Matchak, Mykhailo

Image - Mykhailo Matchak

Matchak, Mykhailo [Матчак, Михайло; Matčak, Myxajlo], b 28 February 1895 in Volia Yakubova, Drohobych county, Galicia, d 19 November 1958 in Potma, Mordovian ASSR. Political leader, publicist, and publisher; husband of Stefaniia Savytska. A volunteer to the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (1914), he was captured in action by the Russians and in 1917 helped organize the Sich Riflemen in Kyiv. After being promoted to the rank of captain he sat on the Sich Council and was in charge of the corps’s recruitment and training department. After the First World War he studied law in Lviv and took part in organizing the Lviv (Underground) Ukrainian University and the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO). A member of the Supreme Command of the UVO, he was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in an attempt on Józef Piłsudski’s life (1921). After resigning from the UVO he became a member of the Chief Secretariat of the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party and its deputy to the Polish Sejm (1930–5). In 1931 he set up his own publishing house, Izmarahd. After emigrating to Vienna in 1944, he worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. On 27 February 1947 he was kidnapped by Soviet agents, and subsequently he was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor in Kazakhstan. He was released from labor camp as an invalid in 1955 but was not permitted to leave the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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