The documents, including books, protocols, and magazines dating from 1940-1950, were preserved in milk cans. There was also a 1948 military service card belonging to an NKVD officer who “had tried to infiltrate the UPA”.
The two searchers believe that the milk cans may contain documents about Sydir Kovpak, the leader of the Soviet partisan movement in Ukraine during World War II. Soviet partisan units waged guerilla warfare against the German forces and also fought against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). In 1944, Kovpak’s units raided both enemy forces and UPA strongholds throughout western Ukraine and Belarus.
“We didn’t examine them them all, because they’re very fragile and part of our national heritage. If you handle these documents incorrectly, you might destroy them,” Andriy explained.
The searchers have handed over the milk cans and documents to the Mostyshka Museum of History and Local Lore, where they will be examined, recorded and then dispatched for restoration.