Shcherbyna, Fedir

Shcherbyna, Fedir [Щербина, Федір; Ščerbyna], b 13 February 1849 in Novodereviankivka stanytsia, Kuban oblast, d 28 October 1936 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Statistician, economic historian, and teacher; corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences from 1904 and full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1924. Shcherbyna studied at the Petrovskoe Agricultural Academy near Moscow (1872–4) and at Odesa University (1874–7); in Odesa he was a member of the city’s Hromada. He was exiled to Vologda gubernia in 1877–81 for his political agitation among Odesa workers. In 1884–1901 he was director of the statistical bureau of the Voronezh gubernia zemstvo and helped edit 66 volumes of statistical information. In addition he published 16 volumes of statistics dealing with Voronezh gubernia (1887) as well as a history of the Voronezh zemstvo (1891).

Shcherbyna was placed under house arrest in 1901 for his public demands for the establishment of a constitutional system within the Russian Empire and exiled to the Kuban. There he did research and wrote about the history of the Kuban, particularly the Kuban Cossacks. In 1906 he headed the revived Kuban Cossack council (dormant since the end of the 18th century), and in 1907 he became a socialist representative to the Second Russian State Duma. After the February Revolution of 1917 he was elected a member of the Kuban Legislative Council (1917–20), and headed the supreme court of the Kuban Cossack Host. Shcherbyna emigrated to Yugoslavia (1920) and then to Prague (1921), where he became a professor (1922–36) and rector (1924–5) of the Ukrainian Free University. He also taught statistics at the Ukrainian Husbandry Academy in Poděbrady (from 1922).

Shcherbyna is most noted for his statistical work. His first work in the field, Ocherki iuzhno-russkikh artelei i obshchinno-artel’nikh form (An Outline of Southern Russian Artels and Obshchina-Artel Forms, 1881), was based on research he had undertaken in Odesa from 1875, and had a significant impact on the development of the co-operative movement in Ukraine. He wrote many studies about zemstvo communities, and notable works such as Krest’ianskoe khoziaistvo v ostrogoskom uezde (Peasant Agriculture in Ostrohozke County, 1885) and Krest’ianskie biudzhety (Peasant Budgets, 1900). He also wrote many works about the Kuban, including Istoriia Kubanskogo Kazach’ego Voiska (A History of the Kuban Cossack Host, 2 vols, 1910, 1913).

Mytsiuk, O. Naukova diial’nist’ statystyka F.A. Shcherbyny (Poděbrady 1931)

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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