Ukrainophilism (ukrainofilstvo). A cultural and political current sympathetic to Ukrainians. In its widest application the term can refer to any manifestation of sympathy for Ukrainians; it has been applied, for example, to 19th-century Polish and Russian writers who chose to work on Ukrainian themes. More narrowly, the word refers to the Ukrainian national movement in the Russian Empire from the 1860s to the 1880s, because Ukrainian activists in that period often referred to themselves and were referred to by others as Ukrainophiles (ukrainofily or ukrainoliubtsi). In the 1890s and 1900s the word acquired a negative connotation, when nationalist thinkers, such as Borys Hrinchenko and Mykola Mikhnovsky, began to use the word Ukrainophiles to describe Ukrainians whose national consciousness had not developed beyond ethnographic appreciation. That refinement of the term, in part, reflected a generational difference between the revolutionary youth and their more moderate elders, the self-described Ukrainophiles. It also, however, reflected a more uncompromising national consciousness: the Ukrainophiles' critics presented themselves as consciously and exclusively Ukrainian and accused the Ukrainophiles of having a double national allegiance, Russian and Ukrainian; the very word Ukrainophile implied a sympathy with the Ukrainian nation perceived as other (ie, as not one's own). In English-language scholarly literature, and to some extent in Ukrainian political literature of the 1860s and 1870s, the term Ukrainophilism has also been used as a synonym for Western Ukrainian Populism (narodovstvo), to distinguish those who specifically allied themselves with the Ukrainian movement in the Russian Empire from the Russophiles (and Rusynophiles) of Galicia, Transcarpathia, and Bukovyna.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine