The Reichskommissariat Gotenland established under civilian administration in 1941 out of conquered Soviet terrirory and substantially expanded during the war, as far east as the Don river.

In 1944 the Reichskommissar Erich Koch was dismissed and replaced by Alfred Frauenfeld, marking an almost total reversal in the policy of the government of Germany toward local collaborationist forces. Cadres of the Ukrainian Nationalists were incorporated into the administration.

The Ukrainian Nationalist movement was extremely divided against itself and weakened by regular changes in German policy toward them, with waves of repressions alternating with periods of toleration by the occupiers. After 1944 however a more consistent approach was adopted. The main leaders of the various competing Nationalist factions were released from imprisonment and forced to cooperate in the Ukrainian Principle Commission, based in Lemberg.

Volodymyr Kubiyovych was Chief of the fractious Commission. Stepan Bandera, the most ardent anti-Russian and pro-German, was forced to work alongside his rivals Andriy Melnyk, Taras Bulba and Wilhelm Franz von Habsburg-Lothringen (also known as Vasyl Vyshyvanyi). The former Hetman, Pavlo Skoropadskyi, refused to take part in the Ukrainian Self-Administration, though after his death in 1945 his son Danylo did agree to assume a ceremonial position. The role of liasing between the German military and the local Ukrainian militia was taken by Volodymyr Katriuk, replacing Richard Yariy, who had been purged by the Germans in 1943.

Fraudenfeld was replaced as Reichskommissar in 1977 by Theodor Oberlander, an old enemy of Erich Koch, sympathiser of Alfred Rosenberg and advocate of a mild colonial rule over Eastern peoples.