Western Ukrainian Russophiles
The focus of this article is part of a general political movement in Western Ukraine of the 19th and early 20th century. The movement contained several competing branches: Moscowphiles, Ukrainophiles, Rusynphiles, and others.
The time has come . . . to cross our Rubicon and say openly so that everyone can hear it: We cannot be separated by a Chinese wall from our brothers and cannot stand apart from the linguistic, ecclesiastical, and national connection with the entire Russian world!—from Ivan Naumovich's Glimpse into the future, considered the most important manifesto of Galician Russophilism
Western Ukrainian Russophiles (Ukrainian: Pусофіли, Rusofily) were participants in a cultural and political movement largely in the Western Ukraine. This ideology emphasized that since the people of Galicia (Halychyna) were descendents of the people of Kievan Rus' (Ruthenians), and followers of Eastern Christianity, that they were thus a branch of the Russian people. The movement was part of the whole Pan-Slavism that was developing in the late 19th century. Russophilia was largely a reaction against Polish (in Galicia) and Hungarian (in Transcarpathia) cultural suppression that was largely associated with Catholicism.
The "Russophiles" did not apply the term to themselves, and called themselves Rus[s]ians or Ruthenians (Rusyny). Some Russophiles coined such terms as Obshche-rossy (Common Russians) or Starorusyny (Old Ruthenians) to stress either the differences within their faction, referring to commonness with all Russias, or their unique stand within the whole of the Russian nation.
The ethnonym Ruthenians for Ukrainian people had been accepted by both the Russophiles and the Moscowphiles for quite a long period of time. The new name Ukrainians began to be accepted by the Ruthenian Galicians (as oppose to Polonian Galicians) around the 1890s, under the influence of Mykola Kostomarov and the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius in central Ukraine.
After the fall of the westernmost East Slavic state in 1349, most of the area of what is now Western Ukraine came under the control of Poland and Hungary, with Poland ruling Galicia and Hungary controlling Transcarpathia. The loss of independence began a period of gradual, centuries-long assimilation of much of the native elite into Polish and Hungarian culture. These elite adopted a national orientation in which they saw the native Rus population of Galicia as a branch of the Polish nation who happened to be of the Eastern Christian faith. They believed that the native language was merely a dialect of Polish, comparable to Mazovian, and that assimilation would be inevitable.
This process of Polonization was, however, resented by the peasants, the clergy, and small minority of nobles who retained their East Slavic culture, religion or both. The latter two groups would form the nucleus of native national movements that would emerge with the loosening of Polish and Hungarian control in western Ukraine, which occurred when the entire region came under the control of the Austrian Habsburgs in the course of the Partitions of Poland. The Austrian Emperor emancipated the serfs, introduced compulsory education, and raised the status of the Ruthenian priests to that of their Polish and Hungarian counterparts. Furthermore, they mandated that Ukrainian Catholic seminarians receive a formal higher education (previously, priests had been educated informally by their fathers), and organized institutions in Vienna and Lviv that would serve this function. This led to the appearance, for the first time, of a large educated social class within the Ukrainian population in Galicia. Austrian reforms led to a gradual social mobilization of the native inhabitants of Western Ukraine and the emergence of several national ideologies that reflected the natives' East Slavic culture and were opposed to that of Roman Catholic Poland and Hungary. This development was encouraged by the Austrian authorities because it served to undermine Polish or Hungarian control of the area. The cultural movements included: Russophilia, the idea that Galicia was the westernmost part of Russia and that the natives of Western Ukraine were, like all of the Russian Empire's East Slavic inhabitants, members of one Russian nation; Ruthenianism, the idea that the people of Western Ukraine were a unique East Slavic nation; and Ukrainophilia, the idea that the people of western Ukraine were the same as those of neighboring lands in the Russian Empire but that both were a people different from Russians — Ukrainians.
Initially there existed a fluidity between all three national orientations, with people changing their allegiance throughout their lives, and until approximately the turn of the 20th century members of all three groups frequently identified themselves by the ethnonym Ruthenians (Rusyny). Initially the most prominent ideology was Ruthenianism, or Rutenstvo. Its proponents, referred to as "Old Ruthenians", were mainly wealthier or more influential priests and the remnants of the nobility who had not been Polonized, and were quite loyal to the Habsburgs to whom they owed their higher social standing. While emphasizing their separateness from the Poles in terms of religion and background, these people nevertheless maintained an elitist attitude towards the peasantry. They frequently spoke the Polish language among themselves, and tried to promote a version of Church Slavonic with elements of the local Ukrainian vernacular as well as the Russian language as a literary language for western Ukraine This language was never standardized, however. The language actually spoken by the common people was viewed with contempt. Old Ruthenians rejected both Ukrainophilism and Russophilism. The Ukrainian thinker Mykhailo Drahomanov wrote ironically of them, that "you Galician intellectuals really do think of creating some kind of Uniate Paraguay, with some kind of hierarchical bureaucratic aristocracy, just like you have created an Austro-Ruthenian literary language!"  Old Ruthenianism dominated Galicia's cultural scene until the mid-19th century, when it was supplanted by Russophilia (many of the proponents of old Ruthenianism eventually became Russophiles).
The early Galician Russophile Nikolay Kmicykevich wrote an article in 1834 stating that the Russians were the same people from Western Ukraine to Kamchatka, from the White Sea to the Black Sea, and the language they spoke was the same Russian language. He wrote that the standard Russian language was more acceptable for modern writing and that the popular dialects in Ukraine were corrupted by Polish influence. These ideas were stimulated by the Russian pan-Slavist Mikhail Pogodin, who stayed in Lviv (Lemberg) in 1835 and 1839–1840 and who during this time influenced the local Ruthenian intelligentsia. No longer seeing themselves as representatives of a small Ruthenian nation of under three million people, weak in comparison to its neighbors, the Russophiles now saw themselves as the westernmost branch of the Great Russian people. A Russian orientation also played into the Russophile's elitist tendencies, because the Russian literary language which they tried to adopt (many continued to use the Polish language in their daily lives) set the Russophile priests and nobles apart from the Ukrainian-speaking peasants. Politically, the Russophiles came to advocate the idea of a union between a Galician Ruthenia and Russia.
One of the most active of the Galician Russophiles was the prominent historian, nobleman Denis Zubrytsky, who helped convert many of the Galician elite to his cause. He was also the first to begin writing in standard Russian: as early as 1849 he started his main work, The History of the Ancient Galician-Russian Principality. In a letter to his friend Mikhail Pogodin, Zubrytsky claimed that his stated purpose was to acquaint his Galician people with Russian history and the Russian language. Indeed, the historiography of the medieval Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia was largely begun by Galician Russophiles and served as the basis for their nation-building project (in contrast, the Ukrainophiles at that time focused on the history of the Cossacks). In terms of literature and culture, the Russophiles promoted Nikolai Gogol and Ivan Naumovich in contrast to Ukrainophile emphasis on Taras Shevchenko.
Western Ukrainian Russophiles felt that the people of Ukraine played a special role within the larger Russian nation. The priest Ivan Naumovich declared that the Russian language was derived from "Little Russian" and was only being readopted in Galicia. Indeed, Galician Russophiles wrote that one of the reasons for all East Slavs to adopt the Russian language was that the modern Russian language had been created in the 17th and 18th centuries by scholars from Ukraine.
Despite some democratic elements (such as promoting literacy among peasants) Galician Russophilia tended to be antidemocratic and reactionary, placing it at odds with the democratic trends in 19th century society. For example, the Russophile leader Dennis Zubrytsky defended serfdom both before and after the emancipation of Austrian Galician serfs in 1848.
There were also antisemitic strains in Russophilism. From the 1860s to the 1880s some peasants hoped that the Tsar would come to Galicia and slaughter the Poles and the Jews. During the Russian occupation of Galicia in 1914-1915, a Galician Russophile newspaper spread rumors of anti-Russian Jewish uprisings in order to justify antisemitic pogroms by Russian troops, and Russophiles working within the Russian administration united with right-wing Russian elements in urging the Russian government to solve the "Jewish question" by stripping Jews of Russian citizenship, expelling them to Germany and distributing their property (along with that of Poles) among the local Ukrainian ("Russian") people. The latter appeals were ignored by the Russian military, who did not want excessive disruptions to the local economy during the war. Russophiles who had been installed by the Russian authorities as mayors in some towns proceeded to shut down Jewish schools.
Rise and development 
Western Ukrainian Russophilia appeared in Carpathian Ruthenia at the end of the 18th century. At this time, several people from the region settled in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and obtained high academic positions. The best known of these was Vasilly Kukolnik (father of Russian playwright Nestor Kukolnik), a member of an old noble family who had studied in Vienna before coming to Russia. Vasilly's pupils included Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia and Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovich of Russia, the future emperor Nicholas I of Russia. These émigrés, while adopting a sense of Russian patriotism, also maintained their ties to their homeland and tried to use their wealth to introduce Russian literature and culture to their region. When the Hungarians revolted against the Austrians in 1848, the local East Slavs, antagonistic toward the Hungarians who had dominated them, were deeply moved by the presence of the seemingly invincible Russian troops sent by Nicholas to help crush the rebellion. At this time, Austria supported the Russophile movement as a counterbalance to Polish and Hungarian interests, and under the leadership of the Russophile nobleman Adolf Dobriansky, the people of Transcarpathia were granted limited autonomy, although the region reverted to Hungarian control after a few years.
In Galicia, Russophilia emerged as early as the 1830s, when "Society of scholars" was organized in Peremyshl and was stimulated in part by the presence in Lviv (Lemberg) in 1835 and from 1839–1840 of Russian pan-Slavist Mikhail Pogodin who became acquainted with the local Ruthenian intelligentsia and became an influence on them. However, the movement did not come to dominate western Ukrainian society until the 1850s–60s. Many proponents of Ruthenianism became disenchanted with Austria and linked themselves with the giant and powerful Russian state. The relative rise of Russia's power in comparison to that of Austria during the 19th century also played a role in such feelings. Events of the 1860s helped to increase pro-Russian feelings in Galicia. Traditionally, the local Ruthenians had a naive belief that the Hapsburg Emperor was on their side and that he would defend them against the Polish nobility. From the late 1850s, Austrian courts often sided with (primarily Polish) nobles in land disputes with peasants, during which forests and pastures that the peasants had traditionally been using were deemed the property of the nobles. This led to significant economic harship for the peasants. While this was happening, the Russian tsar had emancipated the peasants in Russian-ruled Ukraine. In 1863-1864, an insurrection of Polish nobles in areas that included Russian-ruled Ukraine was brutally crushed by the Tsarist government, which in punishing the Polish rebels provided the Ukrainian peasants with relatively favorable compensation. Many Galicians began to approvingly contrast the Tsar's brutal treatment of the Polish nobles with the Austrians' seemingly taking the Polish side in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. Many of them came to believe that the plight of the Ukrainians was improving more under the Tsars than it was under the Austrians. In the testimony of one Austrian-Ukrainian peasant, "if there is no justice in Vienna, we will find it in the Moskal." 
During this time, the poet and scholar Yakiv Holovatsky, a member of "The Ruthenian Trinity", joined the Russophile movement. Soon thereafter, the Russophile priests of the St George Cathedral Circle came to dominate the local hierarchy of the Greek Catholic Church, thereby transforming that Church into an instrument of their cause. Russophiles took over Ruthenian academic institutions (such as the Stauropegion Institute, with its printing press and large collection of archives) and the venerable Ruthenian newspaper Slovo ('The Word'), and under their leadership it became the most widely circulated newspaper among Western Ukrainians. In 1870, the Russophiles formed a political organization, the Ruthenian Council (Ruska Rada) which represented the population of Western Ukraine. From the 1860s until the 1880s Western Ukrainian political, religious, and cultural life came to be dominated by the Russophiles.
Pre-war decline and fall 
Within a generation of achieving dominance of Western Ukrainian life, however, the Russophiles were eclipsed by the Ukrainophiles, or so-called Populists (Narodovtsi). Originally coming from the same social stratum as the Russophiles (priests and nobles), but joined by the emerging secular intelligentsia, the Ukrainophiles were from a younger generation who unlike their fathers found ethusiasm for Taras Shevchenko rather than the Tsars, and embraced the peasantry rather than rejected it. This dedication to the people (the "bottom-up" approach) would prove successful against the Russophiles' elitist "top-down" orientation.
Many factors accounted for the collapse of the Russophile movement. The principal one was likely the Ukrainophiles' incredible capacity for organization. The Populists fanned out throughout the countryside in order to mobilize the masses to their cause. In 1868, the Lviv student Anatole Vakhnianyn organized and became the first head of the Prosvita organization, whose goal was to organize reading rooms and community theaters which became extremely popular among the peasants. In order to help the impoverished peasants, Ukrainophile activists set up co-operatives that would buy supplies in large quantities, eliminate middlemen, and pass the savings onto the villagers. Credit unions were created, providing inexpensive loans to farmers and eliminating the reliance on non-Ukrainian moneylenders. Russophiles belatedly tried to imitate such strategies but could not catch up. By 1914, Prosvita had 3,000 reading rooms while the Russophile version, the Kachkovsky Society (founded in 1874), had only 300. The Ukrainian co-operative union had 900 members, while the rival Russophile one had only 106. Prevented from publishing in the mainstream western Ukrainian newspapers by the Russophiles who controlled them, the Populists created their own. In 1880, Dilo ('Deed') was founded as a rival to the Russophile Slovo, and due to the rising literacy of the Ukrainian population its circulation surpassed that of its older rival.
A second important factor for the success of the Ukrainophiles was the exile from Dnieper Ukraine of a large number of well-educated and talented eastern Ukrainian writers and scholars, such as the writer Panteleimon Kulish, the former professor of Kiev's University of St. Vladimir, economist and philosopher Mykhailo Drahomanov, and especially the historian Mykhailo Hrushevsky, who headed a newly-established department at the University of Lviv. Many of these figures settled or lived for a time in Lviv. In contrast, no prominent Russian intellectuals came to Galicia in order to help the local Russophile cause. This phenomenon led to the ironic observation of Drahomanov that the Ukrainianophiles were actually more in touch with contemporary Russian cultural and intellectual trends than were the Russophiles despite the latter group's love for Russia. From among the local intelligentsia, Ivan Franko showed the literary potential of the vernacular Ukrainian language. The local Russophiles could not compete with the talent of these Ukrainophile cultural figures and scholars.
Help for the Ukrainophile cause from eastern Ukraine also took the form of generous financial assistance from wealthy Ukrainian landowners. Due to restrictions against Ukrainian printing and the Ukrainian language imposed by the tsarist government in eastern Ukraine, eastern Ukrainian noble or Cossacks officer families who had not became Russified sent money to Galicia in order to sponsor Ukrainophile cultural activities there. These people, enjoying gentry status, were generally much wealthier than the priests and priests' sons who dominated the local Galician movements. The amount sent by these private individuals from Russian-ruled Ukraine to Ukrainophile causes likely equalled the subsidies sent by the Russian government to Galician Russophiles. For example, Yelyzaveta Myloradovich, a noblewoman from Poltava, donated 20,000 Austrian crowns to the Shevchenko Scientific Society.
The Austrian government also contributed significantly to the Ukrainophiles' victory. During the latter part of the 19th century, as Austria-Hungary and Russia became rivals, the Austrian authorities became alarmed by the Russophiles' activities. To maintain the loyalty of the Ukrainian population, the Austrian authorities made concessions to Ukrainian causes, such as expanding the Ukrainian educational system, and in 1893 made the Ukrainophile version of the vernacular Ukrainian language the language of instruction. Doing so effectively shut the Russophiles out of the educational system. During the 1880s the Austrians put many Russophiles on trial for treason or espionage. These trials were widely publicized, and served to discredit the Russophiles among the Ukrainian people, most of whom continued to be loyal to the Austrian Emperor. One of the prosecuters was Kost Levitsky, who later became an important Ukrainian politician. The Austrians also deported an editor of the Russophile newspaper Slovo and deposed the Russophile head of the Greek Catholic Church, Metropolitan Joseph Sembratovych.
In 1899, Count Andrey Sheptytsky became new head of the Greek Catholic Church. A Polonized nobleman from an old Ukrainian family, he adopted the Ukrainian language and a Ukrainophile orientation. Although Sheptytsky did not interfere in priests' personal activities and writings, he slowly purged the Church's hierarchy of Russophiles. Despite drawing some Ukrainophiles' criticism for the slow progression of his changes, under Sheptytsky's leadership the Church gradually ceased being a bastion of Russophilism and instead became a staunchly Ukrainophile one.
Lacking support within their community and from the Austrian government, the remaining Russophiles turned to outsiders for support. They largely depended on financing from the Russian government and Russian private sponsors (the Galician-Russian Benevolent Society was established in Saint Petersburg in 1908) and from ultraconservative Galician Polish aristocrats. The Polish ultraconservatives had become alarmed by the social mobilization of the Ukrainian peasants and sought to use the Russophile movement as a way of dividing the Ukrainian community. They were also united with the Russophiles in opposition to a proposed alliance between Ukrainophiles and politically moderate Poles. Polish support provided the Russophiles with some advantages during elections, some advantages for Russophile priests in obtaining parishes, and tolerance towards Russophile political activities.
Help from Russian and Polish patrons largely failed to prevent the Russophile decline. By the early 20th century, the Russophiles became a minority in Galicia. Within the Church, they were nicknamed "bisons," in scholar Himka's words an "ancient, shaggy species on the verge of extinction." Of nineteen Ukrainian periodicals published in Galicia in 1899, sixteen were Ukrainophile in orientation, only two were Russophile in orientation and one was neutral. In the 1907 elections to the Viennese parliament, the Ukrainophiles won 22 seats while the Russophiles won five. But the Russophiles, due to Polish interference, won elections to the Galician parliament the same year by taking 11 seats, the Ukrainophiles 10. In 1913, 30 Ukrainophile and only 1 Russophile delegate were sent to the Galician Diet. There were certain regional patterns in the support for Russophilism, in that it was most popular in the extreme western parts of eastern Galicia, particularly in the Lemko region of centered on the city of Przemysl. This region, closest to Polish ethniographic territory, may have been most receptive to Russophilia's radical differentiation of Ukrainians/Ruthenians from Poles.
World War I and Afterwards 
Immediately before the outbreak of World War I, the Austrian and Hungarian governments held numerous treason trials of those suspected of Russophile subversion. When the Austrians were driven from Galicia in August 1914, they avenged themselves upon suspected Russophiles and their families. Russophiles were punished for allegedly seeking to separate Galicia, Bukovyna and parts of northern Hungary from Austria-Hungary and attaching them to Russia, of seeking volunteers for the Russian army, and of organizing a pro-Russian paramilitary group known as the Russkie Druzhiny – a Russophile counterpart to the Ukrainophile pro-Austrian Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. Hundreds of suspected Russophiles were shot, and thirty thousand were sent to the Talerhof concentration camp, where approximately three thousand died of exposure.
The Russian administration of Galicia lasted from August 1914 until June 1915. Russian Grand Duke Nicholas issued a manifesto proclaiming that the people of Galicia were brothers who had "languished for centuries under a foreign yoke" and urged them to "raise the banner of United Russia."  During this time, with the help of local Russophiles, the Russian administration, aware that the Ukrainophiles were loyal to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and that they had organized the Ukrainian legion of the Austro-Hungarian army, engaged in a harsh persecution of the Ukrainophile leaders and their ideology. Ukrainian schools were forcibly converted to Russian-language instruction, reading rooms, newspapers, co-operatives and credit unions were closed, and hundreds of community leaders were arrested and exiled under suspicion of collaboration. The popular head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was arrested and exiled to Russia. Although Nicholas II issued a decree forbidding forceful conversion from Uniatism to Orthodoxy, except in cases where 75% of the parishioners approved, the ultimate goal was the liquidation of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. In addition to its head, hundreds of priests were exiled to Russia and replaced by Orthodox priests, who urged the parishioners to convert to Orthodoxy. The behavior of the Russian authorities was so heavy-handed that it was denounced as a "European scandal" in the Russian Duma by the Russian statesman Pavel Milyukov. The Russians were aided in their suppression of Ukrainian culture by local Russophiles  and by Polish anti-Ukrainian figures such as Lviv professor Stanisław Grabski. Such actions angered most of the local Ukrainian population.
When Austria regained Galicia in June 1915, most of the remaining Galician Russophiles and their families retreated alongside the Russian army in fear of reprisals. Approximately 25,000 of them were resettled near Rostov-on-Don. Among those that did not leave, the Austrians arrested and sentenced to death approximately thirty noted Russophiles, including two members of parliament, Dmytro Markov and Volodymyr Kurylovich (their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment and they were released in 1917)., as well as Metodyj Trochanovskij. Kost Levitsky, a prominent Ukrainophile leader and the future president of the West Ukrainian National Republic, appeared as a prosecutor during the trials against the Russophiles.
When civil war broke out in Russia, some Galician Russophiles then fought in the ranks of the White Army, specifically under Lavr Kornilov, in the hope that Galicia would become part of a democratic White Russia.
After the collapse of Austria-Hungary the Ukrainians of Galicia proclaimed the West Ukrainian National Republic. Between 70 and 75 thousand men fought in its Ukrainian Galician Army. They lost their war and the territory was annexed by Poland. However, the experience of proclaiming a Ukrainian state and fighting for it significantly intensified and deepened the Ukrainian orientation within Galicia. Since the interwar era, Galicia has been the center of Ukrainian nationalism.
The Russophile tradition persisted in the portions of Galicia west of the Dukla Pass, resulting in the formation of the Lemko-Rusyn Republic. Metodyj Trochanovskij continued to espouse the Rusyn national identity, up to the start of World War II. Karpatska Rus', a Rusyn language newspaper published in the United States avoided any suggestion that the Lemkos were a branch of the Ukrainians.
See also 
- Conversion of Chelm Eparchy
- Russian annexation of Eastern Galicia, 1914–1915
- Stauropegion Institute
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