Published in Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States, ed. Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras, 1883.

4 Ukraine: the politics of independence


Ukraine was a collossus among the former Soviet republics: with 53 million people it accounted for 25 to 30 percent of the USSR's gross domestic product.1 But until recently this republic was relatively quiescent. It gave the Kremlin little cause for concern, and was even a stabilizing factor in the trend towards disunion. In 1991, however, the drive for statehood gained steam, and Ukraine's independence was formally achieved after the overwhelming referendum result of December 1991. This chapter considers the reasons for this volte-face.

Political leadership and political change

As late as September 1989 the republic was still ruled by an ardent Brezhnevist, Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU). The nascent national and democratic movement in Ukraine viewed with envy Moscow's relatively liberal atmosphere. A certain provincial ferocity had always characterized communist rule in Ukraine. As the prominent poet Ivan Drach quipped in June 1989, "In Moscow they clip your nails, but in Kiev they cut your fingers off."2 The Ukrainian intelligentsia urged Mikhail Gorbachev to end "Ukrainian exceptionalism" and allow the winds of glasnost and perestroika to blow in Ukraine.3 Shcherbytsky's policy of resisting all measures aimed at political and economic modernization was becoming increasingly untenable since it clashed with Gorbachev's programe. Indeed, Shcherbytsyky's presence in Ukraine was a liability, given the growing radicalization of public opinion in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. At the same time, spurred by the example of the Baltic republics, former dissident circles in Galicia pressed for the launching of Ukraine's own version of a people's front, envisaged initially as a movement in support of Gorbachev's reforms. On September 8, 1989 the People's Movement for Restructuring - "Rukh" (the word means "movement" in Ukrainian) held its constituent Congress in Kiev. Two weeks later Gorbachev flew to Kiev to oversee the ouster of Shcherbytsky.

Volodymyr Ivashko, who replaced Shcherbytsky, was an unimaginative but conciliatory apparatchik. Following Gorbachev's example in March 1990, he was also elected head of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. It was during this period that the national and democratic movement in Ukraine made its greatest breakthroughs. The mass actions launched by Rukh were truly impressive. For example, on January 22, 1990, almost one million people formed a human chain from Kiev to Lviv, commemorating Ukraine's 1918 declaration of independence and act of union of Western and Eastern Ukraine. In the March 1990 elections, despite widespread fraud, the Rukh-led opposition electoral bloc gained one quarter of the seats in Ukraine's Supreme Soviet. Since all parliamentary debates were broadcast live on radio and television, the opposition now had access to a national audience and skilfully exploited this opportunity. Having won control of the three oblast regional governments in Galicia, and of city, municipal and rural soviets in many other regions (among them the city of Kiev), the opposition now had at its disposal significant institutional resources which enhanced its ability to carry out mass campaigns.

Political initiative had clearly passed to the side of the opposition. Rukh's membership had grown to over 500,000, and other unofficial groups such as the Ukrainian Language Society, Zelenyi suit ("Green World") and Memorial also gained strength.4 Throughout the summer of 1990 thousands thronged Parliament as it debated the declaration of sovereignty. The document was passed almost unanimously on July 16, 1990. On July 22, 1990, with Kiev still reeling from the drama of the passageof this act, Ivashko ignominiously resigned from all of his Ukrainian posts and moved to Moscow as second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lacking charisma he could not interact with the public and quickly became an object of popular derision. Neither did he have the political skill to plot measures to hold the unfolding national movement in check, a weakness which made him lose the support of key sectors of the communist hierarchy in Kiev.

Leonid Kravchuk, a former ideological secretary of the Central Committee of the CPU, replaced Ivashko as head of Ukraine's Parliament. His elevation to this post surprised many. What undoubtedly played a role in his selection was the fact that Kravchuk had earned his spurs as the party's only capable public debater against Rukh, and thus could be expected to keep order in Parliament. The dour and tough industrial administrator Stanislav Hurenko became first secretary of the CPU. A team was thus put into place which could challenge the gains of the national movement.

Indeed, throughout the autumn of 1990, in concert with the major provocations which Moscow unleashed in the Baltics, steps were taken in Ukraine to roll back the challenge to communist authority. Demonstrations near Parliament were banned; troops were massed outside of Kiev; the communist majority in Parliament changed procedures and restricted the opposition's use of the air waves; administrative obstacles were raised to thwart the work of democratically-controlled regional and local soviets; and a radical nationalist deputy, Stepan Khmara, was arrested in a crude provocation. Khmara languished in prison since the communist majority voted to strip him of his parliamentary immunity. Democratic deputies began to wonder who would be arrested next. Ukraine was rife with rumors that direct presidential rule or martial law was about to be imposed. Indeed, instructions on whom to arrest, and what organizations to ban under the terms of a state of emergency, were circulated to reliable functionaries in oblast soviets.5

This conservative backlash poured cold water on the euphoria over the adoption of Ukraine's declaration of sovereignty. It appeared that the declaration was destined to remain on paper only. The opposition accused the communists of voting for Ukraine's sovereignty only to surrender it under the terms of a new union accord. (It would look better politically if a 'sovereign' Ukraine signed a new treaty of union.) The nation had been duped.

Resistance to this strategy came from a totally unexpected quarter -Ukraine's students. Their actions captured the public's imagination, forced the resignation of Vitalii Masol, the chairman of the Council of Ministers, and committed Parliament to strict conditions for the signing of a union accord, namely, the prior passage of a constitution enshrining Ukraine's sovereignty.

The student movement which unfolded in the early days of October 1990 carried out some of the most remarkable mass actions Ukraine had ever seen. It began with a small group of hunger strikers who camped on October Revolution square in downtown Kiev. They were quickly joined by hundreds of others and the square was turned into a miniature Woodstock. Post-secondary institutions throughout Ukraine went on strike and an all-Ukrainian student strike committee was formed. On October 16 some 150,000 people marched on Parliament - naval cadets in the front rows with marshalling provided by over one thousand Afghan veterans. The crowd was an unusual conglomerate of social layers - vocational students and punkers, university students and the intelligentsia, workers and white-collar staff. Student leaders addressed Parliament and their demands were broadcast live on radio and television. For the next two days the city was seized with tension. The government refused to negotiate with the student strike committee, and armored vehicles prowled about the city. Yet the students held firm.

On October 18, unexpectedly, a large column of workers from Kiev's largest factory marched on Parliament in suppport of students. They chanted only one word, their factory's name - "Arsenal." Workers tipped the balance. That evening the government reported that it would meet all student demands. Kiev celebrated the victory into the early hours of the morning. The students had stopped the march of reaction in its tracks.6

Civil society, state structures, and sovereignty

The events of autumn 1990 were a sobering experience for Ukraine's political elite and hastened the rise of a more moderate leadership, one more willing to seek a modus vivendi with public opinion. The systematic mass mobilization that Rukh and other democratic forces had carried out throughout 1989 and 1990 also served as a catalyst in this respect. Public opinion polls showed that the population, young people in particular, had developed a high level of civic involvement. For example, a February 1989 survey of Kiev secondary school students between the ages of thirteen and eighteen found that two-thirds of them had actively participated in the national movement." Through actions such as the Days of Cossack Glory, designed to rekindle historical consciousness in the industrial Dnipro region, millions were awakened to the possibilities and promise of nationhood and independence.

Without painstaking preparatory work - the launching of some 350 unofficial newspapers, the establishment of Hyde Park corners in every major city, rock festivals and conferences, and the communication of a new national message by increasingly bold journalists working in radio, television and the press - it would be impossible to imagine the surprising turn of events which unfolded during the miners' strike of February and March 1991. Echoing students, miners from russified Donbass raised as their first political demand the immediate constitutional sovereignty of Ukraine and the reduction of Moscow's powers to that of a coordinating center of a commonwealth of sovereign states. In the words of Serhii Besaha, the miners' spokesman who addressed Ukraine's Parliament on March 22, 1991, "The political demands raised by the miners require decisive measures on the part of Ukraine's parliament. . . People of freedom-loving Ukraine understand our position: we are in a difficult situation and can get out of it only by Ukraine becoming fully sovereign."8 The settlement that was reached between the miners and the government once again committed Parliament to acting in earnest on the question of sovereignty. It is important to note that half the population of Donbass is non-Ukrainian. The sector of Ukraine's population most likely to resist state-building measures had been won to a sovereigntist perspective.

The role of Ukraine's "Piedmont" - Galicia - loomed large in all national mobilizations. Donbass miners, for example, were first exposed to ideas of independence by their colleagues on the strike committee from the Lviv-Volyn' coal basin. Part of Austria before 1918, and then of interwar Poland, Galicia had escaped the devastation of Stalinist rule. When the Soviets occupied the area after the Second World War they confronted an active and militant national movement which had penetrated the masses down to the last village.9 Under glasnost, the national movement there rapidly established hegemony, and spread to other areas of Western

Ukraine (especially Volhynia). Galicia resembles the Baltic republics, except for the fact that unlike in the Baltics there were no "Interfronts" there: Russians account for only 5 percent of the population of Western Ukraine.10 In the March 1990 elections candidates of the democratic opposition won forty-three out of forty-seven Galician seats to the Supreme Soviet, and were swept into power at the municipal and oblast levels. (In other Western oblasts their success was also impressive. For example, six out of nine seats in Volyn' fell to the democratic opposition.)11 In Galicia the Communist Party for all intents and purposes collapsed, and an aggressive program of de-Sovietization of public life was undertaken: the removal of visible symbols of Soviet rule (such as Lenin monuments), changes to the school curricula, and the like. A more radical market reform, beginning with serious moves to de-collectivize agriculture, was initiated. During the March 17, 1991 referendum on the fate of the "Union," the three Galician oblasts had their own third ballot which asked voters whether or not they wished Ukraine to be an independent state. Independence received the support of close to 90 percent of voters.12 Other regions of Western Ukraine were also catching the Galician virus. For example, a March 1991 survey showed that support for the Kiev student hunger strikers among students in Uzhorod, Transcarpathia, was actually marginally higher than among Lviv students.13

Western Ukraine has a population of almost 10 million, of whom 5.4 million live in Galicia. But this region plays a role in Ukraine's political life disproportionate to its numbers. Western Ukraine provided a large number of the organizing cadres of the movements in Eastern Ukraine, and Galicia could always be counted on to provide several thousand people to support demonstrations in that region. The institutional infrastructure of Galicia (printing presses, newspapers) was also put at the service of national and democratic forces in Eastern Ukraine, thus circumventing the obstacles raised by the local communist apparatus. Communist officials lamented Galician "messianism" which sought to win the rest of Ukraine to its independentist positions, but were powerless to stop its progress.14

It is also important to stress that the Galician experience of democratic rule created space in the imaginations of eastern Ukrainians for the possibility of life without communists, as one Kiev author noted in Ukraine's leading Russian-language newspaper.15 The Communist Party apparatus was checked from meddling in daily life in many oblasts, which produced much greater freedom and less corruption. That all of this was achieved by the national movement served to identify the national idea with a radical political and social message.

After January 1991 politics in Ukraine entered into a new period, that of primary state-building. Increasingly the power of initiative in the drive for sovereignty moved from the streets into the corridors of state and economic institutions. Of course the foundations for this development lay in the pressure which the new mass movements had exerted on the existing political elite. The partial democratization of the political order which had occurred, and the prospect of imminent elections, forced sectors of the political elite to think seriously about their future. Public opinion polls in Ukraine revealed that the popularity of the party apparatus had sunk to abysmally low levels. A 1989 study, for example, found that the least prestigious occupation that a politician could have is "employee of the party apparatus." This group was preferred by only 4 percent of people surveyed, of whom the vast majority were old-age pensioners. Only 1 percent of young people ranked this profession in first place.16 In November

1990, Leonid Kravchuk's popularity among Kievans was so low that he did not even figure in the top twenty most popular politicians.17 But by June

1991, after he had become closely identified with the sovereignty issue, Kiev polls showed him to be the preferred candidate for President of Ukraine. He was chosen by 54 percent of respondents. Hurenko, the first secretary of the CPU, could not even garnish 1 percent support.18 The party, to quote I. Tarapov, rector of Kharkiv State University, "is gripped by crisis."19 The party's unpopularity hastened calls for the establishment of an independent Ukrainian Communist Party as a way of marking distance from the Moscow apparatus.20 The CPU took a partial step in this direction by adopting its own statutes, a move criticized by some hardliners as the beginning of the federalization of the party.21

Throughout 1991 state structures gained greater significance and served as the hothouse for a new political class. The Communist Party was never a party in the traditional sense of the word, for a one party system is really a non-party system. The Party was a structure organizing the totalitarian adminstration of the state. The introduction of a rudimentary multi-party system, the removal of party cells from any factories, democratic control of local governments and the separation of powers between the Party and the state served to enhance the role of state structures.22 Moreover, Parliament began to resemble a real legislature. Unicameral, with a budget twice that of Russia's, Ukraine's Supreme Soviet nurtured a core of professional full-time politicians.23 Parliamentary commissions, in which the opposition played an active role, took numerous legislative initiatives, while the relationship between party and state became strained. At a session of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, Ivan Pliushch, the deputy head, reportedly told Hurenko, "gone are the days when instructors from the Central Committee will tell the Council of Ministers what to do." In most oblasts and cities, the head of the state apparatus wielded more power than the party boss.24 Emblematic of the balance of forces between the two institutions was the Presidium's decision to strip Hurenko of the use of the state private airplane and give it to Kravchuk instead.

The center of political gravity, therefore, shifted away from the preeminent all-Union structure - the party - towards the Ukrainian state, whose logic of existence was bound-up with an expansion of its prerogatives. This served to factionalize the party elite and draw a sizeable number of its members, namely, enterprise directors, government ministers and the like, into a group popularly called "the centrists" or "communists-sovereigntists." Thus, on many crucial votes in Parliament, over a third of the so-called "Communist majority" could be counted on to vote with the opposition. The break in party ranks proved decisive in the debate on the March 1991 referendum on the new union. Despite the opposition of the party leadership, almost half the communist members of Parliament voted in favour of adopting the second "Ukrainian" question which negated the one formulated by Gorbachev (see below).25 Communist discipline in Parliament slipped: many communist deputies did not even bother to turn up at CPU Parliamentary faction meetings. The June 16, 1991 gathering, for instance, was attended by only 184 out of 324 deputies

The communists' rapprochement with the opposition was also dictated by their fear of the latter's ability to unleash social unrest on a massive scale. In the face of initiatives such as the establishment of the All-Ukrainian Union of Solidarity Committees of Toilers, a new trade union patterned closely after Solidarity which held its founding congress on June 23, 1991, communists understood the advantages to be had from coopting the opposition. The new trade union supported radical social, political and economic reform, and full Ukrainian independence. The opposition, in turn, felt unprepared to take power, and decided to use this rapprochement to push the new centrists into taking real measures to build Ukrainian statehood.

Politics in a country as diverse and large as Ukraine is a complex matter. The strategy adopted by Ukraine's leadership were not to irritate Moscow with bold symbolic gestures. Rather, it preferred a low-key, incremental approach. The March 1991 referendum on the Union is a case in point. Rather than challenge Moscow's right to hold the referendum in Ukraine, Parliament instead placed its own question on the ballot. Whereas the Kremlin's question asked people to decide whether or not they wished to remain in the USSR on the basis of renewed federalism, the Ukrainian question asked people whether they wished to be part of a Commonwealth of Sovereign States whose Ukrainian membership would be based on Ukraine's declaration of sovereignty. Kravchuk urged people to vote "yes" for both, saying that the first question merely asked "are you for a Union?," whereas the second asked "what kind of Union do you want?"26 In its massive propaganda campaign the Communist apparatus totally ignored the second question, but to no avail: 70 percent of voters supported the Kremlin's question, and 80 percent Ukraine's question.27 Kravchuk interpreted this as a mandate to accelerate the process of the "sovereigntization" of Ukraine and the transformation of the Union into a Commonwealth of Sovereign States with the center playing a loose coordinating role.28

Throughout 1991 the Parliament had a full agenda, as some sixty laws fundamental to establishing Ukrainian statehood were considered. In the first instance the focus was on creating instruments for independent economic policy. Thus, Ukraine was to nationalize All-Union property by the end of 1991; all external trade was to be placed under the republic's jurisdiction. Ukraine established its own customs service and independent national bank, and the first plans were made to introduce a separate Ukrainian currency. Measures were adopted making all USSR Presidential decrees null and void unless they were passed by Ukraine's Parliament. A commission on external and internal security was created as the first step in the formation of a ministry of national defense and a national army.29 In the area of foreign relations, Parliament passed a resolution instructing the Cabinet to take measures to establish "diplomatic, consular and trade relations with foreign states" in order to implement "the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine in the Field of External Relations." Ukraine agreed to exchange diplomats with Poland and Hungary, and signed political, economic and cultural treaties with Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Indeed the first major diplomatic breakthrough came in June 1991 when, on the basis of a direct bilateral agreement (which by-passed Moscow), Ukraine and Hungary opened consulates. Ukraine was the first Soviet republic to take this measure.30

Ukraine's attitude towards the Union accord is an example of its quiet, determined approach. Unlike the first six republics which opted for full independence, Ukraine participated in the talks, but it drove a hard bargain. For example, Ukraine wanted to retain the right to form an internal army, and argued for relatively weak structures at the Union level. (Kravchuk, for example, was opposed to a Union constitution.) The Union government was not to be allowed to raise taxes in Ukraine. Rather, the republic was to fully control taxation, and transfer funds to the Ail-Union budget to pay for central programs which Ukraine had agreed to. Before any accord could be signed, Ail-Union property had to be in hands of the republic. These demands, taken in concert with the imminent introduction of Ukrainian currency, were designed to deprive Moscow of the mechanisms of policy implementation. Resisting Gorbachev's haste in concluding a new Union treaty, Ukraine dragged out the process. The logic here was that the more sovereign Ukraine became, the stronger its bargaining position would be. It also felt that time served to weaken the central government. Such tactics stalled the new Union treaty Gorbachev advocated until the time of the coup. In the post-coup political conditions, the treaty became a dead letter.

Thus Ukraine proposed an elaborate process for the signing of the Union accord which would have postponed the act for at least six months. Ukraine had first to pass its own constitution enshrining its sovereignty, then Parliament was to debate the draft treaty "word by word," then it was to send a delegation to negotiate with other republics and produce a second draft. Only at this point could the accord be signed. Ukraine was insisting that different republics join the Union at different times and under different conditions.31 Interestingly, the vast majority of communists agreed on the wisdom of this approach. The opposition realized that some kind of treaty had to be signed: one which would begin the process of the de-montage (dismemberment) of the Empire, to quote Mykhailo Horyn, a radical oppositionist deputy.

Socio-economic factors and cultural assertion

The drive for independence was motivated by numerous factors, not all of which carried the same weight in different parts of the republic. Overall, however, there was a profound realization that the USSR was disintegrating as a socio-economic and political formation. The centralized bureaucratic system (described as "the monster" by Kravchuk in one parliamentary debate) was seen as a brake on economic and social development and modernization. Moscow had nothing to offer - it was neither a source of technological know-how, nor an international financial center. It was merely an apparatus of repression and control. Neither was Ukraine tied to the center by virtue of its membership in a single, unified market called the USSR. The USSR was never that. Ukraine itself cannot even be considered a single market. Rather, what existed were monopolistic structures, a mono-ministerial branch economy. All talk of economic integration was ludicrous when factory X, thousands of miles away, supplied factory Y with goods which Y could get from an enterprise across the street. In many cases transportation costs were higher than production costs. Territorial, horizontal integration is a precondition of the rational use of economic resources, and of a strategy of market reform. And before Ukraine's economy could be integrated into a larger market, not to speak of the world market, a Ukrainian market had to be first established with all of the institutions of a modern economy - bank, currency, customs service, economic statistics.32 As for ties with other republics, these had to be developed through bi-lateral treaties. There was no pressing economic reason why Ukraine's exports of meat to oil-producing Tiumen had to be mediated by a Moscow ministry. It is far more efficient to do this directly. (Indeed, starting in 1991 all of Ukraine's food exports to other republics were direct deals which by-passed Moscow.)

In Central and Eastern Ukraine the motor force for independence was socio-economic in nature. It could hardly be otherwise given that decades of Russification had weakened the traditional determinants of a Ukrainian national identity. Moreover, the largest Russian population outside the RSFSR lives in Ukraine (11.3 million in 1989) (see tables 4.1 and 4.2). An analysis of census language data shows that every tenth Ukrainian was acculturated into Russian culture or Russified, and three-quarters of Ukrainians knew Russian (see table 4.3). One-third of the total population of Ukraine gave Russian as their mother-tongue. It should also be noted that language data drawn from the general population census is an unreliable indicator of language use. A comprehensive 1988 survey of parents of first grade students in Kiev found that only 16.5 percent of respondents used Ukrainian In the home, and only 4.7 percent used the language at work. But 92 percent of respondents considered it "extremely important ... to cultivate and raise the prestige of the Ukrainian language."33

Table 4.1. National composition of Ukraine, 1970-1989 (%)


Total population























Source: ltogi vsesoiznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 goda, 7 vols. (Moscow, 1972-1973), no. 4, table 7; Chislennost' i sostav naseleniia SSSR. Po dannym Vsesoiuz-noi perepisi naseleniia 1979 goda (Moscow, 1984), table 17; Vestnik statistiki, no. 10, 1990, p. 76.

Table 4.2. Mother-tongue identification of Ukrainians, 1970-1989

Total number

Total giving Ukrainian


of Ukrainians

as mother-tongue (%)










Source-. Same as table 4.1: Perepis' 1970, vol. 4, table 8; Perepis' 1979, table 17; Vestnik statistiki, no. 10, 1990, p. 76.

Table 4.3. Ukrainians' national identity data, 1970-1989*





















* Unadapted = unilingual Ukrainian speakers; adapted = Ukrainians who give Ukrainian as their mother-tongue and know Russian; acculturated = Ukrainians who give Russian as their mother-tongue but know Ukrainian; Russified = Ukrainians who give Russian as their mother-tongue and do not know Ukrainian. Source: Same as table 4.1: calculated from Perepis' 1970, vol. 4, table 8; Perepis' 1979, table 17; Vestnik statistiki, no. 10, 1990, p. 76.

As Soviet sociological investigations have pointed out, the system of attitudes on nationality relations depends not so much on cultural orientation, that is, the Russification of an individual's cultural pattern, as on a complex combination of social, economic and cultural interests.34 The fact of the matter is that Ukraine's economy, its society and environment have been ravaged at the hands of the Moscow center, and this in turn spurred the growth of a movement for independence. The dominance of socioeconomic factors in the sovereigntist discourse explains why surveys show that 45-50 percent of Russians in the republic favored Ukraine's independence.35 Survey data show that support for independence was strongly correlated with a high level of social mobilization (residence in a large urban center, a higher education). These are social characteristics found disproportionately amongst Russians.36

The social structure of Ukraine, it should be noted, mitigates against the formation of Interfronts. Unlike in the Baltic republics, the working class in Ukraine is Ukrainian, hence Russian reaction cannot use populist demagogy to whip up sentiment against the intelligentsia who leads the national movement. There is virtually no inter-ethnic conflict in Ukraine. During the referendum on the Union, Russian towns such as Simferopol supported overwhelmingly the republican ballot. The town of Svitlovods'k in Kirovh-rad oblast serves as an interesting example in this respect: its population is over 90 percent Russian and is dominated by the scientific intelligentsia. (A major nuclear installation controlled directly by Moscow is located there.) In Svitlovods'k the Gorbachev question on the Union received almost twice as many votes. Paradoxically, it was the rural areas of Central and Eastern Ukraine, the least mobilized (and most controlled) sector of the population, which delivered the largest pluralities for the Union question.37

It should be stressed that the success of the national movement in Ukraine in winning the support of minorities is in part explained by the fact that it incorporated and hegemonized the democratic discourse in the widest sense of the word. It is the national movement which has led the battle for the democratization of political structures, the abolition of censorship, and the removal of the most nauseous forms of privilege. In Ukraine, Rukh has also led the fight against anti-semitism.38 The national movement in Ukraine is the democratic movement.

The drive for statehood was motivated by a profound realization of just how mismanaged and ravaged Ukraine's economy had been at the hands of the Moscow center. Until 1990, 95 percent of Ukraine's economy was controlled by Moscow, which was responsible for the distribution of over 90 percent of what was produced in the republic. Less than a quarter of Ukraine's national income remained in the republic - the rest was repatriated to the center. Enterprises controlled by Moscow often repatriated 90 percent of their profits.39

Moscow's investment and pricing policy discriminated against Ukrainian industry. Consider the case of the metallurgical industry. Ukraine's share of the USSR output of this branch was 54 percent. Yet in the last twenty years Ukraine received only 20 percent of total capital investment in metallurgy in the USSR. Central control also resulted in the total technological economic impoverishment of the coal industry in Ukraine. The All-Union government increased the price of coal in 1990 by 170 percent, except for Donbass, where the price increase was a mere 19 percent. When Fokin reported these figures he said, "I almost choke when I say this."40 In the case of sugar, Moscow decided to pay Ukraine 48 roubles per tonne -the lowest price in the USSR - whereas the price in Russia was seventy-three roubles. Yet Ukraine's sugar industry is antiquated and starved for new capital investment: 60 percent of sugar refineries operate on pre-1917 equipment. Ukraine did not have its own banking system: the center controlled 120 -billion roubles of Ukraine's savings, half of which was until recently lent back to the republic at high interest rates (8 percent on the average). All of Ukraine's hard currency earnings went to Moscow - 30-34 billion roubles annually. Some 113 billion roubles were taken from Ukraine to the center annually, through taxation and profits. Every year 365 million roubles gathered by Ukrainian customs went to the center.41 No economy can sustain such a drain of funds. This policy had serious consequences in all spheres of life. Expenditures on the development of basic science research per capita in Ukraine was 6.3 roubles, in Russia 25.5; per capita expenditure on culture in Ukraine was 3.8 roubles, in Russia 12.8; per capita investment in housing was 94 and 145 roubles respectively.42 These and many other statistics received wide publicity and most citizens of Ukraine agreed with Prime Minister Fokin, "Our only hope, our only chance of improving the situation is economic independence."43

The environmental devastation of Ukraine at the hands of Moscow is one of the most powerful leitmotifs of independentist agitation. Ukrainians see their nuclear experience as an example of Moscow's environmental imperialism, on a par with dumping toxic waste in Africa. As Serhii Odarych, secretary-general of Rukh observed, "Chernobyl helped us to understand that we are a colony."44 While Moscow scientists have been known to sell Chernobyl statistics to the West, the Ukrainian health ministry is reduced to begging for local medical statistics.

Chernobyl is but part of the story. Southern Ukraine has been so polluted by industry and mindless land improvement projects that this fertile steppe region now has Ukraine's highest infant mortality and most appalling longevity rates. In Mykolaiv oblast, the average longevity of males has dropped from 65.2 years in 1988 to 63.4 by 1989. Scientists warn of the erosion of Ukraine's gene pool: 46 percent of the republic's secondary school children have experienced chronic illness of one kind or another. Only 5-8 percent of graduates of secondary schools can be considered healthy; 80 percent of pregnant women in Ukraine become ill (ten years ago the figure was 30 percent); 40 percent of pregnant women miscarry. Ukraine's birth rate was the lowest in the former USSR - 13.3 per 1,000 of population.45

But at the same time there is a realization that Ukraine has considerable economic and social potential if only it could get control of its resources. Much information has been released on this score. Ukraine has high grade ores and metallurgical coal; it is a large exporter of cement to the Middle East; it exports electric power for which it does not receive a kopeck, and its climatic and soil conditions could support a flourishing agriculture. Kravchuk quoted with pride a German study evaluating all republics of the USSR on the basis of their potential to integrate into the European market. In a scoring based on 100 points, Ukraine took first place with 83 points, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania obtained 77, the RSFSR 72, Georgia 61 and so forth down to Tajikistan with 18.46

The unbelievable economic incompetence of the central government also served to convince the Ukrainian political class that sovereignty is an indispensible component of crisis management. Ukrainian officials complained that the Moscow government was printing money with abandon, causing inflation, through to late 1991, whereas the Ukrainian government was engaged in the impossible task of trying to take out of circulation surplus roubles (800 million roubles were burnt in Ukraine in 1990). Out of desperation, to provide an elementary defense of the domestic consumer market in the face of this mountain of surplus roubles, Ukraine introduced the coupon system, and planned to issue its own currency in 1992.47

Gorbachev's and Pavlov's decrees, said one factory director from Dnipropetrovsk, "are ruining our economy."48 Moscow decided to confiscate the lion's share of enterprises' hard currency earnings, thereby killing all export incentive; it also took 20 percent of enterprises' amortization funds. Moscow decided to slap huge import duties which ruined trade. For these and other reasons, the central government was seen not as an agent of economic reform, but as a cause of the crisis. No one looked to the Kremlin for direction any more. As Fokin said, "The centre is simply losing significance."49

A defense of socio-economic interests can have a reciprocal influence on elements of national identity such as language. The development of indige-nous culture is a way of bolstering the republic's claim for economic and political independence. When a speaker at a large public rally in Kiev in October 1989 declared, "A sovereign republic needs a sovereign language," he was cheered by the largely Russian-speaking audience.50

Decades of Russification have devastated Ukrainian national culture. In the 1988-1989 school year, only 47.5 percent of pupils studied in Ukrainian-language schools. Most large cities of the Donbass or southern Ukraine did not have a single Ukrainian-language school until recently. In 1987 only 14 percent of lectures at Kiev university were delivered in Ukrainian. Only four Ukrainian-language records were produced between 1980 and 1985. Since the mid-1970s, with one exception, all scientific journals in Ukraine were published in Russian. Output of books per capita in Ukraine in 1991 was 0.9, as compared to 12.7 for Russia.51

An important part of the drive for sovereignty was the adoption of a program of Ukrainization. Although the Ukrainian language was recognized as the official state language in November 1989, the Masol government "froze the project" and nothing was done until Fokin (a Russian) became Prime Minister.52 Not surprisingly, the Masol government was toppled by students. Recently, however, 300 Ukrainian-language schools were opened up, as well as several thousand Ukrainian-language classes in Russian schools.53 The Ukrainian language is being introduced in political and economic administration, and management staff in factories such as the giant Aiatonov aircraft works are taking intensive Ukrainian-language courses.

As one observer noted, "For the first time since the eighteenth century we see in Ukraine a profound crisis of loyalty to the imperial center."54 A concomitant of this process has been the legitimation of a Ukrainian national identity. The rediscovery of Ukrainian history and culture has become a mass phenomenon. The three-million strong Ukrainian diaspora and its numerous centers of Ukrainian studies and publishing houses have contributed substantially in this respect.

National identity does not exist in statu naturae. It is the product of social learning carried out by agencies such as the media and the educational system. For the first time since the 1920s, these infrastructures are communicating a national message. National identity is also created by leading social groups who elaborate and politicize objective cultural markers. In this respect is should be noted that the impulse for Ukrainian independence was fed not only by the all too obvious failures of the Soviet regime in the socio-economic realm, but also by its successes. In the last half century the republic has developed a modern social structure with a quarter of the employed population having higher or specialized secondary education. Ukrainians predominate in the working class and intelligentsia: they accounted for 73 percent of personnel in administrative organs, 74 percent of the factory and enterprise management, and 67 percent of the CPU." Ukraine, in short, has a sizeable elite, which, having been trained for responsible positions, is anxious to assume them free of suffocating domination from the center.

In a statement to Ukraine's Parliament, Leonid Kravchuk summarized well the new elite's mission:

We are proceeding in stages [and] affirming Ukraine's sovereignty in all spheres - economic, social, international, cultural in all aspects of our life . . . These are the first steps to independent statehood. Some people may not understand this, but this is for real. It is such a pleasure to watch those deputies who are conscious of the fact that they are the creators of an independent state, a state which does not look submissively to the center, and which is not a colony.56

Vitold Fokin declared, "The time has come for us to focus our energy, intellect and knowledge for a real rebirth of Ukraine as an independent, economically independent, industrially developed state, which will occupy its rightful place in the international community. This is our historic chance."57

Ukraine opposition to a new union treaty and the attainment of independence

Until 1991, "historic chances" to affirm statehood had been few and far between in Ukraine's tortuous past. If we are to believe President Kravchuk, the real opportunity to become an independent country came neither in the anti-Soviet backlash that followed the failed August 1991 coup, nor at the meeting in Minsk on December 7 that created a new Commonwealth of Independent States. The disintegration of the Soviet Union could be traced to "the beginning of the period of perestroika - and we know exactly who the author of this breakup was."58

The August coup was, nevertheless, decisive in moving independence forward in Ukraine. For the first two days of the coup Kravchuk appeared hesitant in condemning the Emergency Committee. But as soon as it became evident that the putsch was doomed, he went further than the leaders of the other republics: as well as intensifying his anti-Communist rhetoric, he supported a declaration of independence before the Ukrainian Parliament that was quickly passed on August 24, making the country independent contingent upon ratification in a general referendum. In this way Kravchuk showed himself sensitive to changes in public opinion, which had grown considerably more anti-Moscow as the extent of the farcical coup, pitting Gorbachev against his once-trusted lieutenants, became known.

Increasing stimuli in the drive for Ukraine independence came, then, from events taking place in Moscow itself. Belligerent statements from Yeltsin's advisors, including vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi and press secret-tary Pavel Voshchanov, on what should constitute the frontiers of an independent Ukraine increased local distrust towards Russian rule of any kind. Russian nationalist demagogery from Vladimir Zhirinovsky raised concerns about political leadership in Russia. One article in a Russian newspaper which discussed the option of a nuclear strike on Ukraine should Kravchuk refuse to give up his strategic arsenal did nothing to increase trust in Russia at the critical juncture when Ukraine was contemplating its constitutional future.59 The Ukraine Parliament's initial proclamation of state sovereignty on July 16, 1990, had not appeared to stir up such Russian backlash to the extent that the post-coup declaration of independence had. Political developments within Russia were to remain of ongoing concern to Ukraine even with independence within grasp. As Kravchuk put it to the Rukh Congress held in late February 1992, "Remember, when there is frost in Russia on Thursday, there will be frost in Kiev by Friday."60

Not a small part in Kravchuk's proclamation of independence was played by the diplomatic spadework he carried out in 1991 which, admittedly, was still being overshadowed in the West by Gorbachev's own international skills. In October 1990 Ukraine concluded an important agreement with its onetime overlord, Poland, which recognized the existing border between the two countries. On subsequent official visits to Western states - Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, and the US — Kravchuk prepared foreign leaders for Ukrainian independence while establishing contacts with Western businessmen and renewing relations with Ukrainian communities abroad. His ability to undertake such extended foreign visits was linked, in turn, to political stability prevailing at home, and, relatedly, the absence of serious unrest among Ukraine's own national minorities.

But it was the country's intransigence in rejecting Gorbachev's proposals for a new Union treaty that may have sealed the fate of the USSR as effectively as the coup tragi-comedy, Yeltsin's own political ambitions, or the breadth of nationalist discontent across the Soviet Union. In October 1991 Kravchuk refused to join eight republic leaders, including Yeltsin, in signing an economic pact. Deputy Prime Minister Masik noted at the time that "The Treaty on an Economic Community still resembles a political document more than it does an economic one."61 We again observe the determined approach taken by Ukraine to achieving its objectives while avoiding the publicity and tension that came where nationalist mass demonstrations (as in Lithuania) were staged. Yeltsin himself was later to remark on the significance of Ukraine obstinacy in concluding the Union agreement: under conditions of disagreement over state borders, national currencies, national armies, and nuclear weapons, "it would have been criminal to conclude a treaty on a union of republics without Ukraine."62 On November 6, Ukraine and Russia -- the two largest republics of the USSR -- signed a trade and cooperation agreement. Only then did Ukraine Prime Minister Fokin sign the treaty designed to create an economic community out of the disintegrating Soviet Union. These actions demonstrated Kravchuk's strategy of forging horizontal ties between republics, excluding participation by the center, and opposing a new union. He shared this approach with Yeltsin, of course, which helped bring the two leaders together. But in the way that the Russian leader was unmistakably bent on the destruction of the USSR, Kravchuk's more subtle and seemingly malleable tack made him appear less destructive to even a seasoned politician like Gorbachev.

By the end of November, however, Ukraine's "historic chance" for independence was about to be seized. The State Council of the USSR failed to approve Gorbachev's new Union treaty at a meeting outside Moscow; one newspaper presciently titled its story "Gorbachev's Waterloo at Novo-Ogarevo."63 Kravchuk made clear his now uncompromising opposition to a Union of Sovereign States as Gorbachev envisioned it: "A confederation and a united state are two incompatible, mutually exclusive things. When will we stop deceiving our own peoples? Half-hearted measures, vagueness, matters left unsaid, endless attempts to evade the tough questions - how long can this go on? I won't participate in this deception."64

On December 1, 1991, Ukrainians voted on the question of independence. With a turnout of 84 percent, the proposal received support throughout the country. In Western Ukraine, whose intense political activism has already been remarked upon, over 90 percent of voters favored independence. In industrialized oblasts which were markedly russified such as Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhe, and Kharkov, support for independence did not dip below 83 percent. Even in the Crimea, with its ethnic Russian majority and its fairly recent (1954) incorporation into Ukraine, 54 percent cast ballots favoring independence. Rejecting the ethnocentric concept of "Ukraine for Ukrainians," both Kravchuk and Rukh had succeeded in attracting Ukraine's minorities to the notion of statehood. As Kravchuk had put it in an interview with Izvestia on the eve of the referendum, "the desire to be the masters in one's own land is ineradicable."65

The sense of being masters was appealing to many different peoples living within Ukraine and totalling some 15 million - Russians, Tatars, Poles, Jews - and it signified both national rights and democratic processes. In particular, Ukraine's 1989 language law making Ukraine the official language had also been generous in offering "governmental status" to other languages spoken in areas of ethnic group concentration. None of this suggested, however, that the issue of national minorities had been resolved. Indeed, on the day of the referendum, in two southwestern oblasts — Transcarpathia and Chernovtsky — voters overwhelmingly approved special status for the regions that would enhance local auton-omy. Many Hungarians and Romanians are concentrated here, and Ukraine relations with the latter group have been strained for some time over Soviet annexation of northern Bukovina. Spillover of Moldova's conflict with the self-proclaimed Dniester republic could also upset ethnic peace. But more than any other issue, the future of the Crimea could contribute to political instability in Ukraine. Kravchuk repeatedly made clear that the Crimea was to remain in integral part of an independent Ukraine. And in September 1991 the Crimean Supreme Soviet seemingly concurred when it declared "state sovereignty" but within Ukraine. Any action that would upset the ethnic balance in the region would, nevertheless, test the willingness of Russia and Ukraine to cooperate with each other as independent states. The establishment of an independent Crimea might not resolve the issue since both states would likely remain rivals in seeking influence there.

Following the December referendum, then, Ukraine became the largest state in Europe in terms of surface area, fourth largest in population, and highly-ranked in natural resources. Yet, a week after the ballot, Kravchuk met with his Russian and Belarusan counterparts in Belovezhskaya Pushcha outside Minsk and signed the Agreement on Creating a Commonwealth of Independent States. What differentiated this agreement from Gorbachev's Union treaty and why would Kravchuk, so quickly after his referendum and Presidential election victories, wish to conclude a non-bilateral pact?

The Ukraine President made his position clear: "Under no circumstances would Ukraine have signed a Union treaty that presupposed a state within a state. But we have made our idea a reality and signed an interstate agreement - a European model for future political, economic, and societal coexistence." Speaking at an airport press conference after returning from Minsk, he elaborated: "We will do everything we can so that there will never be a center in our lives and so that no center will ever again be in charge of our states."66

Subsequent actions taken by Ukraine made evident that the newly-independent state did not feel bound to any supranational authority. Its Parliament recommended no fewer than twelve changes to the Minsk agreement's text. The most significant included expanding Article 6 to read: "The member-states of the Commonwealth will reform the groupings of the Armed Forces of the former USSR stationed on their territory and, creating their own armed forces on the basis of those groupings, will cooperate in ensuring international peace and security." This effectively eliminated any prospects of a unified military by establishing national armies without any unified command structure. At a meeting of the expanded Commonwealth, held in Alma-Ata on December 21, Ukraine joined in an Agreement on Joint Measures with Respect to Nuclear Weapons and pledged to sign the 1968 non-proliferation treaty and, further, remove tactical nuclear weapons from its soil by mid-1992. But at the end of 1991Ukraine's position on nuclear weapons remained ambivalent. The Ukraine Supreme Soviet announced in October 1991 that the country would adhere to three non-nuclear principles: no acceptance, production, or acquisition of nuclear weapons. It added that "the presence on Ukraine territory of nuclear weapons of the former USSR is temporary."67 Days after the referendum the Supreme Soviet unanimously adopted a document reiterating that "Ukraine will not be a nuclear power."68 Yet in an interview with Izvestia later in the month, President Kravchuk ingeniously argued that collective responsibility for nuclear weapons signified to him "control over the nonuse of nuclear weapons." Accordingly, "we will have nuclear weapons but it will be impossible to launch them."69 The Russian President could become Com-mander-in-Chief of strategic forces, Kravchuk conceded, but the inference was that Ukraine would remain in possession of nuclear forces. Regarding conventional forces, Kravchuk's decree of December 13 "nationalizing" army and air force units stationed in Ukraine and the Black Sea fleet in Ukrainian waters had already upset Russian leaders. The fighter jets and aircraft carriers that subsequently were taken out of Ukraine showed disaffection within some of the military as well. Ostensibly it was the oath of loyalty "to the people of Ukraine" that caused misgivings among some ex-Soviet military personnel. But the purpose of setting up a Ukraine national army that seemed to be intended to make of the country a medium-sized European power was of greater concern to many.

Ukraine's Parliament also amended another part of the Minsk agreement that dealt with foreign policy. Rather than, as Article 7 would have it, "coordination of foreign policy is to take place through the common institutions of the Commonwealth," Parliament supported the substitution of "consultations about foreign policy" as the preamble to the article. Only 288 of 367 deputies approved the Commonwealth agreement - sufficient to ratify it but indicating considerable Parliamentary reservations. A number of deputies brought into question Kravchuk's methods and motives: why had he not consulted with Parliament before entering into the agreement? Had he failed to protect the interests of the new Ukrainian state in surrendering authority to the Commonwealth? For some legislators, the new Commonwealth was just a new way that Moscali - Muscovites - sought to rule over Ukraine, whether in a paternalistic or exploitative way. But Kravchuk's more assertive position on a Ukrainian army and navy, nuclear forces, the new "second currency," and the Crimea issue seemed to demonstrate again his ability to stave off any criticism of his insufficiently nationalist credentials.


In this chapter we have focused on the process of state-building, undertaken largely within Parliament, and on party coalition building as key stages in the road to independence. We have also examined Kravchuk's leadership in the crucial months that followed the abortive August coup. We noted how his political skills served him well in debating and eventually overshadowing Rukh leaders. These skills were also in evidence during the Presidential election, held the same day as the referendum on independence. Running against two candidates having lengthy apprenticeships as dissidents and just as lengthy prison terms - Vyacheslav Chornovil and Levko Lukyanenko - the former Communist Party ideologist received 61 percent of the popular vote. Kravchuk's electoral campaign emphasized the continuity of the Ukrainian state which he hoped to build on. He referred to early twentieth-century historian and political leader Mykhailo Hrushev'sky as the first president of Ukraine whose mission he intended to pursue, and also described the "thousand-year-old tradition of Ukrainian statehood" that originated in Kievan Rus'.70

But if Kravchuk proved an adept leader when a historic opportunity presented itself to Ukraine, a wide array of social and political forces were indispensable to the achievement of statehood. While that objective was achieved peacefully and harmoniously, new problems confronted by Ukraine would test the skills of society and its leaders. By spring 1992 hyper-inflation, the fall in value of the coupon, and political disagreements within Rukh over whether to stand in support of Kravchuk or serve as loyal opposition compounded uncertainties brought about by Ukraine-Russian friction. A political organization called New Ukraine emerged, with an agenda that gave priority to achieving democratic and economic reforms instead of concentrating on state-building functions and what some in the movement saw as symbolic politics. There was nothing unusual about this increase in pragmatic politics after Ukraine had won the hardest battles in late 1991. And it was perfectly conceivable that new political coalitions under new leaders would gain in significance as different tasks had to be achieved in Ukraine. Still, Ukraine's road to independence was unique and it involved political activism and sophistication of leaders and civil society alike. Ukraine's collective decision to split from the former USSR effectively buried that political entity, and its orientation to the successor Commonwealth, and to Russia itself, is just as likely to prove decisive in charting the post-Soviet political landscape.


1 Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, "Renaissance in Ukraine," Europe 2000, vol. 18, November 1990, p. 65.

Literaturna Ukraina, July 9, 1987.

3 Ibid., June 4, 1987.

Vechirnii Kyiv, February 18, 1991.

Ratusha, March 29-30, 1991.

6 See Solomiia Pavlychko, A Kiev Diary (Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1991).

7 E. A. Toverovskaia, "Kto on, gorodskoi podrostok?," Filosofskaia i sotsiologi-cheskaia mysl', no. 1, 1990, p. 88.

8 Session of Ukraine's Supreme Soviet, March 22, 1991.

9 See Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History (Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1987), p. 470.

10 Chislennost' i sostav naseleniia SSSR. Po dannym Vsevoiuznoi perepisi nasele-niia 1979 goda (Moscow: Finansy y Statistika 1984), table 7.

11 Pravda Ukrainy, March 13 and 24, 1990.

12 Za vil'nu Ukrainu, March 19, 1991.

13 Molod' Ukrainy, March 26, 1991.

14 Radians'ka Bukovyna, December 27, 1990.

15 Komsomols'koe znamia, March 27, 1991.

16 V.S. Nebozhenko, "Vybory - shliakh do demokratii," Filosofs'ka i sotsiolo-hichna dumka, no. 8, 1990, p. 4.

17 Ukraina Business, no. 2, January 1991.

18 "Tsentr Vyvchennia hromads'koi dumky - 'Demos,'" typescript, table 12.

19 Krasnoe znamiia, December 9, 1990.

20 Prykarpats'ka pravda, December 12, 1990.

21 Ibid., December 18, 1990.

22 Krasnoe znamiia, December 29, 1990; Robitnycha hazeta, January 1, 1990; Naddniprians'ka pravda, December 8, 1990.

23 Central Ukrainian Television, February 3, 1991.

24 Radians'ka Ukraina, June 14, 1991.

25 Holos Ukrainy, no. 4, 1991.

26 Interview with L. Kravchuk on Central Ukrainian Television, March 12, 1991.

27 Moloda hvardiia, March 20, 1991.

28 Holos Ukrainy, March 29, 1991.

29 "Postanova Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrains'koi RSR. Pro poriadok dennyi ta orhanizatsiiu roboty tret'oi sesii Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrains'koi RSR," February 1991; Ukraina Business, no. 23, June 1991.

30 "Deklaratsiia pro derzhavnyi suverenitet Ukrainy. Zovnishn'opolitychna khronika,"typescript, n.d.

31 Chrystia Freeland, "Ukraine and the (Dis-) Union Treaty," typescript, June 1991. See also her report in Financial Times, May 30, 1991.

32 Valerii Popovkin, "Suchasnyi Stan ekonomiky Ukrainy i shliakhy vykhodu Ukrainy z ekonomichnoi kryzy," Scientific-research Institute of State Planning Commission of the Ukrainian SSR, Kiev, March 2, 1991.

33 S.A. Voitovych, I.O. Martyniuk, "Perspektyvy 'neperspektyvnoi' movy," Filosofs'ka i sotsiolohichna dumka, no. 5, 1989, p. 22.

34 See Bohdan Krawchenko, Social Change and National Consciousness in Twentieth-Century Ukraine (London: Macmillan, 1985), pp. 216-217.

35 Vechirnii Kyiv, February 2, 1991.

36 See H.I. Sovoliev, "Deklaratisiia pro derzhavnyi suverenitetu Ukrainy. Shcho pro nei dumaiut'. Kyiany," Filosofs'ka i sotsiolohichna dumka, no. 7, 1990, p. 29. This study found that support among Russians in Kiev for the declaration of sovereignty was marginally higher than among Ukrainians because Russians had higher rates of educational achievement. Most who did not support the declaration felt that it did not go far enough towards independence.

37 Mykhailyna Borodai, "Vidomosti pro rezul'y referendumu SRSR po Ukraini," typescript, March 1991.

38 See Kyivs'kyi chas, no. 4, December 1990.

39 Report of First Rukh Congress, Suchasnist', no. 12, December 1989, p. 43.

40 Radians'ka Ukraina, February 28, 1991. See also Vechirnii Kyiv, March 14, 1991 and Holos Ukrainy, April 4, 1991.

41 Komsomol'skoe znamiia, June 7, 1991; Ukraina Business, no. 7, February 1991; Literaturna Ukraina, February 27, 1991.

42 Vil'ne slovo, December 13, 1990.

43 Literaturna Ukraina, April 5, 1990.

44 The Economist, April 17, 1991.

45 Holos Ukrainy, March 3, 1991 and Serhii Plachynda's remarkable articles on the environmental crisis in Ukraine published in Literaturna Ukraina, March 14 and 21, 1991.

46 Holos Ukrainy, April 3, 1991. See also Literaturna Ukraina, February 27, 1991.

47 Holos Ukrainy, June 5, 1991.

48 Robitnycha hazeta, February 26, 1991.

49 Komsomol'skoe znamiia, March 16, 1991.

50 Tape of the meeting deposited at the Archives on Contemporary Ukraine, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.

51 Narodnoe obrazovaniie i kul'tura v SSSR (Moscow, 1989), p. 88; Literaturna Ukraina, June 11, 1987; Holos Ukrainy, February 2, 1991.

52 Kul'tura i zhyttia, February 2, 1991.

53 Osvita, January 25, 1991.

54 Iurii Badzio speaking at conference on "Natsional'ne vidrodzhennia -Ukrains'ka perspektyva," Republican Association of Ukrainian Studies, February 16, 1991.

55 Trud v SSSR (Moscow: Trud v SSSR i Statistika, 1988), p. 20; Storinky istorii Kompartii Ukrainy (Kiev, 1990), p. 485.

56 Holos Ukrainy, March 29, 1991.

57 Vechrnii Kyiv, March 12, 1991.

58 Izvestia, December 11, 1991.

59 The article was published in Niezavisimaya gazeta. A Russo-Ukrainian nuclear war over borders or over Ukraine's treatment of its large Russian minority were other scenarios that were considered in a Reuters dispatch of December 4, 1991.

60 Holos Ukrainy, March 1, 1992.

61 Holos Ukrainy, October 18, 1991.

62 Rossiiskaya gazeta, December 13, 1991.

63 Rossiiskaya gazeta, November 28, 1991.

64 Izvestia, November 26, 1991

65 Izvestia, November 26, 1991.

66 Holos Ukrainy, December 9, 1991.

67 Izvestia, October 25, 1991.

68 Holos Ukrainy, December 6, 1991.

69 Izvestia, December 25, 1991.

70 Demokratychna Ukraina, November 26, 1991.