France. A country in Western Europe with an area of 551,800 sq km and a population (in 2020) of 67,081,000. Paris, the country’s capital, and its metropolitan area has a population of 12,532,901. France is one of the centers of European culture and a refuge for political émigrés. Ukraine’s contacts with France were livelier than with any other Western European country, and French works about Ukraine served as sources of information for all Europe.
Political and cultural contacts. The earliest contacts between Ukraine and France date back to the 11th century when King Henry I married Princess Anna Yaroslavna of Kyiv on 19 May 1051. From the second half of the 14th century Ukrainians came to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. They were registered in the student lists as coming ‘from Ruthenia’ (1353, 1369) or as belonging ‘to the Ruthenian nation from Kyiv’ (1463, 1469) or ‘Natione Ruthenia de Ucraina’ (1567). Ivan Uzhevych, who compiled the first handwritten grammar of the Ruthenian literary language in Latin, ‘Grammatica Sclavonica’ (original copies in the manuscript department of the Bibliothèque Nationale  and the city library of Arras ), studied at the Sorbonne in 1643–5. Ukrainians continued to study in Paris in the 18th–19th century. Antin Losenko, for example, attended an art school in 1760–4. In the 17th century Ukrainian students began to enroll also at Strasbourg University.
Some valuable Ukrainian literary monuments have been preserved in France: the Reims Gospel (1574), which is considered to be an East Slavic copy of the 11th–12th century, and the manuscript of Metropolitan Petro Mohyla’s Orthodoxa Confessio Fidei, known as the Codex Parisinus and located at the Bibliothèque Nationale.
Descriptions of Ukraine by Frenchmen date back to the 16th century. Blaise de Vigenère, a secretary of the foreign ministry and a historian, included information about Galicia, Volhynia, and Podilia in his La description du royaume de Pologne et pays adjacens ... (1573). French government and diplomatic circles as well as individual scholars took an interest in the Cossacks from their very inception and followed closely the Cossack campaigns against Turkey, the Crimea, and Poland. The earliest information about the Cossacks appeared in France in 1531. The French press periodically published news about the Cossack wars. Articles about the Cossacks appeared in Mercure français (1605) and Mercure anglais (1648, about the Battle of Zhovti Vody and the Battle of Korsun), while the official journal of the French government, Gazette de France, kept the public informed about developments in Ukraine from 1631 to 1715.
The successful Cossack campaigns against the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 17th century attracted the attention of the Ligue de la milice chrétienne led by the Duc de Nevers (Charles de Gonzague), which tried to organize a coalition against Turkey. In 1617–18 it established contact with Hetman Petro Sahaidachny through its agent de Marconnet and the hetman became a member of the Ligue. The first French book devoted entirely to Ukraine and the Cossacks, Description d’Ukranie (1st ed 1651), was written by Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan, a French engineer and military cartographer who worked in Ukraine in 1631–47.
In 1645 the French government, through the royal adviser, Pierre Chevalier, invited a detachment of about 2,400 Cossacks to fight against Spain. They took part in the siege of Dunkirk under the leadership of Prince de Condé. Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky conducted negotiations with the French ambassador in Warsaw, Comte de Brégy, and with Prince de Condé at Fontainebleau. Chevalier was the author of Histoire de la guerre des Cosaques contre la Pologne (1663), which supplemented Beauplan’s information about Ukraine. In this period French policy, as well as public opinion about Ukraine, was under Polish influence; hence, in the mentioned books events in Ukraine are sometimes interpreted from a Polish viewpoint.
The Cossack-Polish War of 1648–57 and the Cossack Hetman state that Bohdan Khmelnytsky built aroused much interest in France. The head of the government, Cardinal J. Mazarin, was kept abreast of the developments in Ukraine by his diplomats in Warsaw and the secretaries of the French embassy, Pierre Chevalier and P. Linage de Vauciennes. The latter was the author of L’origine véritable du soulèvement des Cosaques contre la Pologne (1674), a sensationalist and sometimes inaccurate account of Khmelnytsky’s rebellion. France supported the Peace Treaty of Hadiach signed by the Hetman state and Poland. After the Treaty of Andrusovo (1667), when Muscovy adopted an aggressive policy towards Ukraine, France opposed the growth of Muscovy’s power. F. de Béthune, the French envoy to Warsaw, visited Hetman Petro Doroshenko in Chyhyryn to discuss the participation of a Cossack corps on the French side in the war against the German emperor. C.-F. Olier de Nointel, the French envoy to Istanbul in the 1670s–1680s, was acquainted with Hetman Yurii Khmelnytsky, and Nointel’s secretary, F. Petit de la Croix, described the last period of Khmelnytsky’s life in his memoirs (1684).
At the turn of the 17th century a new political situation arose in Europe: Poland’s power declined, the French-Swedish alliance was formed to offset the Russo-Prussian alliance, and the Ottoman Empire gravitated towards the former. France was sympathetic to Ukrainian aspirations to autonomy. French diplomats approved of Hetman Ivan Mazepa’s actions and helped to set up the Ukrainian-Swedish alliance. After Mazepa’s defeat at the Battle of Poltava (1709) French diplomats urged the Porte not to hand over Mazepa and his followers to the tsar. The French press gave detailed coverage of the events in Ukraine, condemning the destruction of Baturyn and regretting the defeat at Poltava.
Hetman Pylyp Orlyk continued Ivan Mazepa’s policy of seeking closer ties with the West. The French diplomatic service tried to persuade Turkey in 1711–14 not to sign a treaty with Russia unless Russian forces were withdrawn from Ukraine and Ukraine was placed under the protection of France’s allies. French diplomats continued to support the efforts of Orlyk’s son, Hryhor Orlyk, who had served in the French army, attaining the rank of general, and in the diplomatic service. As emissary of King Louis XV he visited the Crimean khan to persuade him to wage war on Russia. Both Orlyks had close ties with French political and cultural leaders. They supplied Voltaire with documentation for his Histoire de Charles XII and informed him of Ukrainian aspirations to autonomy.
French diplomatic circles followed the activities of Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovsky through their agent Nicolas-Gabriel Le Clerc, who served as the hetman’s personal physician. French envoys to Saint Petersburg informed their government about the abolition of the Hetman state in 1764 and the dissatisfaction of the populace. In 1765 Kyrylo Rozumovsky visited France and was received at the royal court.
Under Louis XVI French policy continued to favor Ukraine’s autonomy. In response to the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich, Louis’s foreign minister, the Comte Charles de Vergennes, wrote a memorandum on the Cossacks and Ukraine entitled ‘Observations sur les Cosaques Zaporogues’ (1776), in which he proposed ‘to establish contact with the Cossacks to organize a diversion against the tsarina.’ Jean-Benoît Scherer’s Annales de la Petite-Russie, ou histoire des Cosaques Saporogues et des Cosaques de l’Ukraine ou de la Petite-Russie (1788), which gives an outline of the history of Ukraine up to 1734 in two volumes, was an important source of information for the French public.
During the French Revolution an attempt was made to establish contact with the Danubian Sich Cossacks and with their help to organize a revolt in Ukraine. During Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign many books on the Ukrainian question were published. Prince Charles-Louis Lesur’s Histoire des Kosaques (1813), written at Napoleon’s request on the eve of the Russian campaign, was particularly important. Comte A.-M. Blanc de la Naulte d'Hauterive, the director of the political department of the foreign affairs ministry, outlined in a memorandum Napoleon’s plans for Ukraine: after the division of the Russian Empire, Left-Bank Ukraine was to form a separate state named Napoléonide, which would serve as a buffer against Russian aggression and cut off Russia’s access to the Black Sea (Right-Bank Ukraine was to be placed under Poland’s care). Most Ukrainian leaders, except for Vasyl Lukashevych, did not approve of Napoleon’s plans. Yet, the Russian government did not trust the regiments formed in Ukraine (Cossack and conscripted) and did not send them to the front against the French. Eventually, in 1813–15, some of the Cossack regiments took part in the fighting in Central and Western Europe. There Ukrainian officers absorbed new ideas and on their return to Ukraine promoted free thinking, which stimulated the growth of Freemasonry and later the Decembrist movement.
In 1847 Taras Shevchenko and the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood began to be mentioned in France, and eventually studies of them were published by such writers as E.-A. Durand, A. d’Avril, A. Leroy-Beaulieu, and Louis-Paul-Marie Léger.
Because of his friendship with E. Hańska, Honoré de Balzac visited Ukraine in 1847–50 and stayed in Verkhivnia in the Zhytomyr region. In 1847 he wrote some notes on his trip to Ukraine, which were published posthumously under the title Lettre sur Kiew (1927).
During the Crimean War (1853–6) Adam Jerzy Czartoryski and Michał Czajkowski made some efforts in France to have the Danubian Sich Cossacks mobilized against Russia, while French journalists and historians such as P. Douhaire and C. Barrault-Roullon wrote about the Ukrainian question. The French writer Prosper Mérimée wrote two studies of the Cossacks—Les Cosaques de l’Ukraine et leurs derniers atamans (1854) and Les Cosaques d’autrefois (1865).
In the second half of the 19th century Ukrainian-French cultural relations expanded. In 1860–87 Marko Vovchok lived in France and had close ties with such writers as Jules Verne, Gustave Flaubert, George Sand, and Prosper Mérimée and the publisher Pierre-Jules Stahl, the co-author of Maroussia (1878), which went through more than 30 reprintings, gained a wide reputation, and received an award from the Académie Française. The painter Mariia Bashkirtseva began to study in Paris in 1877 and stayed there, producing about 150 paintings, a diary published in French (1887), and a volume of correspondence (1902). In the 1870s Mykhailo Drahomanov brought the Ukrainian national question to the attention of French cultural and political figures. At the 1878 international literary congress in Paris, presided over by Victor Hugo, Drahomanov protested against the Ems Ukase and distributed his brochure La littérature oukraïnienne proscrite par le gouvernement russe. He acquainted Louis-Paul-Marie Léger, the founder of Slavic studies in France, with the Ukrainian question. (In 1906 Léger lectured on Taras Shevchenko and Ukrainian literature at Collège de France.) Drahomanov also brought the Ukrainian question to the attention of the historian and ethnographer A. Rambaud, the geographer Jean-Jacques Elisée Reclus, and the socialist leader B. Malon, who in his Histoire du socialisme (1884) discussed Ukraine. Léger and Rambaud took part in the 1874 archeological congress in Kyiv.
In 1887–1900 the noted Ukrainian scholar Fedir Vovk studied and then worked at the School of Anthropology in Paris. He published some of his work in French. In 1903 Mykhailo Hrushevsky lived in Paris and lectured at the Higher Russian School of Social Sciences.
On the political front Senator C. Delamarre (1796–1870) submitted a petition to the French senate in 1869 concerning reforms in the teaching of Eastern European history—‘Un peuple européen de quinze millions oublié devant l'histoire’ (published also as a separate brochure). Except for the change in the name of the Slavic department at Collège de France, Delamarre’s proposals were fruitless, because at the time France felt threatened by Germany and was planning to form an alliance with Russia. After the signing of the Franco-Russian treaty of 1891, French interest in Ukraine outside of the Russian Empire declined. Large sums of French capital were invested in industry, particularly in the metallurgical and coal industries in Ukraine under Russia (almost half of the foreign capital or about 20 million rubles). This fact, as well as French loans to the Russian government amounting to about 11.5 billion francs in 1888–1914, played a role in changing French attitudes to Russia. Ukrainian protests, such as Lesia Ukrainka’s poem in prose ‘La voix d’une prisonnière russe’ (1896, protesting the grand reception given Tsar Nicholas II in Paris by French cultural leaders), were of no consequence.
As a result of France’s pro-Russian policy at the beginning of the 20th century, the French public received information about Ukrainian affairs only from Ukrainian émigrés, among them Yaroslav Fedorchuk, and from the Office de l’Union des Nationalités, which was founded in 1912 and defended oppressed nations (secretary: J. Pélissier). One issue of the office’s journal, Annales des nationalités, in 1913 was devoted to Ukraine (introductory article by Ch. Seignobos). During the First World War France avoided the Ukrainian question in order not to antagonize its Russian ally, and in 1916 the French government prohibited the distribution in France of La revue ukranienne, a journal published in Lausanne by the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine.
With the outbreak of February Revolution of 1917 the French government attentively followed the work of the Central Rada. In the summer of 1917 the French ambassador in Petrograd, J. Noulens, sent J. Pélissier on a fact-finding mission to Kyiv. Pélissier established contact with Ukrainian political leaders and with the assistance of the Masonic lodge Young Ukraine tried to influence public opinion in Ukraine in favor of France. In the meantime the French mission in Iaşi, headed by H. Berthelot, began to interfere in Ukrainian affairs. On 18 December 1917 General Georges Tabouis, the representative of the Iaşi mission, proposed to Volodymyr Vynnychenko, the head of the General Secretariat of the Central Rada, financial and technical aid. France demanded that Ukraine avoid any peace treaties with the Central Powers. On 27 December 1917 S. Pichon, the minister of foreign affairs, made a statement in the French parliament that was favorable to Ukraine, and on 3 January 1918 the French government appointed General Tabouis commissioner of the French Republic to the government of the Ukrainian National Republic. His appointment amounted to recognition by France of the Ukrainian National Republic. Peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk and war against the Bolsheviks (Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21), however, interrupted the friendly relations between Ukraine and France. France reacted strongly against the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and wanted an anti-German uprising in Ukraine. On 20 July 1918 S. Pichon welcomed representatives of the pro-Entente Ukrainian National Council (Fedir Savchenko and Ya. Ekzempliarsky) to France. However, the Entente, in which France played a key role, supported Anton Denikin, Petr Wrangel, and Aleksandr Kolchak in an effort to restore ‘one and indivisible Russia’ and regarded the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic as ‘Bolshevik.’ To stop the Bolsheviks from reaching the Black Sea, France, along with the other Allied Powers, sent an expeditionary force into southern Ukraine in December 1918 and occupied Odesa and the surrounding areas. The government of the Ukrainian National Republic (Premier Serhii Ostapenko) negotiated with General d’Anselme on a possible joint campaign against the Bolsheviks, but the negotiations broke down when the French refused to recognize the Ukrainian state and demanded that the Ukrainian army be merged with the general Russian front. At the beginning of April 1919, pressed by Otaman Nykyfor Hryhoriv’s insurgents, the French forces left Ukraine.
The delegation of the Ukrainian National Republic and the Western Ukrainian National Republic at the Paris Peace Conference found no sympathy for its proposals in the French government, which was influenced by the Polish and Russian points of view. The partition of Galicia proposed by General J. Berthélemy’s peace mission (see Berthélemy Mission) to Poland (28 February 1919) was rejected as unfair to the Ukrainians. At the end of the peace conference in 1921 the Ukrainian delegation was turned into a diplomatic mission in France under the chairmanship of Oleksander Shulhyn.
Beginning in 1917 a large number of French publications dealing with Ukraine expressed support for Ukraine’s statehood. In 1917 P. Chasles published ‘La question ukrainienne et le principe des nationalités’ in Le Monde Slave. L. Réau, the director of the French Institute in Petrograd, published his speech ‘La République indépendante de l’Ukraine’ at a meeting of the France-Russia Society. An article, ‘L’Ukraine, son passé, son avenir,’ by the prominent Slavic studies scholar Louis-Paul-Marie Léger, appeared in Revue hebdomadaire on 26 October 1918. A former teacher of French in Kyiv, C. Dubreuil, published his recollections, entitled Deux années en Ukraine, 1917–1919. A French-Ukrainian study group in Paris published Fedir Savchenko’s brochure L’Ukraine et la question ukrainienne (1918). The Ukrainian National Council, a representative body under the leadership of Savchenko and Ya. Ekzempliarsky, was established in Paris with the support of E. Denis and A. Thomas. The Ukrainian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference published many works in French, including Notes présentées par la délégation de la République Ukrainienne à la Conférence de la Paix à Paris (2 vols, 1919), Mémoire sur l’indépendance de l’Ukraine, présenté à la Conférence de la Paix (1919), and L’Ukraine, l’Europe orientale et la Conférence de la Paix (1919).
In the interwar period France opposed all liberation movements in Eastern Europe and supported the status quo. The French government did not support Ukrainian separatist demands under Poland, Romania, or Czechoslovakia, either directly or at the League of Nations. In 1924 E. Herriot’s government in France established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. In 1932 the two countries signed a non-aggression and non-interference pact, promising to curtail the activities of organizations hostile to the other side. In 1935 a treaty of mutual assistance was signed. The attitude in official French circles made it impossible for them to regard the Ukrainian liberation struggle with favor. In 1927 Mykola Skrypnyk, the People's Commissar of education of the Ukrainian SSR, visited France and met with French Slavists such as P. Boyer, informing them about the Ukrainization policy in Soviet Ukraine. In 1933 Herriot visited Ukraine and on his return denied that there was a famine there.
Among French Slavists who took an interest in Ukrainian history and culture was Antoine Martel, who visited Ukraine and established contact with the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Many articles on Ukraine appeared in the Slavic journals Le Monde Slave, to which René Martel contributed articles on Ukraine, and, beginning in 1921, Revue des études slaves. R. Labry, A. Meillet, and P. Boyer contributed to the study of Ukrainian literature and particularly of Taras Shevchenko. Fernand Mazade, Ch. Steber, J. Bourdon, and others translated Shevchenko’s poetry. R. Tisserand wrote a popular history of Ukraine—La vie d’un peuple: l’Ukraine (1933). Elie Borschak and Oleksander Shulhyn constantly informed the French public about Ukraine. In 1939 the Ukrainian language was introduced at the École Nationale (now Institut National) des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, first as a non-credit subject and then since 1952 as a special chair. Borschak and Marie Scherrer, and E. Kruba, lectured on the Ukrainian language, and Arkadii Zhukovsky lectured on Ukrainian culture.
On the eve of the Second World War the French political leader R. Schuman (pseud: A. Sidobre) warned Ukrainians against the German threat in his Les problèmes ukrainiens et la paix européenne (1939). At the beginning of the German-Soviet War the French sided with the USSR and, therefore, showed no interest in Ukrainian affairs. Former Soviet prisoners of war, among them a well-known Ukrainian, V. Poryk, took part in the French Resistance.
After the war the representative of Soviet Ukraine, Dmytro Manuilsky, participated in the signing of the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947 with the former German allies; these defined the Soviet-Romanian border in Bukovyna and Bessarabia. In Paris there is a permanent Ukrainian delegation at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of which the Ukrainian SSR became a member in 1954). The efforts of the French government in the 1950s to establish French consulates in Soviet Ukraine were rebuffed by the Soviet authorities.
After the war the following French scholars made contributions to Ukrainian studies: Marie Scherrer (a book on Ukrainian dumas  and articles on Taras Shevchenko), G. Luciani (Le Livre de la genèse du peuple ukrainien , a history of Ukrainian literature , etc), R. Portal (Russes et Ukrainiens, 1970), A. Desroches (Le problème ukrainien et Simon Petlura, 1962), Louis Aragon (on Soviet Ukrainian literature), and E. Guillevic (on Shevchenko; the latter also translated Shevchenko’s works).
In 1958 the Ukrainian SSR participated in the International Industrial Fair at Marseille. The State Dance Ensemble of Ukraine under the direction of Pavlo Virsky visited France three times, and the Verovka State Chorus, directed by Anatolii Avdiievsky, visited once. Apart from some exhibitions arranged by the Ukrainian United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization delegation (of Taras Shevchenko, Hryhorii Skovoroda, holograms of Ukrainian museums), cultural and scientific exchanges between Ukraine and France were minimal. The Ukrainian department of the USSR-France Society was a mere formality. As well, the proclamation of ‘fraternal cities’—Toulouse and Kyiv, Marseille and Odesa, etc—had no practical effects.
Ukrainians in France. The first group of Ukrainian émigrés in France consisted of Ivan Mazepa’s supporters, led by Hryhor Orlyk. As a general in the French army, Orlyk brought a detachment of Zaporozhian Cossacks to France, and it served as a separate unit in the French army. Having lost contact with Ukraine, these Cossacks were later assimilated. Ukrainian students and cultural figures such as Marko Vovchok, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Fedir Vovk, and Mykhailo Hrushevsky also lived for some time in France.
A second small group of émigrés from central Ukraine and some from Galicia came to France at the beginning of the 20th century in connection with the Revolution of 1905 in Russia. They formed the first Ukrainian organization in France—the Circle of Ukrainians in Paris (1908–14)—which in 1910 had a membership of about 120, mostly from Dnipro Ukraine. These émigrés established their own choir, organized Ukrainian-language courses, and published information about Ukraine in French. The main activists in this group were Yaroslav Fedorchuk, Mykhailo Parashchuk, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Semen Mazurenko, Mykhailo Rudnytsky, Evhen Batchinsky, and S. Makarenko.
The third influx of Ukrainian émigrés to France began after the First World War. They were Ukrainian soldiers of the expeditionary Russian corps that fought on the French front; officials of the diplomatic and economic missions of the Ukrainian National Republic and the Western Ukrainian National Republic; former members of the Ukrainian Republican Kapelle, directed by Kyrylo Stetsenko and Oleksander Koshyts (O. Chekhivsky, K. Mykolaichuk, and others); prominent leaders of the Ukrainian National Republic (eg, Symon Petliura, Viacheslav Prokopovych, and Oleksander Shulhyn); and former soldiers and officers of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic who came from internment camps in Poland and Romania (Mykola Kapustiansky, Mykola Udovychenko and Oleksander Udovychenko, Mykola Yu. Shapoval, and others). In the early 1920s about 5,000 émigrés from Soviet Ukraine found refuge in France.
The largest group of Ukrainian immigrants in France consisted of workers seeking a better life. They began to arrive from Western Ukrainian territories, mostly from Galicia, in 1923. In the 1930s the number of immigrants declined, and some returned to Ukraine. Most of the new immigrants found work in the mines and textile factories in northern France, in the mines and metallurgical plants in eastern France, or on farms throughout France.
During the Second World War thousands of Ukrainians who had served in the Soviet Army were brought to France by the Germans to do forced labor. Some Ukrainians who served in German army units defected to the French Resistance and set up their own military detachments, such as the Ivan Bohun Ukrainian Battalion, consisting of 820 men; the Taras Shevchenko Battalion with 546 men; and the Ukrainian Partisan Detachment under the command of O. Krukovsky. Although these units fought against the Germans, they were demobilized by the French in response to Soviet demands. Some of their members joined the Foreign Legion.
The next wave of Ukrainian immigrants reached France after the Second World War: about 4,000 Ukrainians came from the displaced persons camps in Germany and Austria. Because of unemployment and difficult economic conditions many of them emigrated to the United States and Canada in the 1950s.
Number and distribution of Ukrainians. It is difficult to assess the number of Ukrainians in France. In the 1930s there were about 40,000 people of Ukrainian origin in France. In 1946–55, taking into account natural population growth and migration, the number was about the same. In the 1980s there were 25,000–30,000 Ukrainians in France, most of them born there and assimilated to some degree. Most Ukrainians were naturalized French citizens: by 1981 only 3,035 (4,849 in 1964) Ukrainians were registered with the Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et Apatrides (OFPRA). Many Ukrainians were registered as Polish, Russian, or Soviet citizens.
Before the Second World War the majority of Ukrainians were unskilled laborers or farmhands. After 1945 many émigrés were professional people. In the 1970s about 20 percent of the Ukrainians in France were industrial workers; 5 percent, miners; 15 percent, farm workers; 10 percent, tradespeople; 15 percent, professionals; 10 percent, students; and 25 percent, housewives, small children, and others. Apart from the farm workers, Ukrainians lived in the cities or suburbs.
The areas in which Ukrainians were concentrated in the 1980s were (1) Paris and central France, with about 6,000 Ukrainians living in Bois d’Arcy, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Sarcelles, Melun, Magny, Vésines-Chalette, Orléans, Reims; (2) northern France, with about 3,800 Ukrainians in Lille, Roubaix, Lens, Libercourt, and Amiens; (3) northwestern France, with 1,500 Ukrainians in Évreux, Caen, and Mondeville; (4) eastern France, with 6,500 Ukrainians in Metz, Thionville, Algrange, Nilvange, Nancy, Strasbourg, Mackwiller, Colmar, Mulhouse, and Sochaux; (5) southeastern France, with 5,800 Ukrainians in Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, and Dijon; and (6) southwestern France, with 2,200 Ukrainians in Bordeaux, Limoges, Toulouse, and Lourdes. Few Ukrainians lived in western and southern France (only about 1,000).
Religious life. In the 1980s about two-thirds of the Ukrainians in France belonged to the Ukrainian Catholic church. Most of the rest belonged to the Ukrainian Orthodox church, and a few were Protestants or Roman Catholics. Before 1925 Orthodox Ukrainians did not have their own church in France. That year the first convention of Orthodox Ukrainians was held at Knutange, and it invited Rev P. Hrechyshkyn from Transcarpathia to France (served as pastor 1925–32). The first parish came under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Ioan Teodorovych of the United States. Eventually, other Orthodox clergy arrived: Rev I. Bryndzan (served 1932–46), Archbishop Mstyslav Skrypnyk (1947), and Rev V. Vyshnivsky (1948–61). Besides Paris, in the 1960s parishes were established in Vésines-Chalette, Nilvange, Lyon, and Grenoble (the latter two no longer exist). These were served by four priests. After the Second World War the Ukrainian Orthodox community in France belonged to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church headed by Metropolitan Mstyslav Skrypnyk and administered in France by Archpriest B. Khainevsky. In 1951–3 Metropolitan Polikarp Sikorsky resided in France; he died and was buried in Paris. Saint Simon’s Brotherhood, headed by Petro Plevako, D. Ekchynsky, and Z. Mykytenko, is active in Paris. M. Maslov was the head of the Paris parish.
Until 1937 the Ukrainian Catholics in France did not have their own priest. In 1938 a Greek Catholic mission was established in Paris under the care of Rev J. Perridon (served 1938–52), who came under the jurisdiction of the Lviv metropolitan and in 1946 under Bishop Ivan Buchko in Rome. In 1942 the Ukrainian Church (later Cathedral) of Saint Volodymyr was founded in central Paris. After the Second World War the number of Ukrainian Catholic clergy increased. In 1961 a Ukrainian exarchate was set up in France under Bishop Volodymyr Malanchuk, who was succeeded by Michael Hrynchyshyn in 1983. In the 1980s the Ukrainian Catholic church in France had 2 parishes, in Paris and Lyon, and over a dozen clergy. Rev M. Vasylyk was vicar general (succeeded by Rev Ya. Salevych), and Rev M. Levenets was the pastor in Paris (succeeded by Rev M. Romaniuk). In 1952–6 a minor seminary was located in Loury near Orléans; it was later moved to Rome. The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate have convent facilities in Paris and Mackwiller. A new Ukrainian church and pilgrimage center were established in 1982 in Lourdes near the Marian shrine. There were about 20,000 Ukrainian Catholics in France.
Education. In the 1980s Ukrainian schools were inadequately developed in France. They were managed by sociocultural institutions and youth organizations. Regular classes were held in the so-called Thursday schools (later on Wednesdays or Sundays), which have been in operation in Paris since 1946 as well as in Vésines-Chalette and Lyon. Each year during summer vacations the Organization of Ukrainian Youth in France and the Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM) organized courses in Ukrainian studies. Three-year programs in the Ukrainian language and culture are offered at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales of the New Sorbonne.
Cultural and social life. In the interwar period a number of Ukrainian organizations in France served the needs of the immigrants. The first sociocultural organization among them was the Ukrainian Hromada in France founded in 1924 under the presidency of Mykola Kapustiansky. It embraced Ukrainians of various political convictions, but in 1925 the Sovietophiles and the supporters of the Ukrainian National Republic left the association and set up their own organizations. Eventually the nationalists also left, leaving behind the supporters of Mykola Yu. Shapoval, who were mostly workers from Galicia (up to 1,200 members and 22 branches in the 1930s). The association’s chief leaders were Mykola Shapoval and A. Shapoval, I. Bondar, and P. Turkevych. The association published Visnyk and Ukraïns’ka volia (1939–40). It ceased to exist in 1976.
As a result of the initiative of the veterans of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic, the Union of Ukrainian Emigré Organizations in France was founded in 1926. Until 1940 it represented émigrés from Dnipro Ukraine and was associated with the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic. In the 1930s the union co-ordinated the work of 56 clubs and 7 groups. Among its leaders were Mykola Shumytsky, Ilarion Kosenko and Mykola O. Kovalsky. The Society of Former Combatants of the Ukrainian Republican Democratic Army in France, founded in 1927, co-operated with the Union of Ukrainian Emigré Organizations in France. Its leading members were Oleksander Udovychenko, Kovalsky, and Yaroslav Musianovych. Closely associated with this veterans’ union was the weekly Tryzub and the Petliura Ukrainian Library, which contains books as well as archival and museum materials (on its own premises since 1966). In 1932 an organization with a nationalist ideology was founded—the Ukrainian National Union in France. By 1939 it had close to 5,000 members who had emigrated from all regions of Ukraine. Mykola Kapustiansky, P. Zavorytsky, Oleksander Boikiv, Myroslav Nebeliuk, Ivan Stasiv, and L. Huzar were some of the union’s key members. With the union’s support the weekly Ukraïns’ke slovo (Paris) was published and the First Ukrainian Press in France was set up in 1938.
The Union of Ukrainian Citizens in France (1925–32) was a pro-Soviet association and stood isolated from the Ukrainian organizations that advocated Ukraine’s independence. This union had a membership of 800 in 1927, drawn mostly from Galician émigrés, and published Ukraïns'ki visti. Its leaders were Elie Borschak, Oleksander Sevriuk, and A. Halip.
During the Second World War the Institution of Trust of Ukrainian Emigrés in France (1942–4) was the only agency permitted to operate among Ukrainians in France. Under the presidency of Ivan Stasiv it provided social and cultural services to émigrés and refugees.
After the war a number of new Ukrainian organizations were formed. In 1945 the cultural-trade union association Union of Ukrainian Workers in France was founded. By 1950 it had about 4,000 members. It published the weekly Ukraïnets' u Frantsiï and co-operated with French Christian trade unions. The union was under the influence of the OUN (Bandera faction). Its leaders were I. Popovych, Yu. Zablotsky, and V. Nesterchuk. In 1949 a parallel sociocultural organization—the Union of Ukrainians of France —was set up. In 1962 it began to publish the monthly L’Est européen, and by 1965 it had about 300 members. Its leading activists were V. Nesterchuk, O. Melnykovych, and V. Kosyk. In 1949 the Ukrainian National Alliance in France was organized to replace the Ukrainian National Union in France. Ideologically it is associated with the OUN (Melnyk faction) and the weekly Ukraïns’ke slovo (Paris). Its leading members were Yaroslav Musianovych, V. Lazovinsky, Yu. Kovalenko, Arkadii Zhukovsky, O. Korchak, and V. Malynovych.
In 1946 the émigrés from Dnipro Ukraine founded the Ukrainian Community Aid Society in Paris. Until the 1960s this association represented the supporters of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic and worked hand in hand with the Society of Former Combatants of the Ukrainian Republican Democratic Army in France. Its key members were Semen Sozontiv, S. Kachura, and Ilarion Kosenko. The association published the magazines Hromada and L’Ukraine libre (1953–4). In 1955 the Ukrainian Christian Movement was established, with an international office in France.
The Ukrainian Academic Society in Paris was founded in 1946 and was headed by Oleksander Shulhyn and Arystyd Vyrsta. After 1951 the Shevchenko Scientific Society maintained a center at Sarcelles with a Ukrainian library and the editorial offices of the Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva. The head office of the Ukrainian Students' Aid Commission (KODUS) was housed at the center. The president of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Europe was Volodymyr Kubijovyč (succeeded by Arkadii Zhukovsky). Ukrainian scholars were once active in the International Free Academy of Arts and Sciences, which was founded in Paris in 1951. The Ukrainian Movement for a Federated Europe, headed by Yaroslav Musianovych, was active after 1961.
The Ukrainian Women's Association of France has been active since 1945 (president: M. Mytrovych, succeeded by N. Tryndiak and D. Melnykovych). Young Ukrainians are organized in the Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM), founded in 1949 with several local branches (president: L. Drouard), and in the Organization of Ukrainian Youth in France, founded in 1956 (president: V. Genyk). In 1924 Ukrainian students formed the Ukrainian Students’ Hromada. Since 1948 the Ukrainian Central Civic Committee in France (later renamed the Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community of France) has co-ordinated the activities of all Ukrainian organizations (about 20) in France and has represented the Ukrainian community before the French authorities. The committee is a member of the Ukrainian World Congress. Its presidents have been Semen Sozontiv (1948–69), O. Melnykovych (1970–9), Yaroslav Musianovych (1979–99) (succeeded by B. Kopchuk and S. Dunikovsky).
Press and publishers. In the 1920s and 1930s eight Ukrainian periodicals were published in France, of which only two— Tryzub and Ukraïns’ke slovo (Paris) —survived over a decade. Of three French-language magazines the most informative one was La Revue de Prométhée (1938–40), which was published by Oleksander Shulhyn. After the Second World War there were 18 Ukrainian periodicals, including Ukraïns’ke slovo (Paris) (starting in 1948; editors: Oleh Shtul, Volodymyr Maruniak, Myroslav Styranka), and Ukraïnets’' u Frantsiï (1945–60; editors: Dmytro Shtykalo, Danylo Chaikovsky, and B. Vitoshynsky). Among the French-language magazines published by Ukrainians were: L’Est européen (1962–99; editor: V. Kosyk), associated with the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations; Echos d’Ukraine (1962–9; editors: M. Tatarulia and K. Mytrovych), published by the Franco-Ukrainian Society in Paris; Bulletin Franco-Ukrainien (1959–70; editor: K. Lazovinska); and Échanges: Revue franco-ukrainienne (1971–88; editors: Kalyna Uhryn-Huzar, M. Richard). In 1949–53 Elie Borschak published the scholarly journal Ukraïna.
Among the Ukrainian publishing centers in France have been the First Ukrainian Press in France, which published the weekly Ukraïns’ke slovo (Paris) and books in Ukrainian and French and maintained a book-distributing office, and the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Sarcelles, which published Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva im. Shevchenka and Visti NTSh u Evropi.
Folklore, art, literature. A number of dance, folk song, and drama ensembles have been active in Paris and in other cities of France. From 1978 the Committee of Ukrainian Folk Art, chaired by I. Chumak, was propagating Ukrainian art and folklore among the French public. Among choir conductors who have specialized in folk choral music were O. Chekhivsky, K. Mykolaichuk, O. Horain-Shumovska, O. Savchyn, T. and V. Dratvinsky, and O. Vyshnevska. Famous Ukrainian painters and sculptors such as Mariia Bashkirtseva, Mykhailo Parashchuk, Mykhailo Boichuk, Alexander Archipenko, Sofiia Levytska, Oleksa Hryshchenko, Mykola Hlushchenko, Petro Omelchenko, Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo, Mykola Krychevsky, Vasyl Khmeliuk, Sviatoslav Hordynsky, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Sofiia Zarytska, Ivanna Vynnykiv, O. Savchenko-Bilsky, Liuboslav Hutsaliuk, Yurii Kulchytsky, Andrii Solohub, Temistokl Vyrsta, Omelian Mazuryk, Volodymyr Makarenko, and Anton Solomukha have studied, worked, or still work in Paris.
Some Ukrainian composers and musicians have lived in France: Ivan Vovk, Volodymyr Hrudyn, Yu. Ponomarenko, Fedir Yakymenko, the intrumentalist Arystyd Vyrsta, and the singers Zenon Dolnytsky, Yevheniia Zarytska, Myroslav Starytsky, and U. Chaikivska. The following writers worked in France: Sofiia Yablonska, Volodymyr Yaniv, Marta Kalytovska, and Leonid Poltava. A prominent Ukrainian filmmaker in France was Yevhen Slabchenko (Eugène Deslaw). The journalists and authors Oleh Shtul, Mykola O. Kovalsky, Leonid Pliushch, and S. Naumovych worked in France. The following members of the Shevchenko Scientific Society lived and worked in France: the psychologist Oleksander Kulchytsky, the literary historian Mykola Hlobenko, the sociologist and psychologist Volodymyr Yaniv, the historians Elie Borschak, Oleksander Shulhyn, and Arkadii Zhukovsky, the biologist-veterinarian Pavlo Shumovsky, and the musicologist Arystyd Vyrsta.
The following historical monuments in France are connected with Ukraine: Saint Vincent’s Church in Senlis, built by Anna Yaroslavna (containing a statue of her); the Taras Shevchenko Square with his monument near the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of Saint Volodymyr in Paris; the Taras Shevchenko monument and street in Toulouse and Vésines-Chalette; the grave of Symon Petliura at Montparnasse Cemetery and the graves of Metropolitan Polikarp Sikorsky and General Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko at Père-Lachaise Cemetery; a monument in Boulay (Lorraine) to 22,000 Ukrainian victims of the Second World War who were inmates of the concentration camp at Ban-Saint-Jean; a monument to the soldiers of the Ukrainian battalion in Vercel (Doubs department); and a monument to V. Poryk in the city of Hénin-Liétard (Pas-de-Calais department). (See also Paris.)
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[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]