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Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain (FUGB) [Об’єднання Українців у Великій Британії] – one of two main Ukrainian community organisations of a general nature in the United Kingdom (analogous to the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, or AUGB), active until the early 2010s.

The FUGB was established after the split which occurred at the annual general meeting of the AUGB on 12-13 March 1949, against a background of party political differences (see also Organised community life). Initially the Ukrainian Bureau (UB) was formed, by the efforts of Gordon Bohdan Panchuk (chair of the AUGB in 1948-49) and, at an extraordinary general meeting of the UB on 30 October 1949, a decision was taken to establish the FUGB. On 11-12 March 1950 a general meeting of the UB and FUGB took place, at which a constitution was adopted for the FUGB and an FUGB governing body was elected.

The membership of the FUGB was approximately 1,000 at the end of 1949, and about 1,600 in March 1951. At that time it comprised individuals from Galicia, Volhynia and Dnipro Ukraine in roughly equal measures, and included a significant proportion of the older generations of post-war Ukrainian immigrants in the UK. From the 1950s the membership gradually declined, largely as a result of the onward emigration of many members to other countries. The organisation had about 600 members in 1966, and about 150 in 2003.

Prior to the founding of the FUGB, the UB initiated the formation of Samopomich (self-reliance) groups in the camps and hostels in which most Ukrainians in the UK lived at that time. In August 1949 there were 84 such groups, and they became the first FUGB branches. In the 1950s the number of branches decreased significantly, owing to the closure of the hostels and the large-scale movement of Ukrainians from agricultural to industrial areas. FUGB branches remained in several towns and cities in which larger groups of members settled, and their number stabilised at about 12 in the 1960s and 1970s. By 2003 the number of branches (including smaller groups) had decreased to seven.

At the end of 1953 the FUGB acquired a building in London which, in addition to the FUGB headquarters, housed the offices of the London Branch of the FUGB, the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Council, (which, until the end of 1976, was a part-owner of the building), and the Anglo-Ukrainian Society. FUGB branch centres were also acquired in Bradford, Enfield, Halifax, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Oldham, Peterborough and Rochdale. Most of these buildings were subsequently sold, and in 2018 only the Nottingham centre remained, functioning as a social club. In 1992 the FUGB handed over its London building for use by the newly-established Embassy of Ukraine (the building houses the Consular Section of the Embassy).

In its initial years, one of the FUGB’s main aims was to provide support for the Ukrainian National Council and the London office of its Executive Committee. At that time the Federation also provided its members and other post-war Ukrainian immigrants with advice, translation and interpreting services and other practical assistance relating to settlement in the UK. In addition, the FUGB began to organise various cultural, educational, and lobbying and campaigning activities, which continued into later years.

The FUGB’s cultural activities included the marking of events in Ukraine’s history, public lectures on various topics, concerts etc. Closely associated with the FUGB was the Dnipro church choir in Oldham. At various times, other performing arts groups (drama, choral, folk dance, and instrumental) were also active in the larger branches. Between 1949 and the 1960s some branches ran complementary Saturday or Sunday schools for children of post-war Ukrainian immigrants (in most cases jointly with local parishes of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church). From 1967 to 1975 the FUGB organised annual summer youth camps, usually in Scotland, at which Ukrainian history, culture etc were taught.

In the sphere of lobbying and campaigning, the FUGB engaged in various activities directed towards informing the British public about Ukraine, promoting the aim of Ukrainian independence, and supporting Ukrainian and other political prisoners in the Soviet Union. In 1953 the Federation helped to launch the Anglo-Ukrainian Society, with which it co-operated until 1967. From that year it worked closely with the Mazepa Society, which existed until 1985. Through the European Liaison Group, founded in 1969, the FUGB co-operated with representatives of other Eastern European émigré communities in the UK.

In 1951 the FUGB established a women’s section on the basis of which, in 1967, the Olena Teliha Ukrainian Women’s Society was formed. The Society was active mainly in the cultural and educational spheres. In the 1970s a Ukrainian Youth Organisation was active within the framework of the FUGB, as was the Federation of Young British Ukrainians in the 1980s. The activities of these organisations, whose members were first-generation descendants of the post-war immigrants, included social events, lectures and discussions. From 1949 until the early 1990s the Federation published the Bulletin of the FUGB (initially called the Bulletin of the Ukrainian Bureau). The FUGB was a member of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians, the Central Co-ordinating Committee of Ukrainian Organisations in Europe, and the Conference of Ukrainian Community Organisations in Europe (founded in 1986).

The FUGB was chaired by: Wiaczislaw Kochaniwskij (1949-1952, 1961-1963, 1966-1972), Stepan Onysko (1952-1953), Adrian Kohut (1953-1956), Wolhodymir Shayan (1956-1960), Michael Hamilton-Tarnawsky (1963-1966, 1972-1973), Wolodymyr Chomiak (1973-1974), Andrij Kostiuk (1974-1975, 1976-1985, 1990-1991), Antin Jaselsky (1975-1976, 1985-1990), Wasyl Popadynec (1991-1994), Ostap Czujko (1994-2003), Jeremy Kuczynskyj, Stefan Moroz, Roman Moroziuk.

Roman Krawec

Bibliography

Khronist, ‘Na novomu etapi’, Biuleten Obiednannia Ukraintsiv u Velykii Brytanii (London), 1950, no. 6 (19), 30 March, pp. 7-9

Chomiak, W., ‘Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain’, Anglo-Ukrainian News (Todmorden), no. 4, April 1962, pp. 1, 3

Kostiuk, A., ‘OUuVB velychavo vidznachylo svii Yuvilei’, Ukrainske Slovo (Paris), 11 October 1970, p. 4

Pokalchuk, Yu., Ukraintsi u Velykii Brytanii (Lviv, 1999), pp. 37-44