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On Evacuation:  Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History (2nd edition), University of Toronto Press, 1994
Orest Subtelny's Ukraine: A History has been translated into Ukrainian and distributed to all officers of the Ukrainian armed forces.  On the back cover of the book, Stephen Velychenko is quoted as saying in the journal History that "Orest Subtelny ... has written the best English-language history of Ukraine yet published."
In addition to confirming the large-scale evacuation of personnel that might be useful to Stalin's war effort, and which thus could if not evacuated might have been conscripted into Hitler's war effort, Subtelny's description of actions taken with respect to Ukrainian materiel underscores the single underlying motive to evacuate everything, be it personnel or materiel, that could make a contribution to the war effort of whosever hands it fell into.

A second unique insight provided by professor Subtelny is that in addition to the Jewish motives to evacuate of not falling into the hands of the Germans, or of reinforcing the war effort of their own side, there was added the motive that if one appeared to be able to contribute to the war effort and at the same time showed any reluctance to evacuate, this was likely to be taken as a symptom of disloyalty and lead to execution.

Thus, the Soviet attitude was to evacuate or if not possible, then to destroy both personnel and materiel that might be useful to the war effort of either side:

All economic enterprises that might be useful to the Germans were marked for destruction.  Kiev, for example, suffered more damage from the retreating Soviets, who blew up many of its major buildings, than from the advancing Germans.  In the Donbas, most of the mines were flooded and the huge Dnieper hydroelectric works, as well as all the fifty-four blast furnaces in Ukraine, were destroyed by the Soviets.

A remarkable feature of the Soviet retreat was the massive evacuation of munitions plants, skilled labor, and important intellectuals beyond the Urals and to Soviet Central Asia.  In what was perhaps the largest evacuation in history, the Soviets moved about 1500 factories and over 10 million people more than a third of these from Ukraine beyond the grasp of the Germans.  Ufa, the capital of the Soviet Bashkir republic situated in the Urals, became the wartime seat of the Ukrainian Soviet government.  This massive transfer of industrial enterprises and population contributed greatly to the Soviet ability to continue the war.

Particularly active during the course of the evacuation was the NKVD.  Suspecting all those who sought to avoid resettlement of disloyalty to the Soviet state, it arrested and executed large numbers of people.  Jailed prisoners with sentences over three years were shot so as not to leave behind any anti-Soviet elements who might be of potential use to the Germans. (p. 461)


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