We always suspected it. We tried to tell reporters, politicians, RCMP investigators, even a few of those ranged against us in the public arena, about what we were certain was true – but they wouldn’t believe us. I can’t blame them. There was no hard proof, not in the 1980s, to confirm Soviet agents of influence had initiated “active measures” to undermine the anti-Communist Ukrainian community in the West.
Now there is. Code-named “Operation Payback,” this plan was cynically orchestrated to exploit the understandable desire of the Jewish diaspora to see perpetrators of some of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century – the Nazis – brought to justice. By the late 1960s, quite alarmingly from a Soviet point of view, Jewish and Ukrainian émigrés had begun to rally together in defense of human rights activists and dissidents in the USSR. By propagating stories about “thousands” of Nazis supposedly hiding within North America’s Ukrainian and Baltic communities Moscow’s men deliberately and effectively fragmented this common front.