"The Ukrainian National Movement on the Eve of the First World War" East European Quarterly 11, no. 2 (1977): 142-54. Included in Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History, edited by Peter L. Rudnytsky (1987): pp. 375-388.

The Ukrainian National Movement on the Eve of the First World War

Ivan L. Rudnytsky

We may begin the discussion of the state of the Ukrainian national movement on the eve of the First World War by examining two events which occurred in early 1914 almost simultaneously in Kiev and Lviv, the respective capitals of Ukrainian lands in Russia and Austria-Hungary.

The Russian Minister of Internal Affairs, Nikolai Maklakov, had prohibited the public commemoration of the centenary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko (1814-61), Ukraine's national bard. Protest demonstrations took place in Kiev on 10-11 March (New Style). They were organized by a students' committee but found widespread support among the population, the number of demonstrators running into tens of thousands. The authorities were compelled to call upon mounted police and Cossack detachments to disperse the crowds. Similar manifestations occurred in other Ukrainian cities as well. This marked the first time that the national movement in east-central (Russian or Dnieper) Ukraine had "taken to the streets." The events of 10-11 March were widely reported in the Russian press and caused a debate in the Duma. Russian spokesmen expressed apprehension at this surprising show of strength of the Ukrainian movement.

One of the organizers of the Kiev demonstrations, Mykola Kovalevsky, commented on them in his memoirs:

This was an impressive review of the growth of Ukrainian national forces. The demonstrations also gave evidence of profound changes in the structure of the Ukrainian liberation movement. It was no longer... an ethnographic-cultural trend, expressed in amateur theatrics, embroidery, and sentimental melodramas... New forces had joined the Ukrainian liberation movement, turning it into a genuine mass movement in the full meaning of the term.1

Only three weeks earlier, on 14 February, another memorable event had taken place in Lviv: the adoption by the Galician Diet of a new provincial statute and a new provincial electoral ordinance. The Ukrainians received 27.2 per cent of the seats in the Diet (the same proportion which they had possessed since 1907 in Galicia's representation to the Austrian parliament), and two places out of eight on the Provincial Board (Landesausschuss). These reforms fell far short of what the Ukrainians could legitimately claim on statistical grounds: they comprised 42 per cent of the province's total population of eight million. Still, the virtual monopoly of power which the Poles had enjoyed in Galicia for decades was finally broken.

Here are the observations of Kost Levytsky, the leader of Galicia's Ukrainian National-Democratic Party and chief Ukrainian negotiator of the 1914 settlement:

This was the first true, historical [Polish-Ukrainian] compromise ever achieved on Galician soil. It contained the promise of a new epoch in the struggle for the liberation of our people.... [These reforms] were the embryo of the Ukrainian people's political autonomy.2

Both the Kiev demonstrations and the reform of Galicia's provincial statute were symptoms of a breakthrough: in Dnieper Ukraine the national movement was beginning to assume a mass character; in the western, Austrian section, it had conquered a share of political power. To be able to appreciate adequately the significance of those events, we must review briefly the course of the Ukrainian national movement from its inception to the eve of World War I, stressing those factors which either favoured or retarded its progress.3

The beginnings of the modern Ukrainian national movement can be traced, chronologically, to the early nineteenth century, and, geographically, to the so-called Left-Bank area, i.e., to the provinces of Chernihiv, Poltava, and Kharkiv. In that region the traditions of the former autonomous Cossack order were still very much alive. Nearly all early protagonists of the Ukrainian revival were members of the Left-Bank nobility, descendants of the former Cossack officers. The movement was at first quite non-political. It was expressed in historical, folkloristic, and linguistic researches, and in literary (mostly poetical) productions in the Ukrainian vernacular. These cultural activities were unofficially connected with the universities of Kharkiv and Kiev, founded, respectively, in 1804 and 1835.

The next stage of the Ukrainian movement was its politicization. This decisive step was taken by a group of young intellectuals in Kiev, known as the Cyrillo-Methodian Society (1846-7). From their circle emerged the first modern Ukrainian political program, which culminated in the vision of a future free Ukrainian republic as a member of a democratic Slavic federation. The Cyrillo-Methodian program stressed the abolition of serfdom and the elimination of class distinctions. This combination of national and social concerns was to remain a characteristic feature of the Ukrainian national movement, giving its ideology a distinct populist colouring. A member of the Society was the poet of genius, Taras Shevchenko, the prophet and living symbol of the Ukrainian liberation movement.4

The preceding resume indicates that the rebirth of Ukraine followed a course essentially similar to that of several other emerging nations of Eastern Europe. For instance, in the case of the Czechs, too, we see a first stage of non-political, cultural revival followed by a second stage, when the national movement turned political. However, the process of nation-building was undeniably much tardier in Ukraine than in several other East European countries facing an analogous task. By "nation-building" I mean the penetration of all strata of the population by the national idea, the transformation of an ethnic mass into a culturally and politically self-conscious national community. The comparatively slow pace of the Ukrainian national movement needs to be accounted for.

There is no reason to assume that the drive toward nationhood was inherently weaker among the Ukrainians than among other emerging nations. But perhaps no other national movement had to overcome obstacles of the same magnitude. The chief, though not the only, source of these difficulties was to be found in Russian policies and attitudes toward Ukraine. The general oppressive and centralizing nature of Russian autocracy is too well known to need to be expatiated upon. But the treatment of Ukraine was distinguished by certain special features which went beyond the measures applied toward the Empire's other non-Russian peoples. The basic principle of tsarist Russia's Ukrainian policy was the negation of the very existence of a separate Ukrainian nationality. According to official doctrine, the Ukrainian people were considered the "Little Russian" tribal branch of the triune Russian nation. This fundamental assumption entailed two consequences. First, individuals of Ukrainian extraction willing to abdicate their own identity and to embrace the "all-Russian" concept were not discriminated against. Second, systematic and relentless repression was applied against all persons and groups who upheld Ukrainian national identity, whether in the political or in the cultural sphere. This extended even to the language. Ukrainian was to be permanently confined to the role of a peasant dialect. The raising of that idiom to the level of a language of literature and scholarship was deemed to constitute a threat to Russian unity, and, therefore, had to be prevented by administrative means. The prohibition of Ukrainian literature as such, irrespective of its contents, on the grounds of language alone, was, indeed, something unique even under the conditions of the Russian Empire. Let us mention, in contrast, that at no time, even during the era of severe anti-Polish measures implemented after the 1863 uprising, did the publication of Polish books and newspapers cease under Russian rule.5

The above statements require certain qualifications. The early nineteenth-century cultural revival in Left-Bank Ukraine met with no persecution. The tsarist authorities simply ignored it, looking upon it as an expression of harmless regional sentiment. It was the uncovering of the Cyrillo-Methodian Society which alerted the government to the Ukrainian menace, and the members of the circle were dealt with accordingly. The second major anti-Ukrainian measure was the so-called Valuev Ukase of 1863, followed, in 1876, by the infamous Ukase of Ems, which totally prohibited Ukrainian-language publications and Ukrainian cultural and educational pursuits.6 For the next thirty years, until the 1905 Revolution, no overt expression of the Ukrainian national movement was tolerated in the Russian Empire. Still, tsarist autocracy was not totalitarian, and men armed with determination, patience, and caution could find crevices in the walls of the "prison-house of nations." For instance, academic scholarship enjoyed a measure of relative freedom in old Russia. Both before and after the ominous year 1876 there appeared a number of valuable works in the field of Ukrainian studies. They were written in Russian, and therefore were credited to the achievements of Russian science, but they helped to keep alive the flame of a Ukrainian intellectual tradition.

The Ukrainian national movement suffered not only at the hands of the Russian government, but also from the hostility of Russian society. On the popular level, the Ukrainian and Russian peasant differed (as Donald Mackenzie Wallace noted) in "language, costume, traditions, popular songs, proverbs, folklore, domestic arrangements, mode of life and communal organization."7 A khokhol and a katsap never considered each other as belonging to the same people. But educated Russian society completely shared the official doctrine of the triune Russian narodnost. In this respect, the liberal or even revolutionary Russian intelligent diverged but little from the tsarist bureaucrat. Of course, there were some rare exceptions, such as Herzen, and a few objective and humane scholars, among whom one should mention A.N. Pypin, F.E. Korsh, and A.A. Shakhmatov, who cultivated a sympathetic interest in Ukrainian topics. The prevalent mentality was exemplified by the progenitor of the radical Russian intelligentsia, Vissarion Belinsky, who back in the 1840s had heaped abuse on Shevchenko and gleefully applauded the predicament of the Cyrillo-Methodians.8 While only a few Russian radicals revealed their anti-Ukrainian bias with Belinsky's brutal honesty, their attitudes toward Ukrainian national aspirations usually varied between indifference, amused condescension, and thinly disguised hostility. The Ukrainian political theorist, Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841-95), who met many Russian revolutionary luminaries during his Geneva exile, commented on them:

Their pseudo-cosmopolitan sermons against nationalism are directed... not against those who oppress other nationalities, but rather against those who seek to defend themselves against this oppression. They seek to substitute denationalization for internationalism.9

Drahomanov's criticism was directed against Russian revolutionary populists, but things did not change with the rise of Marxism. A memoirist said of Georgii Plekhanov, the founding father of Russian Marxism:

He literally hated any separatism. He treated Ukrainophilism [i.e., the Ukrainian national movement] with contempt and hostility. The Russian unifier and leveller was deeply rooted in him... .With Dragomanov he was in openly hostile relations.... He treated Shevchenko and the Ukrainophiles with decidedly greater hatred than even for instance Katkov.10

Tsarist repression, compounded by the hostility of Russian society, created an inhospitable environment in which the Ukrainian national movement could make only slow headway. For decades the movement's chief vehicles were the so-called hromady (communities), loosely structured, informal circles, composed mostly of intellectuals and professional men, which existed in most Ukrainian cities. The total membership of the hromady at no given time surpassed a few hundred." Strong faith was needed in the late nineteenth century to maintain one's confidence in the future of the Ukrainian cause. The masses of the peasantry, it is true, preserved their native language and folk culture. But they were mostly illiterate, deprived of a modern civic and national consciousness, and politically amorphous. Except for a small band of dedicated patriots, everything rising above the popular level was, or appeared, Russified. I say "appeared," because a hidden Ukrainian complex lived in the souls of countless outwardly conforming "Little Russians." Socio-economic changes and the approaching political crisis of the autocracy were to offer new outlets to these pent-up forces.

A result of the repression of the Ukrainian movement in the Russian Empire was the moving of its center of gravity to Austrian Galicia.12 Ukrainian prospects there were at first discouragingly unprepossessing. Prior to its annexation by Austria, Galicia had for four hundred years belonged to the Polish Commonwealth, and the local Ukrainian (Ruthenian) population lacked the Cossack tradition which was the leaven of the national revival in Dnieper Ukraine. A cultural national movement started among the Galician Ukrainians only in the 1830s, a full generation after that in the Left-Bank area. The Galician Ukrainians made a modest political debut in the wake of the 1848 Austrian Revolution, but their gains were later mostly nullified by the Polish successes in the 1860s. It is to be kept in mind that Galicia was not ethnically homogenous. The river San approximately divided the province into a larger, eastern part which was predominantly Ukrainian, but which also included a sizeable Polish minority of some 20 per cent, and a Polish western part. In Galicia as a whole, the two nationalities were of about equal numerical strength, but the Poles possessed economic, cultural, and political superiority. In Polish eyes, Galicia was a parcel of the historical Polish state which in due time was to be handed back to a future restored Poland. Like the Russians, the Poles found unpalatable the very idea of a separate Ukrainian nationality, refused to treat the Ukrainians as equal partners, and were determined to keep them permanently in a nationally and socially subordinate position.

For most of the first century after its annexation by the Habsburg empire in 1772, Galicia was ruled by the German-Austrian bureaucracy. In 1867, however, as a side effect of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, Vienna transferred control over Galicia into Polish hands. Poles dominated the state administration, headed by the viceroy who was always a member of the Polish aristocracy, and the autonomous provincial institutions under the jurisdiction of the Diet. The civil service and judiciary became Polonized in personnel and official language. The electoral system, based on representation by economic interest groups (curiae) and indirect voting, was heavily weighted in favour of the Poles. Ukrainian representation in both the Vienna Reichsrat and the Galician Diet was further reduced to the point of political insignificance by gerrymandering, administrative pressure, and rampant corruption. "Galician elections" were a byword throughout Austria-Hungary. Ukrainians were systematically excluded from higher administrative positions, and their educational opportunities were severely curtailed. The Polish-dominated Diet blocked the creation of Ukrainian secondary schools. The institutions of higher learning were entirely Polish, with the exception of a few Ukrainian-language chairs at Lviv University. It should be added that Galicia was an economically backward land, suffering from agrarian overpopulation, and with a slow rate of industrialization and urbanization.13 Around the turn of the century, the economic condition of the Ukrainian masses was probably worse under Austro-Polish than under Russian rule.

One may wonder how it was possible for Galicia, in spite of these handicaps, to become the centre of the Ukrainian national movement. There were, however, also some important positive factors. In the first place, the religious situation in the province strengthened the sense of Ukrainian national identity.14 Virtually all Galician Ukrainians belonged to the Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church. The Eastern rite differentiated them visibly from their Polish neighbours, while the allegiance to Rome protected them against the influences of Russian Orthodoxy. (Common Orthodox religion was one of the strongest ties which bound the people in Dnieper Ukraine to Russia.) The Greek Catholic Church, as an institution, was not at first identified with the Ukrainian national cause, and its outlook was rather "Ruthenian," i.e., narrowly provincial and marked by an excessive subservience to the Habsburgs. This changed later, and under the guidance of an outstanding personality, Andrei Sheptytsky (1865-1944), Metropolitan of the Galician ecclesiastical province from 1900, the Greek Catholic Church became closely associated with the Ukrainian struggle for independence.15

The second asset of the Ukrainian movement in Galicia was the circumstance that it operated within the framework of a constitutional state. Despite all the shortcomings of the Austrian constitutional system, especially as applied to Galicia by the Polish administration, Ukrainians there enjoyed certain minimal civil rights. They were able to publish books and newspapers, to form associations of all kinds, and to hold public meetings. Elections provided opportunities for the political mobilization of the masses. Ukrainian deputies in the parliament and the Diet could at least voice the grievances of their constituencies. The conditions of an overt political life provided a training ground for leaders who became skilled in organizational matters and parliamentary procedures. All this gave Galician Ukrainians a definite advantage over their compatriots in Russia where, prior to 1905, the national movement had been driven underground.

Galicia's third asset was the aid which the national movement there received from east-central Ukraine. After the Ukase of Ems, eastern Ukrainian writers began to contribute regularly to Galician periodicals and to publish their works in Lviv. Two natives of Dnieper Ukraine who exercised the greatest influence on the development of Galicia were Mykhailo Drahomanov and Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1866-1934). Drahomanov acted, between the 1870s and the 1890s, as a mentor to a group of progressive Galician Ukrainian intellectuals.16 A member of this group was Ivan Franko (1856-1916), the most distinguished western Ukrainian writer, also eminent as a scholar and publicist. Drahomanov's Galician disciples founded, in 1890, the Ruthenian-Ukrainian Radical Party, which was the first modern Ukrainian political party. Its program embraced agrarian reforms, political democracy, and anti-clericalism. Hrushevsky was the first prominent eastern Ukrainian to settle in Galicia. Called in 1894 to a chair of history at Lviv University, he also assumed the presidency of the Shevchenko Scientific Society. This institution, foundan with donations from Dnieper Ukraine, evolved under Hrushevsky's energetic leadership into an important centre of research and publication -- in fact, an unofficial Ukrainian academy of sciences.17

These impulses from east-central Ukraine transformed the outlook of the national movement in Galicia, ridding it of narrow provincialism and providing it with a pan-Ukrainian ideology. The aid received from their compatriots in the east strengthened the hand of Galician Ukrainians in their dealings with the domineering Polish neighbours. In turn, the rise of a strong and dynamic Ukrainian national community in Galicia radiated back, especially after 1905, on Ukrainian lands in Russia. Thus there took shape the concept of Galicia as the "Ukrainian Piedmont": a small land with a great mission, called to serve as the geographical base and rallying point in the liberation struggle of the entire Ukrainian people.

For the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia, the quarter-century prior to the outbreak of World War I was a period of steady advance on all fronts. A contemporary Polish observer aptly characterized this trend of events as "the Ukrainian conquest." The conquest was, in the first place, internal: the imbuing of the Ukrainian masses with a modern national consciousness. This was achieved through an ever-expanding network of popular associations: educational, professional, economic, paramilitary, etc. Participation in these associations, whose local branches reached down to every town and village, gave the peasantry a new sense of human dignity. There were also marked signs of the improvement of the economic lot of the Ukrainian population, owing to agricultural education, credit unions, a flourishing co-operative movement, organized seasonal or permanent migrations to Western Europe and North America, and purchases of land from indebted Polish great landowners.

On the political side, it now became possible to start a systematic, stubborn assault against Polish hegemony in Galicia. This was connected with the empire-wide struggle for the democratization of Austria's constitutional system. A landmark in that struggle was the electoral reform of 1907, which introduced universal manhood suffrage in the elections to the Vienna Reichsrat. Ukrainian parliamentary representation trebled at once, in spite of the fact that, by the device of artful gerrymandering, Ukrainians still remained heavily under-represented in comparison with the Polish part of Galicia's population.

During the next five years, from 1908 to 1913, the struggle concentrated on the issue of the reform of the electoral ordinance to the Galician Diet and of the provincial statute. Conditions in eastern Galicia at times approached the state of a Polish-Ukrainian civil war. An expression of the mounting tension was the assassination in 1908 of Galicia's viceroy, Count Andrzej Potocki, by a Ukrainian student. At this time, in contrast to the 1860s, Vienna was no longer willing to sacrifice the Ukrainians to Polish interests. Without imposing a solution from above, the central government offered its services as intermediary. What emerged from protracted negotiations was the February 1914 compromise mentioned at the beginning of this paper. We cannot know how the compromise would have worked in practice if the war had not intervened. It seems, however, most likely that after the removal of the artificial impediments which in the past had hampered the advancement of the Ukrainian national movement, the Ukrainians might have achieved, in another few years, political preponderance in eastern Galicia.

The Poles had for many years blocked the creation of a Ukrainian university in Lviv. The Ukrainian campaign on behalf of a national university had started in 1898.18 By 1913 a positive solution of the problem seemed at hand, and the final decision (in the form of an imperial rescript) was postponed only because of a technicality. The establishment of a Ukrainian university in Galicia was bound to have profound repercussions in Dnieper Ukraine as well. An English journalist, Henry Wickham Steed, commented thus on the political significance of the Ukrainian university problem:

... the University would be conceived not only as a means of spreading higher education among the [Austrian] Ruthenes but as the instrument of an aggressive "cultural" policy against Russia.19

An eastern Ukrainian historian and civic leader, Dmytro Doroshenko, who revisited Galicia in the early summer of 1914 after an absence of ten years, was impressed by the evidence of the achievements of the Ukrainian movement:

How everything has grown and expanded!... When I met my Lviv friends, when I became acquainted with their mood, when I heard about their hopes and plans—I began to appreciate the progress which Ukrainian life has made in this land's capital in the past ten years. I could see clearly that here in Galicia the Ukrainians were already evolving into a state nation, and that they were well on their way to becoming masters in their own country.20

Let us again turn our attention to east-central Ukraine.21 An intensification of Ukrainian activities there became noticeable in the 1890s. In 1900 a group of Kharkiv University students founded the underground Revolutionary Ukrainian Party which, using Galicia as a base for its operations, conducted a brisk propaganda campaign among the peasantry and urban workers. In 1905 it adopted a Marxist program and changed its name to Ukrainian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The level of national consciousness of the Ukrainian masses was still so low that when the 1905 Revolution came it did not assume a distinctly national colouring in Ukraine. However, one of the results of the revolution was the lapse of the discriminatory provisions of the Ukase of Ems. Almost overnight, Ukrainian newspapers, journals, and books began to appear, and various Ukrainian cultural and educational associations sprang into existence. Particularly important among them were the Prosvita (Enlightenment) organizations, which followed a Galician model. These were reading halls that became the civic and cultural centers in the villages and small towns throughout the country. On the political side, both in the First and Second Imperial Duma (of 1906 and 1907, respectively), a Ukrainian caucus of some forty to fifty deputies was formed. Ukrainian members of the Second Duma prepared the draft of a law on the autonomy of Ukraine, but because of early dissolution the bill could not be placed on the legislature's agenda.

The tsarist government had not abandoned its basic assumption with respect to the Ukrainian problem: the doctrine of the triune Russian nation, which logically entailed the non-recognition of a separate Ukrainian nationality. The government staunchly resisted even the most modest Ukrainian national-cultural demands. For instance, it would not allow Ukrainian language instruction even in elementary schools. After 1907, feeling itself again in control of the situation, the tsarist regime resumed its traditional repressive policy toward the Ukrainian movement. The changed electoral law, imposed by imperial decree in 1907, weighted the composition of the legislature in favour of the upper classes, which in Ukraine were Russian or Russified. In consequence, no organized Ukrainian clubs were to be found in the Third and Fourth Duma, although there were individual Ukrainian sympathizers who belonged to various Russian parties. Provincial governors dissolved Ukrainian associations (particularly those with a mass appeal, such as the Prosvita) on the slightest pretext. Ukrainian periodicals were driven into bankruptcy by continual confiscations, while their subscribers in the provinces suffered harassment from local authorities.22

To bolster the shaky foundations of the tsarist regime, the government, headed by Prime Minister Petr Stolypin, entered into an alliance with militant Great Russian nationalism. With the administration's support, "Black Hundred" and chauvinist Russian organizations were created in Ukraine, e.g., the Club of Russian Nationalists in Kiev. They engaged in vociferous and often scurrilous anti-Ukrainian as well as anti-Semitic propaganda. At that time the term mazepinstvo (Mazepism) was given wide circulation as a derogatory label for the Ukrainian movement. The word was coined from the name of Hetman Ivan Mazepa who, in 1708, during the Great Northern War, went over from the Russian to the Swedish side. The implication was that Ukrainian patriots were, like the so-called "Judas" Mazepa, traitors in the pay of foreign powers. In the wake of the policy of Neo-Slavism, inaugurated c. 1907, the tsarist government and Russian right-wing organizations attempted to undermine the Ukrainian movement in its stronghold. Financial and moral support was lavished on the Galician Russophiles, a moribund group of "Ruthenian" ultra-conservatives who accepted the idea of the unity of the Russian nation from the Carpathians to Kamchatka. The sterile intrigues of the Galician Russophiles were shielded by a part of the province's Polish administration. The Polish National-Democratic Party, influential both in Russian Poland and in Galicia, advocated a concerted Russo-Polish effort to crush the common Ukrainian enemy.23

The Ukrainian movement, however, could no longer be contained. Russia had become a semi-constitutional state, and wholesale repression in the style of the Ukase of Ems was no longer feasible. When the administration harassed and closed down Ukrainian associations, new substitute forms of activity were found. For instance, the co-operative movement was making great strides in all parts of Russia, but in the "South" it was controlled by Ukrainians.24 The Kiev street demonstrations in connection with the Shevchenko centenary, in March 1914, were a symptom of the growing momentum of the Ukrainian movement. Such an event would have been impossible ten years earlier.

If we try to assess how far the nation-building process had advanced in east-central Ukraine by 1914, the answer is not an easy one. No detailed empirical studies of this problem have been undertaken so far. Soviet historians, who have access to relevant and still untapped archival materials, have been reluctant to tackle this task. Therefore, in dealing with this problem we must use casual comments of contemporary observers. This admittedly fragmentary evidence will allow us to make some tentative generalizations.

In the first place, let us quote the anguished outcry of a leading member of the Kiev Club of Russian Nationalists, A. Savenko, who wrote in 1911:

The fact must be acknowledged that the Mazepist movement is growing apace. . . . From its Galician base, it is spreading through the whole of southern Russia. . . .The flames of a conflagration are engulfing all of Little Russia.25

This might be dismissed as the alarmist voice of a Russian superpatriot (and, typically, renegade Ukrainian). If one considers, however, what happened in Ukraine only a few years later, in 1917, one must recognize that Savenko's diagnosis contained an element of truth.

On the other side of the argument, we have the reminiscences of a Ukrainian student activist, Dmytro Solovei, who in 1914 arrived in Poltava. He was dismayed by the Russification of this historical Ukrainian city, and by the numerical weakness and passivity of the local Ukrainian intelligentsia.26 How are two such contradictory opinions as those of Savenko and Solovei to be harmonized?

Probably closest to the truth were the judicious observations of Ievhen Chykalenko, the publisher of the Kiev Ukrainian daily, Rada. He noted in his diary in 1913 that in provincial towns, where one generation earlier one could hardly hear any Russian spoken, nowadays the Russian language predominated. But the number of nationally conscious Ukrainians was also increasing every year.27 Concerning the social composition of the Ukrainian movement, Chykalenko recorded that its active carriers belonged mostly to the so-called third element, i.e., to the rural intelligentsia and semi-intelligentsia. Financial support for Ukrainian cultural activities came from individual members of the bourgeoisie who had risen from the common people.

Among the peasantry [national] awareness has greatly spread and deepened in recent years. There are villages where nearly all the farmers are conscious nationalists, even Ukrainian chauvinists. This is the work of some school teacher or medical assistant [feldsher] who has awakened this consciousness.28

It should be added that the degree to which individual geographical sections of the country had been penetrated by the national movement varied considerably. The movement had made an impact in the provinces of Kiev, Chernihiv, and Poltava. Other parts of Ukraine, especially the ethnically mixed Black Sea coastal area and the industrial south-east, still remained but little affected.

One important difference between east-central Ukraine and Galicia ought to be stressed. In the latter territory, the line separating the Poles and the Ukrainians was sharp and clear, despite frequent intermarriages. One had to be either Pole or Ukrainian, and it was impossible to be both at once. Russian-Ukrainian differentiation, on the other hand, remained fluid and often blurred. For instance, all Russian political parties operated in Ukraine and found supporters not only among the local Russian minority but also among segments of the indigenous Ukrainian population.29 Participation in Russian political and cultural activities did not preclude a residual Ukrainian consciousness. Still, the prevalence of such hybrid forms of national identity was an indication that the Ukrainian national movement still had a long way to go.

It is time to draw certain conclusions. During the pre-World War I era the Ukrainian national movement had undoubtedly made remarkable strides. But on the whole, except for the small Galician section, Ukraine in 1914 was not yet a fully crystallized nation. A period of peace was needed to consolidate the gains. Instead, the war came. The war and the subsequent revolution accelerated the nation-building process but at the same time placed the young nation under a tremendous burden which exceeded its strength. I speak of the task of creating an independent state in a country which did not yet possess elementary schools in its native language.


Paper presented at the meeting of the International Commission on Slavic Studies, XIV International Congress of Historical Sciences, San Francisco, 22-9 August 1975.

1. M. Kovalevsky, Pry dzherelakh borotby (Innsbruck 1960), 162.

2. K. Levytsky, Istoriia politychnoi dumky halytskykh ukraintsiv 1848-1914 (Lviv 1926), 687.

3. E. Borschak, "Le mouvement national ukrainien au XIXe siecle," Le Monde slave, nos. 10, 11, 12 (1930); I.L. Rudnytsky, "The Role of Ukraine in Modern History," 11-36 of this volume.

4. P.A. Zaionchkovskii, Kirillo-Mefodievskoe obshchestvo (1846-1847) (Moscow 1959); G.S.N. Luckyj, Between Gogol and Sevcenko (Munich 1971).

5. G. vonRauch, Russland:StaatlicheEinheitundnationale Vielfalt (Munich 1953).

6. F. Savcenko, The Supression of Ukrainian Activities in 1876 (Munich 1970), a reprint, with added materials, of F. Savchenko, Zaborona ukrainstva 1876 r. (Kiev 1930).

7. Sir D.M. Wallace, Russia on the Eve ofWar and Revolution (New York 1961), 195.

8. V. Swoboda, "Shevchenko and Belinsky," The Slavonic and East European Review 40 (December 1961), 168-83.

9. M.P. Drahomanov, "Istoricheskaia Polsha i velikorusskaia demokratiia" in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii M.P. Dragomanova, ed. B.A. Kistiakovsky, 2 vols. (Paris 1905-6), 1:145.

10. L. Tikhomirov, Vospominaniia (1927), as quoted in J. Kucharzewski, The Origins of Modern Russia (New York 1948), 451.

11. Ie. Chykalenko, Spohady (1861-1907), 2d ed. (New York 1955), 121.

12. I.L. Rudnytsky, "The Ukrainians in Galicia under Austrian Rule," 315-52 of this volume.

13. P. V. Sviezhynsky, Ahrarni vidnosyny na Zakhidnii Ukraini v kintsi XlX-na pochatku XX st. (Lviv 1966).

14. I. Sokhotsky, Shcho daly hreko-katolytska Tserkva i dukhovenstvo ukrainskomu narodovi (Philadelphia 1951).

15. E. Borschak, Un prelat ukrainien, le Metropolite Cheptyckyj (Paris 1946); C. Korolevskij, Metropolite Andre Szeptyckyj (Rome 1964).

16. R.P. Ivanova, Mykhailo Drahomanov u suspilno-politychnomu rusi Rosii ta Ukrainy (Kiev 1971).

17. V. Doroshenko, Ohnyshche ukrainskoi nauky: Naukove Tovarystvo imeny T. Shevchenka (New York and Philadelphia 1951); L. Wynar, "Mykhailo Hrushevsky iak holova Naukovoho Tovarystva im. Shevchenka," Ukrainskyi istoryk 6, no. 1-3 (21-23) (1969).

18. V. Mudryi, Borotba za ohnyshche ukrainskoi nauky na zakhidnykh zemliakh Ukrainy (Lviv 1923).

19. H.W. Steed, The Hapsburg Monarchy, 4th ed. (London 1919), 128.

20. D. Doroshenko, Moi spomyny pro nedavnie-mynule (Lviv 1923), 1:6-7.

21. S.N. Shchegolev, Ukrainskoe dvizhenie kak sovremennyi etap iuzhnorusskogo separatizma (Kiev 1912); V. Doroshenko, Ukrainstvo v Rosii (Vienna 1917); O. Lototsky, Storinky mynoloho, 4 vols. (Warsaw 1932-9).

22. Ie. Chykalenko, Shchodennyk (1907-1917) (Lviv 1931), passim.

23. M. Lozynsky, Die russische Propaganda und ihre polnischen Conner in Galizien (Berlin 1914).

24. I. Vytanovych, Istoriia ukrainskoho kooperatyvnoho rukhu (New York 1964).

25. Kievlianin, 17 November 1911, no. 318, as cited in Chykalenko, Shchodennyk (1907-1917), 248-52.

26. D. Solovei, Rozhrom Poltavy (Winnipeg 1974), 44-51.

27. Chykalenko, Shchodennyk (1907-1917), 383.

28. Ibid., 289.

29. R.C. Elwood, Russian Social Democracy in the Underground: A Study of the RSDRP in the Ukraine, 1907-1914 (Assen, The Netherlands 1974).