Diplomacy. External political activity of a state government, conducted by special agencies of state administration for external relations: the ministry of foreign affairs and the diplomatic missions. In its narrower meaning diplomacy comprises the organization and personnel of a state’s external-affairs service. The right to send and receive diplomatic representatives (the so-called active and passive right of legation) is possessed only by sovereign states. States that have limited external rights—vassal states, states under a protectorate, or state that are members of federative unions—partake of this right only in a limited way. According to international law, only recognized (de jure) states have the right to send and receive official representatives of the rank of ambassador, envoy, resident minister, or chargé d’affaires. States that are not recognized exchange semiofficial representatives, who are usually called chiefs of the diplomatic mission, diplomatic agents, or commissioners. Diplomatic representatives enjoy immunity from the jurisdiction of the receiving state and special privileges, which can also be granted as a courtesy by the host government to semiofficial representatives. The political standing of a semiofficial representative depends on the status of his/her country (the degree of political stability, the state’s prospects for maintaining its independence), the interest or lack of interest of the host government in maintaining friendly relations with the state, the personality of the representative, and other factors.
In Kyivan Rus’ there was no separate foreign service or diplomatic personnel; external relations were the exclusive jurisdiction of the prince, who relied on merchants and clergy for contacts with foreign rulers. For matters of greater importance special missions (sometimes headed by the prince himself) visited the courts of foreign rulers; delegations from foreign leaders were in turn received in Kyiv or in the capital of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Princely relatives also had an important role to play in external affairs. International agreements and alliances were often consolidated by dynastic ties (eg, the Rus’ princes Volodymyr the Great, Yaroslav the Wise, Volodymyr Monomakh, Danylo Romanovych, and others were related by marriage to the royal houses of Europe and Byzantium).
Chronicle accounts (see Chronicles) of the time give the names of several people who were charged with commissions for external matters by the princes. Under Volodymyr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise such duties were entrusted to the boyar Dobrynia and his son Kostiantyn Putiata, the voivode Vyshata, the boyar Ivan Tvorylovych, and others. Among the most prominent of the various foreign envoys at the Kyivan court were: Bishop Adalbert (961–2); Reinbern; Bruno of Querfurt (1007); the envoys of the French king Henry I, Gautier of Meaux and Roger of Châlons-sur-Marne (1049); the papal legate Giovanni da Pian del Carpini (1245 and 1247); and the envoy of the French king Louis IX, Willem van Ruysbroeck (1253). Particularly close relations were maintained with the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Holy Roman Empire, Poland and Mazovia, France, Sweden, and the Vatican. Envoys in medieval times, including those in Ukraine, enjoyed considerable privileges. They and their entourage were entitled to special honors; a complex ritual of receiving envoys existed, and their persons and property were considered inviolable.
The Zaporozhian Sich became a factor in international relations in Eastern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. It received delegations from foreign governments, mainly those interested in including the Zaporozhian Host in anti-Turkish coalitions.
Wider diplomatic activity was conducted by the Hetman state under Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Although external relations were conducted in the name of the hetman and Khmelnytsky himself took an active role in the formation of foreign policy, the direct administration of external affairs was the responsibility of the general chancellor. Foreign delegations often stayed in Chyhyryn, Khmelnytsky’s capital, and Ukrainian delegations traveled to foreign capitals. Among the more prominent of those who served as Khmelnytsky’s envoys were his son Tymish Khmelnytsky; the colonels Ivan Bohun, Pavlo Teteria, Hryhorii Lisnytsky, Antin Zhdanovych, Danylo Bratkovsky, and Filon Dzhalalii; and the Kyivan voivode Adam Kysil. Prominent Cossacks who later took part in diplomatic activity were Yurii Nemyrych, Ivan Mazepa (as general chancellor under Hetman Petro Doroshenko), I. Kovalevsky, Pylyp Orlyk, Andrii Voinarovsky, and I. Martynovych. All were members of either the gentry (shliahkta) or the Cossack starshyna.
A number of foreign envoys who spent time in Ukraine, among them Erich Lassota von Steblau, Gottard Welling, and J. Baluse, left interesting descriptions of manners, customs, and the life and surroundings of Ukrainian hetmans.
The reborn Ukrainian state of 1917–20 was faced with creating a new network of diplomatic representations. Several stages can be delineated in the history of this process. The first republican government, that of the Central Rada, established relations with the Allied Powers, receiving, in December 1917, representatives from Great Britain, France, and Romania; the first was titled ‘representative of Great Britain,’ the second was called ‘commissioner of the French Republic.’ The government of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) sent its own delegation to the peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk; in accordance with the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the UNR established diplomatic relations with the Central Powers, exchanged representatives with Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey, and sent a representative to Romania. As a result Great Britain and France broke off relations with the UNR government.
The Hetman government expanded diplomatic relations, sending Ukrainian representatives to 10 states and receiving 11 foreign representatives in Kyiv. The envoys who had been sent to Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey by the Central Rada were replaced, and diplomatic representations were established in Bulgaria, the Don Republic (see Don region), and Poland (the latter position was not filled). The Hetman government sent diplomatic missions to Finland, Switzerland, Romania, the Kuban, and Sweden (for the Scandinavian countries). A separate delegation was formed to conduct peace negotiations with the Russian Soviet Republic, which took place in Kyiv from May to October 1918. The Soviet delegation was led by Khristian Rakovsky and Dmytro Manuilsky, who at the same time performed the functions of acting Soviet diplomatic representatives to the Ukrainian State.
Towards the end of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky’s rule two diplomatic missions were formed with the intention of sending them to the Allied Powers: M. Mohyliansky headed a delegation to France, and Ivan Korostovets headed a delegation to Great Britain and the United States; however, the hetman fell before these delegations reached their destinations.
Under the Hetman government the following states had diplomatic representations in Kyiv: Germany and Austria-Hungary (headed by ambassadors); Bulgaria, Turkey, Poland, the Don Republic (headed by envoys, special legates, and plenipotentiary ministers); Azerbaidzhan (headed by a commissioner of the Azerbaidzhan Republic), Georgia, Finland, the Kuban, and Romania.
The second republican government, the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic, soon abandoned the capital city and was forced by military events to change frequently its seat of government; hence, it was not able to receive foreign diplomats. It did, however, send a delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, which was, at the same time, a semiofficial diplomatic representation of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) to France. The government also sent diplomatic missions to Great Britain, the United States, Italy, Greece, Belgium and Holland, Denmark, and the Vatican, and legations to Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Georgia (having responsibility for Azerbaidzhan, the Kuban, northern Caucasia), Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. A UNR diplomatic delegation was stationed in Warsaw with the aim of conducting negotiations and concluding a treaty. The legations and missions that had been created by the Hetman government continued to function, but in most of them personnel changes were made by the Directory. After Argentina recognized the UNR government in 1921, the UNR sent a representative to head a diplomatic mission there, but he was never able to perform his duties. During the period of the Directory, Ukraine had a total of 11 diplomatic legations (in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, and Georgia); these Ukrainian envoys were listed as members of the diplomatic corps and enjoyed all diplomatic privileges established by international law. In other countries the status of Ukrainian envoys was only semiofficial, or they were merely tolerated. The basic aim of the diplomatic missions and special delegations of the UNR was to obtain official recognition for Ukraine and procure assistance for it in its war against Poland and Russia. They also provided information and publications about Ukraine (see Press and information bureaus abroad) and carried out consular functions. In countries where Ukrainian prisoners of war were interned, the envoys organized their repatriation: special military-medical missions to deal with military prisoners of war existed as part of the diplomatic missions in Berlin, Vienna, and Rome. The short history of diplomacy of the UNR also included irregular conferences of envoys and heads of missions, the most important of which took place in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia, in 1919 and in Vienna in 1920.
The Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR) maintained its own external relations, even after its union with the Ukrainian National Republic. Diplomatic representations of the ZUNR government existed in Austria (recognized as a legation), Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Yugoslavia. Special missions were sent to countries where there were large numbers of immigrants from Galicia—Canada, the United States, and Brazil—but these were not recognized as official diplomatic representations. In June 1919 the ZUNR government sent a special delegation to the Paris Peace Conference to represent the interests of Western Ukraine. Parallel Ukrainian missions and delegations co-operated among themselves, although at times there was competition and misunderstanding.
After Ukraine lost its independence some foreign governments broke off relations with Ukrainian diplomatic representatives and recognized the government of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, to which they handed over the buildings that had housed the Ukrainian missions, as well as other government property. In other countries the Ukrainian missions had to close down because the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic lacked the financial means to maintain them.
Although the Ukrainian SSR government had until 1923 full international status (see International legal status of Ukraine) and concluded many international agreements, it had permanent diplomatic representations only in Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin, and Prague. Their purpose was to counter the activity of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic and to organize the repatriation of émigrés. Efforts to establish legations in the Baltic states were not successful. The official representative of the Ukrainian SSR government in Moscow was not an exclusively diplomatic agent; he was also a special official of the USSR government. Poland maintained an accredited representative in Kharkiv. Some diplomatic functions (trade, matters of repatriation) were performed in the Ukrainian SSR by temporary missions and by the consulates of Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and the Baltic states. In 1944 Ukraine’s right to exchange legations was restored but was not used: in 1947 and 1950 Moscow rejected a British proposal for diplomatic exchange between London and Kyiv. The Ukrainian SSR had a permanent representation only at the United Nations in New York and Geneva and at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.
With rare exception (Ivan Korostovets) there were no Ukrainians among the higher-ranking Russian or Austrian imperial diplomats prior to the First World War; hence, the development of Ukrainian diplomacy in the years 1918–20 was a very difficult task. The policy of the Hetman government—to attract to responsible positions people who were competent but not necessarily nationally conscious—was applied very cautiously in the field of diplomacy. Nevertheless, many envoys did not justify the trust placed in them by the government (Mikhail Sukovkin in Istanbul, Baron Teodor Shteingel in Berlin). There were few people among the nationally conscious Ukrainians who were sufficiently familiar with international problems, or experienced in diplomatic and informational activity abroad. Ukrainians lacked an influential émigré community and international contacts. The disproportion in resources between Ukrainian diplomacy and Russian or Polish diplomacy, as well as the unfavorable international situation at the time, ruled out for Ukraine any lasting successes in the diplomatic field. Furthermore, the Ukrainian diplomatic corps was too large in relation to the available human and financial resources, or to the needs of the state. In general, the principal achievement of modern Ukrainian diplomacy was to popularize the Ukrainian national cause throughout the world. (See also Consular service.)
Heads of Ukrainian legations and missions 1918–23 (envoys, plenipotentiary ministers, chargés d’affaires, and unofficial representatives), representing the Central Rada (CR), Hetman government (H), Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic (D), Western Ukrainian National Republic (ZUNR), and the Ukrainian SSR (Ukr SSR).
Argentina: Mykola Shumytsky (D; was not active)
Austria: Andrii Yakovliv (CR), Viacheslav Lypynsky (H), Hryhorii Sydorenko (D), Mykola Vasylko (ZUNR), Volodymyr Singalevych (ZUNR), Yurii Kotsiubynsky (Ukr SSR), H. Besidovsky (Ukr SSR)
Belarus: Borys Rzhepetsky (D)
Belgium and Holland (resident in Brussels): Andrii Yakovliv (D)
Brazil: Petro Karmansky (ZUNR)
Bulgaria: Oleksander Shulhyn (H, D), F. Shulha (D)
Canada: Osyp Nazaruk (ZUNR)
Czechoslovakia: Maksym Slavinsky (D), Stepan Smal-Stotsky (ZUNR), Yevhen Levytsky (ZUNR), Mykhailo V. Levytsky (Ukr SSR)
Denmark: Dmytro Levytsky (D)
Don Republic: K. Seredyn (H), Maksym Slavinsky (H)
Estonia: Yevhen Holitsynsky (D)
Finland: Kost Losky (H), Mykola Zalizniak (D)
Georgia, Azerbaidzhan, Armenia, Northern Caucasia, Kuban (resident in Tbilisi): Ivan Kraskovsky (D)
Germany: Oleksander Sevriuk (CR), Teodor Shteingel (H), Mykola Porsh (D), Roman Smal-Stotsky (ZUNR, D), Volodymyr Aussem (Ukr SSR)
Great Britain: Mykola Stakhovsky (D), Arnold Margolin (D), Yaroslav Olesnytsky (D)
Greece: Fedir Matushevsky (D), Modest Levytsky (D)
Holy See: Mykhailo Tyshkevych (D), Franz Xavier Bonne (D), Petro Karmansky (ZUNR)
Hungary: Mykola Halahan (D), Ya. Biberovych (ZUNR)
Italy: Dmytro Antonovych (D), Vasyl Mazurenko (D), Oleksander Kolessa (ZUNR), V. Bandrivsky (ZUNR)
Kuban: Mykola Halahan (CR), F. Borzhynsky (H)
Latvia and Lithuania (resident in Riga): Volodymyr Kedrovsky (D), from 1921 in charge of relations with Estonia and Finland
Poland: Oleksander Karpinsky (H; never assumed his duties), Andrii Livytsky (D; extraordinary mission), Oleksander Shumsky (Ukr SSR)
Romania: Mykola Halahan (CR), V. Dashkevych-Horbatsky (H), Kost Matsiievych (D)
Sweden and Norway (resident in Stockholm): B. Bazhenov (H), Kost Losky (D)
Switzerland: Yevmen Lukasevych (H, D), Mykola Vasylko (D)
Turkey: Modest Levytsky (CR), O. Kistiakovsky (H; did not assume his duties), Mikhail Sukovkin (H), P. Chykalenko (H, D), Oleksander Lototsky (D), Jan Tokarzewski-Karaszewicz (D)
United States: Yevhen Holitsynsky (D; did not assume his duties), Yuliian Bachynsky (D), Arnold Margolin (D), Lonhyn Tsehelsky (ZUNR), Luka Myshuha (ZUNR)
Yugoslavia: Ya. Biberovych (ZUNR), Hryhorii Myketei (ZUNR)
Peace delegation of the Central Rada at Brest-Litovsk (see Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk): Vsevolod Holubovych (head), Oleksander Sevriuk (head during a later stage of negotiations), Mykola Liubynsky, Mykola H. Levytsky, Mykhailo Poloz
Delegation of Ukraine at the peace conference with the RSFSR in Kyiv: Serhii Shelukhyn (head), Ihor Kistiakovsky (deputy head), Petro Stebnytsky (deputy head from August 1918), Maksym Slavinsky, Otto Eikhelman, Khrystofor Baranovsky, P. Lynnychenko, A. Svitsyn
Delegation of the Ukrainian National Republic to the Paris Peace Conference: Hryhorii Sydorenko (head), Mykhailo Tyshkevych (head from August 1919), Vasyl Paneiko (deputy head), Arnold Margolin, Oleksander Shulhyn, Mykhailo Lozynsky, A. Halip, Stepan Tomashivsky. From 1921 the delegation was a diplomatic mission in France, headed by Shulhyn.
Delegation of the ZUNR at the Paris Peace Conference: Vasyl Paneiko (head), Stepan Tomashivsky, Mykhailo Lozynsky, and Dmytro Vitovsky—extraordinary delegates for matters of Ukrainian-Polish armistice. At the beginning of 1921 the delegation was made into a diplomatic mission of the ZUNR, headed by Stepan Vytvytsky.
The following were the heads of legations and missions accredited to Ukrainian governments: from Austria-Hungary: János Forgách (CR); from Azerbaidzhan: G. Sadykov (H); from Bulgaria: Ivan Shishmanov (H); from the Don Republic: A. Cheriachukin (H); from Finland: Herman Gummerus (H); from France: Georges Tabouis (CR); from Georgia: V. Tevzaya (H); from Germany: Philip Alfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein (CR, H); from Great Britain: John Picton Bagge (CR); from the Kuban: V. Tkachov (H); from Poland: S. Wańkowicz (H), Hempel (Ukr SSR), L. Berenson (Ukr SSR); from Romania: General Coanda (CR), Conţescu (H); from Turkey: A. Mukhtar-Bey (H).
Khrapko, I. Zbirnyk zakoniv i postanov ... vidnosno zakordonnykh instytutsii (Vienna 1919)
Borschak, E. La Paix ukrainienne de Brest-Litovsk (Paris 1929)
Doroshenko, D. Istoriia Ukraïny 1917–1923 rr., 2 vols (Uzhhorod 1930–2; repr, New York 1954)
Kutschabsky, W. Die Westukraine im Kampfe mit Polen und dem Bolschewismus in den Jahren 1918–1923 (Berlin 1934)
Borschak, E. L’Ukraine dans la littérature de l’Europe occidentale (Paris 1935)
Ukraïna na dyplomatychnomu fronti. Al'manakh Chervonoï Kalyny (Lviv 1938)
Halajczuk, B. El estado ucranio del siglo XX (Buenos Aires 1953)
Sichynsky, V. Ukraine in Foreign Comments and Descriptions (New York 1953)
Semenova, L. et al (eds). Russkaia i ukrainskaia diplomatiia v Evrazii: 50-e gody XVII veka (Moscow 2000)
Kuchabsky, V. Western Ukraine in Conflict with Poland and Bolshevism, 1918–1923 (Edmonton–Toronto 2009)
The memoirs of Isaak Mazepa, Arnold Margolin, Mykola Halahan, Dmytro Doroshenko, Georges Tabouis, Oleksander Shulhyn, Yevhen Onatsky, H. Besidovsky, and others
Bohdan Halaichuk, Vasyl Markus, Illia Vytanovych
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]