General Ukrainian Non-Party Democratic Organization

General Ukrainian Non-Party Democratic Organization (Загальна українська безпартійна демократична організація; Zahalna ukrainska bezpartiina demokratychna orhanizatsiia, aka the Ukrainian General Organization [Українська загальна організація; Ukrainska zahalna orhanizatsiia]). A clandestine cultural organization founded in Kyiv in the fall of 1897 on the initiative of Oleksander Konysky and Volodymyr Antonovych. Many of its first members also belonged to the Hromada of Kyiv (or other hromadas) or the Brotherhood of Taras. With about 150 members in 1901, it was enlarged and reorganized into an association of 3–10-member autonomous groups that held periodic congresses every three years to elect the executive. Most of its energy was devoted to publishing: it maintained the Vik publishing house and the Kyivskaia Starina bookstore. It also encouraged the student, zemstvo, and co-operative movement, helped persecuted Ukrainian activists, and agitated for the use of the Ukrainian language in the schools. In 1903 it organized an Ivan Kotliarevsky jubilee in Poltava. In 1904 the organization adopted a full political program and changed its name to the Ukrainian Democratic party, demanding national autonomy for Ukrainians and other nationalities within a federated Russia and radical economic and social reforms. In the following year it merged with the Ukrainian Radical party to form the Ukrainian Democratic Radical party (UDRP), which lasted to 1907. In 1908 the groups which previously had belonged to the General Ukrainian Non-Party Democratic Organization and the UDRP established a similar secret association, the Society of Ukrainian Progressives, which in 1917 became the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Federalists. The most important members of the organization were Volodymyr Antonovych, Pavlo Zhytetsky, Mykola Lysenko, Illia Shrah, Yevhen Chykalenko, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Borys Hrinchenko, Ivan M. Steshenko, Yevhen Tymchenko, Musii Kononenko, Oleksander Cherniakhivsky, O. Borodai, Serhii Yefremov, Mykola Mikhnovsky, Oleksander Rusov, Tadei Rylsky, Viliam Berenshtam, and Oleksander Lototsky.

Iefremov, S. Z hromads’koho zhyttia na Ukraïni (Kyiv 1909)
Doroshenko, V. Ukraïnstvo v Rosiï (Vienna 1916)
Chykalenko, Ie. Spohady (1861–1907) (Lviv 1925–6; 2nd edn, New York 1955)

Yury Boshyk, Volodymyr Doroshenko

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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