Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History, 1987.

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

The Fourth Universal and Its Ideological Antecedents

Ivan L. Rudnytsky

The Fourth Universal adopted on 25 January 19181 by the revolutionary parliament of Ukraine, the Central Rada, contained the following solemn and memorable words: "From this day forth, the Ukrainian People's Republic becomes independent, subject to no one, a free, sovereign state of the Ukrainian people."2

The purpose of this paper is to study the Fourth Universal as a document of social thought, placing it within the framework of Ukrainian intellectual history and the political circumstances of the time. The discussion will focus on the essential aspect of the Fourth Universal, the declaration of Ukrainian independence. Other concepts, such as the constitutional structure and the social organization of the Ukrainian state, will be touched upon only incidentally.

First of all, it is necessary to keep in mind that the Fourth Universal was not the act by which a Ukrainian state was called into existence. This had been done two months earlier, on 20 November 1917, by the Third Universal, which stated: "From this day forth, Ukraine is the Ukrainian People's Republic." At the same time, however, the Third Universal preserved a federative link between Ukraine and the other lands of the former Russian Empire, and it even pledged to "stand firmly on our own soil, in order that our efforts may aid all of Russia, so that the whole Russian Republic may become a federation of equal and free peoples."3 In contrast, the Fourth Universal proclaimed the complete political separation of Ukraine from Russia.

The Third and Fourth Universals represent two successive stages in the building of a Ukrainian state. But they can also be viewed as expressions of two alternative concepts of Ukrainian statehood -- federalist and separatist. At the time of the adoption of the Third Universal, an all-Russian central government no longer existed. Thus, the federalist tendency of that act was not imposed from the outside; rather, it was quite voluntary. However, in the short span of time that separated the two Universals, there occurred a radical shift in the thinking of the Rada's leaders. To appreciate fully the meaning of this epoch-making change of views, it is necessary to survey briefly the origins of the ideas of federalism and state independence (samostiinytstvo)4 in Ukrainian political thought.

The federalist concept can be traced back to ideas prevalent among certain branches of the Decembrist movement which were active in Ukraine during the early 1820 -- especially in the Society of United Slavs.5 In a more mature form one finds the same concept in the programmatic documents of the Cyrillo-Methodian Society of the late 1840s.6 The Society's ideological legacy had a determining impact on the outlook of the Ukrainian national-liberation movement during the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. The doctrine of federalism found its classical theoretical formulation in the writings of the outstanding pre-revolutionary Ukrainian political thinker, Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841-95).7 On the eve of the First World War, this concept was upheld by the two main political groupings in Russian Ukraine: the Social Democrats, whose ideologist was Mykola Porsh (1877-1944);8 and the liberal populists, whose chief spokesman was the eminent historian Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1866-1934). In the pamphlet Iakoi my khochemo avtonomii i federatsii (The Kind of Autonomy and Federation We Desire), published in Kiev at the very beginning of the Revolution, Hrushevsky wrote:

The political goal of the Ukrainians is a broad national-territorial autonomy for Ukraine within a federated Russian Republic. . . .The Ukrainians demand that one region, one national territory be formed from all Ukrainian lands. . . of the Russian state. . . . The Ukrainian territory ought to be organized on the basis of a broad democratic civic self-government, and representation must not be by curiae. This system of self-government ought to extend from the bottom -- the "small zemstvo unit" -- to the top -- the Ukrainian Diet [soim]. The Ukrainian territory ought to be able to settle at home its own economic, cultural, and political issues; it ought to keep its own armed forces, and dispose of its roads, revenue, land, and natural resources; it ought to possess its own legislation, administration, and judiciary. Only in certain matters, common to the entire Russian state, should Ukraine accept the decisions of the central parliament, in which the proportion of Ukrainian representatives ought to be the same as that of the Ukrainian population to that of the population of the whole Russian Republic.9
During the first period of its existence, the actual policies of the Central Rada fully corresponded to this program.

With regard to the separatist concept, its earliest literary expressions are to be found in the pamphlets Ukraina Irredenta (1895)10 by Iuliian Bachynsky (1870-1934), and Samostiina Ukraina (Independent Ukraine, 1900)" by Mykola Mikhnovsky (1873-1924). Starting from different premises, each author reached the idea of Ukrainian statehood independently. Bachynsky employed economic arguments within a Marxist frame of reference, while Mikhnovsky reasoned from an historical and legal standpoint. The prominent Galician writer and scholar Ivan Franko (1856-1916) also became an early supporter of the samostiinist concept, as seen in his article "Poza mezhamy mozhlyvoho" (Beyond the Limits of the Possible, 1900).12 Somewhat later, in the years preceding the outbreak of the war, the separatist program found gifted advocates in the historian and sociologist Viacheslav Lypynsky (1882-1931) and the publicist and literary critic Dmytro Dontsov (1883-1973).13

The two leading Ukrainian political parties in Galicia, the National Democrats and the Radicals, included the slogan of samostiinist in their respective programs. The platform of the National-Democratic Party, adopted in 1899, stated: "The final goal of our striving is the achievement of cultural, economic, and political independence by the entire Ukrainian-Ruthenian nation, and its future unification in one body politic."14 This postulate had at first a declaratory rather than a practical political significance. But the worsening of the international situation, especially the growth of Russo-Austrian tension after 1908, moved it nearer to the sphere of political reality. The separatist concept found striking expression in the manifesto issued on 3 August 1914 by the Supreme Ukrainian Council (Holovna Ukrainska Rada), a representative body founded at the outbreak of the war by the leaders of all Ukrainian parties in Galicia:

The Russian tsars violated the Treaty of Pereiaslav [1654] by which they undertook the obligation to respect the independence of Ukraine -- and they enslaved free Ukraine. For three hundred years the policy of the tsarist empire has been to rob subjugated Ukraine of her national soul, to make the Ukrainian people a part of the Russian people. The tsarist government has deprived the Ukrainian people of their most sacred right -- the right of the native language. In contemporary tsarist Russia the most oppressed people are the Ukrainians.... Therefore, our path is clear. . . . The victory of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy shall be our own victory: And the greater Russia's defeat, the sooner will strike the hour of liberation for Ukraine.... May the sun of a free Ukraine rise over the ruins of the tsarist empire!15
In trying to assess the comparative influence of the federalist and separatist alternatives in pre-revolutionary Ukrainian political thinking, one must admit that the former was by far the more important. Not only did federalism enjoy chronological priority, but its theories were more impressively elaborated. The samostiinyky did not produce a theorist who could measure up to Drahomanov in intellectual stature or in the weightiness and sheer volume of his writings. As far as popular support is concerned, the idea of independent statehood had made headway only in Galicia prior to 1914. It is true that among the literary exponents of the separatist trend we find several natives of Dnieper Ukraine: Mykola Mikhnovsky, Viacheslav Lypynsky, and Dmytro Dontsov. But they were unable to recruit more than a handful of followers among their compatriots in the Russian Empire. Mikhnovsky's attempt, in 1902, to organize a Ukrainian People's Party (Ukrainska Narodna Partiia) with a nationalist-separatist program, proved stillborn. The bulk of the Ukrainian intelligentsia in Russian Ukraine -- and let us keep in mind that some four-fifths of the Ukrainian people lived within the borders of the Russian Empire -- continued to adhere to the federalist platform. The only notable separatist political organization whose members were central and eastern Ukrainians was the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine (Soiuz Vyzvolennia Ukrainy). But this was an emigre group, formed at the outbreak of the war by political exiles from Dnieper Ukraine who resided in Austria. The Union owed its existence to the impact of the Galician-Ukrainian environment, and the organization's activities during the war years took place wholly outside Ukraine and within the camp of the Cental Powers.16

The separatist, anti-Russian policy of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine was definitely rejected by the representative spokesmen of the Ukrainian national movement in Russia, Mykhailo Hrushevsky and Symon Petliura (1879-1926). Hrushevsky was spending the summer vacation of 1914 in the Carpathian Mountains, and the beginning of the war caught him on Austrian territory. The leaders of the newly founded Union approached him with the suggestion that he move to Switzerland for the duration of the war and act on neutral soil as an authoritative representative of Ukrainian interests before world opinion. Hrushevsky refused and against considerable odds returned voluntarily through Italy to Russia. Upon his arrival in Kiev in November 1914, he was immediately arrested as a dangerous Ukrainian nationalist and spent the years before the fall of the tsarist regime in enforced residence in Kazan and Moscow.17

Petliura's political attitude is reflected in his letter (dated 18 December 914) to Osyp Nazaruk (1883-1940), a prominent Galician journalist ind politician sent to Stockholm by the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine in order to re-establish contacts with the leaders of the Ukrainian novement in Russia. Petliura wrote: "Every step, word, or deed which tends toward creating in Russian Ukraine conditions subversive to the unity of the Russian state, or toward a weakening of that state at the present time [of war], is severely condemned in Ukraine [by public opinion], because it is considered harmful also to Ukrainian interests."18 Petliura roundly deprecated the orientation toward the Central Powers of the Galician Ukrainians and the emigre Union, and he expressed his conviction of Russia's invincibility. He also predicted that the war would lead to Russia's annexation of Galicia and Bukovyna, an event he was willing to welcome as desirable from the viewpoint of Ukrainian interests. Hrushevsky's and Petliura's demonstrations of loyalty to Russia in 1914 are, indeed, remarkable in view of the fact that only three years later they were to be counted among the founding fathers of an independent Ukrainian People's Republic. One of them, Petliura, was also to emerge soon afterward as the standard-bearer and living symbol of Ukraine's armed struggle against the Russia of both Lenin and Denikin.

One wonders, then, why the federalist concept predominated in pre-revolutionary Ukrainian political thought. First, we must take into account that Ukraine had belonged to the Russian Empire for about 250 years (although for the first century, it is true, it enjoyed an autonomous status), and that this prolonged connection had formed a pronounced material and psychological bond between Ukraine and Russia proper. Despite their grievances against the centralism of St. Petersburg, the Ukrainians did not feel themselves strangers in an empire to whose development many individuals of Ukrainian origin had made significant contributions. However, the acceptance of the empire, which appeared as an overwhelming and unshakable reality, could, and did, co-exist in Ukrainian minds with an awareness of a distinct Ukrainian ethnic identity and an allegiance to the special political and cultural interests of the homeland.

Two currents can be distinguished among the educated classes of Ukraine in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the "Little Russian" trend, whose supporters affirmed the merger of their people with Russia to the point of complete assimilation; and the Ukrainian nationalist trend, which attempted, with varying degrees of intensity, to preserve and strengthen a Ukrainian cultural and to some extent political identity. Not only the "Little Russians" but also the so-called "conscious Ukrainians" experienced the strong impact of Russian imperial civilization and, so to speak, stood with one foot in the all-Russian world. Prominent Ukrainian civic figures often belonged simultaneously to various Russian revolutionary and oppositional groups or made their living as Russian civil servants or zemstvo functionaries. Many eminent Ukrainian writers -- from Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko (1778-1843) to Volodymyr Vynnychenko (1880-1951) -- were bilingual. Outstanding Ukrainian scholars -- such as the historians Mykola Kostomarov (1817-85), Volodymyr Antonovych (1834-1908), Dmytro Bahalii (1857-1932), the linguist Oleksander Potebnia (1835-92), the sociologist Bohdan Kistiakovsky (1868-1920), the economist Mykhailo Tuhan-Baranovsky (1865-1919) -- occupied chairs at Russian universities and published their works in Russian. And one cannot forget, of course, the ecclesiastical unity between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples and the close economic links between the Empire's Great Russian north and the Ukrainian south.19

An astute Polish student of Russia's nationality problems, Leon Wasilewski, wrote on the eve of the First World War:

A Ukrainian intellectual always remains a Russian. Educated in Russian schools, and raised on Russian literature, in his public life -- as a civil servant, lawyer, teacher, physician, scientist, etc. -- he constantly uses the Russian language. . . . This symbiosis with the Russian element has created among the Ukrainian intelligentsia a feeling of complete national unity with Russia.20
Wasilewski's observations call for some critical comments. The fact that educated Ukrainians had experienced the strong impact of Russian imperial civilization did not mean that they had been turned into true Russians in the ethnic sense of the word. Moreover, the existence of an irreducible Ukrainian ethnic identity generated an awareness -- if sometimes only in rudimentary form -- of a separate cultural and political tradition. The extreme case of the "Little Russians" is particularly instructive. Close scrutiny shows that although they wished to identify themselves completely with Russia, they retained certain specifically Ukrainian traits in their mental make-up.21 Under favourable circumstances, this repressed "Ukrainian complex" broke through with a force comparable to that of a religious conversion. In 1917, when the spell of the Empire was broken, thousands of former "Little Russians" rediscovered themselves almost overnight as nationally conscious Ukrainian patriots and potential separatists. While correctly assessing the extent of the Russification of Ukraine on the eve of the First World War, Wasilewski underestimated the potential strength of deep-seated Ukrainian nationalism.

A student of history must be sparing in the use of analogies. Nevertheless, a judicious application of comparisons may contribute to the illumination of a specific problem. If we search for cases paralleling that of pre-revolutionary Ukraine, we will have to look toward other nationalities submerged in great empires and struggling for survival against the pressures and lures of a prestigious imperial civilization. The great historian and "Father of the Czech Nation," Frantisek Palacky, declared in 1848: "Certainly, if the Austrian Empire had not existed for ages, we would be obliged in the interests of Europe and even of mankind to create it as quickly as possible."22 Throughout the nineteenth century, Czech spokesmen continued to view the future of their nation within the framework of the Austrian Empire, which they wished to reorganize as a federation of nationalities among whom the Czechs would inevitably play a distinguished role. This view was shared prior to 1914 by Thomas Masaryk, the future founder of the Czechoslovak Republic. It was the frustration of the hopes for Austria's constitutional reform, particularly after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, which undermined this original loyalty of the Czechs to the Habsburg Monarchy. But, despite the growing political disaffection and the acrimonious ethnic rivalry between the Czechs and the Germans in Bohemia, the impact of Austrian mores on Czech society was very deep, and its marks are still clearly visible today.

The fate of the nationalities of the "Celtic fringe" of the British Islands may also be considered. The emergence of a world-wide British Empire in the eighteenth century weakened the national identity of Scotland and Ireland by providing their traditional leading classes and the most energetic elements of the common people with new outlets: participation in Britain's economic enterprise and colonial expansion. Still, the Celtic nations of Great Britain, which seemed moribund a century ago, did not perish. Ireland, despite terrible population losses and the virtual extinction of the native language, regained political independence after the First World War. In our own times, we have witnessed a resurgence of Welsh and Scottish nationalism -- a trend certainly connected with the passing of the old British Empire.23

We must not forget, of course, that the case of Ukraine differs in certain essential aspects from the examples mentioned above. For instance, linguistically the Ukrainians certainly are closer to the Russians than are the Czechs to the Germans; nor are the Ukrainians differentiated from the Russians by religion, as the Irish are from the English. The most important difference, however, was of a political nature. The Ukrainian national movement was hampered by the Russian Empire's absolutist structure, which did not exist either in liberal England or even in conservative-constitutional Austria.

With these factors in mind, we are perhaps better prepared to understand the meaning of the prevalence of the federalist concept in pre-revolutionary Ukrainian political thought: it was an attempt to strike a balance between national and imperial interests. Ukrainian patriots connected the prospects of national liberation with hopes for a future democratic and decentralized Russia. As their final goal, they envisaged the transformation of the centralistic Russian Empire into a commonwealth of free and equal peoples, within which Ukraine would enjoy not only free cultural development but also political self-government. This ideal was already clearly formulated in the basic programmatic document of the Cyrillo-Methodian Society, Knyhy bytiia ukrainskoho narodu (The Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People), composed by Mykola Kostomarov in 1846: "And Ukraine shall be an independent republic within the Slavic Union."24 The ideology of the Society was coloured by romantic Pan-Slavism.

The spokesman of the next, positivist generation, Mykhailo Drahomanov, restated the same ideal in more sober terms in 1882: "The independence of a given country and nation can be achieved either by its secession into a separate state (separatism) or by the securing of its self-government without such separation (federalism)."25 Of these two alternatives, Drahomanov definitely preferred the latter. It is noteworthy, however, that both Kostomarov and Drahomanov considered federalism not as an abdication from national independence but rather as the most rational and convenient form of achieving independence. This explains how it was possible, once faith in the feasibility of federalism collapsed, for Ukrainian political thought to turn quickly toward the concept of samostiinist.

The strength of the federalist concept lay in its correspondence to the objective conditions of the Ukrainian people prior to 1917. It was obvious that the progress of the Ukrainian national cause depended on the evolution of Russia as a whole. But federalism had also certain weak spots, which, if not fully visible to contemporaries, are easily identifiable in retrospect.

The fate of the federalist idea depended on the presence of forces within the dominant Russian nation that were willing to back this program.26 The prospects were not encouraging. Since the Muscovite period, the Russian state had been highly centralized; a transition to federalism would have implied a break with the national past and the abandonment of a deeply ingrained tradition. Moreover, it was with regard to the question of Ukraine that the Russians displayed a particularly defensive and intransigent attitude. Many Russians were willing to recognize that Poland, Finland, and perhaps the Baltic provinces possessed national identities that could never be fully assimilated, and thus these areas possibly merited a more or less autonomous status. Caucasia and Central Asia, whatever their strategic and economic importance, were recent colonial acquisitions, profoundly alien by race and culture, and their position in the Empire was obviously marginal.

The case of Ukraine was altogether different. The emergence of the modern Russian Empire was based on the absorption of Ukraine in the course of the second half of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The undoing of the work of Peter I and Catherine II appeared to threaten Russia's position as a great European power. The idea that Ukraine was a distinct nation, and not a regional subdivision of an all-Russian nation, was unpalatable to Russian public opinion. The distinguished Russian historian and social philosopher, Georgii Fedotov, wrote in 1947:

The awakening of Ukraine, and especially the separatist character of the Ukrainian movement, surprised the Russian intelligentsia, and remained incomprehensible to them to the very end. We loved Ukraine, its land, its people, its songs -- and considered all this our very own.27
A full generation after the Revolution, Fedotov did not yet realize that the separatist character of the Ukrainian movement appeared only at a later stage and that its appearance was a result precisely of the Russians' peculiar "love of Ukraine," which amounted to a denial of the Ukrainians' right to a national identity of their own.

The policy of the tsarist regime toward the Ukrainian national movement was, despite some minor tactical shifts, fully consistent: it was one of relentless repression. It was no wonder that Ukrainian patriots in their search for potential Russian allies pinned their hopes only on Russian radical and revolutionary forces. There were a few Russian revolutionary leaders -- for example, Herzen -- who showed an understanding of the plight of the Empire's oppressed nationalities and who leaned toward federalism. Unfortunately, they were by far outweighed by the intellectual descendants of Pestel, partisans of a centralized revolutionary dictatorship, whose attitude toward the claims of the non-Russian nationalities was one of indifference at best, and who met all federalist schemes with undisguised hostility. It was by no means a fortuitous personal bias that made the celebrated leader of Russian radical thought, Belinsky, attack with savage scorn the Ukrainian literary revival of the 1830s and 40s.28 Drahomanov was hardly mistaken in his conviction that the "Jacobin" proclivities of the Russian revolutionaries (he was referring to the populists of the 1870s and 80s) constituted a potentially grave threat to the cause of liberty of all peoples in the Russian Empire: "[The Russian revolutionaries] do not desire to shake the idea of a centralized and autocratic state, but only to transfer power into other hands."29 And elsewhere:

These mores... make the [Russian] revolutionary circles similar to the governmental circles: consequently, the future political system founded by the revolutionaries would be similar to the one existing now [i.e., to the system of tsarist autocracy].30
It should be remembered that these words were pronounced by a man who always believed in the necessity of Ukrainian-Russian co-operation, one based on genuine freedom and equality for both sides. Shortly before his death, Drahomanov responded to a right-wing Ukrainian critic:
If we were to concede that the policy of Russification is an outflow of the "spirit," the "character," etc., of the Great Russian people, then only the choice between two alternatives would be left to us. The first alternative: resolutely to embrace separatism, either by forming an independent state, or by seceding to another state. The other alternative would be to fold our hands and to look forward to our death, if we were to decide that separatism is beyond our will and strength.31
Drahomanov rejected the premises of this reasoning, and, therefore, refused to accept the dilemma as genuine. Despite his skepticism regarding Russian revolutionaries, he continued to uphold to the last the program of an alliance between Ukrainian and Russian progressive forces. But the day was not too distant when Drahomanov's intellectual descendants, taught by bitter experience, were to reach the conclusion that a complete break-up of the Russian imperial state was a more realistic goal than its democratization and federalization, and that for Ukraine the alternatives were, indeed, either independent statehood or national annihilation.

The second major drawback of the federalist concept was that it exercised, to some extent, a debilitating effect on the morale of Ukrainian society. Renunciation of the ideal of sovereign statehood dampened the energy of the national movement and lessened its militancy and fervor. The historian of Ukrainian political ideologies, Iuliian Okhrymovych (1893-1921), made a critical observation about Drahomanov which could be applied also to the entire Ukrainian national movement of the second half of the nineteenth century: "He did not appreciate sufficiently the educational importance of maximal demands."32 The fact that the basis of the federalist program was a compromise between Ukrainian and all-Russian interests gave it a lukewarm and timid air. This was at least one of the reasons why many young Ukrainians -- an example being the heroic leader of the Narodnaia volia (People's Will Party), Andrei Zheliabov33 -- joined the ranks of the Russian revolutionaries and thus weakened the national movement.

It is instructive to compare Drahomanov's attitude with that of his former disciple, Ivan Franko. The latter also believed that "the ideal of national independence lies for us at present, from today's perspective, beyond the limits of the politically and culturally possible." But Franko continued:

[Samostiinist belongs to the ideals] capable of inflaming the heart of the masses, of inducing people to the greatest efforts and the harshest sacrifices, and of giving them strength in the most severe trials and ordeals. . . . The thousand paths which lead to the realization [of the ideal of an independent Ukrainian state] are to be found directly under our feet. If we are aware of this ideal, and give our assent to it, we shall move along these paths, otherwise we may turn onto some very different roads. 34
But pre-revolutionary Ukrainian political thinking found it too difficult to take the bold step suggested by Franko. A great shock -- the experience of 1917 -- was needed to effect a change in the mind of the Ukrainian community.

It was no accident that prior to the First World War the idea of samostiinist found a mass following only in Galicia. The Galician Ukrainians, who lived under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy, were directly exposed neither to Russian governmental pressure nor to the allure of Russian imperial civilization. The Russian impact, however, was also felt in Galicia, in the form of the so-called Muscophile, or Russophile, trend.35 But the Galicians' separatism with regard to Russia had a reverse side -- namely, their loyalty to Austria. It was true that the Austrian constitutional system had glaring shortcomings and that the Galician administration was controlled by the Poles, but the Austrian constitutional system assured the "Ruthenians" certain basic civil liberties and prerequisites for cultural and national-political advancement. The Dnieper Ukrainians, for their part, had no reason whatever to sympathize with Austria. This explains why anti-Russian separatism, in its specifically Galician version, failed to make many proselytes among the population of east-central Ukraine.

At the outbreak of the war, the Galician Ukrainians pinned all their hopes on the final victory of Austria-Hungary and Germany.36 As we have seen, this pro-Central Powers orientation was definitely rejected by the leaders of the Ukrainian movement in Russia. In their opinion, Vienna and Berlin intended to exploit the Ukrainian trump card propagandistically, to use Ukrainian nationalism as a subversive force against Russia without subscribing to any political commitments in favour of the Ukrainian cause.37 A great danger existed that the Central Powers, even in the event of a victorious outcome of the war, would finally come to an agreement with Russia, leaving most Ukrainian lands under the rule of the latter. Was it worthwhile, for the sake of dubious foreign aid, to compromise the Ukrainian national movement in Russia by provoking the Russian government and society into cruel reprisals?38 Hrushevsky and certain other Ukrainian leaders thought in historical terms; they could not forget that the Cossack hetmans struggling against Muscovite encroachments tried to lean on the unreliable and often treacherous support of for foreign powers -- as in the case of Ivan Vyhovsky (ruled 1657-9) with Poland, Petro Doroshenko (1665-75) with Turkey, and Ivan Mazepa (1687-1709) with Sweden. All these ventures brought great misfortune to the Ukrainian people.

The formation of Ukrainian statehood passed through two distinct stages during the era of the Central Rada. The first lasted from spring to late fall, 1917; the second encompassed the winter of 1917-18. The former may be defined as autonomist and the latter as separatist. Paradoxically, the task of building an independent state devolved not on the old samostiinyky, but rather on the self-professed federalists. Neither the followers of Mikhnovsky, who, after the outbreak of the revolution, organized the Party of Socialist Independentists, nor the emigre Union for the Liberation of Ukraine had any major impact on the country's political development in 1917. The leadership of the Ukrainian Revolution rested in the hands of three parties, all of which had a definitely federalistic outlook: the Marxist Social Democrats, the peasant-oriented Socialist Revolutionaries, and the party of the liberal intelligentsia, which assumed the name of Socialist Federalists. They found themselves at the helm because at the time they in fact represented the Ukrainian political elite. Their purpose was to build an autonomous Ukraine as a component of an all-Russian federation, but within a few months the logic of events carried them beyond their original goal.

Students of the history of the Ukrainian Revolution must never lose sight of one crucial fact: the process of the crystallization of a modern nation was markedly retarded in Ukraine. In this respect, there was a great difference between the Ukrainians and other Eastern European peoples. In the case of the Finns, the Poles, and the Czechs, national formation preceded the attainment of political independence. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, had the problem of statehood thrust upon them at a time when they were just beginning to emerge from the condition of an amorphous ethnic mass. Memoirists and historians of the period rightly stress the structural deficiencies that hampered the Ukrainian cause in 1917: an inadequate mass national consciousness, the insufficient numerical strength and lack of experience of the leading cadres, and the predominance of alien ethnic elements in the country's cities.

Despite these obstacles, the Ukrainian movement demonstrated amazing strength soon after the fall of the tsarist regime. Volodymyr Vynnychenko, a prominent member of the Rada and head of the first autonomous Ukrainian government (General Secretariat), noted in his reminiscences: "In those days we were truly like gods; we were creating a whole new world out of nothing."39 One may speak of the year 1917 as the Ukrainian annus mirabilis. Of decisive importance was the national awakening of the Ukrainian masses.

Furthermore, the Central Rada achieved some remarkable political success. The inclusion of representatives of the local Russian, Polish, and Jewish minorities transformed the Rada from an organ of the Ukrainian national movement into an authoritative legislative body, a territorial parliament. The Russian Provisional Government -- the heir of the tsarist government which only yesterday had denied the very existence of a Ukrainian nation -- was obliged to recognize the autonomy of Ukraine in principle, although it tried to curtail both the size of the autonomous territory and the extent of the autonomous administration's competence. Since the suppression of the Hetmanate and the Zaporozhian Sich in the late eighteenth century, this was the first major political concession that Russia had ever made in favour of Ukraine.40

It should be noted that even while adhering to a federalist program, the Rada initiated certain policies which claimed for Ukraine, at least by implication, the rights of a sovereign state. An example of this was the drive for concentrating Ukrainian soldiers serving in the Russian army into special national units, the so-called "Ukrainization of the bayonet."41 The Rada also demanded the admission of a special Ukrainian delegation to the future peace conference. Finally, it was decided to convoke a separate Ukrainian Constituent Assembly, which was to meet independently of the All-Russian Constituent Assembly. However, the leaders of the Rada loyally supported Russia's war effort and avoided all contacts with those Ukrainian groups across the front line -- either Galician or emigre -- that co-operated with Russia's enemies. Thus, as late as the summer of 1917, the Rada was still fully committed to the federalist concept.

The Third Universal -- the proclamation of a Ukrainian People's Republic within the framework of a federated Russian Republic -- was the climax of the entire preceding policy of the Rada, the fulfillment of the sincere aspirations of its leaders. But the historical process has a logic of its own which transcends the plans and wishes of the actors. By the fall of 1917, the entire political constellation had changed so radically that the Third Universal was already an anachronism at the time of its adoption. The swift current of events had eroded the foundations of the federalist concept. Two new factors entered the political scene: the disintegration of the Russian army and the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd and Moscow.

It could not have been expected that Ukraine, with its own meagre resources or even with the aid of the Entente, would be capable of carrying on the war against the Central Powers.42 But as long as the war continued, there existed the acute danger that the Germans and Austro-Hungarians might move into Ukraine, treating it merely as an occupied Russian territory. Even more threatening to the security of the country was the presence, in Right-Bank Ukraine, of demoralized Russian troops, among whom Bolshevik agitators wielded much influence. While these remnants of the old imperial army did not offer any effective protection against Germany, they spread violence and anarchy in the country. Thus, it had become imperative for Ukraine to terminate the war as quickly as possible by negotiating a separate peace with Germany and her allies. The circumstances were propitious because Germany, locked in deathly combat with her Western adversaries, also wished to end the war in the East. Moreover, Germany and Austria-Hungary needed Ukrainian foodstuffs and raw materials. This gave Ukraine a certain bargaining strength, in spite of the disparity in military power. The circumstances demanded that Ukraine embark on an independent foreign policy, which in turn necessitated breaking the constitutional links that still bound the country to Russia.

Separation had also become inevitable because of the nature of the new regime in Russia proper, which had come to power as a result of the October coup d'etat. The crux of the matter was not that Lenin was more of a Russian chauvinist than his predecessor Kerensky. Quite to the contrary, among Russian leaders of that time Lenin was the most broad-minded on the nationalities issue and the most realistic in his appreciation of Ukraine as a political force. But, from the outset, Lenin's regime was marked by dictatorial and terroristic traits. To use latter-day terminology, this was an incipient totalitarian regime. The Central Rada, on the other hand, was an outgrowth of the libertarian and humanistic traditions of the pre-revolutionary Ukrainian national movement. With all its shortcomings, the Rada strove to give Ukraine a democratic socialism of the European type. It was quite impossible to unite Russia and Ukraine under a common federative roof; they were two countries whose respective internal developments were incompatible. Against those "blessings" which Bolshevism was bringing from the north, Ukraine was obliged to protect herself by erecting the barrier of a state frontier.

In stressing the essentially democratic character of the Ukrainian People's Republic of 1917-18, it is not intended to make this body politic appear in a more favourable light than it actually merits. The long subjugation under the rule of tsarist autocracy had lowered the Ukrainian community's level of civic culture. In this respect, the Galician Ukrainians, who had passed through the school of Austrian constitutionalism and parliamentarianism, were more fortunate than their compatriots under imperial Russian rule. The inadequate political and legal training of the Rada's leaders was reflected in the drafting of the Universals. These major state papers, which possessed the significance of fundamental laws, were wordy and overloaded with secondary matters, while the formulation of the salient points often lacked precision.

Another weakness of the Rada was its inclination toward utopianism in dealing with social and economic problems. Conditions in Ukraine were such that a revolution necessarily had to be both national and social. Thus, the hegemony of left-wing elements in Ukrainian politics in 1917 is not difficult to understand. Ukrainian socialist parties were essentially democratic, and this differentiated them from the Russian Bolsheviks. They bore, however, the hallmarks of the populist tradition, a nineteenth-century movement that profoundly affected the outlook of the radical intelligentsia both in Russia proper and in Ukraine. The parties that controlled the Rada displayed a naive worship of "the people" -- the peasantry. Moreover, the desire not to be outbid by Bolshevik demagoguery strengthened the tendency toward Utopian schemes. This found striking expression in the land law adopted by the Rada on 18 January 1918, whose main feature was the abolition of private ownership of the land.43 It is true that the slogan of "socialization of land" enjoyed considerable popularity among the masses of the poorer peasants and agricultural workers, but this did not mean that the peasants really desired a collectivist organization of agriculture. In fact, this was quite unimaginable to them. A contemporary observer, well acquainted with conditions in the Ukrainian countryside, noted: "All peasants understand socialization simply as taking over the land from the landowners without compensation."44 The Russian repartitional village commune (obshchina) was alien to the highly individualistic Ukrainian peasantry. A wiser Rada might have effected the necessary agrarian reform without overturning the principle of private land ownership, an ill-considered measure that caused a profound disturbance in the life of the countryside.

Mykola Kovalevsky (1892-1957), a leading Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary and minister of supplies in the Rada government, records in his memoirs the conversations that he had with the German envoy to Ukraine, Baron Adolf Mumm von Schwarzenstein, and the financial councillor at the German legation, Carl Melchior. The exchanges took place in the spring of 1918, after the Rada had returned to Kiev with German military support:

During our conversations, Baron von Mumm and he [Melchior] tried to convince me of the impossibility of having agricultural production organized without the right of private ownership of land. What worried them most was that the breaking-up of the great estates would lower the productivity of Ukrainian agriculture. In addition, they tried to convince me that such an agrarian reform would ruin the finances of the state. Therefore, they thought, it would be preferable to demand from the peasants the payment of a so-called indemnity. The Frankfurt banker [Melchior] argued that by this measure the state would profit both politically and financially. According to him, the political advantage was to consist in the following: if the peasants were to pay an indemnity, the influential class of great and middle landowners would not become alienated from the Ukrainian state. At the least, the hostility of that class, which still possessed some strength in Ukraine, would be neutralized. As to the financial profit, the indemnity payments of the peasants -- who, according to Melchior, had much cash hoarded -- would flow into the state treasury, while the landowners would be reimbursed in long-term bonds. Thus, the state would make a huge profit on this transaction, and, most important, the country's finances would be put on a firm foundation. This stressing of a double profit was most characteristic of the German mind. I was somewhat shocked by this cynicism of the German negotiators, but I felt obliged to report the gist of each conversation to my government.45
As revealed in his memoirs, Kovalevsky was generally a man of excellent political judgment. It seems surprising, then, that the advice which he received from Mumm and Melchior struck him as "cynical." To someone less influenced by populist myths, this advice might have sounded rather like the voice of common sense. The Rada certainly committed a blunder by alienating the moderate and proprietary segments of the community. But for this, the rightist coup d'etat of General Pavlo Skoropadsky (1873-1945) on 29 April 1918 could probably have been avoided.46

In criticizing the doctrinaire character of the Rada's social and economic legislation, we should not overlook its constructive achievements in other fields. The record was particularly brilliant in dealing with the problem of the national minorities. A concerted effort was made to dispel the apprehensions of the minorities about Ukrainian statehood and to win their collaboration. The crowning achievement of this policy was the Law on National-Personal Autonomy of 22 January 1918, which guaranteed the national minorities in the Ukrainian People's Republic full self-government in educational and cultural matters.47 This law did honour to the humane and democratic disposition as well as to the statesmanship of the Rada's leaders.

Bismarck once said: "A statesman cannot create anything himself. He must wait and listen until he hears the steps of God sounding through events, then leap up and grasp the hem of His garment."48 Translated from the language of poetical metaphor, this means that a statesman must have a feeling for the right moment, for the unique and unrepeatable opportunity; he must know how to adjust to this opportunity and how to take advantage of it. In the Ukrainian past such a great "opportunist" was the leader of the mid-seventeenth-century Cossack revolution, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, whom contemporary Western observers compared with Oliver Cromwell.49 But the men who stood at the helm of the Rada were not of the stuff of a Bismarck, a Cromwell, or a Khmelnytsky. They made the transition from federalism to independence not from free volition, but under compelling circumstances. For them it was a hard and painful decision -- in a sense a denial of their own past, a rejection of an old and beloved ideal. The inevitable step was finally taken, but not until much precious time had been lost. The Rada's leaders confused the public by their hesitant policy, which consequently weakened the country's cohesion in the face of the impending Soviet Russian invasion.

Some Ukrainian publicists of the inter-war period, particularly those of the "integral-nationalist" persuasion, blamed the Central Rada for not having proclaimed the independence of Ukraine at an earlier stage of the Revolution.50 These strictures now appear as rather naive. During the first months after the fall of tsarism the Ukrainian people were not yet ready for independence, either organizationally or psychologically. Moreover, the Provisional Government in Petrograd still possessed forces sufficient to suppress such an attempt. By autumn 1917 the situation had radically changed. The Bolshevik coup d'etat precipitated the disintegration of the Empire. The old Russian army had succumbed to anarchy, while the new Red Army was still in an embryonic stage.

Let us for a brief moment give free rein to our imagination. What would have happened if the complete separation of the Ukrainian People's Republic from Russia had been proclaimed at the time of the Third Universal in November 1917, and if the peace treaty between Ukraine and the Central Powers had been signed before the end of the year? It would have been easy for Ukraine to receive from the Germans the needed technical assistance and the release of the Ukrainian military formations organized in Germany from among war prisoners. Also, Austria-Hungary would probably have been willing to lend the Kiev government the legion of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (Ukrainski Sichovi Striltsi), a volunteer unit of Galician Ukrainians within the Austrian army.51 In addition to the troops that the Rada already had at its disposal, these forces would have sufficed to uphold internal order in the country, to crush local Bolshevik uprisings, and to repulse the Soviet Russian Bolshevik occupation with its attendant chaos, destruction, and terror. The Rada would not have been forced out of Kiev, nor would it have needed to ask for German armed intervention. As we know, this intervention soon changed into an occupation which did great harm to Ukraine, morally and politically even more than materially.

Enough of these imaginative speculations. We are, however, entitled to stress the point that in the struggle between the Ukrainian People's Republic and Soviet Russia, the Ukrainian side, although finally defeated, also scored successes. In the field of military operations there was the disarming and the expulsion of the undisciplined and Bolshevik-controlled remnants of the old Russian army concentrated in Right-Bank Ukraine, and the suppression of the Bolshevik revolt in Kiev, the so-called Arsenal Uprising of January 1918.52 Among the political successes of the Rada, the following were of outstanding importance: the brilliant victory of the Ukrainian national parties in the elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly;53 the complete triumph of the supporters of the Rada over the Bolsheviks at the First Congress of Soviets of Ukraine, despite the fact that the Congress had convened on Bolshevik initiative;54 and the firmness and astuteness displayed by the young Ukrainian diplomats during the Brest-Litovsk peace negotiations.55

The main accomplishment of the Rada was its determination not to bow to Bolshevik threats and violence, but rather to accept the challenge of the Petrograd Sovnarkom and resist the Soviet Russian invasion. The attitude of the Rada toward the Bolsheviks is documented by the text of the Fourth Universal:

In an attempt to bring the Free Ukrainian Republic under its rule, the Petrograd Government of People's Commissars has declared war against Ukraine and is sending its armies of Red Guards and Bolsheviks to our lands; they rob our peasants of their bread and without any remuneration export it to Russia. They do not even spare the grain set aside for seed; they kill innocent people and spread anarchy, thievery, and apathy everywhere. . . . As for the Bolsheviks and other aggressors who destroy and ruin our country, we direct the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic to undertake a firm and determined struggle against them, and we call upon all citizens of our Republic -- even at the risk of their lives -- to defend the welfare and liberty [of our people]. Our Ukrainian People's state must be cleared of the intruders sent from Petrograd who trample the rights of the Ukrainian republic.56
Similar ideas were expressed even more forcefully in a speech delivered on 1 February 1918 by Mykola Liubynsky (1891-193?), the youthful member of the Ukrainian delegation at the Brest-Litovsk peace conference:
The loud declarations of the Bolsheviks about the complete freedom of the peoples of Russia are nothing but a coarse demagogic device. The government of the Bolsheviks, which has chased away the Constituent Assembly and which is upheld by the bayonets of the mercenary Red Guards, will never decide to implement in Russia the just principles of self-determination, because it knows quite well that not only the several Republics -- Ukraine, the Don Region, Caucasia, and others -- will not recognize it as their legitimate authority, but that even the Russian people themselves would gladly refuse them that right. The Bolsheviks, with their congenital demagoguery, have proclaimed the principle of self-determination both in Russia and here at the peace conference exclusively because of fear of national revolution [in the borderlands of the former Russian Empire]. They rely on the mercenary gangs of the Red Guards to prevent the implementation of this principle in practice. They use evil and intolerable means: they close down newspapers, disperse political meetings, arrest and shoot civic leaders, and they engage in false and tendentious insinuations by which they attempt to undermine the authority of the governments of the young republics. They accuse noted socialists and veteran revolutionaries of being bourgeois and counterrevolutionary.... In this they follow the ancient French proverb: "Slander and calumniate, some of it will always stick."57
An American historian recently commented on the contrast between the Rada spokesmen and the Russian democratic leaders: "Nothing in the feeble and tearful accusations of the Martovs and Chernovs had come up to this standard of violence."58 The universal historical significance of the struggle between the Ukrainian People's Republic and Soviet Russia lies in that it was not only a conflict between nations, but also a clash of two social and political systems -- a contest between democracy and totalitarian dictatorship. This statement holds true in spite of all the obvious shortcomings of the Central Rada and in spite of the fact that the totalitarian nature of the Soviet regime was not yet fully developed.

From the point of view of the historical evolution of Ukrainian political thought, the importance of the events in the fall and winter of 1917 lay in the tremendous shift from federalism to a program of state independence. The federalist concept had already been undermined by the insincere and ambiguous policy of the Provisional Government toward Ukraine. Now Bolshevik aggression delivered the death blow to this traditional Ukrainian ideology. Hrushevsky called this great upheaval in Ukrainian political thought "purification by fire," and in several programmatic articles written in February and March 1918, he concluded:

The bombardment, occupation, and destruction of Kiev were a summit and a culmination; this was the focal point in which were concentrated the immense and incalculable results of the Bolshevik invasion.... All our losses, painful and irreplaceable as they may be, we shall count as a part of the price for the restoration of our national statehood. . . . All our customary notions and formulas, all ideas handed down from the past, all plans formulated in other circumstances -- all this must be set aside now; or, to be more precise, it must be thoroughly scrutinized and re-evaluated from the point of view of compatibility with the new task which history has placed before us.... What I consider outdated and dead, "a thing destroyed by fire in my study,"59 is our orientation toward Moscow, toward Russia. For a long time this orientation was imposed on us by means of a forcible, insistent indoctrination until finally, as often happens, a large part of the Ukrainian community accepted it.60
Hrushevsky's impassioned words illustrate the great change that had occurred in Ukrainian political thinking in the wake of the experiences of 1917.

An independent Ukrainian People's Republic, proclaimed by the Fourth Universal, did not survive. But the idea of samostiinist -- confirmed by an armed struggle that lasted until 1921 and by the incessant efforts and sacrifices of the following decades -- had become a common possession of Ukrainian patriots of all political persuasions, not only the democrats who claimed to be the rightful heirs of the Central Rada tradition but also the partisans of the monarchist-conservative and the "integral-nationalist" camps.61 The above statement applies in principle also to Ukrainian communists. The brilliant publicist and member of the first Soviet Ukrainian government, Vasyl Shakhrai (d. 1919), wrote during the Civil War: "The tendency of the Ukrainian movement is national independence."62 Shakhrai wanted Ukraine to achieve the status of an equal partner within an alliance of independent socialist states. In the course of the revolution, the left-wing factions of the Ukrainian Social Democrats and Socialist Revolutionaries adopted the Soviet platform and merged with the Bolsheviks, while retaining their nationalist loyalties.63 A "national-communist" ferment was strong in the Ukrainian SSR in the 1920s, and, although it was subjected to severe repression during the Stalin era, recent evidence indicates that this tendency still thrives today.64

The men of the generation that made the great step from a program of federalism to that of national independence embraced the new ideal with the zeal of neophytes. They repudiated their pre-1917, federalist past, now rejecting it as a symbol of national immaturity and shameful weakness. This anti-federalist reaction of the inter-war period is understandable from a psychological point of view, but it implied the partial loss to Ukrainian society of a valuable intellectual heritage. Pre-revolutionary Ukrainian political thinkers and publicists had formulated a number of fruitful ideas, some of which became obsolete under the changed circumstances of a new reality, while others retained their validity. The strength of the old federalist concept was its breadth of vision. It placed the Ukrainian problem within a wide international context, organically connecting the goal of national liberation with the cause of political liberty and social progress for Eastern Europe as a whole. In contrast, an exclusive and almost obsessive concentration on the attainment of samostiinist increased the militancy of the national movement, but narrowed its intellectual insights and blunted its moral sensibility. As early as the 1890s, the democratic thinker Drahomanov was worried by the first symptoms of a xenophobic Ukrainian nationalism and raised his voice in warning against the dangers of chauvinism and national exclusiveness.65

Two parallel trends are noticeable in contemporary international relations: on the one hand, the continued drive for the emancipation of formerly submerged peoples and a movement toward the formation of new nation-states; on the other, a tendency toward an ever closer political, economic, and cultural interdependence of states and peoples and the emergence of new forms of international co-operation. Viewed from this angle, the two currents of Ukrainian political thought, federalism and separatism, may no longer appear mutually exclusive; rather, they are complementary. Still, their synthesis lies in the future.

In conclusion, it seems fitting to quote a passage from the work of the eminent historian of the Ukrainian Revolution, Vasyl Kuchabsky (1895-1945), who as a young officer played an active role in the struggle for Kiev in January 1918:

The national self-consciousness and the elemental striving for freedom of a people -- who in their area of compact settlement between the Carpathians and the Don number some thirty million -- will not disappear from this world again. This self-consciousness and this striving have been awakened by a tireless educational effort, and they have been tempered by the blood spilled in a hundred battles. The great ills by which this people is now afflicted can still handicap it politically for decades. But when there arises from this nation's great sufferings a new stratum of leaders -- equipped with boldness, and intellectually equal to the country's very difficult international situation -- then Ukraine shall become, so it seems, the problem of the future Eastern Europe.66
These words were written in 1929, but we can endorse them today, more than half a century after the Fourth Universal proclaimed the sovereignty of the Ukrainian nation and the independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic.


1. The vote on the Fourth Universal took place in the Mala Rada (the executive committee of the Central Rada) during the night meeting of 24-5 January 1918 (New Style), and the bill was passed in the early hours of 25 January. The document was, however, antedated to 22 January, as this was the date previously set for convening the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly. The Assembly had been unable to meet because of the outbreak of military hostilities between Soviet Russia and the Ukrainian People's Republic. See P. Khrystiuk, Zamitky i materiialy do istorii ukrainskoi revoliutsii (Vienna 1921), 2:106. The incorrect date, 22 January, became traditionally associated with the event, and Ukrainians outside the USSR still celebrate it as their national Independence Day.

The term "universal" applied originally to the proclamations of the hetmans and other high-ranking Cossack officers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The archaic term was revived by the Central Rada for its solemn manifestoes, which were addressed to the entire people of Ukraine and which contained major statements and decisions of constitutional importance.

2. The Fourth Universal, as printed in various works dealing with the history of the Ukrainian Revolution, shows slight textual variations. This study follows the full text of the Universals, which appear in The Ukraine, 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution, ed. T. Hunczak (Cambridge, Mass. 1977).

3. See text of the Third Universal in The Ukraine, 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution, ed. T. Hunczak (Cambridge, Mass. 1977), 387-91.

4. The Ukrainian terms are: samostiinist -- the political independence of a country, its status of sovereign statehood; samostiinytstvo -- the ideology, or mental attitude, aimed at the achievement of independent national statehood; samostiinyk (pl., samostiinyky) -- a supporter of the program of samostiinist. English seems to lack precise equivalents. "Nationalism" is too broad, as it covers any striving toward national self-assertion, even without full political sovereignty. "Independence" may be somewhat confusing, because it does not only refer to the political status of a country but may have other connotations. For instance, a Ukrainian Party of Socialist Independentists (Ukrainska Partiia samostiinykiv-sotsiialistiv) existed during the revolution. It would be quite misleading to refer to this party as one of independent socialists; what the party's name really implied was "supporters of an independent Ukraine with a socialist internal structure." To avoid redundance, I shall use, depending on the context, any one of several terms as more or less synonymous: "independence," "sovereignty," "nationalism," as well as the original Ukrainian samostiinist and its derivatives.

There is also a need to clarify one other point of semantics. The English term "autonomy" denotes a country's self-government, which may or may not include its complete independence. In Ukrainian, as in other Slavic languages, "autonomy" means home-rule, short of full state sovereignty.

5. See M.V. Nechkina, Obshchestvo soedinennykh slavian (Moscow and Leningrad 1927), and G. Luciani, La Societe des Slaves unis (1823-1825) (Paris 1963). Luciani asserts (66) that "the United Slavs . . . lacked the idea of a Ukrainian nationality distinct from the Great Russian nationality." Without entering into a detailed discussion, the opinion can be registered here that the United Slavs, despite the underdeveloped stage of their national consciousness, belong to the tradition of Ukrainian social thought; they had a considerable impact on the elaboration of later nineteenth-century Ukrainian political programs. See O. Hermaize, "Rukh dekabrystiv i ukrainstvo," Ukraina, no. 6 (1925):25 -- 38.

6. See G. Luciani, Le Livre de la Genese du peuple ukrainien (Paris 1956); P.A. Zaionchkovskii, Kirillo-Mefodievskoe obshchestvo (Moscow 1959).

7. The fullest presentation of Drahomanov's federalist program is to be found in his Volnyi soiuz -- Vilna spilka: Opyt ukrainskoi politiko-sotsialnoi programmy (Geneva 1884), reprinted in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii M.P. Dragomanova, ed. B. Kistiakovsky, 2 vols. (Paris 1905-6), 1:273-375. See also I.L. Rudnytsky, "Drahomanov as a Political Theorist," 203-53 of this volume.

8. On this distinguished Ukrainian interpreter of Marxism, see A. Zhuk, "Pamiati Mykoly Porsha (1877- 1944)," Suchasnist 2, no. 1 (1962):52-66. Porsh attempted to prove in his writings that the centralistic structure of the Russian state impeded the growth of the Ukrainian economy, and that the fiscal and budgetary policies of the Russian government toward Ukraine amounted to colonial exploitation. "Porsh's book, On the Autonomy of Ukraine [Kiev 1909], was in its time the only publication which offered, within the limits set by censorship, a broad interpretation of the national-political side of the Ukrainian movement. His book exercised a great influence on the political thinking not only of the [Ukrainian Social-Democratic Labour] Party, but also of the Ukrainian community at large" (61).

9. M.S. Hrushevsky, Iakoi my khochemo avtonomii i federatsii (Kiev 1917); excerpts reprinted in Vybrani pratsi (New York 1960), 142-9.

10. Iu. Bachynsky, Ukraina Irredenta (Lviv 1895), 3rd ed., with an historical introduction by V. Doroshenko and an appendix containing the correspondence between Iu. Bachynsky and M. Drahomanov (Berlin 1924).

11. Anonymous [M. Mikhnovsky], Samostiina Ukraina (Lviv 1900); the latest edition, (London 1967). See also P. Mirchuk, Mykola Mikhnovskyi: apostol ukrainskoi derzhavnosty (Philadelphia 1960).

12. I. Franko, "Poza mezhamy mozhlyvoho," Literaturno-naukovyi vistnyk, no. 10 (Lviv 1900); reprinted in Vyvid prav Ukrainy: dokumenty i materiialy do istorii ukrainskoipolitychnoi dumky, ed. B. Kravtsiv (New York 1964), 134-53.

13. See the articles on Dontsov by V. laniv and on Lypynsky by I.L. Rudnytsky in Entsyklopediia ukrainoznavstva, v. 2, pts. 2 and 4 (Paris and New York 1949 ff.), 375-6 and 1292-3. It is to be noted that both Dontsov and Lypynsky achieved their full stature as political thinkers only after the Revolution.

14. K. Levytsky, Istoriia politychnoi dumky halytskykh ukrainstsiv 1848-1914 (Lviv 1926), 327.

15. Ibid., 720-22.

16. On the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, see D. Doroshenko, Istoriia Ukrainy 1917-1923 rr. (Uzhhorod 1930-32), 1:31-9; a selection of documents from the Austrian State Archives dealing with the Union, in Ereignisse in der Ukraine 1914-1922, ed. T. Hornykiewicz (Horn, Austria 1966), 1:160-246; W. Bihl, "Osterreich-Ungarn und der 'Bund zur Befreiung der Ukraine'," in Osterreich und Europa: Festgabe fur Hugo Hantsch zum 70. Geburtstag (Graz 1965), 505-26.

17. See L. Vynar, "Chomu Mykhailo Hrushevsky povernuvsia na Ukrainu v 1914 rotsi?," Ukrainskyi istoryk 4, nos. 3-4 (1967): 103-8. Vynar stresses Hrushevsky's wish to refute, by his voluntary return, the charge frequently raised in the Russian reactionary press that the Ukrainian movement was allegedly pro-Austrian. Thus, Hrushevsky hoped to deter persecution against his political friends. One need not deny that this motive played a part in Hrushevsky's decision, but it may still be asserted that the primary motive derived from his general political philosophy.

18. S. Petliura, Statti, lysty, dokumenty (New York 1956), 188-90. One has to take into account that Petliura was probably trying to provide an alibi for himself and his political friends in case his letter should fall into the hands of the Russian authorities. This would explain the almost exaggerated phrasing of the letter. Still, there is no reason to doubt that the expressed opinions corresponded with his basic convictions, which can be corroborated from other sources. In a conversation with a friend at the beginning of the war, Petliura defined his political creed in the following manner: "In this critical moment we must make a clear decision. Our decision is the logical consequence of our old principles: to build the future of our people together with the peoples of Russia, and with their support." See O. Lototsky, Storinky mynuloho (Warsaw 1932-9), 3:264.

19. This statement, though essentially correct, needs to be qualified. While most Ukrainians belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church, the religious situation of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples showed some significant divergent features. Also, the fact that Ukraine was economically integrated into the Russian Empire did not preclude the fact that the economic interests of the Ukrainian south were often opposed to those of the Great Russian north. Limitations of space prevent the discussion of these important and highly complex issues, but the existence of the problems can be signalled and two works mentioned which, though by no means exhaustive, may provide a preliminary orientation. For the religious problem: E. Winter, Byzanz und Rom im Kampfe um die Ukraine, 955-1939 (Leipzig 1942); for the economic problem: K. Kononenko, Ukraine and Russia: A History of the Economic Relations Between Ukraine and Russia (1654-1917) (Milwaukee 1958).

20. L. Wasilewski, Ukraina i sprawa ukraihska (Cracow 1911), 194-5.

21. A study of the problem would have to begin with an investigation of Russian writers of Ukrainian origin. The best-known case is Nikolai Gogol, but other numerous, if less illustrious, examples could be adduced. A brilliant treatment is found in the essay of Ie. Malaniuk, "Malorosiistvo," Knyha sposterezhen (Toronto 1962-6), 2:229-41.

22. Palacky's letter of 11 April 1848, addressed to the Preparatory Committee of the German National Assembly at Frankfurt; cited in H. Kohn, Pan-Slavism: Its History and Ideology, 2d rev. ed. (New York 1960), 77.

23. It might be interesting to note that the example of Wales has been recently referred to by a Soviet Ukrainian publicist writing in defence of Ukrainian linguistic and cultural rights in the USSR: "The Welsh language, which was considered to be on the point of extinction and which in 1921 was spoken in Britain by 930,000 people, is to become an official language in Wales, since it is now used by 3,000,000! All over the world nations are not dying out but, on the contrary, are developing and growing stronger, in order to offer as much as possible to humanity, to contribute as much as possible to the creation of the universal human race." I. Dziuba, Internationalism or Russification?: A Study in the Soviet Nationalities Problem (London 1968), 207.

24. A. Luciani, Le Livre, 142.

25. Drahomanov, "Istoricheskaia Polsha i velikorusskaia demokratiia," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:253.

26. For a general discussion of this problem, see G. von Rauch, Russland: Staatliche Einheit und nationale Vielfalt, Fbderalistische Krdfte und ldeen in der russischen Geschichte (Munich 1953).

27. G.P. Fedotov, Novyi grad (New York 1952), 191.

28. Belinsky's attitude toward Ukraine was scrutinized by Drahomanov in the preface to his publication of "Pismo V.G. Belinskogo k N.V. Gogoliu," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:231-50. For a recent discussion of this problem, see V. Swoboda, "Shevchenko and Belinsky," The Slavonic and East European Review 40 (December 1961): 168-83. A sophistic attempt by a Soviet literary historian to clear Belinsky of the charge of Ukrainophobia is found in I.I. Bass, V.H. Belinskyi i ukrainska literatura 30-40-kh rokiv XIX st. (Kiev 1963).

29. Drahomanov, "Istoricheskaia Polsha," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:220.

30. Drahomanov, "Obaiatelnost energii,'' in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:386.

31. M. Drahomanov, Chudatski dumky pro ukrainsku natsionalnu spravu (Vienna 1915), 94.

32. Iu. Okhrymovych, Rozvytok ukrainskoi natsionalno-politychnoi dumky; reprint of the 1922 ed. (New York 1965), 115.

33. In a letter to Drahomanov on 12 May 1880, Zheliabov rationalized his leaving the Ukrainian national movement for Russian revolutionary activities in the following manner: "Where are our Fenians, where is our Parnell? The state of affairs is such that. .. while one sees salvation in the disintegration of the empire into autonomous parts, one is obliged to demand an [all-Russian] constituent assembly." The purpose of Zheliabov's letter was to offer Drahomanov the position of representative of Narodnaia volia in Western Europe. The text of the letter, with Drahomanov's comments, is to be found in "K biografii A.I. Zheliabova," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:413-35; the quoted passage is on 417.

34. I. Franko, "Poza mezhamy mozhlyvoho," in Vyvid prav Ukrainy, 151-2.

35. See I.L. Rudnytsky, "The Ukrainians in Galicia under Austrian Rule" in this volume, especially the section "The Russian and the Ukrainian Idea in Galicia," 329-33.

36. An exception to this pro-Austrian orientation of the Galician Ukrainians during the First World War was a small secret group of left-wing university and secondary school students. The group called itself the Drahomanov Organization (Drahomanivka), and adopted in the spring of 1918 the name of International Revolutionary Social-Democratic Youth (Internatsionalna revoliutsiina sotsiial-demokratychna molod). Later it became the nucleus of the Communist Party of Western Ukraine. See Anonymous [Roman Rozdolsky], "Do istorii ukrainskoho livo-sotsiialistychnoho rukhu v Halychyni," Vpered, nos. 3-4 (Munich 1951).

37. A glaring example of Austria's duplicity toward the Ukrainians was the imperial rescript of 4 November 1916, which extended the scope of Galicia's provincial autonomy and perpetuated Polish domination in the province, thus dashing Ukrainian hopes for the division of Galicia on ethnic lines. The rescript implied that at a later time an undivided Galicia would be united with a Polish Kingdom which the Central Powers had proclaimed on the territory they occupied in Russian Poland. If Vienna was willing to disregard so cavalierly the vital interests of its own loyal Ukrainian subjects, what could the Dnieper Ukrainians expect from it?

38. The Russian jingoists persistently accused the Ukrainian movement of serving foreign, Austrian interests. For instance, the governor of Poltava province, Baggamut, reported on 4 February 1914 to the Minister of the Interior that "the Ukrainian movement -- whose basic idea is the creation of an autonomous Ukraine under the sceptre of the Habsburg dynasty -- has been assuming ever greater expansion in recent times." The text of Baggamut's report has been published in Ukrainskyi istorychnyi zhurnal, no. 1 (Kiev 1969): 114- 16. The Club of Russian Nationalists in Kiev sent, on 13 January 1914, a telegram to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers in St. Petersburg which contained the following denunciation: "The plans of the mazepintsy consist in tearing away from Russia the whole of Little Russia, as far as the Volga River and the Caucasus, with a view toward incorporating it as an autonomous entity into Austria-Hungary." The telegram is reproduced in O. Lototsky, Storinky mynuloho, 3:255-6. (The term mazepintsy, "the followers of Mazepa" -- the Cossack hetman who in alliance with Charles XII of Sweden revolted against Peter I in 1708 -- was a Russian word of abuse for Ukrainian patriots. It implied that Ukrainians were traitors in the service of foreign powers.) Similar accusations appeared frequently in reactionary Russian newspapers such as Novoe vremia, Moskovskie vedomosti, Kievlianin, and others. Samples are to be found in S.N. Shchegolev, Ukrainskoe dvizhenie kak sovremennyi etap iuzhnorusskogo separatizma (Kiev 1912), 476 ff.

39. V. Vynnychenko, Vidrodzhennia natsii (Kiev and Vienna 1920), 1:258.

40. The Provisional Government recognized Ukrainian autonomy in principle by its Declaration of 16 July 1917. (For the text of the document, see Doroshenko, 1:114-15). By its "Instruction" of 17 August, however, the Provisional Government limited the autonomous territory to five provinces (Kiev, Volhynia, Podillia, Poltava, and Chernihiv), excluding from it the industrial areas of southern and eastern Ukraine. The number of departments of the General Secretariat (the autonomous Ukrainian government) was to be reduced from fourteen (as proposed by the Rada) to nine; not only military affairs, railways and communications, but even judicial matters and food supplies were to be removed from the competence of the Ukrainian administration. Ibid., 124 ff.

41. V. Kedrovsky, "Ukrainizatsiia v rosiiskii armii," Ukrainskyi istoryk 4, nos. 3-4 (1967):61-77; A.H. Tkachuk, "Krakh sprob Tsentralnoi Rady vykorystaty ukrai-nizovani viiskovi formuvannia v 1917 r.," Ukrainskyi istorychnyi zhurnal, no. 8 (1967):75-84.

42. Relations between the Entente powers and the Ukrainian People's Republic in November-December 1917 have been extensively discussed by O.S. Pidhainy, The Formation of the Ukrainian Republic (Toronto and New York 1966), 283-400. However, it would seem that the author gives excessive importance to these tentative contacts. As a matter of fact, neither side was able to deliver the goods desired by the other party: Ukraine was not in a position to shoulder the burden of a continued war against the Central Powers, while France and Great Britain could not offer effective protection against either the Germans or the Bolsheviks. Thus, objective conditions were adverse to co-operation between Ukraine and the Allies at that time.

43. See I. Vytanovych, "Agrarna polityka ukrainskykh uriadiv, 1917-1920," Ukrainskyi istoryk 4, nos. 3-4 (1967):5-60.

44. Ie. Chykalenko, Uryvok z moikh spomyniv za 1917 r. (Prague 1932), 22.

45. M. Kovalevsky, Pry dzherelakh borotby (Innsbruck 1960), 471-2.

46. One could argue that the radical nature of the Central Rada's agrarian legislation was a necessary result of the plight of the Ukrainian peasantry, whose interests it was bound to defend. This view, however, is refuted by the following observation. Agrarian conditions in Galicia were more unsatisfactory and the poverty of the peasants was greater than in Dnieper Ukraine. Nevertheless, the law on agrarian reform adopted on 14 April 1919 by the National Council (parliament) of the Western Region of the Ukrainian People's Republic (eastern Galicia) preserved the principle of private land ownership by the small landholders; the question of indemnity for the great landowners, whose estates were to be expropriated, was to be settled by a separate future enactment (Vytanovych, 52-6). The contrasting Galician example proves that the Rada's policy of socialization of land was not simply a response to objective economic conditions; it was also determined by ideological preconceptions.

47. For the text of the Law on National-Personal Autonomy, see Velyka Ukrainska Revoliutsiia: Kalendar istorychnykh podii za liutyi 1917 roku -- berezen 1918 roku, ed. la. Zozulia (New York 1967), 85-6. Two specialized monographs on this subject are: H. Jablonski, Polska autonomia narodowa na Ukrainie 1917-1918 (Warsaw 1948) and S.I. Goldelman, Jewish National Autonomy in Ukraine, 1917-1920 (Chicago 1968).

48. A.J.P. Taylor, Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman (New York 1961), 115.

49. P. Chevalier in his Histoire de la guerre des Cosaques contre la Pologne (Paris 1663) calls Khmelnytsky a "second Cromwell, who has appeared in Rus', and who is no less ambitious, brave, and clever than the one in England." Quoted from the Ukrainian translation: P. Shevalie, Istoriia viiny kozakiv proty Polshchi, trans. Iu. I. Nazarenko (Kiev 1960), 51.

50. This view has been restated recently by P. Mirchuk, Tragichna peremoha (Toronto 1954), 51 ff.

51. On the history of this formation, see S. Ripetsky, Ukrainske Sichove Striletstvo: vyz-volna ideia i zbroinyi chyn (New York 1956).

52. A detailed description of the Arsenal Uprising is to be found in Peremoha Velykoi Zhovtnevoi sotsialistychnoi revoliutsii na Ukraini (Kiev 1967), 2:49 -- 58.

53. "In Ukraine, the Bolsheviks obtained only 10 percent of all the votes [in the election to the Russian Constituent Assembly], while in the central regions of Russia they received about 40 per cent." J. Borys, The Sovietization of Ukraine, 1917-1923 (Edmonton 1980), 167, 169. The Ukrainian parties collected 4.3 million votes, or 53 per cent of all votes cast in the Ukrainian provinces. In addition, the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionaries obtained 1.2 million votes in joint lists with the Russian Socialist Revolutionaries.

54. On the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, 17- 19 December 1917, see Khrystiuk, 2:69-74.

55. Perhaps the greatest Ukrainian diplomatic success during the Brest-Litovsk negotiations was the secret protocol between the Ukrainian People's Republic and Austria-Hungary, signed on 9 February 1918, simultaneously with the main peace treaty. Austria-Hungary undertook the obligation to form a new "crown land" out of eastern Galicia (thus dividing the province of Galicia on ethnic lines) and Bukovyna. The Ukrainian delegates were able to win this important concession by taking advantage of the difficult food situation in Vienna. The minutes of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations have been reprinted recently in Hornykiewicz, 2:49-222. The memoirs of the participants in the conference are collected in I. Kedryn, ed., Beresteiskyi myr (Lviv 1928).

56. See text of the Fourth Universal in The Ukraine, 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution, ed. T. Hunczak (Cambridge, Mass. 1977), 391-5.

57. Hornykiewicz, Ereignisse in der Ukraine, 2:203.

58. A.B. Ulam, The Bolsheviks: The Intellectual, Personal and Political History of the Triumph of Communism in Russia (New York 1965), 400.

59. Hrushevsky's house, including his library and papers, burned down during the bombardment of Kiev by Bolshevik troops in January 1918. It was rumoured at the time that Bolshevik artillery deliberately aimed at the building owned and inhabited by the Rada's president. The building was located on Pankivska Street, in an elevated part of the city. See Kovalevsky, 444.

60. Hrushevsky, Vybrani pratsi, 52-7.

61. These political trends could, obviously, find overt expression only outside the USSR: among the Ukrainian populations of Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia during the inter-war period; among the exile communities in the countries of Western Europe; and among the Ukrainian immigrants in the United States and Canada. There is, however, some evidence that these non-Communist ideologies had a potential following also in Soviet Ukraine -- certainly during the 1920s and probably even later.

62. S. Mazlakh and V. Shakhrai, Do khvyli: Shcho diietsia na Ukraini i z Ukrainoiu (New York 1967), 82. The original edition of this pamphlet appeared in Saratov, 1919.

63. On the subject of "nationalist deviations" within the Communist Party of Ukraine, see J. Lawrynenko, Ukrainian Communism and Soviet Russian Policy Toward the Ukraine: An Annotated Bibliography, 1917-1953 (New York 1953). On the Ukrainian Left Socialist-Revolutionaries: I. Majstrenko, Borotbism: A Chapter in the History of Ukrainian Communism (New York 1954). On the Ukrainian Independent Social Democrats: V.A. Chyrko, "Krakh ideolohii ta polityky natsionalistychnoi partii ukapistiv," Ukrainskyi istorychnyi zhurnal, no. 12 (1968):24-35.

64. The two most important documentary works available in English which reflect the ideas of the contemporary intellectual opposition in the Ukrainian SSR are the treatise of Ivan Dziuba (see n. 23), and The Chornovil Papers, ed. V. Chomovil (New York, Toronto and London 1968). See also G. Luckyj, "Turmoil in the Ukraine," Problems of Communism 17, no. 4 (1968):14-20.

65. Drahomanov's polemics against the excesses of Ukrainian nationalism are contained in his last two works, which may be considered his political testament, Chudatski dumky pro ukrainsku natsionalnu spravu (1892) and Lysty na Naddnipriansku Ukrainu (1894). In these writings Drahomanov stressed the necessity of basing national aspirations on universal scientific and ethical values: "I acknowledge the right of all groups of men, including nationalities, to self-government, and I believe that such self-government brings inestimable advantages to men. But we may not seek the guiding ideas for our cultural, political and social activities in national sentiments and interests. To do this would lose us in a jungle of subjective viewpoints and historical traditions. Governing and controlling ideas are to be found in scientific thoughts and in international, universal human interests. In brief, I do not reject nationalities, but nationalism, particularly nationalism which opposes humanity and cosmopolitanism." Lysty na Naddnipriansku Ukrainu, 2d ed. (Vienna 1915), 38.

66. W. Kutschabsky, Die Westukraine im Kampfe mit Polen und dem Bolschewismus in den Jahren 1918-1923 (Berlin 1934), 2.