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Historical Glossary

A glossary of terms pertaining to Ukrainian history mentioned in the English-language articles in this encyclopaedia.

Anti Bolshevik Bloc of Nations – a co-ordinating center for anti-Communist émigré political organisations from Soviet and other socialist countries, which existed from 1943 to 1996. more

Army of the Ukrainian People’s Republic – volunteer units which made up the armed forces of Ukraine during the 1917-1920 struggle for independence. more

Bandera, Stepan (1909-1959) – leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in Galicia in the 1930s and subsequently of the OUN(B). more

Bukovyna – a territory which was a crown land in the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Ukraine and Romania. more

Carpatho-Ukraine – an autonomous Ukrainian republic which existed in 1938-39 in the Transcarpathia region, which was then part of Czechoslovakia. more

Chortkiv offensive – a military operation in June 1919 by the Ukrainian Galician Army against the Polish army, launched near the town of Chortkiv. more

Christian Social Party [Khrystyiansko-suspilna partiia] – a Ukrainian political party, established in Galicia in 1896 (until 1911 known as the Catholic Ruthenian People’s Union), with a programme of social and economic reform based on Christian ethics. more

Dilo – a leading Ukrainian newspaper published in Lviv from 1880 to 1939. more

Directory of the Ukrainian People's Republic [Dyrektoriia Ukrainskoi Narodnoi Respubliky; named after the Directoire, the French revolutionary government of 1795-1799] – a body established in November 1918 by a coalition of Ukrainian political parties and other organisations to lead an uprising against the government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi. It subsequently exercised the powers of head of state in the restored Ukrainian People’s Republic. more

Displaced persons camps – sites in Germany, Austria and other countries of Western Europe where displaced persons and refugees, mainly from Eastern Europe, were accommodated in the years immediately after the Second World War. more

Dnipro Ukraine [Naddniprianska Ukraina] – a term referring to the territory of Ukraine on both sides of the River Dnipro, which formed part of the Russian Empire (as opposed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire), and subsequently of the Soviet Union (before the incorporation of Western Ukraine into the latter).

Dontsov, Dmytro – a political theorist and writer whose ideology had a major influence on the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists in the 1930s. more

Drahomanov, Mykhailo (1841-1895) – a Ukrainian historian, ethnographer and political thinker. He became a leading member of the Kyiv Hromada, a secret society which played a key role in the Ukrainian national revival in Russian-ruled Ukraine. In 1876 he emigrated to Geneva and became the Hromada’s spokesman in Western Europe. more

Famine of 1932-33 (Holodomor) – a famine in Soviet Ukraine, engineered by the regime of Joseph Stalin, as a result of which several million Ukrainians died (estimates vary from around three million to ten million). more

Free Cossacks [Vilne kozatstvo] – Ukrainian volunteer militia and military formations operating in 1917–18. more

Galicia [Halychyna] – a historical region named after the Ukrainian town of Halych. Its core area corresponds broadly to the present Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil regions of western Ukraine and surrounding areas. The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, a crown land in the Austrian Empire and subsequently the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, included both the ethnically Ukrainian historical Galicia and an ethnically Polish area to the west. This led to the use of the name Eastern Galicia to denote the Ukrainian part of the crown land. more

Galicia Division [Dyviziia "Halychyna"] – a Ukrainian military formation within the German armed forces in the Second World War. more

Generalgouvernement [General Governorate, Heneralna hubernia] – a territorial entity, initially covering an area in central Poland, occupied in 1939-1945 by Nazi Germany. In 1941, after the German invasion of the USSR, it was expanded to include the predominantly Ukrainian pre-war Polish provinces of Lviv, Stanislaviv and Ternopil, which became the Galicia District. more

Government in exile of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR) 1920-1948 [Uriad Ukrainskoi Narodnoi Respubliky v ekzyli] – an émigré institution which pursued activities aimed at the restoration of an independent Ukrainian state after the government of the UNR was forced into exile in November 1920. It was composed primarily of pre-exile UNR activists, based initially in Tarnów in Poland, and then mainly in Warsaw, Prague and Paris. After the German invasion of France in 1940, it was largely inactive until the end of the Second World War. After the war it was succeeded by the Ukrainian National Council and its Executive Committee. more

Graeco-Catholic (also Greco-Catholic, Greek Catholic) – a term used in the context of an Eastern Catholic church of the Byzantine, or “Greek”, rite. more

Gymnasium [himnaziia] – a type of secondary school in various European countries that prepares students for university, comparable to grammar schools in the United Kingdom. more

Hetman – the title used by heads of the Ukrainian Cossack state (the Hetman State) which existed from 1648 to 1782. The title was revived by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi, head of the Ukrainian State from April to December 1918. more

Hetmanite movement – an émigré Ukrainian monarchist movement led by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi and his successors, embracing organisations such as the Ukrainian Union of Agrarians-Statists and Union of Hetmanites-Statists in Europe, and the United Hetman Organisation in North America. more

Hromada societies – clandestine Ukrainian societies which existed in the Russian Empire from the second half of the nineteenth century until the early twentienth. more

Hrushevsky, Mykhailo (1866-1934) – an eminent Ukrainian historian who was also a key figure in the Ukrainian national revival of the early twentieth century. more

Internment of UNR Army units – internment of units of the Army of the UNR in camps in Poland and Czechoslovakia during and after the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-1920. more

Khmelnytskyi, Bohdan (c.1595-1657) – hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks from 1648. He led the Cossack war against Poland which resulted in the creation of the Hetman State of 1648-1782. more

Kuban – a region in the north-western part of the Caucasus, now part of the Russian Federation. At the beginning of the twentieth century approximately half of the region’s population was Ukrainian, but subsequent deportation and Russification led to the proportion of Ukrainians falling dramatically.

Kyivan Rus [Kyivska Rus] – a mediaeval Eastern Slav state, centred on the city of Kyiv. It arose in the ninth century and was destroyed as a result of the Mongol invasion of Europe in the thirteenth century. At the height of its expansion it covered much of the territory of present-day Ukraine, Belarus and European Russia. more

Lemko region [Lemkivshchyna] – a territory, partly in Poland and partly in Slovakia, historically occupied by the Lemko ethnic group of Ukrainians. more

Livytskyi, Andrii (1879-1954) – member of the government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR) in 1919 and subsequently head of the UNR government in exile. more

Lviv (Underground) Ukrainian University [Lvivskyi (taiemnyi) ukrainskyi universytet] – a clandestine higher education institution established in 1921 in Lviv after the Polish authorities had abolished all Ukrainian teaching posts at Lviv University. It ceased operating in 1925. more

Mazepa, Ivan (1639-1709) – hetman of Ukraine from 1687 who led an unsuccessful attempt to unite all Ukrainian territories in a single state. After his death he became a symbol of Ukrainian independence. more

Melnyk, Andrii (1890-1964) – leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1938-1940 and subsequently of the OUN(M). more

Mikhnovskyi, Mykola (1873-1924) – a political and community activist who was a key proponent of Ukrainian independence in the early twentieth century. more

Narodna Torhovlia – a Ukrainian co-operative society established in Galicia in 1883. more

November uprising in Lviv, 1918 – the seizure of power in Lviv on 1 November 1918 which preceded the establishment of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic. more

Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists [Orhanizatsiia Ukrainskykh Natsionalistiv] – a covert political movement founded in 1929 with the aim of achieving the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state. After a split in its ranks in 1940 it effectively ceased to exist as a unified organisation and was succeeded by the OUN(B) and the OUN(M). In 1954 a further split took place within the OUN(B) and led to the creation of the OUNA. more

Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderivtsi), or OUN(B) – one of two organisations which succeeded the unified OUN after a split occurred in the ranks of the latter in 1940. As followers of Stepan Bandera, its members became informally known as the Banderivtsi. Following a further split in the OUN(B) in 1954, some of its members formed the OUNA.

Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (Melnykivtsi), or OUN(M) – one of two organisations which succeeded the unified OUN after a split occurred in the ranks of the latter in 1940. As followers of Andrii Melnyk, its members became informally known as the Melnykivtsi.

Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists Abroad [OUN za kordonom] – an organisation which was established in 1956 as a result of a split which occurred in 1954 in the ranks of the OUN(B).

OUN expeditionary groups [Pokhidni hrupy OUN] – groups of OUN(B) and OUN(M) members who, after the June 1941 German invasion of the USSR, were sent from Galicia to Soviet Ukraine with the intention of organising Ukrainian local administrations in advance of German forces taking control. more

Orlyk, Pylyp (1672-1742) – the closest adviser to Hetman Ivan Mazepa, with whom he fled from Ukraine in 1709 after the defeat at the Battle of Poltava. In exile he sought international support for the liberation of Ukraine from Russian rule. more

Pacification – a campaign of repression conducted in 1930 by the Polish authorities against Ukrainians in Galicia. more

Paris Peace Conference – an international conference held in Paris, France, between January 1919 and January 1920 to negotiate peace treaties between the victorious and the defeated nations in the First World War. It was attended by delegates from the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic who lobbied for recognition of Ukrainian independence. more

Peremyshl [Polish - Przemyśl] – a city in south-eastern Poland which has historically been a major Ukrainian political, cultural and religious centre. more

Podillia – a historical region of south-western Ukraine. more

Polissia – a geographical region of lowlands and forests lying partly in north-western Ukraine and partly in southern Belarus. more

Prosvita societies – organisations which provided focal points for Ukrainian community activity in Ukraine between the late 1860s and the 1940s. more

Realschule [realne uchylyshche, realna shkola] – a type of secondary school in various European countries in which emphasis was placed on study of the natural sciences, foreign languages and technical subjects. more

Red Ukrainian Galician Army – the official name of the Ukrainian Galician Army after its forced absorption into the Red Army in the spring of 1920. more

Revolutionary Ukrainian Party [Revoliutsiina ukrainska partiia] – the first Ukrainian political party in Russian-ruled Ukraine, founded clandestinely in 1900 in Kharkiv. In December 1905 it was reorganised into the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' Party. more

Sheptytskyi, Andrei (1865-1944) – Ukrainian Graeco-Catholic Metropolitan of Halych (1901-1944); major figure in Ukrainian church, cultural and civic affairs. more

Shevchenko Scientific Society [Naukove Tovarystvo im. Shevchenka] – a Ukrainian scholarly society dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences, founded in 1873 in Lviv. It was dissolved by the Soviet authorities in January 1940, re-established in 1947 outside Ukraine, and restored in Ukraine in 1989. more

Shevchenko, Taras (1814-1861) – a Ukrainian poet whose work had a major impact on the growth of Ukrainian national consciousness. He was a key figure in the development of modern Ukrainian literature and the Ukrainian language. more

Sian Region [Nadsiannia] – an area straddling the River Sian (Sjan) in eastern Poland, close to the Ukrainian-Polish border, historically part of Ukrainian ethnic territory. more

Skoropadskyi, Pavlo (1873-1945) – head (with the title "Hetman") of the Ukrainian State from April to December 1918, and subsequently leader of the émigré monarchist hetmanite movement. more

Slipyi, Yosyf (1892-1984) – Head of the Ukrainian Graeco-Catholic Church (1944-1984). more

Subcarpathian Ruthenia [Pidkarpatska Rus] – a part of historically Ukrainian ethnic territory which formed a province of Czechoslovakia in 1920-1938. more

Transcarpathia [Zakarpattia] – a region of Ukraine located to the south-west of the Carpathian mountains. more

Trident [Tryzub] – the official coat of arms of Ukraine. more

Ukrainian Central Committee [Ukrainskyi Tsentralnyi Komitet] – a Ukrainian political and community organisation in the Generalgouvernement in 1939–45. more

Ukrainian Central Rada [Ukrainska Tsentralna Rada] – a body established in March 1917 in Kyiv, consisting of representatives of various Ukrainian political parties and other organisations, which evolved into the parliament of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. It was dissolved in April 1918 when the government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi took power. more

Ukrainian Cossack Brotherhood [also known as Ukrainian Free Cossacks; Ukrainske vilne kozatstvo] – an émigré association, founded in 1923, which promoted the traditions of the Free Cossacks in Ukraine (1917-18). more

Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences [Ukrainska Vilna Akademiia Nauk] – an association of Ukrainian émigré scholars established in Germany in 1945. more

Ukrainian Free University [Ukrainskyi Vilnyi Universytet] – an émigré Ukrainian academic institution established in January 1921 in Vienna, Austria, and transferred to Prague, Czechoslovakia, later that year. After the 1945 Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia it was abolished and re-established in Munich, Germany. more

Ukrainian Galician Army [Ukrainska halytska armiia] – the army of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic, established in November 1918. It ceased to exist at the end of April 1920.  more

Ukrainian Husbandry Academy [Ukrainska Hospodarska Akademiia] – a school of higher technical learning founded in 1922 by Ukrainian émigrés in Poděbrady, Czechoslovakia, with financial support from the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1932 the Ukrainian Technical and Husbandry Institute (UTHI) was established as the distance-learning branch of the Academy. In 1935 the Academy closed and its remaining activities were taken over by the UTHI. more

Ukrainian Information Committee [Ukrainskyi Informatsiinyi Komitet] – an organisation established in Lviv (within the Austro-Hungarian Empire) in November 1912, after the outbreak of the First Balkan War, with the aim of promoting, in Europe, the idea of an independent Ukraine. Its members were mainly political émigrés from Russian-ruled Ukraine, but also included prominent Western Ukrainians, and it had representatives in several other European countries. It existed until August 1914 when it was superseded by the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Insurgent Army [Ukrainska Povstanska Armiia] – a Ukrainian resistance army, organised in 1942-3, which fought mainly against Soviet and German forces in Western Ukraine. It was disbanded in 1949 but some of its units continued operating underground in Soviet Ukraine until the mid-1950s. more

Ukrainian Military Organisation [Ukrainska Viiskova Orhanizatsiia] – an underground revolutionary organisation formed in 1920 in Lviv to continue the armed struggle for an independent Ukraine after the 1917-1920 period of statehood. It was absorbed by the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists which was formed in 1929. more

Ukrainian Mohyla and Mazepa Academy of Sciences [Ukrainska Mohyliansko-Mazepynska Akademiia Nauk] – a scholarly institution founded in 1938 in Warsaw by the Government in exile of the UNR. It ceased to function after the 1939 German invasion of Poland. In 1978 it resumed its work in the Ukrainian diaspora and existed until 1992.

Ukrainian National Alliance [Ukrainske natsionalne obiednannia] – an émigré Ukrainian organisation which was active in 1933-1945, mainly in Germany. more

Ukrainian National Army [Ukrainska Natsionalna Armiia] – the name of a Ukrainian army whose formation began towards the end of the Second World War. It was to incorporate all Ukrainian units in the German armed forces and individual Ukrainians attached to German units, and was to fight against Soviet forces. When the war ended the organisation of the army was still in its early stages. Its nucleus, the Galicia Division, surrendered to the British Army. more

Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance [Ukrainske natsionalno-demokratychne obiednannia] – the dominant mainstream Ukrainian political party in Polish-ruled Western Ukraine between the two world wars. It was founded in 1925 and dissolved in 1939. In 1947 it was revived as an émigré party by a group of its pre-war members. more

Ukrainian National Democratic Party [Ukrainska natsionalno-demokratychna partiia] – a centrist political party, established in 1899, which gained a dominant position in Ukrainian political life in Galicia before the First World War. more

Ukrainian National Rada [Ukrainska Natsionalna Rada] – an assembly formed in October 1918 in Lviv, comprising 150 representatives of the population of the ethnic Ukrainian lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It proclaimed the establishment of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic and served as its parliament. more

Ukrainian People’s Republic [Ukrainska Narodna Respublika, UNR; also translated as Ukrainian National Republic] – a Ukrainian state proclaimed in November 1917 on the ethnic Ukrainian lands of the Russian Empire. From 29 April to 14 December 1918, under the government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi, the state was officially known as the "Ukrainian State". From January 1919 the restored UNR incorporated the Western Ukrainian lands of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic, which were formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In November 1920 the UNR government was forced into exile in Poland. more

Ukrainian-Polish War, 1918-19 – a war between the Western Ukrainian People's Republic and Poland, for control over Eastern Galicia, which lasted from November 1918 to July 1919. more

Ukrainian Republican Capella [Ukrainska respublikanska kapela] – a choir founded in Kyiv in 1919 and tasked by the UNR government with promoting Ukrainian music abroad. more

Ukrainian Revolution (1917-1920) – a period of political, military and diplomatic struggle for Ukrainian independence which gave rise to the Ukrainian People’s Republic, the Ukrainian State and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic. more

Ukrainian Sich Riflemen [Ukrainski sichovi striltsi] – a Ukrainian unit of the Austrian army, organised in Galicia in August 1914. In 1919 it became part of the Ukrainian Galician Army and existed until the end of April 1920. more

Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' Party [Ukrainska sotsial-demokratychna robitnycha partiia] – a clandestine political party formed in December 1905 in Russian-ruled Ukraine as successor to the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party. After the fall of the Ukrainian People’s Republic it became an émigré party. In 1950 in Germany it united with three other parties to form the Ukrainian Socialist Party. more

Ukrainian State [Ukrainska Derzhava] – the official name of Ukraine from 29 April to 14 December 1918 under the government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi. more

Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council [Ukrainska holovna vyzvolna rada] – a body formed in 1944 by members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderivtsi) to provide political leadership for the UPA’s armed struggle. more

Ukrainian Technical and Husbandry Institute [Ukrainskyi Tekhnichno-Hospodarskyi Instytut] – an educational and research institution, originally founded in 1932 in Poděbrady, Czechoslovakia, as the distance-learning branch of the Ukrainian Husbandry Academy. In 1935, when the Academy closed, the Institute took over its remaining functions. In 1945, after the Soviet advance into Czechoslovakia, the Institute moved to Germany. Until 1949 it was based in Regensburg, then briefly in Neu-Ulm and Augsburg, and finally, from 1951, in Munich. In 1952 it became a purely research institution and continued in existence until 2009. more

Ukrainian Union of Agrarians-Statists [Ukrainskyi soiuz khliborobiv derzhavnykiv] – an émigré monarchist organisation, part of the hetmanite movement. Founded in Vienna in 1920 and dissolved in 1937, it was succeeded by the Union of Hetmanites-Statists. more

Ukrainska akademichna himnaziia in Lviv – the oldest gymnasium secondary school with Ukrainian as the language of instruction. more

Union for the Liberation of Ukraine [Soiuz Vyzvolennia Ukrainy] – a political organisation of Ukrainian émigrés from the Russian Empire which campaigned for an independent Ukrainian state during the First World War (1914-1918). It was based in Vienna, Austria, and was supported by activists from Western Ukraine. more

Union for the Liberation of Ukraine [Spilka Vyzvolennia Ukrainy] – a fictitious organisation fabricated by the Soviet authorities to incriminate a group of Ukrainian intellectuals in a 1930 show trial. more

Union of Brest – a union, concluded in 1595-96, between the Ukrainian-Belarusian Orthodox church and the Holy See, in which the former accepted the authority of the Pope of Rome while retaining its autonomy and Eastern (Byzantine) rite. more

Union of Hetmanites-Statists [Soiuz Hetmantsiv Derzhavnykiv] – an émigré monarchist organisation, part of the hetmanite movement. It was founded in 1937 as the successor of the Ukrainian Union of Agrarians-Statists. more

United Hetman Organisation [Soiuz Hetmantsiv Derzhavnykiv] – a Ukrainian émigré monarchist organisation which evolved in Canada and the USA between the two world wars as part of the hetmanite movement. more

Volhynia [Volyn] – a historical region of northwestern Ukraine. more

Volodymyr Monomakh (1053-1125) – the grand prince of Kyivan Rus from 1113 to 1135. more

Vovk, Fedir (1847-1918) – a prominent Ukrainian ethnographer, anthropologist and archaeologist. more

Western Ukraine [Zakhidna Ukraina] – a term used to denote the western part of Ukraine as defined at various times: before the First World War – the Ukrainian lands which were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (as distinct from Dnipro Ukraine which was within the Russian Empire); in 1918-1919 – the territory of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic; in 1919-1939 – the Ukrainian lands under Polish, Romanian and Czechoslovak rule; during and after the Second World War – the territory annexed to Soviet Ukraine in 1939-1940. Today the term is most frequently used to refer either to the Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil oblasts of Ukraine, or to these plus the Volyn, Rivne, Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia oblasts. more

Western Ukrainian People’s Republic [Zakhidno-Ukrainska Narodna Respublika; also translated as Western Ukrainian National Republic] – a Ukrainian state proclaimed in November 1918 on the ethnically Ukrainian lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In January 1919 it united with the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR) and became the Western Province of the UNR. In November 1919 its government was forced into exile in Vienna, Austria. more

Yalta Conference – a conference held on 4-11 February 1945 in Yalta in the Crimea, at which the leaders of the USA, the UK and the USSR agreed plans for the reorganisation of Europe after the end of the Second World War. more

Zemstvo – a municipal self-government institution that existed in the Russian Empire from 1865 to 1917. more