Union of the Archangel Michael

Union of the Archangel Michael (Russian: Союз Михаила Архангела; Soiuz Mikhaila Arkhangela; aka the Russian People's Union of the Archangel Michael). A reactionary, anti-Semitic, Russian chauvinist organization founded in March 1908 by a group that broke away from the Union of the Russian People. It was led by a Bessarabian landowner, V. Purishkevich, and received financial support from official tsarist circles. Like the Union of the Russian People the union defended tsarist autocracy, the Russian Orthodox church, Russification, and a centralized Russian Empire. It terrorized and assassinated liberals, revolutionaries, Jews, Ukrainians, Poles, and other non-Russians considered enemies of the regime. It did not, however, boycott the Third Russian State Duma (although it demanded nonsuffrage for Jews and limits on the number of non-Russian representatives), and it supported the Stolypin agrarian reforms. In Ukraine the union had particularly strong branches in Odesa and Kyiv. It was banned soon after the February Revolution of 1917. (See also Black Hundreds.)

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

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