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)