Private Project

The Ukrainian Insurgent Army Alive: Orest

Their figures are blurred by time. Their images are distorted by the Soviet myths. Their life is a feat that cost blood, loss, and oblivion by the children and grandchildren. And they are still alive.

This is a real life story of Orest Vaskul, the Head of OUN-UIA Fraternity in the Kyiv Region. Word for word. The archive documents with his case. The documentary images and photos of those times.

Orest Vaskul, a 16-year-old graduate from the Kolomyia high school, is getting enlisted into Division “Galicia”. He takes training in the German camps “Haideliaher” and “Neuhammer”, and then he ends up in the elite unit that was called the fitelir battalion.

The Battle of Brody, July 1944. One third of the Division personnel perished or fell into the Soviet captivity in that bloody meat grinder. Orest was captured. On November 7, together with other prisoners he was forced to march on Khreshchatyk Street in the so-called parade.

Orest was exiled into the Bashkir ASSR. Then it was Buhulma; the work at the railway station; the escape from the captivity with other two friends; a difficult way back home - coldness, hunger, police checks up, and a friend’s illness; refusal of his fellows to join the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and loneliness.

Orest returns home. Only his aunt Olha is still alive, he stays at her place for a day. Then it was the UIA.

July 1947. Orest is the UIA coherent messenger. On the way to meet a contact, he was betrayed by his so-called fellow fighter. While being asleep, he was captured again. The interrogations, tortures, and cruelty of the NKVS executioners didn’t break down a hero’s spirit and willpower.

In 1986 the Deschênes Commission submitted the findings about the Division “Galicia” at the front line to the government of Canada. According to the Commission’s report, no member from the Division of Galicia was found guilty of any war crimes during the Second World War.

  • Alla Mehel
    “The Village of Pisky…One Year of War”
  • Maria Yaremchuk
  • Maria Yaremchuk
  • Alla Mehel
  • Dmytro Panshyn
    Key Cast
  • Hrihoriy Lukjanenko
  • Olexandr Smyk
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Жива УПА. Орест
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Biography, drama, historical
  • Runtime:
    35 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 17, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Screening at educational assembly
    June 17, 2017
    Ukrainian premiere
  • Festival "Echoes of the Insurgent Land "
    October 14, 2017
  • Kinohvylya 2017
    December 19, 2017
  • The V festival of Historical Films Beyond Time (Poza Chasom)
    April 13, 2018
    The best screenplay, short film
  • VIII International Festival KiTy (Cinema and you)
    September 10, 2018
  • IX International Festival of Military and Historical Films
    October 22, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Kinohvylya 2018
    December 20, 2018
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Alla Mehel, Maria Yaremchuk

Date of Birth: 19 October 1962, Village of Zhorany, District of Liuboml, Volyn Region, Ukraine
In 1980 she graduated from the Shatsk High School with a gold medal of achievement.
Same year she entered the Lutsk State Pedagogical Institute named after Lesya Ukrainka at the Faculty of Ukrainian Philology that she successfully finished in 1984.
From 1984 to 1993 she was teaching the Ukrainian language and literature at the middle school #59 in a city of Zaporizhia, Ukraine.
Alla also worked as the lecturer at the International Christian University of Business, later she was a business trainer in the network of electronic supermarkets “Stipler” and was a private entrepreneur.
In 1991 Mrs. Mehel began working as the freelance correspondent for the newspaper “Pravda Ukrainy”. For more than 20 years she collaborates with the different publishers. In 2005 Mrs. Mehel held the position of deputy editor-in-chief in the magazine “Business Master”. She is a laureate in the Ukrainian Contest of the Christian journalism. Her novel “Myths and Reality”, consisting of short stories, was published in a literary almanac “Lira”. Her poems were included in the collection under “In the Tones of Love” and the journalistic works were published in “Province Post”.
She is a widow since 2002. Mrs. Mehel has two adult sons, Andrii and Oleksandr.

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