Ukrainian National Council

Ukrainian National Council (Ukrainska natsionalna rada). The parliamentary body of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic, established in 1947 as the result of a pact between émigré Ukrainian political parties. The aim of the council was to consolidate all independentist parties and organizations for the renewal of an independent Ukrainian state with a democratic order and to broaden the political base for the State Center of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic. It established an executive organ functioning as a protoparliament or constituent assembly (that looked after the council's affairs between sittings) and a state auditing body and elected a president of the UNR-in-exile. The inaugural council had representatives from the OUN (Melnyk faction), the OUN (Bandera faction), the Ukrainian National State Union (UNDS), the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance (UNDO), the Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic party (URDP), the Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic party (Socialist), the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party, and the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party (USDRP).

After the second session of the council in 1950, the OUN (Bandera faction) left the parliament. At the fourth session in 1957, the Union of Lands of United Ukraine (the Peasant party) and the Union of Constructively Creative Forces of Ukraine joined the council. From October 1957 to 1961 the OUN (Melnyk faction) operated outside the council. In the meantime, there were schisms in the Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic party and the UNDO. At the seventh session a breakaway URDP faction headed by Mykola Stepanenko and a UNDO faction headed by Pavlo Kashynsky were officially recognized by the council. A range of amendments were brought into the council's statutes at its eighth session in 1979, one of which set the term of its sitting at five years (after the completion of the term, the parliament is dissolved by decree of the president, and the presidium and chairman hand over their positions), and another of which concerned the election of a president, vice-president, chairman, and presidium. In 1984–9 the council, after considerable effort, managed to consolidate and obtain the support of most of the émigré Ukrainian parties for the State Center of the Ukrainian National Republic: the OUN (Melnyk faction) returned, as did the URDP led by Mykhailo Voskobiinyk, and the UNDO schism was resolved.

The council convened for 10 sessions: July 1948 in Augsburg, June 1949 in Leipheim, March 1954 in Munich, March 1957 in Munich, November 1961 in Munich, March 1967 in Munich, December 1972 in London, June 1979 in Munich, July 1984 in Toronto, and June 1989 in South Bound Brook, New Jersey. At the third session (1954) Stepan Vytvytsky was elected to replace the recently deceased Andrii Livytsky as president, and at the sixth session (1967) Mykola Livytsky was elected president after Vytvytsky's death. After the death of M. Livytsky in December 1989, the vice-president, Mykola Plaviuk, assumed the presidency. After the creation of the independent Ukrainian state in 1991, the council transferred its mandate to the Ukrainian government in 1992. The council's vice-presidents have included Oleksander Udovychenko (1954–61), Ivan Bahriany (1961–3), Mykola Stepanenko (1967–84), Yurii Blokhyn (1984–8), Jaroslav Rudnyckyj (1988–9), and Plaviuk.

Wolodymyr Zyla

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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