By FOIA Research
on December 28, 2018 - Last updated: December 23, 2020

Zsolt Aradi

The Hungarian Zsolt Aradi was a key liaison of Western intelligence with Ukrainian nationalists. His OSS cryptonyms were CRABBE and SARAZEN, his CIA cryptonyms KILKENNY and CARRYALL. Malcolm W. STEVENS was his pseudonym.1

Zsolt Aradi, a Hungarian consultant with SSU, was instrumental in establishing American intelligence contacts with the Ukrainians. Aradi had written "The Ukrainian Nationalist Movement" for SSU in October 1946, and used his ties with Ukrainian church officials at the Vatican to meet emigre leaders in Germany.(S)

Aradi initially worked with Father Ivan Hrinioch and Yury Lopatinsky, members of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR or Ukminska holovna vyzvolna rada). Hrinioch. a Greek Catholic priest and longtime Ukrainian nationalist, served as the UHVR's second vice president while Lopatinsky acted as liaison between UHVR and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, UPA (or Ukrainska povstanska armiia) still in Ukraine fighting the Soviets. UHVR's claims that the UPA was engaged in a fierce struggle against Soviet troops in Ukraine attracted American interest and eventual support. (S)

Aradi also met Mykola Lebed, a fierce nationalist and key figure in the Ukrainian liberation movement. Lebed, one of the founders of the Organizacya Ukrainskych Natsionalistiv or Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), served as the foreign minister of Zakordonne Predstavnytstvo UHVR or Foreign Representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council. Lebed fervently believed in Ukrainian independence, but was controversial. Poland sentenced him to death (later commuted to life in prison) for his involvement in the assassination of the Polish Minister of the Interior in 1934.(S)

Aradi dubbed this group of Ukrainians as Referat-33 (or R-33) and discussed its members' personalities in an operational report of 27 December 1946. Hrinioch, Lebed, and Lopatinsky, he wrote, were "determined and able men, but with the psychology of the hunted. They are ready to sacrifice their lives or to commit suicide at any time to further their cause or to prevent security violations, and they are equally ready to kill if they must." "It is always necessary to remember," Aradi added, "that they have an almost religious worship of their nation and distrust anything foreign: first and foremost, Polish; then Russian; then German." Nonetheless, Aradi thought them useful if the Americans treated them properly." (S)2

"Bill Holtsman in Munich became involved with the Ukrainians through Zsolt Aradi. The author of the October 1946 interim study, Aradi exploited ties to Ukrainian church officials at the Vatican in order to meet with emigre leaders in Germany and to gain positive intelligence on the Soviets. SSU moved Aradi from Italy to Austria in late 1945, where he continued to work as a "consultant." Aradi maintained close ties to his Vatican sources and, according to Alfred C. Ulmer, Jr., SSU's chief of mission in Austria, "it is believed that KILKENNY [Aradi] was one of the first to suggest to OSS the use of priests and Vatican contacts for obtaining intelligence in Central Europe." In the spring of 1946, Aradi became acquainted with several Ukrainian religious leaders in Rome. Through the Hungarian, Ulmer reported "it has been possible to establish contact with representatives of the so-called Ukrainian government, an anti-Soviet political group."


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