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[Ukrainian Statehood in the Twentieth Century: Historical and Political Analysis. Kyiv: Political Thought, 1996. pp. 95-118.]

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The Idea of Statehood in the Sociopolitical Thought, 1940-1990

Anatoly RUSNACHENKO (1-3), Volodymyr KOVTUN (4), Oleh BILYI (5, co-author), Oleksandr DERGACHOV (5, co-author)



1. Thought About Statehood in the Underground


Under the conditions of Soviet totalitarianism, the idea of Ukrainian statehood took hold primarily as an idea of ruining neo-imperial structures. It manifested itself as a specific shade of uncensored sociopolitical thought by those who offered resistance to the regime. One could say that the visions of a future independent Ukrainian state, expounded in underground publications, took on apophatic overtones, and prospects for a future nation-making appeared mainly schematic and fraught with classical features of Utopian thinking.

Writer Borys Antonenko-Davydovych became a sort of a spiritual inspiration to later censored publications. Several generations of dissidents were in fact brought up by his works "Death" and "With the Ukrainian Land" written in the 1920s, which became a particular guide and reference point for patriotically-minded fellow-citizens. Communicating and corresponding with Antonenko-Davydovych wielded great influence on the forming of world view of many outstanding representatives of the dissident movement in Ukraine.

The range of problems with which the Ukrainian political thought of the 1960-1980s and the present times has dealt originates in 1940s. In 1943, the Third Assembly of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) adopted /96/ a program of sociocconomic and political transformations for a future Ukraine.1 Ideas of the program found their reflection in the underground publicistic works of the late 1940s-early 1950s.

The authors of those works took ideological positions more tolerant than many of those of later decades. To take an example, Yosyp Hornovy (Diakiv; wrote that the OUN granted all its members freedom to profess either philosophical idealism or materialism.2 All-round development of the Ukrainian nation in an independent unified Ukrainian state, creation of a truly national system of rule and harmonization of relations between free and absolutely equal states of all the peoples these fundamental guiding lines of Ukrainian nationalism do not depend, in Hornovy's opinion, on whether one recognizes centrality and priority of spirit or matter.3 This idea is also characteristic of political foundations of the then publicistic works. Their fundamental idea was one of nation (and through it, the concept of an independent Ukraine), illustrated, for example by Petro Poltava's work, "The Idea of an Independent Ukraine and the Major Trend of Political Development of Today's World." Using extensive material, the author analyzed the emergence of political nations, affirmation of the notion as well as interrelation of the idea of the national with two other factors of historical process, beginning in the nineteenth century: the idea of a constitutional parliamentary state and emergence of new social strata, the bourgeoisie and proletariat, which confronted each other. Analyzing these ideas and social forces on the basis of numerous historical facts, Poltava concluded, "The idea of nation is of dominant significance among all other factors influencing the course of history. It is the greatest force in the historical process, and, on confronting it, all other forces directed against it lose and surrender. This is why it determines also the major trend of development of historical process."4 Poltava believed that during World War I the idea of national self-determination found its expression in Wilson's /97/ Fourteen Points, that the UN Charter marked a retreat from it, but that "the major trend of political development of the present-day world is a trend of creating national states for all peoples."5

The struggle for a Ukrainian state took place against the background of confrontation with two totalitarian regimes, and publicists wrote much about it, mainly on the basis of totalitarianism in the USSR, but in comparison with Germany. Best known are the articles "The Vampire of Fascism" by Yaroslav Starukh (Yarlan), "The Ideological and Political Guise of the Bolsheviks" by R. Duma, and "The USSR: a Land of the Most Merciless Oppression and Abuse of Workers" by Y. Hornovy. The authors were wellinformed about the Soviet history and realities, and they pointed to the identical nature of Bolshevism and fascism in their numerous manifestations. They saw Moscow's Bolshevism was a system of complete totalitarianism and state centralism, never before seen in such an absolute form. As is the case with any kind of totalitarianism, it was characterized by total terror.6

D. Shakhai (Yosyp Pozycheniuk) defined Soviet society as state capitalism with modernized serfdom and a totalitarian apparatus of exploitation, where the class of exploiters (Communist Party functionaries) ruled over the classless people. He equated the definition of this system of rule with that of state socialism.7 Then, he asked, how could this enemy of the Ukrainian people be defeated? What force could overcome this regime? What allies should be sought in this struggle? Those were the most burning questions of the Ukrainian nationalist movement in the 1940s. Shakhai's work, "Tactics Regarding the Russian People," gave a rather original answer, foreshadowing certain later similar publications. He argued that in its struggle for independence the Ukrainian people should rely primarily on themselves. Historical experience shows that great powers repeatedly ignored the Ukrainian problem, and there was no point in believing that now they would change their ways. The /98/ Ukrainian liberation movement itself had to clearly define its position in the struggle. The totalitarian imperial regime existing in the USSR cannot be defeated by the struggle of only one nation. It would fall due to its internal contradictions, as had prerevolutionary Russian and other empires.

Shakhai argued that the system, born primarily in the depths of the Russian people, but alien and hostile to them, would fall when Russians themselves fought it. Only then could the Russian movement become an ally of the Ukrainian liberation movement. And for this reason the latter had to clearly declare that it was fighting not against the Russian people (the work was written in 1943 Author), but against the Bolshevik system and to fill this struggle with the corresponding content. Hence, one had to support by any means any attempt of democratization in the USSR, for it would objectively serve the cause of Ukrainianism. Thus, Shakhai argued that the Russian people should be urged to a sociopolitical revolution,8 which should be supported in every way by the Ukrainian movement. During such a revolution the Ukrainian and Russian movements should be allies. Shakhai also believed that it was absolutely necessary to take advantage of another contradiction within Bolshevism, the impossibility of reconciling irreconcilable internationalism with irreconcilable Russian nationalism.9 This contradiction gave rise to the idea of an absolutely expedient consolidation of the peoples, including the Russian one, subjugated by Bolsheviks, in the struggle against the Soviet totalitarian regime to win real, rather than only stated, sovereignty and equality of the peoples of the USSR. In fact, Shakhai suggested to conduct a tactical struggle for filling with real content the rights proclaimed in Soviet legislation for the country's peoples and social strata within the framework of the dominant ideology. The USSR, as a prison of the peoples, Shakhai argued, had to be utterly destroyed.

The Ukrainian movement went through the stage of the armed struggle in the underground and, later, through that /99/ of simply the underground. It would be illusory to pin hopes on some other factors of liberation, on assistance of other forces, even in the case of World War III, without an experienced and adequately built Ukrainian organization, P. Poltava wrote.10

Such views marked a rather substantial evolution of a part of the participants of the then Ukrainian movement. One can also see that previous nationalist concepts were revised to some extent. This "revisionism" was an outcome of its clash with realities in Soviet Ukraine and ideological and social policies of the communist regime. One should agree with Ivan L. Rudnytsky that this evolution of outstanding underground publicists was not yet an evolution of the whole Bandera wing of the OUN or the Ukrainian movement as a whole,11 but the trend of social thought was rather evident, a classless society could be thought of only as a result of a victorious armed struggle, for experience showed that evolution could hardly be expected to such a result.

Attempts at developing the above ideas of the OUN can be found in the beginning of a new stage of the liberation struggle of the twentieth century in Ukraine that of transitory underground groups. Nearly all these groups were of nationalist orientation. From a few individual program foundations (which survived and are available for researchers) of these groups, well-known is that of the Obyednannya (Association) group, which operated in the late 1950s in the Komi ASSR of Russia and Ukraine.12

One of the documents of the group, analyzing the 40 year long history of Bolshevism in the USSR, noted that for Ukraine it was a "history of unimaginable political cynicism, when colonialism is referred to as communism."13 The same document pointed to serious degradation of the extant system, called the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary a failure, and exposed Stalin's cult of personality and the feuds in his entourage for power. Proclaiming itself a successor to the OUN, the group tried to act in accordance with the new /100/ domestic and international situation. A new element in the program is, first of all, the struggle against the regime "by means of propaganda and exposition methods, and only in the case of extreme emergency by individual terrorist acts."14 In its struggle, the Association group intended to rely primarily on youth. Thus it hoped to influence young people through legal sports organizations, which could later be militarized. Another new element was the fact that the group planned to found workers associations and initiate mass strikes to better people's lives.




2. Ideas of the Sixties Generation


Politically quite interesting is the Ukrainian National Front (UNF) organization founded in 1964 by Dmytro Kvetsko and Zinovy Krasivsky. Members of the UNF argued that economic exploitation and political oppression of the USSR's peoples was compounded by their being deprived of their own ethnic cultures and inculcated with a second-rate Russian provincial culture with certain elements of their own.15 For them the ideological apparatus of power at all levels remained an essential part of a mechanism of oppression. Only after the emergence of an independent Ukraine one can say that other peoples of Eastern Europe could become independent of Moscow.

They believed the Russian communist system hinged on three elements: etatism, tyranny, and dictatorship of the Communist Party. Khrushchev's policies had cracked the foundations of the Soviet regime and also compromised and undermined the communist world.

The totalitarian regime in Ukraine should be replaced with "people's socialism", based on the principles of independence, power of the people, prosperity, social justice, and freedom.16 It can be seen from the presented description of this socialism that it is a rather original vision of a new society, something of the kind of the then social-democratic world in the traditions of the evolved OUN. /101/

Politically, the UNF spoke for "breaking Ukraine away from Russia and creating an independent Ukrainian state within its ethnographic borders, including the lands occupied by the colonizers" (note that the latter demand disappears from program statements in the Ukrainian samvydav (Russian, samizdat, "self-publishing" Eds.) beginning in the late 1960s Author). Ukraine's separation was to be followed by replacement of the colonial administration with a new national power in the person of true peoples' representatives, freely elected by the people, and the dissolution of the party and propaganda organizations. Further points of the program are very specific. The program itself and other documents of the UNF contained detailed suggestions for solving cultural-ethnic problems and carefully elaborated socioeconomic proposals: complete gasification of towns and villages, free choice of place of residence and profession, free trade unions, solution of housing problems, higher education, etc. Land was to remain state property, with the collective farms liquidated.

In his "50 Years of the Soviet Power in Ukraine" Kuzma Dasiv gave a true picture of Ukraine's history for those years. That power brought hunger, terror, and Russification to Ukraine.17 Russian chauvinism is an enemy of the Ukrainian people it buried two attempts of the struggle for Ukrainian statehood in the 1920s and 1940s-1950s.

Valentyn Moroz's essays stand out vividly among publicistic works of the 1960s. He was the first to describe the KGB system, its mechanisms of intimidation and harassment in his "A Report from the Bcria Reserve." Moroz gave an account (quite in the vein of Dmytro Dontsov, although he did not read his works) of the significance and role of morale and will-power in a movement of resistance to power. When a new generation arose, which had rid of or knew no fear of the system, it turned out that the authorities had nothing similarly strong in their ideology to confront dissidents but crude force. In his essay "In the Snows" Moroz /102/ pointed to two trends in the Ukrainian national movement which differed from each other in degree of non-conformism to circumstances and devotion to one's ideals.18 These criteria, seemingly from the realm of philosophy or ethics rather than politics, were, in that situation, one could argue, most important for the functioning of the Ukrainian liberation movement and politically instrumental.

Analyzing Ukrainian reality and making social forecasts, some participants in the national liberation movement used Marxist ideology and methodology. Specifically, Levko Lukyanenko's 1959 draft program of the Ukrainian Workers and Peasants League (UWPL) was based on such principles. The strategic objective of the organization was to break Ukraine away from the USSR by resorting to the right to secede, stipulated by the USSR Constitution, and holding a nation-wide referendum. Lukyanenko regarded Ukraine as a colony within the USSR.19 In his critique of the regime he was more reserved than the nationalists, but at the same time he clearly pointed out that the Communist Party dictatorship reigned supreme in the country and the people was completely bereft of power. Workers were mercilessly exploited, and peasants turned into serfs.

In such a situation, Lukyanenko believed, open agitation for Ukraine's secession from the USSR was impossible, for at the first stage of the struggle for independence attention should be focused on expanding democratic rights and freedoms in the USSR and making the country more democratic. This work would have to be done by members of the group in the underground, combining both legal and clandestine forms.

At the same time, the UWPL draft program was not devoid of internal contradictions or non-sequiturs. For instance, he defined the struggle waged in Ukraine in the 1940s-1950s as a national liberation movement, but spoke against nationalism, although that movement had been clearly nationalist. Following OUN publicists, Lukyanenko argued that there were no antagonistic classes in Ukrainian /103/ society, for it was allegedly composed of the Communist Party and bureaucratic nomenklatura and the workers of many nations. In other words, the ruling class was again excluded from Ukrainian society and its future fate, remained unclear. A similar approach to that class was present in all program documents of that period, possibly, for tactical reasons.

The UWPL draft program came very close to the ideas earlier expressed by Shakhai, and this seems to have reflected Lukyanenko's real convictions rather than tactical considerations. The project's author did not doubt, however, any of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, although in doing so he spoke for a revolutionary Marxism different from Leninist practices in the USSR.

The emergence of that Marxist trend was quite logical: most participants of the national movement were not familiar with anything other than Marxist ideology and had to move in that direction from nationalist communism, which was objectively represented by the trend, to its negation, which, in the long run, actually did happen. In fact, this was revision of Marxism in the specific Ukrainian situation.

A similar position was taken at that time by Ivan Dziuba in his famous Internationalism or Russification?"20 Dziuba proceeded from the fact that the national and interethnic policies, declared and pursued by the Communist Party, did not conform to major theses of MarxismLeninism on the problems, which led to a critical situation in the development of the peoples, the Ukrainian one in particular. Dziuba's work was a peculiar ideological revision of Marxism-Leninism, for it gave lie to several official conceptions of the national question, specifically, the consistency in the Communist Party policy regarding the national problem, the idea of an imminent future merging of nations in a communist society, the "civilizing" mission of the Russian people with regard to other peoples of the USSR, the voluntary character of territorial "unification" under the aegis of Russia, and the equality of Ukrainians and Russians /104/ in Ukraine itself.21 Dziuba's book also uncovered a number of gray areas in Ukrainian history, hitherto unknown to the Ukrainian reader of that generation.

There were various other works before and after Dziuba, published in the Ukrainian samvydav, where authors' approaches to history and politics could be identified with the Marxist one, although they spoke for Ukrainian independence.

Yuri Badzio's work "The Right to Live," took a position of democratic socialism, far removed from Marxism. Surveying a number of works on Ukrainian history, the author harshly criticized the methodological principles on which Russian and, later, Soviet historiography considered many issues in the history of Ukraine, which was denied any self-sustained independent historical process.22 Criticizing the theory of "the merging of nations," Badzio considered it Lenin's fabrication, who had, in fact, legitimized the assimilation of nations. Also underlying the theory was Russian great-power chauvinism.23 Writing on the future of the country, the author argued for ideological, cultural, and political pluralism. The working class and peasantry should have their class representation in bodies of power and there should be a multiparty system.

One cannot but note a tragic figure of Valery Marchenko, who lost his life in a Gulag camp in 1984. He saw the human rights movement through the prism of the people's religious self-purification and the reawakening in it of the feeling of personal dignity and willingness to abide by God's Commandments. One letter which he sent to his relatives 1980 reads: "Who but we, brought up from early childhood on materialism and atheism, should know why the ideas of Christ, Faith and Resurrection, sacred to 600 million Christians, are regarded in this country at best as some sort of elements of a legend. For, indeed, we have never heard servants of God, only the opposite side... The Realm of Spirit is still beyond our knowledge as something mysterious and only capable of evoking negative emotions in diehard agnostic skeptics. But for us it is a fertile field which will certainly give fruit, given only inspired devotion and self-denial... I want to reiterate: under any difficult situation you will have a feeling of peace and tranquillity once you sincerely pray to God."24 /105/




3. Universal Human Values in the Uncensored Thought


The leading place was occupied in the Ukrainian uncensored sociopolitical thought in that period by a trend that formed from rather different representatives, who gravitated toward universal human values of democracy and freedom. But, to admit, when analyzing most works of that trend, one should bear in mind that they were written for wide dissemination (applications, statements, complaints, etc.). Their authors were not (quite) familiar with theoretical studies in nationalism or, for tactical considerations, did not want to make their knowledge public, while a commonplace revision of Marxism seemed to them inadequate for the Ukrainian independent political movement.

Yevhen Proniuk's article "The State and Tasks of the Ukrainian Liberation Movement" (1965) was the first known document in that vein. The article gives a brief analysis of the situation in the USSR, discusses the future of Ukrainians as a nation, and, importantly, describes in great detail in what ways the tasks set can be fulfilled. Proniuk regarded the USSR as "a state of totalitarian oligarchy," socially an instrument of domination by the Communist Party ruling caste, whose core is composed of a large group of people employed in the sphere of government and management. The economic basis of this caste is the state ownership of the instruments and means of production.25

What, then, did the author propose for the Ukrainian national movement? Establishment of democracy and absolute sovereignty of Ukraine. In a sovereign Ukraine, state ownership and property were to be liquidated, supplanted by socialization of the means of production and work. (Though, it is not quite clear from the article what that meant). Democratic political freedoms and even self-government of production associations were to be introduced.

For the nearest future, the author thought it reasonable to demand the democratization of the USSR.26 Only then /106/ could the Ukrainian liberation movement develop. Democratization would make it possible to solve all further tasks of the movement: doing away with the old state mechanism, building a new one, removing the ruling caste from power, and Ukrainizing the social, scientific, and political spheres.

Similar ideas were expressed in Anton Koval's (Vasyl Lisovy) "Open Letter to the Deputies to Soviets in the Ukrainian SSR)." He suggested actually carrying out the norms of the effective Constitutions of the USSR and Ukraine first of all, to transform Soviets into bodies of real power and self-government, removing the Communist party from domination over them.27 In the economic sphere, he envisaged radical economic reform (transferring all enterprises located on Ukrainian territory to Ukrainian SSR jurisdiction), pay rises for all workers, and cutting the privileges of the Communist Party nomenklatura. The author of the letter also suggested adopting a new republic Constitution, which would definitely stipulate the state's sovereignty and confine Ukraine's relations with other republics of the USSR to those regulated by bilateral treaties and agreements. The new Constitution was also to guarantee a multiparty system, the republic's own Ministry of Defense, give peasants freedom of movement and the right to freely quit their collective farm job, end censorship and domicile registration, release all political prisoners, dissolve the KGB, etc. In the field of culture, Lisovy's proposals echoed those of the UNF, with special attention attached to raising the national awareness of Ukrainians.28

Lisovy was also the author of another samvydav publication "An Open Letter to Members of the Central Committees of the Communist Parties of the USSR and Ukraine" written in 1972.29 Along with protests of the 1972 wave of arrests of Ukrainian intellectuals, it dealt with the various reasons for the dissidence and dissatisfaction in the country. He pointed to several factors and manifestations of a deep systemic crisis gripping Soviet society. On the national question, Lisovy argued that prospects of relations be-/107/tween the USSR peoples were officially interpreted in the spirit of flagrant genocide.30

Reprisals in the early 1970s forced the dissidents to review the tactics and certain ideas of their movement. Analyzing factors of emergence of the democratic movement of the sixties generation as a social phenomenon, Vasyl Ovsiyenko tracked down, in an unpublished paper, its evolution from its very origin. One of his conclusions was that in future life itself would demand the forming of an organized movement or even to go underground 31. The above ideas were developed primarily on the pages of the samvydav Ukransky Visnyk (Ukrainian Herald) edited by Vyacheslav Chornovil.

Ivan Hel's "Aspects of Culture" was another important historical document of uncensored sociopolitical thought. It contained both a theoretical analysis of the totalitarian system's origins and statements and appeals by its opponents dissidents and participants in the national resistance movement. The author analyzed in detail the ways and means of ideological pressure on the subjugated peoples of the empire by means of science, education, and culture. He argued that the totalitarian regime was formed in the USSR largely due to Western appeasement, since new mechanisms of ethnocide as Moscow's major strategy were elaborated with the connivance of the Western world.32 Hel criticized the West for intentionally hushing up, over a rather long period of time, the empire's interethnic problems and said that only now was the West beginning to realize the real danger of the Soviet system.

From the mid-1970s the Ukrainian opposition movement shifted its emphasis to the protection of human rights, which was due to adoption of the Basket III human rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords on Security and Cooperation in Europe and also to the regime's mounting reprisals against its critics. In 1976 well known writers and political prisoners Mykola Rudenko, Oksana Meshko, Oles Berdnyk, Levko Lukyanenko, Ivan Kandyba, Oleksiy Tykhy, /108/ et. al. founded the Ukrainian Community Group to Foster the Implementation of the Helsinki Accords. The Ukrainian Helsinki Group was concerned not only with human rights protection; it tried to combine, in the interests of resistance to the regime, the struggle of Ukrainians as a nation with the struggle of other nations and other forms of resistance. In the article "Our Tasks" the human rights movement of the late 1970s was, in fact, identified with the national liberation movement.33

Helsinki Group program documents were written by various people at various times, and at first seem rather vague. They failed to introduce something radically new to the social thought, but only confirmed the idea of "unity of universal human values and national rights of Ukrainian citizens." The group's orientation evolved from general democratic legal objectives, among which protection of national rights was mentioned in rather moderate terms, to renunciation of the totalitarian system and realization of top priority tasks of the Ukrainian liberation movement. For example, the group's 'Memorandum No. 1" argued that in Ukraine genocide had continued against the people since Stalin's time.34

In 1978-1979, documents of the Group, prepared both in Ukraine and Gulag camps, included, alongside with analyses of Ukrainian reality, conclusions on the necessity for Ukraine to secede from the USSR as an empire. "The Appeal of the Ukrainian National Liberation Movement for Ukraine's Independence" and certain other documents emphasized the Ukrainian movement's great importance in the destruction of the modern Russian empire,35 but, unfortunately, the ways and means by which it might do so remained undefined.

Vasyl Stus believed that one of the ways of breaking Ukraine away from the USSR could be a referendum initiated by the public, first of all by (former) political prisoners, and assisted and monitored by the UN and foreign governments.36 But such appeals for a referendum were more of a moral-propaganda nature. Interesting enough, similar docu-/109/ments first labeled the government of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic an occupation regime.

The ideas of the Ukrainian Helsinki watch group were developed in "The Declaration of Principles" of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union, which succeeded the Ukrainian Helsinki Group in 1987. This Declaration may have been the last semi-clandestine document, of the Ukrainian liberation thought. Even given its transitory character, of which the authors were fully aware, the document is significant in that its first paragraph was identical with all the closing paragraphs of Helsinki Group documents of the late 1970 early 1980s: "...the restoration of Ukrainian statehood, which today exists only on paper...".37

Thus, Ukrainian uncensored sociopolitical thought, represented here largely by program statements, existed and developed for nearly half a century and constituted an integral part of the Ukrainian national liberation movement of those times.

It is precisely this that can explain the fact that there were practically no substantial and voluminous works in sociopolitical problems of the USSR and Ukraine. In other words, Ukrainian political ideas were, as a matter of fact, subject to the current tasks of the movement or its immediate prospects. This determined a practical nature of such works and a certain narrowness in tackling social problems. After all, the fact that the materials were disseminated in the underground or semi-underground situation was not conducive to extended theorizing. At the same time, certain purely theoretical problems were simply beyond the scope of samvydav. Because of different conditions, the authors had sometimes to make insights already made public by their predecessors. Still, the development of the uncensored sociopolitical thought took place under the influence of Soviet reality and the continuity of the national movement in its various forms.

The fundamental problems of Ukrainianism, as it has been shown, were earlier developed by publicists of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian /110/ Insurgent Army. Their analyses of the totalitarian regime and strategic objectives of the Ukrainian movement, the choice of its allies and methods of dismantling the empire remain, on the whole, true for further generations of participants in the Ukrainian movement and its ideologists. These fundamental positions were later developed and made more precise. The invariability of some principal theses was determined by immutability of the historical epoch as a whole, in which the social thought evolved. However, both in theory and practice hopes for Western assistance in solving Ukrainian problems had to be given up. The unity of Ukrainian and universal human values became ever more evident, comprehensive criticism of the Soviet regime and its ideology mounted, and the understanding of the need for a mass movement grew. Another new element was that practically all spokespersons of the social thought were preoccupied with the ideas of the rule of law and human rights and freedoms.38 Taking into account the unawareness of or insufficient familiarity of many theoreticians with works of the 1940s, one should also regard as evidence of development the fact that the Ukrainian uncensored thought discarded as extremes both the pre-war postulates of nationalism and Marxism-Leninism.

The Ukrainian sociopolitical" thought evolved toward revision of both nationalism and Marxism. For practically all the underground publicistic works of the 1940s-1950s went beyond the boundary of well-established theories and practices of Dontsov's classic Ukrainian integral nationalism. The 1960s and 1970s also saw a certain measure of development of the nationalist idea. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that a considerable segment of the moderate or democratic trend of the movement and social thought is likewise a successor to the ideas of publicistic works of the OUN underground and the Third OUN (Banderite) Assembly. Some authors were rather close in their views to nationalism, while the authors of the best works in that vein directly called participants of the national liberation struggle, and hence themselves, nationalists. /111/

In Ukrainian social thought of the 1940s-1980s, prospects for socioeconomic and, in part, political development of present-day Ukraine were not well thought out. Among other things, this can be accounted for by the fact that drastic changes occurred far sooner than participants of the movement and its theoreticians themselves could expect, that a great many of newly minted ideas made their entrance on the arena of social thought or were imposed by various political forces in Ukraine and beyond its borders.




4. Totalitarian Institutions Against Ukrainian Informal Groups


Both in the previous period and during perestroika, well up to the military and Communist Party putsch of August 1991, Ukraine was an obedient part of the former totalitarian USSR, in fact, one of its bulwarks.

Yet, early in 1988 the first informal public associations made their appearance there. In various forms they raised questions concerning the spiritual and national revival of Ukraine; specifically, they put forward demands to revive the Ukrainian language, to rehabilitate national symbols, to introduce the institution of republican citizenship, to legalize prohibited Churches the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and to declare the republic economically and politically overeign. According to the statistical data of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, based on data obtained by KGB agents, as early as March 1989 in Ukraine there were about 60,000 members of informal associations or groups who held 1200 rallies and meetings in which 13,000,000 people took part.

A complete and detailed history of informal patriotic organizations, which appeared during perestroika can undoubtedly be found now only in the KGB archives. Special secret services carefully documented the development of Ukrainian informal patriotic organizations and each public /112/ action conducted by them, for they had a well-organized network of secret agents in what they called "self-organized associations and groups of negative orientation."

The documents recently made public (see publications in the Narodna Hazeta's first issues of 1994) testify to the fact that Agency 3 of the Ukrainian KGB "in conjunction with regional KGB boards have worked out. and are carrying out measures to ensure the monitoring for the processes taking place in these (national liberation Author) groupings and to register anti-social activities of extremists. Special groups have been formed in Agency 3: one (operative-investigative) for work at the Ukrainian Helsinki Union, the other for counterintelligcnce work in other informal associations and groups of anti-social orientation. In regional KGB boards from two to four operation officers are assigned these tasks". The report especially emphasizes the importance of these agents' work and notes in this connection that the KGB had "to get rid" (precisely the word) of unreliable agents and recruit "promising" ones, which supply "absolutely essential operative information", having been specially taught the "abilities and habits of working in the milieu of extremists and nationalists."

"The essence of the work carried out by the KGB bodies" is illustrated in the report by the way the activities of the UHU have been neutralized: the uncovering of "a mechanism of their interaction with foreign subversive centers," registration of "specific illegal acts," along with prevention of "the numerical growth and, eventually, demoralization of the groupings" "The agents' work with a view to disintegrate and compromise the leaders in the eyes of their 'like-minded colleagues'" was considered the most efficient method. It was also noted that precisely due to such measures the KGB had managed to create "among the dissidents an atmosphere of quarrels, mutual reproaches, dislike, and suspicion."

That the KGB and the Communist Party of Ukraine were behind a flood of publications in the newspapers Pravda Ukrainy, Radianska Ukraina, Robitnycha Gazeta, /113/ Kyiv's Prapor Komunizmu, and hundreds of provincial Communist Party papers of that period designed to compromise the patriots is now quite obvious. An official document of the period reads: "An important line of work is debunking the nationalist leaders before the public in mass media. In 1989 alone over thirty such articles were published on the basis of KGB materials." The contribution of the Ukrainian TV and the Radianska Ukraina was especially noted for that. Those were, as was mentioned, only backbiting against the leaders and all in all "in 1989 materials of KGB agents were used for 280 articles in the republican and local press and 120 radio and TV programs" in other words, one publication a day. KGB "cadres" reported to Moscow that they recorded on videotapes mass actions of democrats, and that "specially assigned officers and Comsomol volunteer groups took part in those activities in order to act as witnesses of illegal acts of instigators and extremists in courts." Very telling is the following official KGB evidence: "As a result of careful documentation and registration, in 19881989, 74 members of the UHU were arrested for administrative violations and sentenced to 15 days in prison each and a fine from 50 to 1000 rubles... During that period, using documentation and registration of dissidents' actions by the General Procurator's Office and KGB, 28 objects of surveillance were officially warned and 43 were subject to preventive "words to the wise." And further: "More than 800 people were detained and tried for organization and participation in unsanctioncd rallies, disobedience regarding militiamen's demands and other violations of law."

All patriotic informal organizations were under the KGB surveillance. Documentary evidence of this can also be found in something else: the law enforcement structures were directed by top functionaries of the CPU: Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, Yuri Yelchenko, Leonid Kravchuk and lowerlevel apparatchiks in regions, districts and towns: "Information on the situation in informal associations of negative orientation, obtained by Ukrainian KGB men, and used for /114/ working out specific proposals on the localization of their activities is in timely fashion reported to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. In June 1989, the question of increasing political and organizational influence on informal groupings was deliberated by the ideological commission of the Central Committee."

Undoubtedly, all this should be taken into account in an analysis of reasons of real contradictions and differences in opinions in the national democratic movement. This well-known fact the existence of a great network of provocateurs and informers in every pore of Soviet society could in itself cause many problems for the movement. All these factors could not but influence, with time, political and ideological wavering and transformations of the leaders of Ukrainian informal associations and the national democratic movement as a whole.39




5. The National Idea and the "Democratic Platform" in the Communist Party


Given the oppressive nature of the totalitarian surveillance over society, one realistic way of ruining the communist empire was an opposition within the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) known as the "Democratic Platform." Formally, the opposition can be considered as formed as a result of the establishment of its coordination committees in early 1990 in Kyiv (the Democratic Platform's ideological and organizational center was the Communist Party Committee of Taras Shevchenko University) and in Kharkiv. The sociopolitical program of the Democratic Platform was radical: renunciation of monopoly of a single ideology, resort to the present-day humanitarian thought as the theoretical foundation of the Party, rejection of communism as the party's major objective and of its monopoly of power, prohibition of the party organizations in the state and self-government bodies, internal party democratization, and its transformation into a party of the parliamentary type. Great im-/115/portance was attached to an official public admission of the CPSU's responsibility before society for all its wrongdoing.

The initiators of the Democratic Platform regarded the Communist Party's transformation as a method and guarantee of social reform. Naturally, major efforts were focused on the struggle with reactionary forces in the power structures and the dismantling of the administrative command system rather than on the previous methods of social reform.

As for the transformation strategy, typical of the majority in the Democratic Platform in Ukraine was the following approach: first of all democracy; then, on its basis, independence; and creation of a civilized, democratic, law-governed national state. It was clear that, for ail contradictions of the perestroika period, Kyiv received democratizing impulses from Moscow. They were to be made use of to the maximum. The balance of democratic and totalitarian forces in Ukraine was by far less favorable for ruining the totalitarian system than on the Union-wide scale. Gaining independence under the circumstances was risky from the viewpoint of prospects for genuinely reforming society.

Precisely on this were based proposals to transform the CPSU into a Union of Communist parties of the Union Republics and were pinned the hopes for a new Union Treaty. Only somewhat later, at the state of the complete divorce with the Left conservative majority in the Communist Party of Ukraine and the forming of a separate party, could a foreign policy concept emerge oriented toward various forms of political partnership among the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

The Democratic Platform offered a more radical program than simply transforming the Communist Party into a Social Democratic one. The presence of the Democratic Platform counterbalanced, to some extent, the authoritarian forces in the CPSU, which substantially consolidated in 1989-1990 and actively prepared to remove Gorbachev. The Democratic Platform made him turn, in fact, into a peculiar centrist. The inner political struggle and further erosion of /116/ the Communist Party became the major factors of the empire's disintegration. Likewise, the formal breakdown of the CPSU (and the Communist Party of Ukraine as its integral part) guaranteed, in reality, the party and state nomenklatura its dominant positions: they were quite fast in discarding the old ideology and then adapted the ideology of Ukrainian nation-making to their own narrow corporativist needs.

Symptomatically, many functionaries among the Communist ideological and apparatchiks activists counterattacked the Democratic Platform from orthodox communist positions, and later, after metamorphoses in official ideology, turned into professional patriots to avoid remaining on the wreckage of the party.

In fact, in the late 1980s the Ukrainian communist nomenklatura faced a rather hard choice. On the one hand, the Democratic Platform in the Communist Party of Ukraine was gaining momentum as a reformist opposition to the orthodox party leaders. But, on the other hand, the feelings of a certain segment of the humanitarian intellectuals, primarily those around Ukraine's Writers' Union, had earlier found their organizational implementation in the Rukh (Movement for the Perestroika) which held its founding congress in the fall of 1989. There were many now well-known people among its initiators and founders of this mass public organization: Ivan Drach, Foka Burlachuk, Vyacheslav Briukhovetsky, Myroslav Popovych, Valery Chmyr, Vasyl Yaremenko, Volodymyr Cherniak, Stanislav Telniuk, etc. The nomenklatura, could not resort to an open suppression of "dissidents" from the Democratic Platform without knowing for certain the outcome of the struggle in Moscow, for to manifest such independence would mean, first, the violation of all Party rules the system of the apparatchik hierarchy had to abide by, and, second, a demonstration of friendly feelings toward "nationalism." Similar "prospects" for the regime were also opened up in case of support expressed for the patriotically minded forces of Rukh. All this urged them to maneuver, one evidence of the which was TV debates /117/ conducted by Leonid Kravchuk, then head of the ideological department of the Central Committee of the CPU, with Rukh leaders. The latter's tactic lay in seizing any and ail possible advantage of Moscow's ideological sanction for criticism of party hardliners which "had grown absolutely bureaucratic" (incidentally, nearly all Rukh leaders were at the time also Communist Party members). And the CPU's tactic was to make use, to the maximum, of the party's statutory limitation on such criticism and to fabricate "the nationalist image" of the Rukh in the minds of their Moscow party bosses. At first this tactic manifested itself in the sanctioning by CPU leaders of publication of the Rukh program in the newspaper Literaturna Ukraina, but with the reservation that Rukh's ideologists should make alterations and amendments to the draft program.40 Incidentally, the right to such recommendations was provided for in the Rukh draft program itself, where one of the major theses ran: "Rukh recognizes the guiding role of the Communist Party in society and represents a link between the party's perestroika ideas and the initiative of the broadest popular masses."

But, as it later appeared, the Rukh was for the CPU less a threat than the Democratic Platform. In any case, the organizational and propaganda possibilities of the Ukrainian party nomenklatura obviously outweighed Rukh's capabilities, while the Democratic Platform could lay claims on the "most sacred of all things" the property of the CPU. Under any circumstances, the Rukh was unable to substantially undermine foundations of its existence.

A rather favorable combination of factors evolved for the party nomenklatura. This made it possible to compromise and undermine the Democratic Platform by saying that it was a cosmopolitan organization lacking any national ideology, which was planned by Moscow to be transformed into an instrument of its imperial policy and a weapon in the struggle against "nationalist" trends. In that way, the interests of Gorbachev, then scared by the scale of the Baltic and other manifestations of "separatism" were also indirectly served; at /118/ the same time, Gorbachev's opponents in the Politburo who had already sensed the Democratic Platform threat were also backed up by that to some extent. Eventually, Gorbachev's own wavering made it possible for the conservative orthodox Stalinist wing of the CPSU Central Committee to greatly increase its influence and gave the party bosses in Ukraine freedom of action. Relying on the recommendations of the CPSU Central Committee given in an open letter "For Consolidation on Matters of Principle", the Central Committee of the CPU adopted, on April 13, 1990, a resolution "For Consolidation of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Counteraction to Creation in It of Faction Groupings". In doing so, the Ukrainian party nomenklatura finally made its historic choice. Paradoxically, by ruining the communist empire and its backbone the CPSU the Democratic Platform paved the way for an ultimate transformation of the pragmatic part of the Ukrainian nomenklatura into the so-called "statehood builders."

The present-day type of Ukrainian statehood is determined, not in the last place, by the very priorities chosen by the Communist Party bosses in the time of the Gorbachev reformist projects. It was precisely then that the Party of Power began discarding its ideological ballast in order to retain its commanding positions in the economy and politics. And the more so that the real privatization of a great deal of objects, owned by the party, through the agency of authorized persons, mainly from Comsomol structures, had already demonstrated fabulous prospects for the experiment designated to switch the society from the lines of nomenklatura socialism onto those of nomenklatura capitalism. It was then (in 1988-1990) that the basis of the future strategic "nation-making" alliance of the communist nomenklatura with National Democrats, their recent "ideological enemies" was laid down. The act of their fraternizing at the time, when on August 24, 1991, Ukraine's independence was proclaimed, became the crowning point of this.







1 "Ukrainian Socio-Political Thought in the Twentieth Century," Suchasnist, 1983, (Munich, 1983: in Ukrainian), voL III, pp. 63-67.

2 O. Hornovy (Diakiv), Idealism or Materialism: Which Philosophy are Members of the OUN Obliged to /402/ Follow?-Political Thought of the Ukrainian Underground, 1943- 1951 (Edmonton, 1986), p. 120.

3 Ibid., p. 122.

4 P. Poltava, "The Concept of an Independent Ukraine and the Main Tendency of Contemporary Political Development," UPA Annals, 1982, IX, p. 42 (in Ukrainian).

5 Ibid., p. 57.

6 Yarlan, "The Fascist Vampire," UPA Annals, VIII, pp. 172-180 (in Ukrainian).

7 D. Shakhay, "Tactics on the Russian People," UPA Annals, VIII, pp. 237-238 (in Ukrainian).

8 Ibid., p. 214.

9 Ibid., p. 226.

10 P. Poltava, "On Our Plan of the Ukrainian Liberation Struggle in the Current Conditions," UPA Annals, 1984, X, pp. 101, 103; "World War Three in the Making and the Objectives of the Ukrainian People," Ibid., p. 371.

11 I. Lysiak-Rudnytsky, "Nationalism and Totalitarianism," Historical Essays (Kyiv, 1994: in Ukrainian), II, p. 490.

12 See about her. A. Rusnachenko, "The Youth for a Free Ukraine ("Unity" association)," Vyzvolny shliakh, 1994, No 10 (in Ukrainian).

13 Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Archives, spr 69861, op. 14, p. 147.

14 Ibid., p. 113.

15 Freedom and Fatherland, 1964, part 1, p. 12 (in Ukrainian).

16 Ibid., p. 5.

17 SBU Archives Lviv Oblast, spr 29201, op. 5, packet 10.

18 V. Moroz, "Among the Snows," V. Moroz, Essays, Articles, Documents (Munich, 1975: in Ukrainian), pp. 75-101.

19 L. Lukyanenko, / Won't Let Ukraine Die (Kyiv, 1994: in Ukrainian), p. 17.

20 1. Dzyuba, Internationalism or Russification? (Munich, 1968: in Ukrainian).

21 H. Kasyanov, The Dissenting Ukrainian Intelligentsia in the Resistance Movement of the 60s through the 80s (Kyiv, 1995: in Ukrainian), p. 97.

22 SBU Archives, spr. 70828, op. 2, p. 144.

23 Ukrainian Socio-Political Thought in the twentieth Century, III, p. 330.

24 Quoted from Zoloty vorota (Kyiv, 1991: in Ukrainian), No 1, p. 165.

25 Ukrainian Socio-Political Thought in the 20th Century, III, p. 335.

26 SBU ArchVes, Lviv Oblast, Spr. 26250, VoL III, p. 46.

27 Suchasnist, 1969, 10, p. 99.

28 Ibid., p. 103.

29 V. Iisovy, "An Open Letter to Members of the CPSU CC and members of the CP CC of Ukraine," Suchasnist, 1977, No 10. (in Ukrainian).

30 SBU Archives, Case 69308, Vol. 14, pp. 304, 308.

31 SBU Archives, Lviv Oblast, Case 11814, VoL 6, p. 2 (of records).

32 I. Hel, Aspects of Culture (Lviv, 1993: in Ukrainian), pp 39-40.

33 The Ukrainian Helsinki Group. 19781982. Documents and Materials (Toronto, Baltimore, 1983: in Ukrainian), p. 2.

34 The Ukrainian Dissident Movement. Documents and Materials of the Ukrainian Non-Governmental Group for the Promotion of the Helsinki Accords in Ukraine (Toronto, Baltimore, 1978: in Ukrainian), p. 40. /403/

35 SBU Archives, Case 67826, VoL .5, Packet 5.

36 V. Stus, "Decolonization of the USSR Is the Only Guarantee of Peace Throughout the World," V. Stus. Works (Lviv, 1994: in Ukrainian), IV, p. 480.

37 A. Kaminsky, In the Transition Period: "Glasnost," "Perestroika," and "Democratization" in Ukraine (Munich, 1990: in Ukrainian), p. 322.

38 I. Lysiak-Rudnytsky, "The Political Thought of Soviet-Time Ukrainian Dissidents," I. Lysyak-Rudnytsky. The Historical Essays, II, p. 483 (in Ukrainian).

39 See V. Kovtun, A History of the Popular Movement of Ukraine (Kyiv, 1995: in Ukrainian).

40 See V. Lytvyn, The Political Arena of Ukraine: Roles and Actors (Kyiv, 1994: In Ukrainian), p. 113.





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