Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius

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The Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius (Ukrainian: Кирило-Мефодіївське братство) was a short-lived secret political society that existed in Kiev, Ukraine, at the time a part of the Russian Empire.

The organization predated the Spring of Nations in Europe just by few years. Founded in December, 1845 or in January, 1846, the society sought to revive the ideals of the traditional Ukrainian brotherhoods and envisioned a Ukrainian national rebirth, including national independence, within a free and equal Slavic federation. It was quickly suppressed by the government in March 1847 with most of the members punished by exile or imprisonment.

The goals of the society were liberalisation of the political and social system of the Imperial Russia in accordance with the members Christian principles and the Slavophile views that gained popularity among the country's liberal intelligentsia. Created under the initiative of Nikolay Kostomarov (1818-1885), a famous historian of Russia and Ukraine, the society was named after Saints Cyril and Methodius, widely regarded as heroes for the Slavic nations celebrated for spreading Christianity and inventing the alphabet used in several Slavic languages.

The society goals included the abolition of serfdom, broad access to public education, transformation of the empire into a federation of free Slavic people with Russians being one of the equal rather than the dominant nation and, according to Mykhailo Hrushevskyi (1866-1934), the implementation of the liberal democratic principles of freedom of speech, thought and religion.[1]

Members included Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), Panteleimon Kulish (1819-1897), Yurii Andruzky (1827 - after 1864), Vasyl Bilozersky (1825-1899), Mykola Hulak (1821-1899), Opanas Markovych, Oleksander Navrotsky, O. Petrov, Ivan Posiada, Dmytro Pylchykov (1821-1893), and M. Savych.

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