Chekhivsky, Volodymyr

Image - Volodymyr Chekhivsky

Chekhivsky, Volodymyr [Чехівський, Володиир; Čexivs'kyj], b 19 July 1876 in Horokhuvatka, Kyiv gubernia, d 3 November 1937 in the Solovets Islands. Prominent civic, political, and church leader. A priest's son, Chekhivsky graduated from the Kyiv Theological Academy in 1900 (DTh). In 1901–5 he worked as the assistant inspector of the Kamianets-Podilskyi Theological Seminary. In 1906 he was elected to the first Russian State Duma. After a year's exile in Vologda gubernia he lived and taught in Odesa (1907–18) and was active in the local hromada and the Prosvita society there. In 1917 he became the editor of Ukraïns’ke slovo in Odesa. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party, a member of the Central Rada, and in 1918 the chairman of the Ukrainian Military Revolutionary Committee, which planned the overthrow of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky. From 26 December 1918 to 11 February 1919 he headed the Council of National Ministers of the Ukrainian National Republic and served as the minister of foreign affairs. In March 1919 he was one of the founders of the Committee for the Defense of the Republic in Kamianets-Podilskyi. At the same time he was a prominent figure in the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church. It was under his leadership that the government of the Ukrainian National Republic adopted the law on the autocephalous status of the Ukrainian Orthodox church on 1 January 1919. A professor at the Kamianets-Podilskyi Ukrainian State University (1919–1920), the Vinnytsia Institute of People’s Education (1920–1), and the Kyiv Medical Institute (1921–2), in 1921 he became a member of the Presidium of the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council and chairman of the Ideological Commission of the church. Chekhivsky was arrested on 29 July 1929 and was a defendent at the show trial of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine. On 19 April 1930 he was sentenced to be shot. The sentence was commuted to 10 years of solitary confinement. He served his term in the political prisons of Kharkiv and Yaroslavl. In 1933 he was transferred to the prison on the Solovets Islands, where he was executed by decision of the Leningrad tribunal of the NKVD. Chekhivsky wrote a book-length study of the Kyivan metropolitan G. Banulesko-Bodoni (TKDA, 1904, nos 2, 3; 1905, no. 2). He is also the author of historical articles in the journal Ukraïna (1914–30), theological articles in Tserkva i zhyttia (Kharkiv), and the pamphlet Za Tserkvu, Khrystovu hromadu, proty tsarstva t’my (For the Church, the Community of Christ, against the Kingdom of Darkness, 1922).

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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