Ukrainian People's Council of the Prešov Region

Ukrainian People's Council of the Prešov Region (Українська народна рада Пряшівщини; Ukrainska narodna rada Priashivshchyny, or УНРП; UNRP). A political and social body representing the indigenous Ukrainians of the Prešov region in eastern Slovakia. It was set up on 1 March 1945 in Prešov at a congress of delegates from Ukrainian villages and counties. Initially the UNRP favored the incorporation of the Ukrainian part of the Prešov region along with Transcarpathia in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Then it consented to remain within Czechoslovakia and assumed the task of defending the interests of the Ukrainian national minority. The council did not succeed in winning de jure recognition as the political representative of a national group or cultural autonomy for the Ukrainian community. But it was recognized de facto as the voice for Ukrainians by the central government in Prague and the Slovak National Council, and appointed five deputies to the provisional assembly in Prague and the Slovak National Council in 1945–8. It published annual almanacs and the weekly Priashevshchina (1945–51), which contained Ukrainian- and Russian-language materials. Its work was conducted by the presidium and county committees. One of its jobs was to co-ordinate mass education in various villages. The first chairman of the UNRP was V. Karaman, and the general secretary was I. Rohal-Ilkiv. Its most active members were Vasyl Kapishovsky, P. Babei, P. Zhydovsky, D. Roikovych, and S. Bunhanych. After the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948, the role of the council diminished, and it was forced to dissolve. It ceased all activities in 1951 and formally disbanded itself on 11 December 1952. In its place the Cultural Association of Ukrainian Workers was set up.

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

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