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, it was the usual prison routine. They ordered me to go to work. I flatly refused. Yeah, during the first two or three months we were undernourished. Two or three?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Two. Two months.
I.O.Kandyba: Two months of starvation diet. I refused to work. I flatly rejected their offer. I simply said, “I will not go.” And they were not ready yet to oblige all prisoners to work. So they went easy. I liked the jail routine because I had not to go to work. Instead, there was a lot of reading matter: there was a library with considerable library stock. There were very many books published in bygone years. During the stardom different prisoners were kept in Vladimir prison. (And their books were brought to the prison library.--V.O.). There accumulated a considerable library holding. It was a very interesting library. I was just whiling away my time reading books. Time went by very quickly.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Who kept you company there?
I.O.Kandyba: They brought Mykhailo Lutsyk there and he was my cellmate. You may have heard about him. He did his time in the North, where they were tried. They had serious intentions there.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Yes. I read about their case.
I.O.Kandyba: So basically he was my cellmate. And I cannot the rest of fellow-inmates right now. After a year they brought me back to the 11th. This was Yavas.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Do You remember in which month you were sent to Vladimir prison and, respectively, returned to Yavas?
I.O.Kandyba: It was sometime in spring, in April 1962. In May 1963 I returned. And they put me on the list of the same brigade. There were many good people in Yavas. There was Mykhailo Soroka, then Vasyl Dyshkant, also from OUN, from UPA. There was Mykhailo Zelenchuk. I know him since those times. Well, Zelenchuk agreed to cooperate. He began to wear red armbands (bandages "IOC”−“Internal Order Council”.--V.O.) and took part in chorus. Well, now, you can see for yourself, he is the head ... the Head of the UPA.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Brotherhood of UPA Warriors.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, the Brotherhood of UPA Warriors. Well, it is just a remark. They (administration of the camps.--V.O.) tried to get their claws into everybody, make foul, and to shove everybody there. Well, it is just a remark.
In 1966, there were no changes. This work concentrated everything. Nobody could meet those norms; the work quotas for loaders were very high. For example, daily a loader had to load around eleven or fifteen tons of cement or bricks. Once and again we had clashes with the administration. I ignored those rudiments of political knowledge. They picked on me, punished, deprived of parcels, letters. They did anything that they pleased. But I let things go hang.
In December 1966, they decided to open the concentration camp number 17-A. There was a female camp number 17 (Ozernyi Settlement, Umor in Mordovian.--V.O.).
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I know. I was there in 1975-76.
I.O.Kandyba: Really? Then they transferred me to the 17-A. They transferred five people: Mykhailo Soroka, Stepan Soroka (both of them), Yuri Shukhevych, it makes four of us, and it seems that Vasyl Podhorodetskiy was the fifth. So, we celebrated the New Years Eve in 1967 in the 17-A. There were only two barracks in the camp. There once 300 prisoners were kept, and we did not number three hundred, two hundred and fifty at the utmost. There was, basically, sewing work. We sewed mittens and something else.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was Mykhailo Horyn also transferred there?
I.O.Kandyba: No, it happened later. (M. Horyn was brought there from the Vladimir prison in July 1970−V.O.).
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And when did Mykhailo Soroka die? Were you there?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, I was there. I participated in his funeral. Mykhailo died ... I know the date: June 16. No July 16.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: June. Because the birthday of Mykhailo Horyn was on June 17, 1971.
I.O.Kandyba: Yeah, and it happened the day before. Youre right, youre right. On June 16. They walked and strolled there… And suddenly he felt pain in his heart, he sat down. There was also one more thing that affected him that way. There were a lot of cats. And one of the cats negotiated the forbidden area and got scratched on the barbed wire, and was blood-stained. He looked at it and he was overcome. And he (it’s not by my observation Mykhailo Horyn told so) just sat down or rather fell down… In fact, it was a heart attack. He died. There was medical orderly Verkholiak at the medical unit. They called him. They carried out artificial ventilation.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Really? They tried to rescue the heart sufferer with the artificial ventilation? Horyn says the artificial ventilation killed him.
I.O.Kandyba: They said the same. Mykhailo and I carried and dressed him. Hryhoriy Pryshliak someone else took part in it. Mainly Mykhailo Horyn and I managed it.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was it your only stint in Vladimir prison? Or was there a second time as well?
I.O.Kandyba: I was there twice. When Soroka died, I had already returned. This second time they sentenced me to three years. It was in March 1967. And I came back sometime in April 1970. They began transporting me exactly on the day of conviction, but I was about a month on the road.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I know that in Vladimir prison you were with Horyn and Lukyanenko in the same cell. With Krasivskyi.
I.O.Kandyba: I met Lukyanenko there. And I stayed with Krasivskyi. Well, they used to change the contingent of inmates. There was a time when there were only three of us: I, Lukyanenko and Horyn. And there the jailers tried to poison us.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Ah! I heard your letter on the radio “Freedom” in 1969.
I.O.Kandyba: Right. All three of us wrote and signed that letter together. We addressed it to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Horyn’s wife Olga was about to come at the time. We made a microscopic note on the cigarette paper. I wrote the text. We contrived the text together, but I managed to write in the smallest letters so that the cigarette-paper format could contain the whole letter. Then we wrapped with an available piece of plastic and Mykhailo placed this microscopic package between his teeth. They failed to find it.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: This was the so-called quickie, in the presence of supervisors.
I.O.Kandyba: Right you are. In the presence of supervisors. And during a kiss he managed to pass it.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: From mouth to mouth?
I.O.Kandyba: From mouth to mouth. And Olga saved it and passed on. She wrote that everything was okay. Then the statement was put on the air and published somewhere.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were you punished for it?
I.O.Kandyba: No. For this, we were not punished because they failed to catch us.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: They could punish all the same. Just to vent their fury.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, maybe they simply could not be bothered to punish for the thing. We could also pay them in their own coin.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: That was their blunder.
I.O.Kandyba: Right, that was their blunder. Anyway, they stopped poisoning us.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: How did they poison you?
I.O.Kandyba: They added the stuff to our food.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: How did you feel after your meals?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, it depended. You see, the response to poisoning is highly individual. It affected brain in the most cases. For example, when you are writing a letter, you cannot collect your thoughts, your hands trembled and intracranial pressure. Hence, the disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. One man described it all; I do not remember who the first was.
Oh, by the way, when I did my first time in Vladimir, I managed to exchange a few notes with Kateryna Zarytska. She worked in the bathhouse… Wait, it happened during my second term, three years. I established contact with her when I came sometime in August 1967. When Lukyanenko, Horyn and some other were brought to the camp and we found ourselves in the same cell, I got Mykhailo Horyn involved in correspondence with Zarytska. It lasted almost a year or until she was transported from Vladimir prison to Mordovia. And in the concentration camp we were in contact through Darka…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Darka Husiak? Palchak?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, Palchak went before us. She had a shorter term, ten years…
Well, I returned from the Vladimir prison. It already was April 1970.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you serve the rest of your term in the 17th?
I.O.Kandyba: No, no. In 1972, we were taken to the Urals. It was then that we met. We met in the car, it seems, on the road to the Urals?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Not by a long shot. I was not taken there. I was brought to Mordovia in 1974. I served my first term in Mordovia. At the time I was not in the Urals. Which camp were you brought to?
I.O.Kandyba: To the 35th. It was in summer of 1972, during the hot days. It was in July. It took them a week to bring us there. One mate died on the road. I’ve forgotten his name. I did not know him. We were not acquainted.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Heart sufferer?
I.O.Kandyba: No, no. He was not a heart sufferer, he was a diabetic; they failed to give him insulin.
The 35th zone was situated near the railroad station of Vsesvyatskaya while the 37th zone was near Polovinka. Now I know where you and I met. In the special zone in Kuchino, zone no. 36.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: We have time till half past eleven.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, well.
We buried Soroka. That is we loaded the coffin onto the truck and took it away from the camp. In 1972 we were ordered to prepare to go to another concentration camp. A part of the prisoners stayed where they were. The whole contingent of our concentration camp was transferred.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: No, the seventeenth-A functioned until August 1976.
I.O.Kandyba: You’re right. They took away the most active ones and left behind the indolent prisoners. We were brought to the 35th. The comers from the outside included Zinoviy Antoniuk, Ivan Svitlychny from Kyiv.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Valeriy Marchenko.
I.O.Kandyba: Valeriy Marchenko, yes. At the time the stormy events took place in our camp. We protested, wrote many statements.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was there a strike in summer of 1974?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, there was.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What was the cause of those strikes?
I.O.Kandyba: These strikes were caused by the fact that they turned down visit requests, in particular, Valeriy Marchenko was not allowed to meet his mother. And the Svitlychny… Well, I do not remember all of it now.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Yevhen Proniuk was not allowed to undergo treatment. And he had tuberculosis.
I.O.Kandyba: Yeah, Proniuk. Right you are. We accrued a lot of grievances.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Stepan Sapeliak was beaten by someone, or wasn’t he?
I.O.Kandyba: There was something like it. I do not recall the details now. That was in 1974.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you stay off the job?
I.O.Kandyba: The others joined us and we acted together. The most active were Jews, including Semen Gluzman. Now I remember them all. There were a few Estonians.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Gunar Astra?
I.O.Kandyba: Gunar Astra was not there at the time.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What were the punishments for this?
I.O.Kandyba: The inmates were deprived of parcels and kiosks.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Wasn’t anybody sent to Vladimir then? It seems, Lukyanenko was sent…
I.O.Kandyba: From the 36th they brought him to a jail before the end of the term. Lukyanenko and someone else were sent to the jail.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: What about strikes held in all three areas? Did you have communication among the zones?
I.O.Kandyba: We maintained communication via the hospital… The most frequently the events took place in our zone no. 35. Our zone was at the hub of activity. The most active was Ivan Svitlychny. I had heard about him, but I was surprised when I saw him. He was so active that it turned out a bit unexpected even for me. I cannot recall any details now. Anyway, it was a very turbulent time. We communicated with Sakharov and with Moscow. I was already on the eve of my release in the early 1976: the 15-year term was coming to an end.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Was there anything special about your discharge? Were you discharged from the concentration camp or taken somewhere else?
I.O.Kandyba: They discharged me right there. They did not transport me anywhere else. They only gave me a lift to the Chusovaya Station. They put me in the cab next to the truck driver. An officer accompanied me. A brigade leader. This guider transported me. To Chusovaya. He bought me the ticket and got me on the train, which was going to Moscow. And Svitlychny gave me addresses of people to whom I had… In particular, Malva Landa. And she pertained to the fact of the transfer from our concentration camp to the Vladimir prison of a Moscow activist…
I.O.Kandyba: Ah! Vladimir Bukovsky. Bukovsky’s mother was a beautiful woman. I met them. When I departed, I was filled with materials… There were 16 small bags. Svitlychny gave me these bags and I swallowed them like dumplings one by one.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Like a goose?
I.O.Kandyba: Like a goose. It was a very delicate procedure for me… I got to succeed. They did not make me seated on that… They did not test. I lived through it successfully. You know what it led to when they happened to find out anything like this. That meant a new term and all. And on the road to Moscow I had to spend to the tune of thirty-six hours, it seems. Despite the fact that I did not eat anything and tried not to eat, but the urge to defecate was rather strong. So I had a hard time to travel. I expressed a desire for making it sooner, sooner… Well, to get rid of that all. By hook or by crook I managed it okay.
I stayed in Moscow for eight days. Several times they apprehended me there. For questioning. I was warned that I had to leave Moscow within two or three days. They repeated it several times to make me go, go, go. But I was slow on leaving Moscow. I lingered eight days in Moscow. And only then I left. Yeah, I went to Sakharov. Malva Landa was my guide around the city…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you call on General Hryhorenko, or didn’t you?
I.O.Kandyba: I called on Hryhorenko several times. Once I stayed overnight in his apartment. I visited Yuri Orlov and got to know him. I visited Ginsburg. Well, in short, I was walking around Moscow. All the time I kept checking whether they had put a tail on me. But it became a routine and I did not pay special attention to it. I didn’t enjoy it, but there was no physical harm done.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Did you call at Kyiv on the way, or didn’t you?
I.O.Kandyba: Having left Moscow I went to Kyiv. The wife of Svitlychny Leonida met me. In Kyiv, I spent two or three days. There Lelia drove me to the Kozak Mom−Oksana Mieshko. But we did not find her at home. I remember, it was on 30 January. It was her birthday. We saw other Kyivites as well there. We simply celebrated that day. She fared forth somewhere at the time.
I drove to Lviv, to my brother and father. They were still alive then. But the agents did not leave me alone there: the militiamen and KGB officers constantly shadowed me. They pestered not only me: they did not leave my brother alone, too. They badgered my brother with questions why he kept me here. They insisted that I had to quit Lviv because I was not supposed to live there. I said that a found a place to stay and asked them to leave my brother alone. My brother had two children: one year and two years old. I hated to hurt children. I left my brother. I rented an apartment. They got at me even there. The public prosecutors office issued a warning that at the earliest possible date (within a week) I had to leave Lviv. And I was playing for time all the same. Then they caught me on the street and forcibly brought to Pustomyty. I even did not bring my towel or anything with me. There I put up at a hotel before I could find an apartment. Then my brother brought me my things. I told him where I stayed and the way things were. In Pustomyty I also ran into obstacles: the country people were not willing to take me as a lodger. I found a few places but everywhere I was denied residence permit. The officials did not let them take me. Finally, a landlady went to them. The told her as well: “Oh! You don’t need such lodger! This thug may harm you…” And she replied, "What about him? I do not see that he is so harmful. I want to let my apartment to him. Let him be my lodger.” And they did not know how to escape from her. She registered me and I lived in her apartment. I went to work. My first job was at a workshop for repair of household appliances. Then I was employed as a fireman at the school. It is a long story…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Eventually, you described all details in your application (See: Application to the Head of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of January 1979 // Ukrainian Helsinki Group. 1978−1982. Documents and materials. Compiled by Osyp Zinkevych.—Toronto−Baltimore: V.Symonenko Smoloskyp Publishers.--P. 277-345). How did you drift together with the Helsinki Group? I know that before you Mykola Rudenko came there.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, Rudenko? Yes, he did come. For the first time he came on November 1, 1976. When he came to me, I suspected that he was a KGB informer. He introduced himself. He offered me to join the group. When he proposed, I had to contact with someone to run a background check. I gave a call to Nadiya Svitlychna, told her and asked to conduct a check. Later she wrote me that everything was okay, and it was really so. Then I called him (he gave me his home phone number). I agreed and I said, "I agree to be a member of your organization."
V.V.Ovsiyenko: You told me in Kuchino that you had heard on the radio "Svoboda" a statement on the establishment of the Group. You heard and called Rudenko to tell that you also agreed.
I.O.Kandyba: Oh, yes, right you are. It was in the morning. I heard and in the evening I called him. That is correct.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It was announced that on November 9, 1976 the Ukrainian Helsinki Group was created.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, I was admitted to the group then. Later Yuri Orlov and Valentin Turchin, both of them, paid me a visit.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Together or separately?
I.O.Kandyba: Once they came together, and then Orlov separately arrived to meet me. In my statement I also described how they detained Orlov and me and how they punished me for it. I was ordered to stay at home after 8 pm. Well, I described everything in detail. One year passed…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were you at once given one year of administrative supervision?
I.O.Kandyba: At first I got six months of supervision. But after that I tried once to go to Lviv, I made several attempts at it. I was arrested and the supervision was prolonged. They prolonged it every month. They wrote as follows: “Has not yielded to correction and does not wish to.” And so they kept me there for a year. One year. Then came General Poluden from oblast. He offered me, so to speak, to come to normal, write a statement and go on the air. I turned down all his proposals, and suddenly, when the year term was at the end, came a deputy of the said Poluden, deputy head of the KGB, and another KGB officer. His name was Davydov. He graduated from the law department of Lviv University a year earlier than I. I did not know him in outward appearance. They both arrived and posed me the following question: “What would you undertake if you were free and Ukraine became independent? What would you do?" I answered: "First of all, I would punish all of you, KGB officers.”−“Well, how would you punish us?”−“In any case, I would imprison all of you.” And they went on and asked me, "Well, if we discharge you? What would you do?" I answered, "Well, now. Firstly I do not believe that you may set me free. All the time you punished me for every petty fault. And all the more you may punish me for this.” They said, "We are ready to release you from supervision.” And indeed, when a year term ended, I was then released. It was sometime in April 1977. In April, the year term ended and I was released as of April 1. Then I took occasion to travel over Ukraine and went to the Crimea. I spent there about six weeks. In short, I had five or six months of free life, totally free. This is also present in my statement. I went to Kharkiv… Well, I wrote all of it in my application. Now I can get it all wrong.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In your case the things did not settle and they began to exercise supervision over you again. They arrested you in 1981.
I.O.Kandyba: I was arrested on March 24, 1981.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In fact, you were the last of the founding members of the Helsinki Group to be arrested.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, right you are. Well, there were other arrests after me as well.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I say “the founders”.
I.O.Kandyba: Yeah, the founders. I was the last of the founding members, you know it.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I know it, but the statement does not include it. The statement was written before imprisonment. Therefore I ask you to tell me, how you were arrested.
I.O.Kandyba: I sent some of my written stuff abroad. I diarized my critical reasoning about them. These diaries contained descriptions of the developments in Lviv.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: This book "Ukrainian Helsinki Group. 1978 – 1982” contains only your statement and it doesn’t include the materials you’ve just mentioned.
I.O.Kandyba: On March 24, 1981, in Pustomyty, they apprehended me and transported to the Lontsky prison. The investigation was zigzagging during three months. The unfair trial took place on July 20, 1981. They gave me ten years under Article 62, part two: 10 years of special treatment and five years of exile. Then they transported me back to the Urals, special zone in Kuchino.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: When did you arrive in Kuchino?
I.O.Kandyba: In December of 1981.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I arrived there on December 2, and you had been already there.
I.O.Kandyba: Right, I had been. They brought me there in October and not in December.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: They led me to your cell no. 17 on December 17 at the earliest. You were there with Vasyl Kurylo with Ostapenko…
I.O.Kandyba: And, Kurylo had been already there when I arrived. There was Volodymyr Ostapenko, Borys Tytarenko. In other cells there were Vasyl Stus…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It is difficult to remember who was in which cell.
I.O.Kandyba: And then they brought Mykhailo Horyn to our cell. Later Yuriy Lytvyn also was in our cell.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In 1984 you stayed for a short time with Marchenko.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, later. And there was also Olexa Tykhyi. And then they transported us…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In 1987, on 8 December, we were transported to Vsesvyatskaya, zone no. 35. There were only eighteen of us. You may remember that they took away Levko Lukyanenko that morning to transfer him under guard into exile. And then the whole gang of cops fell upon us and performed all-out search, shoved us into funnel wagons and transported from Kuchino to Vsekhsvyatskaya.
You were very heavily punished in recent months there. You did a very long term in the punishment cell.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, you’re right. Petro Ruban, Ivan Sokulsky, Mykhailo Alexeyev and me. I joined them. They refused to work since the New Year of 1988. They announced it earlier, somewhere in December 1987, and I joined them.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: It has been written that you did sixty-five days in the punishment cell.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, sixty-five days.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: With or without interruptions? I remember something like a day-or-two breaks and they put me in the cooler again.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, a day or two and again into a cooler. With short breaks. No more than two days. They released me and refused to work once more. So on the second or third day I was again shoved into a cooler.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Our ranks were thinning out. One by one the inmates were discharged. On August 12, 1988 Horbal, you and me were led to a room for visits. And on the fifteenth they transported us to Perm.
I.O.Kandyba: They drove us via Chusovaya.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In Perm I was the first to be led out of the cell on the night of 21 August. And you and Mykola Horbal stayed behind. What followed? Was Horbal the next one? Did you remain in the cell?
I.O.Kandyba: I was the next one.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Horbal was released in Kyiv on the 23rd. And when were you taken away from Perm?
I.O.Kandyba: From Perm all of us together…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: No, no, no. From Perm I was the very first to be taken away for transportation. They transported us one by one by air.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, you see, I thought that we were taken away all together…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I was the first to be transported on August 21 and in the evening I was at home in Zhytomyr. On the 23rd Mykola Horbal was brought to Kyiv. And when were you transferred from Perm?
I.O.Kandyba: Well, maybe also the next day.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were you handcuffed in-flight?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: But did they keep handcuffs in readiness?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, they did.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Exactly the same about me. What flight was it? Was it a flight to Kyiv?
I.O.Kandyba: No, not to Kyiv. My flight was via Voronezh. Did you land in Voronezh?
V.V.Ovsiyenko: No, no. It was a direct flight to Kyiv.
I.O.Kandyba: I understand, direct flight to Kyiv. And I went by air from Perm to Voronezh and from Voronezh already to Lviv. I also went by air.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I know that you were released on 9 September.
I.O.Kandyba: Yes. They discharged me from Lviv jail. I was kept there somewhere over two weeks. I went on hunger strike because of prolonged imprisonment there. I don’t know whether it was this or simply my term came to an end. They maintained that they did not get the confirmation of my release. They said they were waiting for my release.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: I know that the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet about the release we issued on 12 August. They had to discharge us on August 12, but they had no documents. They waited until documents would be received.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, yes. They just found an excuse.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Their principle was as follows: they bring you home to prevent your visiting Moscow and granting interviews. (Kandyba laughs.--V.O.). So they kept me nine days in excess of the prescribed period. And in your case the overtime was much longer.
I.O.Kandyba: Well, yes. In my case the overtime made two weeks.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Please, Mr. Kandyba, tell us briefly about the activity after your discharge, in a condensed form: what, where, when? Just a mere pittance of time: about fifteen minutes.
I.O.Kandyba: Okay. First, on the day of my discharge, I immediately called Horyn, who was a lodger of a Mrs. Mariya. Earlier someone dropped in at my place, maybe Olga Horyn, and left a note at her brother’s place urging me to give a call. I called and Mykhailo Horyn and Vyacheslav Chornovil were already there. They rented an apartment together, where they worked. So I phoned and went to meet them. And I met them there the same day. When I came out, Ivan Makar had been already arrested. Bohdan Horyn was the chairman of the Committee for the Release of Makar. And he included me in that committee.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: You set off full sail…
I.O.Kandyba: So we organized defense and fought for the release of Ivan Makar.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Were you then a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, I was a member of Helsinki Union.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And now, please, check whether everything is okay in this information of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group. ("Ukrainian Helsinki Group. In the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the creation. Documents. History. Biographies. Prepared by Vakhtang Kipiani and Vasyl Ovsiyenko. // Independent Ukraine. - 1996.—No. 25-28 (212-215).—October−Published by the URP. Kyiv, 1996.--P. 14).
I.O.Kandyba: Yeah, certain details need to be fixed. Let me have a look at it. Wait a minute…
V.V.Ovsiyenko: You just tell me what’s wrong because writing is time-consuming. Here is the light.
I.O.Kandyba: We must make amendments. There are omissions: one year that I spent in Yavas. And one year in jail in 1962. These facts have been omitted. It reads that I was tried in the fall of 1967, while I was tried not in the fall but in spring 1967, in March. I was sentenced for three years not by the Chusovskaya court but in zone 17-A by the Zubovo-Polyansky Court. I was tried on March 20. And one-spot is omitted altogether.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Now, please, look here: the info concerning dates and places of your involvement in different organizations. Is this okay? Please, define more exactly the sequence of your membership in organizations after your discharge. Thus, the Ukrainian Helsinki Union went first. As far as I remember, you addressed the Founding Congress of Helsinki Union but you did not the Ukrainian Republican Party.
I.O.Kandyba: "Granted a pardon on September 5, 1988 by the Decree of the Presidium, released from jail in Lviv on September 9 after going on protest hunger strike and personal request of US President Ronald Reagan. Served twenty-two-and-a-half-year term of imprisonment.” Okay. “On April 8, 1990 founded and became the first Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Political Movement "State Independence of Ukraine" (SIU). Founder and later editor of the party newspaper Neskorena Natsiya.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In what year did you start issuing the Neskorena Natsiya?
I.O.Kandyba: The newspaper started in February 1992. "On November 4, 1992 became a member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. From the start was co-opted to the Committee on Legalization and Revival of the OUN in Ukraine. At the second conference of legal OUN on May 9, 1993 was elected Vice-Chairman of the Leadership of OUN in Ukraine. At the first General Meeting of OUN in Ukraine on May 28, 1994 he was elected a member of the Bureau of the OUN in Ukraine. At the first General Extraordinary Meeting of OUN in Ukraine on February 25, 1995 he was co-opted to the Central Leadership. As of January 27, 1996 he is the Head of the Leadership of OUN in Ukraine.”
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Is there a need to make amendments?
I.O.Kandyba: Yes, there is. Later I dissociated myself from them. On 13-14 September 1996 I created a separate OUN in Ukraine and renamed it into the “OUN of statists in Ukraine”. Not the “OUN in Ukraine” but “OUN of statists”.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: And what is your position there?
I.O.Kandyba: I am the Head of the Leadership of OUN of statists. And I remain in this capacity now.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: You still have just a few minutes. Tell what else you would like to say; in the meantime I will put my clothes on.
I.O.Kandyba: During the second General Meeting on September 13, 1997 in Kyiv the assembly nominated me for the candidate for the Presidency on behalf of the OUN of statists. I have nothing more to add.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: In conclusion, please, say (there are still two minutes to go): Who are you? Where has the recording taken place?
I.O.Kandyba: Recorded at the apartment of Vasyl Ovsiyenko in Kyiv on October 7, 1998.
V.V.Ovsiyenko: Thank you. Let us be going. I have to go to school.
 The correct name of the powiat is Wlodawski (translator’s note).
 The proper title of this popular edition was as follows: The Illustrated History of Ukraine (translator’s note).
 The German name was Karlsrue, local Ukrainian transformation was Kalistrove later changed for Stepove http://lib.chdu.edu.ua/pdf/monograf/17/41.pdf (translator’s note).
 Ostrozhets always was and is a village and not a town https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Острожець_(Млинівський_район) (translator’s note).
 See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knyaz (translator’s note).
 At the time it was a monthly supplement to the Nasze Slovo Weekly (translator’s note).