Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia (Югославія). A country in southeastern Europe (1989 pop 23,710,000), with an area of 255,800 sq km. Established in 1911, from 1945 to 1992 Yugoslavia was a federation of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Hercegovina (capital, Sarajevo), Macedonia (Skopje), Slovenia (Ljubljana), Croatia (Zagreb), Montenegro (Titograd), and Serbia (Belgrade), which includes the autonomous territories of Vojvodina (capital, Novi Sad) and Kosovo (Priština). Its population was multinational and incorporates the major southern Slavic peoples. In 1981 it was home to 8.2 million Serbs, 4.5 million Croats, 2.0 million Bosnian Muslims, 1.8 million Slovenians, 1.8 million Albanians, 1.4 million Macedonians, 600,000 Montenegrins, and smaller minorities of Hungarians, Gypsies, Turks, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Romanians, and others. There were about 50,000 Ukrainians living in Yugoslavia, most of them in the Bačka region of Serbia, the eastern reaches of Croatia, and northern Bosnia. Their (noncontiguous) settlements lie along an axis running roughly from Banja Luka to Novi Sad. As a result of a constitutional crisis of 1991, the proclamation of independence by Slovenia and Croatia, and the subsequent Yugoslav Wars fought between 1991 and 2001, Yugoslavia broke up into seven independent countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Serbia, which includes the autonomous territory of Vojvodina.

Yugoslavian-Ukrainian relations. Relations between southern Slavs (particularly Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes) and Ukrainians have existed since the days of Kyivan Rus’ and the first Southern Slavic states. Contacts were maintained through the activities of such figures as Andrii of Sianik, D. Kantakuzin, S. Nemanjić, V. Nykolsky of Transcarpathia, P. Serb Logotet, I. Serbyn, L. Serbyn, and Yelysei of Kamianets-Podilskyi. Many Southern Slavs were later found in the ranks of the Ukrainian Cossacks, and in the late 18th century a substantial colony of Serbs settled in Southern Ukraine (see New Serbia). The national revival of the Southern Slavic peoples in the 17th to 19th centuries was greatly influenced by the Kyivan Cave Monastery (and its publishing house, the Kyivan Cave Monastery Press) and the Kyivan Mohyla Academy. Among the influential activists of the academy were Lazar Baranovych (bishop of Chernihiv) and his Serbian translator, G.S. Venclović, and Mykhail Kozachynsky who was a teacher and prefect in Karlovac, Croatia. Serbian graduates of the academy included Metropolitan V. Jovanović, Bishop S. Končarević, D. Novaković, J. Rajić, A. Stojkov Tarbuk, and G. Zelić. In the 19th century the works of Vuk Karadžić and Taras Shevchenko proved influential in the relations between Ukrainians and Serbs. Ukrainian activists, including Volodymyr Antonovych, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Yurii Fedkovych, Ivan Franko, Volodymyr Hnatiuk, Filaret Kolessa, Lesia Ukrainka, Mykola Lysenko, Mykhailo Maksymovych, Oleksander Navrotsky, Mykhailo Starytsky, and the Ruthenian Triad, also contributed to such relations through their written works or activities. Those who have either translated Ukrainian works or examined them in scholarly treatments include D. Ilić, S. Novaković, and Srđan Rašković (Serbians); Vatroslav Jagić, August Harambašić, and A. Šenoa (Croatians); and J. Abram (a Slovene).

Serbian-Ukrainian relations increased during and immediately after the First World War. In August 1916 two Serbian volunteer divisions were formed in Odesa from groups of prisoners of war. After seeing action in Dobrudja, they were transferred to Salonika and became part of the Serbian army. From June 1917 to March 1918, the Yugoslavian Revolutionary Union was active in Ukraine among the approximately 20,000 prisoners of war from Yugoslavia interned by the Russians. Headed by M. Čanak, most of the union’s members sided with the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution of 1917, and many of them joined the Red Guards and fought against the Central Rada. In June–July 1919 a Yugoslavian Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies was based in Kyiv.

As the Soviet state emerged surrounded by a cordon sanitaire of countries hostile to it, enmity between Eastern and Southern Slavs grew significantly. The foreign and domestic policies of the Southern Slavic kingdoms were anti-Soviet and anticommunist, and Yugoslavia became a haven for émigrés from the former Russian Empire. Many of these émigrés were Ukrainians who had been military and civilian supporters of the White Russian Volunteer Army, although some had been activists of the Ukrainian National Republic and Western Ukrainian National Republic governments, or supporters of the Hetman government. Because of the greater influence exercised by the émigré Russian nationals on the Yugoslavian government and the king, most Ukrainians quickly moved on to Western Europe and the Americas. Those who remained usually assimilated with the Russian émigré community or were dispersed among the Ukrainian settlements in Vojvodina, Bosnia, and Croatia.

Some efforts at establishing government contacts between Ukraine and Yugoslavia were made in 1919. The government of the Western Ukrainian National Republic had a diplomatic mission in Belgrade that actively worked for the normalization of relations, but it had no success in gaining diplomatic recognition.

A Ukrainian military-medical mission established in Belgrade in the spring of 1919 (headed by V. Verbenets, assisted by P. Franko and V. Hankivsky) likewise was not officially recognized, although its activities were tolerated. The mission was eventually turned over to Dmytro Doroshenko and renamed the Ukrainian Red Cross in the Balkans. Its most important undertaking was arranging for the transport of Ukrainian prisoners of war and providing assistance to refugees. It remained active until October 1919, when it was moved to Bucharest.

In the interwar era the Serbian Orthodox church oversaw the Ukrainian Orthodox church congregations in Transcarpathia (to 1945) and established the Orthodox Mukachevo-Prešov diocese. Yugoslavian cultural and academic circles maintained relations with their Ukrainian counterparts, particularly the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh) in Lviv. Serbs who were accepted as full members of the NTSh included A. Belić, S. Bošković, J. Erdeljanović, J. Cvijić, D. Gorjanović-Kramberger, F. Ilešič, T. Maretić, S. Novaković, M. Petrović, B. Popović, and Đ. Šurmin. After the crisis over Carpatho-Ukraine in 1938–9 many refugees from Carpatho-Ukraine went (via Romania) to Yugoslavia, where they received assistance and shelter from the local government and Ukrainian community.

Postwar ties between Yugoslavia and Ukraine depended on relations with the USSR as a whole. The first treaty of friendship, mutual assistance, and postwar co-operation between the two states was signed on 11 April 1945. Until the break between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia in 1948, relations were lively but were conducted mainly through the central governments. This pattern was resumed after a normalization of relations that resulted from a declaration signed on 2 April 1955.

There were general cultural and economic relations between the Ukrainian SSR and the constituent Yugoslavian republics, particularly Croatia. Delegations from the Ukrainian SSR represented the Soviet Union at international trade fairs in Zagreb in 1961, 1974, and 1980. A treaty on economic, academic, and cultural co-operation was signed by Croatia and Ukraine. In 1979, days of Ukrainian culture were held in Croatia, and in the following year Croatian culture was celebrated in Ukraine.

Since 1945 the works of Ivan Franko, Oles Honchar, Lina Kostenko, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Lesia Ukrainka, Dmytro Pavlychko, Taras Shevchenko, Vasyl Stefanyk, Mykhailo Stelmakh, Marko Vovchok, and Yurii Yanovsky have been translated into the various languages of Yugoslavia; the works of Serbian (I. Andrič, B. Čopić, R. Domanović, D. Maksimović, P. Njegoš, B. Nušić, and S. Sremac), Croatian (M. Krleža, V. Novak, A. Šenoa), Slovene (I. Cankar, F. Prešeren, O. Župančić), and Macedonian (S. Janevski and others) writers have been translated into Ukrainian.

A. Menac (of Zagreb) and Alla Koval (of Kyiv) jointly published the Ukraïns'ko-khorvats'kyi abo serbs'kyi slovnyk (Ukrainian-Croatian or Serbian Dictionary, 1979). A seven-volume history of world literature published in Zagreb (1977) contained a comprehensive survey of Ukrainian literature from its origins to the present day, written by Stojan Subotin.

P. Mitropan, a Yugoslavian literary scholar of Ukrainian origin, produced editions of Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar (1969, 1980). A collection of works by Lesia Ukrainka, Lomykamen (Stone Breaker, 1971), was published in Požarevac. In 1980 the Institute of Literature and Art in Belgrade, the Serbian Matica association, and the Serbian People’s Theater in Novi Sad jointly published V. Erčić’s monograph Manuil (Mihail) Kozačinskij i njegova tragedokomedija (Mykhail Kozachynsky and His Tragicomedy, 1980). A selection of poetry by Vasyl Holoborodko, translated by Srđan Rašković, was included in the two-volume anthology of contemporary world poetry published in Belgrade in 1983.

Leading contributors to the popularizing of Ukrainian literature in Yugoslavia have been J. Badalić, R. Bordon, D. Davidov, F. Dobrovoljc, A. Flaker, S. Gašparević, D. Grujić, J. Hrvaćanin, B. Kreft, D. Maksimović (recipient of the Ivan Franko Prize of the Ukrainian SSR in 1982), D. Medaković, A. Menac, P. Mitropan, J. Moder, V. Nedić, M. Nikolić, R. Pajković, M. Pavić, Srđan Rašković, Stojan Subotin, and F. Vurnik.

Those who have popularized Yugoslavian literature in Ukraine include Yarema Aizenshtok, Oleksander Biletsky, Ivan Bilodid, Y. Chykyrysov, Mykhailo Drai-Khmara, Z. Honcharuk, A. Horetsky, V. Hrymych, M. Huts, V. Lirnychenko, Roman Lubkivsky, Mykola Lukash, A. Lysenko, Andrii Malyshko, N. Neporozhnia, Dmytro Palamarchuk, S. Panko, Ye. Pashchenko, Leonid Pervomaisky, Valeriian Polishchuk, Maksym Rylsky, Dmytro Pavlychko, S. Sakydon, Fedir Shevchenko, Maik Yohansen, I. Yushchuk, and O. Zholdak.

Yugoslavia and Ukraine also established exchanges of performing groups as well as of individual artists. The Slovene National Opera Theater of Ljubljana, the Chamber Ensemble, the Kolo dance ensemble, and M. Čangalović, O. Marković, M. Radev, and others have performed in concert tours in Ukraine. The actors of the Kyiv Theater of Opera and Ballet, as well as various choirs and dance groups, have staged productions in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavian Drama Theater of Belgrade (1956, 1965), the Serbian National Theater of Novi Sad (1966), the Atelier 212 Experimental Theater of Belgrade (1968), and the Montenegrin National Theater of Titograd (1973) have all staged productions in Ukraine. The Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater company took part in an international theater festival held in Belgrade in 1982, where it put on Ivan Franko’s Ukradene shchastia (Stolen Happiness) as translated by Srđan Rašković. In 1980, an exhibition of Croatian sculpture was held in Kyiv.

Ukrainians in Yugoslavia. About 40,000 Ukrainians settled in Yugoslavia, after arriving as groups of farmers, in the Bačka region (Ruski Krstur, 1746; Koćura, 1765; Novi Sad, 1780; Stari Vrbas, 1848; Ðurđevo, 1870; Gospođinci, 1870; Orahovo, Kula, Novi Vrbas, Bođani, after 1945) and the Srem region (Šid, 1800; Petrovce, 1836; Bačinci, 1850; Mikloševci, 1858; Berkasovo, 1880; Sremska Mitrovica, 1886; Rajevo Selo, 1889; Piškorevci, 1900; Andrijaševci, 1900; Inđija, 1946). Other settlements were established in Slavonia (Magič-Mala and Sibinj, 1900; Lipovljani and Kaniža, after 1900) and southwestern Bosnia (Kozarac near Prijedor, 1890; Devetina, 1898; Prnjavor, Derventa, Kamenica, Lipnica, Hrvaćani, Stara Dubrava, Lišnja, Cerovljani near Bosanjska Gradiška, Banja Luka, 1910).

All of these settlements were established by the faithful of the Greek Catholic church, but they differed in ethnic background and dialect and consisted of two main groups. Some are the Bačka-Srem Rusyns (Ruthenians; around 30,000) who settled in the Bačka region from 1745, upon arriving from the Zemplén komitat, Borsod komitat, Abaúj-Torna komitat and Sáros komitat. In the early 20th century they elevated their transitional mixed Ukrainian-Slovak dialect to the status of a literary language (see Bačka dialect), which is now used in schools, the press, radio programs, church services, and sermons. The others are Bosnian-Slavonian and Bačka Ukrainians (about 15,000) who arrived from 1898 to the 1900s from eastern Galicia and the Lemko region. Most of them speak Ukrainian. The political and economic conditions of the Second World War caused many of the latter group to migrate to Slavonia (Vukovar, Mikluševci, and Petrovci), Srem (Sremska Mitrovica), and Bačka (Bođani, Kula, Novi Vrbas, Savino Selo, and Zmajevo).

The first settlers of the Bačka region in the 18th century were free peasants who settled on state-owned land, paid tithes (see Tithe), and performed corvée labor. Their numbers were increased by new immigrants who arrived after the abolition of serfdom in the Austrian Empire in 1848 and helped to create new settlements in the Bačka and Srem regions. The original Bačka settlers were sheltered from Hungarianization or Serbianization through a government-supported network of church parishes and schools, and maintained enough dynamism to assimilate the later arrivals as far as language is concerned.

Until the First World War Ukrainian community life was centered around the church. Priests and, later, teachers were the only members of the intelligentsia. Initially the Bačka parishes were under the authority of the Hungarian Roman Catholic diocese of Kalocsa, but in 1778 they were joined to the newly established Croatian Uniate Križevci eparchy (which already ran a theological seminary in Zagreb). Its bishops included Ukrainians from Transcarpathia (H. Palkovych and Yu. Drohobetsky) and Bačka (Havryil Bukatko, Ya. Herbut, A. Horniak-Kukhar, S. Miklovsh, and Dionisii Niaradi), who looked after the development of Ukrainian cultural life as well as the conduct of religious services. In 1919 the Ruthenian People’s Enlightenment Society was established (under the auspices of the clergy) in Novi Sad and headed by Rev M. Mudry. It sponsored theatrical and choral groups, reading rooms, and education courses and grew to include branches in numerous villages. The founder of its printing press in Ruski Krstur was Bishop Dionisii Nariadi. In 1921–41 Rev Yu. Bindas edited the annual Ruski kalendar. Other publications included the weekly Ruski novini (1924–41), the children’s monthly Nasha zahradka (1937–41), almanacs, individual literary works, textbooks for primary school, and religious publications. All such activity was proscribed by the occupying Hungarian authorities in 1941–44, and existing publications were destroyed. A group of the secular intelligentsia, supported by Transcarpathian and Serbian Russophiles, established the Cultural-National Alliance of Ruthenians (Rusyns) in Yugoslavia in 1933 in Vrbas. In 1934–41 they published their weekly, Russkaia zaria, edited by E. Kočiš, and in 1935–40 an annual, Russki narodni kalendar Zaria, edited by N. Olear. These were printed in the local Bačka dialect and in Russian. In 1945 members of this group worked to remove the Ukrainophile clerical intelligentsia.

Ukrainian settlers in northern Bosnia came mostly from Galicia (and, infrequently, from Transcarpathia) in the late 19th or early 20th century and set up on poor land that often had to be cleared of forests. Thus, it was not until the 1930s that their work resulted in any significant economic improvement. Community activities centered on the establishing of churches, reading rooms, credit unions, and co-operatives. Courses in Ukrainian were also taught, initially by the clergy but later also by Ukrainian postsecondary students returning from Zagreb. The first Ukrainian clergyman to serve among the people in this region was A. Segedi (1897–1909). Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky came to the area in 1902 and 1913. In 1907 Yosyf Zhuk was made general vicar for the Ukrainian settlements under the auspices of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Sarajevo. In 1910 a Studite monastery was established in Kamenica, to which many priests from Galicia came, but it was closed down in 1922. Kamenica was also the site of the apostolic administrative offices (headed by Rev O. Baziuk, 1914–24), a state of affairs which set the stage for the joining of these parishes with the Križevci eparchy.

The Ukrainian community in urban centers, such as Zagreb, Sarajevo, and Banja Luka, consisted largely of former officials of the Austrian administration and, later, of UNR and ZUNR government officials, in exile or as diplomatic representatives. The government of the Western Ukrainian National Republic had a mission in Zagreb in 1919 headed by Denys Lukiianovych. In 1922 the Prosvita society established headquarters in Zagreb (headed successively by A. Kravets and V. Voitanivsky), with branches in Ukrainian settlements in Bosnia, Slavonia, and Srem and also in Belgrade. The community in Zagreb was involved mainly with establishing relations with Croats and disseminating political and cultural information about Ukrainians. This included Spomenitsa (Memorial Book, 1922), a commemorative volume published on the 60th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s death, and articles in the Croatian press (Hrvatska smotra, Hrvatska straža, Hrvatska revija, Hrvatski dnevnik, Hrvatski narod, Novi vijek, and Obzor). In 1932 a group of students from Prague established a student hromada affiliated with the Prosvita in Zagreb. Proboiem, a student nationalist organization founded in 1937, assembled a choir conducted by M. Vintoniv. It embarked on a tour of many Ukrainian settlements and did much to raise local Ukrainian national consciousness.

New Ukrainian publications began appearing in Yugoslavia from the 1930s. Ridne slovo (Yugoslavia) was published in 1933–41 under the editorship of Mykhailo Firak, and in 1937–41 O. Biliak edited a Ukrainian almanac. Dumka (Yugoslavia) (est 1936), the official organ of the local Ukrainian nationalist movement, was initially a bimonthly and then a biweekly in 1942–4. It appeared in Zagreb and Ruski Krstur in standard Ukrainian and in the Bačka dialect; the editors were S. Salamon and M. Buchko. From 1941 it served also as the official organ of the Ukrainian Representation in Croatia, headed by V. Voitanivsky, and was associated with the OUN (Melnyk faction). During the Second World War a Ukrainian Legion (with approximately 1,500 men) was organized by the Ukrainian Representation to fight on the Eastern front under the Croatian Home Army. The Germans, however, decided to use it for action in Croatia. The legion was partially wiped out in the process, and then fell apart. Its soldiers and their families were later subject to reprisals. After the war the Tito administration and Soviet security forces used the legion as a pretext to attack the Ukrainian intelligentsia and clergy; as a result Ukrainian community groups in Zagreb and Belgrade were disbanded. As well, a large number of Ukrainians migrated within Yugoslavia from Bosnia to the Srem or Bačka regions or emigrated to Poland or (illegally) to Australia and South America. In the 1950s, Ukrainian cultural and educational institutions in Bosnia began to revive under the auspices of official Ukrainian educational councils in Prnjavor and Banja Luka. In 1966 they managed to establish a Ukrainian radio program in Banja Luka and initiated Ukrainian language courses in schools in Prnjavor and Lišnja. All the same, the center of Ukrainian cultural life had shifted markedly to the Bačka region.

About 1,500 Bačka-Srem Ukrainians had taken part in the Titoist resistance. In the postwar period, therefore, the Yugoslavian authorities supported the Bačkans’ cultural activities within certain limits. The Bačka dialect was introduced in nine elementary schools, at the gymnasium in Ruski Krstur, and in local churches. In 1949 a radio station in Novi Sad began broadcasting a program in the Bačka dialect, and from that time Bačka television programming was introduced. A lectureship in the Bačka-Rusyn (Ruthenian) language was established at the university in Novi Sad. The church, however, faced strong repression, and clergymen were removed from their traditional position as community leaders. Anti-Ukrainophile sentiments were expressed openly (albeit only occasionally) in official reports or the press.

New publications, such as the weekly Ruske slovo (since 1945), the children’s monthly Pionerska zahradka, the literary quarterly Shvetlosts, and Nova dumka, were established to continue the activities of earlier newspapers or journals (albeit in a manner that followed a new official line).

Havryil Kostelnyk initiated Bačka literature with his poem-idyll Z moioho valala (From My Village, 1904) and his subsequent emotional and philosophical verse. He also wrote works on religion and ethnography, in addition to publishing (with D. Bindas) a collection of Bačka folk songs (1927). Other Bačka works published in the interwar years include Ya. Feisa’s collection of poetry, Pupche (The Bud, 1929), and Rus'ko-ukraïns'kyi al'manakh (Ruthenian-Ukrainian Almanac, 1936), an anthology of prose. A number of Ukrainian and Russian plays were also translated into the dialect. P. Riznych (also a translator) and Yurii Sherehii staged many such productions in 1939–41, as well as many of their own plays (mostly melodramas). After 1945 literature and theater became dominated by the motifs of socialist realism and memoirs of the Second World War. Typical works were Orache (The Tillers, 1954) and Na shvytaniu (At Dawn, 1952) by Mykhailo Kovach, Vona n'evynovata (She Is Not to Blame, 1954) by E. Kočiš, and Ohen' v notsy (Fire in the Night) by J. Sabadoš. A number of collections of poetry have been published, including Antologyia poezyï bachvansko-srymskykh ruskykh pysatel'okh (Anthology of Poetry of Bačka-Srem Rusyn/Ruthenian Writers, 1963) and Antologyia dzetsyn'skei poezyï (Anthology of Children’s Poetry, 1964). Odhuk z rovnïny, zbornïk prypovedkokh, 1941–61 (A Call from Level Ground: A Collection of Proverbs, 1941–61, 1961) is an anthology of prose works.

The linguistic norms of Bačka Ukrainians are set out in Hramatyka bachvansko-ruskei besedy (Grammar of the Bačka Ruthenian Language, 1923) by Havryil Kostelnyk and in Gramatyka (Grammar, 1965) by M. Kočiš.

The leading compiler of Bačka Ukrainian folklore was Volodymyr Hnatiuk, who published a study of Ruthenian settlements in the Bačka region in Zapysky Naukovoho tovarystva im. Shevchenka (1898) and an ethnographic study of Hungarian Ruthenia in Etnohrafichnyi zbirnyk (vol 9, 1900; vol 25, 1909; vol 30, 1911). O. Tymko published a collection of folk songs with transcriptions of melodies, Nasha pisnia (Our Song, 3 vols, 1953–4), and an anthology of children’s songs, Maly solovei (The Little Nightingale, 1953). V. Zhganets published a collection of choral arrangements, Pysnï iugoslavianskykh rusynokh (Songs of Yugoslavian Rusyns [Ruthenians], 1946).

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Oleksa Horbach, Srđan Rašković

[This article was updated in 2005.]




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