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

Appendix: The Four Universals


The Ukrainian texts that served as the basis for the translation were taken from Velyka ukrainska revoliutsiia: kalendar istorychnykh podii za liutyi 1917 roku -- berezen 1918 roku (2nd ed. New York: Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States, 1967). These are reliable texts. The translators have tried to adhere as closely as possible to the originals in both style and tone. Translated by M. Bohachevsky-Chomiak and R. L. Chomiak.

First Universal1 of the Ukrainian Central Rada2 to all Ukrainian People whether residing in the Ukraine or beyond its borders.

Ukrainian people! Nation of peasants, workers, toilers!

By your will you have placed us, the Ukrainian Central Rada, to guard the rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian land.

Your finest sons, those who represent villages, factories, military barracks, all Ukrainian communities and associations, have elected us, the Ukrainian Central Rada, and ordered us to stand firm and defend these rights and freedoms.

Your elected representatives, nation, have expressed their will thus:

Let the Ukraine be free! Without separating from all of Russia, without breaking with the Russian state, let the Ukrainian people have the right to manage its own life on its own soil. Let a National Ukrainian Assembly (Soim), elected by universal, equal, direct, and secret balloting, establish order and harmony in the Ukraine. Only our Ukrainian Assembly has the right to establish all laws which can provide that order among us here in the Ukraine.

Those laws which would govern the entire Russian state should be promulgated in the All-Russian Parliament.

No one can know better than we what we need and which laws are best for us.

No one can know better than our peasants how to manage their own land, therefore, we desire that after all the lands throughout Russia held by the nobility, the state, the monasteries, and the tsar have been confiscated and have become the property of the people, and after a law concerning this has been enacted by the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, the right to administer the Ukrainian lands shall belong to us, to our Ukrainian Assembly (Soim).

Thus spoke the electors from the entire Ukrainian land.

Having so resolved, they elected us, the Ukrainian Central Rada, from among their midst and commanded us to be at the head of our people, to stand for its rights, and to create a new order in a free autonomous Ukraine.

And so, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, have fulfilled the will of our people, we took upon ourselves the heavy burden of building a new life, and have now begun this great task.

We thought that the Central Russian Government would extend its hands to us in this task, that in agreement with it, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, would be able to provide order for our land.

But the Provisional Russian Government rejected all our demands; it pushed aside the outstretched hand of the Ukrainian people. We have sent our delegates (envoys) to Petrograd so that they might present our demands to the Russian Provisional Government.

Our major demands were the following:

That the Russian government publicly, by a special act, declare that it does not oppose the national will of the Ukraine, the right of our people to autonomy.

That the Central Russian Government have accredited to it our Commissar on Ukrainian affairs for all matters concerning the Ukraine.

That local power in the Ukraine be united under one representative from the Central Russian Government, that is, by a Commissar in the Ukraine chosen by us.

That a definite portion of the monies which are collected for the Central Treasury from our people be turned over to us, the representatives of this people for its own national-cultural needs.

The Central Russian Government rejected all of these demands.

It was not willing to say whether or not it recognizes the right of our people to autonomy and the right to manage its own life. It evaded an answer, and referred us to the future All-Russian Constituent Assembly.

The Russian Central Government did not wish to include our Commissar; it did not want to join us in the establishment of a new order. Likewise, it did not wish to recognize a Commissar for all the Ukraine with whom we might bring our land to order and accord.

It also refused to return the monies collected from our own land for the needs of our schools, education and organizations.

And now, Ukrainian people, we are forced to create our own destiny. We cannot permit our land to fall into lawlessness and decline. Since the Russian Provisional Government cannot provide order for us, since it does not want to join us in this great task, then we must take it upon ourselves. This is our duty to our land and to the peoples who live on our land.

That is why we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, issue this Universal to our entire nation and proclaim: from this day forth we shall build our life.

Therefore, let each member of our nation, each citizen of a village or city know that the time has come for a great undertaking.

Hereafter, each village, each volost, each city or zemstvo governing board which upholds the interests of the Ukrainian Nation should have the closest of organizational ties with the Central Rada.

In places where for some reason administrative authority remains in the hands of people hostile to the Ukrainian cause, we prescribe that our citizens carry out a broad, vigorous organizational effort and enlightenment of the people and then elect an administration.

In cities and those areas where the Ukrainian population is intermingled with other nationalities, we prescribe that our citizens immediately come to agreement and understanding with the democratic elements of these nationalities, and jointly begin preparations for a new orderly existence.

The Central Rada hopes that the non-Ukrainian peoples living on our territory will also care for order and peace in our land, and that in this difficult time of disorder in the entire state, they join us in a united and friendly fashion to work for the organization of an autonomous Ukraine.

And when we complete this preparatory organizational work, we will call together representatives from all nations of the Ukrainian Land and will establish laws for it. These laws, this entire order which we shall prepare, the All-Russian Constituent Assembly must ratify by its own law.

Ukrainian people! Before your elected leadership -- the Ukrainian Central Rada -- stands a great, high wall which it must topple in order to lead its people to the open road.

Strength is needed for this. Strong, courageous hands are needed. The people's hard work is needed. But above all, for the success of this work, great means (monies) are needed. Until this time, the Ukrainian nation had relinquished all its means to the All-Russian Treasury, and it has not, nor does it now receive that which is its due.

Consequently, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, order all the organized citizenry of our villages and towns and all Ukrainian community executive boards and organizations to institute a special tax on the population for our native cause, effective the first day of the month of July, to be transmitted accurately, immediately and regularly to the treasury of the Ukrainian Central Rada.

Ukrainian people! Your fate lies in your own hands. In this difficult time of universal disorder and ruin, prove by your unity and your statesmanship that you, a nation of workers, a nation of tillers of the soil, can proudly and with dignity take your place beside any organized nation-state, as an equal among equals.

Enacted in Kiev in the year 1917, in the month of June, on the tenth.

The Ukrainian Central Rada


Second Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada

Citizens of the Ukrainian Land

The representatives of the Provisional Government have informed us of the measures which the Provisional Government will use in governing the Ukraine until [the convocation of] the Constituent Assembly.

While standing guard over the freedom won by the revolutionary people, recognizing each nation's right to self-determination, and deferring the establishment of the final form of this [right] to the Constituent Assembly, the Provisional Government extends its hand to the representatives of the Ukrainian democracy -- to the Central Rada -- and calls upon it to create, in agreement with it, a new life in the Ukraine for the benefit of the entire revolutionary Russia.

We, the Central Rada, having always stood for the Ukraine's non-separation from Russia, in order that we and all her peoples might jointly strive toward the development and welfare of all Russia and toward the unity of her democratic forces, accept with satisfaction this call of the [Russian Provisional] Government to common action and declare the following to all citizens of the Ukraine:

The Ukrainian Central Rada, elected by the Ukrainian people through its revolutionary organizations, will soon be expanded on a just basis by representatives of the revolutionary organizations of the other peoples who live in the Ukraine: subsequently, it will become that single supreme body of revolutionary democracy in the Ukraine which will represent the interests of the entire population of our land.

From its own midst, the expanded Central Rada will select anew a separate body -- the General Secretariat -- which will be responsible to the Rada and which will be subject to confirmation by the Provisional Government as the repository of the highest regional authority of the Provisional Government in the Ukraine.

All rights and means [of governance] will merge in this body, so that, as the representative of Democracy in all the Ukraine and as, at the same time, the supreme governing body in the land, it might be empowered to fulfill the complex task of organization and to establish order throughout the land, in accord with the entire revolutionary Russia.

In harmony with other nationalities of the Ukraine, and acting as an organ of the Provisional Government in the sphere of state administration, the General Secretariat of the Central Rada will follow steadfastedly the road of strengthening the new order created by the revolution.

Striving toward an autonomous order for the Ukraine, the Central Rada, in agreement with the national minorities of the Ukraine, will prepare drafts of legislation for the Ukraine's autonomous structure, which will then be submitted for confirmation to the Constituent Assembly.

Considering that the establishment of a territorial branch of the Provisional Government in the Ukraine assures, within a plausible framework, the desired closeness of the administration of the Land (Ukraine) to the needs of the local population prior to the Constituent Assembly and recognizing that the fate of all the peoples of Russia is firmly tied to the overall achievements of the revolution, we emphatically oppose any plans to establish autonomy arbitrarily in the Ukraine before [the convocation of] the All-Russian Constituent Assembly.

As for the formation of Ukrainian military units, the Central Rada will have its representatives attached to the offices of the Minister of War, the General Staff, and the Supreme Commander, who will take part in the formation of separate units composed exclusively of Ukrainians insofar as such formation will be deemed technically feasible by the Minister of War, and will not jeopardize the fighting capacity of the army.

In making this known to the citizens of the Ukraine, we firmly believe that the Ukrainian democracy, which transferred to us its will, together with the revolutionary democracy of all Russia and her revolutionary government, will exert all its strength to lead the entire state, and particularly the Ukraine, to the full triumph of the revolution.

Kiev, in the year 1917, 3 July

The Ukrainian Central Rada


Third Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada

Ukrainian people and all peoples of the Ukraine!

A heavy and difficult hour has fallen upon the land of the Russian Republic. In the capitals to the north a bloody civil struggle is raging; the Central Government has collapsed, and anarchy, lawlessness and ruin are spreading throughout the state.

Our land is also in danger. Without a single, strong national authority, the Ukraine may also fall into the abyss of civil war, slaughter and ruin.

Ukrainian people! You, together with the other fraternal peoples of the Ukraine, have placed us to guard the rights acquired through your struggles, [empowered us] to create order and to build new life on our land; and, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, by your will, and in the name of establishing order in our country in the name of saving all of Russia, do now proclaim:

From this day forth, the Ukraine becomes the Ukrainian People's Republic.3

Without separating ourselves from the Russian Republic and maintaining its unity, we shall stand firmly on our own soil, in order that our strength may aid all of Russia, so that the whole Russian Republic may become a federation of equal and free peoples.

Until [the convocation of] the Constituent Assembly of the Ukraine, all power to establish order in our country, to promulgate laws, and to govern belongs to us, the Ukrainian Central Rada, and to our government -- the General Secretariat of the Ukraine.

With power and authority in our native land, we shall use this power and authority to stand guard over freedom and the revolution, not only in our land, but also throughout all of Russia.

Therefore, we proclaim:

To the territory of the Ukrainian People's Republic belong regions inhabited for the most part by Ukrainians: the provinces of Kiev, Podillia, Volhynia, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkiv, Katerynoslav Kherson, Taurus (excluding Crimea). The final demarcation of the borders of the Ukrainian People's Republic as well as the annexation of parts of the Kursk, Kholm, Voronezh provinces and the neighboring gubernias and areas where the majority of the population is Ukrainian, will be determined in agreement with the organized will of the peoples.

We declare the following to all citizens of these lands:

Henceforth, on the territory of the Ukrainian People's Republic, the existing property rights on lands of the nobility and on agricultural lands of other non-toiling ownership, including deeded lands, [lands owned by] monasteries and ministries, and church lands, are abolished.

In asserting that these lands are the property of the entire working people, and that they be recognized as such without compensation [to former proprietors], the Ukrainian Central Rada entrusts the Secretary General for Land Affairs to prepare legislation immediately to regulate the manner in which land committees, elected by the people, should manage these lands until [the convocation of] the Constituent Assembly.

The labor of the workers in the Ukrainian People's Republic must be placed on an orderly basis immediately. Now, we proclaim: from this day forth, an eight-hour workday is instituted in all enterprises on the territory of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

The difficult and terrible time which all of Russia and, with her, our Ukraine is experiencing, demands a proper organization of production, steady distribution of consumer products and a better organization of labor. Therefore, we charge the General Secretariat for Labor, together with the representatives of the workers, with the immediate establishment of state control over production in the Ukraine, guarding the interests of both the Ukraine and all of Russia.

For the fourth year blood is being spilt on the battlefields; and the strength of the peoples of the world is destroyed in vain. In the name of the Ukrainian Republic and in expression of its will, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, shall firmly insist that peace be instituted quickly. To this end, we shall use resolute means to force through the Central Government, both allies and enemies to begin peace negotiations at once.

Likewise, we shall see to it that the rights of the Ukrainian people in Russia and outside Russia are not infringed upon by the peace treaty [that is negotiated] at the Peace Conference. However, until the beginning of peace, each citizen of the Republic of the Ukraine, together with the citizens of all other nations of the Russian Republic, should stand fast at his post, both at the battlefield and at home.

Recently, the bright achievements of the revolution have been dimmed by the reinstatement of the death penalty. We proclaim:

Henceforth, on the territory of the Ukrainian Republic, the death penalty is abolished.

All prisoners, all those detained for political activity committed prior to this date, including those sentenced and those not yet sentenced or charged, are hereby granted full amnesty. A law will be promulgated to that effect immediately. The court in the Ukraine should be just [and] in conformity with the spirit of the people. With that goal in view, we direct the General Secretariat for Justice to take all measures necessary to bring order to the judicial system and to assure its compliance with the legal conceptions of the people.

We direct the General Secretariat for Internal Affairs [as follows]:

To use all means to strengthen and broaden the rights of the local bodies of self-government which serve as organs of the higher administrative authorities in the localities, and to establish its closest ties and cooperation with the organs of revolutionary democracy which should constitute the best basis for a free, democratic life.

Furthermore, the Ukrainian People's Republic shall secure all freedoms won by the All-Russian revolution: freedom of speech, press, worship, assembly, association, strikes, inviolability of person and residence, and the right and opportunity to use the native language in dealings with all administrative agencies.

The Ukrainian people, who have fought long years for their national freedom and have won it today, shall firmly defend the free national development of all nationalities residing in the Ukraine; therefore, we proclaim: The Great-Russian, Jewish, Polish and other peoples in the Ukraine are granted national-personal autonomy to guarantee their own self-government in all matters of their national life; and we charge our general Secretariat for National Affairs to present to us, within the shortest possible time, legislative drafts for [guaranteeing this] national-personal autonomy.

The matter of provisions is the root of the power of government in this difficult and responsible time. The Ukrainian People's Republic should strain all its powers to save not only itself, but also the front and those parts of the Russian Republic which need our aid.

Citizens! In the name of the Ukrainian People's Republic within a federated Russia, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, call upon all, to struggle decisively against all anarchy and destruction and to work towards the great fraternal construction of new governmental forms which will grant the great and weakened Republic of Russia health, strength, and a new future. The determination of these forms shall be made at the Ukrainian and All-Russian Constituent Assemblies.

The date for the election of the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly shall be December 27,, 1917; the day of its convocation shall be January 9,1918.

A law regulating the convocation of this Ukrainian Constituent Assembly shall be promulgated immediately.

Kiev, November 7, the year 1917

The Ukrainian Central Rada


Fourth Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada

People of the Ukraine!

By your efforts, your will, and your word, a Free Ukrainian People's Republic has been created on Ukrainian soil. The ancient dreams of your ancestors -- fighters for the freedom and rights of the workers -- has been fulfilled. But, the Ukraine's freedom has been reborn in a difficult hour. Four years of a ferocious war have weakened our Country and population, factories do not produce goods, industry has slowed down, railroads are in disarray, money continues to fall in value; there is less bread, famine looms [before us]. Mobs of robbers and thieves have multiplied throughout the countryside, especially during the times when the army has swarmed from the front, causing slaughter, disorder and ruin on our land. Due to all this, the elections to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly could not be held on the date set by our previous Universal, and this assembly, which had been scheduled to convene today, could not meet to accept from our hands the temporary, supreme revolutionary authority in the Ukraine, institute order in our People's Republic, and form a new Government. Meanwhile, the Petrograd Government of the People's Commissars, in an attempt to bring back the Free Ukrainian Republic under its rule, has declared war against the Ukraine and is sending into our lands its armies of Red Guards and Bolsheviks, who rob the bread of our peasants, not even sparing the grain set aside for seed, and without any compensation carry it off to Russia; they kill innocent people and spread anarchy, thievery and apathy everywhere.

We, the Ukrainian Central Rada, have done everything to prevent the outbreak of this fratricidal war of two neighboring peoples, but the Petrograd Government has not chosen to meet our efforts, and continues to wage a bloody struggle with our People and [our] Republic; moreover, this same Petrograd Government of People's Commissars has begun delaying the peace and is calling for a new war, which it characterizes as holy [war]. Again, blood will flow, again the ill-fated working people shall be forced to lay down their lives.

We, the Ukrainian Central Rada, elected by the congresses of peasants, workers, and soldiers of the Ukraine, cannot agree to this at all, we will not support any wars, for the Ukrainian People want peace; and a democratic peace must come about promptly. Moreover, in order to ensure that neither the Russian nor any other government shall obstruct the Ukraine's efforts to institute this desired peace, to be able to lead our country to order, to creative work, to the strengthening of the revolution and of our freedom, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, proclaim to all citizens of the Ukraine:

From this day forth, the Ukrainian People's Republic becomes independent, subject to no one, a Free, Sovereign State of the Ukrainian People.

We want to live in harmony and friendship with all neighboring states: Russia, Poland, Austria, Rumania, Turkey, and others, but none of these may interfere in the life of the Independent Ukrainian Republic -- power in it shall belong only to the People of the Ukraine, in whose name, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, the representatives of the toiling people of peasants, workers, and soldiers and our executive arm, henceforth called "the Council of People's Ministers," shall govern until the convocation of the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly.

First of all, we direct the government of our Republic, the Council of People's Ministers, to continue on an independent basis the peace negotiations already begun with the Central Powers, to carry them through to conclusion without regard for the interference by any other part of the former Russian Empire, and to establish peace, so that our Country may begin its economic life in tranquility and harmony.

As to the so-called bolsheviks and other aggressors who destroy and ruin our Country, we direct the Government of the Ukrainian People's Republic to take up a firm and determined struggle against them, and we call upon all citizens of our Republic to defend their welfare and liberty without sparing their lives. Our Ukrainian People's State must be cleared of the violent intruders sent from Petrograd, who trample the rights of the Ukrainian Republic.

The inestimably difficult war, begun by the bourgeois government, has greatly wearied our People; it has already destroyed our Country, ruined the economy. An end must come to this now. While the army is being demobilized, we order that some [members of the armed forces] be released; after the ratification of the peace, the army is to be disbanded completely. Later, instead of a standing army, a people's militia is to be formed, so that our fighting forces may serve as defenders of the working people, and not at the pleasure of the ruling strata.

Localities destroyed by war and demobilization are to be rebuilt with the aid and through the initiative of our State Treasury. When our soldiers return home, new elections to the people's councils, district, county and city dumas will be called at a time which will be prescribed, so that our soldiers may have a voice in them: meanwhile, such local administration should be established which can be trusted and which will be based on all revolutionary-democratic strata of the people. The government should encourage the cooperation of the councils of peasants', workers' and soldiers' deputies elected from among the local population.

On the matter of land [reform], the commission elected at our last session has already worked out legislation concerning the transfer of the land without compensation to the working people, taking as its base our resolution on the abolition of property and the socialization of the land which was passed at the eighth session. In a few days the whole Central Rada will study this legislation.

The Council of People's Ministers will use all means to ensure that the transfer of land from the land committees to the working people take place without fail before the beginning of spring tilling.

Forests, waters and all mineral resources -- the wealth of the Ukrainian working people -- are transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

The war has also taken all the manpower resources of our country. Most of the factories, enterprises and shops have been producing only that which was necessary for the war, and the nation has been left completely without goods. Now the war has ended. We direct the Council of People's Ministers to begin immediately the change over of all factories and enterprises to peace-time production of goods most needed first and foremost by the toiling masses.

This same war has proliferated hundreds of thousands of unemployed and invalids. In the Independent People's Republic of the Ukraine no working man should suffer. The government should increase the industry of the State, it should begin creative work in all areas in which the unemployed may find work and to which they may apply their strength and -- [the government] should use all means to ensure [the welfare of] the maimed and of those who have suffered from the war.

During the old order, merchants and all sorts of middlemen gained huge capital from the poor oppressed classes. Henceforth, the Ukrainian People's Republic takes into its hands the most important branches of commerce, and all profit derived from them shall be used for the benefit of the people. Our State itself will supervise goods imported and exported so as to prevent the high prices [set] by speculators which are [such a] hardship to the poorest classes. To achieve this aim, we direct the Government of the Republic to prepare and present for approval legislation on this [matter], as well as on the establishment of monopolies in iron, leather, tobacco and other products and merchandise on which the greatest profit has been drawn from the working classes for the benefit of the non-toilers.

Likewise, we order the establishment of state-people's control over all banks whose credits and loans to the non-working masses aided in the exploitation of the toiling classes. Henceforth, bank loans are to be granted primarily to support the working population and the economic development of the Ukrainian People's Republic, and not for speculation and various exploitations by the banks or for profiteering.

Because of anarchy, anxiety in life, and shortage of goods, discontent is growing in a certain segment of the population. Various dark forces are using this discontent and trying to attract unenlightened people to the old system. These dark forces want to put back all free peoples under the unified tsarist yoke of Russia. The Council of People's Ministers should struggle firmly against all counterrevolutionary forces. Anyone who calls for an uprising against the independent Ukrainian Republic, for a return to the old order, must be punished for treason of the state.

All democratic freedoms proclaimed by the Third Universal are reaffirmed by the Ukrainian People's Republic, which particularly proclaims: in the Independent Ukrainian People's Republic all nations enjoy the right of national-personal autonomy, granted to them by the law of January 9.4

Whatever matters enumerated in this Universal which we, the Central Rada, will not have time to accomplish will be completed, rectified, and brought to a final order by the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly. We order all our citizens to conduct the elections most assiduously, to use all means to ensure the fastest tabulation of votes possible, in order that our Constituent Assembly -- the highest ruler and administrator in our Land -- may convene within a few weeks to establish freedom, harmony, and welfare by a constitution of the Independent Ukrainian People's Republic for the benefit of the whole toiling people, now and in the future.

This our Highest body will decide on the federative ties with the people's republics of the former Russian state.

Until that time we call upon all citizens of the Independent Ukrainain People's Republic to stand relentlessly on guard of the freedom and rights won by our People and to defend their fate with all their might from all enemies of the peasants'-workers' Independent Ukrainian Republic.

Kiev, 9th January, 1918.

Ukrainian Central Rada


Notes

1 The Universals were not numbered, but in broadsides they have always been referred to as the First, Second, etc.

2 The Ukrainian term Rada, meaning council, has been retained in this translation. All italicizing and capitalizing follows the original.

3 The name of the Ukrainian state established by the Third Universal was Ukrainska Narodna Respublika -- literally, the Ukrainian People's Republic; hence, this form is used in the present translation. For various reasons -- one of them being the connotation of "people's republic" as a communist state -- the name "Ukrainian National Republic" has been accepted in publications and in everyday use. There are also those who favor the name "Ukrainian Democratic Republic" because, on the one hand, the word "democratic" does mean "of the people," and, on the other, some diplomatic representatives of the Ukrainian People's Republic used the term "Ukrainian Democratic Republic" on documents that they issued in languages other than Ukrainian. Since the purpose of this translation is to render as closely as possible the spirit and the letter of the four Universals of the Ukrainian Central Rada, it was deemed necessary to use the proper rather than the fashionable term for the Ukrainian state.

4 January 9 (according to the Julian calendar) or January 22, 1918, by present-day reckoning, has gone down in history as the date of Ukraine's independence, i.e., the proclamation of the Fourth Universal. In fact, the third reading of the Fourdi Universal was presented as a bill of the Ukrainian Central Rada, and the vote on it was taken shortly after midnight on January 12 (January 25), 1917.

It seems that the Founding Fathers of the Ukrainian People's Republic were attached to the January 9 (January 22) date because it had been the date set for the convocation of the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly. Since the Constituent Assembly failed to be elected, the Central Rada began its deliberation on the Fourth Universal on that date. Work on this legislation was held up when, on January 10 (January 23) -- not January 9, as stated in the Fourth Universal -- representatives of national minorities in the Rada demanded that the draft legislation on national-personal autonomy should be passed before the final vote on the Fourth Universal. The law on national-personal autonomy was passed the next day (January 11), and the second reading of the Fourth Universal followed. By then it was almost midnight, and a short recess was called. Before the third reading, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, president of the Central Rada, made a brief introduction in which he informed the galleries that work on the Fourth Universal had begun on January 9 (January 22). This was also the date that appeared on the document when it was published.