Unification Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Act Zluky)

Universal of the Directory of the Ukrainian People's Republic
A copy of the Act Zluky, signed on 22 January 1919
Presented22 January [O.S. 11 January] 1918
Ratifiedfrom the moment of signing
Repealed20 December 1919
LocationSofia Square, Kyiv, Ukrainian People's Republic
SignatoriesUkrainian Central Council
PurposeUnification of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic into one state
The signing of the Act Zluky, on the St. Sophia Square in Kyiv

The Unification Act (Ukrainian: Акт Злуки, romanizedAkt Zluky, IPA: [ˈɑkt ˈzlukɪ]; or Велика Злука, Velyka Zluka, IPA: [ˈwɛlɪkɐ ˈzlukɐ]) was an agreement signed by the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic in St Sophia Square in Kyiv on 22 January 1919. Since 1999, it is celebrated every year as the Day of Unity of Ukraine to commemorate the signing of the treaty; it is a state holiday in Ukraine;[1][2] though not a public holiday.[3][clarification needed]


Modern-day borders of Ukraine compared to former subdivisions of the Russian and Austria-Hungarian empires.

On January 22 (O.S. January 9), 1918, the Central Council of Ukraine, with its Fourth Universal, proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic an independent, sovereign state of the Ukrainian people.

On 1 December 1918, a pre-accession agreement on the further unification of the two republics into a single state was concluded between the Ukrainian People's Republic and the Western Ukrainian People's Republic in Fastiv. On 3 January 1919, the Ukrainian National Council of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic in Stanislaviv ratified it and sent a delegation to negotiate with the UPR government, and on 22 January 1919, the UPR Directory issued a universal declaring the creation of a single and independent UPR. On the same day, in a solemn atmosphere, it was announced on Saint Sophia Square in Kyiv.

Eyewitnesses testified about the course of events in Kyiv, to which Levko Lukasevych refers in his book On the Slope of Age:

It is a frosty day, the trees are covered with frost. From the morning the city has a festive look. National flags and banners everywhere. Carpets and canvases with bright Ukrainian drawings are hung on the balconies of the houses. Sofia Square and neighboring streets are especially beautifully decorated. Among them are the house where the central telegraph office is located and the house of the Kyiv Provincial Zemstvo. Here on the balconies are portraits and busts of Taras Shevchenko, decorated with national ribbons, as well as flags. On the Triumphal Arch at the entrance from Volodymyrska Street to Sophia Square are the ancient coats of arms of Eastern Ukraine and Halychyna. Coats of arms of almost all Ukrainian provinces and posters are placed on the pillars all over the square.

At eleven o'clock in the morning, Ukrainian infantry units, artillery, and machine gun crews began to march to the sounds of music, taking place on all four sides of the square. Following the army, a large number of people gathered and filled the entire square and neighboring streets. Many of those present climbed the trees to see the action from there.

The placement of delegations in places and the whole ceremony of the holiday was headed by the actor Mykola Sadovsky. Soon in front of the troops stood new ranks of students, who came accompanied by teachers with national flags and posters. Of the numerous delegations that arrived at the ceremony, the first to appear were railway employees with a large banner that read: "Glory to Ukrainian Heroes!" Afterwards, delegations from ministries and other institutions arrived, and there were processions from all Kyiv churches.

The clergy gathered in St. Sophia Cathedral for the Divine Liturgy. It was ruled by the Bishop of Cherkasy Nazariy. The square was getting tighter. Members of the Halychynian delegation, government officials with the chairman of the Council of Ministers Volodymyr Chekhivskyi, delegates of the Labor Congress, representatives of the National Union, the highest civil and military dignitaries, foreign diplomats take their places.

At twelve, to the solemn sounds of bells from the Mazepa bell tower and other churches, and the sound of guns from Pechersk, clergy entered the square and took place around the lectern with banners in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral. In the church procession, Archbishop Agapit of Ekaterinoslav and bishops: George of Minsk, Ambrose of Vinnytsia, Nazarius of Cherkasy, Vasily of Kaniv, Dmitry of Uman.

In the silence that flared up for a minute, calls "Glory!" were heard from afar in honor of the members of the Directory who drove up in cars. A military band plays the National Anthem. The most solemn moment of the holiday was coming. The act of unification began with a greeting from the representative of the Ukrainian National Council, the chairman of the Galician delegation Lev Bachynsky, and Lonhyn Tsehelsky read out the statement of the Presidium of the Ukrainian National Council and the State Secretariat on the freedom of the ZUNR to unite into one united Ukrainian state. This statement was received by all participants with long-term applause.

The Chairman of the Directory Volodymyr Vynnychenko spoke, and Professor Fedir Shvets delivered the text of the Universal of Unity. After that, Archbishop Agapit performed a prayer service with the clergy in the intentions of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian state. A military parade of the Galician legion of the Sich Riflemen, commanded by Colonel Yevhen Konovalets, took place.

The next day, the Labor Congress began its work. The first item on the agenda was the adoption of the Act of Unity, and as a sign of complete consent, deputies rose from their seats, applauding.

The agreement was aimed at creating a unified Ukrainian state, a movement long-awaited by the intelligentsia on both sides.[4] However, the Act Zluky was regarded as purely symbolic in that both governments still retained their own separate armies, administrations and government structure.[4]

The text of the universal made by the Directorate of the Ukrainian People's Republic:

The territory of Ukraine, divided over the centuries, including Galicia, Bukovina, Carpathian Ruthenia, and Dnieper Ukraine will now become a great united Ukraine. Dreams, for which the best sons of Ukraine fought and died for, have come true.

According to the treaty Halychyna would become an autonomous part of Ukraine.[5]

The Act of Unification was de-facto denounced after representatives of the Galician Army unilaterally signed the Zyatkivtsi Agreement with the Volunteer Army on 6 November 1919, without taking into account the opinion of the UPR government. The agreement on the cessation of hostilities put the Galician army at the disposal of General Denikin. These agreements were re-approved in Odesa on 17 November 1919, with the leadership of the Novorossiya region of the Armed Forces of Southern Russia, and the treaty was ratified in Vinnytsia on 19 November, after which it was implemented.[6][7][8]

On 2 December 1919, representatives of the Ukrainian People's Republic and Poland signed a draft declaration in Warsaw, according to which the Ukrainian People's Republic gave Poland Chełm Land, Polissia, Podlachia, Western Volhynia, and Eastern Halychyna.[9] On 4 December 1919, the official diplomatic delegation of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic (S. Vytvytskyi, A. Horbachevskyi, M. Novakivskyi) announced to the UPR Embassy in Warsaw and the Government of the Republic of Poland that the Western Ukrainian People's Republic UPR with the Polish government.[10] On 20 December 1919, the authorized dictator Yevhen Petrushevych convened a meeting of the ZUNR government in Vienna, at which a decision was made to unilaterally repeal the Act of Unification.[9][11]

However Ukraine was unable to gain independence and in December 1920 the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union was established comprising most of the territory of the Ukrainian People's Republic.[12] The territories of the West Ukrainian People's Republic became mostly part of Poland.[12] In 1939 the territories of both became part of the Ukrainian SSR.[12]

The unification action of 1919 left a deep mark in the historical memory of the Ukrainian people. This was evidenced by the January events of 1939 in Carpatho-Ukraine.

Over 300,000 Ukrainians participated in the human chain on 21 January 1990.

71st anniversary[edit]

To mark the 71st anniversary of the signing of the Act Zluky in 1990, over 300,000 Ukrainians[13] created a human chain (approx. 482 km (300 mi) long)[13] from the capital Kyiv to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on 21 January 1990.[14][15][16] The chain, the largest public demonstration in Ukraine since the beginning of Glasnost,[13] was funded by the People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh) and was partly inspired by the Baltic Way which had taken place the previous year.[13] For the first time since the period of the Ukrainian People's Republic, the blue and yellow national flag was raised.[17]


On the part of the Ukrainian People's Republic[edit]

Symon Petliura, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Chairman of the Directorate, Fedir Shvets, Panas Andriievskyi [uk].

On the part of the West Ukrainian People's Republic[edit]

Vasyl Stefanyk (leader), Lonhyn Tsehelskyi, Dmytro Levytskyi, Andrii Shmhigelskyi [uk], Tymotei Starukh [uk].

Universal text[edit]

Directorate of the Ukrainian People's Republic

On behalf of the Ukrainian People's Republic:

The directorate notifies the Ukrainian people about the great event in the history of our Ukrainian land.

On 3 January 1919, in Stanislaviv city, the Ukrainian National Council of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic, expressing the will of all Ukrainians of the former Austrian Empire and acting as their highest legislator, solemnly proclaimed the unification of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic with the Dnieper Ukrainian People's Republic to become a unified single sovereign people's republic.

Greeting this historic step of our western brothers with great joy, the Directorate of the Ukrainian People's Republic decided to accept that unification and to implement it on the terms specified in the Resolution of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic dated 3 January 1919.

From now on, the parts of the once united Ukraine, which were separated for centuries — the Western Ukrainian National Republic / Halychyna, Bukovyna and Hungarian Ukraine / and the great Dnieper Ukraine — have become one nation.

The centuries-long dreams that the best sons of Ukraine lived with and died for have thus finally come true.

From now on, the Ukrainian People's Republic is present, existing unified and independent.

And from today onwards, liberated by the impulse of their own might, Ukrainians now have the chance to build up an independent and undivided Ukrainian nation all for the good and happiness of all the people of Ukraine.

Kyiv, 22 January 1919

For the Directorate:

(SGD) Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Chairman of the Directorate of Ukraine

Unity of Ukraine Day[edit]

On 21 January 1999, the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma decreed the creation of the holiday "Unity of Ukraine Day" (Ukrainian: День Соборності України, romanized: Den Sobornosti Ukrainy), a government holiday, celebrated every year on 22 January[18] to mark the political and historical significance of the 1919 agreement.[1] It is not a public holiday.[3] In December 2011, President Viktor Yanukovych caused public controversy when he merged the "Day of Freedom" into this day,[16][19][20] naming it officially the "Day of Unity and Freedom of Ukraine" (Ukrainian: День Соборності та Свободи України, Den' Sobornosti ta Svobody Ukrayiny).[21] The "Day of Freedom" was created in 2005 by President Viktor Yushchenko, Yanukovych's opponent, to be celebrated on 22 November in commemoration of the Orange Revolution.[22] President Yanukovych stated he changed the day of celebration because of "numerous appeals from the public".[19] Mid-October 2014 President Petro Poroshenko undid Yanukovych's merging when he decreed that 21 November will be celebrated as "Day of Dignity and Freedom" in honour of the Euromaidan-protests that started on 21 November 2013.[23]

In a 22 January 2021 Facebook post on the occasion of the 102nd Unity of Ukraine Day celebrating the 1919 symbolic unification of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic, the pro-Russian former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov claimed that instead, the 1939 Soviet annexation of Eastern Galicia and Volhynia should be recognized as the day Ukraine gained "the real unity of Ukraine".[24] According to Azarov "many Ukrainians, do not know these facts, because now the Soviet period of Ukraine is smeared with black paint, and Bandera is glorified and glorified."[24] Azarov also claimed that prior to 1939 Western Ukraine became part of the USSR "there was no industry or social infrastructure. And look at what has been created in Western Ukraine for several decades of independence."[24]

On Unity Day 2024, no less than President Volodymyr Zelensky announced in an online address the signing of a Presidential Decree regarding the resolution of the issues of Ukrainian historical territories now under Russian control beyond its 1991 borders, like the Kuban, Belgorod and Rostov Oblasts, which were the territories claimed by the UPR government and were before Holodomor and the massive Russification efforts of the 1930s hosted huge Ukrainian populations.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Yanukovych condemns attempts to undermine unity, Kyiv Post (21 January 2011)
  2. ^ The Day of Unity[permanent dead link], opinion-times.com
  3. ^ a b Culture Smart! Ukraine by Anna Shevchenko, Kuperard, 2006, ISBN 978-1-85733-327-5
  4. ^ a b Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. p. 362. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
  5. ^ The Moulding of Ukraine:The Constitutional Politics of State Formation by Kataryna Wolczuk, Central European University Press, 2001, ISBN 978-963-9241-25-1 (page 44)
  6. ^ Байло Андрій. (2009). "Тимчасовий союз УГА з Добрармією та його наслідки" (PDF) (Збірник наукових праць) (in Ukrainian) (18) (Україна: культурна спадщина, національна свідомість, державність ed.). Львів: Інститут українознавства ім. І. Крип'якевича НАН України: 353–362. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  7. ^ Томюк І. М. (2008). "Причини та наслідки вимушеного об'єднання Української галицької армії з Добровольчою армією уряду А. І. Денікіна (листопад – грудень 1919 р.)" (PDF). Visnyk Nat︠s︡ionalʹnoho Universytetu "Lʹvivsʹka Politekhnika." (Тематичний випуск «Держава та армія») (612) (Вісник Національного університету «Львівська політехніка» ed.): 86–91. ISSN 0321-0499.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  8. ^ Солдатенко В. Ф. (2009). "Трагічна сторінка історії об'єднаного українського фронту: договір УГА з білогвардійцями". Соборність як чинник українського державотворення (до 90-річчя Акту злуки) (PDF). Київ. pp. 53–63. {{cite book}}: Unknown parameter |agency= ignored (help)CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ a b Полянський О. Соборність України: територіальний і ментальний аспекти // Вільне життя плюс. — 2017. — № 7 (15847) (27 січ.). — С. 4. — (Право і життя).
  10. ^ Литвин М., Науменко К. Історія ЗУНР… — С. 140.
  11. ^ Bilorusets, Hanna (19 January 2020). Акт Злуки: на шляху до створення Української держави. Радіо Свобода (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Europa World Year Book 2-2004 publication, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-1-85743-255-8 (page 4292)
  13. ^ a b c d Subtelny, p. 576.
  14. ^ Rohoza, Borys. "Great Zluka". Khreshchatyk (in Ukrainian). Hornyak. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  15. ^ "Yushchenko asked the political elite to celebrate the Day of Reunion". Korrespondent (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  16. ^ a b Yanukovych signs decree on new holiday replacing Ukrainian Independence Day, Kyiv Post (30 December 2011)
  17. ^ Orel, Svitlana. "We cannot forget". Vechirka.com.ua (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  18. ^ Laws of Ukraine. Presidential decree No. 42/99: On Day of Reunion of Ukraine. Adopted on 21 January 1999. (Ukrainian)
  19. ^ a b Yanukovych cancels Freedom Day on Nov. 22, Z I K (31 December 2011)
  20. ^ Yanukovych abolishes Day of Liberty on November 22 Archived 19 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine, "Observer" (30 December 2011)
  21. ^ President signs Decree On Celebration of Some Memorable Dates and Professional Holidays Archived 22 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, President.gov.ua (30 December 2011)
  22. ^ Day of Freedom: here comes the end to revolutions Archived 26 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, ForUm (23 November 2011)
  23. ^ Ukrainians to celebrate Day of Dignity and Freedom on November 21, Unity Day on January 22, Interfax-Ukraine (13 November 2014)
  24. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Unity Day: reflections of politicians, non-politicians and Azarov, Historisna Pravda (22 January 2021)
  25. ^ https://kyivindependent.com/zelensky-signs-decree-territories-ukrainian/

External links[edit]