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Scientific islands of Crimean Ukrainianism and state formation

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 At the end of the 80s of the last century, Gorbachev’s perestroika and the fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe caused the Communist Party to lose its leading and guiding force in Soviet society. This largely became the reason for the democratization of social life in the country. These positive processes also covered Ukraine.

The communist-imperial reserve, which Crimea was for several decades, did not stand aside either. Following the example of Kyiv, Lviv and other regional centers, it was at this time that various public organizations and associations began to emerge on the peninsula, and branches of the first Ukrainian national-democratic parties were created. The electoral base for them was the nationally conscious scientific, humanitarian, technical intelligentsia and immigrants from mainland Ukraine, who were saved from total assimilation.

The first powerful public association of Crimean Ukrainians became the Ukrainian Language Society as a regional branch of the all-Ukrainian organization.

Its main tasks were reviving the Ukrainian language, ensuring its functioning in various spheres of life, opening Ukrainian-language classes in Crimean schools, countering separatism and the destructive activities of pro-Russian organizations. Several hundred Ukrainians from all regions of Crimea came to the first founding congress of the society. Crimean communist leaders Mykola Bagrov and Leonid Hrach were quite suspicious of the initiatives of the Ukrainian community, which began to awaken on the peninsula. The self-identification of the Ukrainian population was perceived quite aggressively at all levels of the Crimean government and by militant pro-Russian mass media.

The participants of the meeting elected Danylo Kononenko, a well-known poet and journalist, head of the local organization of the Writers’ Union of Ukraine, as the first chairman of the Crimean branch of the Ukrainian Language Society. Later, these duties were entrusted to the actress of the Crimean Music and Drama Theater Alla Petrova.

A few months before the collapse of the Union, a transformation of the Ukrainian Language Society took place on an all-Ukrainian scale. From it, once deeply rooted in Ukrainian history and very popular in Ukraine, the all-republican public association “Enlightenment” named after Taras Shevchenko. In the spring of 1991, its branch was also established in Crimea. Oleksandr Kulik, a former employee of the Crimean Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, writer and journalist, was elected the first head of the regional branch.

A huge role in the activation of social life and self-identification of the Ukrainian population of the peninsula was played by the Kyiv national-patriotic creative organization “People’s Movement for Reconstruction”. A little later, it turned into the initially very powerful public organization People’s Movement of Ukraine, and later grew into an authoritative party of the same name. Almost at the same time, other patriotic-democratic parties were created – republican and democratic.

All the mentioned organizations prepared the ground for the declaration of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine (July 16, 1990), contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and accelerated the declaration of Ukraine’s independence on August 24, 1991. Crimean scientists were not aloof from all the powerful socio-political processes taking place on the peninsula at that time.

It is no exaggeration to say that no important event in Simferopol and Sevastopol took place without the participation of scientists and local students.

The branches of the Ukrainian democratic parties and the People’s Movement of Ukraine, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and many public organizations were the link that connected us with Kyiv, Lviv and other regions of Ukraine. Representatives of Crimea and almost all local organizations have always been active participants in all stormy and significant events that took place in the capital.

Crimean representatives, including scientists, teachers and students of Simferopol and Sevastopol higher education institutions, took part in a massive demonstration in Kyiv in July 1990 in honor of the adoption of the historic declaration “On State Sovereignty of Ukraine”. In August 1991, the progressive Crimean public and all Ukrainian organizations and branches of national-democratic parties spoke out against the Cadebist coup attempt. They also strongly condemned the efforts of the leadership of the Crimean regional committee of the party to support the Kremlin rebels. A group of Crimean activists, albeit a small one, took part in a powerful demonstration near the Verkhovna Rada on August 24, 1991, in honor of the declaration of Ukraine’s independence.

The main task of all Ukrainian organizations and local branches of democratic parties after the declaration of Ukraine’s independence became opposition to Russian-imperial separatism both among pro-Russian organizations and Crimean officials. Having united and coordinated their actions in Crimea, they fiercely resisted the establishment of Ukrainian statehood, opposed the holding of a nationwide referendum and the election of the President of Ukraine on December 1, 1991.

Despite this and thanks to the powerful constructive activity of patriotic organizations, in particular the Ukrainian intelligentsia and active scientists, 54% of Crimeans confirmed Ukraine’s independence with their votes. This indicator was much higher in Sevastopol, thanks to military personnel from Ukraine.

The active Ukrainian environment did not support the separatist Baghrov referendum on the creation of the Crimean ASSR, which existed until 1944. We well understood that the Crimean communists, with the help of the Kremlin, are legally trying to create a Russian imperial-chauvinist enclave on the peninsula that is dangerous for Ukrainian statehood.

Unfortunately, the communist and pro-Russian majority in the then Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine were unable to counter the united position of Crimean deputies, the leadership of the Crimean regional committee and the regional executive committee, and on February 12, 1991, they adopted the Law “On the Revival of the Crimean Autonomous Socialist Republic”, which was voted for by 253 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine .

In the future, it was this decision that contributed to stirring up separatism and anti-Ukrainian sentiments in the pro-Russian Crimea. They were powerfully supported, directed and coordinated by the Kremlin authorities. In the end, this became the main reason for the Russian annexation of Crimea in February 2014.

Recalling the first, most difficult and most disturbing years of Ukrainian independence in Crimea, People’s Deputy of the first convocation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mykola Porovskyi later wrote: “Russian imperialist political circles could not come to terms with the fact that Crimea belongs to independent Ukraine. They believed that this is “Russian” land, because it was once conquered by the Russian Empire. Therefore, Moscow oligarchs of various imperialist formations, deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and high-ranking officials and, of course, specialists from the Russian special services – the GRU and the FSB – often visited Crimea. Relying on the agent network of the KGB of the USSR and military intelligence in Crimea, speculating on the national feelings of Crimean Russians, in 1992 they started the creation of a pro-Russian separatist movement – “Russian Society of Kryma”, “Russian Party of Kryma”, “Front of National Salvation” and “Meshkov” Republican Movement of Crimea” (RDK). These organizations did not hide their goal, but, on the contrary, demonstrated it cynically, declaring “that the secession of Crimea from Ukraine should be considered as the beginning of a tenacious reaction throughout Ukraine, turning it into a raw appendage of Russia.”

Aware of the mortal threat to the existence of an independent Ukrainian state, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine formed an unofficial committee “Crimea with Ukraine” in the parliament, in opposition to the communist group, which consisted of 239. It included a number of people’s deputies from the democratic-patriotic faction, well-known public figures, activists from many Crimean public associations and local branches of national-patriotic parties. Scientists from Simferopol and Sevastopol higher education institutions, authoritative scientists from scientific institutions were widely represented in the Committee.

This initiative was fully supported by the leaders of the Ukrainian Navy and personally by the first commander, Admiral Borys Kozhin and his deputies. For the security of the organization’s activities, its headquarters was located in one of the hotels of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in Simferopol. People’s Deputy of Ukraine Mykola Porovsky was entrusted with the leadership of the Committee by the People’s Rada. The Committee officially began to operate in May 1992. From the first days of its creation, the Committee “Crimea with Ukraine” carried out quite powerful explanatory and educational work on the territory of the peninsula both in local authorities and in almost all industrial and scientific institutions and educational institutions. Crimean scientists, with the support of colleagues from Kyiv and Lviv, prepared sound and convincing materials for such conversations and meetings with Crimeans. They very eloquently proved that the economy of Crimea is closely connected with Ukraine and cannot develop successfully without close integration into the Ukrainian state.

The scientific validity of this important thesis is clearly proven by the leaflets distributed by us among the Crimean population.

The committee, with the help of a network of activists spread throughout Crimea, launched powerful activities in local authorities. He became the initiator of holding the Congress of Local Council Deputies “For Peace and International Harmony” in Crimea. More than 300 deputies of various levels took part in its work, among which, of course, there were many scientists.

Taking into account the importance of the opinion of scientists regarding the prospects of the further development of Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine, the Committee paid considerable attention to such cooperation with the intelligentsia, especially with educators and scientists of Crimea.

At the end of July 1992, in the administrative premises of the Simferopol District Council, the Committee held a large gathering of scientists. It was attended by representatives of all higher educational institutions and scientific institutions of Crimea. The participants of the event adopted a resolution calling on the Crimean population to abstain from the referendum on changing the status of Crimea. Scientists declared that Crimea is and will be an integral part of independent Ukraine (if possible, provide a resolution of the association of scientists “Crimea with Ukraine”), called on Crimean scientists and intelligentsia to unite citizens on the basis of peace and civil harmony and democracy for the sake of the future of an independent Ukrainian state

The participants of the meeting created regional branches of the society of scientists “Crimea from Ukraine” in Sevastopol and Yalta and elected governing bodies. Professor Volodymyr Ignatenko, a teacher of Simferopol State University (now Tavria National University), was elected the first chairman of the Society, and Petro Volvach, a well-known agrarian scientist and public figure, director of the Southern Science Center, became his deputy. The Council of the Society included many enlightened scientists: professors Yevhen Regushevskyi, Petro Kyrychok, Oleksandr Kuzhel, Petro Garchev, Anatoly Svidzinskyi, Vasyl Chirva and others. Soon, due to health reasons, Professor Volodymyr Ignatenko resigned as chairman, and Petro Volvach was elected to this position. He headed this organization before the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Currently, the society works in Kyiv, where many of its members have moved.

Even earlier, on June 19, the Crimean branch of the National Academy of Sciences, headed by the world-renowned hydrophysicist and ecologist Valery Belyaev, initiated a lengthy, well-argued appeal to the Crimean population. This appeal was made public at the plenary meeting of the autonomy from the parliamentary rostrum.

In the first years of Ukraine’s independence, the Crimean branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine under the leadership of Academician Valery Belyaev became the scientific mouthpiece of both Crimean Ukrainians and all statist-patriotic forces. A little later, the Crimean branch of the Scientific Society named after Taras Shevchenko, whose activities we will tell in more detail separately.

The “Crimea with Ukraine” committee, headed by the head of the delegation, People’s Deputy of Ukraine Mykola Porovskyi, carried out enormous educational and propaganda work throughout Crimea. During 1992-1993, the committee initiated the holding of regional meetings of conscious Ukrainianism on the South Bank, in Sevastopol and steppe Crimea. In October 1992, Ukrainian organizations initiated the holding of the All-Crimean Congress of Ukrainians of Crimea in Simferopol, at the end of May 1993 – in Sevastopol, and in July 1993 – in Yalta. Similar gatherings of Ukrainians of the northern and steppe regions were held (end of September 1993), the Congress of Ukrainians of Eastern Crimea (September 1993)[1].

We would like to note that it is the Crimean scholars-ascetics from the Society of the Ukrainian Language, the regional branch of “Enlightenment” named after Taras Shevchenko and the Committee “Crimea with Ukraine” and its scientific structure – the Society of Scientists “Crimea with Ukraine” were the initiators of the Congress, formulated its ideological principles and program of work. They signed all the program documents and were the main speakers at this fateful, crowded congress.

It should be noted that all measures of Crimean Ukrainianism were numerous. They gathered 300-500 delegates each. The most powerful Congress of Ukrainians in the status of All-Crimean was in Simferopol. Its implementation was largely facilitated by the great response from the World Congress of Ukrainians, which took place in Kyiv at the end of August 1992 after the celebration of the first anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. Among the delegates and guests of the Congress were many representatives of the scientific society “Crimea with Ukraine” and the Society of the Ukrainian Language.

It should be noted that at the end of this year it will be 30 years since the creation of the first state-owned Ukrainian-language newspaper in Crimea, “Krymska svetlytsia”. It was created to implement the decisions of the First All-Crimean Congress of Ukrainians of Crimea. Many Crimean scientists and intellectuals stood near its origins. One of the co-founders of the magazine was and still is the All-Ukrainian Society “Prosvita” named after Taras Shevchenko. Over the almost thirty-year period of its ascetic activity, the magazine became a tribune of the Crimean Ukrainian society, a powerful center of state-building in Crimea. It is quite natural that from the first days of Moscow’s occupation of the peninsula, the occupation authorities and local separatists launched a frenzied attack on the publication’s editorial office. The magazine was brutally thrown out of the rented premises in the city of Simferopol, the activities of the magazine were hindered in every possible way, and the distribution of the publication was opposed both in Crimea and on the territory of Ukraine. Because of this, part of the newspaper editorial staff was forced to move to Kyiv as forced migrants. Since 2016, “Crimean Light” has been published in paper and electronic versions on the territory of mainland Ukraine.

It should be noted that during all these years, the heroic team led by Oleksandr Kulyk, Volodymyr Mytkalyk, Viktor Kachula, Leonid Pilunskyi, Viktor Merzhvinskyi and Andriy Shchekun worked quite fruitfully and selflessly on the generous and life-giving field of “Crimean Daylight”.

We must state that thanks to the First All-Crimean Congress of Ukrainians, shortly after its holding, the Ukrainian community held another very representative event, at which it created the public-political organization “Ukrainian Public Committee”. It was a kind of representative body of the Ukrainian population of Crimea, like the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. Yuriy Kolesnikov, a well-known Crimean entrepreneur and public figure, was elected as the head of the Committee. His deputies were the well-known scientists Anatoly Svidzinskyi and Petro Volvach. The Committee took part in the elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, nominating its candidates for deputies. He also conducted preparatory work for the holding of the next II Congress of Ukrainians of Crimea, focused his attention on the implementation of the mandates of the resolutions of the first congress. In particular, the strategy for the creation of the all-Ukrainian newspaper “Krymska svetlytsia” at the end of 1992 was developed and approved. Programs of candidates for deputies supported by Ukrainian organizations were also discussed.

Unfortunately, without the necessary help from the central state bodies and due to internal disagreements in the activities of the organization, the Committee was unable to send its representatives either to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or to the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea. Yuriy Kolesnikov was also not appointed as the Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, although the Crimean Ukrainians insisted on this. However, at the first stage of the formation of Ukrainian statehood in independent Ukraine, the Congress of Ukrainians and other Crimean organizations played a positive role and had a huge impact on the awakening of national consciousness and national identity. The same role was played by local branches of all-Ukrainian national-democratic parties, first of all, the People’s Movement of Ukraine, the Republican Party, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, “Svoboda” and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

Society of scientists “Crimea with Ukraine” became the center of concentration and formation of the Crimean branch of the Scientific Society named after Taras Shevchenko. It was revived by the scientists of Lviv with the help of the world diaspora Ukrainians in 1993, shortly before the glorious 120-year anniversary.

During the Soviet regime, the Society was banned by the communist regime. The initiators of the revival were Lviv scientists led by Oleg Romaniv, an outstanding scientist-physicist, authoritative public figure, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He made enormous efforts to revive the Society’s fame, renew publishing activities and create a regional network in powerful scientific centers and universities of Ukrainian cities.

In 1995, with the active participation of the All-Crimean Society of Scientists “Crimea with Ukraine” and the “Prosvita” Society named after Taras Shevchenko, the Crimean branch of the Scientific Society named after Taras Shevchenko was established in Simferopol. Taras Shevchenko. The well-known scientist-historian and public figure Petro Garchev was elected as its chairman. Leading scientists of Crimean higher educational institutions and many scientific institutions became members of the society: professors Petro Garchev, Oleksandr Kuzhel, Vasyl Chirva, Yevhen Regushevskyi, Petro Kyrychok, Petro Pidhorodetskyi, Olena Sovga, Roman Yaremiychuk, Valentin Bryantsev, Dmytro Ursu, Yuriy Ilyin, Eduard Lischuk , as well as a number of candidates of sciences and associate professors of local universities. The Crimean branch also included the director of the Southern Scientific Center of Agroecology, academician Petro Volvach, the director of the Crimean branch of the National Research Institute of Ukrainian Studies Viktor Lukashenko, school directors Natalya Rudenko, Valentina Chekalkina, folk craftswoman-embroiderer Vera Roik and Archbishop Kliment (Pavlo Kush).

From the first years of the establishment of the Crimean branch of the NTSh, one of its main tasks was the comprehensive establishment and strengthening of statehood in the autonomy, promotion of the development of the Ukrainian language as the state language, concern for the creation of even more Ukrainian-speaking classes in Crimean education, and in the future – schools with the Ukrainian language of instruction. Members of the NTSh tried to convey the objective history of Ukraine and Crimea to the Crimeans, especially to military personnel and law enforcement officers. Therefore, members of our branch were constantly published in the columns of all-Ukrainian and Crimean newspapers, appeared on radio programs and on television. Close cooperation of the members of the center was established with the first Ukrainian-language state newspaper “Krymska svetlytsia” and many Crimean Tatar publications. Together with the Crimean Tatar scientific community and other national minorities of the autonomy, we held a number of round tables and scientific and practical conferences, honored the memory of General Petro Grigorenko, well-known public and political figures of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian peoples, writers and artists.

Crimean scientists made, perhaps, the greatest contribution among all regional organizations of the NTSh to the revival, preservation and popularization of the scientific heritage of the world-famous Ukrainian scientist-gardener and pomologist Levko Simyrenko and professor Volodymyr Simyrenko, who was destroyed by the Michurinians and the Stalinist regime.

Crimean researchers have prepared and published many scientific works about outstanding Ukrainian scientists: the first monograph in the country about Levko Simyrenko, three volumes of the scientific work “L. P. Simyrenko is the founder of Ukrainian industrial fruit growing”, “L. P. Simyrenko and Crimea”. The first volume of his fundamental scientific work “Crimean industrial fruit growing” was reprinted, its second volume, which was considered lost, was found, reconstructed and published, as well as the work “Local ancient varieties of fruit culture of Crimea”, “Origins of industrial fruit growing”.

The Crimean historian of agrarian science, academician of UEAN Petro Volvach and Melitopol regional historian Volodymyr Riznyk published a valuable two-volume scientific work on the history of horticulture in Northern Tavria, the development of the loose sands of Melitopol region and industrial crops “Provisnyk”, “Among the sands, along the Muravskyi road”.

Academician Roman Yaremiychuk, a member of our branch, prepared and published a number of Ukrainian and Ukrainian-English dictionaries on the oil and gas business. He is the author of more than 10 historical and memorial books and memoirs.

Ukrainian master embroiderer, Hero of Ukraine Vira Roik published a unique monograph “Melody on Canvas”. The famous Ukrainian historian, Crimean Petro Garchev prepared and published several valuable scientific works on the ethnogenesis of the Ukrainian people and the history of primitive society and the beginning of state formation on the territory of Ukraine.

While outside the occupied Crimea, Andrii Ivanets, a well-known historian and member of the young generation in the Crimean branch of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences under the auspices of the Regional Council of Ukrainians of Crimea, prepared and published a unique expert-analytical report “The Community of Ukrainians in Crimea under the conditions of Russian occupation as of 2021”. She received a high rating at the international site of the Crimean Platform.

Linguistic scientists and writers, members of our group, professors Yevhen Regushevskyi, Petro Kyrychok, Oleksandr Gubar, Viktor Humenyuk and others published several Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Crimean Tatar dictionaries and monographic works about Stepan Rudanskyi, Mykhailo Kotsiubynskyi, Lesya Ukrainka, Pavlo Tychyna and other figures of Ukrainian literature Professor Vasyl Chirva prepared and published a Ukrainian textbook on organic chemistry for higher educational institutions of Ukraine, which the Ministry of Education recommended for all educational institutions of Ukraine.

Members of our poet group Danylo Kononenko, Valentin Negoda, Mykhailo Vyshniak, Fedir Stepanov published several collections of poetry, and Viktor Stus published a number of historical and literary novels and novels.

An exemplary children’s studio “Svitanok” at the Simferopol City Center for Children’s Creativity, created by the Honored Worker of Culture of Ukraine, professional actress Alla Petrova, played a major role in the cause of state formation in Crimea, in the awakening and preservation of the national identity of the Ukrainian people on the peninsula. She trained several dozen young actors, theater workers, musicologists, professional singers and musicians. Performances of students were a huge success at national and international competitions. The “Svitanok” studio, with the assistance of Crimean scientists, prepared the theatrical play “Plato’s Farm”, dedicated to the world-famous Ukrainian scientist-gardener and pomologist Levko Simirenko. It was successfully demonstrated in the Crimea, in the homeland of the scientist — Cherkasy region, in Kyiv, Lviv, and on theaters in several European countries.

An important role in the development of Ukrainian culture in the Crimea was played by Ukrainian programs on DTRK and radio, which were systematically broadcast under the leadership and with the active participation of the talented professional actor, director and journalist Oleksandr Polchenko, a member of the Crimean branch of the NTSh.

The high popularity of these Ukrainian-language programs was evidenced by the fact that a few days after the seizure of Crimea, the Moscow occupiers closed them down.

The Cathedral of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Princes Volodymyr and Olga UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate (now OCU), created in Simferopol on the initiative of the community, the Crimean “Prosvita” and scientists, became the real center of Crimean Ukrainianism and state-building on the peninsula. The branch of the Crimean diocese first operated in the Simferopol officers’ building, then, not without the participation of scientists and intellectuals, the Ukrainian church relocated to the former military school.

Bishop, archbishop, and later Metropolitan of Crimea and Simferopol Kliment (Pavlo Kush) became a real spiritual leader of Crimean Ukrainians. He remained with his pasta in the occupied Crimea. The Metropolitan makes heroic efforts not only to preserve the diocese and the cathedral, but also acts as a defender of political prisoners of the Kremlin.

The Crimean branch of the National Academy of Sciences, together with Crimean Tatar organizations and scientists, held annual mourning events in May during the days of the criminal deportation of this people before the occupation of the peninsula by Muscovy. Together we also commemorated the anniversaries of the legendary fighter against the totalitarian Stalinist regime, the fighter for the rights and freedom of the deportees, General Petro Hryhorenko. We closely cooperated with the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and the national media. Together with all state organizations and state-patriotic parties, we celebrated all state holidays all these years: Independence Day of Ukraine, Constitution Day, Day of the Ukrainian Flag, Day of Independence, Day of Ukrainian Writing, anniversaries of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, OUN and UPA.

Scientific Society named after Shevchenko initiated the commemoration at the state level of the 50th anniversary of the entry of Crimea into Ukraine. Our suggestions regarding the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the transfer of the Crimea region to Ukraine were ignored by the anti-Ukrainian regime of Yanukovych and the Crimean separatists Aksyonov, Konstantinov and other bystryuks, because they were preparing to surrender Crimea to the Moscow occupiers. Only under pressure from Ukrainian public organizations in Crimea, on February 13, 2014, i.e. a week before the capture of the peninsula by Moscow troops, the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych issued a decree on the state-level commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Crimea’s accession to Ukraine. Of course, no one in Crimea or Ukraine was going to celebrate this date. The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the transfer of the Crimean region to Ukraine (2004), which took place at our request, was held at the proper state level. The central government then even issued a nice medal, and Crimean scientists prepared a good monograph “Crimea: the way to Ukraine”. Pyotr Volvach’s work “Ukrainian Spring of Crimea” was also published.

Crimean public organizations and branches of local national-democratic parties have always taken care of the development of Ukrainian-language education and schooling. These issues were in the center of attention, first of all, of the Society of the Ukrainian Language, the All-Ukrainian Society “Prosvita” named after Taras Shevchenko, the Crimean branch of the National Academy of Sciences, the Committee “Crimea with Ukraine” and the Society of Scientists “Crimea with Ukraine”. We strongly opposed the discriminatory Kivalov-Kolesnichenko laws and inadequate government regulations.

Even before the signing of the separatist law of the Criminal Code, members of our branch sent a letter to Viktor Yanukovych urging him not to sign this shameful document.

For all the years of activity of the Crimean branch of the National Academy of Sciences and the Society of Scientists “Crimea with Ukraine”, the main efforts of scientists were directed to the preservation, promotion and implementation and implementation of the creative heritage of the national prophet of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko. After all, his name is immortalized in the name of our Society. During the Shevchenko days, our scientists, together with the entire patriotic Crimean population, organized the celebration of Taras’s birthday at scientific conferences, school events, in the press, on radio and television.

We, like all Ukrainian public organizations and branches of national democratic parties, prepared especially carefully and responsibly for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko.

When the Crimean separatist authorities actually ignored this anniversary event, the public took over the functions of the All-Crimean Shevchenko Organizing Committee.

Despite the opposition of the separatist and new occupation authorities, the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko turned out to be the most powerful in all the years of Ukraine’s independence. In the anniversary events in the Simferopol park named after Taras Shevchenko near the monument to Veliky Kobzar was attended by more than 2,000 people. The rally had an anti-occupation and anti-Moscow orientation. Before it began, the separatist “self-defense” and the occupation authorities arrested several leaders of the jubilee committee, active members of our cell, Andrii Shchekun and Anatoly Kovalskyi.

In the following days, all members of the NTSh took an active part in anti-occupation protest actions held by Ukrainian patriots throughout Crimea.

Ukrainian scientists and writers appealed to the leadership of the state and the world community, urging them to condemn the Moscow occupiers.

After the occupation of Crimea by Muscovy, the Society of Scientists “Crimea with Ukraine” and the Crimean branch of the NTSh, like many other state organizations and branches of national-democratic parties, suspended their activities on the territory of the peninsula due to persecution and threats from the occupation authorities.

A significant part of their members in the status of forced migrants left Crimea for Kyiv, Lviv and other cities of mainland Ukraine. However, the activities of many Ukrainian patriotic organizations in exile did not stop. Crimean scientists took an active part in the creation of all kinds of organizations and structures of forced migrants in Ukraine, held several events – Ukrainian meetings, created the Regional Council and elected the Ukrainian leadership of Crimea. Scientists constantly participate in meetings of forced migrants with the Representation of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, in commemoration of important public holidays and jubilee events, in the work of the All-Ukrainian Society “Enlightenment” named after Taras Shevchenko and the annual meetings of the NTSh in Lviv, in celebration of the Shevchenko holidays in Kyiv, Slovyansk, Luhansk region and Vinnytsia region. Members of our branch took an active part in holding the VI World Congress of Ukrainians and regular meetings of Ukrainian scholars in Kyiv. With their participation, several important resolutions were prepared regarding Moscow’s aggression, the occupation of Crimea and a large area of ​​Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Members of our societies took the most active part in congresses and conferences of the Union of Writers of Ukraine, in all-Ukrainian broadcasts on radio and television.

We initiated the holding of significant jubilee dates by the society at the state level, dedicated to the Simirenko family, Lesya Ukrainka, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Ivan Franko, Simon Petlyura, Yevgeny Chikalenko, Pavel Chubynsky and other prominent figures.

Members of the Crimean branch of the NTSh (Andriy Ivanets, Andriy Shchekun, Petro Volvach, Roman Yaremiychuk) and others took part in the preparation of analytical materials and memoirs about the occupation of Crimea by Muscovy, the resistance of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars to the seizure of the peninsula by Moscow troops.

Being in the status of forced migrants, the Ukrainian community of Crimea, among which there are many scientists, restored the publication of the state-owned newspaper “Krymska svetlytsia” in Kyiv, formed an efficient and effective editorial office, and ensured its distribution in Ukraine.

Member and head of the Crimean branch, academician of UEAN, Petro Volvach, while outside Crimea, prepared and published the book “Ukrainian Revival of Crimea”. In it, the author used materials that were published in the columns of “Krymska Svitlytsia” during 2016-2019.

While in exile, a member of our branch, Andriy Ivanets, defended his PhD thesis on the history of the Ukrainian-Russian war in the Crimea during 1917-1921. The researcher discovered a huge historical layer of the revolutionary and liberation struggle of the Ukrainian community, studied the role and place of Ukrainians in the tragic events of that time and the liberation process . He proved the unity of the Ukrainian community in the Crimea during the national liberation revolution of 1917-1921 and their holding of several powerful all-Crimean congresses and congresses. The scientist established the role and further fate of the first leaders of the Ukrainian movement in Crimea, found the grave of its first leader, Pavlo Horyanskyi, a native of Cherkasy region, in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian community of Crimea takes care of the grave of its illustrious compatriot, annually holds days of his memory, collects funds for the installation of a monument to the Great Crimean and patriot of Ukraine.

The Ukrainians of Crimea, united in the Regional Council, during 2022 plan to commemorate glorious anniversaries – the 30th anniversary of the First All-Crimean Congress, the 30th anniversary of the newspaper “Krymska Svetlytsia”, the 30th anniversary of the “Crimea with Ukraine” Committee, the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Society “Crimea with Ukraine”, the 30th anniversary of the organization of the All-Crimean Republican Society “Prosvita” and the 140th anniversary of the organization of the Scientific Society named after Taras Shevchenko in Lviv.

However, the main task of the Ukrainian community united in the Regional Council is the de-occupation of Crimea, return to the peninsula and victory in the war with the totalitarian empire of Muscovy.

Petro VOLVACH,

the head of the Crimean branch of the National Academy of Sciences,

academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences,

  Doctor of Philosophy, Honored Scientist of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,

laureate of the award named after L. P. Simyrenko

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 [1] Petro Volvach “Ukrainian revival of Crimea”. — Kyiv — Odesa, 2021, 265 p.

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  Implemented within the project “Information Platform” Voice of Crimea. Culture “- about Crimea honestly, qualitatively, actually” with the support of the Media Development Fund of the US Embassy in Ukraine. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the official position of the US government.

 

 

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