Ukrainian nationalism

Ukrainian nationalism

Ukrainian nationalism is the term used for the nationalist ideology of Ukraine.

The key themes that unify the otherwise disparate Ukrainian nationalist movements are the special rights for Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians, the unique status and special suffering of the Ukrainian people and the belief that conflict with Russia is inevitable. [Wilson, Minority, p. 198. See also, Stephen Velychko in "Slavic Review", Vol. 57, No. 3 (autumn, 1998), pp. 648-649.]

Although the first independent Ukrainian state is fairly recent, cultural communities similar to modern Ukraine can be traced back to the seventeenth century. For example, the concept of the Ukrainian nation has often been traced to the time of the Dnieper Cossacks.

Some Ukrainian historians, such as Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, have cited the time of the princes of Kievan Rus, who ruled over a confederation of city-based states spread over what became northern Ukraine, Belarus and the southern and central parts of European Russia, as early precedents of specifically Ukrainian statehood. [ ^ Hrushevsky, Mykhaylo. History of Ukraine. Chartorsky Publishing, New York, 1961. p. 119 ]

Cossack nationalism

The Cossacks played a role in awakening a Ukrainian sense of identity within the Steppes region. [Wilson, Andrew. "Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith". Cambridge University Press. London: 1997. 6.] A dominant figure within the Cossack movement and in Ukrainian nationalist history was a Zaporozhian Cossack, named, Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Bohdan Khmelnytsky led a revolt against Polish rule in the mid-17th century. [Wilson, Andrew. "Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith". Cambridge University Press. London: 1997. 7.] Khmelnytsky was also successful at bringing back a central government to Kiev. However this government would not last long after Khmelnytsky’s death. Khmelnytsky is still remembered and glorified in Ukrainian history in modern Ukraine.

Khmelnytsky spoke of the liberation of the "entire Ruthenian people" and recent research has confirmed that the concept of a Ruthenian nation as a religious and cultural community had existed before his revolution. [Serhy Yekelchyk. "Ukraine Birth of a Modern Nation". Oxford University Press, 2007. p 28]

Another prominent figure in Cossack nationalism is the Hetman Ivan Mazepa. During the early 18th century, Mazepa made large financial contributions focused on the restoration of Ukrainian culture and history, for example financing major reconstructions of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, [ [ Mazepa, Ivan ] ] and elevating the Kiev Mogila Collegium to the rank of Academy in 1694. [ [ Mazepa, Ivan ] ] However, Mazepa's political ideas found little support among the Cossacks and the Ukrainians in general. [Orest Subtelny, "Ukraine: a History", University of Toronto Press, 2000, ISBN 0802083900, p. 164]

Ukrainian Nationalism in literature

One of the most prominent figures in Ukrainian nationalist history is the national poet, Taras Shevchenko who voiced the ideas of having an independent and autonomous Ukraine in the 19th century. [ Kleiner, Israel. "From Nationalism to Universalism Vladmir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and the Ukrainian Question". Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Edmonton: 2000. 66.] He believed that through the people’s strength one day Ukraine would be free. While others used political and military means of fighting for Ukraine's independence, Taras Shevchenko used poetry to unite and give strength to the Ukrainian people. [ Kleiner, Israel. "From Nationalism to Universalism Vladmir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and the Ukrainian Question". Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Edmonton: 2000. 66.] Taras Shevchenko died while in exile, and is regarded as a national hero, not only by the citizens of Ukraine, but by Ukrainians that live throughout the world.

Ukrainian nationalism in the 20th century

World War I

With the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917 and the ensuing civil war, a group which encompassed political, community, cultural, and professional organizations was established in Kiev. This group was called the "Tsentralna Rada" (Central Council) and was headed by the historian Mykhailo Hrushevskyi. [ [ Ukraine - MSN Encarta ] ] On January 22, 1918, the Tsentralna Rada declared Ukraine an independent country. [ [ Ukraine - MSN Encarta ] ] This independence was recognized by the Russian government headed by Lenin, as well as the Central Powers. [ [ Treaty of Brest-Litovsk - ] ] However, this government did not survive very long because of pressures from not only Denikin's White Guard, but also the Red Army and also German intervention. [ [ Ukraine - MSN Encarta ] ]

Interwar period in Soviet Ukraine

As Bolshevik rule took hold in Ukraine, the early Soviet government had its own reasons to encourage the national movements of the former Russian Empire.

Until the early-1930s, Ukrainian culture enjoyed a widespread revival due to Bolshevik concessions known as the policy of Korenization ("indigenization"). In these years an impressive Ukrainization program was implemented throughout the republic. In such conditions, the Ukrainian national idea initially continued to develop and even spread to a large territory with traditionally mixed population in the east and south that became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

At the same time, despite the ongoing Soviet-wide anti-religious campaign, the Ukrainian national Orthodox Church was created, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. The church was initially seen by the Bolshevik government as a tool in their goal to suppress the Russian Orthodox Church, always viewed with great suspicion by the regime for its being the cornerstone of the defunct Russian Empire and the initially strong opposition it took towards the regime change. Therefore, the government tolerated the new Ukrainian national church for some time and the UAOC gained a wide following among the Ukrainian peasantry.

These events greatly raised the national consciousness among the Ukrainians and the brought about the development of a new generation of Ukrainian cultural and political elite. This in turned raised the concerns of Stalin who saw danger in the Ukrainians' loyalty towards their nation competing with their loyalty to the Soviet State and in early 1930s the "Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism" was declared to be the primary problem in Ukraine. The Ukrainization policies were abruptly and bloodily reversed, most of the Ukrainian cultural and political elite was arrested and executed, and the nation was decimated with the artificial famine.

Interwar period in Western Ukraine

World War II

With the outbreak of war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1941, many nationalists in Ukraine thought that they would have an opportunity to create an independent country once again. Some even collaborated with Nazi administration and military units. However, the German treatment of the local population quickly put an end to this. [ [ Ukraine - ] ]

Many of the fighters who had originally looked to the Nazis as liberators, quickly became disillusioned and formed the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (
*Alexander J. Motyl, "The turn to the right : the ideological origins and development of Ukrainian nationalism, 1919-1929", Published: Boulder, [Colo. : East European quarterly] ; New York : distributed by Columbia University Press, 1980, ISBN 0914710583
*Kenneth C. Farmer, "Ukrainian nationalism in the post-Stalin era : myth, symbols, and ideology in Soviet nationalities policy", Kluwer Boston, 1980, ISBN 9024724015
*Andrew Wilson, "Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith", Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN 0521574579
*Ernst B. Haas, "Nationalism, Liberalism, and Progress", Cornell University Press, 1997, ISBN 0801431085, Chapter seven: Russia and Ukraine, pp. 324-410
*Ronald Grigor Suny, Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union", Stanford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0804722471
*Paul Robert Magocsi, "The Roots of Ukrainian Nationalism: Galicia As Ukraine's Piedmont", University of Toronto Press, 2002, ISBN 0802047386
*Andrew Wilson, "The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation", Yale University Press, 2002, ISBN 0300093098

ee also

*Declaration of Independence of Ukraine
*Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists
*All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom" (Svoboda)
*Patriot of Ukraine
*Kamyana Mohyla
*Free Territory (Ukraine)
*Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine
*Ukrainian War of Independence
*Nikifor Grigoriev

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