Український голос Криму. Севастополь 1917-1920 р.
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Ukrainian voice of Crimea. Sevastopol 1917-1920

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It is hardly necessary to speak about the organized socio-political life of Ukrainians in Crimea before the First World War. Only after the turbulent events of 1917 did Crimean Ukrainians, who had previously been referred to as “Russians” in the census, speak out loud. For example, in early May 1917, delegates from the Ukrainians of the Black Sea Fleet and the land units of the Crimea took part in the 1st All-Ukrainian Military Congress in Kyiv. These and other events are described below.

Sevastopol

In the spring of 1917 in Sevastopol there was a significant Ukrainian national and public movement among civilians and sailors, who were united in the Sevastopol Ukrainian Black Sea Community (SUCHG), founded in March, and in the Main Ukrainian Council of the Black Sea Fleet (BSF). In April, the SUCHG decided to open national schools, libraries and publish newspapers immediately. The wife of the commander of the fleet, Oksana Kolchak, was elected an honorary member of the community. The Ivan Sirko Naval Club was organized at the Community Council. In the city there were centers of Ukrainian SRs, which had a significant impact on the Ukrainian military, who served in the garrisons of these cities, and thus contributed to the Ukrainization of military units. In particular, the Sevastopol group of the Ukrainian Party of Social Revolutionaries included Yuriy (Georgy) Dezhur (Zhurov), a member of the Maritime General Council.who was also a member of the Ukrainian Central Council from Tavria. In the summer, the organization of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Revolutionary Party was founded in Sevastopol, and in early August, the Ukrainian Military Committee, approved by the Ukrainian General Military Committee.

Ukrainian green holidays of 1917 in Sevastopol.
Ukrainian green holidays of 1917 in Sevastopol.

During the overthrow of the tsarist system and the establishment of the Provisional Government, the presidium of the Kobzar circle met to consider how to react to these changes. It was unanimously decided to start work immediately, namely – to make an appeal to Ukrainians to unite in the Ukrainian “Black Sea Community”. The text of the appeal was compiled here. The next day, an invitation appeared in a local newspaper (it was not specified in which one) for anyone who considered himself the son of Ukraine to come to Pushkin Street in the evening to a women’s school, apparently one headed by Vyacheslav Lashchenko. He greeted the participants of the meeting with a very short but meaningful speech and explained what a revolution can give, how to understand freedom and how to behave in order to earn the respect of other states that would recognize our Ukraine as an independent state.The main task was to unite in one Ukrainian family called “Black Sea Community”; the elected presidium was named the Council of Black Sea Citizens. In June, the SUCHG held a general meeting of representatives of the fleet, garrison and residents of the city, whose participants sincerely welcomed “the Ukrainian armed army at the front, which strongly defends the land and the will of Mother Ukraine.”

 

Ukrainian flag on the gaff of the cruiser "Memory of Mercury". November 25, 1917, Sevastopol.
Ukrainian flag on the gaff of the cruiser “Memory of Mercury”. November 25, 1917, Sevastopol.

At the end of the summer of 1917, the Izvestia of the Sevastopol Council of Military and Workers’ Deputies published an article in Russian by the cadet of the aviation school, Fyodor Slipchenko, “Who are the Ukrainians and what are their demands?” The author made an excursion into the history of Ukrainian-Russian relations and focused on the Ukrainian national revival in the XIX century. He noted that Ukrainians want broad national and cultural autonomy and do not demand more than when they entered into an alliance with the Moscow tsar. The Russians, on the other hand, feared this because they believed that the Ukrainians wanted secession, and as a result made numerous provocations against them. The content of the article was quite tolerant with a characteristic feature of the Enlightenment. At that time, a meeting of the population and Ukrainian soldiers of the Black Sea Fleet took place in the city,who supported the struggle of the Central Rada for the autonomy of all Ukrainian lands under the rule of the Russian Empire, and strongly demanded the approval of the Provisional Government of the General Secretariat in full, the recognition of the Ukrainian Military General Committee as a “competent military body”; on Ukrainian military affairs, recognition of the Black Sea Ukrainian Military Committee as a military administrative body in matters concerning Ukrainian soldiers of the Black Sea Fleet and the garrison of the city of Sevastopol. The participants of the meeting considered the withdrawal from the autonomous Ukraine of the provinces: Ekaterinoslav (nests of the Cossacks), Kharkiv, Kherson and mainland Tavriya, populated by Ukrainians,unreasonable and deliberate separation of one part of Ukraine from another “and demanded” the inclusion of these provinces in the autonomous Ukraine. ” Ukrainian soldiers of the Black Sea Fleet and garrison, as well as workers and citizens of the city of Sevastopol stated that “Ukrainian soldiers of the Black Sea Fleet and garrison of Sevastopol categorically declare that in case of any violence against the Central Rada they are all one person with weapons in their hands. will defend her, will not stop in front of the victims for the beloved liberated Ukraine. “that in the event of any violence against the Central Rada, they will all, in the presence of one person with a weapon in their hands, defend it, will not stop in front of the victims for the beloved liberated Ukraine. “that in the event of any violence against the Central Rada, they will all come to the defense of one person with a weapon in their hands, will not stop in front of the victims for the beloved liberated Ukraine. “

Ukrainian green holidays of 1917 in Sevastopol.

The situation in the city at that time was described in his memoirs by the Ukrainian bibliologist, geopolitician and memoirist Lev Bykovsky, who arrived with his colleagues in Sevastopol in the second half of August 1917 in a separate government car “Kyiv-Sevastopol”. According to him, Ukrainian sailors gathered near a cafe on Nakhimovsky Avenue, 4, owned by a native of Western Ukraine Vasyl Vitynsky: he “along with all the staff was the soul of the Ukrainian movement among sailors, contributed to the collapse of the Russian Empire and Ukraine’s independence.” As we have already mentioned, it was this “senior gentleman” who was a member of the presidium of the SUCHG Council who, in 1917, published a pamphlet at the local Energia printing house, “What Every Ukrainian Needs to Know. Ukrainian Catechism “. According to Bykovsky’s recollections, Vitinsky and his sympathizers were opposed by local “Moscow and Little Russia circles,hostile to the Ukrainian movement. ” Speakers were sent to separate ships in the port of Sevastopol to prepare for the Ukrainization of the Black Sea Fleet “for the revolutionary and national awareness of sailors,” including Bykovsky, who performed for three hours on the Volley dreadnought, whose crew consisted almost entirely of Ukrainians. He recalled that in Sevastopol there was an administrative apparatus of the UPR, but at the same time “under his side, supporters of the Moscow-Soviet system since December 1917 successfully organized their” council “and conducted a frantic campaign among the sailors on ships.”whose crew consisted almost entirely of persons of Ukrainian descent. He recalled that in Sevastopol there was an administrative apparatus of the UPR, but at the same time “under his side, supporters of the Moscow-Soviet system since December 1917 successfully organized their” council “and conducted a frantic campaign among the sailors on ships.”whose crew consisted almost entirely of persons of Ukrainian descent. He recalled that in Sevastopol there was an administrative apparatus of the UPR, but at the same time “under his side, supporters of the Moscow-Soviet system since December 1917 successfully organized their” council “and conducted a frantic campaign among the sailors on ships.”

On August 16, 1917, the Black Sea Ukrainian Military Committee in Sevastopol sent a letter to the General Secretariat in Kyiv expressing solidarity with the resolutions of the Ukrainian Minor Council on the events in Kyiv and “for all Ukrainian soldiers of the Black Sea Fleet in modern and difficult times.” the following requirements: 1) immediately remove the regiments of cuirassiers and Don Cossacks from Kyiv and leave the regiment of Cossacks named after Bohdan Khmelnytsky; 2) to change the chief of the Kyiv military district, Colonel Oberuchev, and to appoint a new chief in agreement with the Central Rada.  “These demands, as well as all the demands of the Central Rada, Ukrainian soldiers of the Black Sea Fleet and the garrison of the city of Sevastopol will be supported by all means ,” the letter said.

In the elections to the All-Russian Constituent Assembly in November 1917 in the Black Sea Fleet, the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionaries received 24.5% of the vote (the Bolsheviks – 20.5%).

According to the decision of the II All-Ukrainian Military Congress on June 5-10, 1917, the Sevastopol Ukrainian Council (SUR) of military and workers’ deputies was established in Sevastopol, headed by Ensign Konstantin Velychko. In addition to this organization, the Black Sea Ukrainian Military Committee and the Ukrainian faction of the Sevastopol “Soviet,” which the Bolsheviks tried to “get their hands on as soon as possible,” defended the interests of Ukrainians in the conditions of growing anarchy. The Council demanded the Ukrainization of the Black Sea Fleet (BSF) and its subordination to the Ukrainian Central Council (UCR), facilitated and supported the relevant processes. SUR had its own printed body – “Bulletin of the Ukrainian Council of Military and Workers’ Deputies of the city of Sevastopol”, which was published mostly in Russian:Ukrainian sometimes provided news and official news from Kyiv. The editorial office of the SUR committee had a common room with the Rada – building №33 on Nakhimovsky Avenue. The “bulletin” was printed in the printing house of the former editor-publisher of the local newspaper “Crimean Herald” Isaac Neumann.

In № 4 of the “Bulletin” for December 22, 1917 (apparently, the date is presented in the old style) was placed the appeal of the District Commission of the Black Sea Fleet District for elections to the UPR; in particular, 2 constituencies were established for the Navy elections – the Black Sea and the Baltic, which consisted of “ship teams, coastal teams, as well as those serving as fleet commanders.” In these two constituencies, by voting for special candidate lists, “servicemen belonging to military units or serving troops could participate; persons of both sexes who serve in the troops, crews of ships and coastal units of the Black Sea and Baltic Fleets and have reached 20 years of age; ranks of civil departments; spiritual of all religions; other employees, even freelancers, including workers in various parts of the military administration. “It was noted that persons under the age of 20 also had the right to vote, but only if they were in active military service. The commission also urged all parts of the fleet and garrison of Sevastopol and Balaklava to hurry to submit electoral lists of all citizens of the UPR in duplicate, indicating the province and county each no later than December 23, 1917 (probably under Art.). Secretary Rybka signed on behalf of the election commissioner. It was not possible to find out the name of the commissioner himself, because, unfortunately, the page of the archival copy was erased in this place. Most likely, it was a member of the UCR from the Crimea Yuri (George) Dezhur (Zhurov).The commission also urged all parts of the fleet and garrison of Sevastopol and Balaklava to hurry to submit electoral lists of all citizens of the UPR in duplicate, indicating the province and county each no later than December 23, 1917 (probably under Art.). Secretary Rybka signed on behalf of the election commissioner. It was not possible to find out the name of the commissioner himself, because, unfortunately, the page of the archival copy was erased in this place. Most likely, it was a member of the UCR from the Crimea Yuri (George) Dezhur (Zhurov).The commission also urged all parts of the fleet and garrison of Sevastopol and Balaklava to hurry to submit electoral lists of all citizens of the UPR in duplicate, indicating the province and county each no later than December 23, 1917 (probably under Art. Art.). Secretary Rybka signed on behalf of the election commissioner. It was not possible to find out the name of the commissioner himself, because, unfortunately, the page of the archival copy was erased in this place. Most likely, it was a member of the UCR from the Crimea Yuri (George) Dezhur (Zhurov).it was a member of the UCR from the Crimea Yuri (George) Dezhur (Zhurov).it was a member of the UCR from the Crimea Yuri (George) Dezhur (Zhurov). “It is with sadness that we have to admit that not all our peasants and workers follow Ukrainian democracy, because not everyone clearly understands its tasks. This bitter truth is especially true of the Ukrainian people in the Black Sea region, where Ukrainian workers and soldiers have little or no interest in uniting around their democracy, and have little or no idea of ​​the ultimate goal of Ukrainian democratic parties. More, citizens, awareness! ”  – it was said in the address of the commission to “citizens of the Ukrainian democratic republic”.

Ukrainian voice of Crimea. Sevastopol 1917-1920In № 2 of the “Bulletin” for January 5, 1918 (the date is probably given in the old style) was published an appeal to the “comrades of Ukrainian sailors”, signed by E. WITH.” (The cryptonym could not be deciphered). The text deserves to be given almost completely (in translation, with minor abbreviations.

 

Fragment of text. Bulletin №1, 1918.
Fragment of text. Bulletin №1, 1918.

We welcomed the peace talks and insisted on the creation of a federal socialist ministry, which, based on the entire revolutionary democracy of all the nations inhabiting the great Russian republic, would make peace and we would not face the fact of a new war, “sacred “, Which want to announce the people’s commissars. The Ukrainian Rada abolished land ownership and established control over industry by the Third Universal. It seems to them  (probably the mentioned commissioners)  that they would do more good to the Ukrainian people, and therefore declared war on them in order to impose their power by force of arms. It is no secret that the Council is not bourgeois, because the bourgeois Council would not abolish land ownership and so on.«You are now a wide field where everyone who is not lazy sows their disgusting family, inciting you to your parents and brothers. Think and understand with cold common sense where you are called and what dirt your imaginary well-wishers are pouring on our parents and brothers. We are all so crippled by the old regime that we do not know ourselves – we do not know what nationality we are and what our history is. We were told that we were crap, and at best, Little Russians. The word “Ukrainian” could not be uttered, because the one who uttered or wrote it was arrested by the gendarmes and convicted as a revolutionary (now for the same – as a counter-revolutionary). There was a coup. We Ukrainians have declared that this revolution must liberate both the oppressed class of the working people and the nations that were oppressed under tsarism. We resolutely declared that we are no longer Kh ** l and not Little Russians, but Ukrainians,which have their own history, their own territory, their own language, their own customs, and that this gives us the right to the sovereign existence of a nation and a state. For this we were accused of pursuing our policy in the interests of Germany, that all this was done with German money. This was said and written by the “Little Russian” bourgeoisie, and the Russian socialists — revolutionaries and Mensheviks — helped it in this. The Bolsheviks were silent, or praised the Soviet. We Ukrainians, who wish good to our oppressed peasantry and proletariat, did our job – we organized this oppressed class around the Ukrainian socialist parties. These are the parties of Ukrainian socialists-revolutionaries and social democrats, which in their attitude to the war, as well as in the tactics of land and factory issues went hand in hand with the Bolsheviks. You have seen this tactic even here in Sevastopol.Now we have not left our platform. Everything we aspired to was done by us.

Under the influence of deceptive and provocative Bolshevik speeches and articles, we became capable of such resolutions as the command of the battleship Free Russia. You have been so hypnotized that you do not know what you are doing.

When the masses of a thousand people pass a resolution under the influence of hot appeals to the Kyiv or Odessa Soviets, it is still possible to forgive, because these councils are far away: they cannot be seen, and if they say they are bourgeois, they are bourgeois. But along with these councils, the team’s resolution mentions the Sevastopol “abominable, bourgeois, and counterrevolutionary council.”

Comrades! But this is, after all, a shame for yourself! People come to you from Petrograd to mislead you, and you failed to take 100-200 steps to go and check the composition of the Sevastopol council. Don’t you know that this council consists of your fellow sailors, your chosen ones, as well as comrades of soldiers and workers? No, you know all this, but you have fallen under the influence of demagogues, who with their inflammatory speeches can confuse you so that you will be able to sign the death sentence yourself.

For 10 months of revolution it is time to learn to understand the duty of a citizen – having thrown off laziness, it is necessary to start forging the happiness for what it is necessary to go to political organizations and to work, instead of passing without any bases resolutions calling to smash these organizations.

The executive committee of the council should have 19 members, but there are only 12 of them at the moment, and it is your fault, your laziness, when the council invites you to a meeting to resolve certain issues or join the committee. Not in the imaginary bourgeoisie for the sake of the death of the revolution, but in your inaction, in your “someone will do it.” You threaten to sweep everything to the right and left with bayonets and machine guns. In 10 months of the revolution you have done nothing for Ukraine, and you want to destroy what your parents and brothers created, to wipe it off the face of the earth. At least move your brains a little and understand what you are doing. Do not forget that everything you are called to do will benefit anyone but you, fellow Ukrainians. You can see that we have been harassed from the very first days of the revolution until now. The Cadets, the Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries, and the Mensheviks, and the Bolsheviks,and even in a way that no one teased. You know that when any national question arises, all Russian parties unite and go together against us. Whoever of you attends the council meeting watched. Are you so blind that you don’t notice?

Comrades, you finally understand that only you, and not someone else, can best protect your interests. I urge you to start forging your happiness before it’s too late. At the first invitation of the council, appear at the meeting, present your political face in creativity, not in destruction. During the additional elections of the council, it depends entirely on you who will fill it, and every true friend of the Ukrainian working people will greet you; then you will undertake creative work yourself.

 

Fragment of text. Bulletin №2, 1918
Fragment of text. Bulletin №2, 1918

I draw your attention to the following: what did the revolution in Sevastopol give us, Ukrainians? And here’s the thing: we all know that the revolutionary lieutenant Blagoveshchensky was tried by the revolutionary democracy in the person of the revolutionary tribunal only because he was Ukrainian. But this is not convincing for you, because Blagoveshchensky is an officer, and if an officer, then a bourgeois and counterrevolutionary, although no such accusation was made, and Blagoveshchensky declared himself a Ukrainian not yesterday, but when Ukrainians and the Rada were praised by the Bolsheviks.I ask my Bolshevik comrades of Ukrainian origin: do you recognize the Ukrainian nation? And if you admit, then why are you called not the Ukrainian, but the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party of the Bolsheviks? If I am told that this party is international, then why is it called a Russian party and not just a party? Thus, if it can be called a Russian party, then the German Bolshevik Party, the English Party, etc., etc., can exist with the same success, and hence the final conclusion that there can be a Ukrainian Bolshevik Party. Welcoming any socialist party, if it does not turn into a monster, I will purely congratulate the Bolsheviks of Ukrainian origin when they show their national identity and cease to be called the Russian Social Democratic Party. Comrade Bolsheviks of Ukrainian origin,become the Ukrainian Bolsheviks and undertake the state-building of your own nation, and then you will see better where the bourgeois are and where your benefactors are. If you do not take up this matter, as befits a socialist, it will be a crime, with the help of our Russian comrades, to destroy what your parents and brothers created in Ukraine with such difficulties.

And here is another fact, more convincing. The council received a statement from the main port factory committee that the port worker A., ​​who is a member of the Sevastopol council, had been denied maintenance. These are members of the council of workers’ and military deputies! What is it – bullying of the nation and the individual or coercion to renounce their nationality? This is what revolutionary democracy has done, proclaiming the sacred slogan of the nation’s self-determination, but in fact depriving those who self-determine a piece of bread to prevent this self-determination.

Come to your senses, comrades, start forging your own happiness, because there may come a time when you will be judged for daring to call yourself a Ukrainian.

You know that at the rally the crew passed a resolution to arrest the members of the council, and if you do not unite around the body created by you, today it will be arrested, and tomorrow they will take you and all of us will self-determine as “self-determined” for the tsar.

Comrades! Once again I call you to the organization, to work for the benefit of yourself and all working people “( in the original this line, the only one in the text written in Ukrainian, looked like this:  ” Comrades! Once again I call you to the organization, to work for the benefit of yourself and all working people “) .

On January 26, 1918, Volodymyr Antonov-Ovsienko, the “People’s Commissar,” telegraphed from Kharkiv: “The Soviet government triumphed in Sevastopol. All ships moved to her side. The council was disbanded. ”

In January-April 1918, with the liberation of Crimea from the Bolsheviks by a group of the UPR Army with the support of the German army, in Sevastopol, under the leadership of Ukrainian language teacher Tereshchenko, the Kobzar organization was resumed. At the end of September, the Crimean regional government “responded” to the Ukrainian state’s blockade of the peninsula by refusing to register the charter of the Sevastopol Ukrainian Club, so it is not surprising that the Ukrainian community boycotted the Duma elections, which the local population was indifferent to. In mid-October, the club announced the organization of a Ukrainian school named after Taras Shevchenko, which had been shut down by the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s, and in a few days organized several daytime performances for students.

On October 12, 1917, the destroyer “Enviable” was the first of all ships of the Black Sea Fleet to raise the Ukrainian flag. On the same day, the press published a manifesto of the destroyer team, which, among other things, read: We, the Ukrainians of the destroyer “Enviable”, raised our national Ukrainian flag on the gaff in order to show that despite the age-old oppression, still alive are the sons of our glorious mother-Ukraine, and therefore alive and the force that must restore the rights of our glorious, dear mother Ukraine. By raising the flag, we have shown that we are a force and that we will use that force to achieve our dream goals of restoring all the rights of oppressed peoples. We call on all the faithful sons of dear Ukraine to support us in the struggle for the best ideals. We will not lower our national flag as long as we exist and there is the destroyer “Enviable” ». At the same time, the Black Sea Fleet received news of Ukrainization in the Baltic Fleet. To commemorate this event, by prior arrangement with the Fleet Command, all ships and ports of the Black Sea Fleet were decorated with Ukrainian flags for one day, at the same time waving the flags “Long live free Ukraine”. The Ukrainians of Sevastopol staged a solemn procession and a parade near the monument to Admiral Nakhimov in honor of this.

 

Newspaper report on the creation of "Enlightenment" in Sevastopol
Newspaper report on the creation of “Enlightenment” in Sevastopol

In the 20s of November 1917, Sevastopol received by radio the text of the Third Universal of the UCR and the order to the Black Sea Fleet from the Secretary General for Military Affairs of the UPR Simon Petliura: “Hold a ceremony with a salute in honor of the Ukrainian Republic.” Large-scale celebrations in honor of the Ukrainian People’s Republic took place in the city. At the insistence of Ukrainian organizations (including SUCHG), the Sevastopol Rada facilitated a large Ukrainian military parade attended by representatives of various nationalities, which ended with a solemn prayer in honor of the UPR in Volodymyr Cathedral. For the first time in history, all ships of the Black Sea Fleet stationed in the city raised Ukrainian flags and the signal “Glory to the Ukrainian People’s Republic!” In general, in the autumn of 1917, more than half of the ships of the Black Sea Fleet appeared under the Ukrainian flag. In addition,The Central Rada was recognized by the naval headquarters, almost all military enterprises and institutions, coastal and fortification structures. The cruiser “Memory of Mercury” (formerly “Cahul”, later “Hetman Ivan Mazepa”) was staffed by Ukrainians after the raising of the national flag; thus the ship officially became the first Ukrainian cruiser of modern times. On November 24, a separate naval hut named after Hetman Petro Sagaidachny, numbering 612 bayonets under the command of midshipman Yakym Khrystych, left Sevastopol for Kyiv to strengthen the military strength of the UCR. The flag of the hut depicted a woman representing Ukraine, and contained the inscription “Do not cry, Mother, do not grieve, Your sons at sea get You Freedom – smile.”later “Hetman Ivan Mazepa”) after the raising of the national flag was staffed by Ukrainians; thus the ship officially became the first Ukrainian cruiser of modern times. On November 24, a separate naval hut named after Hetman Petro Sagaidachny, numbering 612 bayonets under the command of midshipman Yakym Khrystych, left Sevastopol for Kyiv to strengthen the military strength of the UCR. The flag of the hut depicted a woman representing Ukraine, and contained the inscription “Do not cry, Mother, do not grieve, Your sons at sea get You Freedom – smile.”later “Hetman Ivan Mazepa”) after the raising of the national flag was staffed by Ukrainians; thus the ship officially became the first Ukrainian cruiser of modern times. On November 24, a separate naval hut named after Hetman Petro Sagaidachny, numbering 612 bayonets under the command of midshipman Yakym Khrystych, left Sevastopol for Kyiv to strengthen the military strength of the UCR. The flag of the hut depicted a woman representing Ukraine, and contained the inscription “Do not cry, Mother, do not grieve, Your sons at sea get You Freedom – smile.”On November 24, a separate naval hut named after Hetman Petro Sagaidachny, numbering 612 bayonets under the command of midshipman Yakym Khrystych, left Sevastopol for Kyiv to strengthen the military strength of the UCR. The flag of the hut depicted a woman representing Ukraine, and contained the inscription “Do not cry, Mother, do not grieve, Your sons at sea get You Freedom – smile.”On November 24, a separate naval hut named after Hetman Petro Sagaidachny, numbering 612 bayonets under the command of midshipman Yakym Khrystych, left Sevastopol for Kyiv to strengthen the military strength of the UCR. The flag of the hut depicted a woman representing Ukraine, and contained the inscription “Do not cry, Mother, do not grieve, Your sons at sea get You Freedom – smile.”On October 20, a large gathering of the Ukrainian community took place in Sevastopol, during which a resolution was adopted demanding the annexation of Crimea to Ukraine; at the same time, the establishment of a local Enlightenment center was announced.

On April 23, 1918, the Crimean group of the UPR Army captured the Sarabuz station. On the same day, Captain 2nd Rank Misnikov, appointed by order of the UPR Ministry of the Sea, commander of the Crimean Peninsula ataman, commander of the Sevastopol fortress, and ataman of the Crimean navy, ordered the raising of Ukrainian flags not only on ships but also along the coast.

Ukrainian voice of Crimea. Sevastopol 1917-1920On April 29, 1918, by 6 o’clock in the evening in Sevastopol, red flags were lowered and Ukrainian flags were raised on battleships, cruisers, and some destroyers. The staff ship “George the Victorious” was under the signal “Embraced command of the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet. Admiral Sablin. After that, a message was sent to Kyiv: “On this day, the Sevastopol Fortress and the fleet stationed in Sevastopol raised Ukrainian flags. Rear Admiral Sablin took command. ” Yellow and blue flags were raised in Sevastopol in the city and on some ships. At the same time, the Sevastopol Commissariat of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Council of the Ukrainian People’s Party, created in the last week of April, addressed Sevastopol residents with a proposal to decorate city houses with Ukrainian flags and demonstrate in support of the city’s membership.From April 27 to April 30, there were long queues of people wishing to accept Ukrainian citizenship near the building of the Ukrainian Commissariat on Nakhimovska Street.

In August 1919, a congress of Ukrainian public organizations of Crimea took place in Sevastopol, during which the chairman of the Small Council (Executive Committee) of the National Ukrainian Council in Crimea Pavlo Goryansky was instructed to “take over the protection of Crimean Ukrainians as consuls”; accordingly, the Mala Rada, in order to “defend the rights of the Ukrainian people before the Crimean authorities and carry out broad organizational, educational and economic activities among the Ukrainians of Crimea,” was to obtain the rights of the UPR consulate.  “Ukrainian national affairs in Crimea are declining more and more over time. Without funds and worthy guides, Ukrainian urban citizenship in Crimea will remain defenseless against brutal measures and will be forced to be completely denationalized , ”Goryansky worried.

In July 1920, the underground headquarters of Ukrainian organizations in military units moved its activities from Feodosia to Sevastopol.

In October 1920, the “commander of southern Russia” Peter Wrangel issued orders banning the propaganda of national hatred, and all educational institutions with Ukrainian as the language of instruction were granted broad rights. Then in Sevastopol, in order to spread literacy and knowledge of Ukrainian culture, the societies “Crimean Education” and “Ukrainian House” were established. At that time, the city became the center of Ukrainian political life in the Crimea: there you could meet representatives of almost all areas, except the far left. Representatives of the Farmers’ Union, which was called the “author of the hetmanate,” played a dominant role in this conglomerate of parties and currents. On October 2, the first and last congress of the bloc, which was called the National Democratic Party, opened in the Ukrainian gymnasium. A variety of organizations were presented at the congress: the bloc and its Central Committee,Simferopol, Feodosia and Poti communities, the Peasants’ Union, the Ukrainians of Georgia, the Ekaterinoslav Fellowship, the Sevastopol branch of the Dnipro Union, the Ukrainian People’s Army. The Congress adopted, in fact, a single resolution – on the formation of the Ukrainian National Army under the leadership of Wrangel – which was rejected by a majority vote. The practical consequence of the formation of the bloc was the creation of Ukrainian military units.

Sergey KONASHEVYCH

Information partner of the  Crimean Svitlytsia newspaper

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Sergey Konashevich

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