Ostap Vyshnya

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Pavlo Hubenko
Павло Михайлович Губенко
Ostap vishnya.jpg
Born (1889-11-13)13 November 1889
Zinkiv uyezd, Poltava Governorate
Died 28 September 1956(1956-09-28) (aged 66)
Kiev, Soviet Union
Pen name Ostap Vyshnia
Остап Вишня
Occupation writer
Citizenship Russian Empire, Soviet Union
Period 1919-1956
Genre humoresque, feuilleton

Ostap Vyshnia (real name Pavlo Hubenko, 13 November 1889 – 28 September 1956) was a Ukrainian writer, humourist, satirist, and medical official (feldsher).

Early life[edit]

Pavlo Hubenko was born in a large peasant family of 17 children on 13 November 1889 in the khutir (farmstead) Chechva near the small town of Hrun (uk), in Zinkiv uyezd, at the time in the Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire. Today his place is in Sumy Oblast while Zinkiv is a city in Poltava Oblast, both in Ukraine. He studied in elementary school in Zinkiv, later enrolling into the Kiev military-nursing school which he finished in 1907. He worked as a nurse in the Army and then at the surgical department of the South-Western Railways hospital. He finally managed to take the tests to enroll into the Kiev University in 1917, but later (1919) dropped out of it and was fully was overtaken by journalism and literary works. In 1919 he was captured by Bolsheviks while being in the Ukrainian Army and heavily sick of typhus. Remarkable is the fact that he also served as the chief of the medical-sanitary directorate of Ukrainian Ministry of Railways (Transport). Until 1921 he spent time in Kharkiv's prison till the complete end of the Civil War. During the times of Directorate of Ukraine he became known for his phrase: Inside the wagon - Directory, under the wagon - territory.

Career and repression[edit]

The first printed story by Ostap Vyshnia — «Denikin's Democratic Reforms» was published on 2 November 1919 in the newspaper «Narodna Volia» under the pen name «P.Hrunsky».

Several satirical articles were also printed in this same newspaper by the young writer, and from April 1921, when he had become a journalist with the government newspaper News of All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee (Ukrainian: «Вісті ВУЦВК»), began the period of his creative activity and regular articles in the press. The pen name of Ostap Vyshnia appeared for the first time on 22 July 1921 in The Peasant Truth with the feuilleton Odd Fellow, Really!.

In 1933 he was sent to the labour camps for ten years, and he was able to return to his literary career only in 1943. He was rehabilitated in 1955.


Ostap Vyshnya died on 28 September 1956 in Kiev. He is buried at the Baikove Cemetery.


Hard Times (translation into English of best humour & satire spanning his whole career), published 1981, transl. by Yuri Tkacz, Bayda Books, Australia

External links[edit]