Richytsky, Andrii

Richytsky, Andrii [Річицький, Андрій; Ričyc’kyj, Andrij; pseudonym of Anatolii Pisotsky], b 1890 in Richytsia, Radomyshl county, Kyiv gubernia, d 25 April 1934 in Bashtanka, now in Mykolaiv oblast. Political leader, publicist, and literary critic. After the February Revolution of 1917 he was a member of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party, a representative in the Central Rada (1917–18) and a member of its Little Rada, and the chief ideologue of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party (Independentists) (1919) and the Ukrainian Communist party (UKP, 1920–5). He coedited the UKP organ Chervonyi prapor, in which he criticized the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine as a party of Russian occupation. In 1920 he was elected a member of the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee. After the Comintern abolished the UKP in 1925, Richytsky joined the CP(B)U and was elected a candidate member of its Central Committe. He directed the statistical division of the co-operative Ukrainbank and then was editor in chief of the State Publishing House of Ukraine (DVU). From the second half of the 1920s he was also a professor at the Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism and headed the Commission of Shevchenko Studies at the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Research Institute. Richytsky was a major interpreter and popularizer of Mykola Skrypnyk’s Ukrainization policies. Although he had been an official critic of the views of Oleksander Shumsky, Mykhailo Volobuiev, Mykola Khvylovy, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, and the émigré Volodymyr Vynnychenko, after Skrypnyk’s suicide in 1933 he himself was denounced in the Party press as an apologist for Vynnychenko and for allowing the DVU to publish large runs of Vynnychenko’s works, labeled a spy and a traitor, and then arrested in Bashtanka, where he was tried on fabricated charges of ‘overfulfilling’ grain procurement quotas in famine-stricken villages (see Famine-Genocide of 1932–3) and shot.

Richytsky wrote a book about Taras Shevchenko and his works from a sociological Marxist approach (1923; 2nd edn 1925), a collection of articles criticizing Volodymyr Vynnychenko as a writer and politician (1928), a refutation of Mykhailo Volobuiev’s views (1928), a booklet about the Central Rada (1928), a monograph on the foundations of Ukrainian studies (1929), an interpretation of Mykola Skrypnyk as a theoretician of the national question (1929), a biography of Karl Marx (1929), and a booklet on the national question in the light of the directives of the 16th congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) (1931). He also edited the first Ukrainian edition of Marx’s Kapital (1927–9). After his repression all of his works were banned in Soviet Ukraine.

Vsevolod Holubnychy, Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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