The UPR Government in Exile in the Struggle for Unification and Consolidation of the Ukrainian Emigre Community


The Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine is publishing a unique document about the Congress of Representatives of the Government of the Ukrainian People's Republic in Exile (September 1932), which discussed unification and consolidation of all forces of Ukrainian organizations in exile. (BSA of SZRU, F.1, Case 12628. - V. 2. - PP. 270-273).

The document entitled “U. P. R” dated December 28, 1932, classified as “Top Secret”, is based on a report by a foreign source of the Foreign Department of the USSR OGPU (Foreign Intelligence). It is valuable and important for researchers that the text is authentic, written in Ukrainian, with the original spelling and style preserved, and not translated into Russian, as is the case with most archival documents of that period.

A comparison with the historical events of that time shows that they meant the “congress of the UPR emigres” (as the meeting is called by the OGPU's source). It took place on the eve of the Second Conference of the Ukrainian Main Emigration Council (24th - 25th September 1932) in Prague.

The document may shed light on some gaps in the history of the activities of Ukrainian emigrants in the interwar period. In particular, in the part concerning the plans of the UPR government aimed at consolidating various branches of Ukrainian emigre community.

The document states that the main and most interesting at the Congress was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the emigration government Oleksandr Shulgin's report on the political situation in the world. “In Shulgin's words, “Everywhere in the world”, the OGPU's operative source points out, “the opinion has changed in favor of Ukraine's independence”. During the years of emigration, a lot has been done for the benefit of our case, and this is the merit of Ukrainian emigre community, both its organized members and individuals”.

The next was a report by Professor of the Ukrainian Free University Andriy Yakovliv, who at different times was the rector of this university, Minister of Justice of the State Center of the Ukrainian People's Republic in exile, head of the government in exile. The theme of his report was “Consolidation of the Forces of Ukrainian emigres”.

”So the hidden page of the report is that,” the document reads, “negotiations are under way to create a Directory”. The members of the Directory should be Prof. Shvets, Makarenko, Andriy Levytskyi (spelt so in the original, meaning Andriy Livytskyi), as Petliura's deputy, Yakovlev (spelt so the original, meaning Andriy Yakovliv) instead of Prof. Anrychevskyi, who refused. With the formation of the Directory, of course, the UPR's front would strengthen”.

Then goes some information about the intentions to unite the UPR and Hetmanate movements: there is a wide agitation for close cooperation, and, not surprisingly, it is a great success, either thanks to Skoropadsky, who is now sympathetic to the UPR emigres and, in the event of Ukraine's independence, is ready to decide on the Republic or Hetmanate though the population's voting. The fact is that now very noticeable is the unification of all political groups, of the two, to be exact, - the UPR's and Hetmanate's”.

Other pages of the report are mostly devoted to military issues. They retell the Minister of Military Affairs of the Ukrainian People's Republic Volodymyr Salsky's words about the formation of Ukrainian units in case of a possible conflict between European countries and the Soviet Union, when there is an opportunity to fight for Ukraine's independence again. Named are candidates for various leading positions and for the appointment of the Army Commander.

In general, this document refers to only one event in the particular historical period. At the same time, it is important for understanding the processes of that time in the Ukrainian emigre community and, most importantly, it demonstrates, despite numerous contradictions between different organizations and movements, the tendency to consolidate.

As Oleksandr Shulhyn rightly noted in his speech at the First Conference of the Ukrainian Main Emigration Council, the leading idea of ​​emigres in the international arena should be “the idea of ​​gaining Ukrainian independent statehood and liberating Ukraine from the occupation regime”. In this case, in his opinion, all Ukrainian political forces should act together and condemn any “deviations from the leading idea”.