History: UKRAINE

History: UKRAINE


From Rus to Ukraine the steppe and the rivers of Ukraine have determined the development of this country since time immemorial 5000 years ago early civilizations till the soil and raise cattle here this civilization was later named the Trypillian Culture (4,500 BC) in the middle of the second millennium BC
(2000 BC – 1001 BC) they were absorbed by The North Iranian tribes Cimmerians of the Sumerians who came to this area They were followed by Scythians (700 BC – 200 BC) who established the Empire here Proof of the sophistication of their culture can be found in the rich and sophisticated artifacts which have been discovered in archaeological excavations then the Sarmatians came then hordes of Huns and Goths followed by other Nomads passed through the area the first Slavs (3000 BC) settled on this land about three thousand years ago The Dnipr is a sacred River for the Ukraine the ancient Greeks called it the Borysthenes the Dnipr formed a large part of the Viking route which ran from Scandinavia to Byzantium the center of civilization of the time the Vikings will not merely conquerors they were also merchants Kyiv (401 – 500) founded around the 5th Century AD was favorably located right on the trading route to Byzantium in the middle of the 11th century the Vikings captured Kyiv (1100 AD) gradually they mixed with the local Slavic population and adopted their language and customs as a result of their trading activities the name Rus appeared on the pages of Arabic and Byzantine chronicles the first prince of Kyiv was Oleg of the Rurik clan Oleg and his descendants had to wage unending wars with the nomadic tribes of the steppes, but their biggest enemy however was Byzantium (330–1453)
1100 AD Vikings capture Kyiv a source of culture and various riches for Medieval Europe from the beginning of the 10th Century for about 150 years all the princes of Rus would wage military campaigns against Byzantium though with mixed success in opposing Byzantium they would inevitably face Christianity which had already begun penetrating into Rus Princess Olga (890 – 969) adopted Christianity and was baptized but under her militant son Sviatoslav (942 – 972) a revival of paganism occurred Christians regarded pagans as sinful barbarians so in order to marry into the European royal family one had to be a Christian Olga’s grandson Volodymyr (958- 1015) was well aware of this fact when the Emperor of Byzantium asked him for military support Volodymyr placed the condition he was to marry the emperor’s sister Volodymyr was baptized in the old Greek colony Chersonesus in the Crimea in 988 in this fashion he not only became a Christian monarch but also became part of the family of the Byzantine emperor little could people foresee at that time that the church would be split before long which would lead to a divided Europe Volodymyr returned to Kyiv where he built many churches and strengthened and reinforced the state borders he’s known in history as Volodymyr the Great (958 – 1015) after his death Volodymyr’s sons were involved in a ferocious struggle for the throne two of them Borys and Glib were traitorously murdered later to be proclaimed the the First Holy Martyrs of Rus. While the portraits of other rulers of Rus are works of artistic imagination the actual appearance of
Prince Yaroslav the Wise (978 – 1054) is more certain following meticulous examination of his skull The Prince was buried in the church he himself had built Saint Sophia’s Cathedral (1100) has remained unchanged following its reconstruction in the seventeenth Century the famous Cathedral of Hagia Sophia of Constantinople served as a model for this Cathedral Saint Sophia’s Cathedral became the venue for the coronation of all the princess of Rus Greek books were translated here into the Slavic language Christianity brought to Rus the art of reading which distinguish the new Christians from their Pagan ancestors Prince Yaroslav was otherwise known as the father in law of Europe because one of his daughters Elizabeth married to king the Norway and Denmark another was the queen of Hungary and his daughter Anna became the Queen of France (1030 – 1075) Prince Yaroslav’s The Truth of Rus (Ruska Pravda) Was the first written code of law in the country and remained in force until the end of the 15th century ever active Yaroslav continue to develop Kyiv as Tetmar the chronicler wrote Kyiv is populated by an incredible number people it has more than 400 churches and 8 markets for Yaroslav it was important
for the capital city to be worthy of the Christian Sovereign of the mighty state he was given a second nickname by his descendants Yaroslav the Wise at the end of Yaroslav’s reign the Kievan Rus spread from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea from the river Oka to Carpathian Mountains Yaroslav secured the border between Rus and Poland by marrying off his sister to Casimir I the Restorer he also augmented The Prestige of his dynasty by marrying of his son to the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos (1000 – 1055) their son Volodymyr II Monomakh (1053-1125) was the last prominent of Rus and his hat became the coronation crown of all the Russian czars in 1054 on his deathbed Yaroslav divided u his state the * territories to each of his sons a decision that resulted in much strive and loss of territory other problems of the future began to be apparent t this time but the greatest plague for Rus
what’s not war
but a new dangerous enemy looming in the steppe the Mongols
In 1223 in The Battle of the Kalka River
the Joint Forces of all the Rus Princes
were defeated
the enemy seemed to appear from nowhere
and then vanish Into Thin Air
14 years later
the mongols returned
with Genghis Khan’s (1162-1227) grandson Khan Batu (1207-1255)
at their head.
the affluent cities of Rus were plundered and destroyed
never again did they regain their former splendor
in 1240 after a long and heroic defence
Kyiv surrendered.
the rich and magnificent City
inhabited by over 50,000 people was turned into a miserable Hamlet
with no more than 204 ramshackle huts left.
The Mongols dashed on into Poland Hungary and Austria
panic-stricken people ran for their lives
from The Infernal demons of Tartary,
hence the name Tatars. Yuri Dolgorukiy (1099 – 1157) Moscow but the greatest plague for Rus was not war but a new dangerous enemy looming in the steppe the Mongols In 1223 in The Battle of the Kalka River the Joint Forces of all the Rus Princes were defeated the enemy seemed to appear from nowhere and then vanish Into Thin Air 14 years later the mongols returned with Genghis Khan’s (1162-1227) grandson Khan Batu (1207-1255) at their head. the affluent cities of Rus were plundered and destroyed never again did they regain their former splendor in 1240 after a long and heroic defense Kyiv surrendered. the rich and magnificent City inhabited by over 50,000 people was turned into a miserable Hamlet with no more than 204 ramshackle huts left. The Mongols dashed on into Poland Hungary and Austria panic-stricken people ran for their lives from The Infernal demons of Tartary, hence the name Tatars. Rus fell under the power of the Tatar Mongols The Golden Horde (1226-1502) those princes of Rus who managed to escape death had to obtain from the Khan special permission to rule if they refuse to submit they were killed. Kievan Rus ceased to exist, the fall of Kiev meant the collapse of the symbolic center that had united the state Although it’s cultural source had been Byzantium the political and social structure of Rus had meant it had been incorporated into Europe. the Tatar-Mongol invasion broke the coexistence of western and eastern influences upon Rus and it also hindered its development when compared to other European countries The so called Tatar Mongolian yoke proved to be particulate tenacious in the Region’s closest to the Golden Horde namely in the Northeast Moscow happens to have inherited that framework of autocratic ruling its isolation from the West was only put to an end in the times of Peter the first In the south the occupation was shorter so western influence was restored much earlier as for Halych Volodymyr Rus (The Principality of Galicia–Volhynia or Kingdom of Rus) it never lost contact with the West. The diametrically different fates of different regions of Kievan Rus were instrumental in the late of formation of Nations. The Monuments to Danylo of Halych (1201-1264) can be seen in Halych the capital city of his principality in Volodymyr-Volynskyi which Daniel annexed and also in Lviv which Danylo founded in honor of his son Lev. That part of Rus was relatively less devastated by the Tartar Mongols Danylo managed to gain the confidence of the Golden Horde and secure more independence together with Pope Innocent IV by whom he was crowned he made attempts at forming an Anti-Mongolian Collision in Europe. Although their attempts failed and the Khan ordered the demolition of all fortifications in the area Halych-Volodymyr Rus still succeeded in maintaining the cultural traditions of Kievan Rus for about 100 years resulting in a tendency for people in the region to orientate themselves around the West. The first part of the 14th century saw the disintegration of the golden horde the last of the Halych-Volyn princes died and Poland seized most of the last of the principality the southern parts of the former territory of Rus including Kyiv were seized by Lithuania The Rurik family was supplanted by Lithuanian Princes who adopted Christianity the local language and customs. During this period Moscow began to annex its neighboring principalities in 1380 Prince Dmitry Donskoy (1350-1389) Won a decisive victory over the Horde in the field of Kulikovo The Next Century Ivan III of Russia (1440-1505) threw off the Tatar Mongol yoke and married the daughter of The Last Emperor of Byzantium. That would later enable the czars to construct a myth about Moscow being the Third Rome and the only defender and champion of the Orthodox Church. Today the Palace of Bakhchisaray is but one of the many tourist attractions in the Crimea lines from the Quran decorate the Tombstones of the Khans whose names used to terrify nation’s ambassadors from all over Europe had to stand humbly under this gate waiting for an audience with the Khan the Crimean Khanate (1449-1783) grew in strength after the breakup of the Golden Horde. the Tatars raided as far as Kyiv Moscow and Warsaw when the Tatars became Turkey’s vessels the slave markets in Bakhchisaray Kaffa and Istanbul knew no shortage with women becoming imprisoned in harems one of them the beautiful Roxolana (1502 – 1558) became the favorite wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Young boys were trained as janissaries the Sultan’s most faithful guard. Having conquered Constantinople The Ottoman empire after the Mongol threat had lessened turned into a new menace for Europe. The fortresses on the Black Sea Coast stand to remind us of the former power and wealth of the Sultan’s. in 1569 Poland and Lithuania formed to the Lublin Union between creating Rzeczpospolita or a Republic between the two nations as a result all the lands of the Ukraine passed under the jurisdiction of Poland. From that time the Ukraine began to absorb through Poland the ideas of the European Renaissance which made a great impact upon its economic and intellectual development various guilds were formed and crafts and trade began to develop rapidly Lviv was marvelously rebuilt after a great fire in the words of Professor Ihor Shevchenko Europe came to the Ukraine wearing a Polish jacket but it is only fair to add that that same Polish jacket also brought to the Ukraine the yolk of serfdom. A reaction to Polinization and the growth of Catholic influence brought about a consolidation and Revival of the Orthodox Faith. The first Orthodox Community was initiated in Lviv followed by similar communities in Kyiv and some other cities schools and printing presses began to appear community members commenced their polemical battle with Catholicism Prince Konstantin of Ostrog (Austria) was an Ardent champion of Orthodoxy. He printed the first unabridged text of the Bible in the old Slavic language the prince founded and Academy in Austria in which seven liberal arts were taught the defense of Orthodoxy required communication with opponents through a mutual language which is why not only Greek and Old Slavic but also Latin were taught at the Academy. Although the proponents of traditional Orthodoxy considered knowledge of the finer point of the Latin language to be conducive to the corruption of the soul it was through Latin that the Ukraine became acquainted with a comprehensive knowledge of the cultural heritage of Europe of those days. At the same time the power and influence of the muscovite state Continued to grow Ivan the Terrible (1530 – 1584) exterminated all the boyar liberties in a most cruel fashion and proclaimed himself czar. He drowns in blood The Merchant Republic in Novgorod the last stronghold of democracy this is the view of the Dnipr River opening from the island of Khortytsia. In the 16th century there were high Rocky Rapids here they formed a natural barrier against raids from the upper reaches of the river. Beyond the rapids Prince Wiśniowiecki Bajda (1535 – 1563) founded Zaporizhian Sich (1552) a settlement of free cossacks no woman was permitted access to the territory of this military Republic when war threatened or during actual hostilities discipline was extremely strict the council elected the Sich’s authorities: the chief ### the maintenance chief the judge and Cossack captains. They were all subordinated to the council and answerable to it sometimes with the heads. The phenomenon of the Cossacks only came into existence in the border area where the unpopulated territories of Poland mingled with the lands of the Crimean Khanat. This was known as the famous wild Fields No Man’s Land as a matter of fact it is from the word which means borderlands that the Ukraine in historian Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky derives the name Ukraine. After some time when the population began to regard the Cossacks as their Defenders both against the Tatar raids and Polish oppression and when the format of the Cossack government spread to larger territories the name Ukraine replace the name Rus. Depending upon the language the word Cossack meant either a free man a robber or a bandit. Originally included men from different social groups with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Their origin did not matter only courage and physical strength was important. Serfs, peasants the gentry various adventurous and reckless souls would run away to the border territories in order to escape from any form of authority. The Dnipr was rich in fish and it’s reed beds provided an excellent hiding place from here a direct route led straight to the Black Sea and further onto Turkey. The Cossacks in chaika (wooden boats) made for the Turkey shores and came back with a rich bounty Bajda Wiśniowiecki who died in Istanbul after having being tortured and hooked by his rib became a part of the Cossack Legend the steppe was neither safe nor secure Every Spring the Tatars raided the wild Fields despite the Cossacks watching the steppe Cossack regiments took part in all Poland’s Wars against the Tatars Moscow Sweden and Turkey King Sigismund III initiated The Counter Reformation in Poland he was the champion and upholder of one single Church the Catholic church. in 1596 on the initiative of several Orthodox Bishops The Brest Union was signed. The uniates acknowledged the superiority of Rome in matters of faith and Dogma but preserve the Liturgy services and rights Orthodoxy at that time was the basis of the Ukraine Rus identity the union was defied vigorously by the Orthodox majority and the nation was split the units excommunicated the Orthodoxians while they’re Orthodoxians condemned the Uniates as apostates. Paradoxically it is The Uniate Church that was destined to preserve the Ukrainian national identity. The verbal war instigated by the Brest Union exceeded the confines of a purely religious conflict and rapidly acquired political and nationalistic features as soon as Hetman Sagaidachny (1570 – 1622) and all the Cossacks swore their allegiance to Orthodoxy. At the beginning of the seventeenth Century the Cossacks presented a well-organized powerful force capable of playing a decisive role in any battle. When in 1621 a mighty Turkish Tatar Army attacked Poland Hetman Sagaidachny brought along 40,000 Cossacks to stand by the Poles owing to this support Poles defeated the Turks the Cossacks were called the most faithful Defenders of the motherland. Ukrainian Orthodoxy Incorporated two Trends one Byzantine the other Western. The two Trends was synthesized by Metropolitan Petro Mogila (1596 – 1647) who in 1632 founded a collegium based on the Jesuit model the collegium later renamed the Mohyla Academy provided young orthodoxians with the possibility to receive a good education and resisted it in this fashion the Avalanche like process of Polanization and Catholicizacion the students of the collegium formed the intellectual elite of Ukraine Rus. During the Hetmanship of Ivan Mazepa (1639-1709) the Mohyla Academy number 2,000 students at present the Kyiv university Mohyla Academy carries on those glorious traditions Under Mohyla’s guidance the Liturgy was edited the churches of Old Rus were restored and statues of local Saints were unveiled. Orthodoxy became the Nationwide religion Mohyla’s sister Raina Mohylanka commissioned the building of many Orthodox churches and monasteries She would curse everyone who had renounced the faith of their forefathers, but little did she know that her curses would fall upon her own son. Yarema Vyshnevetsky (1612 – 1651) converted to Catholicism and became a deadly enemy of the Orthodox Cossacks. Many Old Rus families became Polonized. The Sanguszko Czartoryski Patsy Tyshkeviches Hotkevyches the Potes. the list is endless Due to the Polonization of the National Elite it was the Cossacks who took over the role performed by the nobility in other countries the Cossack became the central figure in the National consciousness of ukrainians the raids of the Cossacks triggered Istanbul’s violent reaction and in turn Warsaw resulted to reprisals the Polish Parliament regarded the Cossacks as a mere tool in wartime they increase the registered number of the troops while in the time of peace they cut it drastically. But a man who had already felt the taste of freedom who had got used to earning his living by a sword would resent returning to the role of a serf. Numerous riots and uprisings broke out. All the uprisings were ruthlessly repressed by force until Bohdan Khmelnytsky (1595 – 1657) appeared in The Sich. Bohdan Khmelnytsky was an experienced and skilled leader educated by the Jesuites he participated in Poland’s Wars against Turkey and spent two years in Turkish captivity to avoid the bloody outcome of previous uprisings Khmelnytsky made an agreement with the Khan and received the tartars military support in April 1648 (Battle of Zhovti Vody) upon learning of the Polish troops approach the Cossack Tatar Army moved forward to meet them. In three successive battles the Cossacks crushingly defeated the Poles. Poland staggered and Europe was surprised. One British chronicler wrote Poland all in dust and blood fell down at the Cossacks feet. Bohdan Khmelnytsky headed for Lviv took the ransom and paid the Khan. the news of the Cossacks victories insight of the serf peasantry to rebel the rebellious peasants massacred their hateful Polish landlords The uniate clergy and the Jews almost 300 Jewish villages were plundered and burned down with all the inhabitants killed. Prince Wiszniewski put up forests of steaks and gallows wherever he went. Ukraine was drowned in blood. Khmelnytsky paid the Tartars with thousands of Ukrainian slaves. Alongside songs praising him, there was one which went like this: May the 1st bullet never miss you Khmelnytsky May the 2nd bullet hit you right in the heart. Kyiv welcomed the Victorious Hetman just as it used to welcome the princes of Old Rus Khmelnytsky was referred to as a modern Moses – The Liberator of his people. The Metropolitan blessed him in the war against Poland and anointed him as a defender of Orthodoxy. The Cossacks state that was created as the result of those victories was later named The Hetmanhood it lasted to the end of the eighteenth Century. Despite the gradual decrease of autonomy the very fact of its existence laid the foundation for future aspirations of an independent sovereign state and help focus thoughts of national identity. To the Polish ambassadors Khmelnytsky said I will liberate all the people of Rus from polish serfdom I will forever be fighting for Orthodox Faith. the Flames of War blazed up anew The Joint Cossack Turkish forces besieged the Poles in the Fortress of Zbarazh. King Jan Kazimierz who had hurried to help the besieged was detained by the Cossacks only the Betrayal of the Khan bribed by the Poles forced Khmelnytsky to sign a peace treaty as for the Tatars they brought out of the Ukraine so rich a bounty and so many captives that a man could bough at the slave market for just a handful of tobacco. In late June early July 1651 a decisive battle took place. A battle between Polish troops headed by the polish King and joined forces of Khmelnytsky and Khan İslâm III Giray for two days the battle was waged with alternate success. On the third day a cannon ball accidentally hit the Khan’s Suite frightened the Khan run away from the battlefield followed by his army. Khmelnytsky tried to force the Khan to return but was captured leaving the Army without his commander-in-chief Colonel Ivan Bohun (?-1664) and his regiment defended their camp for 10 heroic days. They build Crossing across the bushes but panic and commotion brick the people who were mostly peasants they ran away and confusion many being drowned or killed by their enemies The defeat at Berestechko instigated and unquenchable desire for revenge on both sides as Professor Natalia Yakovenko, puts it at that point would have been Civil War turned into a Polish Ukrainian War the Berestechko defeat was revenged by a victory over polish troops at * but after a short while the Tatars again betrayed the Cossacks the situation reached deadlock so Khmelnytsky was compelled to look for a stronger ally who would it be Turkey or Russia in 1954 the Soviet Union pompously celebrated the 300th anniversary of the The Pereyaslav Rada (Council) The unification of the Ukraine and Russia the Pereyaslav myth about the realization of the Eternal desire of the two fraternal people to unite which allegedly dates back to the times of Kievan Rus was first contrived in czarist Russia later to be revived and elaborated upon by Soviet ideologists Orthodoxy proved to be the decisive factor in the Ukraine preferring Russia to Turkey however almost immediately a conflict broke out Khmelnytsky demanded that the Russian ambassador’s on behalf of czar Alexei should swear solemnly that the rights of the Cossacks would remain unchanged the ambassador’s became outraged it is the * who swear loyalty to the czar in the muscovite state not the other way around some of the Cossack authorities became displeased and resentful they broke off negotiations and heated argument ensued A few most eminent commanders refuse to sign the treaty the original documents signed in Pereyaslav were lost. some historians believe that the treaty created a union with the autonomy of the Cossack State fully preserved While others maintain that he was merely a provisional military Alliance after the joint Russian Cossacks campaign against Poland The Cossacks delegation was not admitted to the peace talks Khmelnytsky found new allies in the form of Sweden and Brandenburg Although Swedish troops had seized almost all Poland’s territory the signing of peace with Russia together with the military support of the Tatars and the Austrians helped her defeat the Swedes The ineffective attack of the Cossacks and Semygorod (Transilvania) troops on Poland upset Khmelnytsky major plans the division of Poland was yet to follow with his health seriously undermined by the season wounds Hetman Khmelnytsky died in 1657 acclaimed by some blasphemed by others he became a symbol of freedom for Ukraine without which no Nation can arise the monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky was erected by czar Alexander III (1845-1894) who had his own reasons for doing so what Poland had lost – Russia gained Poland had gotten used to winning victories in many wars as a result of Cossack support but it was Russia which took advantage of the situation which resulted in the partition of Poland Ukraine became Russia’s gateway to Europe The Cossacks helped Russia to defeat Sweden as a result of Cossack support Russia succeeded in defeating Turkey Eliminating the Crimean Khanate and penetrating as far as the Black Sea Coast in short if it had not been for Ukraine Russia would never had become an empire all the subsequent rulers of the Russian state had always been aware of this but let’s return to the chronology having realized the precise nature of the Cossack’s alliance with Moscow Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky
(beginning of the 17th century -1664) made an attempt at returning to Poland in the capacity of an equal partner it was hoped that a state of free nations would be founded Poland Lithuania and the great principality of Rus unfortunately the rights of the would-be principality was so abridged by the Polish Parliament that the treaty could not be accepted not even by its most ardent advocates Khmelnytsky’ son Yurii had little resemblance to his father and chaos and confusion swift the country fratricidal wars ensued Hetmans changed one after another just like in a kaleidoscope for some short time Hetman Petro Doroshenko (1627-1698) managed to unite Ukraine but his death was followed by another chaotic period. This period is called in history – The Ruin. Russia and Poland partitioned Ukraine Zaporozhia ((territory) beyond the rapids) and Hetmanhood were placed under Moscow’s jurisdiction. the figure of Ivan Mazepa (1639 – 1709) attracted Poets of the day Byron Hugo Pushkin Sheila and Słowacki they all wrote about him some of the poets with fascinated by his youthful Adventures at the Polish Royal Court others were inspired by his struggle for Independence after he was elected Hetman he particularly dealt with all educational matters as well as the restoration of churches,
monasteries, and palaces Under his auspices the Ukrainian Baroque flourished magnificently. Mazepa enjoyed the friendship and respect of the Russian czar Peter I – Peter the Great (1672 – 1725). But he began to watch very closely the operations of the Northern war and particularly the victories won by the Swedes. He regarded those victories as a chance to liberate Ukraine. However he acted surreptitiously when Charles the 12 unexpectedly arrived in Ukraine so instead of the 30,000 Cossacks that Mazepa had promised to give to Charles he could only bring along a few thousand. Infuriated on hearing of this treachery Peter I ordered Alexander Menshikov (1673-1729) to assault the Cossack capital Baturyn. All of it’s population was massacred neither women nor children were spared. Baturyn was erased to the ground. The bodies of the city’s Defenders with thrown into the river. to deter further resistance Czar Peter ordered
the immediate execution of every Zaporizhian Cossack on the spot. The armies met near Poltava. Charles the 12th evidently underrated the czar The Russians put up resistance * and their artillery inflicted heavy losses upon the attacking Swedes who did not have any cannons worth mentioning. The drama of the battle was made all the more painful by the fact that 6 Cossack regiments were fighting on the side of the czar Peter I treated his Swedish captors with deference but he ordered to to cut the throat of each and every captive Cossack whom he regarded as traitors The Poltava defeat (Battle of Poltava on 27 June 1709)
buried Ukraine’s chances to obtain Independence for over 200 years. Mazepa found refuge in Turkey where he died shortly after. According to czar Peter’s strict order the Orthodox Church condemned Mazapa by anathematizing him for the duration of his lifetime. The anathema was withdrawn only after the fall of the czarist regime Peter I carried out large-scale reprisals
in Ukraine drastically reducing the the autonomy of the Hetmanhood later Hetmans who followed
had no room to maneuver and became completely dependent on Russia Czar Peter’s daughter Elizabeth fell in love and secretly married a handsome Cossack who had a beautiful singing voice She made his brother Kyrylo Rozumovsky (1728 -1803) Hetman of Ukraine he took his title and position very seriously and tried to restore genuine autonomy to the Cossack lands. Catherine II (1729 – 1796) Deprived Rozumovsky of his title and eliminated the Hetmanhood such was the end of the Cossack state founded by Bohdan Khmelnytsky starting with the Khmelnytsky wars many who lived in the territories Blazed by Wars would run away to the east to the unpopulated lands which will name later Slobitska Ukraine
(Kharkiv, Luhansk, Sumy, Belgorod, Voronezh, Kursk) those people brought with them
many Cossack customs and traditions at the end of the 18th century about 1 million people inhabited the Slobitska Ukraine however together with the elimination of the Hetmanhood Catherine II restricted the Liberties of that territory and turned it into another province of the Russian Empire Thousands of Cossacks participated in the victorious Wars between Russia and Turkey when the days of the Crimean Khanate were numbered the Zaporizhian Cossacks became redundant and The Sich was doomed after 223 years the free community of the Cossacks Zaporizhian Sich (1552-1709) ceased to exist. The Last of The Chieftains Petro Kalnyshevsky (1690-1803) was exiled to the white sea. He was the first but by no means the last Son of Ukraine to be exiled to Solovki – an archipelago located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia. The place would acquire ominous notoriety under the Soviet Regime. Ukraine or little Russia The end of 18th century saw Europe and Ukraine in a new geopolitical situation. After a long struggle Russia defeated Turkey and incorporated the Crimean Khanat while the raid of the Tatars that eternal plague of the Ukrainian lands were finally put to an end. The state of the two Nations Poland and Lithuania was erased from the political map of Europe following their partition by Russia Prussia and Austria. The right Bank Ukraine was incorporated into the Russian Empire while Galicia Bukovyna and TransCarpathia passed on to the control of the Habsburg monarchy alongside the elimination of the Hetmanhood Slobitska Ukraine and Zaporizhian Sich There was an increase in the migration of the top Cossack authorities to St Petersburg. The Descendants of old Cossacks families who were educated in the famous Kyiv Mohyla Academy In Chernihiv and Pereiaslav collegiums had made brilliant and spectacular careers in Russia for themselves thus forming the elite of the empire. They came to regard the Russian empire as their own country Vladimir Borovikovsky Dmytro Levytsky and Martos Founded the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg (1757) Among the Chancellor’s, State ministers, Marshalls, generals and high clergy One can find such names as Bezborodko – Grand Chancellor of Russia and chief architect of Catherine the Great’s foreign policy Milarodovich Kochubey Paskevich and many many others The czar’s decree on the nobility as well as the department of heraldry demanded documentary proof of once right to nobility this caused some problems for the Cossack Elite who had to search through their family archives in order to find credentials issued by polish Kings and Russian czars to confirm the noble origin yet this correspondingly resulted in renewed interest in the history of their families and by the same token in the history of their father’s land the best evidence of the dominating Spirit among the Patriots is the history of Russ (1846 by Grigorij Konisski) it’s author though unreservedly admitting the power the czar emphasizes the otherness of Ukraine its distinction from Russia and support its right to autonomy resulting from the Treaty of Pereyaslav (1654) at that same time Ivan Kotliarevsky (1769 – 1838 ) “Eneyida” – a parody of Virgil’s Aeneid
wrote his Aeneid a burlesque travesty of the epic poem by Virgil the ancient mythological character of Aeneas was embodied by a quick-witted energetic fellow the brave Cossack Eney that was the first literary work written in the popular and colloquial Ukrainian language according to Professor George Grabovych Aeneid initiated the process of determining the national identity through language but the ambitious lust four titles ranks and awards was stronger than the desire for the autonomy of Ukraine and by the end of the eighteenth Century Ukraine had lost its Elite and was basically transformed into a rural economy. Idyllic pictures of Ukrainian Village have little to do with reality the czar’s “ukaz” – order forbade presents to leave them masters. In the former Polish territories now taken over by the Russian Empire but with the Polish landowners still in power peasants kept in their memories the riots as well as the bloody slaughter but while the peasants rebellions within the former Polish borders used to give an advantage to Russia peasants riots within the Russian Empire were ruthlessly nipped in the bud the French Revolution shoot the foundation of Old Europe it overthought the sacred power of the king and the nobility and brought in the notion of nationhood by incorporating bourgeois’s see and peasant class Although the Emperor Napoleon had very little in common with the Revolutionary General Bonaparte the French pattern of the nation became a multicolored by subsequent national movement in Europe Napoleon did not actually invade Ukraine but the motto of the French Revolution found at adherence in the country sometime later the descendants of an old Cossack Elite family The Muravyov-Apostol brothers took an active part in the movement of The Decemberists (1825) whose principal goal was to overthrow the despotic czarist regime the ideas of Romanticism also proved to be a big incentive for the development of the National Liberation movement in the Ukraine The Romantics put an end to the condescending somewhat derogatory attitude towards folk culture they praise simple ordinary people their songs ballads and traditions Ukraine with its heroic past and with its beautiful landscapes was perceived as some Lost Paradise a kind of Acadia George Byron extolled the fate of Hetman Mazepa Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) admired the musical and political gifts of the Ukrainian people once the famous philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder The Godfather of Romanticism wrote the Ukraine is to become the new Greece the country has a wonderful climate and the rich generous soil the day will come when it’s great musically gifted people will be awakened to new life but meanwhile the people were asleep and the times of freedom and heroism found an echo only in the songs of bards the process of the formation of Ukrainians otherness was initiated by the collectors and popularizes of Ukrainian folk songs and historical ballads called Dumy. These collectors comprised of Mykola Tsertelev (1790 – 1869) Mykhaylo Maksymovych (1804-1873) Izmail Sreznevsky (1812-1880) the outcome of their Endeavor was amazing such people as Panteleimon Kulish (1819-1897) and Nikolay Kostomarov (1817-1885) who had been gravitating to the sphere of Russian culture turned into ardent patriots of the Ukraine after reading the Ukrainian poetic folklore collected by Maksymovych. The 1831 the Polish uprising shocks Petersburg Czar Nicholas I came to realize that the multinational pattern of the state could present a potential danger to the integrity of the Russian Empire. It was decided to build the state ideology on the following three bases: Orthodoxy, czarist autocracy and ethnic identity. But how could the latter idea be implemented in a state where the Russian language was only spoken by less than half of its population. A quick remedy was found the other half had to be russified. reprisals and Russification were primarily aims at the rebellious Poles but not have them the Greek Catholic Church was banned in the right Bank Ukraine and those who professed that religion were forced to convert to Orthodoxy governmental bodies gave support to Russian culture and as long as Ukrainian culture was considered to be an integral part it also appeared under the aegis of the state On the basis of closed down Polish institutions of higher education universities and colleges Kyiv University (1833) was founded. Ukraine was to become a part of the great Russia – Little Russia. However the more Ukrainian and Russian cultures developed it became apparent that they are not identical. Little Russians and great Russians contrary to official understanding are not the same Nation Meanwhile the Greek Catholic Church in Galicia which after the division of Poland belonged to Austria due to the reforms of Maria Theresa and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1765 to 1790) received the same rights as all other denominations. In Vienna at Saint Barbara’s Church the first Greek Catholic Seminary the Barbaria was founded which before very long was moved to Lviv. The Order of Basilian Fathers carried out a large-scale cultural and educational project. It was the Greek Catholic clergy who initiated the awakening of the national consciousness in the western Ukraine the ideas of Romanticism and the collections of Ukrainian folk songs penetrated to Galicia from the Russian Empire. Thee seminarians Markiyan Shashkevych (1811-1843) (aged 31) Yakiv Holovatsky (1814-1888) (aged 73) and Ivan Vahylevych (1811-1866) (aged 54) publish a collection of poems folk songs and articles on historical issues The Collection was written in the local dialect and entitled “the mermaid of the Dnistr“ Rusalka Dnistrova – It introduced the vernacular of the Galician Rusyns to the literature world and corroborated the similarity of that language to the language of the Ukrainians who lived in Russia. It proved to be an important factor for recognizing that the Ukrainians in the west and in Russia were one and the same nation. Taras Shevchenko (1814 – 1861) (age 47) was born to a family of serf peasants. He liked painting from his early childhood his friends appreciated his artistic gift and supported him at the age of 24 Shevchenko a free man now was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg he painted, but little did people with the exception of his closest friends know what his other talents were. In 1840 the Kobzar was published The Kobzar introduced Shevchenko to the constellation of the outstanding Poets of Romanticism some Russian critics expressed the greatest regrets that Shevchenko did not write in Russian but in some queer peasant lingo for Shevchenko wrote terrible though it was at the time in Ukrainian he created his own form of the language from the three different dialects and as this language was natural melodic and generally comprehensible Shevchenko helped lay the foundations of contemporary Ukrainian language, but the political aftermath of his literary work was even more momentous the poet did not merely mourn over the Ukraine’s lost freedom and glory but he also presented a vision of the future the vision of an independent Ukraine. he will extol Khmelnytsky as a rebel genius and at the same time accused him of placing the Ukraine in Russian hands. Shevchenko rejected point blank the idea of the alleged inseparability of the great and little Russia. he also resented this submissiveness to the czar It was the Russian czars whom he condemned for the enslavement of Ukraine he wrote that Peter the first hadcrucified Ukraine and that Catherine II had completed the country’s devastation. Butchers! Butchers! You man eaters! Shevchenko’s poetry succeeded in combining two components the traditions of ordinary people with their protest against social injustice and the traditions of the heroic past of the Cossack Elite by putting forward the motto of both the national and social liberation Shevchenko became a prophet for the entire nation before Shevchenko no Ukrainian had dared to criticize Russia so bitterly. some fragments of his poetry sounded so heretical and revolutionary that they could only be published after the revolution of 1905. Having finished his studies Shevchenko returned to Ukraine he joined the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood in Kyiv Professor Kostomarov and writer Kulish were the major figures in that Brotherhood it also comprised a group of students of Kyiv University. At present the National University of Kyiv bares the name of Taras Shevchenko the program of the Brotherhood was reflected in the Book of Genesis of Ukrainian people modelled according to the work of Adam Mickiewicz the Brotherhood maintains the necessity of turning czarist Russia into a Federation of Slavic Nations similar to the United States of America * the Brotherhood also strove to abolish serfdom and to encourage the free development of each National culture In 1848 Europe was struck by of revolutions the so called Spring of Nations which promoted the liberalization of political life and the abolition of serfdom in the Habsburg territory Ukrainian citizens of Lviv established the Head Rus Council which restored the old coat of arms of Halych (Galicia) and Volhynia Princes and adopted the blue and yellow banner. The council announced that the Galician Rusyns were inseparable from the great Ukrainian people they proposed the division of Galicia into two distinct parts Polish and Ukrainian. It is remarkable that both the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood and the Head Rus Council simultaneously express what was practically one and the same demand the recognition of the Ukrainian nation and its right to autonomy these ideas would keep inspiring the leaders of the Ukrainian national movement in the Habsburg Monarchy and the Russian Empire Until the collapse of those two states during World War I. The Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood only existed for 14 months following denunciation its members were arrested and sentenced to Exile. Shevchenko was sentenced to 10 years military service in Central Asia. Czar Nicholas I scribbled in his own hand a note to Shevchenko’s verdict forbidding him to write and paint but Shevchenko did write and paint secretly despite all the prohibitions Shevchenko returned from his exile with the aura of a martyr as well as a poet he was made an icon for all generations as one of the outstanding figures in the National Liberation movement as well as a symbol of resistance to tyranny. Following his last wishes Shevchenko was buried high up on the hill by the Dnipr river which he loves so dearly and described so beautifully. The defeat of Russia in the Crimean War made the backward list of the Empire painfully obvious reforms were imperative The new czar Alexander II (1818 – 1881) abolished serfdom. He gave freedom to the peasants but he did not give them land belatedly industrialization began huge deposits with coal were discovered in Ukraine and a large increase in investment followed an Englishman John Hughes – founder of the city of Donetsk (1868) built the first Iron and Steel complex thus laying the foundation of future Donbas the development of the economy picks up speed when rich deposits of iron ore were found in Kryvyi Rih the production of sugar increased at the beginning of the 20th centur Ukraine would be producing 26% of the empires gross national product stimulated the dynamic growth of cities 4 out of the 10 largest cities of the Empire were Odessa, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Katerynoslav (now: Dnipropetrovsk) however it was mainly Russians who arrived to work at the factories in the cities of the Southern and Eastern Ukraine because Ukrainian peasants preferred to work on the land. The czar’s decree left the land in the hands of the landlords and the landlords demanded enormous sums of money from those who wanted to buy land. A demographic upsurge resulted in an acute shortage of land. Ukrainian peasants with push to those parts in which the land remained virgin to Central Asia to Siberia to the Far East up to the Pacific coast where the famous “Green wedge” as founded – Zeleny Klyn – the land in the Russian Far East area between the Amur River and the Pacific Ocean was founded. by 1914 about 2.000.000 peasants had left Ukraine. Communication with the common people and educational projects in villages were the principal aim of the Kyiv community. Its activity and encompassed the great part of Ukraine the community was headed by the historian Volodymyr Antonovych (1834 – 1908). Its political program was formulated by the socialist Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841-1895). Drahomanov was not an Orthodox marxist, he acknowledged those principles of socialism that set the greatest store on the freedom of the individual. He asserted the necessity of federalization in Russia with cultural autonomy granted to each nation. This combination of socialist and national causes suggested by Drahomanov appeared to be the main ideological doctrine for the Ukrainian nationalist movement at the turn of the 19th century. the Polish uprising of 1863 entailed an acute deterioration in spiritual life throughout the whole Russian Empire. The czarist government began to regard the activities of the community as a manifestation of separatism. Alexander II Reign: (1855 – 1881) prohibited the publications of books in the little Russian vernacular. As well as their import from abroad. Drahomanov immigrated to Switzerland, where he continued with his work. But Ukrainian culture fell into a deep crisis, which was only overcome by Lesya Ukrainka (1871 – 1913) (aged 42) and the first generation of the Ukrainian modernists. Unlike the autocratic Russian Empire – Emperor Franz Joseph’s (1830 – 1916) Austria Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia had become by that time a parliamentary monarchy. Both the poles and ukrainians had their representatives in Vienna * and the Galician Parliament. The election laws however were too obviously biased towards the Poles and only a Pole could be appointed Empress governor in Lviv and minister of Galician affairs in Vienna. While traveling in Galicia Emperor Franz Joseph felt at ease only among the Polish aristocracy. The monopoly of power by the Poles had a very specific effect. Some Rusyns in Galicia turned their eyes towards Russia as a savior from Polonization. Moscophiles decided that it is better to drown in the Russian sea than in the Polish puddle. But Ukrainian Patriots had no desire whatsoever to get drowned either in the sea or in the puddle. They founded the organization called Prosvita – “Enlightenment” (1868 Lviv) since their firm belief was that only educated people were capable of forming a conscious nation. Directivities was strongly influenced by Shevchenko’s myth of Ukraine. The myth that linked Galicia with the Cossack’s proud traditions. The Shevchenko Academic Society (1873) was founded. Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1866 – 1934) arrived in Lviv from the eastern Ukraine at the recommendation of the Kyiv community. He received the chair of the Ukrainian history department at Lviv University. But Hrushevsky was not the only one to arrive in Lviv. Czarist reprisals against national movement exiled prominent Ukrainian social figures from the Russian Empire to Galicia. The intellectual and financial support which they rendered to Galician ukrainians strengthened his convictions that they belong to an integrated and a great nation. It also aroused their self-esteem and inspired them with pride of the historic traditions which were by no means inferior to either polish or russian ones. In Galicia there arose a Center for national movement. Galicia was referred to as the Ukrainian Piedmont named after the renowned Piedmont in Italy, where the movement for the unification of that country had started. Another notable and distinguished personality in Galicia was Ivan Franko (1856 – 1916) an outstanding writer and political figure. Inspired by Drahomanov he converted to socialism and was one of the founders of the radical party. That party was the first to put forward the idea of political independence of Ukraine. Incidentally at about the same time Mykola Mikhnovsky (1873 – 1924) a conservative from Kharkiv also came up with the idea of Ukrainian Independence. Under Hrushevsky’s influence Franko moved away from radicalism and grew closer to populous revolutionaries. 1898 was a culminating year. It marked the centennial of the publication of Kotlyarevsky’s Aeneid (Eneïda – 1798), and the 25th anniversary of Ivan Franko’s literary career. In the same year Hrushevsky’ published the first volume of his Monument work the “History of Ukraine-Ruthenia,” which had an immense influence upon the formation of the Ukrainian National Consciousness. 1898 is a symbolic year it was then that the word RUSYN was finally supplanted by the word UKRAINIAN. In 1900 the Greek Catholic Church elected a new leader Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (1865 – 1944) The Ukrainian movement in Galicia obtained a mighty ally in his person for it was basically through the clergy that nationalist ideas could reach the most distant places. When at the turn of the nineteenth Century Galician peasants immigrated to Brazil Argentina Canada or the United States in search of the living their National Consciousness had already been molded in such a way that the immigrants would found cultural and educational organizations to render support to the National Liberation movement back in the native land. The Russian Revolution of 1905 was an immediate reaction to the defeat of Russia in the russo-japanese war. That defeat again demonstrated the backwardness and underdevelopment of the Russian Empire. Although the Revolution was drowned in blood it encourage and measure of liberalization. Elections to the first state Duma Parliament were announced. Deputies from the Ukraine even formed a parliamentary faction of their own. this short political thaw was over when Pyotr Stolypin (1862 – 1911) (Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire from 1906 to 1911) was appointed head of the government. Stolypin completed The Agrarian reforms enabling a peasant to become a farmer at the same time Stolypin banned every kind of Ukrainian organizations even the selling of The Holy script in the Ukrainian translation was prohibited. When World War I broke out Ukrainians could be found in the ranks of both warring armies Russian and austro-hungarian. The Ukrainian head council was formed in Lviv. Its leadership and Kost Levytsky (1859 – 1941) in particular had already declared unreserved support of The Habsburgs. The council called upon ukrainians to fight against autocratic Russia for the freedom of all ukrainians. with the consent of Vienna the council formed it’s own military units. The morale and discipline of Sitch Shots (Sitchovi striltsi) – Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (1914 – 1918) stood apart among other units of Austro-hungarian troops. Political immigrants from the Russian controlled part of Ukraine with Dmitro Dontsov (1883 – 1973) at the head founded the league of the liberation of Ukraine. The league would carry on activities aimed at strengthening the national consciousness of Ukrainian prisoners of war from the czarist army, who were kept in austrian camps. Former prisoners of war would later form several ukrainian divisions. But in September 1914 Russian troops occupied Lviv. anxious to destroy the nest of Ukrainian separatism they embarked upon reprisals Russification and deportations. The Greek Catholic Church was prohibited Metropolitan Sheptytskyi was exiled to Suzdal (Russia). Strange as it may seem Vienna shifted the blame for the defeat onto the ukrainians. The theory of Rus betrayal was fabricated. When the austrians reoccupied Galicia thousands were arrested and thrown into camps in Austria. When the Austrian Hungarian Counterattack was launched the Russians carried out a forced evacuation of the Ukrainian population. Many internees were sent to Kyiv where they came under the guardianship of Ukrainian charity organizations. The reunion of ukrainians from both warring countries led to a feeling of integrity not only among the elite but also among common people. The war demolished the traditional rural lifestyle. Ukrainian peasants conscripted into the army never realized why they had been sent to the trenches. They were told to fight for their motherland. But what was their motherland? People of various nationalities were fighting side by side with them and they all spoke different languages On the other hand amongst the troops of the enemy there were soldiers who spoke their own language and sang the same songs as they did. The war accelerated the process of establishing the idea of national distinctiveness and Ukrainian National Consciousness. That was a gigantic step forward for the peasantry on the way towards the Nation. At the beginning of 1917 the resources of Russia were practically exhausted. The war had already devoured over eight million people and the Army was in a deplorable condition. Prices were rocketing and the large cities was starving workers would go on strike factories would come to a standstill. The appeal of “Down with the war!” sounded both at the front and in the rear. The February Revolution (1917) began in St Petersburg with workers strike. When czar ordered the troops to open fire on the demonstrators the soldiers refused to obey and joined the protesters. The second Volyn regiment which was largely comprised of ukrainians was the first to act in that fashion Czar Nicholas II (1868 – 1918) had to abdicate. Power was taken over by the provisional government headed by Alexander Kerensky (1881- 1970) but the war was still going on in March 1917 Parliament was convened named The Central Rada by representatives of Ukrainian political parties and social organizations. It was headed by Professor Mykhailo Hrushevsky. Rada’s principal standpoint was the Federalization of Russia, the central Rada issued its first Universal that means decree which declared the autonomy of the Ukraine a government was formed headed by Volodymyr Vynnychenko (1880 – 1951) with Symon Petliura (1879 – 1926) in charge of military affairs. In the meantime on the battlefront Bolshevik appeals to put an immediate end to the war were received favorably. Soldiers on mass were deserting from the Army and they all returned home harmed. On the 17th of October the Bolshevik party headed by Vladimir Lenin (1870- 1924) Carried out coup d’État in Petrograd. The Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government and seized power. Their first 2 decrees on peace and on land gained massive support. Very soon both decrees would prove to be a lie. The war with the Germans was replaced by a Civil War which took an even heavier toll as for the land it was taken away from the peasants by the hated kolkhozes. Back in Kyiv in answer to the Bolshevik coup Parliament issued its third decree which contained a promise to give land to The Peasants. Moreover it declared the establishment of the Ukrainian People’s Republic a sovereign state which preserved relations with Russia within a framework of a Federation of free and equal Nations. in Kyiv the Bolsheviks made an attempt at seizing power the troops that remained faithful to Parliament managed to suppress the uprising. The Bolsheviks moved to Kharkiv and declare the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.
1922

The 1917 republic was only recognised by another non-recognised country, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and with the signing of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty was ultimately defeated by mid-1918 and dissolved. The last session of the government took place in the city of Taganrog. In July 1918, the former members of the government formed the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine, the constituent assembly of which took place in Moscow. With the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, Bolshevik Russia resumed its hostilities towards the Ukr People’s Rep. fighting for Ukrainian independence and organised another Soviet govt in Kursk, Russia. On 10 March 1919, according to the 3rd Congress of Soviets in Ukraine (conducted 6–10 March 1919) the name of the state was changed to the Ukr S S R (abbreviated “УСРР” in Ukrainian as opposed to the later “УРСР”). In support Lenin sent them the Red Army troops. Meanwhile the town of Brest became the venue of peace negotiations between Soviet Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary. The representatives of the Ukrainian People’s Republic also arrived in Brest to sign a separate peace treaty with Germany and Austria. The situation however was developing dramatically. At the beginning of February the Red Army shelled Kyiv as Hrushevsky would say afterwards Our orientation towards Moscow and Russia burnt in the fire of Bolshevik guns. To be able to take an independent part in peace talks the Ukrainian Parliament proclaims full Independence of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. On the 8th of February 1918 the Ukrainian delegation in Brest signed a peace treaty the conditions of which were limited to the recognition of Ukraine’s independence by Germany and Austria-Hungary with Military Support being promised in exchange for substantial deliveries of bread and meat, but a couple of hours after the treaty had been signed Red divisions burst into Kyiv and carried out a terrible Slaughter. They acted in the same bloody fashion in many villages the third Army formed for this particular purpose requisitioned bread and cattle from peasants for the starving of Moscow and Petrograd. According to the Brest treaty the territory of Ukraine was to be occupied by German troops who would help Parliament return to Kyiv. Parliament however did not find any support from the peasantry, who had not got the land promised to them. The Germans failed to receive deliveries of food promised by the treaty. That is why at the end of April 1918 German military units drove away all the deputies. Such was the downfall of the first Ukrainian Parliament the central Rada. Central Rada was obliged to deal with the issues of the formation of the state at a time when the process of the formation of the nation had not yet been completed. The ukrainians were in the minority in cities and towns. The bourgeoisie supported the whites the proletarians supported the Reds Meanwhile the young socialist in the central Rada wasted time in futile ideological feuds they did not create any state bodies nor did they form an army. Nevertheless there was some undeniable success in the activities of the central Rada as the provisional government and then the Bolsheviks had to recognize the independence of Ukraine the Declaration of Independence was to become both a symbol and of goal in the future. The Congress of agrarians held under German’s jurisdiction elected Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi (1873-1945) Hetman of Old Ukraine. a czarist army General and a descendant of an old Hetman family relied upon the nobility the gentry and rich farmers his rule was marked by forced duality on the one hand he encouraged the development of Ukrainian culture Ukrainian schools and universities were opened the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences was also founded under his leadership on the other hand he surrounded himself with scores of Russian officials and Military Officers Skoropadskyi did his utmost to re-establish pre-revolutionary older in Ukraine that was why he cancelled the decrees of the Ukrainian Parliament he organised coercive delivery of provisions of the German Army and kept sending punitive expeditions against the peasants this proved a series of peasants riots which eventually developed into an actual state of war meanwhile political opposition to the Hetman was gaining momentum the directorate was founded with Vynnychenko and Petlyura at the head in 1918 the military capitulation of Germany left Skoropadskyi without German support the Hetman renounced his power and left Ukraine together with the German army Troops faithful to the ideals of the Central Rada entered Kyiv the directorate proclaimed itself to be the official body of state power in Ukraine in the meantime ukrainian politicians in Galicia loyal to Austria-Hungary * from the establishment of the Ukrainian state within the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy. * united with East Ukraine on the night of the 31st of October the Sitch Shots captured the most important institutions in Lviv without shedding a single drop of blood. In the morning of November 1 the citizens of Lviv woke up in a different state – West Ukrainian People’s Republic. It was a shock for the poles they rushed to take arms this dramatic moment of the conflict was accounted for by the fact that both the ukrainians and the poles considered Lviv to be their city and Galicia their native land the local Poles knew Lviv very well so they managed to organize an effective defense Ukrainian soldiers mostly in villages could hardly find their bearings in the city after 3 weeks of fierce fighting the Ukrainian units had to withdraw from Lviv. In Ternopil Ukrainian Galician Army was formed on the basis of the Legion of the Ukrainian Sitch Shots general, Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko
(1878-1952) became it’s commander-in-chief. The Polish Ukrainian war broke out. On the 3rd of January 1919 in Kyiv and then on the 22nd an Act of unification between the two Ukrainian States was passed forming the Ukrainian People’s Republic. The act of unification
JANUARY 22 1919 had but a symbolic significance, because two weeks later the Bolsheviks invaded Kyiv. Then, when the Ukrainians believed that they would have Lviv back before long The Entente peace mission (a military alliance of France, Great Britain and Russia) arrived. The mission suggested the partition of Galicia into Ukrainian and Polish areas in the heat of the fighting both sides turn down that kind of settlement. General Pavlenko said: “Let steel and blood settle the dispute between us.” And thus the dispute was settled. In April contrary to the Entente’s wishes the Polish army of General Haller was transferred to the Ukrainian front the Polish divisions formed in France turn the tide of the conflict. In June a massive attack under the general Grekhov was launched. The ukrainians approach the Gateway of Lviv but they ran out of ammunition. in July 1919 the Galician army was forced to withdraw from Galicia and in East Ukraine it united with Petlura’s troops leaving all of eastern Galicia in Poland’s hands Was there ever a possibility of a compromise in their hearts either of the Ukrainian nor the Poles were ready for it Lviv was the reason however the fruit of that easy victory turned out to be bitter. One can’t but agree with Ukrainian historian Professor Yaroslav Hrytsak who asserts that the victory helped the Bolsheviks win the war against Ukraine and build a new Russian Empire called the Soviet Union. 20 years later that empire together with Nazi Germany undertook the fourth partition of Poland a Polish historian Maciej Kozlowski adds today when we recall the dread what was going on in Volyn and Galicia during the second World War we ought to remember those events to a very great extent were determined by the Victorious campaign of the Polish Army at the Zbrucz – a river in Western Ukraine. At the same time General Denikin’s troops invaded Kyiv and embarked upon another round of Slaughter the whites who would fight against the Reds and against any Liberation movement with the same fanaticism were fighting for their idea of the Integral and undivided Russia that would bring them defeat after a short while the capital of Ukraine was seized by the Bolsheviks. power in Kyiv changed every few months new and old armies marched across the fertile lands of Ukraine the Ukrainian army, the German army the Red Army the white Army and the Entente’s troops peasants who wanted to survive and preserve their property began to form armed detachments and elected local Chieftains They were in opposition to everyone. they made and broke unions they took the side of the enemy if that could save them and their families. the bloody peasant war was getting more and more ferocious the most notorious who Chieftains was Nestor Makhno (1888-1934) A confirmed anarchist nicknamed father Makhno. his motto all power the Soviets without Communists helped him control a vast territory with almost fifty thousand armed men under his command Hundredths of local chieftains used to operate alongside Makhno most of them being just ordinary bandits * and they massacred Jews in pogroms. but world opinion lay the blame for all those crimes in particular on the directorate and Petlyura As for Petlyura he had got into a hopeless situation His army had suffered great losses during an epidemic of typhoid. He was torn by the internal conflicts The Directorate was trapped by the whites, Reds, Romanians and the Poles so Petlyura made a dramatic decision he turned to Poland for support in return for handing over eastern Galicia and western Volyn to Poland he received Józef Piłsudski’s consent to recognize the directorate as the only legitimate power in Ukraine. in April 1920 and you attack was launched. Piłsudski thought that using Ukraine as a buffer between Poland and Russia would guarantee the safety to Polish state. on the 7th of May allied troops occupied Kyiv but Petlyura did not find in Ukraine the support he had expected despite Piłsudski’s strict orders Polish officers attended their former Estates and threatened the peasants there with her inevitable return and revenge the Galicians in their turn could not forgive Petlyura for his having sold their lands to Poland. The Soviet armies launched a Counterattack on the 11th of June they took Kyiv and 2 months later they were approaching Warsaw. The capital of Poland was for the Bolsheviks the gateway to Europe they depended upon polish workers and peasants to Rise Against the borjoise government but the people of Poland did not support the Communists thousands of volunteers joined the ranks of the Polish Army by a brave and clever maneuver Józef Piłsudski broke through the Bolshevik front their crushing defeat at Warsaw put an end to V. Lenin’s and Leon Trotsky’s dreams of global Revolution. The Ukrainian troops make their contributions to the final victory over the Red Army at the crucial point of the war Marko Bezruchko (1883–1944) heroically defended Zamość (The Battle of Komarów) against the cavalry of Budyonny. But in Poland the appearance of Piłsudski took the upper hand exhausted by the war Poland had stopped giving support to the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Ukrainian troops were interned. On the 18th of March 1921 Poland and Soviet Russia signed a peace treaty in Riga. Poland retained control over Eastern Galicia and Western Volyn and recognized the Soviet government in Kyiv. Piłsudski could only beg the pardon of his ukrainian allies. The government of the Ukrainian’s People’s Republic remained in Poland for several more years trying to wage an independent struggle. The Ukrainian Revolution was diametrically opposed to the Russian one as together with social demands it also put forward nationalist demands concerning the establishing of an independence of sovereign estate as had been done by Poland Finland and the Baltic states. That goal was not achieved. The leaders did not manage to unite the nation which was only just beginning to come around to the idea of Independence. They did not succeed in removing the psychological barrier between the Galician Army and the troops of Petlyura besides they failed to spread news of the Ukrainian cause in the west where they continue to be regarded as the allies of a defeated Germany and Austria-Hungary. Did it mean that the Ukrainian revolution had been ultimately vanquished? history proves that their efforts were not in vain. Ukraine, here are your sons (1918-1920) To fighters for freedom of Ukraine Marko Bezruchko Volodymyr Salsky Vsevolod Zmienko PART III – TOGETHER FOREVER The defeat of the Red Army near Warsaw in 1920 ruined all the hopes of the Bolsheviks for world revolution Instead a situation arose which Marx had not envisaged Communism was to be built in one of the most industrially backward countries and not in a highly developed industrialized state. The Versailles treaty (June 1919) and the Riga peace treaties repartition Ukrainian lands among different countries Poland Romania and Czechoslovakia, but the greater part of Ukrainian land under the name of the Ukrainian SSR was joined to Soviet Russia. The Russian Civil War according to historians proved to be even more devastating to Ukraine than the First world war. The death toll reached almost 1,500,000 and the country was laid to waste. Scores of thousands of orphaned children were wondering about destitute and homeless. Red terror was introduced and the Bolsheviks started to get rid of their political opponents and class enemies. *
a policy of military communism involved the nationalization of the land and industrial enterprises as well as requisitioning of grain in villages This became a virtual curse for Ukrainian peasants In 1921 central Russia, the Volga regions all of Ukraine were struck by an unprecedented drought which resulted in a terrible famine people ate rodents, grass and tree bark and yet still entire villages perished the Bolshevick government had to turn to other countries for help when the famine reached it’s peak Americans supplied provisions for 11,000,000 people in the meantime Soviet chief executives were cynically trading grain on foreign markets and buying weapons in return the 1921-1922 famine’s final toll was about 5,000,000 over 1.5 million of them in Ukraine The policy of military communism brought the entire country to the verge of ruin peasant’s riots were suppressed by artillery and the Red Army’s air force but when the most loyal of loyal the Kronstadt navy rebelled Lenin had to introduce in March 1921 The New Economic Policy known as (NEP) the requisition was supplanted by a natural product tax which enabled farmers to trade any excess of grain on the free market as a result the free market and small private Enterprises were partially reinstated in Ukraine however those changes were delayed for half a year in order to enable the authorities to requisition Ukrainian grain without hindrance for another 6 months NEP was aimed at appeasing the peasantry and stimulating the national economy at the same time for fear of restoring Capitalism the regime intensified repressions parties other than the communist party were banned censorship became increasingly severe and the power and authority of the security service the notorious Cheka (chrezvychaynaya komissiya – Emergency Committee) increased the Bolsheviks have referred to religion as opium for the people and so they set about to replace it’s appeal with a belief in Communism in 1922 1922 churches and monasteries were ransacked holy relics were desecrated and religious rights were mocked the believers and clergymen who dared to protest were sentenced t show trials to death lengthy prison sentences or internement in concentration camps the repressive measures also confiscated Catholic and protestant churches and Jewish synagogues in 1922 the communist state consisted of four republics Stalin on December 30 1922 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) 1924 Lazar Kaganovich Alexander Shumsky Mykola Skrypnyk Oleksander Dovzhenko new luster was added to the talents of Pavlo Tychyna a famous symbolist poet the author of the sun’s clarinets Maksym Rylsky Oleksa Slisarenko Maik Yohansen Mykola Zerov Mykola Khvyliovy and many many others Ukrainianization outgrew the limits drawn out by Moscow the nationalist communist in Ukraine dared to declare that every nation had the right to its own way to Communism intellectuals who were joined in the elite organization VAPLITE Vilna Akademia Proletarskoi LITEratury (ВАПЛІТЕ) categorically denounced the proletarian mass culture and cultural mediation of Moscow they declared a decisive reorientation of Ukrainian culture towards the West when asked: Europe or the middle of nothing? Ukraine or Little Russia? Zerov and Khvyliovy would answer to the sources! all windows to be opened on Europe! The echoes of that discussion can still be heard today by the end of the 1920’s Joseph Stalin
(In office 3 April 1922 – 16 October 1952) had ceased absolute power in the Kremlin the main points in the building of Socialism were cultural revolution mandatory collectivization of the villages and accelerated industrialization The Five-Year Plan of 1928 to 1932 meant to prove the advantages of the socialist economy the label “the enemy of the people” was created and pinned to those who allegedly sabotaged the 5 year plan the first blows were dealt “”” in local Administration and develop their own educational system they were allowed to open 3 higher institutions so that ukrainians from all over Central Europe could receive their education there but Romania as well as Poland resorted to a policy of assimilation ukrainians were banned from membership of local government bodies and the old term RUSYN replaced the term Ukrainian in all official documents in Poland the system of Ukrainian schooling was replaced by a bilingual system dominated by the Polish language all the ukrainian departments were closed down at Lviv University and the long promised Ukrainian University was never opened the 5,000,000 strong Ukrainian population constituted the largest ethnic minority in Poland almost 90% of Ukrainians lived in villages villages were overpopulated and the demand for land was acute the situation worsened even further when the government began to allot plots of land to Polish officers and soldiers in Galicia and Volyn by 1938 – 200,000 Polish settlers had got the best land there Ukrainians resisted Polonization they acted both legally and in conspiracy legally: The Center political party have set themselves for a goal of obtaining autonomy among those parties the most influential was UNDO (UNDO) The Ukrainian National Democratic Organization a large network of social organizations emerged Union of Ukrainian Women involved a considerate number of women involved in it’s activities Prosvita societies opened libraries private schools and gymnasiums teaching the Ukrainian language quite a number of social political and economic journals were published a rather powerful cooperative movement developed which incorporated over 600,000 members not only did cooperatives banks and insurance companies provide economic security they also told members how to become a citizen and a master of one’s own land the legally recognized parties and organizations achieved undeniable successes Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance, (UNDO) UNDO introduced a number of deputies to the Polish Parliament and it’s leader was the Vice Speaker however, it was not so much the legal organizations that determined the Polish-Ukrainian relations but the nationalists acting in conspiracy the first clandestine nationalist movement was launched by the officers of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (Sitchovi striltsi) who were frustrated by their defeat in the Civil War The Ukrainian military organization called (UVO) Ukrainian Military Organization was formed in Czechoslovakia’s Prague Yevhen Konovalets (1891 – 1938) the activities of UVO were focused on sabotage and political assassinations. their target were not only Poles the main enemies were Ukrainians who wanted an agreement with Poland The ideologist of Ukrainian Nationalism was Dmytro Dontsov
Born: August 29, 1883
Melitopol, Russian Empire
Died March 30, 1973 (aged 89)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada the Editor in Chief of the weekly “Vistnyk” published in Lviv he laid the blame for the defeat of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917 to 1920 at the door of Democrats and Socialists Dontsov rejected democracy. he claimed that it was not the democratic majority but instead the conscious nationalistic elite who have the historical right to force masses to take action the nation has the right to a common territory. so all the occupying powers have to be treated as enemies Dontsov’s ideas proved to be very appealing for young people they laid the foundation of the program of The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which incorporated the UVO in 1930 the OUN carried out a large scale sabotage operation during which they committed about 200 arson attacks (setting fire to buildings) along with railroad demolitions and attacks on the power networks. The Polish government sent in regular troops to Galicia and started a process of pacification collective responsibility was introduced masses of people were arrested in dozens of villages peasants property was destroyed and corporal punishment was introduced the OUN responded with new terrorist attacks. The spiral of mutual hostility and violence escalated. In 1933 Stepan Bandera (1909-1959 (aged 50) became the head of the OUN in Poland it was he who organized two impressive assassinations one of the attache of the Soviet consulate in Lviv in revenge for the organized famine in Ukraine the other of the Polish minister of internal affairs General Pieracki who had been in charge of the pacification process Poland renounced its agreement on the protection of ethnic minorities A detention center for political prisoners was set up in Bereza Kartuska holding polish opposition members along with Ukrainian activists against this background of worsening conflict judicious and sensible voices sounded that were coding for normalization Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky denounced both the polish pacification and the activities of the Ukrainian nationalists. Jerzy Giedroyc ( 1906-2000)
Polish writer and political activist
studied law and Ukrainian history and literature at the University of Warsaw would call upon unification for the sake of the interest of the Polish state but neither was listen to in 1938 in Eastern Poland 200 Orthodox Churches were destroyed and 150 were handed over to Catholics even those who have so far advocated a policy of mutual understanding began to believe that nothing but a new war could give freedom to Ukrainians the state that have most been seeking a change in the order of Europe was Germany. For years Ukrainian Nationalists cooperated with the German military intelligence thinking that Germany would help ukrainians create their own free state in any future conflict. Hitler being the enemy to both Poland and Bolsheviks Was regarded by many ukrainians as their most natural ally on September 30th 1938 Great Britain and France signed the Munich agreement with Germany it gave leave to the partitioning of Czechoslovakia the weakened government in Prague eventually acknowledged the autonomy of TransCarpathian Ukraine Avgustyn Voloshyn (1874 – 1945) was made its prime minister. Hitler however had different plans and Transcarpathian Ukraine was given to Hungary hardly had the Voloshyn government proclaimed Independence of the new state when Hungarian troops occupied the whole territory the fall of Carpathian Rus became one of the reasons for the organization to split into two factions Melnyk’s and Bandera’s. The Melnyk’s kept believing that Ukraine’s independence could only be obtained with a help of Germany. Bandera’s were less gullible They thought that Independence must be a purely Ukrainian cause while not completely excluding the German support they considered themselves to be an equal partner of Germany both parties proved to be diluted September 1st 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland and the WWII broke out On the 17th of September The Red army occupied the eastern part of Poland thus fulfilling the secret terms of The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact The invasion was carried out under the motto of liberating the fraternal people Ukrainians and Belorussians from bourgeois Poland and at first it was welcomed by most ukrainians The new power undertook the passing out of community and church Estates and also slow down unemployment the Polish University was replaced by the Ukrainian University Ukrainian schools museums libraries and theaters were opened in this atmosphere under the surveillance of the Red Army elections were conducted though undesirable candidates were prevented from standing the people’s assembly elected in such a fashion and proclaimed to be a voice of the liberated people officially approved of the annexation of western Ukraine to the Soviet Ukraine that is to say to the Soviet Union soon after the authorities embarked upon collectivization And when it appeared that the Bolsheviks were arresting and deporting to Siberia not only the Poles but also the Ukrainian intelligentsia and the Greek Catholic clergy the attitude towards the new Power began to change diametrically Soviet repression on the one hand and Hitler’s Victorious triumphs in Europe on the other Awoke Pro German moods in Galicia On the 1st of May 1941 the citizens of Kyiv witnessed a military parade in Khreshchatyk Street. The parade was to demonstrate the military power of the Invincible Soviet Union with the great Stalin at its head. Who could have foreseen then that only five months later that same Khreshchatyk would be the venue of a march by German soldiers Hitler’s attack of June 22 1941 came as a shocking surprise for the USSR everything indicated that Stalin had been contemplating a war with Hitler but he had thought he would deal with the first blow Hurriedly leading the Western Ukraine the Soviet Security Forces killed thousands of prisoners leaving proof of the enormous scale of Soviet crimes Lviv greeted German (Wehrmacht) soldiers all the more cordially as one of the first military units to enter the city was The Nachtigall Battalion (Nightingale) composed almost entirely of Banderovists Under the protection of that battalion Nationalists proclaimed an Independent Ukrainian State Yaroslav Stetsko Bandera’s deputy was appointed prime minister of the government. The German’s reacted instantly. The leadership of Bandera’s faction (1909 – 1959) Bandera himself, Stetsko and others were arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen. Galicia was annexed by general governorship. The lightning like success of German Army reinforced Hitler’s belief that he had no need of support from Ukrainian nationalists they were to be given only minor positions in the local Administration and police. As Ukraine was to be turned into a German Colony not an ally state. Thus the military units of Melneky’s and Bandera’s that had marched in to lay the the foundation of the would-be Ukrainian state were soon all arrested many of them were shot. the same fate wasn’t encountered by local nationalist the days of the USSR seem to be numbered. Among the numerous reasons for the defeats was Stalin’s purges which had rendered the Red Army without a leader. The reluctance of officers and soldiers to defend the Soviet state also played an important role. Their fate was awful Those who managed Survive the war would be sent to rot in Stalin’s concentration camps on the 16th of September 1941 Kyiv fell at the beginning of November German troops occupied practically all the Ukraine almost immediately after the occupation of Kyiv 33000 Jews were shot in the deep pit of Babi Yar in the space of two days. Babi Yar has since become the symbol of the Holocaust in the Ukraine. In 50 ghettos and 180 concentration camps Almost the entire Jewish population was exterminated. Besides jews other victims of the executions in Babi Yar included: Prisoners of war Intellectuals Communists Nationalists and random people detained at roundups this place turned into a mass grave For over 100,000 victims. The Reich Commissariat of Ukraine was set up in the central Ukraine the smallest misdemeanor was punished by death a man who stole a German Helmet would be hanged Collective Farms those hateful kolkhozes were recognized as the best form of exploiting the Ukrainian Village even the fertile soil was being taken to Germany Along with freight trains loaded with coal and iron ore because of starvation executions and deportations to Germany The population of Kyiv decreased by 60% by the end of the war to 2.3 Millions “Gastarbeiters” were ukrainians The reprisals and terror led to a change in attitude among the people formally either friendly or indifferent to Germans they began to think better of the Communists many historians believe that the Nazi’s inability to use Ukrainians and other nations against Soviet power was one of their greatest political mistakes By the end of 1941 The critical situation at the front forced Stalin to impose a new strategy involving organization of the mass partisan warfare designed to draw off German troops from the Battlefront. this decision came at the same time as changes in the population’s mood. The partisan movement in Ukraine was gaining momentum. Soviet partisans waged a railway war upon communication thus diverting considerable German forces at the beginning of 1943 the famous Sydir Kovpak (1887 – 1967) started his long raid through the western Ukraine from the forest Belarus down to the Carpathian Mountains. In Volyn he encountered strong units of the Ukrainian Insurgent army The (UPA). UPA is still an apple of discord and for many still stirs up powerful emotions. Some Ukrainians regard them as Fascist bandits others as Heroes. the name UPA was first used by Taras Bulba-Borovets (1908-1981). Independently he formed his unit as far back as 1940. In 1942 Soviet partisan Detachment started infiltrating into Volyn. Having committed an act of sabotage they would disappear condemning the local people to acts of retaliation by the Furious Nazis. The local Banderovysts set up forming self defense units against both the Bolsheviks and the Nazis in February 1943 the leadership of the Banderovyst factions of Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) decided to form on the basis of those units powerful underground military units. Roman Shukhevych alias Taras Chuprynka (1907 – 1950) a former officer of the Nachtigall Battalion managed to form a strong well organized partisan army. He too accepted the name of UPA. The UPA became an armed unit of the Banderovyst faction of the OUN. It controlled a considerable part of Volyn and later Galicia. The Defeat of the German armies at Stalingrad at the beginning of 1943 allowed both factions of OUN to presume that Germany would be defeated in the war at the same time leaving the USSR exhausted. Which meant that the problem of creating an independent Ukraine and delineating its borders would be solved by a strong National Army both factions of the OUN chose their own course of action before the war Volyn was part of Poland. It was mostly populated by Ukrainians Poles and Jews. During the war the Jewish people were exterminated by the Nazis. Conflict divided the Polish and Ukrainian partisans. UPA – Ukrainian Insurgent Army were fighting for an independent Ukraine while the Polish home army was seeking to re-establish the pre war borders of Poland. Both the Nazis and the Soviet forces often resorted to various provocations when the aggravation of the conflict could serve their advantage. The first clashes between Ukrainians and Poles occurred in 1942. Civilians also lost their lives. In the Helm region the Polish underground members killed several scores of Ukrainian activists connected with the OUN in return the Banderovysts would kill the Poles who cooperated with the Polish home army. In Spring of 1943 several thousand Ukrainian policeman hardened by their role in the massacre of Jews quit the German ranks and joined UPA. Dmytro Klachkivsky – alias Klym Sawur
(1911-1945 aged 33) the UPA leader in Volyn decided to use their experience in mopping-up the Volyn area of Poles. Since the summer of 1943 the units of the Volyn UPA with the active support of peasants longing to get land were carrying out ethnic cleansing of the Polish population killing men women and children by the thousands. At the turn of 1943-1944

up to 18,000 Poles
between 21-24,000 Ukrainians died in Volyn anti-polish actions were transferred to Eastern Galicia. In response between the years 1944 and 1945 the Poles massacred the inhabitants of Ukrainian villages in the Chełm region many thousands of Ukrainians were killed neither women nor children were spared. Thus evil was generating evil and it left an unhealed wound in the minds and souls of both Ukrainians and Poles as the participants and witnesses of those events only remembered the wrongs done against themselves. Yet the end does not justify the means. Ethnic cleansing has always been and will ever be a crime irrespective of the idea behind it the Volyn massacre cast dark shadow on the history of UPA which was often heroic and yet in the end very tragic. Three generations must pass before the people will take the first steps in the direction of a sincere unification. In 1943 colossal losses on the Eastern Front instigated the Nazis to look for additional manpower. Under the motor of a crusade against the Bolsheviks the Germans began to form National volunteer divisions within the framework of the German Armed Forces. The Danish, the balloons*, the Flemish, the French, the Spanish the Latvian the Estonian and other divisions were formed in Spring of 1943 the Germans together with the oun OUN Melnyks formed the Ukrainian division SS Galician Banderovysts considered it to be an act of pure collaboration but Melnykysts planned this division as the core of the Ukrainian Army which after the defeat of Germany would be fighting for an independent Ukraine. Those plans were doomed to failure and the SS Galician division would be crushed by the Red Army a year later in its first battle at Brody. In summer of 1943 the Russian Victory in the tank battle at Kursk determined the outcome of the second World War. In retreating the Germans resorted to the same scorched earth tactics as had been carried by the retreating Red Army. Stalin played the Ukrainian card a lot more skillfully than Hitler he appealed to the Patriotic feelings of ukrainians the name Ukrainian was granted to as many as four southern fronts the order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky was introduced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ministry of Defence were established in Ukraine the radio kept announcing the formation of The Sovereign national state the Ukrainian SSR. In September 1943 the Red Army approached the Dnipr River. Stalin regarded those who happened to have fallen under German occupation as potential traitors that is why old men aged between 18 and 50 were mobilized and without any training sent to the forward battle lines where they became cannon fodder during the assault crossing of the Dnipr the Soviet forces against suffered enormous and utterly unjustified losses as Stalin had given the order to liberate Kyiv by the anniversary of the great October socialist Revolution The order was fulfilled Nikita Khrushchev (1894 – 1971)
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 made an announcement to the Soviet people: The war with the German occupant United our Nation even more strongly around a Communist Party under the guidance of a great and wise leader Joseph Stalin (1878 – 1953)
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1941 – 1953) In the course of the following months the Red Army controlled all of Ukraine. During the second world war approximately 700 towns and almost 28,000 villages were destroyed in Ukraine. The war’s heavy toll was almost 5.5 million civilians. The soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) owing to the support of the local population waged a guerrilla war with Soviet power until the early 50s. Many were killed and many more were sent to the Gulag – Glavnoye Upravleniye Lagerej
“Main Camp Administration.” That struggle would only have a symbolic Dimension because the fates of Nations the borders of states and the zones of influence would be determined by the Soviet Union, The United States of America and Great Britain. In February 1945 in Yalta it was Stalin who turned out to actually be the conquering hero allowing the USSR to enlarge its territory and control almost of Central Europe for almost half a century. On the 30th April 1945 Adolf Hitler committed suicide a few days later the Third Reich of Germany capitulated. At the parade of Victory the heroes of the 4 Ukrainian Fronts marched across Red Square in Moscow. Every fourth Soldier out of 6 million ukrainians fighting in the ranks of the Soviet Army had been killed. However not all the outcome of the second world war was so terrible. For propaganda reasons and in order to keep a semblance of sovereignty Stalin introduced Ukraine to the United Nations with the status of the founding member, but the most crucial fact was that the territories which had belonged to Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania before the second world war appeared within the borders of the Soviet Union. In such a way for the first time in many centuries Ukrainian lands became United. Part IV Independence With the termination of WWII the mutual goal which had united the Soviet Union with it’s western allies ceased to exist. Soon after the so called Cold War (1947 – 1991) broke out. Accompanied by an escalating arms race And political confrontation between two hostile blocks a socialist block headed by the Soviet Union and the Capitalist one led by the United States Suspicion as a result of many years * of indoctrination and hostility towards everything coming from the west became deeply embedded in the mentality of the Soviet people the war had completely ruined the economy and social structure in Ukraine and the ethnic composition of republic has also Undergone dramatic changes the Holocaust migration and forced deportation resulted in a change in Ukraine’s multiethnic population Into one that was homogeneous however to fill the gaps in manpower caused by the war and to re-enforce Soviet power in the newly annexed western regions Moscow sent 100,000 of workers, employees and Party Staff from Russia to Ukraine In the second half of 1950’s Russians constituted 16% of the population in Ukraine and 20% by the end of 1980’s Poles living in the territories
now annexed by the Soviet Union were permitted to go to a new
Communist controlled Poland at the same time about 450,000 Ukrainians were transported from Poland to the Soviet Union to evict the most obstinate Polish Security Forces together with NKVD
(Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del)
The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs resorted to acts of violence and in some cases murder The UPA activities in the border teritories were intended to prevent Ukrainians from deportation to the Soviet Union In 1947 the communist government of Poland carried out the notorious Operation Vistula (Polish: Akcja “Wisła”) in which a policy of collective responsibility was applied on the pretext of the struggle against the UPA 150,000 ukrainians were forcibly relocated to Northern and Western Poland Where it was hoped they would lose their national identity The elite consisting of approximately 4000 people first had to go through the Jaworzno Camp. this was the way in which the Ukrainian problem was to be sold in the People’s Republic of Poland. However despite all the displacements and persecutions Ukrainians succeeded in preserving their national identity Today in a free Poland the Union of Ukrainians is active fully enjoying the rights granted to national minorities Immediately after the war it became the top priority for the party leadership in Kyiv to bring the population of Western Ukraine into line with Soviet norms accelerated industrialization of the region began oil and gas extraction industries as well as coal mining were developed and a center of automobile construction was built at the same time forced collectivization of farms was completed Approximately 300,000 enemies of the Soviet Regime were exiled to Siberia The Greek Catholic Church was earmarked for abolishment due to its connections with the West and its influence upon the Ukrainian National movement. All the top clergy including Sheptytsky’s successor Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj (1893 – 1984) were interned in camps. In March 1946 a group of priests recruited by the NKVD Convened a synod which proclaim the break with Rome and older the dispirited apostates back into the fold of the Orthodox Church. The Communist party cast of the Patriotic rhetoric which would prove so crucially important during the war other pre-war practices were also restored the exhilaration brought about by victory over fascism and the accompanying expectations of a more conciliatory approach on the part of the regime were soon stamped out by the repressive measures These affected those groups who have either demonstrated signs of patriotism during the war or experienced life in the West Not only those prisoners of war who had managed to survive Nazi captivity but also the soldiers who had taken Berlin were exiled to the Gulags the same happened to Ukrainian ostarbeiters – “Eastern workers” Who had returned home from Germany only to be imprisoned the struggle against cosmopolitanism in culture stripped Ukraine of more than 10,000 people of culture. The lightning form of reconstruction of Industries in economy following a new Five-Year Plan but served the armed forces in the ever growing arms race with the West the return of the ruling strategies of the 1930s resulting in growing fears of another great purge. The frightening atmosphere ended on the 5th of March 1953 when in every town and every factory and every farm workers would mourn the death of the leader and teacher of the Soviet People Comrade Stalin The struggle for power actually started at his coffin the winner of this contest was Nikita Khrushchev a Russian whos Party career was closely connected with Ukraine Khrushchev was the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine from 1938 to 1949 By Stalin’s order he had supervised The purges in the party as well as The annexation of the Western Ukraine After the war he led the fighting against the UPA and guided the subsequent rebuilding of the economy it was Ukrainian Party structures that gave Krushchev their decisive support in his struggle for power. Their support resulted in the Ukraine’s growing importance in the Soviet Union and also the ukrainianization of the Republic’s Party elite Ukraine’s privileged status became particularly obvious in 1954 during the pompous celebration of the – 300 Anniversary of Pereyaslav Treaty Ukrainians were granted the status of a nation second among equals according to historian Orest Subtelny The role of Ukrainians as Russia’s younger brothers was deceptively reminiscent of the idea of Little Russia in 19th century an idea which succeeded in completely obscuring the uniqueness of Ukraine Love declarations of the eternal fraternity of the two nations was substantiated by turning Crimea over to Ukraine this generous gesture now made Ukrainians co-responsible for the fate of the Crimean Tatars Tatars who constituted the indigenous population of the Crimea had been brutally deported to Central Asia in 1944 by the order of Stalin under the pretext of their alleged collaboration with the Nazis during the war the falsehood of those accusations was finally admitted in 1967 the movement of the Crimean Tatars under the leadership of a prominent dissident Mustafa Dzhemilev (born 1943) waged a lengthy struggle for their right to return to their native Crimea the Tatars started returning on a mass scale only at the end of the 80’s at present about 200,000 Tatars live within Ukraine in the Crimean autonomous republic although many problems still remain unsolved Mustafa Dzhemilev: We precede with the belief that Ukraine has to acknowledge according to the Constitution that the Crimean Tatars belong to the indigenous people of Ukraine with all the legal consequences ensuing from this acknowledgement The 20th Congress of the Communist party in 1956 and the secret report of Nikita Khrushchev ushered in a new epoch in the history of the Soviet Union Khrushchev criticized at great lengths the personality cult of Stalin and openly referred to his crimes mass terror and repression although Soviet foreign policy maintained a hard line and the Soviet Union sent troops to Budapest in 1956 (Hungarian Revolution 23 October – 10 November) in order to suppress popular anti government demonstrations the Internal Policy relaxed slightly and a period of the so called Thaw began (early 1950s to the early 1960s) a whole generation of young intellectuals arose in Ukraine known as the 60’s Lina Kostenko (born 1930) Ivan Drach (born 1936) Dmytro Pavlychko (born 1929) Alla Gorska (1929 – 1970) Vasyl Stus (1938-1985) Irina and Igor Kalinets (1940-2012) Ivan Dziuba (born 1931) and many many others shaped and modeled in the following 30 years the center for the development of oppositional thought they called for the guaranteed freedom of creative activities for the development of national culture and for rehabilitation of victims of Stalin’s purges including writers banned in the 1930’s (Hryhorii Kosynka, levhen Pluzhnyk, Oleksa Slisarenko, Mykola Zerov) Khrushchev’s epoch was also a time in the experimentation in the economy the large scaled project of developing uncultivated and neglected lands The Mazie Campaign (Virgin Lands)
widespread planting of maize, which became known as kukuruznik – derived from the Russian word for maize – kukuruza. brought about dubious if not disastrous results however, there were also some victories The Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space Sputnik Oct. 4, 1957 In 1961 Yuri Gagarin (1934 – 1968) was the first man to orbit the Earth in a spaceship a Ukrainian Sergey Korolev the Constructor General of the Soviet spacecraft played a great role in those achievements the conquest of space was enthusiastically acclaimed all over the Soviet Union before long the first Ukrainian cosmonaut Pavlo Popovich (1930 – 2009) went into spac e however numerous failures of the home and foreign policy such as the confrontation with the USA in Cuban Missile Crisis (Oct 16, 1962) the breaking off of relations with China and the hardships caused by poor harvests in 1963 resulted in Nikita Khrushchev being dismissed from power in 1964 Leonid Brezhnev (1906 – 1982) became leader of the Soviet Union Brezhnev’s rule of almost two decades was a period of economic stagnation russification and corresponding limitation of the Union’s Republic’s rights Khrushchev ‘s 10 year rule radically changed the Soviet Union partial deStalinization and partial rehabilitation of his victims were carried out Although the Gulag kept functioning
(the Soviet forced labor camp system) and the dissidents were being locked up in mental hospitals mass terror was brought to an end and political murder became less quorum to a certain extent the Thaw in Ukraine outlived Khrushchev’s reign but the first indication of a much harder line russification of education together with political prosecution in the Western Ukraine appeared in the last years of his rule one of Khrushchev’s last decisions significant for Ukraine was the appointment of Petro Shelest (1908-1996 ) as the first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party Central Committee Shelest was a store would communist whose top priority that always been the interests of the Soviet state however he could never reconcile himself with Ukraine’s status as a Soviet colony so he consistently sought to guard its interests in the Soviet Union Shelest believed that along with economic development the granting of greater freedom to Ukrainians in the sphere of culture and language would benefit both Ukraine and the Soviet Union the general opinion that Shelest tolerated the 60s and even sympathized with them it is supported by the fact that repressions were rather limited during his time in power and the Thaw continued without doubts he also pursued personal goals in his policy the increased importance of the Soviet Ukraine would have simultaneously reinforced his own position in central party bodies the arrests and prosecutions of the young intellectuals in the 1960s were the reaction of the authorities to the growing activities of the 60s the power structures of the
state could not put up with either Samizdat – the unauthorized publications or their contacts with the ukrainian
diaspora in Western Europe the United States and Canada it was through these very channels but the main work of the
dissident movement Ivan Dziuba’s (born July 26, 1931) Internationalism or russification?
(London, 1968, and “Motherland” magazine
(ukr. “Вітчизна”), 1990, No. 5-7) became renowned in Ukraine and abroad the author quoting Marx, Engels and Lenin criticized russification practices in Ukraine and provided the opposition with the legal arguments for criticizing the leadership Alongside the rebellious intellectuals an independent worker’s rights movement was being formed as far back as the early sixties strikes used to break out in various towns of both the eastern and western Ukraine unfortunately these two movements didn’t coordinate their efforts they acted separately and failed to give birth to such a phenomenon as the Polish solidarity movement it was only 30 years later but the two streams joined to become a force which affected the future of the entire Soviet Union meanwhile the expanding autonomy of the Soviet Ukraine under Petro Shelest began to disturb the Kremlin Shelest accused of the lenience towards Ukrainian nationalism was quickly losing influence to Volodymyr Shcherbytsky (1918 – 1990) who embarked on a campaign aimed at crushing the Ukrainian intelligentsia at the beginning of 1972 and only a few months later superseded Shelest as the first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party Central Committee within several months Chornovil, Stus, Dziuba, Kalynets, Svitlichny, Sverstiouk and almost 100 other prominent figures of the Ukrainian nationalists and cultural Renaissance found themselves in prisons and camps the punishment was monstrously harsh from 8 – 12 years of imprisonment the generation of the 1960s was crushed one part of the activists became extremely radical and went underground a handful of people joined the dissident movement by setting up The Ukrainian Helsinki Group (9 November 1976) and thus continued fighting for human rights in Ukraine Although very soon most of them were arrested and exiled the group persevered in it’s activities in 1988 it was reformed as the Ukrainian Helsinki Union the first oppositionist organization in the Soviet Ukraine that acted publicly after the removal of Shelest nothing prevented the authorities from russification of education reducing the number of Ukrainian newspapers magazines and publishing houses or from making professional careers and promotion dependent upon a person’s knowledge of the Russian language and new community was being formed the Soviet people so any manifestation of patriotism was regarded as an example of socially dangerous nationalism and separatism anything with a hint of the past cultural originality of the Ukrainians was either banned or destroyed this was only relaxed at the beginning of 1980s the ideas of the intellectuals who were fighting for human rights and the preservation of the national identity didn’t find any noticeable support in society as a whole for the rank-and-file Soviet citizens look back on the times of Brezhnev’s rule as a period of peace and relative stability the citizens of the Soviet Ukraine could take pride in their smaller motherland Ukraine was placed second-best in the Soviet Union in terms of the economy and production his political influence remained very strong and many Ukrainians enjoyed fame and prestige by now an outstanding engineer Eugene Paton who died in 1953 was a pioneer in the field of electric welding and bridge construction airplanes designed by Oleg Antonov the famous AMS became the trademark of the Soviet aviation industry today Antonov’s enterprises are still the pride of the independent Ukraine they produce the world’s largest cargo aircraft Ruslan and Mriya long before Apollo a Kievive Igor Sikorsky (1889 – 1972) was renowned in the field of aircraft construction he designed his famous airplanes the Russian Vityaz (Hero) and the gigantic four engine aircraft Ilya Muromets just before the outbreak of the first world war following his emigration to the USA Sikorsky constructed the first helicopter in the world which proved to be extremely efficient in the Second World War regularly updated Sikorsky’s helicopters are still in service in the US Armed Forces Ukrainian film directors also succeeded in winning fame Sergei Parajanov (1924 – 1990) Yuri Ilyenko (1936 – 2010) Leonid Osyka (1940 – 2001) represented the Ukrainian cinematographic school both of the Soviet Union and abroad by their respective films The shadows of forgotten forefathers (1965) The white bird with the black mark (1971) and The stone cross (1968) from the end of the 1970s the inefficiency of the Soviet Union was becoming increasingly obvious although the official propaganda kept reporting on its achievements the economy was strict by stagnation while the Cold War’s arms race had exhausted it still further the intervention of Soviet troops in Afghanistan
Soviet–Afghan War (1979 – 1989) and the introduction of martial law in Poland marked the idealized image of communism in the West these and other reasons forced the Soviet leadership to change cause the guarantor of the changes was to become the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (born 1931)
In office
1 October 1988 – 25 May 1989 who was elected in 1985 his
reforms were based upon ideas of perestroika and Glasnost – “open publicity” that is to say upon the radical transformation of the country’s
political and economic system alongside
a greater openness and transparency of
public life the reforms were intended to
modernize the Soviet Union to strengthen
the state’s economy and to make society
more democratic and less repressive
however a staggering blow that befell
the country soon compromised the reforms
and accelerated the collapse of the
Soviet Union
it was also a tremendous shock for the
rest of the world of the 26th of April
1986 in the town of Pripyat 130
kilometers to the northeast of Kiev a
nuclear reactor exploded at the
Chernobyl atomic power station over 50
tons of radioactive substances were
released into the atmosphere the
contamination zone vaster than that of
hiroshima and nagasaki spread over the
Chernobyl area then over bureaux Russia
Scandinavia and other European countries
more than 30 people were killed April 26 1986 in the town of Prypiat 130 km
to the northeast of Kyiv a nuclear reactor exploded at the Chernobyl Atomic power station Over 50 tons of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere The contamination zone vaster than that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Spread over the Chernobyl area Then over Belarus Scandinavia and other European countries More than 30 people were killed immediately by the explosion A further 100,000 were evacuated from the contamination Zone it is still impossible to estimate more or less precisely All the long term aftereffects of the disaster The authorities attempted to conceal the scale of the disaster for a long time on the 1st of May when the radiation level in Kyiv reach its peak A mass demonstration to celebrate the May Day holiday with school children’s mandatory participation was arranged in a television address Gorbachev referred to the nuclear disaster as an accident the official confirmation of the accident only came on the 9th day after the explosion “You all know that a serious misfortune has happened to us a serious accident in the Chernobyl atomic power station this disaster is a painful experience for the Soviet people and has shocked the international community the cynical lies of the party leadership together with the hypocrisy
of the new policy of Glasnost urge the
people to take that blast into their own
hands
catastrophe of Chernobyl the Chernobyl
disaster equipment public activity which
eventually exceeded the limits set down
by perestroika the reforms only
accelerated the centrifugal processes in
the union’s Republic’s which were
spiraling out of Moscow’s control
although the Ukraine was not in the
frontline of the ongoing changes as the
Baltic republics were the focal point of
change for the time being
still the country’s political and
economic importance made a decisive
impact of the decent aggression of the
Soviet empire more and more
organizations appeared of the Ukraine at
first they were mainly ecological ones
but later
are those calling for the preservation
of the native language and culture were
formed the movement soon assumed the
character of another nationalist
renascence the demands which were put
forward included granting the Ukrainian
language official status revealing all
the victims of Stalinist purges
rehabilitating the writers repressed in
the 1930s and publishing their books and
last but not least breaking the
conspiracy of silence concerning the
Great Famine
the year 1987 saw the commencement of
the release of political prisoners from
jails and camps left guru chemical was
elected the head of the ukrainian
helsinki union and Vyasa love carnival
and the Horan brothers contributed to
the compilation of the Declaration of
Principles
a program that contained along with
cultural demands a number of political
demands such as the transformation of
the Soviet Union into a confederation of
sovereign states democratic elections
the transition to a market economy
cultural and religious autonomy and the
guarantee of the Independence of the
courts these were the programmes minimum
demands later adopted by most other
reform groups in the Ukraine the members
of those groups represented a wide range
of political backgrounds from
intellectuals to the success from young
party members to extreme nationalist
anti-communist organizations with their
unambiguous demand for independence but
had but marginal importance before 1990
the election campaign to Parliament and
to local self-government bodies
consolidated and mobilized the
opposition forces according to the
patterns of popular fronts in the Baltic
republics the Ukrainian opposition
movement or have been meant to serve the cause of perestroika the Constituent
Congress of rule held in September
voiced clear-cut demands of
unconditional independence nevertheless
a program which only visits the
sovereign and not fully independent of
the state was finally adopted it meant
that the relations between the Ukraine
and other Soviet republics would still
be determined by a new Union treaty the
formation of roc marked a great victory
for the opposition soon Mikhail
Gorbachev dismissed shcherbatsky the
first secretary of the Ukrainian
Communist Party Central Committee and
Parliament granted official status to
the Ukrainian language
in December 1980 National Renaissance granting the Ukrainian language an official status revealing all the victims of Stalinist purges rehabilitating the writers repressed in the 1930’s and publishing their books breaking the conspiracy and silence concerning The Great Famine (1932-1933) the year 1987 saw the commencement of the release of political prisoners from
jails and camps Levko Lukyanenko (24 August 1927,
Khrypivka Chernihiv Oblast, northern Ukraine.) was elected the head of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union (Non-profit NGO) and Vyacheslav Chornovil (December 24, 1937
in Yerky, Katerynopil Raion, Kyiv Oblast) and the Horyn brothers ( Mykhailo and Bohdan) contributed to the compilation of the Declaration of Principles a program that contained along with
cultural demands a number of political
demands such as the transformation of
the Soviet Union into a confederation of
sovereign states democratic elections the transition to a market economy cultural and religious autonomy and the guarantee of the Independence of the courts these were the program’s minimum demands later adopted by most other reform groups in Ukraine the members of those groups represented a wide range of political backgrounds from intellectuals to the 60s from young party members to extreme nationalists anti-communist organizations with their unambiguous demand for independence but had but marginal importance before 1990 the election campaign to Parliament and to local self-government bodies consolidated and mobilized the opposition forces according to the patterns of popular fronts in the Baltic republics the Ukrainian opposition movement Rukh have been meant to serve the cause of Perestroika the Constituent Congress of Rukh held in September voiced clear-cut demands of unconditional independence nevertheless a program which only visits the sovereign and not fully independent of
the state was finally adopted it meant that the relations between Ukraine and other Soviet republics would still be determined by a new Union treaty the formation of Rukh marked a great victory for the opposition soon Mikhail Gorbachev dismissed Shcherbytsky the first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party Central Committee and Parliament granted official status to the Ukrainian language December 1989 after 43 years of courageous service in the underground The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church had it’s rights restored in the western Ukraine people exhumed the many victims of Stalinist terror and arranged their decent Christian reburial in January 1990 to commemorate the anniversary of the Ukrainian state reunion Act Rukh organized a tremendous living chain formed by over a million people joining the two historic capitals of Kyiv and Lviv however in the elections to the local self-government councils the Democratic bloc obtained only twenty five percent of the seats in parliament only in the Western Ukraine the Democrats won all the seats in local elections and hoisted a blue and yellow flag on Lviv’s Town Hall on the 16th of July Parliament adopted the Declaration of sovereignty of the Ukraine within the structure of the Soviet Union and so anti-communist attitudes and aspirations of independence began to gain momentum in the country new political parties sprang up whilst monuments to Lenin were pulled down and Soviet flags were being increasingly replaced by Ukrainian banners in the meantime the Soviet based
system had already collapsed in Poland
Hungary and Czechoslovakia and the Berlin Wall had fallen the second Congress of Rukh put forward a new goal to gain full independence a hunger strike of students in the center of Kyiv supported by mass demonstrations forced the authorities to remove the claws on the governing role of the Communist Party from the Constitution the most entrenched communists wanted to suppress the protesters with the help of the army as will be the case in Riga and Vilnus news but the new head of the Parliament
Leonid Kravchuk emphatically condemned
such an idea by that time differences in
perceiving the nature of the
relationship between central government
in Moscow and the Republic’s had become
quite obvious while Gorbachev sought to
preserve the Soviet Union at any price
the Republican leaders such as Yeltsin
or Kravchuk wanted to do away
with the central bodies and the constitution of the USSR and instead signed bilateral agreements of cooperation directly between sovereign
Republic’s the results of the old Union
referendum held in March 1991 provided
the nationalist communists with
additional reasoning although 70% of the
population of the Soviet Ukraine voted for the preservation of the Soviet Union as many as 80 percent supported the idea
of strengthening the national
sovereignty of the Ukraine the local
authorities in Western Ukraine mostly Democrats added one more question do you
support the unconditional independence
of the Ukraine yes was the answer of almost 90% of respondents after the referendum a surge of strikes swept across the republic the strikes were mostly of a political guarantor workers of the east of the south including the
miners of the Donbas were demanding independence for Ukraine under blue-and-yellow banners it is very likely that Ukraine would not have been able to leave the Soviet Union by itself but then the effects of the 19th of August 1991 gave further support following the attempted coup d’etat of conservative communist hardliners aimed at overthrowing Gorbachev and doing away with perestroika although the coup was soon suppressed it made people aware of the possibility of return to Stalin years of suppression this became another reason for finally breaking away from the Kremlin strip decision of the Ukrainian Parliament of the 24th of August 1991 was accompanied by mass demonstration almost unanimously Parliament proclaimed
the independence of Ukraine on the 1st of December over 90% of the citizens taking part in an all Ukrainian
referendum confirmed the proclamation and voted for their country’s
independence on the next day Ukraine who was recognized by phones I am Canada and the short time later by other countries – how did it happen that the Independence came
so relatively easily and without bloodshed Gorbachev had tried to reform
the Unreformable system by his perestroika as soon as the repressive system gave way supported by terror and fear began to crack for different reasons independents who sought by both the Republic’s Party elite and the Democratic opposition by the nationalists of the western Ukraine and the coal miners of the Donbas whatever the reasons they all had one common goal independence at the time of the referendum a presidential election was held Leonid Kravchuk wanted convincingly having defeated among others the leader of Rukh Vyacheslav Chornovil soon afterwards the Ukrainian Parliament Verkhovna Rada approved the national
flag emblem and after all having been
previously proposed by the ukrainian
people’s republic of 1918 to 1920 the referendum turned out to be the last
nail hammered in the coffin of the
Soviet Union on the 8th of December 1991 in Białowieżkaya Pushcha, Belarus (Forest) Boris Yeltsin (1931 – 2007) on
behalf of Russia Stanislav Shushkevich on behalf of
Belarus and Leonid Kravchuk on behalf
of Ukraine dissolved the Soviet Union and proclaimed the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States while Yeltsin may have regarded the
Commonwealth as the USSR too Kravchuk looked upon it as the Soviet Union’s liquidation committee when Boris Yeltsin said to me Gorbachev entrusted me with asking you a
question will you sign the new Union Treaty if all the amendments you wanted were included I answered no I will not sign any new treaty only one month ago I
would have signed it
yeah but now that the referendum had
been carried out in Ukraine and the
90 percent of the people have voted for
independence and I have been elected
president of an independent Ukraine how can I possibly act against the will of the people it is out of the question tell me if you
were in a similar situation would you
sign the union treaty he said no I won’t sign it either that is why in contemporary history and Yeltsin knows it too and Russian historians write about it the main cause of the breakup of the Soviet Union was Ukraine the beginning was not easy for the youngsters Ukrainian industry integrated as it had been with the industries of the other republics of the USSR became paralyzed and unemployment rose sharply as a result the Moscow Central Bank curtailed any further delivery of rubles leaving the fledgling government with a pension crisis that had attempted to deal with by the printing of makeshift money in the form
of coupons the effect of which was to trigger enormous inflation and panic buying which led to the disappearance of the most basic essentials from the shelves in 1994 in the atmosphere of social tension the date of the presidential election was brought forward the victor Leonid Kuchma (born 1938) went on to serve two terms as president a qualified engineer and director-general of Yuzhmash (Dnipropetrovsk) – The Production Association Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant named after A.M. Makarov one of the world’s biggest producers of spacecraft and missiles President Kuchma had already proved his ability to deal with crises by saving the Ukrainian aviation and missile industry from bankruptcy later his efforts would bear fruit in the shape of a joint American Ukrainian project termed the sea start but upon being sworn in as president Kuchma was faced with an even greater problem the poverty and despair of the Ukrainian people Kuchma’s undeniable achievements include introducing the HRYVNIA (UAH) The word is thought to derive from the Slavic griva; meaning “mane”. It might have indicated something valuable worn around the neck, usually made of silver or gold. the national currency reducing inflation regulating the market and launching economic reforms and privatisation measures and of course the adoption in 1996 of the new constitution of t Ukraine one effect of the revival
of the economy was a sudden boom in construction which also saw the
restoration and rebuilding of churches and temples which had been destroyed or neglected under communism Kuchma also introduced a more flexible foreign policy and strengthened the position of Ukraine in the international arena he made a great contribution to the improvement of the relations between Kiev and Warsaw and whilst eager to cooperate with the
European Union also sought to preserve
good relations with Russia however in crises such as the Crimea problem or Russia’s attempt to claim sovereignty over the Ukrainian island of Tuzla he adopted a firm and uncompromising position it is still too early to give an objective unbiased assessment of Leonid Kuchma rule the opposition accused him of an authoritarian style of government of the further stratification of society and of unfair privatization programs which led to the creation of business clans that gained control over the economy and exerted an ever-growing influence upon state policy he was also
accused of attempts to limit the freedom
of the media and of applying the brakes
on the process of economic and social
reforms it should be borne in mind that similar phenomena occurred to differing
degrees not only in all the former
Soviet republics but also in almost all
those satellite states of the Warsaw Pact wherein the privatization was introduced was the party and government nomenclature first and foremost who profited the most for they had all the necessary knowledge and connections as well as access to capital in this fashion a powerful and confident
bourgeoisie was formed which is Russia was termed the oligarchy Ukraine was no exception to this phenomenon according to the Constitution Kuchma could not be nominated for a third term two contenders passed through to the
second round of the presidential
election on the 21st of November 2004 Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko (born 1954) Yanukovych the Prime Minister and the
leader of the party the regions of
Ukraine represented the east and the south of the country Yushchenko the ex Prime Minister and the leader of the party our Ukraine represented its Western center Yushchenko was backed by a very popular politician Yulia Tymoshenko (born 1960) an ex Vice Premier Yushchenko also enjoyed the sympathies of the West Yanukovych was president Kuchma’s candidate and had the obvious support of Moscow the announcement of Yanukovych’s is victory gave rise to an enormous resistance on the part of the opposition and accusations of falsifying the election results the huge wave of protests against the verdict of the central electoral board has become known as the Orange Revolution (2004) owned to the mass-media the photos from Kyiv’s Maidan were transmitted all over the world the revolution made Ukrainian media a free and trustworthy intermediary between the establishment
and the society resisting pressure Kuchma refused point-blank to contemplate the suggestion of military reprisals against the opposition he asked the presidents of Poland and Lithuania a representative of the European Union and the Speaker of the State Duma of Russia to act as intermediaries the Supreme Court of Ukraine passed the decision to repeat the election and held a third round of voting Viktor Yushchenko won the election by a margin of 8% of votes We are facing a new trial now another trial for us all there’s very little time left until the new elections until the election to the Verkhovna Rada a lot depends on how we will go through
the elections whom we will support in local municipal and regional soviets whom we will elect to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine everything will depend on it The orange coalition did not pass the test of time and failed to
meet the expectations of its supporters or us it founded because of the internal
clashes of the politicians personal
ambitions the parliamentary election brought the majority of votes to the
party the regions of Ukraine its leader Viktor Yanukovych (born 1950) was appointed prime minister Ukraine’s political scene is prepared for a lot of new surprises as the country is still divided and heterogeneous the formation of unity out of disparate it has occurred in many states and more often than not it took a lot of
time it is the formation of natural
identity the process is still in
progress in Ukraine for the first time an independent sovereign state this gives the chance a great chance. If our film effects in whatever
small degree the development of this
process then our efforts in making it will not be wasted.

38 Comments

  1. vlove562 says:

    Though the information is wonderful, I cringe every time he refers to Ukraine as "the Ukraine" …it is just "Ukraine." The word "the" denotes previous possession by the USSR and now Russia (with the Crimean conflict) – and assumes the country has NO autonomy. Never, EVER say "the Ukraine" to a Ukrainian. Most Russians will pan you for it too. Also, LOL @ the way he pronounces "Rus" as "Rass." It is pronounced as "Roos."

  2. Roy AL says:

    What is a name of background music?

  3. oks vol says:

    Good video , thank you !

  4. oks vol says:

    Слава Україні!

  5. Laura Burgett says:

    My DNA–and then a search through my family tree–brought me here. Do you have any information on Queen Almveigu "The Wise," born in Novogorod in 0455 BCE, and became Queen of Ringerike? She is my ancestor through my Mother's Grandmother's line. Any information would be much appreciated.

  6. Inka WSmith says:

    Kasia prada -Is is a joke?? 7000 of history ???!!! Who says like that ???Shit info .Huge lie .You Ukrainian wish to be but You are dreamers no more no less.

  7. Ultoris says:

    Ukraine is young nation.
    But Ruthenians are very old ancient people,
    as other Slavs, who live in their lands since thousands of years.

  8. Hrenml says:

    old Slavic…SERBIAN!!!

  9. I T says:

    Ukrainians turn out to be the people of Rus who have been fighting for independence since the fall of Kievan Rus under mongols.

  10. Gully Bull says:

    FASCINATING. not even 15-20 min in ACTION PACKED. ukrainians are the defenders of europe

  11. Gully Bull says:

    26:00 minutes in – independence from khazars who sold out to tartars – blood bath.

  12. Gully Bull says:

    30:00 1654 ukraine is UKRAINE.

  13. Gully Bull says:

    thankyou for this amazing video.

  14. Gully Bull says:

    Pogroms – done by the peasant class against their landowners . reds.

  15. Gully Bull says:

    history that should be taught in usa canadian schools . important to understand whats happening today . and why allied soldiers died in ww1 and ww2.

  16. Gully Bull says:

    correction: the galatian divisions had 20:1 kill ratios.

  17. MAR'YAN CHABURSKY says:

    2:33 what is the music

  18. Pezzero says:

    At one time Ukraine was a Bread Basket of Europe . Now the people have nothing to eat. It should stay away form EU and USA or they will be like Greece.

  19. liquidvisual says:

    wall to wall voiceover is hard to take. translators never heard of "pause."

  20. Michael Freeman says:

    Type something negative about this balanced and truthful Ukrainian history video compared to Russian made up b***** propaganda story about Ukraine if you are Russian troll.

  21. Mila Wagner says:

    VIVA UKRAINE 💖✌💖

  22. Anni Macca says:

    At 1.32, they stated how they got their food from ukrainian peasants, Ha more like they were forcing the peasants to give them food , and when they handed it all over, most of ukraine starved to death, thanks to the Russians. YEH get the story right man!!

  23. Sam Adams says:

    USSR=enslaver of nations. God bless Ukraine.

  24. John Sigurdsson says:

    Thanks for sharing. So many things I did not know about Ukraine before.

  25. Adam Darmstaedter says:

    To watch this doc is to understand the news from the region in the last 10 yrs. The US interests in the Ukraine are political/ ideological and economical . Russia's interests are historical and cultural.

  26. Nazar Danilevich says:

    This video is awesome thank you so much

  27. Felix Bruyns says:

    The most important person in the history of Ukraine, in the most important sense, which is the spiritual, is Saint Olga of Kiev. Politically, she was likely among the five most powerful women in world history, but even greater was her influence in spreading Christianity, the more unusual in that her ancestors were pagan Scandinavians.

  28. Ifeanyichukwu Igwe says:

    This is wonderful documentary. please what is the names of the soundtrack playing in the background of this great documentary.

  29. Ifeanyichukwu Igwe says:

    Please can anyone help me out,what is the name of the background music from 15:17–16:33. This is the best music I have even listen to.

  30. Слава Україні! says:

    14.07.18 but Sentsov is still there

  31. Polski Anarchista says:

    Makhnovists wasn't antisemitic and Makhno explained it in ,,The Makhnovshina and Anti-Semitism and his wife was a Jewess. Makhno's antisemitism is bolshevik lie!

  32. Nome Inventado says:

    This is a quite good basic history of ukraine. Obviously a lot of details were excluded, but for a foreigner to have a general impression is just enough.

  33. Alex mobile gamer says:

    Слава Україні!!!

  34. Emmett P. says:

    Wonderful! Thanks!

  35. Natasha -n- Dean says:

    My wife and her family are from Zaporizhia. I have spent much time there I have been blessed by God to have such a wonderful family. As a American it is so refreshing to be around such people from that area, let alone be married to the most beautiful woman in the world. These people are very very strong people, there woman demand much from there men, but the woman take there womanhood and responsibility to there husband and family as a honor. I hope one day that all nations will leave these people alone and also I would wish more people would visit this area, you truly return to being a human being around these people.

  36. kasia prada says:

    LITTLE ITALY Маленька Італія
    https://youtu.be/2RZ5yC9ZP5Y

  37. Petro Deshko says:

    Russia is not Rus, but Rus is Ukraine. Russia is the Moscow ulus of Khan Meng-Timur.1277
    This is a generally recognized fact that all of Rus' (Poljany, Drevlyans, Northerners, Volynians, Bugans, Ulychi, Tiverets, Krivichi, Dragovichi, Radymovichi, Vyatichi) united with Lithuania and created a new Slavic, Rusky state – the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Russian Muscovy, and as far as Belarus is concerned, this term is mentioned since the XIII century, not mentioning the word. Ukraine is mentioned in the Hapatian Chronicle of 1187r earlier than Russia in 1721 relative to the Moscow lands (having slashed the Greek name of the state from Peter I of Ukraine) or the so-called "Russky Kingdom" by Ivan Terrible to substantiate succession about Russia and Byzantium before there existed the Kingdom of Ruska 1253 or the Gadyach Treaty 1658r The Grand Duchy of Rus (Hetman) !!! "The shortcut of Meng-Timur", according to Moscow 1272 and the Moscow Principality 1277r http://a-ingwar.blogspot.com/2010/01/1272.html As to the Polyans, Drevlyans, Siverians, in general, from the supernypine is RUSSIAN LANGUAGE (UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE) and from VOLYNYN-DULIBAS, WHITE CROVATES, STREETS, and TIERS, which formed the Carpathian, Transcarpathian, Transnistrian, and Southern dialects of which the RUSSIAN (UKRAINIAN) LANGUAGE went. As in any normal language, for example, in the French language, there are 50 dialects, in the Chinese 100 Peresopnytsia Evangelis the example of the Old Ukrainian (Old Russian) language of the XVI century is written by Gregory of Peresopnytsia and Vasilevich from Syanok: „А иже єсть прекладана тая то святаа євангеліа изъ языка блъгар-скаго на мову рускую, то для лепшого вырозумленя люду христіанского посполитого“.  You, Russians, want to lie that in your "tongue" there are words, language, translation, for, understanding + belief, people, better. Whom do you deceive at you with words: translation, tongue, lousy, panmaniy, slave. WHILE "RUSSIAN LANGUAGE" (UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE) OF YOUR "YAZIKA" WAS NOT EXISTING. Language comes from the word "speech" (in Russian grammar), speech, from the Slavonic and Ancient Russian languages ​​- młvá. LANGUAGES, the language – is mentioned in the story Menulichy summer. WORD OF LANGUAGE https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0 The word "speech" is a language in "The Below of the Year" https://books.google. In general, the whole of Rus with the Krivichy, Vyatichy, Radymovtsy, Polyany, Drevlyans, Siverians, Volynians, Ulychs, and Tiverets entered the Grand Duchy of Ukraine Lithuanian, Rus, and Zhemastnian, where the state was – the Old Russian language, where Ukrainians and Belarus were formed, where Rusyns (Ukrainians and Byelorussians) occupied important administrative positions. And the Lithuanians ruled under the slogan "old do not move, we do not introduce a new one" and they were called, in particular, by the Russian princes who owned the state language (Rusyns) !!! Then you moscow, you saw Russians through your teeth – there was a little Moscow state and all of you were identified as MOSCOW !!! Muscovy 1492 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC0rQMNUVk4
    Your "язык" is based on the Bulgarian Koin. Your Kalindar is Latin, and words with a Tatar tint. Ukrainian is the most beautiful in Europe after the Italian. Russian words are oppressive, but Ukrainian wisdom. Російською бальница (там где больна), укроїнською лікарня( там де лікують), російською врач (врун, тобто брехун), а українською лікар (той хто лікує), російською пабеда( после биди), а українською перемога ( від слова перший), українською в армії струнко( будь стрункий мов струна), а російською смирна (быть смернее, тобто й слова сказати не можна), російською закалить(що голками наколоти), українською загартувати (попередити загрозу), українською корисно(користь несе), а російською полезна( все добре, що врот полізло навіть лайно)!!!
    Russian               Bulgarian
    сестра                    сестра
    вода                           вода
    нога                           нога
    зелений                   зелен
    новий                         нов
    два                             два
    три                           три
    бедро                     бедро
    окно                         окно
    Heirs RUS state: Rus, Galician-Volyn Rus (later KINGDOM Ruska 1253), Grand Duchy of Lithuania Ruska ZHYMANTIYSKE, Hetman (for Hadiatska contract 1658r Grand Duchy of Rus) ZUNR and UPR CARPATHIAN UKRAINE (former Carpathian Ruthenia)! The word Ukraine is synonymous with the country, the principality, the native land – there is no word in the Ukrainian language of the outskirts, there is the word Okolitsa. The Russian chauvinists have invented the outskirts, and the myth of the so-called "frontier". Obviously, Ukraine is an ancient word that meant the country, the land, the principality. In particular, in the Ipatievsky, Galician-Volynian chronicles, the Samovydets and Greybyanik Chronicles, the Perisopnytsia Evangelia, the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk 1710 and so on.
     Russians are not Slavs, but Finno-Ugric: meray, moksha, mordvia, vas, chud, komi, prym.

  38. Софія Софія says:

    Thanks for the video. Glory to Ukraine! 🙂

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