Exile

Exile. A form of punishment consisting of forced deportation to a distant locality, based on a court sentence or on an administrative ruling. In contrast to expulsion, exile involves a designated place of residency and often compulsory labor as well. In Ukrainian the foreign term deportation has acquired a special meaning: the mass exile of whole groups of the population under terror. As a specific form of deprivation of freedom, exile has been known since early historical times. In the Princely era banishment from the community (vyslaty iz volosty) and even from the country (vybyty von iz zemli) was tied to the confiscation of property (see Banishment and seizure) and constituted one of the severest public penalties. In Lithuanian-Ruthenian law banishment was called vyvolannia and was one of the so-called substitute penalties. In the Hetman state banishment from the community was imposed as a supplementary form of punishment. In contrast to exile, banishment was limited to the severance of ties with the community: the banished person could reside wherever he/she wished outside the community. Exile as a form of punishment was rarely used. It applied mainly to religious crimes, such as heresy and schism. Later, under the influence of Russian criminal law, exile was included in the Code of Laws of 1743. Exile could be temporary or permanent.

Many Cossack officers were exiled to Muscovy during tsarist repressions: the hetmans Petro Doroshenko (‘honorary’ exile), Demian Mnohohrishny, and Ivan Samoilovych; the Mazepist émigré Andrii Voinarovsky; the last otaman of the Zaporozhian Sich, Petro Kalnyshevsky; and many others.

In the 18th–19th century exile was very common in the Russian Empire. Peter I exiled people to hard labor, called katorga, such as building fortifications and ports (Oziv and Saint Petersburg, which was said to have been built on ‘Cossack bones’). With the conquest of Siberia many exiles were sent to that region. Caucasia and northern Russia were other common areas of exile. Exile could be imposed by a court or by administrative fiat. It was often perpetual, but those who had served their term of imprisonment could join village communes. Besides common criminals, politically suspect individuals were exiled. In 1897 half of the non-indigenous population of Siberia consisted of exiles or their descendants.

In the 19th–20th century the Russian government exiled many Ukrainian figures: Taras Shevchenko, Mykola Kostomarov, Panteleimon Kulish, Oleksander Konysky, Pavlo Hrabovsky (died in exile in Yakutsk), to name but a few. Their punishment took various forms, including exile with military service.

Austrian jurisprudence, like the law of most democratic countries, allowed the use of expulsion from a province or from the country as a punishment in itself or as a supplement to other punishment. In Austria only a foreigner could be expelled from the country. Citizens could be banished from a certain province only. This was also true of Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1920–39.

Under the Soviet regime exile became a systematic device, applied not only to court-sentenced individuals but also, at various times, to whole nations or social groups, which were deported en masse to hard-labor camps. In the USSR exile became both a principal and a supplementary form of deprivation of freedom. It could be either ordinary exile, which merely restricted an individual's residency to a designated remote locality, or exile with ‘corrective labor.’ From 1933 exile involved, as a rule, forced labor. Although the Soviet criminal code originally stipulated 10 years as the maximum term of exile, special decrees such as the 4 June 1947 decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR have raised the term to 20 or 25 years. The 1961 Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR recognized exile for two to five years as the main form of punishment or as a supplementary form of punishment. Escape from exile was punishable by deprivation of freedom equal to the balance of the term of exile, but not exceeding two years. Exile was mostly used as a punishment for ‘counterrevolutionary’ or ‘anti-Soviet’ activity. At the beginning of the Soviet period some political leaders were still expelled abroad and deprived of citizenship. This practice was resumed in the 1970s when well-known dissidents such as A. Solzhenitsyn and Petro Grigorenko were deprived of their citizenship and were expelled. Exile could be imposed by a court or by the administrative decision of the Special Commission of the NKVD or, later, of the MVD or the KGB. In the 1960s–1970s many prominent Ukrainian dissidents or human-rights activists (see Human rights) were exiled, particularly to the Asian parts of the USSR.

In the Soviet period most of the exiles from Ukraine were participants in the national-liberation struggle and insurgents, members of the upper classes, wealthier peasants (kulaks), intellectuals, clergy, and purged Ukrainian Communists. (See also Concentration camps.)

V. Markus




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