Shapoval, Mykyta

Shapoval, Mykyta [Шаповал, Микита; Šapoval] (pseuds: M. Sribliansky, M. Butenko), b 8 June 1882 in Sriblianka, Bakhmut county, Katerynoslav gubernia, d 25 February 1932 in Rževnyca, near Prague, Czechoslovakia. Political and civic leader and publicist; brother of Mykola Yu. Shapoval. He was a forester by profession. He joined the Revolutionary Ukrainian party in 1901 and became coeditor of the journal Ukraïns’ka khata (1909–14), as well as a co-organizer of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries (UPSR) and leader of its central committee. He was a member of the Central Rada and Little Rada (1917–18) and became the postal and telegraph minister after the Third Universal (November 1917). He assisted in the drafting of the Fourth Universal (see Universals of the Central Rada) and served as the commissioner of Kyiv county. After the fourth congress of the UPSR (12 May 1918) he became a member of its ‘central current’ faction. During the rule of the Hetman government Shapoval was general secretary and then head of the Ukrainian National Union (14 November 1918 to January 1919). He was a co-organizer of the rebellion against the Hetman government (November 1918) and then minister of lands in the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic (December 1918 to February 1919). In February 1919 he moved to Galicia, but the Western Ukrainian National Republic would not grant him residency owing to his revolutionary political views.

Shapoval then lived in Budapest, where he was secretary of the UNR diplomatic mission (1919–20), and in Prague, where (with the support of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk) he came to play an important role in Ukrainian community life. He headed the Ukrainian Civic Committee in Czechoslovakia (1921–5) and was instrumental in founding Ukrainian institutions of higher education in Prague and the Ukrainian Husbandry Academy in Poděbrady, the Ukrainian Higher Pedagogical Institute, and the All-Ukrainian Workers' Union in Czechoslovakia. He headed the Ukrainian Institute of Sociology in Prague and the affiliated Ukrainian Workers' University, and he published and edited the monthly Nova Ukraïna (Prague) (1922–8). He also headed the People's Ukrainian Council, founded by émigré representatives of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, which criticized the actions of the UPSR Foreign Delegation in Vienna, and strongly opposed the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic.

Shapoval wrote over 50 publicistic works, including Revoliutsiinyi sotsiializm na Ukraïni (Revolutionary Socialism in Ukraine, 1921), Misto i selo (The Town and the Village, 1926), Mizhnatsional’ne stanovyshche ukraïns’koho narodu (The International Status of the Ukrainian People, 1934), Velyka revoliutsiia i ukraïns’ka vyzvol’na prohrama (The Great Revolution and the Ukrainian Liberation Agenda, 1927), Liakhomaniia (Polonophilism, 1931), Shchodennyk (Diary [from 22 January 1919 to 22 February 1932], 2 vols, 1958), and Het’manshchyna i Dyrektoriia (The Hetman Government and the Directory, 1958); much of his work remained unpublished. He also wrote the poetry collections Sny viry (Dreams of Faith, 1908) and Samotnist’ (Loneliness, 1910) and the short prose works Zhertvy hromads’koï baiduzhosty (The Victims of Community Apathy, 1910), Shevchenko i samostiinist’ Ukraïny (Shevchenko and the Independence of Ukraine, 1917), and Lysty z lisu (Letters from the Wood, 1918). A biography of Shapoval was written by B. Homzyn (1932), and his autobiography was edited by S. Zerkal (1956).

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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