On 5 July 2022, a regular discussion of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists members’ scientific works took place within the framework of the Author platform ‘Our Books’. A book by Doctor of Law, Professor, Honoured Employee of the Prosecutor’s Office, Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, President of the International Foundation for Legal Initiatives Support, President of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists Igor Matskevich entitled ‘Stepan Bandera’s Criminological Portrait’ (Prospect Publ., 2017. 192 p.) was presented online.
Igor Mikhailovich presented a comprehensive analysis of the notorious Ukrainian politician Stepan Bandera’s personality. He also spoke about the destructive influence of the ideology of blind nationalism on its followers.
Scholars in legal sciences S. Baburin, Yu. Golik, S. Milyukov, A. Grishko, T. Rednikova, U. Hellmann and others took an active part in the discussion of the monograph. The Russian statesman, Doctor of Law, Professor Sergey Baburin shared his impressions about the book on a relevant topic in detail:
‘An exceptionally multifaceted, informative, strictly scientific monograph. Absolutely logical, systematic research based only on reliable facts. As a specialist in the theory of State, I was interested in the very principles of building a criminological portrait of a person. The formation of Bandera’s views and political activities is shown in the broad context of persons and events between the two World Wars: Evgeny Konovalets, Petlyura, Vinnichenko, Skoropadsky, Melnik… Colleagues and rivals. Much attention is paid to the Nazi Dirlewanger and the tragedy of the Belarusian villages destroyed in 1942-1944, but precisely in order to understand the theory and practice of Ukronazism. I will not retell the book. I recommend reading it. But there are points to which it is necessary to pay attention to the residents of today’s Russia and Ukraine.
- The Greek Catholic roots of Bandera’s worldview.
- Systematic cooperation of Bandera with the Abwehr and other Nazi organizations. Even in 1944, when Bandera’s UPA was allegedly already actively fighting the Nazis, Bandera and his supporters were released from the camp (a privileged one, for the ‘elite’ of Europe) and moved to a dacha near Berdine for more active work against the USSR. Matskevich cites an extensive excerpt from the transcript of a conversation during that period of the Nazi bonze E. Kunda with S. Bandera. The words of S. Bandera: ‘The Great German government, namely the National Socialist government, is our main ally’.
Matskevich managed to show how the line between the national-patriotic worldview and chauvinism overflowing with hatred is blurred. Quote from Matskevich: ‘The horror of the ideology imposed by Bandera is not to destroy Poles, Russians or anyone else specifically. Destroy all those who disagree and do not want to live in Ukrainian. More precisely, not in Ukrainian but the way Stepan Bandera imagined Ukraine’. (p. 111).
- Bandera’s criminological portrait was a success for the author. The peculiarities of the personality of a person who lives by committing crimes, most often on a professional basis, have been effectively revealed.
But I will not do without comments. The author is inaccurate, excluding the concept of ‘Velikoros’ from the analysis, using the concept of ‘Russian’ everywhere. He is all the more wrong in identifying the concepts of nationalism and chauvinism. Perhaps his mistake is explained by the fact that Ukrainian nationalism has long been synonymous with chauvinism. Ukronazism is the denial of Russianness and anti-Semitism (p.86). In the book ‘Stepan Bandera’s Criminological Portrait’ I. Matskevich showed what happens when the line between the national-patriotic worldview and chauvinism overflowing with hatred is erased. The remarks do not detract from the brilliance of the book!’
Oleg Zaitsev, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Law, Professor, Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, Vice-President of the Union of Criminalists and Criminologists, summed up the presentation of the book and the subsequent discussion.
In conclusion, Igor Matskevich expressed gratitude to all those present for their interest in the topic of the speech and invited the members of the Union to present their scientific and journalistic works. The next meeting within the framework of the Author platform will be held in September 2022.
Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova