Ukrainian Workers’ and Peasants’ Union
Ukrainian Workers’ and Peasants’ Union (Український робітничо-селянський союз; Ukrainskyi robitnycho-selianskyi soiuz). A small clandestine group formed in Lviv in late 1959 to struggle by legal means for democracy and Ukraine’s independence. It consisted of Levko Lukianenko and Ivan Kandyba, as well as S. Virun, O. Libovych, V. Lutskiv, I. Borovnytsky, and I. Kipysh. Its draft program, prepared by Lukianenko, advocated Ukraine’s secession from the USSR on the basis of a referendum. Before the draft could be revised and adopted, the group was betrayed by M. Vashchuk, and its members were arrested and charged with plotting the violent overthrow of the Soviet government. On 20 May 1961 Lukianenko was sentenced to death (later commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment), Kandyba to 15 years’, and the others to 10 years’ imprisonment.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]