Michael Palij, The Anarchism of Nestor Makhno, 1918-1921: An Aspect of the Ukrainian Revolution, 1976.

Prelude to Revolution

The Destruction of National Autonomy

The Ukrainian Revolution of 1917—20 was a crucial period in Ukrainian history, but it occurred at an especially unfavorable time for national aspirations. National development was not complete when the Revolution broke out in 1917, for the Russian administration in Ukraine had greatly hindered its development. The stunted state of the Ukrainian political, cultural, and socioeconomic heritage had a profound impact upon the course of the Revolution, the formation of the Ukrainian state, and its subsequent failure.

That impact began with individuals, of course, and Nestor Makhno, whose partisan activities affected both the Revolution and its failure, was more an anarchist than a nationalist. Although wishing to free Ukraine from the oppression of government, he fought against fellow Ukrainians with whom he disagreed as he fought with them when they shared a common enemy, the Russian Volunteer Army or the Bolsheviks. His story is one of a man concerned with freedom from government; his prerevolutionary activity, not strongly identified with the cause of Ukrainism, and his imprisonment gave him no basis for constructive principles to attain freedom, no vision of unity. His curious history can be understood only in the light of the history of Ukraine, where this account must begin.

Political autonomy in Ukraine had been extinguished late in the eighteenth century by Empress Catherine II. In an instruction in 1764, she advocated complete "administrative unification and 'Russifica-tion' " of Ukraine and the Baltic provinces. In the fall of the same year, the hetmanate was abolished in Ukraine and the Little Russian College, headed by Count Peter Rumiantsev, was created in its place.1

Between 1764 and 1775 Russian power in Ukraine steadily increased. The independent Zaporozhian Sich,2 the original center of Ukrainian Cossacks, had a sociopolitical order of its own that constituted a continuous threat to the successful imposition of Russian serfdom, but both the Sich and the hetman state lay in the path of Russia's access to the Black Sea. Therefore in 1775, at the close of the Turkish War, the victorious Russian Army suddenly besieged the unsuspecting Cossacks and destroyed the Sich. Higher ranking officers who surrendered to the Russians were sentenced to hard labor in Siberia, their property confiscated, and the rank and file were dismissed. The majority of the Cossacks, however, escaped from the Sich and settled at the mouth of the Danube in Turkey. From the "free lands" of the Cossacks, who had for three centuries defended Ukraine against the invasions of Tatars and Turks, Catherine carved out large estates mostly as grants for her favorites.

In 1784 Prince Potemkin, to prevent the flight of still more Cossacks from Russian control, persuaded Catherine to reactivate the Cossack organization. Known as the Black Sea Cossacks, they were settled between the Boh and Dniester rivers. In 1792 they were resettled near Azov and Black seas in the Kuban River Basin, and formed the nucleus of the Kuban Cossacks. In the early nineteenth century, they were joined by a considerable number of those who had previously escaped to Turkey. As early as 1751, Russia had established within the Sich large colonies of Serbs under direct Russian administration and control. After 1775, increasing numbers of Russians, Bulgarians, Moldavians, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and especially Prussian Mennonites, as well as more Ukrainians, were settled in the free lands of the Cossacks.

After the destruction of the Sich, Catherine issued a decree in 1783 that abolished all Ukrainian political institutions and privileges. The hetman state was divided into provinces (gubernii) like Russia itself, and the Cossack organization was abolished and converted into regiments of the Russian regular army. The officers were permitted either to join Russian units or to retire from military service; those in the highest grades, however, were eventually granted the same rights and privileges as the Russian nobility.5 The rank and file were made into a separate, free, social class of Cossack peasants. At the same time, the Ukrainian peasantry of the former hetman state was reduced to the status of the Russian serf, and remained in unrelieved social and cultural darkness for several generations.

Many of the higher ranking officers, eventually convinced of the futility of struggling against Russian rule, endeavored to preserve their land and their status as noblemen, and sought careers in the Russian government, where a number held high posts. Prince Oleksander Bezborod'ko was the main adviser and secretary to Catherine II, and imperial chancellor under Paul II; Prince Viktor Kochubei, Count Petro V. Zavadovs'kyi, Count Oleksander Rozumovs'kyi, and Dmytro Troshchyns'kyi were among the ministers of Alexander I. An even greater number of Ukrainians served in various Russian civil institutions and in the army, eventually finding the institution of serfdom to their personal advantage.6 Their acquiescence, however, not only widened the gulf between them and the rest of the people, but tied them to Russian interests, with little sense of kinship with the Ukrainian populace.

After the partition of Poland in 1772, 1793, and 1795, the lot of the people worsened in the annexed Ukrainian provinces. Prior to the partition, popular revolts had limited the growth of the landlords' power, but now the Russian Army and police system sanctioned the rule of the Polish landlords over the Ukrainian peasants.

Galicia and Bukovina were annexed by the Hapsburg Monarchy, the former from Poland in 1772, the latter from the Ottoman Empire in 1775. Carpatho-Ukraine remained under Hungarian control. Thus, by the end of the century, Ukraine was divided between Russia and Austria-Hungary.

The elimination of Ukrainian self-government was accompanied by the destruction of the autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox church. Undermining began in 1686 when the Russian government forced the metropolitan of Kyiv (Kiev) to accept the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Moscow. Prior to this time the Ukrainian church, though nominally under the control of the patriarch of Constantinople, had actually operated independently.7 During the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth centuries, the church had been under the patronage of the hetman and was respected by the entire population for its spiritual and cultural work.

The complete subordination of the Ukrainian church to Moscow dealt a severe blow to its further development, because the government worked through the Russian church to implement unification and centralization of the empire. The authority of the metropolitan of Kyiv as head of the Ukrainian church greatly declined, election of the church hierarchy eventually was abolished, and church publications and school programs were subjected to suspicious and hostile Russian censorship.8

The Ukrainian church, as well as national life in general, suffered from the exodus of intellectuals to Russia. They had been faced with two alternatives—to work for the glory of the Russian Empire, or to defend the rights of Ukraine and risk perishing in Siberian exile. Like the ancient Greeks who, having been conquered by the Roman Empire, helped to create Roman classical culture, Ukrainian intellectuals built Russian culture. During the reign of Peter I, for example, almost all high ecclesiastical offices in Russia were occupied by Ukrainian graduates of the Kyiv Academy. From 1721 to 1762 almost all rectors and prefects, as well as about fifty teachers, of the Moscow Academy were Ukrainians, a state of affairs that prevailed until the reign of Catherine II.9

In 1786 episcopal and monastic estates were confiscated and each monastery was allotted a fixed number of monks who received salaries from the Russian government. In the nineteenth century the Ukrainian church lost its national character and became an agency of Russifi-cation; ecclesiastical schools served to denationalize the theological students.

Institutions of higher learning and secondary schools, though established and funded by the church and monasteries, had been open to all classes, and the majority of the students were laymen. The schools were originally national in character, and Catherine considered them centers of opposition: during her reign she aimed at the complete destruction and Russification of the Ukrainian educational system. The schools, their financial support undermined by the Russian seizure of church property in 1786, gradually decayed, for state appropriations for schools in Ukraine were inadequate. Consequently the schools were reorganized with Russian as the language of instruction and with an entirely different character and purpose. Enrollment was restricted to a limited number from the privileged aristocratic and ecclesiastical classes, while the purpose was mainly to train administrative functionaries. These schools gradually became the primary instruments of Russification in Ukraine.

It was the lower levels of the school system, however, that suffered the most from Russian policies. With the introduction of serfdom, the peasants lost their personal freedom, initiative, and economic independence, and were unable to support the local schools. Because of the absence of compulsory general education, the alien language and spirit, and the poor quality of the schooling, the majority of the population was condemned to illiteracy and backwardness. According to the census of 1897, 13.6 percent of Ukrainians, representing 23.3 percent of the men and only 3.9 percent of the women, were literate. In comparison, the literacy rate in the Russian Empire as a whole was 29.3 percent for males and 13 percent for females.12

The Ukrainian press and printing houses suffered an even worse fate. In 1720, even before the destruction of national autonomy, Peter I issued a ukase that banned the printing of any book not in Russian, and during the entire eighteenth century Ukrainian printers struggled under this decree—a fatal blow to cultural life in the country. In 1769 not only was the Pecherska Lavra monastery in Kyiv denied permission to reprint a primer, but all previous editions of the work were removed as well. In 1800 the earlier decree was reconfirmed and its application became increasingly strict. As a result, all works of Ukrainian literature, including those of the most prominent authors, were disseminated in manuscript form. This was the case with the well-known anonymous work Istoriia Rusov, the chronicles of Samovydets, Velychko, Hrabianka, the works of the philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda, and even the first work of modern Ukrainian literature, the Aeneid of Ivan Kotliarevs'kyi.

Thus very few Ukrainian books were published in the nineteenth century. From 1848 to 1870, for example, fewer than 200 were published, in marked contrast to the three years of Ukrainian independence, when, in spite of technical difficulties, lack of funds, and the chaos of war, 2,496 books were published.14

The elimination of political autonomy and national institutions was only the means for the larger goal, the complete Russification of Ukraine. Throughout the tsarist period, the regime spared no effort to eradicate every vestige of national culture and consciousness. The name Ukraine was forbidden and even the substitute, "Little Russia," although used as a generic term for the area, did not appear on the political map of the Russian Empire as a distinct entity. Written records were pre-empted by the Russians and the official Russian history, representing Moscow as the legitimate successor to the heritage of Kyiv, went unchallenged.

The ruin of national life was nearly complete. Some of the wealthy sent their children either to the newer and more fashionable schools of St. Petersburg and Moscow, or to schools in Western Europe. Ukrainians who served in the government were usually given posts outside Ukraine, while the administrative personnel in Ukraine itself were largely Russian or other nationalities. The large estates were mostly in the hands of Russians, Poles, or Russified Ukrainians, as were commercial and financial institutions. Ukrainians were denied even the minimum of rights guaranteed under the law. The people, nonetheless, retained their language and a vast store of rich folklore and song used on various special occasions and preserved especially by the Kobzars (Minstrels).

The final elimination of Ukrainian autonomy in 1783 coincided with the successful conclusion of the American Revolution, which was followed by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. These crises created a new Europe in which various subject nations began successful struggles for statehood. Ukraine, however, was denied the opportunity to be included in the new order.

The Political Awakening

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, when the disappearance of Ukrainian national existence seemed imminent, the political aspirations of the Ukrainian nobility were reawakened, especially among the educated classes and nobility of Left Bank Ukraine, where the political and cultural traditions of the hetman state survived. Despite their submission to the Russian regime, these classes retained a love of the native history and language, defending the old order and culture, and resisting Russian innovations. They also maintained the tradition of participation in public affairs, and struggled to retain their positions in the country's administrative system.

The regime's attempt to deny the Ukrainian nobility the same rights as their Russian counterparts prompted a group of political leaders to seek foreign assistance. In 1791, at a low point of Russo-Prussian relations, Vasyl' Kapnist, former marshal of the Kyiv nobility, secretly discussed with the Prussian Minister E. F. Hertzberg the possibility of impending war and of Prussian aid for the incipient Ukrainian independence movement. He failed, for Hertzberg did not believe the deterioration of relations with Russia was sufficiently serious to result in war. The effort to take advantage of Russian political crises to further the national cause continued into the nineteenth century. Some hopes were aroused by the revival of the Cossack army in 1812, the year of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, but the Cossacks were used only for Russian ends and after the war they were either absorbed into the Russian Army or demobilized.15

Failure to achieve political concessions for Ukraine did not deter the political leaders. The poor social and political conditions created a favorable atmosphere for revolutionary activities and for acceptance of western European radical ideas, which entered Ukraine by way of soldiers returning from the Napoleonic wars, literature supplied from abroad, and foreign intellectuals working in Ukraine. These influences paved the way for the Masonic movement.

The best known lodges were those in Poltava, Odessa, and Kyiv. Among the members of the Poltava lodge were such prominent figures in Ukrainian history as Ivan Kotliarevskyi, Vasyl Lukashevych, and Kapnist. Some were nevertheless dedicated to the formation of the Slavic federation, or to the cause of Polish independence, and, although the Masons were not especially interested in the Ukrainian question, their organizations later formed the groundwork for the national movement.

The influence of the Masonic lodges and the exposure of many officers to Western thought during the Napoleonic wars stimulated the development of secret political societies in the Russian Army, known after the abortive coup d'etat on December 14, 1825, as Decembrists. They, too, neglected the Ukrainian problem in their programs and activities, but some of their writers expressed sympathy for Ukraine and her past in their works, and the movement in general awakened the spirit of nationalism among the more enlightened Ukrainians. The Decembrists also influenced the later development of Ukrainian political and cultural movements, especially the program of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

After the Decembrist revolt new oppressive measures were introduced by Nicholas I. In November 1830, Poland broke its union with the Romanov dynasty and began a war of liberation. The governor-general of Ukraine, Prince Nikolai G. Repnin, was ordered to organize eight Cossack cavalry regiments of one thousand volunteers each, to be supported larg"ely by the Ukrainian nobility. A measure of social relief was promised to encourage enlistments. Before the Polish war ended, however, the Russian government, fearing Ukrainian separatism, recalled the Cossack regiments. Six of them were incorporated into the Russian Army; the other two were sent to colonize the Caucasus. The disappointed Cossacks protested in vain, and some of their leaders were executed. Moreover, when Repnin tried to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the Cossacks and lower classes, an attempt that gained him the lasting esteem of the people, he was accused of Ukrainian separatism and relieved of his post in 1834.

After the suppression of the Polish uprising, a de-Polonization campaign was launched to weaken the Polish landlords in the Right Bank Ukraine. Although there was no question of emancipation of peasants, the government did introduce "Inventory Regulations" determining the mutual rights and obligations of landlords and peasants, including the number of days the peasants had to work for the landlords, and defining the character of work for men and women. Working during holidays was prohibited, and the arbitrariness of landlords, such as in sending the peasants to the army or exiling them to Siberia, was limited. The Regulations, sponsored by General D. G. Bibikov, governor-general of Kyiv in 1838, were implemented on the Right Bank and temporarily improved conditions. However, the introduction of the Regulations created great uncertainty among both landlords and peasants, and when in 1852 a new governor largely nullified the Regulations, the lot of the peasants worsened. Peasant revolts became more frequent. In the spring of 1855, during the Crimean War, eight districts of the Kyiv province were involved in revolts that were suppressed by military force, with many people imprisoned or exiled to Siberia. Russia's defeat in the Crimean War brought about a period of far-reaching reforms, including the end of serfdom, which offered new opportunities for the Ukrainian national movement.

The Cultural Awakening

The setbacks in the struggle for political freedom compelled Ukrainian leaders to devote their attention to cultural problems in the struggle against Russification. A number of the more nationally conscious nobility, including some who held high offices in the empire, devoted themselves to the study of national history, folklore, and especially the Ukrainian language, the living symbol of nationality.

Class interest, however, was the primary impetus to historical research, for many nobles turned to the collection of documents— chronicles, deeds of kings, tsars, and hetmans, court decisions, and petitions—that would serve to substantiate their claims to noble status. This activity was also considered patriotic, as it not only aroused national consciousness, but also defended the rights, privileges, and freedom of Ukraine.

Among the most important contributors of Ukrainian historiography, who either collected and preserved documentary materials or published them in their writings, were Prince Oleksander Bezborod'ko, VasyP H. Ruban, Oleksander I. Rigelman, IAkiv A. Markovych, Hryhorii A. and Vasyl H. Poletyka, and Oleksii I. Martos. The most significant work of the period was the anonymous Istoriia Rusov (History of the Rus'). Probably written at the end of the eighteenth or the beginning of the nineteenth century by Hryhorii A. Poletyka, it was widely circulated in manuscript before being published in 1846. The work is historiopolitical, covering Ukrainian history from its origins to the end of the hetman state. Its importance lay not in its substance but in its effect as a catalyst of national consciousness and its impact on modern Ukrainian historiography.

Although these works had a considerable influence upon national development, the book that marked the beginning of modern Ukrainian literature, and of the national renaissance, was Ivan Kotliarevs'kyi's poem Aeneid (1798), a travesty on Virgil's classic. In it, the Trojan soldiers are used allegorically to represent the Ukrainian Cossacks who escaped from the Sich in 1775 and their heroic past and traditions are expertly portrayed. The work also brought to the attention of the upper classes the deplorable conditions of the peasants, whose lives were depicted with an intimacy and affection that evoked sympathy for everything Ukrainian. The primary importance of Aeneid, however, was that it was the first book written in the Ukrainian vernacular, which gained a stronger position as the sole national language, especially since the literary language, a mixture of Ukrainian and Old Slavic, was prohibited by the Russian censorship. The Aeneid, widely read by educated Ukrainians, appeared in three editions in ten years.

Kotliarevs'kyi gave Ukraine a modern language (though it was not used with full effectiveness until the middle of the nineteenth century) and tied the historical traditions of hetman Ukraine to contemporary conditions. Other writers, among them the novelist Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnov'ianenko and the poet Petro Hulak-Artemovs'kyi, wrote in Ukrainian about national customs and traditions. Ethnography proved to be another source of national revival. Under the influences of West European Romanticism and the teaching of Johann von Herder, young and enthusiastic scholars turned to the study of the peasants, their folksongs, historical poems, legends, proverbs, manners, and customs.

From the turn of the century until the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, Ukrainian cultural life centered in the universities. The University of Kharkiv (Kharkov), established in 1805 through the efforts of the Ukrainian nobility and merchant class, was the first modern institution of higher learning in Ukraine,19 and in the first half of the nineteenth century, an important center of Ukrainian revival. A large number of outstanding Ukrainian scholars and litterateurs formed a literary circle, with such members as the rector of the University, the poet Petro Hulak-Artemovs'kyi, the ethnographer Izmail Sreznevs'kyi, and prose writer Kvitka-Osnov'ianenko.20 It was also at Kharkiv that the first Ukrainian periodicals appeared: The Ukrainian Herald, 1816—19; Kharkov Demokrit, 1816; and Ukrainian Journal, 1824—26.

A second modern university was founded in Kyiv in 1834. Although established primarily to instill in its students a Russian spirit, it played as prominent a role in the Ukrainian renaissance as the Kyiv Academy had in the past, due to the activities of distinguished Ukrainians like the first rectors, Mykhailo Maksymovych, Mykola Kostomarov, and Panteleimon Kulish, who converted the nominally Russian university into a Ukrainian scientific and cultural center. A new journal, Kiev Information, was published there from 1835 to 1838 and from 1850 to 1857. Other centers of Ukrainian culture were the college in Nizhyn, established by Besborod'ko, and the Richelieu Lycee in Odessa, which was raised to university status in 1864. The first newspaper in Ukraine was the Odessa Herald, published from 1825 to 1892.21 Many young Ukrainians attended universities in Russia or Western Europe as well.

Among the institutions playing an important role in the national revival was the Provisional Commission for the Study of Ancient Documents, established in Kyiv in 1843. Its mission was to collect and control all the archives and collections of historical documents to demonstrate that Ukraine was "Russian since time immemorial," and that the policy of Russification was justified by history.22 This work, however, was entrusted to Ukrainians who were primarily concerned with scholarship. The Commission was most active in the 1860s when Russia increased its opposition to Polish influence in Right Bank Ukraine. Its main publication, in which a high level of scholarship was maintained, was Archives of South-West Russia.

During the 1840s and 1850s, the Ukrainian renaissance found its most vibrant expression in the works of Taras H. Shevchenko, the nation's greatest poet. Shevchenko, a serf of Cossack lineage, was born in Kyiv province in 1814. Because he showed talent for painting, he was eventually freed through the efforts of such prominent men as the poet Vasilii A. Zhukovskii, the actor Mykhailo S. Shchepkin, and the painters Karl P. Briullov and Aleksei G. Venetsianov, who wished to enter him in the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.23 His true genius, however, lay in his poetry.

Ukrainian history, Ukraine's wealth and scenic beauty, all placed in cruel contrast to the actualities of national life, deeply affected Shevchenko's thought and permeated his work. In 1840 he published his first collection of verse, Kobzar (The Minstrel) to which other more important poems were soon added. This work later became a national gospel of the Ukrainian movement. Using at first typical romantic motifs from Ukrainian life and legends, he later turned to themes of the Cossack period, describing and idealizing the Cossack campaigns against the nation's enemies. When he returned to Ukraine, however, his more matured realization of the unbearable sufferings of the people wrought a change in his themes. Later poems made a passionate appeal for national independence, human equality, and social justice, attacking Russian serfdom, despotism, and suppression of other nationalities. Thus by the mid-nineteenth century, Ukrainian national leadership passed from the nobility to the intelligentsia, and was distinguished by its tendency toward democratic political and social reforms. At the University of Kyiv, a literary group, united by a common view of the nation and its past, carefully studied the latest political and cultural movements among the Slavs. Out of this group, late in 1845 or early in 1846, on the initiative of Mykola Kostomarov, Mykola Hulak, Vasyl' Bilozers'kyi, Shevchenko, and Panteleimon Kulish grew the first Ukrainian secret society, called the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius after the famous "Apostles of the Slavs."24

Their political program was expressed in Kostomarov's Books of Genesis of the Ukrainian People, and also in letters, documents, Shevchenko's poems, and Istoriia Rusov. It called for a federation of autonomous Slavic republics, headed by a generally elected assembly that would meet in a free city, Kyiv.25 The program also included guarantees of freedom of conscience, thought, speech, religion, and press; the abolition of serfdom and corporal punishment; and elimination of illiteracy. The Brotherhood was based on the principles of Christianity and democracy. It was in no sense a Ukrainian nationalist organization—the name was common to all Slavic peoples. Moreover, although some members did advocate revolutionary action, none had connections with any military organization that might carry out their plans.26

In April 1847 the society's existence was revealed to the authorities and its members were arrested. Some of the leaders were punished by short terms of imprisonment or exile, but Shevchenko was sentenced to ten years as a private in a Central Asian disciplinary garrison and specifically forbidden by Nicholas I to write or draw.27

Although the Brotherhood's activity was of short duration, its basic ideas left a deep impression upon its members as well as other educated Ukrainians. Its suppression marked the beginning of a new period of systematic persecution of the Ukrainian movement that lasted, except for brief interludes, until 1917.

After the Crimean War, however, Alexander II introduced a number of reforms that made cultural activities possible. Former members of the Brotherhood were released and some of them, including Shevchenko, Kostomarov, Kulish, and Bilozers'kyi, settled in St. Petersburg, where conditions were more favorable for literary activities than m Ukraine. They established a printing house, which in 1861 began to issue a scholarly periodical, Osnova (Foundation).28 However, after the death of Shevchenko in 1861 the group's activity declined, Osnova ceased publication in 1862, and other publications were suppressed. The group centered around Osnova moved then to Kyiv, where they faced new problems.

The Emancipation of 1861 revolutionized social relations; Ukrainian leaders sought to improve the wretched conditions of the peasants through education, organizing Sunday schools to teach illiterates, and publishing textbooks and periodicals. In larger cities, societies (hromady) were founded for cultural purposes, such as the organization of theatricals, choirs, libraries, and public lectures. The hromady also encouraged the educated people to wear national costumes and speak the national language.

At the same time the so-called Khlopomany (peasant-lovers) movement developed out of the "Ukrainian school" in Polish literature. The Khlopomany joined with Ukrainian students at Kyiv University to form the "Ukrainian Community" (Ukrains'ka Hromada).30 Neither group, however, formulated definite political goals or programs and their activities were limited to educational and cultural work. Though the movement never achieved a wide following, it nevertheless contributed to the development of Ukrainian culture. One member in particular, Volodymyr Antonovych, became the most prominent figure in the national movement between 1860 and 1890.

The national movement met with opposition during the reign of Alexander II (1865—81), although this was generally considered a period of limited liberal social and administrative reforms. In 1862 the government accused Ukrainians of conspiracy with the Poles and the creation of propaganda aiming to separate Ukraine from Russia. The tsar was particularly alarmed by the Polish insurrection of 1863, and subsequently the Russian publicist Mikhail Katkov originated a campaign in the press against the Ukrainian movement, which he described as a "Polish intrigue." In the summer of 1863 Peter Valuev, minister of the interior, issued an edict declaring that "there never was any separate Ukrainian language, there is none now, and there cannot be any." He decreed that henceforth only belles-lettres could be published in Ukrainian; religious works (including the Bible), textbooks, and popular literature were forbidden.

Russian progressives, including Alexander Herzen, Nikolai Dobroliu-bov, and Nikolai Chernyshevskii, protested the persecution of Ukraine. Even the minister of education, A. V. Golovnin, defended the Ukrainian language, stating "that the government should not censor books in such a manner merely because of the language, without examining the contents.'

As a result of the suppression of national life within the Russian Empire, literary and political activities were transferred to East Galicia where, under the more liberal government of Austria, it was possible to publish books and establish literary and scientific societies. In 1873, the Shevchenko Society was founded in L'viv, and later it became the center of Ukrainian studies for both parts of Ukraine.

While Russian policy continued unchanged until the 1905 Revolution, its application was neither uniform nor consistent. After a decade, a short relaxation once more made literary and educational activities possible. Kyiv again became the center of national life and a newspaper, Kiev Telegraph, was published in Russian. A southwestern branch of the Russian Geographical Society was established in Kyiv in 1873. The impressive achievements of Ukrainians at the Archaeological Congress Kyiv in 1874 provoked Russian reactionaries, who saw separatist tendencies in both the society and the congress. Thus, although the effect of concentration on cultural and scientific activities was to divert attention from political movements, the government renewed its attack on the Ukrainian revival.

Early in 1875 a commission composed of the minister of the interior, the minister of education, and the chief of police reported that the literary activity of the Ukrainophiles was dangerous to the unity of the empire. Consequently on May 18, 1876, Alexander II issued a secret decree from Ems, Germany, that forbade the printing or importation of books, pamphlets, and musical lyrics in Ukrainian, and proscribed public lectures, drama, and concerts. The language was permitted only in historical documents and belles-lettres, the latter in Russian orthography only. Moreover, Ukrainian manuscripts were subject to a double censorship, both locally and in St. Petersburg, a restriction not applied to other national languages. At the same time the Kiev Telegraph and the southwestern branch of the Geographical Society were abolished. Many Ukrainians were dismissed from their posts in the universities or civil service, and some were banished to remote provinces.

The Ems decree was technically illegal for it had been formulated in a secret meeting of two ministers and the chief of police, and it had not been approved by the Council of Ministers. Nor was it ever announced publicly. The target of the decree was not the content of the works involved, but the language itself. Thus when the British and Foreign Bible Society asked to distribute Ukrainian-language Bibles among the troops in the Russo-Japanese War (1904—5), permission was refused, although Russian Bibles were freely distributed. By making reading matter more scarce, the edict also caused an increase in illiteracy to 80 percent.34

The Ems decree guided Russian policy until 1905. In that year the Russian Academy of Sciences adopted a report, written by two Russian philologists of the government, which recognized Ukrainian as a separate language.

The Valuev edict and the Ems decree had two distinct consequences for the Ukrainian movement—the depoliticization of national life and a split in the intelligentsia over the question of methods. The willingness of the older generation to persevere in the struggle for nationhood was considerably undermined. Its principal representatives, Kostomarov and to a lesser extent Antonovych, advocated concentration primarily on cultural problems in order to placate the Russian regime. In 1882 the Old Society (Stara Hromada) of Kyiv established a scholarly periodical, Kievskaia Starina (Kyivan Antiquity), which was a forum for Ukrainian studies until its cessation in 1907. Only after 1890 did some articles in Ukrainian begin to appear; however, from the beginning the editors attracted many prominent scholars who gave the periodical a distinct national character.

A unique figure, in both his influence on, and position in, the national movement of the late nineteenth century, was Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841—95), a scholar, folklorist, historian, and political leader of Cossack origin. After Drahomanov received his degree, the University of Kyiv sent him to Western Europe (1870—73) to study ancient history. On his return he was appointed professor, but two years later, because of his activity in the national movement, the tsar ordered him to resign. Subsequently he left the country and settled in Geneva, where he published the Ukrainian-language periodical, Hromada, as a free national forum, and also wrote a series of pamphlets and articles in European languages about Ukrainian national aspirations and Russian policy in Ukraine.

Subsequently, Drahomanov turned his attention to Ukrainian problems in Austria, where the national movement was less restricted. In his prolific writings, especially his correspondence with Ukrainians in East Galicia, he advocated a more active political life and concentration on the education and organization of the masses. For these purposes he formed the nucleus of a new progressive movement, which in 1890 became the Radical party, directing its appeals primarily to the peasants.

Drahomanov was also influential among Russian revolutionary emigres, as the editor of a Russian periodical, Vol'noe Slovo (Free Voice) from 1881 to 1883. He opposed not only tsarist policies in " general but also Russian revolutionary terrorism and centralism.

In the history of the Ukrainian national movement, Drahomanov stood halfway between the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius and the generation that formed an independent democratic republic in 1917. Politically, he favored wide decentralization of the Russian Empire on the basis of national autonomy, a liberal constitution, and a parliamentary system. Against the prevailing currents of his time, he transformed the heretofore literary and ethnographical national movement into a political and social one.

An important advancement of the Ukrainian cause was the establishment of a Chair of Ukrainian and East European history at the Polish-dominated University of L'viv in 1894, and the appointment to it of a prominent historian, Mykhailo Hrushevs'kyi (1866—1934). Hrushevs'kyi, like Drahomanov, for twenty years symbolized the unity of both parts of Ukraine; however, his political thinking tended to promote national independence. Although he was a prolific writer in several fields, his most meritorious work was in historiography, where he devised a unified and well-founded scheme demonstrating the continuity and geographical integrity of Ukrainian development, thus providing a sound historical basis for the movement toward independence. He followed this scheme in his monumental History of Ukraine-Rus. Another important accomplishment was the reorganization, under his leadership (1897—1913), of the Shevchenko Society, which subsequently became a center of Ukrainian studies and gained wide scholarly recognition.

In 1897 a clandestine congress in Kyiv of the representatives of all Ukrainian hromady formed the General Ukrainian Democratic party. Largely literary at first, it assumed a more political character; in 1904 it became the Ukrainian Democratic party, and later the Democratic Radical party (UDRP).

Also in 1897, a student group was founded in Kharkiv that in 1900 was reorganized into the Revolutionary Ukrainian party (RUP) with branches in other cities. Until 1904, it was composed primarily of students, but later it became a party of intelligentsia.40 Its first platform called for "one indivisible, free, and independent Ukraine from Carpathians to the Caucasus," and declared that "as long as the one enemy is left in our territory we cannot lay down our arms."41 Mykola Mikhnovs'kyi, who wrote the platform, believed that social emancipation would occur once independence was attained. Other members, however, thought that socialism and revolution should be the primary goals. In 1902, Mikhnovs'kyi and his followers formed the Ukrainian People's party. In 1904 the revolutionary group seceded to form the Ukrainian Social Democratic Union (Spilka), which in 1908 affiliated itself with the Russian Social-Democratic Labor party. It represented the agricultural proletariat. Although a strictly Ukrainian party, it paid little attention to the national question. In 1905 RUP was reorganized into the Ukrainian Social Democratic Labor party and subsequently adopted a Marxist point of view.42 Though their spheres of activity were limited, these illegal organizations increased the national consciousness of the population by distributing free literature, and gave the movement a political and economic character.

Changes in economic and social structure, brought about by industrialization and railway construction in the second half of the nineteenth century, also contributed to the upsurge of political activity toward the end of the century. Ukraine was one of the world's most important exporters of grain, and the introduction of the sugar beet intensified the growth of agriculture. Prior to the First World War, Ukrainian wheat exports accounted for 90 percent of the total for the Russian economy. Russian policy was to maintain Ukraine in a colonial state, as a supplier of agricultural products and raw materials and a market for manufactured goods. It was permitted to develop only such industries as had no natural base in Russia or industries that provided raw materials or partially processed goods for Russian industry. The regime built railway lines that connected Ukraine with Russia or served the strategic plans of the empire.

Nevertheless, in the last quarter of the century heavy industry began to develop near the rich coal and ore deposits of the Donets Basin, Kharkiv, and Kryvyi Rih, spurred principally by foreign capital. On the eve of the First World War the Donets Basin supplied 55 percent of Russia's coal and 83.5 percent of its coke.45

Along with industrial expansion, the composition of the population changed radically. Old towns grew and many new ones were founded. In addition to an extensive Russian immigration, the number of other nationalities in Ukraine increased and gradually the Ukrainian population in the major cities and industrial centers became a minority. Most of the nationalities, conservative or radical, tended to support Russian policy in Ukraine. Moreover, much of the urban population was infected by the Russian revolutionary movement, providing a natural milieu for Russification. All these changes in the social, national, and economic structure of Ukraine strengthened the ties to the Russian Empire and severely handicapped the national revival, though their full impact was not evident until the Revolution.

Although the Ukrainian movement was intensified at the turn of the century, it was the unsuccessful Russo-Japanese War and the Revolution of 1905 that brought to the surface the hitherto clandestine social and national forces. The peasant uprisings in Ukraine in 1905—6 were among the most violent in the Empire, and the strikes and demonstrations in the larger cities led to armed clashes.

The tsar's October Manifesto in 1905 helped considerably in calming the Revolution by promising favorable reforms, and spurred Ukrainian leaders to increase their activities. Never officially repealed, the Ems decree was no longer enforced. Within a few months there were thirty-four new publications in Ukrainian. Simultaneously societies of enlightenment [Prosvita) were founded throughout the country. Great hopes were held for the First Duma, and national leaders established a center in St. Petersburg to give assistance to the forty-four Ukrainian noble and peasant members. They also published a journal in Russian, Ukrainian Herald, and prepared a declaration demanding autonomy for Ukraine, but on the eve of its presentation the Duma was dissolved.

The Second Duma, with forty-seven Ukrainian deputies, was weakened because the most experienced politicians from the First Duma who had signed the Viborg appeal were disfranchised. The new parliamentary club demanded more rights for Ukraine, including self-government within the framework of the empire. The delegates published their own organ in Ukrainian, Native Cause. However, the Second Duma was also dissolved and a change in the electoral law resulted in an almost complete lack of Ukrainian representation in the Third and Fourth Dumas.

The brief respite of the 1905 Revolution quickly changed to reaction, and political freedom again disappeared. Ukrainian was not allowed in the schools and universities, although this privilege was granted to other languages. The Ukrainian press was abolished and most branches of Prosvita were closed. Political groups were suppressed. Consequently, many politicians who escaped arrest left Ukraine and settled either abroad or in the centers of greater freedom such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.50

In 1908, on the initiative of the Democratic Radical party, Ukrainian political groups that stood for autonomy and a democratic system formed the secret Society of Ukrainian Progressives (TUP), which, until the Revolution of 1917, dominated national political life. Its aim was to gain piecemeal political and cultural concessions from the regime.

In spite of restrictions and persecution after 1905, the Ukrainian movement did gain ground in all aspects of public life. Ukrainian representation in the Duma manifested to the world the existence of the Ukrainian problem in the Russian Empire, and the outbreak of the First World War aroused hopes for far-reaching changes.

The war, however, brought a new wave of repression, and there was a strong agitation in Russian circles to eliminate the Ukrainian movement completely. In 1914 the government suppressed all Ukrainian cultural and educational activities and the entire press was closed. Many prominent politicians and scholars, including Hrushevs'kyi, were exiled despite declarations of loyalty, and others went abroad. In August 1914, Ukrainain political emigres in Lviv formed the League for the Liberation of Ukraine. Later moving to Vienna, the League planned to create a Ukrainian state from the Ukrainian territory seized by the German armies, and to give courses in citizenship to all Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Russia's desire to annex East Galicia, Bukovina, and Carpatho-Ukraine and consequently to Russify the population was related to its entry into the war. When Russian forces occupied East Galicia in the first months of the war, the newly appointed governor-general, Georgii Bobrinskii, declared East Galicia to be "the real cradle of Great Russia," and referred to an "indivisible Russia," which would extend as far as the Carpathians. The Bobrinskii administration began a systematic suppression of Ukrainian schools, organizations, press, and bookshops as a prelude to exile of numerous leaders, including the Ukrainian Catholic (Uniate) metropolitan, Count Andrii Sheptyts'kyi. Steps were taken to abolish the Ukrainian Catholic church and to force the acceptance of Russian Orthodoxy.

As the western part of Russian Ukraine became devastated by the war, the disruption of the economy, the shortage of farmhands, and the continuing persecution of the Ukrainian movement made conditions unbearable. Opposition to the regime and its social order steadily increased and contributed to the outbreak of the Revolution.

Although Ukrainian political thought and aspirations were not completely extinguished by the destruction of the hetman state, the modern national revival, confined as it was primarily to the cultural sphere, could offer little in the way of practical administrative and political experience. Prior to 1905 under Russian rule there was no legal means of forming political parties and the administration of the country was largely in the hands of non-Ukrainians. The intelligentsia was divided over the conflicting currents of national independence and socialist internationalism. Thus the Revolution proved a difficult testing ground for national leaders in their efforts to build an independent state.


1. N. D. Polons'ka-Vasylenko, The Settlement of the Southern Ukraine, 1750—1775 (New York: The Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S.A., 1955), p. 181.

2. Zaporozhian Sich was a military-political organization of the Ukrainian Cossacks (free armed men). They appeared on the south Ukrainian steppes at the end of the fifteenth century as hunters, fishermen, and honey collectors, who gradually grouped into bands and became a permanent fighting force. Their free life on the steppes and their campaigns against the Tatars attracted daring peasants, burghers, and some nobles. In the 1540s a number of scattered groups were united and organized as an independent military focre by Prince Dmytro Vyshnevyts'kyi. He founded a Cossack center, the Sich, on the island Khortytsia beyond the Dnieper rapids. This center became known as the Zaporozhian Sich, or an armed camp beyond the rapids. The head of the Cossacks was the hetman, an elected leader. The Cossacks lived in stern simplicity, under military conditions, without wives or families.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century the Polish government, which at the time controlled most of the Ukrainian territory, legalized the Cossacks as a knightly class because it needed their help against its enemies: Muscovy, the Ottoman Empire, and Sweden. However, Polish gentry's misrule brought about an uprising under the leadership of the Cossacks against Poland in 1648, and subsequently an independent Ukraine was proclaimed. A prolonged war against Poland forced Hetman Bohdan Khmel'nyts'kyi into a close alliance with the Muscovite tsar in 1654. After the establishment of the independent hetman state, the Zaporozhians remained an independent republic. Moreover, after the death of Khmel'nyts'kyi in 1657, the Cossacks of the Sich began to follow their own policy and even interfered in the affairs of the hetman state in the name of the popular masses.

The fate of the Zaporozhians radically changed when Hetman Ivan Mazepa made an alliance with King Charles XII of Sweden and the Zaporozhian republic under its head Kost Hordiienko joined Mazepa against Tsar Peter I. After the defeat at Poltava in 1709, the tsar destroyed the Sich, and the Zaporozhians settled on the Tatar's territory. In 1734 the Cossacks acknowledged Russian suzerainty and were allowed to return home because the Russians needed them for war against the Turks. After the war, however, the Russian government began to colonize Zaporozhian land with foreigners and limit the freedom of the Cossacks, who stubbornly resisted until the destruction of the Sich republic in 1775. See N. Polons'ka-Vasylenko, "The Kozaks," in UE, 1:629 ff.; B. Krupnytsky, "The Rebirth of the State," in UE, l:634ff.

3. Michael Hrushevsky, A History of Ukraine, ed. O. J. Frederiksen (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949), pp. 455—56.

4. Dmytro Doroshenko, Narys istorii Ukrainy (Munich: Dniprova khvylia, 1966), 2:243; Krupnytsky, "Rebirth of the State," p. 663,

5. Istoriia ukrains'koho viis'ka, p. 234; E. Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (1800—1917)," in UE, 1:668.

6. Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire," 1:668.

7. Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine, p. 412.

8. Vasyl' Bidnov, "Ukrains'ka tserkva," in Ukrains'ka kul'tura: Zbirnyk lektsii, ed. Dmytra Antonovycha (Podebrady, 1940), pp. 137—38.

9. K. V. Kharlampovich, Malorossiiskoe vliianie na Velikorusskuiu tserkovnuiu zhizn' (Kazan': M. A. Golubov, 1914), pp. 665—66; Dmytro Doroshenko, Pra-voslavna tserkva v mynulomu i suchasnomu zhytti ukrains'koho narodu (Berlin, 1941), p. 41.

10. Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine, p. 460.

11. Vasyl' Bidnov, "Shkola i osvita na Ukraini," in Ukrains'ka kul'tura, p. 31.

12. V. Kubijovyc, "The Size and Structure of the Population," in UE, 1: 176-77.

13. Oleksandr Lotots'kyi, "Ukrains'ke drukovane slovo," in Ukrains'ka kul'tura, p. 61.

14. Ibid., pp. 62, 65.

15. Ivan Krypiakevych [Ivan Kholms'kyi] , Istoriia Ukrainy (Munich: Nakl. Naukovoho t-va im. Shevchenka, 1949), p. 309; Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine, p. 475; Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire," 1:670.

16. Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine, p. 476; D. Doroshenko, Narys istorii Ukrainy, 2:276.

17. D. Doroshenko, Narys istorii Ukrainy, 2 : 285—87.

18. Dmytro Doroshenko, A Survey of Ukrainian Historiography; Olexander Ohloblyn, Ukrainian Historiography, 1917-1956 (New York: The Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S., 1957), pp. 79-80, 99.

19. There were several earlier attempts to establish universities. As early as 1 760 Hetman Rozumovskyi had planned to create a university in Baturyn and to convert the Kiev Academy into a university. His deposition prevented him from carrying out his plans. Five years later Piotr Rumiantsev, at the behest of the Ukrainian nobility, attempted to organize universities in Kyiv (Kiev) and Chernihiv (Chernigov), but the Russian government rejected his proposal. In 1786, Grigorii A. Potemkin, the favorite of Catherine II, applied for, and eventually received, permission to establish a university in Katerynoslav (Dnepropetrovsk), but after his death in 1791 the project was abandoned.

In addition, a university had existed at LViv (Lemberg in German, Lwow in Polish, Lvov in Russian) in the Austrian-controlled part of Ukraine, since 1784.

20. D. Doroshenko, Narys istorii Ukrainy, 2 :274.

21. Eduard Winter, Byzanz und Rome im Kampf um die Ukraine, 955—1939 (Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz, 1949), p. 154; Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire," 1:673.

22. D. Doroshenko, Survey of Ukrainian Historiography, p. 163.

23. Pavlo Zaitsev, Zhyttia Tarasa Shevchenka (New York: 1955), pp. 51—53.

24. A. Zaionchkovskii, Kirillo-Mefodievskoe obshchestvo, 1846—1959 (Moscow: Izd-vo Moskovskogo universiteta, 1959), p. 61.

25. It is of interest to note that Kyiv was favored as a Slavic capital even by M. Czajkowski, a Pole, providing it became part of Poland, and by the Russian Slavophile A. Khomiakov, who believed that its position on the border between two worlds would be advantageous (John P. Sydoruk, Ideology of Cyrillo-Method-ians and Its Origin [Winnipeg: Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences, 1954], p. 51).

26. D. Doroshenko, Narys istorii Ukrainy, 2 :281; Michael T. Florinsky, Russia: A History and Interpretation, 2 vols. (New York: Macmillan Co., 1959), 2:811; C. A. Manning, The Story of the Ukraine (New York: Philosophical Library, 1947), pp. 169-70.

27. Manning, Story of the Ukraine, p. 171.

28. Krypiakevych [Kholms'kyi], Istoriia Ukrainy, p. 319.

29. D. D[oroshen] ko, "Ielisaveta Ivanovna z Skoropads'kykh Myloradovych," Khliborobs'ka Ukraina 5 (Vienna, 1924-25): 286.

30. D. Doroshenko, Survey of Ukrainian Historiography, pp. 177 ff.

31. Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine, p. 496; Lotots'kyi, "Ukrains'ke drukovane slovo," p. 62.

32. Winter, Byzanz und Rome, p. 168.

33. Lotots'kyi, "Ukrains'ke drukovane slovo," p. 63; Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire," 1 :684.

34. Lotots'kyi, "Ukrains'ke drukovane slovo," p. 63; Herbert Adams Gibbons, "The Ukraine and the Balance of Power," The Century Magazine 102, no. 3 (July 1921): 467; Ievhen Chykalenko, Spohady, 1861-1907 (New York: Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S., 1955), p. 380.

35. John S. Reshetar, Jr., The Ukrainian Revolution, 1917-1920, p. 33.

36. Krypiakevych [Kholms'kyi] , Istoriia Ukrainy, p. 330; D. Doroshenko, Survey of Ukrainian Historiography, p. 196.

37. Volodymyr Doroshenko, "The Life of Mykhailo Drahomanov," in Mykhailo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, ed. Ivan L. Rudnytsky (New York: The Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U. S., 1952), p. 14.

38. Oleksander Hrushevskyi, "Drahomanov i halyts'ka molod' 1870-kh rr.," Ukraina, no. 6 (20) (Kiev, 1926), p. 49;Matvii Stakhiv, "Drahomanov's Impact on Ukrainian Politics," in Mykhailo Drahomanov, p. 53.

39. D. Doroshenko, Survey of Ukrainian Historiography, p. 264.

40. Dmytro Doroshenko, Z istorii ukrains'koi politychnoi dumky za chasiv svitovoivinny,p. 19.

41. Samostiina Ukraina: R.U.P. (Wetzlar: Vyd. Soiuza Vyzvolennia Ukrainy, 1917), p. 22; Serhii Shemet, "Mykola Mikhnovs'kyi," Khliborobs'ka Ukraina, 5:7.

42. Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire," 2 :687.

43. Nicholas L. Chirovsky, Old Ukraine: Its Socio-Economic History Prior to 1781 (Madison, N.J.: The Florham Park Press, 1963), p. 365; Margaret Miller, The Economic Development of Russia, 1905—1914, 2nd ed. (New York: A. M. Kelly, 1967), p. 59.

44. Borschak, "Ukraine in the Russian Empire," 2:680.

45. Harry Schwartz, Russia's Soviet Economy (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1950), p. 63; Miller, Economic Development of Russia, p. 259.

46. L. Ivanov, "Revoliutsiia 1905 goda na Ukraine," VI, nos. 5—6 (1945), p. 23; H. R. Weinstein, "Land Hunger and Nationalism in the Ukraine, 1905—1917," The Journal of Economic History 2 (1942) :32.

47. Otto Hoetzsch, "The Ukrainian Movement in Russia," in Ukraine's Claim to Freedom: An Appeal for Justice on the Behalf of Thirty-Five Millions (New York: Ukrainian National Association and the Ruthenian National Union, 1915), p. 95; Krypiakevych [Kholms'kyi], Istoriia Ukrainy, p. 334.

48. After the dissolution of the First Duma on July 8, 1906, some two hundred of its members journeyed to nearby Viborg, in Finland, where they issued an appeal to the population urging them to offer "passive resistance" by refusing to pay taxes or comply with army drafts. The appeal, however, brought no popular response, while the signatories were sentenced to three months in prison and were disfranchised, thus terminating their parliamentary careers (Florinsky, Russia, 2:1192; Alexander Kerensky, Russia and History's Turning Point (New York: Duell, Sloan andPearce, 1965), p. 73).

49. Vladimir Korostovetz, Seed and Harvest (London: Faber and Faber, 1931), p. 285.

50. D. Doroshenko, Narys istorii Ukrainy, 2:321.

51. Mykhailo IEremiiv, "Za lashtunkamy Tsentral'noi Rady," UI, nos. 1—4 (17-20) (1968), p. 98; Nicholas Czubatyj, "The Modern Ukrainian Nationalist Movement," Journal of Central European Affairs 4, no. 3 (October 1944): 288; E. N. Burdzalov, Vtoraia russkaia revoliutsiia: Moskva, front, periferiia (Moscow: "Nauka," 1969), p. 219.

52. Dmytro Doroshenko, Moi spomyny pro nedavnie mynule, 1914—1920, p. 23; "The Czar's Rule in Galicia, 1914," in Ukraine's Claim to Freedom, p. 114; D. Doroshenko, Moi spomyny, pp. 33—35.