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Used for discussions of Russian units in the German army. "Russian units" should be indexed together with "armed forces, German". Additional information: If known, the specific role of the person/people in question (e.g. "soldiers, Russian", "ghetto guards, Russian", "police and security forces, Russian", etc.) should be indexed. (en-US)


Military units comprised of Russian nationals that served in the German forces during World War II. The word 'Vlasovtsy or 'Vlasovites' is commonly used to refer to any Russian deemed to have collaborated with Germans during WW II. Soviet General Vlasov, captured by the Germans in 1942, attempted to convince the German command to create a "Russian Army of Liberation" (ROA) fighting on the German side to overthrow Stalin. Russians who fought in the Wehrmacht and recognized Vlasov as their leader often sewed ROA insignia onto their uniforms. However, such an army never officially existed and it was not until January 1945 that the Germans sanctioned the creation of two Russian divisions under Vlasov's command (600th and 650th Panzer-Grenadier Divisions of the Wehrmacht). After briefly engaging the Soviet army in combat, however, the first division disobeyed German orders and retreated. Hoping to be viewed favorably by the Americans, this division even assisted the Czech uprising against the Germans in Prague on May 5-7, 1945. After the war, Vlasov and other leading figures in the two divisions were neverthless repatriated to the USSR and executed for treason in 1946. (en-US)


Catherine Andreyev, "Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Movement: Soviet reality and emigre theories", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1987. p. 1-18, 61-88

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