Western Ukraine

Western Ukraine (Західня Україна; Zakhidnia Ukraina). The designated name of the territories of the renewed Ukrainian state created in what had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, defined by the Ukrainian National Rada (UNRada) in a resolution of 19 October 1918 in Lviv. Western Ukraine encompassed ‘Eastern Galicia bordered by the Sian River, but including the Lemko region; northern Bukovyna, including the towns of Chernivtsi, Storozhynets, and Seret; and the Ukrainian region of northeastern Hungary’ (Article 1, Resolutions of the UNRada). That entity became the Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR) by the constitution of 13 November 1918.

The term ‘Western Ukraine’ was also used popularly to designate the Western Ukrainian National Republic or to describe all the Ukrainian territories occupied by Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania in the interwar period. After 1939 ‘Western Ukraine’ referred to the Ukrainian territories which in that year became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, as distinct from central and eastern Ukraine, which were a part of the Ukrainian SSR in 1920-39. In Soviet terminology ‘Western Ukraine’ designated the historical or geographic regions of Ukraine that became Lviv oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, Ternopil oblast, Volhynia oblast, and Rivne oblast.

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

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