Society of United Slavs

Society of United Slavs (Tovarystvo ziednanykh slovian). A clandestine revolutionary organization founded at the beginning of 1823 in Novohrad-Volynskyi by the brothers and officers Petro Borysov (its head) and A. Borysov and the Polish revolutionary J. Lubliński. It had several dozen members, mostly lower-rank officers of troops stationed in Volhynia and the Kyiv region as well as local petty civil servants. Most members were Ukrainian: the Borysov brothers, Ivan I. Horbachevsky, Ya. Andriievych, P. Hromnytsky, Yakiv Drahomanov, M. Lisovsky, and Ivan Sukhyniv. The society’s ideologists were Lubliński and Horbachevsky.

The main aims of the society were to liberate the Slavs from foreign rule, abolish the monarchical system, reconcile the Slavic nations, and set up a federation of democratic Slavic republics, each with its own legislature and executive. The federation was to include Russians (embracing also Ukrainians and Belarusians), Poles, Hungarians (together with Slavs in Hungary), Bohemians, Croatians, Dalmatians, Serbs, and Moravians. The social program of the society proposed to abolish serfdom and to diminish class inequalities. The society believed that the people, not just the army, had to be prepared for the revolution. The ideological principles and political program of the society were formulated in its oath and catechism (consisting of 17 rules).

In September 1825 the Society of United Slavs joined with the Southern Society (see Decembrist movement) but retained its own program and separate executive. The society's members were the most active participants in the uprising of Chernihiv Regiment in Trylisy on 10–15 January 1826. Most of them were sentenced to hard labor in Siberia. The society's ideas influenced the program of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood.

Bahalii, D. Povstannia dekabrystiv na Ukraïni (Kharkiv 1926)
Nechkina, M. Obshchestvo soedinennykh slavian (Moscow–Leningrad 1927)
Luciani, G. La Société des Slaves Unis, 1823–1825 (Panslavisme et solidarité slave au XIXe siàede) (Bordeaux 1963)
Gorbachevskii, I. Zapiski i pis’ma (Moscow 1966)

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

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