Kharkiv-Kyiv Secret Society

Kharkiv-Kyiv Secret Society (Kharkivsko-kyivske taiemne tovarystvo). Secret conspiratorial political organization founded by students at Kharkiv University in 1856. It represented a fusion of two Kharkiv groups that had formed independently; the originators of the first group were Ya. Bekman, M. Muravsky, Petro S. Yefymenko, and P. Zavadsky, and the second group was composed of wealthy noble students as represented by N. Raevsky. The society's objectives were the overthrow of tsarist autocracy, emancipation of the peasants, and the establishment of a republican government in the Russian Empire. The society distributed banned works, anti-tsarist leaflets, and manuscript journals, among them Svobodnoe slovo (The Free Word, Kharkiv) and Glasnost’ (Suffrage, Kyiv). Its members established Sunday schools among the workers and artisans and maintained contacts with other underground circles. In April 1858 the society instigated student protests in Kharkiv, resulting in the expulsion of the majority of its members. They subsequently moved to Kyiv, where they founded a similar group and continued their activities. In late 1859 the society had more than 100 members. In January–February 1860, 22 of its members were arrested and exiled. Later that year the society ceased to exist. Several of the society's members joined the revolutionary organization Zemlia i Volia.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

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