"Until the 50s, Ukraine was the best student in the USSR"

“Until the 50s, Ukraine was the best student in the USSR”

What did the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia change for the Ukrainian national movement?

The February Revolution of 1917 was an opportunity for Ukrainian leaders to demand not so much independence but autonomy in a renewed Russian Federation. But this demand for autonomy poses a problem for the Provisional Government of Petrograd, which refuses to have the “Rada” (the Ukrainian assembly proclaimed in 1917) as a government.

Is federation with Russia a consensus, or do we think about independence?

As long as the demand for autonomy makes it possible to consider in all directions, there is consensus. But when it comes to defining the content, the tensions are very strong. In the face of the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power, Ukrainian nationalists are trying to extricate themselves from this path of revolution. They declared Ukraine’s independence after October 1917, and declared the Ukrainian People’s Republic in January 1918. But these statements represented a relative failure, because some areas were won by the Bolsheviks.

This article was taken from “Le Monde Special Edition: Ukraine, the Story of Emancipation”, 2022. This special issue is for sale at kiosks or online by visiting the website of our shop.

How did the Ukrainians position themselves in the German-Bolshevik negotiations that led to the peace of Brest-Litovsk signed on March 3, 1918?

Wars and revolutions in Ukraine overlap. The Peace of Brest-Litovsk is an attempt by Ukrainian nationalists to protect their independence against the eastern advance of the Bolsheviks. Ukrainian separatists are betting on signing a separate peace agreement with the Central Powers in Brest-Litovsk, following the separate peace signed between Germany and Bolshevik Russia. The result, however, was the dismantling of what remained of the Ukrainian independence force by the Austro-German armies in favor of an allied and conservative government under the auspices of Hetman Pavlo Skorubadsky (1873-1945), a descendant of the great Russian nobility of Ukraine. The independent republic was revived in November 1918, when the Germans left the region, before the November 11 armistice was signed. Simon Petliura (1879-1926), at the head of the armies of this republic, occupied the city of Kyiv and tried in vain to regain control of Ukraine.

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Do the Bolsheviks have a consensual reading of the Ukrainian question?

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