West Ukrainian People's Republic

Coordinates: 50°27′N 30°30′E / 50.450°N 30.500°E / 50.450; 30.500
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West Ukrainian People's Republic
Західноукраїнська Народна Республіка (Ukrainian)
Anthem: Ще не вмерла України
Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy
"Ukraine has not yet perished"
West Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918
West Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918
StatusPartially recognized state (1918–1919) [note 1]
CapitalLviv; afterwards Ternopil, Stanislaviv and Zalishchyky
Common languagesUkrainian, Polish, Yiddish
58.9% Greek Catholic
27.8% Latin Catholic
4% Jewish
1.3% other
LegislatureUkrainian National Council
• Established
1 November 1918
• Act Zluky
22 January 1919
• Exile
16 July 1919
• Government-in-exile dissolved
15 March 1923
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
Ukrainian People's Republic
Second Polish Republic
First Czechoslovak Republic
Kingdom of Romania
Today part ofUkraine, Poland, Slovakia, Romania

The West Ukrainian People's Republic or West Ukrainian National Republic (Ukrainian: Західноукраїнська Народна Республіка, romanizedZakhidnoukrainska Narodna Respublika; abbreviated ЗУНР, ZUNR, also WUNR or WUPR), known for part of its existence as the Western Oblast of the Ukrainian People's Republic (Західна область Української Народної Республіки, Zakhidna oblast Ukrainskoi Narodnoi Respubliky or ЗО УНР, ZO UNR), was a short-lived polity that controlled most of Eastern Galicia from November 1918 to July 1919. It included the cities of Lviv, Ternopil, Kolomyia, Drohobych, Boryslav, Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk) and right-bank Przemyśl, and claimed parts of Bukovina and Carpathian Ruthenia. Politically, the Ukrainian National Democratic Party (the precursor of the interwar Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance) dominated the legislative assembly, guided by varying degrees of Greek Catholic, liberal and socialist ideology.[1] Other parties represented included the Ukrainian Radical Party and the Christian Social Party.

The ZUNR emerged as a breakaway state amid the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, and in January 1919 nominally united with the Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR) as its autonomous Western Oblast. Poland had also claimed this territory, and by July occupied most of it and forced the West Ukrainian government into exile. When the UPR decided late the same year that it would trade the territory for an alliance with Poland against Soviet Russia, the exiled West Ukrainian government broke with the UPR. The exiled government continued its claim until it dissolved in 1923.

The coat of arms of the ZUNR was azure, a golden lion rampant. The colours of the flag were blue and yellow, with the blue in a much lighter shade than in the modern Ukrainian Flag.



Background According to the Austro-Hungarian census of 1910, the territory claimed by the West Ukrainian People's Republic had about 5.4 million people. Of these, 3,291,000 (approximately 60%) were Ukrainians, 1,351,000 (approximately 25%) were Poles, 660,000 (approximately 12%) were Jews, and the rest included Rusyns, Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, Czechs, Slovaks, Romani, Armenians and others.[2]/ Of this region's 44 territorial divisions, Poles were a majority in only one - the city of Lviv. [3] The cities and towns of this largely rural region were mostly populated by Poles and Jews, while the Ukrainians dominated the countryside. This would prove problematic for the Ukrainians, because the largest city, Lviv (Polish: Lwów, German: Lemberg), had a majority Polish population and was considered by Poland to be one of its most important cities.[citation needed]

The oil reserves near Lviv at Drohobych and Boryslav in the upper Dniester River were among the largest in Europe. Rail connections to Russian-ruled Ukraine or Romania were few; these included Brody on a line from Lviv to the upper Styr River,[note 2] Pidvolochysk (Podwoloczyska) on a line from Ternopil to Proskurov (now Khmelnytskyi) in Podolia, and a line along the Prut from Kolomyia (Kolomca) to Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) in Bukovina.

Independence and struggle for existence[edit]

The West Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed on 1 November 1918.[4] The Ukrainian National Rada (a council consisting of all Ukrainian representatives from both houses of the Austrian parliament and from the provincial diets in Galicia and Bukovina) planned to declare the West Ukrainian People's Republic on 3 November 1918, but moved the date forward to 1 November due to reports that the Polish Liquidation Committee was to transfer from Kraków to Lviv.[5] Shortly after the republic proclaimed independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire a popular uprising took place in Lviv, where most residents were Polish and did not want to be part of a non-Polish state. A few weeks later Lviv's rebellious Poles received support from Poland. On 9 November, Polish forces attempted to seize the Drohobych oil fields by surprise but were driven back, outnumbered by the Ukrainians.[6] The resulting stalemate saw the Poles retaining control over Lviv and a narrow strip of land around a railway linking the city to Poland, while the rest of eastern Galicia remained under the control of the West Ukrainian National Republic.

The Polish population was hostile to the newly formed West Ukrainian state. They considered it a rule "by bayonet, cudgel, and axe".[7] Polish officials resigned en masse, which undermined the Republic's ability to lead an effective administration. Poles dominated the urban areas and started an uprising against the Ukrainian rule not only in Lviv, but also in Drohobych, Przemyśl, Sambir and Jarosław.[8] This made the West Ukrainian government unable to exert control over the western half of its territory, and made the Polish offensive possible.[citation needed]

Two smaller states west of the West Ukrainian People's Republic also declared independence as result of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[9] The Komancza Republic, an association of 30 Lemko villages based around Komańcza in eastern Lemko Region, existed between 4 November 1918 and 23 January 1919. Being pro-Ukrainian it planned to unite with the West Ukrainian People's Republic, but was suppressed by the Polish government. On 5 December 1918, the Lemko-Rusyn Republic, centred around the village of Florynka, declared independence. Western Ukrainian Russophiles sentiment prevailed among its inhabitants, who were opposed to a union with the West Ukrainian People's Republic and instead sought unification with Russia.[10]

An agreement to unite western Ukraine with the rest of Ukraine was made as early as 1 December 1918. The government of the West Ukrainian People's Republic officially united with the Ukrainian People's Republic on 22 January 1919, after which the former was known as the Western Oblast of the Ukrainian People's Republic.[4][11] This was mostly a symbolic act, however. During the Polish-Ukrainian War, the West Ukrainian army was able to hold off Poland for approximately nine months,[12] but by July 1919, Polish forces had taken over most of the territory claimed by the Western Oblast.[citation needed]

Since western Ukraine had a different tradition in its legal, social and political norms, it was to be autonomous within a united Ukraine.[12] Furthermore, western Ukrainians retained their own Ukrainian Galician Army and government structure.[13] Despite the formal union, the Western Ukrainian Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic fought in separate wars. The former was preoccupied with a conflict with Poland, while the latter struggled with Soviet and Russian forces.[12]

Relations between the western Ukrainian polity and the Kyiv-based Ukrainian People's Republic were at times strained. The leadership of the former tended to be more conservative in orientation.[14] Well-versed in the culture of the Austrian parliamentary system and an orderly approach to government, they looked upon the socialist revolutionary attitude of their Kyiv-based peers with some dismay and with the concern that the social unrest in the East would spread to Galicia.[15] Likewise, the West Ukrainian troops were more disciplined while those of Kyiv's Ukrainian People's Army were more chaotic and prone to committing pogroms,[16] something actively opposed by the western Ukrainians.[17] The poor discipline in Kyiv's army and the insubordination of its officers shocked the Galician delegates sent to Kyiv.[15]

The national movement in western Ukraine was as strong as in other eastern European countries,[18] and the Ukrainian government was able to mobilize over 100,000 men, 40,000 of whom were battle-ready.[19] Despite the strength of the Ukrainian nationalist forces, they received little support and enthusiasm from the local Ukrainian population; in general, the attitude was often that of indifference, and the male Ukrainian population often tried to avoid service in its military.[20]

Exile and diplomacy[edit]

Part of the defeated army found refuge in Czechoslovakia and became known there under the name Ukrajinská brigáda (Czech).[citation needed] On 16 July 1919,[21] the remaining army consisting of about 50,000 soldiers,[citation needed] crossed into the territory of the Ukrainian People's Republic and continued the struggle for Ukrainian independence there.

The same month, the Western Oblast established a government-in-exile in the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi.[22] Relations between the exiled West Ukrainian government and the Kyiv-based government continued to deteriorate, in part because the Western Ukrainians saw the Poles as the main enemy (with the Russians a potential ally) while Symon Petliura in Kyiv considered the Poles a potential ally against his Russian enemies. In response to the Kyiv government's diplomatic talks with Poland, the Western Ukrainian government sent a delegation to the Soviet 12th Army, but ultimately rejected Soviet conditions for an alliance. In August 1919, Kost Levytsky, head of the Western Ukrainian state secretariat, proposed an alliance with Anton Denikin's White Russians which would involve guaranteed autonomy within a Russian state. Western Ukrainian diplomats in Paris sought contact with Russian counterparts in that city.[23] The Russian Whites had mixed views of this proposed alliance. On the one hand, they were wary of the Galicians' Russophobia and concerned about the effect of such an alliance on their relationship with Poland. On the other hand, the Russians respected the discipline and training of the Galician soldiers and understood that an agreement with the Western Ukrainians would deprive Kyiv's Ukrainian People's Army, at war with the Russian Whites, of its best soldiers.[14] In November 1919 the Ukrainian Galician Army, without authorization from their government, signed a ceasefire with the White Russians and placed their army under White Russian authority.

In talks with Kyiv's Directorate government, Western Ukrainian president Petrushevych argued that the Whites would be defeated anyway but that the alliance with them would strengthen relations with the Western powers, who supported the Whites and would help the Ukrainian military forces for their later struggle against the victorious Soviets. Such arguments were condemned by Petliura. As a result, Petrushevych recognized that the West Ukrainian government could no longer work with Petliura's Directorate and on 15 November the West Ukrainian government left for exile in Vienna.[23] The Directorate informed Poland on 2 December that it had no interest in western Ukraine.[24] The West Ukrainian government-in-exile then "rejected the joint institutions" with the Directorate and on 20 December unilaterally repealed the Unification Act.[24][25] The exiled government resumed the name West Ukrainian People's Republic at the beginning of 1920.[24]

Barthelemy Line[edit]

Map of Eastern Galicia with the partition proposals from January and February 1919
  No Ukrainian claims
  Disputed Area
  No Polish claims

In at attempt to stop the Polish-Ukrainian War, a French general Marie Joseph Barthélemy [de] proposed a demarcation line, known as the Barthelemy Line [pl], that was supposed to cease the fighting between the Polish and West Ukrainian army.

In 1918, the Entente countries sought to form a common anti-Bolshevik front, which was to include the Polish, White Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian armies. The outbreak of Polish-Ukrainian hostilities in Lviv on 1 November thwarted these plans, so the Entente states began to press both the Poles and Galicians to seek a settlement and adopt the demarcation line proposed by the allied states.

On 19 January 1919, by the order of General Franchet d'Esperey, a peacekeeping mission under the command of General Joseph Barthelemy arrived in Kraków. Initially, the mission familiarised itself with the Polish position, which opted for the Bug-Świca [pl] line. It then travelled to Lviv, meeting with the Ukrainian delegation. The Ukrainians opted for the San line as a future demarcation line.

In this situation, General Barthelemy presented his compromise proposal on 28 January 1919. The armistice line was to run along the Bug River to Kamionka Strumiłłowa, then along the border of the districts to Bóbrka, then along the Bóbrka-Wybranka railway line, westwards to Mikołajów (leaving Mikołajów itself on the Ukrainian side), then along the railway line Lviv-Stryi to the border of the disputed territory in the Eastern Carpathians. The Stryi-Lavochne railway line was to remain in Ukrainian hands.[26] This was to be a temporary line, until the matter was settled by the Paris Peace Conference.[27]

The Polish side accepted this solution,[28][29] but the Ukrainian delegation insisted on the 'San line'. As a result of the Ukrainian disapproval, the Entente delegation made another attempt at mediation. This was carried out by the Inter-allied Commission for Poland [pl] subcommittee set up on 15 February 1919 and headed by Joseph Noulens. The sub-commission consisted of General Joseph Barthelemy (France) as chairman, Colonel Adrian Carton de Wiart (UK), Dr Robert Howard Lord (United States) and Major Giovanni Stabile (Italy).[30] The subcommittee presented a draft truce convention on 15 February 1919. The truce, along the Barthelemy Line, was to be purely military and not affect the decisions of the Paris Peace Conference in any way. An integral part of the convention was to be a supplementary treaty concerning the Boryslav-Drohobychian Oil Basin [pl]. It was to remain on the Polish side of the truce line under the management of an international commission, with 50% of oil production to be transferred to the Ukrainian side. Poland and ZUNR were only to be able to record the volume of production and pay for oil supplies. The project secured Entente interests in the oil basin and was the first step towards its neutralisation. At the time of the proposal, the territory of the basin was under the control of the Ukrainian Galician Army. For the West Ukrainian government, the terms of the Armistice Convention were unfavourable; however, they offered a chance to compromise with Poland and obtain international recognition of the Ukrainian state by the Entente.[31]

The commission succeeded in getting the armistice treaty signed on 24 February 1919, and presented its proposals to the parties on 28 February, which was rejected by the West Ukrainian side. As a result of the failure to agree on the demarcation line, Polish-Ukrainian hostilities resumed on 2 March.

Treaty of Warsaw (1920)[edit]

In April 1920, Józef Piłsudski and Symon Petliura agreed in the Treaty of Warsaw to a border on the river Zbruch, officially recognizing Polish control over the disputed territory of Eastern Galicia. In exchange for agreeing to a border along the Zbruch River, recognizing the recent Polish territorial gains in western Ukraine, as well as the western portions of Volhynian Governorate, Kholm Governorate, and other territories (Article II), Poland recognized the Ukrainian People's Republic as an independent state (Article I) with borders as defined by Articles II and III and under otaman Petliura's leadership.[32]

Neither the Polish government in Warsaw nor the exiled Western Ukrainian government agreed to this treaty.

Autonomous status[edit]

The Western Ukrainians continued pressing their interests during the negotiations following World War I at the Paris Peace Conference. These efforts ultimately resulted in the League of Nations declaring on 23 February 1921 that Galicia lay outside the territory of Poland, that Poland did not have the mandate to establish administrative control in that country, and that Poland was merely the occupying military power of Eastern Galicia, whose fate would be determined by the Council of Ambassadors at the League of Nations.

After a long series of further negotiations, on 14 March 1923 it was decided that eastern Galicia would be incorporated into Poland "taking into consideration that Poland has recognized that in regard to the eastern part of Galicia ethnographic conditions fully deserve its autonomous status."[33] The following day, the government of the West Ukrainian People's Republic disbanded.[34] The Polish government reneged on its promise of autonomy for eastern Galicia.[citation needed]

The Entente powers and the issue of Eastern Galicia[edit]

The Paris Peace Conference approved the provisional administration of the Second Polish Republic on the territory of Eastern Galicia on 25 June 1919. The Entente states and the bodies appointed by them (Council of Ambassadors, Council of the League of Nations) recognised Eastern Galicia as disputed territory not belonging to the Polish state until 14 March 1923, over which sovereignty was to be exercised by the Entente states under the peace treaty with Austria.[35] The Entente also never recognised the Western Ukrainian People's Republic. With regard to the territory of eastern Galicia, it attempted to introduce a makeshift solution, a long-lasting (25 years) mandate for Poland to administer Galicia, with the territory being granted the status of autonomy. The expiry of the mandate period was to be followed by a plebiscite.[36] The political intention of the Entente states at the time was to preserve the territory of eastern Galicia for White Russia. Poland opposed these ideas, while at the same time pursuing a policy of establishing its own governance on the disputed territory, integrating it into the Polish state.[37]

Following the consolidation of Soviet power in Russia and the restoration of non-Bolshevik Russia becoming unachievable, the Council of Ambassadors recognised the sovereignty of the Second Polish Republic over the territory of Eastern Galicia on 15 March 1923, with the reservation that Poland introduce autonomous status for this territory, a surrogate for which was the Act on Provincial Self-Government of September 1922, stating in its very title the special character of the territory of Eastern Galicia within the Polish state.[38]

Following a decision by the Council of Ambassadors, the West Ukrainian government in exile led by Sydir Holubovych in Vienna dissolved on 15 March 1923, and most of its members returned to Poland, being actively involved in the political and social life of the Ukrainian minority in the Second Polish Republic.


  Ukrainian-inhabited areas of Austria-Hungary in 1911

From 22 to 25 November elections took place in Ukrainian-controlled territory for the 150-member Ukrainian National Council that was to serve as the legislative body. Yevhen Petrushevych, the chairman of the Council and a former member of the Austro-Hungarian parliament, automatically became the Republic's president. Subordinated to him was the State Secretariat, whose members included Kost Levytsky (president of the secretariat and the Republic's minister of finance), Dmytro Vitovsky (head of the armed forces), Lonhyn Tsehelsky (secretary of internal affairs), and Oleksander Barvinsky (secretary of education and religious affairs), among others.[39] The country essentially had a two-party political system, dominated by the Ukrainian National Democrats and by its smaller rival, the Ukrainian Radical Party. The ruling National Democrats gave some of their seats to minor parties in order to ensure that the government represented a broad national coalition.[40] In terms of the Ukrainian National Council's social background, 57.1% of its members came from priestly families, 23.8% from peasant households, 4.8% from urban backgrounds, and 2.4% from the petty nobility.[41] In terms of the identified council members' vocational background, approximately 30% were lawyers, 22% were teachers, 14% were farmers, 13% were priests, and 5% were civil servants. Approximately 28% had Ph.D.'s, mostly in law.[42]

The West Ukrainian People's Republic governed an area with a population of approximately 4 million people for much of its nine-month existence. Lviv functioned as the Republic's capital from 1 November until the loss of that city to Polish forces on 21 November, followed by Ternopil until late December 1918 and then by Stanislaviv (present-day Ivano-Frankivsk) until 26 May 1919.[40] Despite the war, the West Ukrainian People's Republic maintained the stability of the pre-war Austrian administration intact, employing Ukrainian and Polish professionals. The boundaries of counties and communities remained the same as they had been during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The county, regional, and local courts continued to function as they had while the country had been a part of Austria, as did schools, the postal service, telegraphs and railroads.[40] Austrian laws remained temporarily in force. Likewise, the government generally retained the Austrian system of tax collection, although war losses had impoverished the population and the amount of taxes collected was minimal. Most of the government's revenue came from the export of oil and salt.

Overprint five-heller stamp (1919)

Of the 100 types of postage stamps issued by the republic, all but two were overprints of existing stamps produced by Austria, Austria-Hungary or Bosnia.[43]

Although ethnic Poles represented only a small minority in the rural areas, they dominated the urban areas and almost 39% of eastern Galician lands had been in the hands of large Polish landowners prior to World War I.[23] The Western Ukrainian People's Republic passed laws that confiscated vast manorial estates from private landlords and distributed this land to landless peasants. Other than in those limited cases, the right to private property was made fundamental and expropriation of lands was forbidden. This differentiated the policies of the West Ukrainian People's Republic from those of the socialistic Kyiv-based Ukrainian government.[40]

The territory of the West Ukrainian People's Republic comprised 12 military districts, whose commanders were responsible for conscripting soldiers. The government was able to mobilize 100,000 soldiers in the spring of 1919, but due to a lack of military supplies, only 40,000 were battle-ready.

In general, the government of the West Ukrainian People's Republic was orderly and well-organized. This contrasted with the chaotic state of the Ukrainian governments that arose on the territory of the former Russian Empire.

Policies towards national minorities and inter-ethnic relations[edit]

Historian Yaroslav Hrytsak stated that the Ukrainian nationalism that developed before the First World War in Austria was anti-Polish, but neither "very xenophobic" nor antisemitic.[44] In November 1918 a decision was made to include cabinet-level state secretaries of Polish, Jewish and German affairs.[12] According to Hrytsak during the entire time of its existence there were no cases of mass repressions against national minorities in territories held by the West Ukrainian People's Republic, Hrytsak states that this differentiated the Ukrainian government from that of Poland.[40] Katarzyna Hibel writes that while officially West Ukrainian People's Republic like Poland declared guarantees of rights of its national minorities, in reality, both countries were violating them and treated other foreign nationalities like fifth column.[45] On 15 February 1919 a law was passed that made Ukrainian the state language. According to this law, however, members of national minorities had the right to communicate with the government in their own languages.

Treatment of the Polish population[edit]

Polish historian Rafał Galuba writes that Polish population was treated as second class citizens by West Ukrainian authorities [46] After 1 November several members of Polish associations were arrested or interned by Ukrainian authorities; similar fate awaited officials who refused to swear an oath of loyalty to Ukrainian state.[47] On 6 November a ban on Polish press and publications was issued in Lviv by Ukrainian authorities and printing presses demolished [48] (Poles had similarly banned Ukrainian publications in territories they controlled [49]) Ukrainian authorities tried to intimidate Polish population in Lviv by sending soldiers and armed trucks into the streets and dispersed crowds that could turn to Polish demonstrations.[50] Christoph Mick states that initially, the Ukrainian government refused to take Polish hostages[51] but as both the Polish civilian and military resistance to Ukrainian forces grew, Polish civilians were threatened with summary executions by Ukrainian commander in chief for alleged attacks and shots on Ukrainian soldiers. In response, the Polish side proposed a peaceful solution of the conflict and joint Polish-Ukrainian militia to oversee the public safety in the city.[51]

In Zloczow 17 Poles were executed by Ukrainian authorities[52] In Brzuchowice Polish railwaymen who refused to comply with Ukrainian orders to work were executed[53]

On 29 May 1919 the archbishop Jozef Bilczewski sent a message to Ignacy Paderewski attending the Peace Conference in Paris, asking for help and alleging the brutal murders of Polish priests and civilians by Ukrainians.[54]

Poles didn't support the Ukrainian authorities and set up an underground resistance movement that engaged in acts of sabotage.[49] All fieldwork was stopped, the harvest destroyed and machinery purposely broken; Poles also issued to keep up the morale among the population. In response, Ukrainian authorities engaged in terror, including mass executions, court martial and set up detention centers where some Poles were interned.[55] The conditions in these camps involved unheated wooden barracks, lack of bedding and lack of medical care, resulting in high levels of morbidity from typhoid. Estimated casualties at these camps include nearly 900 at a camp in Kosiv, according to various sources from 300 to 600 (dying from typhoid) in Mikulińce, 100 in Kołomyja, and 16 to 40 in Brzeżany, due to unheated barracks at temperatures of −20 degrees Celsius. Cases of robbing, beating, torturing or shooting of Polish prisoners were reported.[56]

According to historian Christopher Mick, the Ukrainian government in general treated the Polish population under its control no worse than the Polish government treated the Ukrainians under its control.,[49] writing that Ukrainian authorities didn't treat the Polish population "gently" and that Ukrainian authorities mirrored Polish authorities by making speaking in Polish unwelcome.[57] Mick acknowledges that Ukrainian side during the siege of Lviv stopped caring about supplies reaching the city and attempted to disrupt water supply to city. Its fierce artillery fire killed many civilians, including women and children.[49]

In a report that he submitted to the Polish Foreign Ministry in early 1920, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lviv Józef Bilczewski stated that the anti-Polish violence under Ukrainian governance was widespread and organised by the government, rather than being spontaneous. He headed a rescue committee that provided food to the poorest, and along with the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky he tried to negotiate a peace between the Polish and Ukrainian populace.[7]

Treatment of the Jewish minority[edit]

Although relations between Poles and the West Ukrainian People's Republic were antagonistic, those between the Republic and its Jewish citizens was generally neutral or positive. Deep-seated rivalries existed between the Jewish and Polish communities, and anti-Semitism, particularly supported by the Polish National Democratic Party, became a feature of Polish national ideology. As a result, many[quantify] Jews came to consider Polish independence as the least desirable option following the First World War. In contrast to the antagonistic position taken by Polish authorities towards Jews, the Ukrainian government actively supported Jewish cultural and political autonomy as a way of promoting its own legitimacy.

The Western Ukrainian government guaranteed Jewish cultural and national autonomy, provided Jewish communities with self-governing status, and promoted the formation of Jewish national councils which, with the approval of the Western Ukrainian government, established the Central Jewish National Council in December 1918 to represent Jewish interests in relation to the Ukrainian government and to the Western allies.[58] The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian National Republic bought Yiddish-language textbooks and visual aids for Jewish schools and provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv. The Ukrainian press maintained a friendly attitude towards the West Ukrainian Republic's Jewish citizens. Their Hebrew and Yiddish schools, cultural institutions and publishers were allowed to function without interference.[58]

Reflecting the republic's demographics, approximately one-third of the seats in the national parliament were reserved for the national minorities (Poles, Jews, Slovaks and others). The Poles boycotted the elections, while the Jews, despite declaring their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict, participated and were represented by approximately 10 percent of the delegates. Localized anti-Jewish assaults and robberies by Ukrainian peasants and soldiers, while far fewer in number and less brutal than similar actions by Poles, occurred between January and April 1919. The government publicly condemned such actions and intervened in defence of the Jewish community, imprisoning and even executing perpetrators of such crimes.[58] The government also respected Jewish declared neutrality during the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. By the orders of Yevhen Petrushevych it was forbidden to mobilize Jews against their will or to otherwise force them to contribute to the Ukrainian military effort.[17] In an effort to aid Western Ukraine's economy, the Western Ukrainian government granted concessions to Jewish merchants.[58]

The West Ukrainian government's friendly attitude towards Jews was reciprocated by many members of the Jewish community. Although Jewish political organizations officially declared their neutrality in the Polish-Ukrainian struggle, many individual Jews offered their support or sympathized with the West Ukrainian government in its conflict with Poland. Jewish officers of the defunct Austro-Hungarian army joined the West Ukrainian military, and Jewish judges, lawyers, doctors and railroad employees joined the West Ukrainian civil service.[59] From November 1918, ethnic Poles in the civil service who refused to pledge loyalty to the West Ukrainian government either quit en masse or were fired; their positions were filled by large numbers of Jews who were willing to support the Ukrainian state. Jews served as judges and legal consultants in the courts in Ternopil, Stanislaviv, and Kolomyia.[58] Jews were also able to create their own police units,[60] and in some locations the Ukrainian government gave local Jewish militias responsibility for the maintenance of security and order. In the regions of Sambir and Radekhiv approximately a third of the police force was Jewish.[58] Jews fielded their own battalion in the army of the Western Ukrainian National Republic,[61] and Jewish youths worked as scouts for the West Ukrainian military.[58] Most of the Jews cooperating with and serving in the West Ukrainian military were Zionists.[42] In general, Jews made up the largest group of non-ethnic Ukrainians who participated in all branches of the West Ukrainian government.[58]

The liberal attitude taken towards Jews by the Western Ukrainian government could be attributed[by whom?] to the Habsburg tradition of inter-ethnic tolerance and cooperation leaving its mark on the intelligentsia and military officers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.[58] The friendly attitude towards Jews that the Galician Ukrainians had was in stark contrast to the Directorate of Ukraine, which enjoyed no sympathy amongst the Jewish population.



The republic did not have its own currency, but rather used the Austro-Hungarian crown. After the act of unification with the Ukrainian People's Republic, the banknotes in circulation were overprinted with nominals in Ukrainian hryvnia.

Along with these official issues, some cities printed their local contingency banknotes (Notgeld) since 1914.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ It was later a disputed autonomous region of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1919). The Government-in-exile existed from 1919 to 1923).[citation needed]
  2. ^ The Styr River valley had seen significant fighting between Russia and the Central Powers during World War I.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Armstrong, John (1963). Ukrainian Nationalism. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 18–19.
  2. ^ Piotr Eberhardt. Ethnic groups and population changes in twentieth-century Central-Eastern Europe: history, data, analysis. M.E. Sharpe, 2003. pp.92–93. ISBN 978-0-7656-0665-5
  3. ^ Timothy Snyder. (2003). The Reconstruction of Nations. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 134
  4. ^ a b Shkandrij, Myroslav (2001). Russia And Ukraine. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 206. ISBN 0-7735-2234-4.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5, 1993 entry written by Andrzej Chojnowski
  6. ^ Frank, Alison Fleig (2005). Oil empire: visions of prosperity in Austrian Galicia. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 207–228.
  7. ^ a b Velychenko, Stephen (2017). "The Western Ukrainian National Republic, November 1918 to October 1920". State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine: A Comparative Study of Governments and Bureaucrats, 1917-1922. University of Toronto Press. pp. 208–223. doi:10.3138/9781442686847-010. ISBN 9781442686847.
  8. ^ A. Chojnowski. "Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia Archived 2012-10-12 at the Wayback Machine, 1918–19." Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Vol. 5 1993.
  9. ^ Magocsi, Paul Robert (Fall 1993). "The Ukrainian question between Poland and Czechoslovakia: The Lemko Rusyn republic (1918–1920) and political thought in western Rus'-Ukraine". Nationalities Papers. 21 (2): 95–103. doi:10.1080/00905999308408278. S2CID 154943090.
  10. ^ Moklak, Jarosław (2012). The Lemko Region in the Second Polish Republic Political and Interdenominational Issues (PDF). Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 9788323387947. The political fate of the western Lemko region took a different direction. The political involvement of Lemkos in Gorlice, Grybów, Jasło, and Nowy Sącz were influenced to a considerably higher degree than in the eastern region by Austro-Hungarian repressions and the ensuing legend of Thalerhof, which fostered the spread of anti-Ukrainian attitudes. Those feelings also led to the rise of the Florynka Republic.
  11. ^ Lytvyn, Mykola Romanovych (2005). Західна область Української Народної Республіки (ЗО УНР) [Western Oblast of the Ukrainian People's Republic (WOUPR)]. Енциклопедія історії України [Encyclopedia of the History of Ukraine] (in Ukrainian). Institute of History of Ukraine at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d Palij, Michael (1995). The Ukrainian-Polish defensive alliance, 1919–1921: an aspect of the Ukrainian revolution. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press at University of Alberta. pp. 48–58.
  13. ^ Subtelny 2000, p. 362.
  14. ^ a b Anna Procyk. (1995). Russian nationalism and Ukraine: the nationality policy of the volunteer army during the Civil War. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press at the University of Alberta, pp. 134–144.
  15. ^ a b Peter J. Potichnyj. (1992). Ukraine and Russia in their historical encounter. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, University of Alberta pg. 148: Dr. Lonhyn Tsehelsky, the western Ukrainian negotiator with the Kyiv government and primary author of the Union between the West Ukrainian Republic and the Kyiv-based Ukrainian People's Republic, expressed shock at the actions of the "rabble" (holota) when the Ukrainian People's Republic came to power.
  16. ^ Andrew Wilson (1997). Ukrainian nationalism in the 1990s: a minority faith. Cambridge University Press pg. 13
  17. ^ a b Myroslav Shkandrij (2009). Jews in Ukrainian literature: representation and identity. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 94–95
  18. ^ Subtelny 2000, p. 378.
  19. ^ Subtelny 2000, p. 369.
  20. ^ Spór o Galicję Wschodnią 1914–1923 Ludwik Mroczka. Wydawnictwo Naukowe WSP, January 1998 page 106-108
  21. ^ Subtelny 2000, p. 370.
  22. ^ Paul Robert Magocsi. (2002). The roots of Ukrainian nationalism: Galicia as Ukraine's Piedmont. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pg. 28
  23. ^ a b c Christopher Gilley (2006). A Simple Question of ‘Pragmatism’? Sovietophilism in the West Ukrainian Emigration in the 1920s Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Working Paper: Koszalin Institute of Comparative European Studies pp.6–16
  24. ^ a b c Stakhiv, Matvii (1993). "Western Province of the Ukrainian National Republic". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Vol. 5. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  25. ^ Bilorusets, Hanna (19 January 2020). Акт Злуки: на шляху до створення Української держави. Радіо Свобода (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  26. ^ Rafał Galuba, "Let us be judged by sword and blood ...". Konflikt polsko-ukraiński o Galicję Wschodnią w latach 1918-1919, Poznań 2004, ISBN 83-7177-281-5 p.99.
  27. ^ Władysław Pobóg-Malinowski, Najnowsza historia polityczna Polski vol. II 1914-1939, first national edition, Gdańsk 1990, published by Oficyna wydawnicza Graf, ISBN 83-85130-29-2, pp.300-302.
  28. ^ "According to a member of the Ukrainian delegation in Lviv, Dr. Michael Lozynsky the French representative on the commission, warned the Ukrainians that their military advantage could disappear quickly once General Haller's Polish Army arrived from France." John Stephen Reshetar. The Ukrainian Revolution, 1917–1920: A Study of Nationalism. Princeton University Press. 1952. pp. 273, 176.
  29. ^ The Rebirth of Poland Archived 5 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. University of Kansas, lecture notes by professor Anna M. Cienciala, 2004.
  30. ^ Subcommittee for the Suspension of Arms on the Front of the Polish-Ukrainian Struggle in Eastern Galicia' was formed on 15 February 1919. Chairman: Joseph Barthélemy. Members: Robert Howard Lord (United States), Colonel Adrian Carton de Wiart (UK), Major Giovanni Stabile (Italy) The sub-commission was to bring about the cessation of the Polish-Ukrainian War, so that the Paris Peace Conference could settle the nationality of Eastern Galicia. The position of Joseph Noulens prevailed in the Inter-Socialist Commission for Poland, which advocated the purely military nature of possible agreements with the West Ukrainian People's Republic, without prejudging any political issues. Indeed, Esme Howard advocated linking the possible agreement with WUNR to the promise of recognition Ukrainian People's Republic (of which WUNR was formally a part after the Unification Act) by the EntenteHoward's proposal was not supported by a majority of the Commission. Rafał Galuba, "Let us be judged by sword and blood ...". Konflikt polsko-ukraiński o Galicję Wschodnią w latach 1918-1919, Poznań 2004, ISBN 83-7177-281-5 p. 108.
  31. ^ Rafał Galuba, "Let us be judged by sword and blood ...". Konflikt polsko-ukraiński o Galicję Wschodnią w latach 1918-1919, Poznań 2004, ISBN 83-7177-281-5 pp.101-102.
  32. ^ "Warsaw, Treaty of". www.encyclopediaofukraine.com. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  33. ^ Kubijovic, V. (1963). Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  34. ^ Lytvyn, Mykola Romanovych; Rubliov, Oleksandr Serhiyovych (2005). Smoliy, V.A. (ed.). Західноукраїнська Народна Республіка (ЗУНР) [West Ukrainian People's Republic (WUPR)]. Енциклопедія історії України (in Ukrainian). Vol. 3. Naukova Dumka. Retrieved 23 May 2021. {{cite encyclopedia}}: |trans-website= ignored (help)
  35. ^ "Under pressure from the United Kingdom, the Council of the League of Nations adopted on 23 February 1921. a resolution stating that: (1) The provisions of the Peace Conference on the rights of national minorities cannot be applied to East Galicia because it lies outside the Polish border; (2) The provisions on the execution of mandates and the control of the League of Nations over mandataries cannot be applied to East Galicia because Poland has not been given a mandate, but only the right to administer this land; (3) Nor can the principles of the Hague Convention be applied to this case, because at the time when that Convention was signed, Poland as a state did not exist; (4) ...Poland is only the de facto military occupier of Galicia, the sovereign being the Entente States (Art. 91 of the Treaty of Saint Germain-en-Laye) and therefore the Council of the League of Nations decides to submit the demands of the Galicians concerning the legal position of East Galicia and the future of that country to the Council of Ambassadors. Raphael Galuba, Let us be judged by sword and blood.... Konflikt polsko-ukraiński o Galicję Wschodnią w latach 1918-1919, Poznań 2004, ISBN 83-7177-281-5, p. 284.
  36. ^ With regard to the area of eastern Galicia, the major powers opted for the so-called Mandate Concept on 20 November 1919. Poland would be given a mandate for East Galicia for twenty-five years, after which its further fate would be decided by the League of Nations. The matter did not continue. Poland exercised (with the exception of the period of the Soviet offensive in the summer of 1920) administrative functions in the area. This was attempted to be countered by the exiled Cabinet of Yevhen Petrushevich His policy was not changed by the statement of the Council of Ambassadors on 12 July 1921 not to recognise the ZURL government as representing East Galicia. Karol Grünberg, Bolesław Sprenger, Difficult Neighbourhood, Warsaw 2005, pp. 264-265.
  37. ^ Rafał Galuba, Let us be judged by sword and blood.... Konflikt polsko-ukraiński o Galicję Wschodnią w latach 1918-1919, Poznań 2004, ISBN 83-7177-281-5, pp. 285-286.
  38. ^ 'In view of the fact that it has been recognised by Poland that, as regards the eastern part of Galicia, the ethnographic conditions make autonomous regime necessary'. - the official Polish text of the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors appearing in the Polish Journal of Laws of 20 April 1923 (Journal of Laws - 1923/49/333), Odbudowa państwowości polskiej. Most important documents 1912-1924 edited by Kazimierz W. Kumaniecki, Warsaw-Krakow 1924, p. 676 ('Considerant qu'il est reconnu par la Pologne, qu'en ce qui concerne la partie orientale de la Galicie, les conditions ethnographiques necessitent un regime d'autonomie'. - French text).
  39. ^ State Secretariat of the Western Ukrainian National Republic Encyclopedia of Ukraine, (1993) vol. 5
  40. ^ a b c d e Jarosław Hrycak. (1996). Нариси Історії України: Формування модерної української нації XIX-XX ст Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine (Ukrainian; Essays on the History of Ukraine: the Formation of the Modern Ukrainian Nation). Kyiv, Ukraine: Chapter 3.
  41. ^ Social-Political Portrait of the Ukrainian Leadership of Galicia and Bokovyna during the Reovlutionary Years of 1918–1919 Archived 18 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine Oleh Pavlyshyn (2000). Modern Ukraine Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, volume 4–5
  42. ^ a b Christoph Mick. (2015). Lemberg, Lwow, Lviv, 1914–1947: Violence and Ethnicity in a Contested City. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, pg. 177–184
  43. ^ Michel Europa-Katalog Ost 1985/86, Westukraine
  44. ^ Bandera – romantyczny terrorysta "Bandera – Romantic Terrorist, interview with Jarosław Hrycak. Gazeta Wyborcza, May 10, 2008. Hrytsak, a history professor at Central European University states: "Before the First World War Ukrainian nationalism under Austrian rule was neither very xenophobic nor aggressive. It was anti-Polish, which was understandable, but not antisemitic."
  45. ^ "Wojna na mapy" – "wojna na słowa". Onomastyczne i międzykulturowe aspekty polityki językowej II Rzeczpospolitej w stosunku do mniejszości ukraińskiej w Galicji Wschodniej w okresie międzywojennym page 106 Katarzyna Hibel LIT Verlag 2014
  46. ^ „Niech nas rozsądzi miecz i krew”...Konflikt polsko-ukraiński o Galicję Wschodnią w latach 1918–1919, Poznań 2004, ISBN 83-7177-281-5, pages 145–146, 159–160
  47. ^ Wojna polsko-ukraińska 1918–1919: działania bojowe, aspekty polityczne, kalendarium Grzegorz Łukomski, Czesław Partacz, Bogusław Polak Wydawn. Wyższej Szkoły Inżynierskiej w Koszalinie; Warszawa, 1994 page 95-96
  48. ^ Spór o Galicję Wschodnią 1914–1923 Ludwik Mroczka. Wydawnictwo Naukowe WSP, January 1998 page 102
  49. ^ a b c d Christoph Mick. (2015). Lemberg, Lwow, Lviv, 1914–1947: Violence and Ethnicity in a Contested City. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, pg. 175
  50. ^ Lwów 1918–1919 Michał Klimecki Dom Wydawniczy Bellona, 1998, page 99
  51. ^ a b Christoph Mick. (2015). Lemberg, Lwow, Lviv, 1914–1947: Violence and Ethnicity in a Contested City. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, pg. 150
  52. ^ Konflikt polsko-ukraiński w prasie Polski Zachodniej w latach 1918–1923 Marek Figura Wydawn. Poznańskie, page 120, 2001
  53. ^ Wojna polsko-ukraińska 1918–1919: działania bojowe, aspekty polityczne, kalendarium Grzegorz Łukomski, Czesław Partacz, Bogusław Polak Wydawnictwo Wyższej Szkoły Inżynierskiej w Koszalinie; Warszawa, 1994 – 285 page 96 Kiedy w Brzuchowicach kolejarze polscy odmówili pracy, zostali rozstrzelani
  54. ^ Udział duchowieństwa w polskim życiu politycznym w latach 1914–1924 page 300 Michał Piela RW KUL, 1994 – 359
  55. ^ Czesław Partacz – Wojna polsko-ukraińska o Lwów i Galicję Wschodnią 1918–1919 Przemyskie Zapiski Historyczne – Studia i materiały poświęcone historii Polski Południowo-Wschodniej. 2006–09 R. XVI-XVII (2010) page 70
  56. ^ Galuba, Rafał (2004). Polish-Ukrainian conflict of Eastern Galicia in 1918–1919. Poznan. ISBN 83-7177-281-5. Let the sword and the blood judge us...{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  57. ^ Christoph Mick. (2015). Lemberg, Lwow, Lviv, 1914–1947: Violence and Ethnicity in a Contested City. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, pg. 180
  58. ^ a b c d e f g h i Alexander Victor Prusin. (2005). Nationalizing a Borderland: War, ethnicity, and anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Galicia, 1914–1920. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, pp.97–101.
  59. ^ Alexander V. Prusin. (2010). The Lands Between: Conflict in the East European Borderlands, 1870–1992. Oxford: Oxford University Press pg. 93
  60. ^ Aharon Weiss. (1990). Jewish-Ukrainian Relations During the Holocaust. In Peter J. Potichnyj, Howard Aster (eds.) Ukrainian-Jewish relations in historical perspective. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, pp.409–420.
  61. ^ "Jewish Battalion of the Ukrainian Galician Army | Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2". encyclopediaofukraine.com. 1989. Retrieved 18 June 2017.


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