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This webpage reproduces a section of

Ukraine under the Soviets
by Clarence Manning

published by
Bookman Associates
New York,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 1

 p5  Foreword

It was not many months after the downfall of the tsarist regime in Russia in 1917 that that great empire began to disintegrate. The subject peoples began to demand their own states and showed themselves willing to fight for them. The significance of this was lost upon most of the leaders of the Western democratic powers and they tried to explain it as some new device of the German General Staff, instead of recognizing it as a part of a democratic procedure.

Three and a half years of war had then passed and the situation of the democracies was focussed on the Western Front. They were aware of the contribution in manpower the Russian Empire had made to the common cause and they looked forward with apprehension to the campaign of 1918 without the aid of the imperial Russian army. They had greeted the disappearance of the tsars in a bloodless revolution as a sign of the triumph of democracy and they were ill prepared to face the strange events that followed the fall of the Romanovs.

They could not believe that the government of Lenin and the Communists who seized control of the city of Petrograd late in 1917 could long endure. Its methods they could not understand and they sought to interpret them in terms with which they were familiar. They did not try to fathom the reasons why, within a few months, the Russian Empire fell apart and they sought instinctively to bring it once more together.

They watched without understanding the downfall of the Ukrainian National Republic, the rise of Soviet rule in Ukraine and elsewhere, the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist  p6 Republics and the events of the next years. The rise of Nazism seemed to them the all‑important menace and the opening of World War II convinced them of this even more strongly. The sudden understanding between the Soviets and the Nazis and then the equally sudden attack of the Germans upon the USSR still did not clear up the situation. The West aided the Soviets and, despite one difficulty after another, they willingly conceded the Soviet demands as a contribution to a common victory and sought in the United Nations a common meeting place for all anti-Fascist states. With some misgivings they admitted the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic as independent states to the United Nations.

In the meanwhile, as Soviet armies pushed westward into the heart of central Europe, they spread out what has since been termed the iron curtain to mask from the eyes of the world the nature of their government. Step by step, information from the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, from Rumania and Bulgaria has grown increasingly difficult to secure. When China and North Korea passed within the same veil, the world began to awake.

The scanty reports from Ukraine today receive more attention than did the neglected information of thirty-five years ago. Yet that is still not enough.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Russian Communists have used the Ukrainian land and the Ukrainian population as the laboratory for their future conquests. It is there, among the Ukrainian people, that Lenin and his associates worked out their program of disintegration, infiltration, conquest, exploitation and russification that they have employed so success­fully since the end of World War II. It has cost the Ukrainians dearly to serve as this laboratory. By the millions they have perished of starvation, execution, and deportation, and the other peoples of central and eastern Europe are meeting the same fate.

The object of this work is to study that process, insofar as it can be known. Other books have told the story of the Ukrainian  p7 struggle for independence, the efforts of the Ukrainian people to set up their own free and independent state. That story is not retold here, for this book is concerned with the reverse of the picture — the efforts of the Ukrainian people to protect themselves, their mode of life and their culture, against the extension of the Soviet Russian influences, against that system which, starting from a declared policy of internationalism, has turned into a rigid, Russian imperialistic policy which weighs heavily upon every form and department of life.

It is not only a study of the past. What happened in Kiev and Kharkiv is happening to‑day in Warsaw, Budapest, in Bucharest and Sofia, in Ulan Bator, Peking and Pyongyang. It is the story of a process and it is from that point of view that we must view the developments in Ukraine and the methods of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Once that is grasped, much that is obscure in the history of the last years will become clear and we can see the process in its development and in its completed form. We will know what to expect and what methods can be best devised to check this creeping paralysis of civilization and bring back to mankind its hope for a civilized future.


This volume is primarily based upon a series of detailed studies of Ukraine under the Soviets, which were prepared by a group of Ukrainian DP professors in Europe. They were selected by the Shevchenko Scientific Society and supported during their work by the Ukrainian National Association, which has provided the means for publication. They were:

Dm. Sv. — The Partisan Struggle in Ukraine
Ivan Koval — The Ukrainian Communists
Ivan Koval — The Russian Communists in Ukraine
Kost Pankivsky — Western Ukraine under Bolshevik Rule, 1939‑1941
. . . — The Ukrainian Lands under Bolshevism up to World War II
Ol. Yurchenko — The State Legal System
Mykola Vasiliyiv — The Soviet Economic System
. . . — The Agricultural Exploitation of Ukraine
V. Marchenko — Social and Economic Conditions
K. Kononenko — The Agricultural Economy
. . . — Changes of Population in Ukraine
Y. Sherekh — Principles and Steps of the Soviet Linguistic Policy
M. Hlobenko — Ukrainian Literature
Ol. Ohloblyn — The Humanities under the Soviets
M. Mishchenko — Ukrainian Medicine
Ev. Olensky — Ukrainian Music
N. Makhiv — The Natural Sciences in Ukraine
Iv. M. — Ukrainian Religious Life

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Page updated: 25 Apr 22