Ukrainian National Union

Ukrainian National Union (Український національний союз; Ukrainskyi natsionalnyi soiuz, or УНС; UNS). An umbrella organization formed at the beginning of August 1918 as a successor to the Ukrainian National-State Union with the intention of establishing a democratic parliamentary system and consolidating Ukraine’s independence. Its membership consisted of political parties, such as the Ukrainian Party of Socialists-Federalists, the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party, the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, and the Ukrainian Party of Socialists-Independentists, as well as civic and professional associations, such as the Peasant Association, the Teachers’ Association, the Ukrainian Law Society, the Union of Railway Workers, the Postal-Telegraph Association, the Physicians’ Association, the Prosvita society, and the All-Ukrainian Union of Zemstvos. It had branches in Odesa, Vinnytsia, Kremenchuk, Kamianets-Podilskyi, and Poltava. On 5 October 1918 a delegation of the UNS demanded of Pavlo Skoropadsky that he reorganize his Hetman government and introduce Ukrainian ministers. The reformed government (from 24 October 1918) was headed by Fedir Lyzohub, and included several notable Ukrainian figures. Nevertheless it failed to win the confidence of the UNS. When the Hetman government proclaimed Ukraine’s federation with Russia on 14 November 1918 and approved a cabinet of Russian monarchists headed by Sergei Gerbel, the UNS instigated an uprising against it, which was led by the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic. The presidents of the UNS were Andrii Nikovsky (August to 18 September), Volodymyr Vynnychenko (18 September to 14 November), and Mykyta Shapoval (14 November 1918 to January 1919).

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

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