Soviet counterinsurgency : a case study of the guerrilla wars in Lithuania and Western Ukraine, 1944-1953.
This thesis aims to analyze Soviet counterinsurgency
practice by examining the anti-guerrilla tactics employed
against the nationalist resistance .ovements in the newly
incorporated western republics of the USSR atter WW II.
Almost allot the new territor1es exhibited some
resistance to their inclusion in the Soviet Union. The
best organized resistance was in L1thuania and Western
Ukraine. In those two areas the Soviets had to launch
an anti-guerrilla, and later anti-terrorist campaign,
which was to last well into the 1950's. In order to deal with the rebels in the western republics the Soviets employed a classic two-pronged counterinsurgency strategy. On the one hand, they employed military forces to liquidate the opposition
forces. On the other, they at tempted to integrate the restive areas into the rest of the Soviet Union. Integration was meant to undermine the opposition by making the interests of the western areas coincide with those of the USSR. Militarily the Soviets were successtul in their counter insurgencyettort. Although emigres' otten point to the tact that Lithuanian and Ukrainian guerrillas remained active into the mid-1950's as a sign of nationalist determination, this does not indicate any failure on the part ot the Sovlets. When looking at
twentIeth century guerrilla and terrorist movements, a
decade long conflict is by no means excessive. On the
contrary, it is a relatively short anti-terrorist effort.
The Soviets were less successful in integrating the
restive republics. While they were integrated
economically, a large proportion of the native
inhabitants continued regarding Soviet domination as a
foreign occupation. As a result, the authorities had to
continue to rely on police repression to prevent
rebellions from arising. Had the Soviets succeeded in
this second part ot counterinsurgency strategy, the
Soviet Union may still be a union ot fifteen republics