Ukrainians in the United Kingdom
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Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic Party [Українська революційно-демократична партія] – a political organisation whose goal was the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state.

The URDP was founded in 1946 in Germany, mainly by émigrés from pre-war Soviet Ukraine. The British branch of the organisation was established in 1948 in London. The URDP in Great Britain had about 100 members in 1949, and about 500 in the early 1960s. Subsequently the number of members gradually declined. Local branches of the organisation were formed in Bedford, Bolton, Bradford, Bristol, Derby, Halifax, Kidderminster, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Oldham, Reading, Rochdale, Rugby and Scunthorpe. The URDP was one of the political organisations whose members were most involved in the formation of the Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain. In 1957, however, many URDP members left the Federation and the URDP initiated the founding of the Society of Supporters of the Ukrainian National Council in Great Britain (renamed, in the 1970s, Ukrainian Society in Great Britain). In the early 1950s the URDP also initiated the formation of UK branches of the Democratic Organization of Ukrainians Formerly Persecuted by the Soviet Regime (DOBRUS), the Symon Petliura Legion, and the Ukrainian Democratic Youth Organisation (ODUM). The British branch of the URDP was headed by Kuzma Dmytrenko (1948-1955), Andrij Bondarenko (1955-1965, 1972-1977), Vitaly Bender (1965-1972), and Serhij Marenko (1977-2000). In 1990 the URDP as a whole renamed itself the Ukrainian Democratic Republican Party (UDRP), and in 2000 it disbanded.

In 1969, when the URDP was led by Vasyl Hryshko and Mykola Stepanenko, the latter broke away and formed a separate organisation, which also used the name URDP. In Great Britain, as in other countries, a minority of the overall URDP membership joined the new organisation. The first convention of the URDP led by Stepanenko took place in 1970 in Rochdale, England. The leaders of this organisation in Great Britain included Fedir Rybka and Andriy Wuruszylo (Lehit). In 1987 an attempt to reunify the two parts of the URDP was initiated, but they continued to exist separately, at least until 1992.

Roman Krawec

Bibliography

Stepanenko, M., ‘Dlia tykh, koho tse mozhe tsikavyty’, Svoboda (Jersey City – New York), 18 July 1969, pp. 2, 7

F. H., ‘Ukrainska Revoliutsiino-Demokratychna Partiia, URDP’, Materiialy Kongresu Ukrainskoi Vilnoi Politychnoi Dumky: Zbirnyk ch. 1 (Munich, 1972), pp. 54-56

‘Povidomlennia pro perebih ta naslidky XVI nadzvychainoi kraiovoi konferentsii URPD v Anhlii’, Ukrainski Visti (Neu-Ulm), 16-23 August 1970, p. 5

Hlytsia S., ‘XIX Kraiova Konferentsiia URDP u V. Brytanii’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 2 August 1979, p. 3

Ukrainska Revoliutsiino-Demokratychna Partiia, URDP-UDRP: Zbirnyk materialiv i dokumentiv, ed. by O. Konoval (Chicago-Kyiv, 1997)

‘Ukrainska demokratychno-respublikanska partiia prypyniaie svoie isnuvannia’, Svoboda (Parsipanny, NJ), 26 May 2000, p. 6

Hai-Nyzhnyk, P., Yaroshynskyi, O., ‘Prohramovi zasady ta svitohliadni idei URDP pid provodom I. Bahrianoho (1947-1963 rr.)’, Ukrainoznavstvo (Kyiv), 2005, no. 4, pp. 160-176