Ukrainian Press

Ukrainian Press (Українська друкарня; Ukrainska drukarnia; French: Imprimerie ukrainienne; Russian: Украинская типография; Ukrainskaia tipografiia). An imprimery in Geneva, founded in 1876 by Mykhailo Drahomanov. From 1878 to 1918 its manager was Antin Liakhotsky. Until approximately 1890 it was called the Russian (Imprimerie russe), Rabotnik, Hromada, and Volnoe Slovo (La Parole libre) Press. Using funds provided by the Hromada of Kyiv, Drahomanov printed materials that were smuggled into Russian-ruled Ukraine after the Ems Ukase prohibited publishing in Ukrainian. In 1882 the Hromada withdrew its support, and left the press in difficult circumstances. Nonetheless, it continued operating. By the time Drahomanov moved to Sofia in 1889, it had printed his miscellany/journal Hromada (Geneva) (1878–82) and nearly 70 books and brochures in Russian and Ukrainian, many of them by Drahomanov, but also by authors such as Serhii Podolynsky, Taras Shevchenko, Feliks Volkhovsky, Mykhailo Pavlyk, and Panas Myrny. Thereafter Liakhotsky printed other booklets by Drahomanov; editions of Shevchenko’s banned poems (1890) and Panteleimon Kulish’s duma collection (1893); and booklets, leaflets, and periodicals for various Russian and Ukrainian revolutionary groups, including Lesia Ukrainka and Ivan M. Steshenko’s small Ukrainian Social Democracy group in Kyiv and, during the First World War, the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, and Lev Yurkevych (his paper Borot’ba [1916] and his brochure on the Russian Social Democrats and the national question [1917]). By the time the press ceased functioning in 1917, it had issued over 110 books and brochures. Evhen Batchinsky’s detailed account of the press was published in Naukovyi zbirnyk II (1953) of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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

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