When the Nazi forces were driven from Ukraine in the Second World War, anti-communist partisans continued to fight for independence from the Soviet Union and the occupying Red Army. Their struggle went on for years until they were eventually crushed, but their Christmas cards served to remind Ukrainians of their national and Christian identity.
Some of these groups, though brave, were not the most morally irreproachable. Some had collaborated with the Germans during the war; some were involved in ethnic cleansing against Polish populations but they endured for years against KGB forces because of the wide support they were given by the Ukrainian people. It appears that more recently Vladimir Putin underestimated the strength of Ukrainian nationalism,