Taras Hunczak, editor, The Ukraine, 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution, 1977.


The Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic

Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak

The uprising led by the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic against the regime of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi came as a surprise not only to the non-participants, but also to members of the Directory itself.1 The Directory raised the standard of revolt on the night of November 14-15, 1918. Within a month it was swept triumphantly into Kiev by a largely spontaneous peasant movement, kept in line by military formations of the Sich Riflemen, the Zaporozhian Corps and the Serdiuky. Although it could not hold Kiev, the Directory and its successor managed to keep up active military and political operations in the Ukraine until October 1921, and after that to continue political activity as an emigre government that long survived its original participants.

The idea of revolt against the Hetman matured slowly. Skoropadskyi was unpopular among the majority of the radical Ukrainian intelligentsia, who regarded him as a representative of the conservative bourgeoisie and who detested his reliance on the propertied classes and his willingness to use Russian conservatives in the Ukrainian government. They were also wary because of the Hetman's collaboration with the Germans. The moderates supported the Hetman as long as his government pursued a steadfast policy of Ukrainian national independence.2

The crisis in the Hetman government began in the middle of October, when certain ministers suggested that Skoropadskyi make the reconstruction of a unified Russian state his primary objective. Other ministers resigned in protest, with the result that the Hetman turned to Vynnychenko with the proposal to form a new government.

Volodymyr Vynnychenko, a flamboyant if erratic mainstay of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Labor Party, firmly believed in socialism and nationalism and felt that the Ukrainians supported both. He was also convinced that the Hetman was an enemy of progress and of the Ukrainian people, and toyed with the possibility of an armed insurrection against the regime as early as the summer of 1918.3 His own party considered the idea of revolt at the time dangerous and treasonable,4 so Vynnychenko, instead of advocating revolution, became the elected head of a legal party of opposition, the Ukrainian National Union. He turned down Skoropadskyi's offer but proposed some candidates for the new coalition government, and the Hetman accepted his suggestions.5 The coalition was strained and ineffective, and the Hetman seemed to lean more heavily on the bourgeoisie and the Russians. As a result, the idea of a coup gained popular support.6

Active preparations for the uprising began in the last days of October. Coordinating efforts were masked under the activity of the Ukrainian National Union, where Vynnychenko at times publicly disclaimed any thought of an uprising.7 He and Mykyta Shapoval convinced various disaffected Ukrainians to join the cause, and the movement gained momentum.

To overcome the Hetman's small armed forces, the leaders knew they would need the support of the Central Powers and of the Sich Riflemen.8 The neutrality of the first was desirable; the support of the latter was essential. At first the Sich Riflemen tried to avoid political involvement. Later on, however, their leader, Colonel Ievhen Konovalets, agreed to support the uprising; Konovalets' aides, Andrii Melnyk and Fedir Chernyk, then attended a meeting of the National Union.9 The Sich Riflemen were instrumental in persuading the German and Austro-Hungarian armies and their soldiers' councils to remain neutral during the uprising.10

The final meeting of the revolutionaries took place on the night of November 13, 1918, at the Ministry of Communications in Kiev.11 They agreed only on a general program—to re-establish the republic, to reinstate democratic liberties and self-government, to grant land to the peasants, and to guarantee basic labor rights to workers.12 It was assumed that final policy decisions would be made by an elected representative body.

Summoning all his eloquence, the volatile Vynnychenko pleaded for a dramatic uprising, a direct march on Kiev (presumably from the city itself), and an assertion of national and social ideals, even at the cost of predictable suppression by the German garrison. He was outvoted, and an alternative plan was accepted. This called for beginning operations from the town of Bila Tserkva, headquarters of the Sich Riflemen, where it was hoped that the people would be organized into military formations.13 That night, as the Hetman prepared his manifesto, the opposition elected the Directory—a provisional revolutionary organ whose purpose was to lead the uprising. Vynnychenko became its chairman. Other members included Makarenko, the leader of the railroad workers, Opanas Andriievskyi, a Socialist-Independent and a political moderate (almost a rightist), and Fedir Shvets, a professor of geography.14 Symon Petliura, the man who proved to be the most tenacious and eventually the most powerful figure in the Directory, was not even present at the meeting, but he had previously agreed to coordinate military action.

Petliura, a Social Democrat with a service background during the Rada government, had become prominent as an organizer of Ukrainian military detachments. He enjoyed the support of the Sich Riflemen, had been arrested by the Hetman for his pro-Entente views, and had served as the chairman of the Kiev zemstvo. The meeting authorized the Directory to leave for Bila Tserkva and named a separate Revolutionary Committee to coordinate activity in Kiev.15

The manifesto of the Directory discussed that night was drafted by Vynnychenko, and it reflected his views and his dynamism as well as his lack of precision. Throughout his political career, Vynnychenko remained the consummate writer he primarily was. The appeal of the manifesto was emotional, and that was what the Directory needed at the time. It attacked the regime of "the general of the Russian army, P. Skoropadskyi... whose rule destroyed the rights of the people and who engaged in unheard-of prosecution of democracy in the Ukraine." Vynnychenko warned Skoropadskyi not to oppose the movement and urged the Germans to maintain their neutrality. He also enjoined the population "to rally with us in an armed force... to bring back all social and political gains of revolutionary democracy." The manifesto promised that the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly would enforce these rights. At the same time, Vynnychenko, Petliura, Shvets, and Andriievskyi, who signed the document on behalf of the Directory, called on "all warriors to maintain order and to prevent looting firmly and ruthlessly."16

While this document was being posted on the streets of Kiev, Petliura, as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, issued his own universal calling on soldiers, Cossacks, and the population to support the cause of an independent Ukraine against "the Hetman and the unemployed Russian officers."17

Later Vynnychenko viewed the publication of Petliura's universal as a personal affront and as proof of the heroic ambitions of the Supreme Otaman, as Petliura came to be known.18 It seemed inconceivable to the popular and brilliant writer that the quiet Petliura—erstwhile journalist, bookkeeper, editor, and essayist of second-rate literary criticism with a patriotic bent—could have appeared as a spokesman of a national and social movement that Vynnychenko considered his preserve. Yet, because of Petliura's activity in the army during the Rada period and because of his eloquence, slightly tinged with histrionics, Petliura proved to be the man capable of boosting the morale of the soldiers and of convincing others to join the cause.19

The Directory came closest to exercising full power in the Ukraine during the first two months of its existence. The revolt against the Hetman regime spread so rapidly among the peasants that the Sich Riflemen, in charge of the universal mobilization, could barely cope with the task. The inability of the Directory to discipline these peasant-volunteers, its most numerous supporters, was a fatal flaw in the movement.20

The leadership, including at first even Petliura, failed to realize the importance of a professionally organized, disciplined army. They were willing, as true classic intelligentsia, to see in the peasants a selfless, dedicated, and disciplined force, with no need for added military and administrative control. At best, some of them, including Vynnychenko, argued for the establishment of a political commissariat to control not the men, but the officers.

When the Directory began its revolution, the strongest organized force on which it could rely was the corps of the Sich Riflemen. Since this unit also possessed an effective internal administrative apparatus, it was often burdened with administrative as well as military tasks.21 The elite corps of the Hetman army, the Serdiuky, made up of landed peasants, sided with the Directory, as did the efficient Zaporozhian Corps. But the Directory was unable to preserve discipline and maintain the battle capacity of either these groups or the rest of its forces. The peasants, war-weary at the beginning of the struggle, were interested in acquiring land and were rarely concerned with broader considerations of policy or tactics, once the Hetman and his grain-requisition squads were removed.

In an attempt to organize a popular army quickly, Petliura assigned funds to persons who were willing to organize local detachments. Money was often simply handed out and no separate accounts were kept. The leaders were expected to feed, clothe, and arm their detachments, and to coordinate strategy with the center; in practice, however, they usually acted on their own. Moreover, as the central authority of the Hetman state disintegrated, it was often the military that provided basic civilian services. For these reasons, the individual otamans, as the local commanders were known, acted in the old Cossack lordly tradition—making, interpreting, and enforcing policy.22

Various otamans appeared throughout the Ukraine. Some were sanctioned by the Directory and some operated alone. A few of the more powerful ones, by shifting loyalties, critically altered the political configuration in the country.23 The otamans not only compromised the emerging government through their activities but actually endangered it. Most damaging to the Directory was the fact that some otamans were anti-Semitic, while others were incapable of coping with anti-Semitic outbreaks. The Directory denounced anti-Semitism, periodically punished perpetrators of anti-Semitic outbreaks, appropriated large sums of money to reimburse victims of pogroms, reactivated the national-personal autonomy law of the Rada for national minorities, and created a special ministry for Jewish affairs, headed by a Jew. But it was unable to enforce its policies. This caused a loss of popularity at home and abroad.24 As was the case with other contenders in the area, the Directory was unable to establish effective control even over the military, to whom it had delegated authority.25

The uprising led by the Directory took by surprise the other powers interested in the Ukraine. Deprived of German support, the Hetman regime disintegrated, although Skoropadskyi, with the help of a German unit, managed to hold Kiev for a full month after the proclamation of the uprising. The Russian Whites retreated to the south, concentrating in Odessa, where they hoped to receive help from the Allies. For a time the Directory did not come into conflict with them.

The local Bolsheviks, previously expelled from the Ukraine, did not have Moscow's support to launch a new effective offensive and had to rely on clandestine organization and limited action, often in contradiction to the policies of the center.26 Vynnychenko thought that the Soviet government had assured him of benevolent neutrality in return for the legalization of the Bolshevik Party in the Ukraine. The Moscow Soviet promised to recognize the Ukrainian government and not interfere in its affairs.27 However, as the success and the popularity of the anti-Hetman revolt spread, the Bolsheviks attacked the new Ukrainian government, although Moscow disclaimed responsibility.

It was not until January 16, 1919, that the Directory reconciled itself to the unpleasant and, for some, inconceivable fact that it was engaged in a war with Soviet Russia.

According to Vynnychenko, it was he who prepared the uprising and led the Directory from November 15, 1918, to February 10, 1919, although he realized the futility of the venture and his own lack of power vis-a-vis Petliura and the military. Yet he also argued that his resignation from the Directory was a supreme personal sacrifice undertaken to placate the Entente powers and to gain their good will. Vynnychenko dated the end of the Directory with his own resignation. The subsequent regime he considered to be merely the reign of various otamans.28 But a close analysis of the policies of the Directory after Vynnychenko's resignation shows no drastic changes in the government.

The Directory had to make two basic decisions. The first concerned the type of government to be instituted in the Ukraine— a parliamentary democracy or a more socialistic workers' state. The other decision, closely connected to the first, was whether an alliance should be concluded with the Entente or with the Soviets. Neither the Entente nor the Soviets were really interested in Ukrainian independence, but the Ukraine needed the good will, or at least the neutrality, of one of these parties in order to survive.

The fact that the Directory, even though it enjoyed military and political superiority, was concerned with external forces must not be construed only as a weakness of the national movement. Rather, this was a reflection of the psychological and intellectual traditions of the intelligentsia participating in the uprising of the Directory. These traditions included the manifold repercussions of the tsarist system of government, the exclusiveness of the political opposition movement in Russia, and the inordinate idealization of the West by the progressive intelligentsia of Eastern Europe. It is only in this light that one can fully grasp the dilemma and the tragedy with which these men were faced. They were fighting for principles rather than for land; they could not envision hostility in forces that they idealized.

The situation was further complicated by the fact that the Galician Ukrainians, of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, had succeeded, albeit temporarily, in asserting their independence. The two branches of the Ukrainians agreed to unite, by means of a decision reached on December 1, 1918, in Fastiv and solemnized formally in Kiev on January 22, 1919. But the Galicians maintained their own army and their autonomy, hoping that their chances of gaining international recognition would be better than those of the Ukraine proper. By July 15, however, the Galician Ukrainian government and army sought refuge in the eastern Ukraine before the advancing Polish forces.29

Throughout November and December 1918, the armies of the Directory took district after district, including Odessa.30 Its victories culminated on December 14 in a grand entry into Kiev, yet peace did not follow. In the north the Bolsheviks were openly hostile, and in the south the reputed voice of France, Consul Henno, threatened the Directory with imminent French intervention.31 The double threat loomed over all discussions of policy.

The Directory has been accused of failing to provide a program, of compromising with its internal and external enemies, even "of being afraid to... formulate the will of the people."32 These failings stemmed from its democratic character and the unwillingness of any one group to exert sufficient pressure to have its program adopted.

When it became clear that other "elder statesmen," like Hrushev-skyi, would not be called to power, Vynnychenko became the most obvious person to provide a comprehensive program. In the early days of December, he suggested the rada principle, by which he meant vesting power only in the representatives of the working classes; his proposal should not be confused with the democratic Rada government that preceded the Hetman regime. He argued that the loss of "moderate, petit bourgeois, national elements" would be more than offset by the support "of the city and village proletariat," the basis of the Ukrainian nation.33

Vynnychenko's plan was roundly rejected by the Directory and the party leaders. To salvage some of it, he, in his own words, "cunningly . . . proposed ... the acceptance of a system of 'toilers' councils' composed of representatives of all those elements of society which do not exploit the labor of others."34 This proposal was accepted, but the Toilers' Congress that was to implement the plan was not convened until the end of January 1919, when Kiev was already threatened by the Bolsheviks.

Meanwhile, on December 26 the Directory issued a comprehensive statement of policy known as the Declaration of the Directory.35 This compromise document was too brief to be a constitutional draft and too long to be effective propaganda. It tried to strike a balance between revolution and order, thereby leaving the Directory open to charges of both Bolshevism and reaction. It promised expropriation of state, church, and large private land-holdings and the distribution of land particularly to those peasants who had rallied to the republican cause. It left "all small peasant households and all labor households" intact. Special Peoples' Land Administrations were organized to carry out the reform.38 Control of industry by the workers was also promised.

The most interesting part of the Declaration vested power in the new government in the workers, the peasants, and the "toiling intelligentsia" and tried to convince "the so-called ruling classes, the classes of the landed and industrial bourgeoisie," of their inability to govern and to persuade them of the justice of their dis-enfranchisement. The workers, peasants, and toiling intelligentsia could choose representatives for a Toilers' Congress, to which the Directory "as a temporary supreme power acting in a revolutionary period" would hand over the reins. Until the convocation of this assembly, the Directory would try to avoid bloodshed and to solve the problems facing the country by taking into account existing historical and political conditions in line with the progress made by the more advanced West. The Directory charged the government, especially the Council of Ministers, with carrying out this program.

The Council of Ministers, also appointed by the Directory on December 26, was a coalition cabinet headed by V. M. Chekhivskyi. It reflected not only the differences between the parties but the intra-party disagreements; the latter were serious enough to lead to an outright secession of the leftist factions from both the Ukrainian Social Democratic and Socialist Revolutionary parties. Meetings with peasants, workers, and different interest groups continued throughout January. Accusations were hurled and tempers grew short. When decisions were reached, minority opinions often supplemented the documents.37 Despite accusations that the Directory was nationalist in orientation, these initial discussions, which occurred during a time of spontaneous and unified national uprising, revealed the strength of an almost exclusively socialist ideological commitment.38

There was some talk of establishing a dictatorship for the duration of the war. The Sich Riflemen supported this proposal, and Konovalets suggested that Vynnychenko assume the dictatorship. When he refused, the Riflemen proposed the establishment of a triumvirate of Petliura, Konovalets, and Melnyk. Petliura declined, but countered with a proposal that Konovalets join the Directory. The council of the Riflemen refused to give permission for this move.39

The convocation of the Toilers' Congress was postponed by the The Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic 93

festivities of January 22, 1919, proclaiming the unification of Western Ukraine (Galicia) and the Ukrainian National Republic, ruled by the Directory. When the Congress did meet, it was under the shadow of the Soviet advance. Elections by curiae of peasants, workers, and intelligentsia were held under the shadow of news of military reverses. As a result, only some 300 of the 593 elected deputies could attend. Of these, the strongest group was the central faction of the Social Democrats and the solid Galician bloc.40 The Socialist-Revolutionaries were so badly split that their numerical advantage in the Peasants' Union could not be exploited. Moreover, their insistence on the immediate implementation of the rada principle was so unpopular that the Congress was more often chaired by a Galician radical than by a Socialist-Revolutionary.41

After three days of open deliberations and closed party sessions, the Congress authorized the Directory to rule the country until the next session of the Toilers' Congress,42 and provided for the establishment of new elective organs for local government or for the appointment of commissars, where local self-government was not feasible. After organizing its own commissions with governmental functions, the Congress adjourned, to the sound of rumbling Soviet cannons. On.February 2, the Directory and the government left Kiev for Vynnytsia. Soviet forces took the capital three days later.

The Directory's failure to arrange peace with Soviet Russia strengthened the moderate elements within the Directory and precipitated the resignation of Chekhivskyi and Vynnychenko.43 The Social Democratic Party withdraw its support from the Directory, but permitted some of its members, like Petliura, to suspend membership in the Party so that they could continue to serve in the government. The way was now cleared, at least on the Ukrainian side, for an acceleration of the negotiations with France, which was serving as spokesman for the Entente. The Directory had begun these negotiations almost as soon as it came to power, and the cabinet headed by Ostapenko, who replaced Chekhivskyi, strove to achieve peace with the Entente and to implement moderate policies at home. These aims had to be genuine, since they survived the humiliation the Directory received from the French.

From the beginning, the Directory did everything it could to coax the Entente into recognizing Ukrainian independence.44 The Entente's tortuous policy toward the former Russian province and its unwillingness to sanction efforts to "Balkanize" the Empire are now known. The Directory, however, felt that the Allies would be on its side, since the ideals of nationalism, liberalism, socialism, the concept of the rights of man, and the justification of revolution had all come from the West. Petliura, on whose resignation the Entente insisted, had been imprisoned for his pro-Allied stand. The Directory rejected social revolution, and it had no imperialistic ambitions. What then could stand in the way of an understanding?

The Directory obstinately sent missions to the French, appealing to the conscience of the nations of the world, arguing, pleading, waiting for aid from day to day. France's intervention in Odessa made the Directory willing to accede to most of that country's demands, except the resignation of Petliura. Negotiations continued, but no aid was received.45

In the last analysis, the Directory lost out because of its reliance on France. The radical intelligentsia in the Ukraine felt justified in seeking an understanding with the Soviets because of what they considered to be the lack of patriotism and the reactionary policies of the government. Also, the government's insistence on pursuing very moderate social policies fostered apathy among the peasants, which sometimes turned into open hostility. Otaman Hryhoriiv, one of the government's most effective military leaders, was opposed to the French orientation and in protest turned with his army to the Soviets. It was Hryhoriiv, not the Soviets, who drove the French from Odessa in the first days of April 1919. This did not end the pro-Entente orientation, but it led to a new crisis in the government.46

What had originally began as one possible course of action— cooperation with the Entente—became a necessity in the face of the reverses suffered in the war with the Bolsheviks. A vicious circle developed: the more the Directory needed the aid of the Entente, the less the Entente showed any interest in the faltering government.

The Council of Ministers appointed after Vynnychenko's resignation in February 1919 has gone down in the annals of progressive Ukrainian historiography as a bourgeois cabinet. However, the most dramatic events during its tenure, from February 13 until April 9, 1919, demonstrated the weakness of bourgeois values. These two months were an unhappy period in the life of the Directory. Although the emigration of Vynnychenko removed for a brief time the personal frictions within the Directory, there was no unity between it and the cabinet, the armies, and often the peasants. There was no precise constitutional delineation of functions between the Directory and the Council of Ministers. The Directory lost the backing of its key military groups; various conventions of party representatives, peasant assemblies, and ad hoc committees bombarded it with demands to modify its policies.47 By the middle of March, the Bolsheviks had forced the Directory even out of Vinnytsia and, by taking Zhmerynka, a key railroad point, had cut the front in half.

Meanwhile, the war with Poland waged by Galician Ukrainians was also going badly.

The Directory tried to tackle its problems in a democratic manner and during its peregrinations across the country held discussions with various interest groups. As a result of a consensus, reached in April, between the government and the opposition, a new Council of Ministers was formed under Borys Martos. It was a cabinet composed exclusively of members of the Social Democratic and Socialist-Revolutionary Parties; later it was reinforced by Galician radicals.48 Martos demanded that the Directory be subordinate to the government in political decisions, that there be a firm delineation of functions between these two bodies, that peace with the Soviets be concluded as soon as possible, and that local workers' councils be established.49

A lengthy declaration by the government was issued one week later.50 Socialist, Jacobin, and anti-Soviet in nature, its aim was to win over the peasants and workers of the Ukraine who were rebelling against the Soviet forces. The government stressed its adherence to democracy in general, to the control functions of the toilers' councils, to land reform, to a broad program of public workers, and in particular to strong trade unions. Promising to rid the Ukraine of all foreign forces, the Martos government pledged not to depend on any outside powers so as not to compromise Ukrainian sovereignty.

To stress its adherence to the principle of nationalism, the socialist government proceeded to integrate Galicia and its autonomous structure within the unified system of the Ukrainian National Republic. A Ministry of the Western Province of the Ukrainian National Republic (i.e., Galicia) was established on July 4.

Of all the Ukrainian governments, that of Martos, in both its political and its personal make-up, was least suited to tamper with the sensitive Galician issue. Forced together by the pressures of Soviet power and later also of White and Polish armies, the Ukrainians turned to the time-honored expedient of blaming political opponents for their own defeats. The professed socialism of Martos provided a ready-made scapegoat. The Leftists, on the other hand, were also dissatisfied with Martos' failure to pursue policies of rada power and peace with the Soviets, particularly since hopes for a reversal in the struggle against the Bolsheviks were buoyed by reports of peasant dissatisfaction and resistance in Bolshevik-controlled territory. Expectations were further stimulated when several strong otamans changed their support to the Directory and when delegations from several local Ukrainian anti-Bolshevik revolutionary committees come to discuss terms for cooperation.51

Still, tension was heightened by the economic crisis, exacerbated by the Entente's blockade of the Ukraine (including Poland and Rumania), by continued shifts in the location of the government, and by talk of fiscal mismanagement.52 The Galicians had endowed their president, Petrushevych, with dictatorial powers, despite the formal unity of the Republic.53

The critical situation within the Directory was reflected in the tensions between Petliura and Andriievskyi, a rightist who was often supported by Petrushevych. After an unsuccessful coup headed by Otaman Oskilko, Andriievskyi, according to a personal letter to Petliura, seemed to have resigned from the Directory and was no longer invited to its meetings. Yet in June he still urged Petliura to resign in an attempt to meet the demands of the Entente. Petrushevych remained a member of the Directory but, as a sign of opposition to Martos, he no longer attended meetings.54

To resolve these difficulties, Martos was replaced by a coalition headed by the reasonable Isaak Mazepa, a compromise Social Democratic candidate. Despite "virtually superhuman efforts," Mazepa could not marshal forces to maintain power in the Ukraine, while parties spent untold energy battling each other.55

Meanwhile, in other parts of the Ukraine, the Bolsheviks could not hold power, and many territories were taken over by Denikin, who fought to re-establish a united Russia. But Denikin did make some concessions to the "Little Russians" and ventured a few overtures to Petliura, although he had no intention of recognizing the latter's government.56 The Entente insisted on cooperation with Denikin as a prerequisite for aid; the Galicians were inclined to negotiate with Denikin, while the eastern Ukrainians felt that such a course would be disastrous, since the Ukrainian population rose spontaneously against Denikin at the slightest provocation.

By July, the territory controlled by the Directory was limited to the Podillia area, north of present-day Moldavia.

Here, thanks to the military reforms begun in March and the military activities of the Ukrainian Galician Army and the insurgents against the Bolsheviks, the Directory was able to establish a fairly efficient administration. In early August, the Ukrainian armies began to advance once more.

As the armies of the Ukrainian People's Republic moved south-west, General Denikin pressed north. There was no actual state of war between the two powers. The Directory and the Galicians wanted to preserve peace with Denikin despite his policies. Since the Ukrainian People's Republic deployed the bulk of its forces against the Bolsheviks, it had no reserves left to use against the Whites. Konovalets and some other military leaders urged the taking of Odessa, even at the cost of sacrificing Kiev, in order to have an outlet to the outside world, but national fervor was so strong that the taking of Kiev seemed imperative.57

The city was taken by the end of August after a struggle with the Reds, but no specific instructions had been given for dealing with Denikin's Volunteer Army, which entered over a bridge that the Ukrainians had for some reason failed to destroy. A clash resulted, although the politically inexperienced Galician officer in charge of the detachment that came into contact with the Russians tried to avoid it even at the cost of national honor and arrest by the Volunteer Army.58 The Galicians were roundly taken to task for their inapportune actions, but even after the Kievan incident they argued for cooperation with Denikin. The leaders of the Ukrainian National Republic, however, maintained that delay in declaring war against Denikin threatened the loss of the great revolutionary potential of the Ukrainian masses. Nevertheless, some attempts at negotiation were made. After they failed, the Directory declared war on Denikin on September 24, 1919. Petrushevych, the Galician leader, participated in this decision.59

By its procrastination, the Ukrainian government had again failed to hold the masses. Exhausted by the war with the Soviets, the Ukrainian forces finally succumbed to the third enemy— typhus. Petliura and Mazepa predicted that Denikin would not be able to hold the Ukraine because his lines were overextended and there was opposition in the rear.60 Realizing this, they made another effort to reach some agreement with the Soviets.61 They also intensified their search for an alternate policy. On the other hand, the Ukrainian Galician Army, decimated by typhus and in danger of complete disintegration, pressed, against the wishes of Petrushevych, for an immediate agreement with Denikin. By the beginning of November, the situation was so tense that General Myron Tarnav-skyi, the commander of the Ukrainian Galician Army, stopped attending joint government-military conferences. The military leaders of the Ukrainian National Republic began to talk of the possibility of an imminent collapse at the front.62

Warned by dire predictions, the Directory agreed to join the Ukrainian Galacian Army in sending a delegation to Denikin. But, before the Directory's delegation was able to reach the Ukrainian Galician Army, General Tarnavskyi, obsessed by the need to save at least the remnants of his forces, signed on his own authority an alliance with Denikin on November 15, 1919. Tarnavskyi left loopholes in the agreement in order to nullify it in the future.63 According to the terms of the agreement, the Galician Army subordinated itself to Denikin's Volunteer Army, with the provision that it would not be used against Petliura's forces. The Galicians were also to receive food and medicine during a period of rest and reorganization. Petrushevych, who had not been consulted by Tarnavskyi, immediately rescinded the agreement, removed the general, and placed him before a military court.64 Nonetheless, two weeks later Tarnavskyi's successor was forced to conclude a similar agreement with Denikin.65

The Ukrainian Galician Army was accused of giving the Republic a fatal "stab in the back" and of causing the November catastrophe.66 Indeed, the willful actions of the Galician Army underscored what may be considered the final crisis within the government of the Directory. There had never been full agreement among the members of the government. The critical situation of November exacerbated that lack of unity. Apparently, Petliura had always been skeptical that the Ukraine could preserve its independence without some support by at least one of its neighbors.67 Soviet successes in the Ukraine in November and December 1919 forced the Directory to move, both figuratively and literally. Mazepa and most of the military leaders suggested that the Republic change its tactics, go underground, and prepare an insurrection against the Soviets, but these suggestions were only partially accepted by the Directory. Petliura vacillated between expressions of hope, a profound sense of history and feeling of accomplishment, and "some unknown malaise"68 that made him despondent. He thought seriously of resigning.69 Unable to exercise effective control even in better times, he was now faced with insubordination, intrigue, theft, and a complete collapse of authority.70

The last full meeting of the Directory was held on November 15, 1919. At that session Makarenko and Shvets received broad plenipotentiary powers and went abroad. (The following year both were ejected from the Directory for misconduct.) Petrushevych received safe passage from the Ukraine through Rumania.71 Petliura was given the powers of chief of state.

Hope was buttressed at this time by a new turn in Ukrainian foreign policy towards Poland. There had been intermittent attempts to establish contact between Poland and the Ukrainian People's Republic, beginning in January 1919. These attempts were plagued by Poland's unwillingness to write off eastern Galicia, where the majority of the population was Ukrainian, and to agree to expropriation of large estates belonging to Polish nobility in the Ukraine. Eventually, after numerous Ukrainian missions, Andrii Livytskyi, on behalf of Petliura but without the specific authorization of the government,72 signed an agreement with the Poles in early December. This agreement, which was rather humiliating in tone, gave in to almost all of Warsaw's demands in return for Polish help in the reconquest of the eastern Ukraine from the Soviets. It served as a basis for a definitive agreement concluded in April between Petliura and Pilsudski. This pact recognized Polish control of Galicia and gave in to some Polish claims in the administration of the Ukraine and its armies.73

With the aid of the Poles, Petliura began preparations for a new advance into the eastern Ukraine. The joint Ukrainian-Polish operation had all the characteristics of a successful campaign. In the end, however, the Soviets, after initial reversals, proved to be the stronger power. In October 1920 Poland entered into peace talks with the Soviets in Riga, and the final peace agreement was signed the following month. Petliura was excluded from these negotiations. His armies continued to operate in the Ukraine, but they again failed to hold it. Their retreat lasted only three weeks. By November 26, the forces of the Ukrainian People's Republic, some thirty thousand strong, had crossed the river Zbruch into what was now Polish territory. The following week, Makhno, who had turned anti-Soviet, was defeated.

On the diplomatic front, the Ukraine also suffered final defeat. Galicia was awarded as a temporary mandate to Poland on June 25, 1919, and by the end of December 1920 Petliura's request for membership in the League of Nations was tabled. Moreover, his alliance with Pitsudski alienated even those European progressives who had supported the Ukrainian cause.74

Within the ranks of his own government, Petliura was unable to prevent the subsequent crisis. Mazepa resigned as premier on July 26 and then left the government altogether because he did not consider the policies of his successor, Viacheslav Prokopovych, progressive. By October Prokopovych also resigned. Livytskyi, who replaced him, did not enjoy the support of the many Ukrainian parties. Petliura set up his government-in-exile in Tarnow, Poland, where he made plans for one final attempt at regaining the Ukraine.

To placate the parties that had meanwhile organized an All-Ukrainian National Council in Vienna, Petliura set up a Council of the Republic, hoping to rally all emigres to his cause. But the major parties did not support Petliura's Council, and he disbanded it in the summer of 1921. At the same time he appointed P. Pylyp-chuk as head of a new government. Petliura also considered joining the Russian ex-terrorist Boris Savinkov in a march against the Soviets. This venture was not realized, but the idea of an armed struggle against the Bolsheviks did strike a sympathetic chord among Petliura's advisers. Preparations were made for a second Winter Campaign.

The efforts of General Iurii Tiutiunnyk to repeat the Winter Campaign of the previous year were doomed from the start. The Poles sabotaged the action, permitting only one thousand Ukrainians to participate, and the Soviets had advance knowledge of the plan.75

The failure of armed intervention in the Ukraine convinced Petliura of the need to change his policies. He left Poland and settled in Paris, where he continued to promote the cause of what he considered to be the continuation of the Ukrainian National Republic. His death at the hands of an assassin in 1926 helped endow him with the aura of national greatness.


1 The influx of the conservative non-Ukrainians into the cities of the Ukraine must be noted. See A. I. Denikin, Ocherki russkoi smuty, Vol. IV (Berlin, 1925), pp. 184-187; Roman Gulia, "Kievskaia epopeia," Arkhiv russkoi revoliutsii, Vol. II (Berlin, 1921), p. 60; A. D. Margolin, Ukraina i politika Antanty (Berlin, 1922), p. 77.

2 Dmytro Doroshenko, Istoriia Ukrainy, 1917-1923 rr., Vol. II, (Uzhhorod: Svoboda 1930), pp. 407-409; Denkin, Vol. IV, p. 182.

3 Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Vidrodzhennia natsii, Vol. III (Kiev-Vienna: Vyd. Dzvin, 1920), p. 494.

4 Mykyta Shapoval shared Vynnychenko's views at the time. Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 88; M. Shapoval, Hetmanshchyna i dyrektoriia (New York, 1958) mimeograph; and Margolin, p. 74.

5 Pavlo Khrystiuk, Zamitky i materialy do istorii ukrainskoi revoliutsii 1917-1920, Vol. III (reprint of 1921-22 edition; New York, 1969), p. 114.

6 The Russians did not support the Hetman either. Khrystiuk, Vol. III, p. 124; Denikin, Vol. IV, pp. 186-197.

7 Margolin, p. 75; Khrystiuk, Vol. III, p. 129; Shapoval, p. 48.

8 Ievhen Konovalets, Prychynky do istorii ukrainskoi revoliutsii (Prague, 1928), pp. 11-12; and Doroshenko, Vol. II, pp. 412-413.

9 Ibid., p. 406; Oleksandr Udovychenko, Ukraina u viini za derzhavnist: istoriia orhanizatsii i boiovykh dii ukrainskykh zbroinykh syl, 1917-1921 (Winnipeg: D. Mykytiuk, 1954), pp. 41-43.

10 Arkhivnoe Upravlenie pri Sovete Ministrov Ukrainskoi SSR, Grazhdanskaia voina, Vol. II, book 3 (Kiev, 1967), pp. 434, 437; Denikin, Vol. IV, 197.

11 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 91; Shapoval, p. 59; Khrystiuk, Vol. III, p. 129

12 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 14; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 132.

13 Ibid., p. 122.

14 Khrystiuk, Vol. III, p. 131; Shapoval, pp. 59-64, later said he predicted the failure of the Directory and hence would have nothing to do with it.

15 Among its members were M. Avdiienko, V. Chekhivskyi, A. Pisotskyi, Z. Vysotskyi, M. Halahan, N. Zahorodnyi, M. Marchenko and many Socialist-Revolutionaries.

16 Since Petliura was already at Bila Tserkva, it is very doubtful that he personally saw the document. Texts in Khrystiuk, Vol. III, pp. 131-132 and Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 110-114.

17 Text in Khrystiuk, Vol. III, p. 133.

18 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 132-137.

19 For favorable impressions of Petliura, see Margolin, p. 191; I. Kedrovskyi, "Pochatky natsionalnoho viiska," in Zbirnyk pamiati Symona Petliury 1879-1926 (Prague, 1930), pp. 216-220; Oleksander Dotsenko, Litopys ukrainskoi revoliutsii, Vol. II, book 4 (Lviv, 1923-24), p. 13. For a more balanced account see Isaak Mazepa, Ukraina v ohni i buri revoliutsii, 1917-1921, Vol. I (2nd ed.; n.p., 1950), pp. 116-117.

20 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 130; Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, p. 9; Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 31, 59; Udovychenko, p. 49.

21 The Riflemen, for instance, did not want to command Kiev. Konovalets, pp. 19-21.

22 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 352.

23 Particularly significant were the activities of Petro Bolbochan, Matvii Hryhoriiv, and Nestor Makhno. Bolbochan pursued conservative policies and eventually conspired against Petliura. See Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 76; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 145-147, 295-297. Hryhoriiv, a former staff captain of the tsarist army, was assassinated by Makhno. Makhno, the anarchist, pursued an independent line, although he was allied sometimes with the Directory and sometimes with the Bolsheviks. The best available secondary account in English that deals with Hryhoriiv is Arthur Adams, Bolsheviks in the Ukraine: The Second Campaign, 1918-1919 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1963); on Makhno, see David Footman, Civil War in Russia (New York: Praeger, 1962), as well as most of the contemporary sources cited in this study.

24 To this day, the false impression lingers that the movement in which Petliura participated was anti-Semitic. When Vynnychenko wrote his memoirs he accused Petliura of unconscious anti-Semitism. Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 365-367. For a recent analysis, see Taras Hunczak, "A Reappraisal of Symon Petliura and Ukrainian Jewish Relations, 1917-1921," Jewish Social Studies, XXXI, 3 (New York, 1969). Limitations of space prevent a full discussion of the issue, but it is worthwhile to remember that neither the Soviets nor Denikin could prevent anti-Jewish outbreaks. See Margolin, passim; Denikin, Vol. V. pp. 148-150; A. A. Goldenweyzer, "Iz kievskikh vospominanii," Arkhiv russkoi revoliutsii, VI (Berlin, 1922).

25 Denikin argued that dictatorship was essential, but he was ineffective himself. Denikin, Vol. IV, p. 201. The Bolsheviks had to contend with the willful actions of local guerrillas.

26 Most convenient account in Adams, Bolsheviks in the Ukraine; see also Gosudarstvennaia voina, Vol. I, book 3, pp. 465-469, 562-567; Sergei Mazlakh, "Oktiabrskaia revoliutsiia na Poltavshchine," Letopis revoliutsii, No. 1 (Kharkiv, 1922), pp. 127-142; Denikin, Vol. IV, p. 180.

27 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 158.

28 Ibid., p. 264.

29 The Polish victory over the Ukrainians was facilitated by help from the French, who thought the Poles were waging a war against the Bolsheviks. See Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 242-243; Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 87; and a favorable account by the Galician Ukrainian, Sydir Yaroslavyn (Isidore Sokhotsky), Vyzvolna borotba na ukrainskykh zemliakh u 1918-1923rr. (Philadelphia, 1956).

30 Odessa was taken on December 12, although the Ukrainians honored the French request to leave an international zone as a refuge for the Russian White emigres who did not have die strength to control the area; Denikin, Vol. V., p. 10.

31 No one at the time could realize that the French threats were empty gestures. See John Bradley, Allied Intervention in Russia (New York, 1968).

32 Panas Fedenko, "Povstannia natsii," in Zbirnyk pamiati Symona Petliury (1879-1926) (Prague, 1930), p. 79; also Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, passim; Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 76.

33 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 134, 140

34 Ibid., p. 141.

35 Text in Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 168-176; Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, Pp. 15-18.

36 Later individual landholdings were limited to fifteen desiatyns, Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 75.

37 See Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, passim; Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 76-84; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, passim; Fedenko, in Zbirnyk, pp. 81-82.

38 Such disparate critics as Khrystiuk, Denikin, the Soviets, even Adams, accuse the Directory of nationalism. Yet Matthew Stakhiv—who could hardly be accused of lacking Ukrainian patriotism—concluded that the major reason for the Directory's failure to institute control over the territory was the low level of development of national consciousness in the Ukraine. M. Stakhiv, Ukraina v dobi dyrektorii, Vol. VI (Scranton, Pa.: Ukrainska naukovo-istorychna biblioteka, 1962-66), p. 137.

39 Konovalets, pp. 20-22; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 233.

40 Sixty-five Galicians attended; for the best account see Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 88-95; Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, pp. 57-68; also Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 243; Fedenko, in Zbirnyk, pp. 80-83. Non-Ukrainians did not pool their resources to elect a representative. Goldenweyzer, "Iz kievskikh vospo-minanii."

41 Two Galician radicals, Semen Vityk and Teofil Starukh, and the Socialist-Revolutionary Dmytro Odryna made up the presidium; the place reserved for the leftist bloc remained unfilled because the parties could not agree on a candidate. Chekhivskyi reported the failure of negotiations with the Bolsheviks; General Oleksander Grekov's expose of the weakness of the armed forces of the Directory (Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 92; Denikin, Vol. V, p. 13) did not seem to have much effect.

42 This Congress was to be convened as soon as possible either by its own Presidium or by the Directory.

43 Vynnychenko and particularly Chekhivskyi were convinced that the natural ally for the Ukrainian National Republic was the Russian Soviet State. In numerous exchanges with the Russian representative Chicherin, the Directory wanted to believe that Georgii Piatakov, the leader of the invading Soviet armies, was acting independently of Moscow. Piatakov's relationship to Lenin is discussed in Adams, Bolsheviks in the Ukraine. For the Soviet version, see A. V. Likholat, Razgrom burzhuaznonatsional-isticheskoi direktorii na Ukraine (Moscow, 1949) and I. K. Rybalka, Rozhrom burzhuaznonatsionalistychnoi dyrektorii na Ukraini (Kharkiv: Vyd. Kharkivskoho derzhnavnoho universytetu, 1962). For the Ukrainian interpretation, see Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, pp. 29-40; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, passim; Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 66-72; Fedenko, p. 84. Even in the face of an obvious Soviet advance, the Directory sent its final mission, headed by Iurii Mazurenko, to Moscow on January 11. They were not aware that five days before Mazurenko left Kiev, Piatakov established a Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the Russian Chief of Staff agreed to a separate Ukrainian Front; Grazhdanskaia voina, Vol. I, book 3, pp. 542-543.

44 The Directory sent mission after mission to various European capitals; it tried to get its representatives into Paris; it carried on a propaganda campaign that emphasized the historical rights of the Ukraine and the anti-Bolshevik nature of its government. See especially Margolin, pp. 102-106; Khrystiuk, Vols. III and IV, passim; Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 105; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 419-426. Stakhiv, Vol. III, p. 236, reports (according to information given him personally by Mykhailo Korchynskyi) that Chekhivskyi, foreseeing a period of war, had a plan to save the Ukrainian intelligentsia by getting as many of them abroad as possible.

4o Among the French demands were: the formation of a Ukrainian government that would exclude Vynnychenko or Petliura and that would be approved by the French; French control of the army, the railroads, and the finances; the freeing of some Hetman officials arrested by the Directory. See Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 129; Denikin, Vol. V, p. 37, accused the French of favoring the Ukrainians.

46 Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 189; Adams, p. 201; also F. Anulov, "Soiuznyi desant na Ukraine," Letopis revoliutsii, Vol. VII (1924), pp. 28-38.

47 Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, pp. 111-116; Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 115-148.

48 The list of cabinet members is in Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 289, and Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, pp. 119-120. The best presentation of the formation of the government is in Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 158-159. Although Martos had originally been Petliura's choice, the latter was ambivalent about the appointment and tried to counter the doctrinaire and tactless young premier-designate with the appointment of moderates; Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 52-53; Victor Andriievskyi, Z mynuloho, Vol. II (Berlin: "Ukrainske slovo," 1921), p. 12

49 These demands reflected the results of talks between the Directory and the Social Democratic and Social Revolutionary parties, as well as by representatives of the Toilers' Congress; see Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, pp-118-119.

50 For text, see ibid., pp. 120-122.

61 Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 439-440; Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, pp. 130-139; Fedenko in Zbirnyk, pp. 92-96.

52 Mazepa, Vol. II, p. 22; M. Dobrylovskyi, "Z istorii hospodarskoi polityky nezalezhnoi Ukrainy, 1919-1920," in Zbirnyk, pp. 150-158.

53 When Petrushevych became a dictator, some commentators considered him to have forfeited his seat on the Directory; see Khrystiuk, Vol. IV, p. 147, also Mazepa, Vol. I, p. 146.

54 Mazepa, Vol. II, p. 6; also Mazepa, Vol. I, pp. 192-194.

55 Phrase quoted in Vynnychenko, Vol. III, p. 477; see also Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 39-62.

88 Fedenko, in Zbirnyk, pp. 104-105, gives some pertinent texts.

57 Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 63-66; Konovalets, p. 30; Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, pp. 128-133. On discussions about policy toward Denikin, see ibid., pp. 159-257; Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 78-82; and Denikin, Vol. V, pp. 253-257.

58 Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 67-70; Vynnychenko, Vol. III, pp. 447-455; Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, pp. 25-28, 151.

59 Text in Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, pp. 255-256; see also Mazepa, Vol. II, p. 82.

60 Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, p. 288; see also Denikin, Vol. V, pp. 219, 232, 274, and 312-314.

61 Mazepa, Vol. II, p. 121; also Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, p. 104. Neither the Soviets nor the Galicians showed much interest in this venture, which was organized by a Western European socialist.

62 Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 115-135; Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, pp. 268-275.

63 For a defense of Tarnavskyi, see Osyp Levytskyi, "Viiskovyi dohovir Ukrainskoi Halytskoi Armii z Dobrarmiieiu Generala Denikina," Ukrainska halytska armiia (Winnipeg: Vyd. Khorunzhyi USS Dmytro Mykytiuk, 1958), pp. 484-514. The author, a signatory of the convention, also wrote Halytska armiia na velykii Ukraini (Vienna, 1921), which has not been available to me.

64 Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, pp. 276-286; Denikin, Vol. V, p. 258; Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 122-138 and Fedenko, in Zbirnyk, p. 103.

65 Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, pp. 289-291.

66 Phrase used by Oleksandr Lototskyi, Derzhavnyi provid Symona Petliury (Paris, 1930), p. 7; see also Mazepa, Vol. II, p. III, and Dotsenko, vol. II, book 4, passim. The Galician army lacked supplies and medicines. After it broke with the rapidly disintegrating Denikin forces, some of its detachments came to an agreement with the Soviets. Finally, the remains of the army were handed by Petliura to Poland, where the soldiers were interned. For an account by a participant, see Nykyfor Hirniak, "Ukrainska Halytska Armiia v soiuzi z chervonymy," in Ukrainska Halytska Armiia, pp. 513-533. See also Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 171-184.

67 Lototskyi, p. ii.

68 Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, p. 269; Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 154-156. This mood is evident in his public statements; see the speech delivered in Starokonstantyniv on November 26, 1919, in Fedenko, in Zbirnyk, pp. 101-102.

69 Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 4, p. 337; Mazepa, Vol. II, p. 157.

70 Ibid., pp. 157-159; Fedenko, in Zbirnyk, pp. 102-103.

71 Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 144-145.

72 Mazepa knew nothing of this move, but he and Petrushevych had agreed to preliminary discussions with the Poles in September. Mazepa, Vol. II, pp. 86, 107, 188, and Vol. III, pp. 8-19.

73 Accounts and texts in Dotsenko, Vol. II, book 5; I. A. Khrenov and N. Gasiorovska-Grabovska (eds.), Dokumenty i materiialy po istorii sovetsko-polskikh otnoshenii, Vol. II (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1964), pp. 656-663, and Serhii Shelukhin, Varshavskyi dohovir mizh poliakamy i S. Petliuroiu (Prague: Vyd. Nova Ukraina, 1926).

74 For example, the British Labour Party; Margolin, pp. 216, 252-256.

75 Udovychenko, p. 162; Mazepa, Vol. III, pp. 99-107; Konovalets, pp. 38-39.