Following the abolition of autonomy in the Hetmanate and Sloboda Ukraine and the annexation of the Right Bank and Volhynia, Ukrainian lands in the Russian Empire formally lost all traces of their national distinctiveness. The territories were reorganized into regular Russian provinces administered by governors appointed from St. Petersburg. The Right Bank, along with some adjoining territories, formed part of the Pale of Settlement, to which the Jewish population of the empire was residentially restricted. With the liquidation of the Sich and the annexation of the Crimean khanate in 1783, the sparsely settled southern lands (named Novorossiya, or New Russia) were colonized by migrants from other parts of Ukraine, as well as smaller numbers from Russia, the Balkans, and Germany. This colonization movement greatly expanded Ukrainian ethnic territory. The new Black Sea port of Odessa grew into a large and cosmopolitan metropolis.
Equally important developments occurred in the social sphere. As compensation for their lost rights as a ruling elite in the Hetmanate, the Cossack starshyna were equalized with the Russian nobility; many entered imperial service, and some achieved the highest government ranks. Through education, intermarriage, and government service, the Ukrainian nobility gradually became Russified—as the earlier Ruthenian nobility had been Polonized—though many retained a sentimental attachment to the land and its folklore. The Polish nobility in the Right Bank retained its status and continued as the dominant landowning class. The large Jewish population was bound by numerous legal disabilities and, from 1881, victimized by recurrent waves of pogroms. The gradual process of enserfment of the peasantry in the Left Bank culminated in 1783 under Catherine. The obligations there, however, were less onerous than in the Right Bank. Serfdom remained the dominant lot of the peasantry until the emancipation of 1861, and even after emancipation the peasants were still burdened by inadequate land allotments and heavy redemption payments that led to the impoverishment of many. Nevertheless, the reforms stimulated the development of industry by releasing labour from the land. Industrial development was especially marked in eastern Ukraine, notably the Donbas, which attracted workers from other parts of the empire. As a result, the emerging working class and the growing urban centres became highly Russified islands in a Ukrainian rural sea.
As in the political and social realms, in religious policy the tsarist regime promoted the elimination of Ukrainian peculiarities. Although the largely Polish Roman Catholic church was allowed to continue, Catherine launched a program of administrative conversion of Ukrainians from the Uniate church. The anti-Uniate campaign was partially reversed by her immediate successors but was renewed with vigour by Nicholas I. In 1839 the Uniate metropolitanate was abolished, the Union of Brest declared null and void, and the Uniates finally absorbed into the Russian Orthodox church, while the recalcitrant clergy were harshly punished. The Russian Orthodox church became an important vehicle for the Russification policies of the imperial regime in Ukraine.
In the 19th century the development of Ukrainian cultural life was closely connected with academic circles. The first modern university in Ukraine was established in 1805 at Kharkiv, and for 30 years Sloboda Ukraine was the major centre for Ukrainian scholarship and publishing activities. In 1834 a university was founded in Kiev, and in 1864 at Odessa. Though Russian institutions, they did much to promote the study of local history and ethnography that had a stimulative effect on the Ukrainian national movement.
Literature, however, became the primary vehicle for the 19th-century Ukrainian national revival. The most important writer—and unquestionably the most significant figure in the development of a modern Ukrainian national consciousness—was Taras Shevchenko. Born a serf, Shevchenko was bought out of servitude by a group of artists who recognized his talent for painting. Considered by many the father of modern Ukrainian painting, it was as a poet that Shevchenko made his unique mark. His poetry spanned themes from the fantastic in folklike ballads to epic romanticization of Cossack glory, from wrathful indictments of social and national oppression under the tsars to mystical reflections based on the biblical prophets. Apart from its seminal impact on the subsequent course of Ukrainian literature, Shevchenko’s poetry reflected a conception of Ukraine as a free and democratic society that had a profound influence on the development of Ukrainian political thought.
By the mid-19th century the cultural and literary stirrings in Ukraine aroused concern in tsarist ruling circles. In the official view, dominant also in Russian historiography, the Ukrainians were a subdivision, or “tribe,” of Russians—“Little Russians”—torn from the unity of Rus by the Mongol-Tatars and deflected from their proper historical course by the baneful influence of Poland. Thus, it was deemed essential to reintegrate Ukraine fully into the Russian body politic. Shevchenko’s patriotic verse earned him arrest and years of exile in Central Asia. In 1863 the minister of the interior, Pyotr Valuev, banned virtually all Ukrainian publications. The ban was reinforced by a secret imperial decree of Alexander II in 1876, the Ems Ukaz, and extended to the importation of Ukrainian books and public readings and stage performances in the language. The prohibition extended to education, a major contributing factor to the low rate of literacy among Ukrainians—only 13 percent in 1897. With such restrictions, writers from Russian-ruled Ukraine could see their works published only in Austrian Galicia, and many figures in the national movement shifted their activities there.
Tsarist repression and the still premodern, largely rural character of Ukrainian society in the Russian Empire impeded the growth of a political movement. A secret society, the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, existed briefly in 1845–47. Its program advocated social equality, an end to national oppression, and a federation of Slavic states under the leadership of Ukraine. The brotherhood was quickly uncovered and suppressed and its leaders arrested and punished. In the second half of the 19th century, clandestine societies called hromadas (“communities”) were formed in various cities to promote Ukrainian culture, education, and publishing under conditions of illegality. Originally associated with the Kiev Hromada was the leading political thinker of the time, Mykhaylo Drahomanov, who advocated the transformation of the tsarist empire into a federative republic in which Ukrainian national rights would be assured. Toward the end of the century, younger, primarily student-led hromadas became involved in more overtly political activities. One such group in Kharkiv developed into the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party, which in a pamphlet published in 1900 advanced for the first time as a political goal “one, single, indivisible, free, independent Ukraine.”
The revolution that shook the Russian Empire in 1905 spawned worker strikes and peasant unrest in Ukraine as well. The consequent transformation of the tsarist autocracy into a semiconstitutional monarchy led to some easing in Ukrainian national life. The ban on Ukrainian-language publishing lapsed, and societies to foster popular enlightenment and scholarship proliferated, as did theatrical troupes and musical ensembles. Nevertheless, the population affected by these cultural endeavours remained small, and the Ukrainian language was still excluded from schools.
In the political arena the introduction of an elected assembly, or Duma, in 1906 initially provided Ukrainians with a new forum to press their national concerns. In the short-lived First and Second Dumas, Ukrainians had a sizable representation and formed their own caucus. Changes in the electoral law to the detriment of the peasantry and national minorities, however, severely limited Ukrainian representation and effectiveness in the Third and Fourth Dumas. Until the Revolution of 1917 the agenda of nationally conscious, politically active Ukrainians seldom exceeded demands for language and cultural rights and some form of local autonomy.
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country located in eastern Europe, after Russia the second largest on the continent. It is bordered by Belarus on the north, Russia on the east, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea on the south, Moldova and Romania on the southwest, and Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland on the west; in the far southeast, Ukraine is separated from Russia by the Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. The capital is Kiev (Kyyiv), located on the Dnieper River in north-central Ukraine.
An independent Ukraine emerged only late in the 20th century, after long periods of successive domination by Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From 1922 to 1991 Ukraine formed part of the latter under the name Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. With the unraveling of the Soviet Union in 1990–91, however, the Ukrainian S.S.R.’s legislature declared sovereignty (July 16, 1990) and then declared outright independence (Aug. 24, 1991), a move that was confirmed by popular approval in a plebiscite soon afterward. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself in December 1991, Ukraine gained full independence. The country changed its official name to Ukraine, and it helped found the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Ukraine consists almost entirely of level plains at an average elevation of 574 feet (175 metres) above sea level. The country occupies the southwestern portion of the East European Plain. In central Ukraine is the...
city, Ivano-Frankovsk oblast (province), southwestern Ukraine. Kalush was incorporated as a city in 1939 and became the centre of Kalush rayon (sector). It is approximately 56 miles (90 km) southeast of Lviv and is on the Ivano-Frankovsk–Stry rail line. Industries include food processing, clothing manufacture, chemicals, and concrete. There is also a chemical and technological tekhnikum (semiprofessional training school). Pop. (1991 est.) 69,400.
seaport and administrative centre of Odessa oblast (province), southwestern Ukraine. It stands on a shallow indentation of the Black Sea coast at a point approximately 19 miles (31 km) north of the Dniester River estuary and about 275 miles (443 km) south of Kiev. Although a settlement existed on the site in ancient times, the history of the modern city began in the 14th century when the Tatar fortress of Khadzhibey was established there; it later passed to Lithuania-Poland and in 1764 to Turkey. The fortress was stormed by the Russians in 1789 and ceded to Russia in 1791. A new fortress was built in 1792–93, and in 1794 a naval base and commercial quay were added. In 1795 the new port was named Odessa for the ancient Greek colony of Odessos, the site of which was believed to be in the vicinity.
During the 19th century Odessa’s growth was rapid, especially after the coming of railways in 1866. Odessa became the third city of Russia and the country’s second most important port, after St. Petersburg; grain was its principal export. The city was one of the chief centres of the Russian Revolution of 1905 and was the scene of the mutiny on the warship Potemkin; Sergey Eisenstein’s classic film Potemkin was made there in 1925. Odessa suffered heavy damage in World War II during its prolonged and unsuccessful defense against German and Romanian forces.
The city remains a major port, the largest in Ukraine, with well-equipped docks and ship-repair yards. After 1857 a new outport was built at Ilichevsk, 12 miles (20 km) to the south. Odessa is the base of a fishing fleet. The city’s rail communications are good to all parts of Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania. Odessa is also a large industrial centre, with a wide range of engineering industries, including the production of machine tools, cranes, and plows. The chemical...
city and administrative centre of Chernihiv oblast (province), north-central Ukraine, on the Desna River, northeast of Kiev. Archaeology suggests a 7th-century origin, although Chernihiv was first mentioned in 907. It was one of the chief towns of Kievan Rus and the centre of a princedom. Its Spassky Cathedral dates from 1024. Chernihiv lost importance after the Tatar invasion (1239–40) and remained a minor provincial centre until modern times, when it developed as a railway junction. A large synthetic-fibre plant produces tire cord. Other industries produce pianos, foodstuffs, and consumer goods. Chernihiv has a teacher-training institute and a branch of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. Pop. (1991 est.) 306,000.
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...the worst accident in the history of nuclear power generation. The Chernobyl power station was situated at the settlement of Pryp’yat, 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the city of Chernobyl (Ukrainian: Chornobyl) and 65 miles (104 km) north of Kiev, Ukraine. The station consisted of four reactors, each capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of electric power; it had come on-line in 1977–83.in )
The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has created severe environmental problems in northwestern Ukraine. Vast areas of land are contaminated by dangerous short- and long-lived radioactive isotopes, notably strontium-90, which can replace calcium in foods and become concentrated in bones and teeth. Contaminated agricultural lands near Chernobyl will be unsafe for thousands of...