Russia (Росія; Rosiia; Russian: Россия; Rossiia). The country to the north and east of Ukraine, inhabited primarily by Russians, an Eastern Slavic people, but also by numerous minorities of diverse ethnicity. The borders of the state of Russia and, to a lesser degree, of the area of compact settlement of the Russian people have expanded dramatically over the centuries. The nucleus of the Russian state was the principality of Suzdal-Vladimir in northeastern part of the Kyivan Rus’ state. This polity, later known as Muscovy, then expanded by conquest and purchase until it acquired all the other former principalities of Kyivan Rus’ except those of Ukraine and Belarus, which had fallen under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Through conquest and colonization, it extended its borders to the Pacific Ocean in the mid-17th century. In the later part of the 17th century, following the Cossack-Polish War, Left-Bank Ukraine came under Russian suzerainty, although the Left-Bank Cossack Hetman state was not fully integrated into the Russian state until the late 18th century. During that century the state, now formally constituted as the Russian Empire, expanded to the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea by acquiring Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and much of the rest of Ukraine (the Right-Bank Ukraine, Southern Ukraine, the Crimea). In the 19th century it acquired Finland, Bessarabia, and much of Poland as well as Subcaucasia and more of Asia. By 1914 the Russian Empire covered an area of over 21 million sq km (about one-quarter in Europe, the rest in Asia).
The origins of Russia lay in the basin of the Oka and the upper Volga rivers, where the Slavic and Finnic areas of settlement met. There the principality of Suzdal-Vladimir emerged as part of the Kyivan Rus’ state in the late 11th century. The country’s origins in the Kyivan Rus’ state account for both its modern name (Russia was a Latin name frequently used for Rus’) and the Russian claim to the Kyivan legacy. Under Prince Yurii Dolgorukii (ca 1125–57) the principality of Suzdal-Vladimir grew in importance, and Yurii made a bid to win the throne of Kyiv and thus become its grand prince. His son, Andrei Bogoliubskii (1157–74), even sought to replace Kyiv as the center of the Kyivan Rus’ state with his own capital, Vladimir-on-the-Kliazma; to that end he waged war on Kyiv in 1169, and his army plundered the city ruthlessly. Suzdal-Vladimir was involved in a second sack of Kyiv in 1203.
By the beginning of the 13th century the rulers of Suzdal-Vladimir, with a territory of about 230,000 sq km and a population of about a million, were titling themselves ‘grand prince.’ The invasion of the Tatars increased the importance of the principality, because Kyiv was thoroughly weakened after the Tatars sacked the city in 1240, and because the Golden Horde conferred the title ‘grand prince’ on the rulers of Suzdal-Vladimir. Moreover there was some emigration from the Ukrainian principalities to this northern principality because of its distance from the Tatars. In 1299 the metropolitan of Kyiv Maximos transferred his residence and the see of Kyiv metropoly to Vladimir-on-the-Kliazma.
Nevertheless, by the end of the 13th century Vladimir was being surpassed in importance by two other cities in the principality, Moscow (first mentioned in the chronicles in 1147) and Tver. Those became the centers of two new principalities. The Muscovite principality flourished under the two grand princes Ivan Kalita (1328–41), who transferred the residence of the metropolitan of ‘all Rus'‘ from Vladimir to Moscow (1328), had his title confirmed by the Mongol khan (1328), and extended his influence to Novgorod the Great, Pskov, and other northern principalities, and Dmitrii Donskoi (1359–89), who conquered Tver (1375) and defeated a Mongol army at Kulikovo Pole (1380). Moscow continued to extend its influence among the other northern principalities through the early 15th century. It also exercised some attraction for Ukrainian and Belarusian boyars in Lithuania, which was falling under Polish domination.
Muscovite expansionism reached unprecedented heights during the reign of Grand Prince Ivan III (1462–1505). In that period Muscovy annexed the principalities of Yaroslavl (1463), Rostov (1474), and Tver (1485) as well as the Viatka territory (1489) and the greater part of the principality of Riazan. The greatest acquisition of Ivan III, however, was Novgorod the Great (1471–89), a rich and huge polity that the ruler thoroughly integrated into the Muscovite state (using such methods as extensive executions and the mass deportation of the city’s original population). By the early 16th century Moscow ruled over a territory approaching 3 million sq km in area and had become independent of Mongol suzerainty (1480).
Coinciding with the rapid expansion of Muscovy in the late 15th century was the development of an imperial ideology. Muscovy had already become an autocratic and centralist state. Ivan III, who married the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, began from time to time to call himself tsar (caesar), a title implying imperial aspirations. The Muscovites came to feel that they were superior to the Greeks, who in their view had fallen from the true faith by agreeing to the Church Union of Florence (1439), and who moreover had fallen under Muslim Turkish rule. The Muscovite church asserted administrative independence from Constantinople in the 1440s (after rejecting the Florentine union), and that independence was abetted by the fall of the Byzantine capital to the Ottomans in 1453. In the early 16th century the Pskovian monk Filofei codified the theory that Muscovy had now become a Third Rome, heir to the imperial and orthodox Christian traditions of the lapsed Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire. Moreover, in the 1450s Muscovy first began to lay official claims to Kyiv and the Kyivan inheritance (in the Vita of Dmitrii Donskoi); those claims were to be developed further in succeeding decades, as Muscovite territorial aggrandizement became represented as the ‘gathering together’ of the ‘lands of Rus’.’ In 1493 Ivan III assumed the title ‘sovereign of all Rus'‘ (gosudar’ vseia Rusi).
Muscovy had begun to contend with Lithuania for some lands of Rus’ in the 1360s, and the conflict escalated during the reign of Grand Prince Vasilii I (1389–1425). But the conflict acquired new dimensions after Lithuania united with Poland (1385), and Muscovy had begun to perceive itself as the natural heir to the lands of the former Kyivan Rus’. Muscovy and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth struggled over Tver and Novgorod the Great from 1449 to 1485, and in 1487–1537 they joined battle in a series of wars over Belarus and Ukrainian territories. In the course of the latter struggles Moscow frequently allied itself with the Crimean Tatars, who with Muscovite encouragement attacked Ukraine repeatedly and wreaked large-scale devastation. The Tatar sack of Kyiv in 1482, undertaken at the instigation of Ivan III, was particularly brutal. In the course of those conflicts Muscovy managed to incorporate the Ukrainian principalities of Starodub and Novhorod-Siverskyi (1503–17).
Muscovy had avoided conflict with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the mid- and late 16th century. But when Muscovy was plunged into a deep succession crisis during the so-called Time of Troubles (1598–1613), the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth seized the opportunity to intervene in Muscovy's affairs and attempted to place its own candidate on the throne of Moscow. Ukrainian Cossacks took part in Polish military campaigns against Muscovy. Although Muscovy recovered from its troubles in 1613, when the Romanov dynasty was installed, Poland renewed hostilities in 1617 and won back Starodub and Novhorod-Siverskyi (according to the Armistice of Deulino in 1618). War broke out again in 1632 but brought no substantial change; the Polianovka Peace Treaty of 1634 essentially confirmed the agreement of 1618. The Polish-Lithuanian campaigns of the early 17th century mark the apogee of Polish eastward expansion; thereafter the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth went into decline, and Muscovy began to take its place as the greatest power in Eastern Europe.
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries some Ukrainians began to look to their Orthodox coreligionists in Muscovy for help in the struggle against the Catholic Poles and the Muslim Crimean Tatars. In the 1580s and 1590s Ukrainian delegations traveled to Muscovy to obtain contributions for their churches. In 1625 the Kyivan metropolitan Yov Boretsky even appealed to the Muscovite tsar to take Ukraine under his protection. In 1556–9 Prince Dmytro Vyshnevetsky and the Zaporozhian Cossacks undertook joint campaigns with Russian Cossacks, and Vyshnevetsky even formally entered Muscovite service and traveled to Muscovy. In the early 1590s Muscovy gave some material assistance to the anti-Polish Cossack uprising led by Kryshtof Kosynsky; after the uprising was suppressed, many of the Cossacks fled to Muscovite-held Slobidska Ukraine, a pattern that was to be repeated in the early 17th century. In 1620 Hetman Petro Sahaidachny sent a delegation to Moscow to try to enlist its co-operation in a campaign against the Crimean Tatars.
Beginning in the late 16th century Ukraine underwent a cultural renaissance that was to have a major impact on Muscovy by the mid-17th century. Kyiv, especially after the founding of the Kyivan Mohyla College (later Kyivan Mohyla Academy) in 1632, became an important center of learning and the intellectual capital of the entire Orthodox world. The wide-ranging liturgical reforms of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow (1652–66) drew heavily on Kyivan, as well as Greek, scholarship, and Meletii Smotrytsky’s Slavonic grammar (1619; republished in Moscow in 1648 and 1721) influenced the development of a Russian literary language. Ukrainian influence on Russian culture became especially pronounced after 1654, when much of Ukraine came under Moscow’s suzerainty.
Ukraine’s entrance into the Russian sphere of political influence came as an unexpected result of the Cossack uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth initiated by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1648, and the resulting Cossack-Polish War. Seeking a strong ally in his cause, Khmelnytsky began as early as 1649 to petition the Muscovite tsar for his protection. Muscovy was reluctant to renew war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but eventually, under the influence of Patriarch Nikon, the tsar decided to aid the Cossacks. The legal relationship between Ukraine and Muscovy was established by the Pereiaslav Treaty of 1654, the original text of which has not survived, and the intent of which has been the subject of widely differing interpretations by Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish historians. Khmelnytsky, however, fell out with the Russians in 1656, when they made a separate peace with the Poles (but he did not formally break with them before his death in 1657). His successor, Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky, repudiated the relationship with Muscovy and entered into the Treaty of Hadiach with Poland-Lithuania in 1658. War over Ukraine between Poland-Lithuania and Muscovy broke out anew, with Turkey also intervening. Ukrainian Cossacks joined the hostilities, often divided among themselves and often changing sides. The devastating warfare lasted until the Treaty of Andrusovo of 1667, which in effect partitioned Ukraine between the contestants. Left-Bank Ukraine (the Hetman state or Hetmanate) and Kyiv became part of the Muscovite sphere of influence; Right-Bank Ukraine (and Galicia) remained under Polish rule. The partition was confirmed by the Eternal Peace of 1686, signed by Muscovy and Poland.
In the course of those decades of strife (known as the Ruin in Ukrainian historiography) the Muscovites took measures to limit the autonomy of the Hetman state. In particular Muscovy concluded several agreements (called articles) with the Cossacks, in which the terms of the Pereiaslav Treaty were restated in such a way as to restrict Ukrainian rights. Hetman Ivan Briukhovetsky was induced to sign the Baturyn Articles of 1663 and the Moscow Articles of 1665, which curtailed the hetman’s authority and increased that of the tsar and his administration. The Hlukhiv Articles (1669) restored some of the Hetman state’s prerogatives, but the Konotop Articles (1672) and the Kolomak Articles (1687) again limited them. The Russian government particularly insisted on reducing and in fact eliminating the hetman’s right to conduct foreign policy. In 1663 the Little Russian Office was established as a link between the Muscovite administration and that of the Hetman state.
During the same period the Ukrainian Orthodox church was subordinated to the Muscovite church. The Kyiv metropolitan Sylvestr Kosiv (1647–57), who had been reluctant to swear an oath to the tsar in 1654, favored retaining the Ukrainian church under the jurisdiction of the distant Patriarch of Constantinople. In spite of promises that Ukrainian ecclesiastical independence would be respected, the Russian authorities took advantage of internal dissension in the Ukrainian church to place it under the jurisdiction of the patriarchate of Moscow (est 1589). The formal request for that subjugation was made at a church council headed by Metropolitan Hedeon Sviatopolk-Chetvertynsky in 1685. The Patriarch of Constantinople, faced with strong Muscovite political pressure, agreed to the new order in 1686.
The erosion of Ukrainian autonomy was accelerated during the reign of Tsar Peter I, a centralizer who formally adopted for his state the name Russia (Rossiia) and proclaimed it an empire (1721). Aiming to establish access to the Baltic, he waged the Great Northern War (1701–21) against Sweden. In the course of the war he requisitioned men and provisions from Ukraine, thereby greatly burdening the country, and strove to integrate the Cossacks more completely into Russia’s armed forces. Those measures prompted Hetman Ivan Mazepa to turn against Peter and join forces with the Swedish king Charles XII in 1708. The Russian forces responded by destroying the Hetman state’s capital of Baturyn in 1708 as well as the Zaporozhian Sich in 1709 (both were rebuilt several decades later). Mazepa and Charles were decisively defeated at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. To avoid a repetition of the Mazepa defection a tsarist resident was attached to the hetmancy as of 1709. After the death of Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky in 1722, Peter left the office of the hetman vacant. In 1722 Peter also replaced the hetmancy resident and the Little Russian Office with the Little Russian Collegium. The Collegium assumed much greater powers than the Office had held and in fact controlled the Ukrainian administration. It even began to collect direct taxes. Acting Hetman Pavlo Polubotok protested the activities of the Collegium (Kolomak Petitions of 1723) and died in prison for his pains (1724). In his transformation of Russia Peter initiated massive building projects; as a result thousands of Ukrainian Cossacks and peasants perished in the construction of canals and fortresses and in the building of the new capital of Saint Petersburg. Peter also regulated Ukrainian trade to the advantage of Russian rather than Ukrainian merchants.
Ukrainian cultural influences were pronounced in Russia during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Because of their relatively high level of education and their Western European cultural orientation, Ukrainians who sought careers in Russia were generally successful. They had a profound and formative influence on the emerging Russian educational system. Peter I often relied on Ukrainian intellectuals to provide leadership in various reforms. Especially prominent roles were played by the Ukrainian clergymen Teofan Prokopovych and Stefan Yavorsky in the tsar’s church reform, which replaced the office of patriarch with the Holy Synod and subordinated the Russian Orthodox church to the state. Ukrainian writers, composers, painters, directors, actors, and architects contributed to the diffusion of baroque culture in Russia.
In 1727 Tsar Peter II (1727–30), under the influence of his adviser Prince Aleksandr Menshikov, abolished the Little Russian Collegium and allowed a new hetman to be elected, Danylo Apostol. Danylo Apostol’s relations with the Russian government were regulated by the Authoritative Ordinances (Reshitelnye Punkty) issued by the tsar in 1728. After the death of Danylo Apostol in 1734, Empress Anna Ivanovna (1730–40) refused to allow the election of a new hetman. Instead a Governing Council of the Hetman Office, consisting of three Russian officials and three Cossack officers, administered Ukraine. Empress Elizabeth I (1741–62) permitted the restoration of the hetman’s office, and in 1750 the Governing Council was abolished. Kyrylo Rozumovsky was elected hetman, although he spent much of his reign fighting a rearguard action to defend Ukrainian autonomy.
The Hetman state lost its remaining autonomy when it was dismantled and Left-Bank Ukraine was integrated directly into the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine II (1762–96). In 1764 she forced Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovsky to resign and abolished the office of hetman permanently. She reconstituted the Little Russian Collegium with Governor-general Petr Rumiantsev as president; it lasted until 1786, by which time Ukraine was so integrated into the imperial administrative system that a separate Little Russian administrative office was no longer necessary. In 1775 Catherine ordered the Zaporozhian Sich destroyed. In 1782 a gubernia administrative structure completely replaced the Ukrainian regimental system. Catherine induced the Cossack starshyna to acquiesce in the eradication of Ukrainian autonomy primarily through material incentives. In 1783 she officially sanctioned serfdom in Ukraine, and in 1785 she made the Cossack starshyna equal to the Russian nobility (dvorianstvo). Nonetheless some autonomist sentiment survived among the Cossack gentry into the 19th century.
One of the achievements of Catherine II’s reign was the rolling back of the Ottoman Empire through a series of successful Russo-Turkish wars (1768–92) and the acquisition of the northern coast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, including the Crimea. That large territory, known as New Russia, was sparsely inhabited, and Catherine charged its governor-general, Grigorii Potemkin, with the responsibility of finding colonists for it. Germans as well as Serbs and Greeks from the Balkans were encouraged to relocate there, and numerous new settlements were established, including the major port city of Odesa (1794). Catherine also intervened in the internal affairs of neighboring Poland, as her predecessors had done throughout the century. At first her agents helped provoke and then her troops crushed the great haidamaka uprising of 1768 (Koliivshchyna rebellion), which plunged Right-Bank Ukraine into chaos. That episode was a prelude to the partitions of Poland (1772–95), by which Russia annexed the Right Bank up to the Zbruch River. Thus, by the end of the 18th century approximately 85 percent of Ukraine had come under Russian rule; only the Western Ukrainian territories of Galicia, Transcarpathia, and Bukovyna were under the Habsburg rule rather than the Romanov scepter. That state of affairs was to last, with only temporary and minor changes, until the Revolution of 1917. At the end of the 18th century the Russian Empire had a territory of 14.5 million sq km and a population of over 36 million.
Ukrainians continued to contribute to the cultural life of Russia in the mid- and late 18th century. Kyrylo Rozumovsky presided over the Russian Academy of Sciences. Other prominent Ukrainians working in Russia in the late 18th century included the composers and directors Maksym Berezovsky, Dmytro Bortniansky, and (for some time) Artem Vedel, who greatly influenced the development of Russian choral music; the court singer and publisher of folk songs Vasyl Trutovsky; the singer Marko Poltoratsky; the painters Volodymyr Borovykovsky and Antin Losenko; the portraitist Dmytro H. Levytsky; the sculptor and rector of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts Ivan P. Martos; the Russian-language writer I. Bogdanovich; the editor of Sankt-Peterburgskii vestnik H. Braiko; the men of letters and civil servants Mykhailo Antonovsky, Vasyl H. Ruban, and Fedir Tumansky; the jurist and professor at Moscow University Semen Desnytsky; and the highly influential imperial chancellor Prince Oleksander Bezborodko.
By the 19th century the Russian Empire had almost wholly dismantled the political and military institutions of Ukraine, eliminated from the Right-Bank Ukraine the last vestige of Ukraine’s separate legal code (the Lithuanian Statute) in 1840, and largely assimilated Ukraine’s elite as part of the Russian nobility. Ukraine was not treated as an entity in itself; it was regarded as a region and administered as nine gubernias. Western ideas and trends no longer flowed from Ukraine to Russia, as in the 17th and 18th centuries, but from Russia to Ukraine. The most telling sign of Ukraine’s subordinate status was the development of a mind-set of cultural inferiority (a common trait of colonial peoples) among many Ukrainians—malorossiistvo or the Little Russian mentality.
The ‘Great Russians’ dealt with their Little Russian ‘brothers’ as subordinates. Although they regarded Ukrainians as their blood relations and rejoiced in the fact that they had become part of their body politic, they clearly did not regard Ukrainians as their social, cultural, or political equals. As Ukraine had in fact been reduced to provincial status, Ukrainians increasingly began to be seen as less sophisticated. The folk arts, traditional foods, dance, folk songs, and music of Ukraine became celebrated within the empire, but the notion that Ukrainians could sustain any serious cultural undertakings of their own was commonly dismissed as nonsense. Moreover the Russians did not differentiate between their own ethnic territory and that of Ukraine. They regarded Ukraine as part of one whole, an integral and indivisible part of the empire. Any suggestion on the part of Ukrainians that they constituted a distinct people or territory was greeted with hostility. People holding such opinions were regarded as treacherous ‘Mazepists,’ and the imperial authorities were always alert to signs of ‘separatist’ tendencies among Ukrainians.
The fondness with which Russians regarded Ukraine, and conversely their virulent attitude toward any notion of autonomy for Ukraine, were motivated by certain economic and geopolitical considerations. The total absorption of Ukraine by the Russian state had given the empire a strong agricultural base that virtually eliminated the threat of periodic famine and provided valuable products for export. In the later 19th century the development of the Donets Basin (Donbas) provided for the growth of industry. The access to the Black Sea that followed the acquisition of Ukraine’s Black Sea littoral gave the empire warm-water ports. The presence of Ukraine substantially increased the size of the empire’s Slavic ‘heartland’ and strengthened the empire’s perception of itself as a European rather than a Eurasian power.
During the reigns of Emperors Paul I (1796–1801) and Alexander I (1801–25) a Ukrainian national revival, similar in character to those of other East European peoples of that era, began in the Russian Empire. The vernacular Ukrainian language appeared in literature (Ivan Kotliarevsky, 1798), a grammar of the language was written by Oleksii Pavlovsky, descriptions of the history of Ukraine circulated in manuscript form (Istoriia Rusov) and appeared in print (Dmytro Bantysh-Kamensky’s Istoriia Maloi Rossii [History of Little Russia, 1822]), and a university was founded in Kharkiv (1805) (see Kharkiv University) with much support from local patriots (especially Vasyl Karazyn). A new generation of patriotic Ukrainian intelligentsia began to emerge from among the gentry in Left-Bank Ukraine, largely descendants of the Cossack starshyna.
During the course of the Napoleonic Wars there were some minor territorial changes affecting Ukrainian lands under Russian rule. The Ternopil district was temporarily annexed by Russia from 1809 until 1815, when it was returned to Austria. In 1812 Russia acquired Bessarabia with its substantial Ukrainian population. In 1815 the Kholm region became part of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, which was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire.
Throughout the first half of the 19th century Ukrainians continued to contribute to Russian culture and to imperial administration. The outstanding Russian-language writer Nikolai Gogol was a Ukrainian. Other Ukrainians who wrote in the Russian language and earned a place in the history of Russian literature were Nikolai Gnedich and Vasyl Kapnist. Ukrainians prominent in Russia’s intellectual and political life also included the minister of justice Dmytro Troshchynsky, the minister of internal affairs Vasyl Kochubei, the minister of education Petro Zavadovsky, and the bibliographer and journalist Vasyl Anastasevych. A number of Ukrainian emigrants from Transcarpathia also made careers in Russia in the early 19th century, including the Slavist Yurii Venelin, the philosopher Petro Lodii, the economist and lawyer Mykhailo Baluhiansky, and the physician Ivan Orlai.
In the same period some of the more significant political developments within the Russian Empire unfolded in whole or in part on Ukrainian soil. Many Ukrainians belonged to the revolutionary Decembrist movement, which was opposed to both tsarist absolutism and serfdom. The primary Decembrist organization in Ukraine was the Southern Society. The Society of United Slavs, which unlike the Southern Society sought the establishment of a Slavic federal republic, nonetheless merged with it in the fall of 1825. Also connected with the Decembrist movement was the Little Russian Secret Society, which had a shadowy existence; it is said to have called for the erection of an independent Ukrainian state. Another manifestation of revolutionary ferment in the Russian Empire was the unsuccessful Polish Insurrection of 1830–1, which encompassed Right-Bank Ukraine. The suppression of the Polish insurrection had a number of repercussions for Ukrainians. Some Polish revolutionaries decided that they had been defeated because of a lack of popular support, especially among the peasantry. That conviction gave rise to an interest in and sympathy with the Ukrainian people on the part of democratically inclined representatives of the Right-Bank gentry. Also, in the aftermath of the insurrection Tsar Nicholas I (1825–55) took measures to eliminate Polish and strengthen Russian influence in the Right Bank and Kyiv: in 1835 Kyiv’s right of Magdeburg law was rescinded; in 1839 the Uniate church in Belarus and Right-Bank Ukraine was abolished and replaced by the Russian Orthodox church; and in 1834 the Kremianets Lyceum was closed and Kyiv University established. Some of the government’s efforts to promote Russification actually contributed to the development of the Ukrainian national movement. For example, to collect documentation showing that the Right Bank was an ancient Russian land, the government established the Kyiv Archeographic Commission in 1843; the commission, however, gave employment to some of the most outstanding representatives of the Ukrainian movement and published dozens of volumes of sources for Ukrainian history. In 1845–6 the Ukrainian movement in the Russian Empire assumed an overt political dimension with the emergence in Kyiv of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, a secret society that advocated the establishment of a Slavic federal republic (with its capital in Kyiv) and the abolition of serfdom.
Ukrainians participated in the military actions of the empire in the mid-19th century. In 1849 the tsar sent troops to put down the Hungarian insurrection (see the Revolution of 1848–9 in the Habsburg monarchy); his army, which included many Ukrainian soldiers, passed through Bukovyna and Galicia and encamped for some months in Transcarpathia. In 1853–6 Russia fought Turkey and its Western European allies in the Crimean War. The war put a great strain on the Ukrainian population and gave rise to peasant unrest, including the movement of the Kyiv Cossacks in 1855.
Defeat in the Crimean War and the growth of discontent throughout the empire forced the new tsar, Alexander II (1855–81), to initiate a series of reforms, including the abolition of serfdom (1861) and the establishment of municipal self-government through the zemstvo. The new, liberal atmosphere within the empire allowed the Ukrainian movement to revive; the former members of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood put out the journal Osnova (Saint Petersburg) (1861–2), and students founded the Hromada of Kyiv in 1859. The reform momentum was halted, however, after the failed Polish Insurrection of 1863–4. The insurrection had been preceded by Polish student ferment, especially at Kyiv University. Some of the Polish students there, led by Volodymyr Antonovych, began to identify with the Ukrainian people and adopted Ukrainian nationality; most of those khlopomany (peasant-lovers) refused on principle to take part in the insurrection when it broke out in January 1863. But many members of the Right-Bank Polish gentry joined the insurgents, and the insurrection spread very quickly to the territory of Right-Bank Ukraine. The insurrection provoked reactionary and Russian nationalist sentiment in Russian society and in the tsarist government. It was alleged in the press and government circles that the Ukrainian movement was Polish-inspired, and Minister of the Interior Petr Valuev issued a secret circular in 1863 that prohibited the publication of scholarly, religious, and educational works in the Ukrainian language and limited Ukrainian publication exclusively to belles lettres. Also as a result of the insurrection, the institution of the zemstvo was excluded from Right-Bank Ukraine until 1911. The Russian government began an intensive campaign ostensibly to remove Polish influence in the last Uniate eparchy in the Russian Empire, that of Kholm; the campaign ended with the forcible liquidation of the Uniate church there in 1875.
The anti-Polish actions of the Russian government in the 1860s and 1870s favorably impressed many Ukrainians in Austrian-ruled Galicia, where the emperor had just given the Polish gentry a free hand in the political control of that crown land. Deeply embittered, many leading Galician Ukrainians looked to Russia for deliverance from the Poles. Russophiles were also located in Transcarpathia, where the Magyar gentry was granted even more far-reaching powers in 1867, and where people well remembered that Russian troops had suppressed the Magyar insurgents in 1849. Within Russia itself a growing spirit of Pan-Slavism encouraged a belief that in time Galicia and Transcarpathia, as lands of Rus’, should be ‘reunited’ with Russia. The Russian government provided Russophiles in Western Ukraine with direct and indirect subsidies.
While promoting pro-Russian sympathies abroad imperial authorities were virulent about containing pro-Ukrainian sympathies at home. In 1876 the government decided to clamp down firmly on a resurgent Ukrainian movement. Tsar Alexander II issued the secret Ems Ukase, which basically outlawed the use of the Ukrainian language in print, and the authorities simultaneously closed down the Southwestern Branch of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society and the Ukrainophile newspaper Kievskii telegraf and expelled Mykhailo Drahomanov and Mykola Ziber from their positions at Kyiv University. The Ukrainian movement was thereafter thoroughly persecuted in the Russian Empire. The Ukrainian language was effectively banished from the school system, the courts, and even churches, and Ukrainophiles were in jeopardy of losing their positions or even their freedom. Under those conditions the center of the Ukrainian national movement shifted westward, to Galicia under Habsburg rule. During the reign of Alexander III (1881–94) the only significant achievement of the Ukrainian movement in the Russian Empire was the publication of a Russian-language journal of Ukrainian studies, Kievskaia starina (1882–1907). The intransigence of the tsarist authorities was such that when the Ukrainian movement revived at the end of the 1890s, it assumed a decidedly revolutionary character. Its major representative was in fact the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party (RUP; established in 1900), which initially called for the establishment of a Ukrainian state independent of Russia. RUP quickly abandoned that aim and embraced a federalist program, such as had been traditional for Ukrainians in the Russian Empire since the time of the Decembrists.
A major concern of the Ukrainian movement throughout the second half of the 19th century was the problem of the relation of the Ukrainian nationality to the Russian and the relation of both to the legacy of Kyivan Rus’. In the late 1850s and 1860s Ukrainian scholars, particularly Mykhailo Maksymovych, polemicized with the Pan-Slavist Mikhail Pogodin, who claimed that Kyivan Rus’ had been Russian and not Ukrainian. The historian Mykola Kostomarov argued that the differences between the Ukrainian and Russian (in his terminology, Little Russian and Great Russian) nationalities went back to Kyivan Rus’; he saw a profound divergence in national character even then, the Ukrainians being democratic and federalist and the Russians autocratic and centralist. The views of Ukrainian scholarship were codified in a 1904 essay by Mykhailo Hrushevsky that squarely opposed the ‘traditional’ scheme of Russian history. Hrushevsky wrote that the Ukrainians constituted a nation distinct from the Russians and had created the Kyivan Rus’ state and culture; the Russians appeared on the stage of history only later, as the creators of the Suzdal-Vladimir state.
In 1897 there were over 22 million Ukrainians in the Russian Empire (17.9 percent of the total population), of whom about 20 million lived in Ukrainian ethnographic territory. The Ukrainians living in Russia proper included a large number of Ukrainian peasants who migrated into southern Siberia and the Far East in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The situation of Ukrainians in the Russian Empire changed dramatically as a result of the Revolution of 1905. Under the pressure exerted by empire-wide upheaval, including tremendous peasant unrest in Ukraine, mutiny in the Black Sea Fleet, and strikes in Kharkiv, Katerynoslav, and elsewhere, Tsar Nicholas II (1894–1917) made a number of concessions to the population. The ban on Ukrainian publication was lifted, and Ukrainian newspapers and periodicals proliferated. Branches of the Prosvita society, co-operatives, and other Ukrainian organizations appeared. Ukrainians were elected to the limited parliament, the State Duma (see Ukrainian caucus in the Russian State Duma). Attempts to introduce the Ukrainian language into the educational system, however, were aborted by the authorities. By 1907 the revolutionary momentum had been broken, and the tsarist authorities again began to persecute the Ukrainian movement, although they were not able to return to the status quo before 1905. In particular, Ukrainian publishing continued to exist, although it was prevented from developing as dynamically as it could have in a more favorable environment. In the aftermath of the revolution the imperial court and conservative circles gave support to the extreme Russian chauvinism of the Black Hundreds, who were also active in Ukraine.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Ukrainians continued to play a vital role in Russian culture and society. Mykhailo Drahomanov, in addition to his work in the Ukrainian sphere, was an important figure in Russian journalism and political thought; in particular, he was a founding father of Russian liberalism. Another Ukrainian proponent of Russian liberalism was Mykhailo Mohyliansky, an active member of the Constitutional Democratic (kadet) party in Saint Petersburg before 1917. Osyp Bodiansky, a professor at Moscow University, did much to develop Slavic studies in Russia. Bohdan Kistiakovsky was an outstanding jurist and sociologist who taught in Moscow and edited an important legal journal there. The outstanding scientist Volodymyr Vernadsky, who became the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1918, had been a professor at Moscow University before the Revolution of 1917.
When the First World War broke out, the tsarist government closed down many of the existing Ukrainian publications and arrested Mykhailo Hrushevsky, the Ukrainian movement’s most prominent representative. During the course of the war Russia twice occupied Galicia and Bukovyna, where it ruthlessly persecuted the local Ukrainian movement and harassed the Ukrainain Catholic church. The war put such a strain on the empire that in March 1917 the tsar abdicated, and power passed to the Provisional Government. Also in March the Central Rada was formed in Kyiv, and soon it demanded autonomy for Ukraine. The Provisional Government was reluctant to recognize Ukrainian autonomy and did so only under great pressure in July 1917. In November 1917, after the Bolsheviks seized power from the Provisional Government, the Central Rada proclaimed the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), which was formally in federation with Russia. In December 1917, however, the UNR waged war on Russia. In January 1918 the UNR broke all ties with Soviet Russia and declared itself an independent state. The Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21 that followed was largely a contest between Ukrainian independence forces and the Red Army. The contest was complicated by the presence of a large contingent of imperial loyalist troops (the Volunteer Army) headed by Anton Denikin, who viewed Russia as ‘one and indivisible’ and wished to restore the empire to its prerevolutionary boundaries. By 1920 most of Ukraine was under Soviet rule and factually, if not juridically, under Russian domination. In December 1922 Soviet Ukraine entered into federation with Soviet Russia and other Soviet republics as part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
(For the history of Ukraine’s relations with Russia after 1918 see Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. For the history of Ukraine’s relations with Russia after 1991 see Russian Federation.)
Ukrainians in Russia, 19th and 20th centuries. The first indication of the number and geographic distribution of Ukrainians in Russia was provided by the census of 1897 (the surveys of 1795 did not provide a breakdown by nationality), but the data provided by that census are not accurate. Many Ukrainians were listed as Russians, and figures were given only for each county. In 1897–1914 there was a large flow of Ukrainian emigrants to beyond the Urals (about 1.5 million Ukrainians settled in Russian-ruled Asia at that time: the Siberia and the Far East) and to eastern Subcaucasia. The number and distribution of Ukrainians in Russia just prior to the First World War were, therefore, substantially different from what the figures of 1897 would suggest. In 1915–26, emigration from Ukraine ceased almost entirely, so the pre-First World War situation actually corresponds more closely to the situation revealed by the data gathered in the 1926 census (if substantial fatalities due to war, civil war, influenza, and typhoid are allowed for).
According to the 1897 census 22,380,000 Ukrainians lived in the Russian Empire, of whom 20,160,000 (90.1 percent) dwelt in Ukrainian ethnographic territories, 670,000 (3 percent) in regions bordering on those territories, and 1,560,000 (6.9 percent) elsewhere. Of those who dwelt elsewhere 1,020,000 were listed as residents of European Russia, and 209,000 of Asian (not including Subcaucasian) Russia. The actual number of Ukrainians on ethnic borderlands and on primarily Russian ethnic territory was higher.
Ukrainian-Russian ethnic borderlands included eastern Subcaucasia, the Crimea, and the northern Chernihiv region. Eastern Subcaucasia consists of the eastern section of Kuban oblast (the Batalpashinsk, Labinsk, and Maikop districts), where there were 204,800 Ukrainians (25.4 percent of the local population); Stavropol oblast, where there were 319,000 Ukrainians (36.6 percent); Black Sea gubernia, 9,300 Ukrainians (19.1 percent); Terek oblast, 42,000 Ukrainians (4.5 percent); and the Salsk district of the Oblast of the Don Cossack Host, 22,400 Ukrainians (31 percent). According to the 1897 census there were a total of 798,000 Ukrainians (21.8 percent) in eastern Subcaucasia, and virtually all of them lived in rural settlements. (See also Don region, Kuban, Stavropol region, and Terek region.)
The 1897 figures for the Crimea suggest that only 65,000 Ukrainians (11.8 percent) resided there (with Crimean Tatars making up 35.5 percent, Russians, 31.7 percent, and others, 21 percent), but their number was probably higher. Subsequently a greater number of Ukrainians than Russians settled there and made the Crimea an ethnically mixed Ukrainian ethnographic territory.
The 1897 census counted only 500 Ukrainians (0.1 percent of the local population, compared to 72 percent Russian and 24 percent Belarusian) in the northern Chernihiv region (in Starodub, Mglin, Novozybkov, and Surazh counties), on the Ukrainian-Belarus border. The actual number was probably much higher, since in 1926, 125,000 were listed as Ukrainians (14.1 percent of the total).
The 1,020,000 Ukrainians who lived in European Russian ethnographic territories were concentrated in the Ukrainian oases near the Ukrainian ethnographic territory, northern Slobidska Ukraine (the Voronezh region and the Kursk region), and the Don region; large Ukrainian settlements in the Volga Basin; and smaller outposts in the Urals. The latter two areas were situated on the eastern borders of the Russian ethnographic territory. In other sections of European Russia Ukrainians constituted less than 0.1 percent of the local population.
In northern Slobidska Ukraine the population was predominantly Russian, but 225,000 Ukrainians lived near the Ukrainian ethnographic territory. Of that number 180,000 resided in Kursk gubernia (in Belgorod, Oboian, Staryi Oskol, Putyvel, Sudzha, and Novyi Oskol counties) and 45,000 in Voronezh gubernia (in Bobrov, Korotoiak, Novokhopersk, Valuiky, and Pavlovsk districts). In those areas Ukrainians constituted 4–15 percent of the population and lived almost exclusively in rural settlements. Ukrainians were almost entirely absent from the northernmost regions of the two gubernias.
About 65,000 Ukrainians lived, primarily in villages, in the eastern end of the Oblast of the Don Cossack Host (in the Khoper, Ust-Medveditskaia, and Don districts and in sections of the Cherkassk, Rostov, and Donets districts), where they made up 7–12 percent of the population. There was also a substantial number of Ukrainians, however, in the major cities of the oblast, including Rostov-na-Donu (5,000, or 4.7 percent) and Novocherkassk (2,600, or 5 percent). The western section (the Sal district) of the Oblast of the Don Cossack Host formed part of ethnographically mixed Ukrainian-Russian eastern Subcaucasia, where Ukrainians constituted a majority.
The largest Ukrainian colonies were in the Volga Basin. They were established mainly in the 18th century and then supplemented by additional waves of immigrants. Large oases of Ukrainians lived on both banks of the Volga, and by the late 19th century they served as a link between the Ukrainians living in Ukrainian European territories and those living in settlements in Asia. According to the census of 1897, 392,000 Ukrainians lived in the Volga Basin (7,000 of them in cities). In Astrakhan gubernia the census found 133,000 Ukrainians, or 13.3 percent of the local population. By county the distribution was as follows: Tsarev county, 75,600, or 38.2 percent; Chernyi Yar, 40,900, or 40.8 percent; and Enotaevsk, 13,700, or 18 percent. There were 149,000 Ukrainians in Saratov gubernia, where they constituted 6.2 percent of the local population. By county the distribution was as follows: Novouzensk, 70,000, or 17 percent; Nikolaevsk, 18,800, or 3.5 percent; Buguruslan, 10,4000, or 2.6 percent; and Buzuluk, 9,500, or 2 percent.
A far smaller proportion of Ukrainians lived in the Urals, where Ukrainian settlements were established in the 18th and 19th centuries. Concentrations of Ukrainians lived in Orenburg gubernia (42,000, or 2.6 percent of the local population; by county: in Orenburg, 28,400, or 6 percent, and in Orsk, 8,600, or 4.5 percent) and in Ufa gubernia (5,000, or 0.2 percent of the local population, distributed in the Belebe, Sterlitamak, and Ufa counties). In the Urals Ukrainians lived in regions inhabited by Russians, Finns (Mordovians), Tatars, and Bashkirs.
According to the 1897 census there were only 34,000 Ukrainians in the rest of European Russia (central, eastern, and northern, including Belarus), where they made up less than 0.1 percent of the local population. Of that number 23,000 lived in cities, and small groups lived in villages in Elets county of Orel gubernia and in Borisoglebsk county of Tambov gubernia. The census indicated that the largest centers of Ukrainian population were Saint Petersburg (5,200) and Moscow (4,500). Other cities with a Ukrainian population of over 1,000 included Kursk (2,000), Kaluga (1,300), Mahiliou (1,200), Saratov (1,200), Tsaritsyn (1,100), and Tver (1,000). The actual number of Ukrainians in those regions was much higher. According to the census of 1920 there were 39,200 Ukrainians in European Russia, and according to the census of 1926, 84,000.
There is little information about the life of Ukrainians in Russia, apart from the communities in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, which were important centers of Ukrainian cultural (particularly in the early 20th century), community, and political life. Saint Petersburg was also an important center of Ukrainian studies, as well as of literature and art.
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[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]