90th Anniversary of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic

On October 18, 1918 Ukrainian nationalism came in its own right declaring an independent West Ukrainian People’s Republic from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  The area consisted of Galicia, Transcarpathia and Bukovina which many of the Ukrainian diaspora emigrated from.  The Republic had a population of over 5 million people, and its government had 1/3 of its seats reserved for ethnic minorities (Poles, Jews, etc).  The official state language was Ukrainian, but the minorities reserved the right to communicate with their government in their mother tongue.  The state also confiscated vast estates from private landlords and distributed the land to landless peasants.  On January 22 1919 the state united with the Ukrainian People’s Republic.

Viktor Yushchenko recently took part in the celebration:

According to the Ukrainian president, the formation of the movement gave a push towards the national unity required for the formation of the Ukrainian state in 1919. It required, according to him, progressive democratic and Europe-oriented ideals which should dominate foreign policy today.

“If we stand united, if we do not step on politically secular paths, we will be able to achieve those values, which are the essence of our national ideal, the values of the Ukrainian spirit. The values of European civilisation, of fair and confident living. The values, which were proclaimed in Lviv 90 years ago – independence, statehood,
community and spirituality,” Yushchenko said.

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