New York; Svoboda: The Ukrainian Folk Union in America, 1918. 20 3/4 x 33 3/4. In original printed slipcase (size 7 1/2 x 4 1/2). Generally well-preserved, few small tears of the slipcase.
The first edition of a historically significant map that shaped up the idea of the Greater Ukraine.
Published by the Ukrainian-language magazine Svoboda (i.e. The Freedom), that was the official organ of the Ukrainian Folk Union that was found in Pennsylvania in 1894.
The map shows the Ukraine as seen by the American Ukrainian immigrants and the nationalistic optimists in Ukraine, with the Western border includes parts of nowadays Poland and Belarus (including Brest), the Eastern part includes many regions of nowdays Russia, including Rostov, Belgorod, Sochi, Stavropol and a narrow corridor through Caucasus to Caspian Sea. To figure out why the borders are formed like this we need to look at Ukrainian history in the year of 1918 - as 1918 was fundamental for forming of Ukraine as a republic.
Independent Ukraine was proclaimed for the first time in November 1917 as Ukrainian National Republic and since that time became the Independent political subject. During the negotiations between Ukraine and Germany with its allies in Brest-Litovsk in January 1918, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, Oleksandr Sevryuk, described the territorial claims of his country as follows:
‘‘These are the provinces of Volyn, Kyiv, Podil, Kherson, Tavriya, Kharkiv, Ekaterinoslav, Chernihiv, Poltava. These definitions are now very approximate. The third station wagon leaves for all other areas the right to join Ukraine… Also, the Black Sea Fleet was 80% recruited from Ukrainians. We are now insisting on the exchange of Ukrainian sailors in the Baltic for Russian ones on the Black Sea. The ports of Kerch, Simferopol, Yevpatoria and Sevastopol should be Ukrainian, despite the Crimean Tatar environment, because Ukrainians predominate in these cities’’.
We see that those demands are much more modest than what is shown on the map. However the situation changed quickly and relying on German aid, the UPR government began to drive the Bolsheviks out of Ukrainian cities, and on February 27 (14), 1918, it began to formulate the preconditions for peace with Russia. According to this document, Kyiv was going to demand: ‘‘Part of the Kuban, part of the Rostov district, Taganrog district, Black Sea and Stavropol provinces, Putivl district of Kursk province, four districts of Voronezh province, the Ukrainian colony in Siberia - Green Wedge on the Amur. Crimea remains under the influence of Ukraine… The entire fleet in the Black Sea (including trade) belongs only to Ukraine’’ - this has much more correspondence with the present map. We believe it’s possible that it was printed some time in that part of the year.
Interesting is the question of Crimea in this period. It seemed that Ukraine’s intention to include, if not the entire Crimea, a significant part of it was expressed quite unequivocally, but contrary to common sense, it was never recorded in the Brest Peace Treaty on February 9 (January 27), 1918. As a result the Ukrainian troops were pushed away from the Crimean peninsula by German by May 1918.
It was assumed that in the future Russia would be transformed into a democratic federation, and Ukraine and Crimea would become its independent subjects - the states of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar peoples, respectively. Therefore, the Ukrainian Central Rada welcomed the convocation of the First Kurultay in Bakhchisarai and his declaration of intentions to create the Crimean People’s Republic in the future. The final decision on the fate of both Russia and Ukraine and Crimea was to be taken by the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, but it did not work out that way.
It is most likely that on the map the Crimea is divided into two parts - upper part is Ukrainian and lower part Tatar as presumed by Ukrainian Central Rada at the time.
In April of 1918 the Ukrainian Central Rada was dismissed and the authoritative regime of hetman Skoropadskiy was established. In the fall of the following year the army of general Petlyura captured Kiev and nominally restored Ukrainian Republic. These events are described in Bulgakov’s ‘White Guard’. In the early 1919 Bolsheviks captured Kiev and most of Ukraine became Soviet.
SoldStatus: On Hold