Original Socialist Labour reports of the Ukrainian Revolution 1919-1920

Out of print for 100 years

Socialist mast workers

As part of our ongoing marking of the 100th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Revolution 1917-1921, we republish below a series of original articles from The Socialist – the paper of the old Socialist Labour Party from 1919 and 1920.

These article are reflect the spirit of the time – with a wave of revolution sweeping Europe in the aftermath of the world war.   The SLP was founded in Scotland by the famous socialist James Connolly and their  paper The Socialist produced in Glasgow, was a voice of anti-war internationalism during World War One.  When the revolution broke out in the Russian Empire the SLP carried regular on the revolution in Ukraine.  They challenged myths and ‘anti-Ukrainianism’ , giving voice to the parties which the majority of Ukrainians supported – the Ukrainian socialist parties.

Amongst their writers was ‘G. Piddubny’, pseudonym of Hryhory Tovmachiv a member of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries and editor of Trudova respublika (Labour Republic).  Between 1919-1920 he was a member of the independent ‘Foreign Group of the Ukrainian Communist Party’ and part of the Ukrainian section of the Communist Party of Austria.  During the cultural renaissance of Ukrainisation in the 1920’s he was a correspondent of the Kyiv daily Proletarska Pravda, he was then imprisoned during the of the Stalinist terror 1935 and died.  The articles are republished in original form and names are transliterated differently than they are today..  Ukraine Solidarity Campaign is grateful to our supporter Liam McNulty (member of Hornsey and Wood Green Constituency Labour Party) – for transcribing these rare articles.   

Map Ukr 3

UKRAINIAN WORKERS IN POLISH PRISONS

(The Socialist, November 20th 1919)

In the Labour Press in England has appeared many articles and news of the extermination war against the South African natives. The terrible facts appeal to every Socialist the world over. Here we would like to give some facts about the war of extirpation made by the so-called “liberated Poland,” with the help of French and English capital, not against the Mexicans or Africans, but on the “natives of Central Europe” in Eastern Galicia, Chelm, and Wolhynia. We were so much touched by the sufferings of Belgium that we are a bit puzzled by the silence of the humanitarians in France and England, and should like to say a word of two in defence of the “liberated by the sword of democracy” peasants and workers of North-Western Ukraine.

 Galicia SocialistThe Ukrainian Soviet Government of Rakovsky protested against the cruelty, but, of course, that was of no avail. The Socialist paper in Lemberg (Ukrainian) started to publish the list of those who have died in the camps of internment, but the Polish “Socialist authority” of Pilsudsky suppressed the further publication when it reached 700, which was nothing compared to the real figures. The Polish Socialists remained silent, except when they demanded more persecution against the Ukrainian “haydamaks”; of course, the Communists never ceased to denounce the hangman’s policy of the “Socialists” and Dmovsky; but lately we got some correspondence in the Polish Socialist paper, Robotnik, which is the first of the kind in the whole Polish press (Obozyjencow, Robotnik, 16/x), and that runs as follows:

“The prisoners in the camps in Brest and Modlin (north-west Ukraine, under Polish occupation) live in terrible conditions. The internment camps at Brest-Litovsky is the most disgraceful fact for the Polish State. The real condition in Fortress Berg and in the other barracks in Brest provokes feelings of despair in anyone who has seen it. In the cold barrack in Bugshop, which are overcrowded by Ukrainian prisoners, there is no straw to sleep on, and in some of them no boards for the stretches, and people live on the stony floor; instead of straw they put the stalky weed grass. There are no windows, and even no jambs and doorposts.

“These conditions, together with scanty food (1/3 of a soldier’s loaf and some muddy water), which had been diminished by corrupted officers (some of them are in prison for alleged theft amounting to 500,000 marks), who turned the camp for prisoners into a camp for corpses.

“Two months ago there were 6,000 prisoners in this camp, and every day from 50 to 100 men died of hunger. It was dysentery that killed the starving men. In one hospital the dead corpses were lying three weeks unburied, and rats set about and ate some of them. Up to now the dead are buried in such shallow graves that corpses stick out of the ground; in consequence, the soldiers who watch the prisoners are catching the dysentery and typhus and spreading the disease all around them. The appearance of the Ukrainian prisoners is so horrible that they look like death. Some of them are unable to say a word; some would not even come out for meals.

“When they go for meals it looks like a march of death. Hungry and cold, they rake in the refuse for potato skins, they eat grass and blackberries and elder. It is cold at night; they have nothing but rags to cover themselves with, and their own skin, which scarcely covers their bones. They tried to make a fire in the yard, but soldiers beat them with the butt ends and put the fire down. They are so weak that they hardly could walk, and soldiers beat them to make them move quicker. But cruelly they are beaten by soldiers: ‘all the same he would not survive!’ Some say, ‘Please kill me; I cannot suffer any more.’

“Many were beaten to death, for they were too weak to hold out. One of the guards walks about and strikes left and right with his stick, on the bony parts of the body, on the head, in the face; thus some were blinded. Some of the prisoners from despair have thrown themselves in the Bug river to drown, and some cut their throats. Horror!”

We need not add anything to it. I must only explain that many of these prisoners are not prisoners made in war with the Ukrainians (Bolsheviks or Petlurians), but arrested as suspected of being in sympathy with them. The Polish Press was full of cries against the Rakovsky’s persecution of the Polish magnates in Kiev, but this was the first fact printed in Poland and in the Polish Press about their civilising mission in East Europe.

  1. PIDDUBNY

Restore Tsardom Socialist

SHALL POLAND RESTORE TSARDOM?

(The Socialist, December 11, 1919)

[In view of the confused state of affairs in East Central Europe no apology is needed for giving below a translation from Neprzod (Forward) of 19th September, 1919. This daily, published in Cracow, is the chief organ in Southern Poland of the Polish Socialist Party (i.e., P.P.S., as it is usually referred to), and is under the direction of Daszynski, the leader of the Party – ED., SOCIALIST.]

Poland has been built up on the ruins of Russia. The downfall of the latter was and is the guarantee of Polish independence. In the first years of the war, when it appeared that the Central Powers would be crushed by the Russian steam-roller, the attitude of the Entente showed plainly what would have happened to Poland had Russia participated in the Entente victory. The Western Powers officially ignored the existence of the Polish question; they actually did not wish to know anything about it, and left its solution to Russia, regarding the Polish nation as a part of the Russian. In Paris, the statement that one was a Pole was answered by – “therefore a Russian.” Russia was driven out of the Congress Kingdom [in 1915] before she had given a thought to the question of improving Poland’s lot. Russians were nominated to the Governorships of Cracow, Tarnow, and Posen!! [This was counting one’s chickens before they are hatched with a vengeance.]

The collapse of Russia entirely altered Poland’s international status. There being none of the Entente Powers to which Poland could be fairly handed over as a whole, she regained her freedom automatically by the downfall of Germany. She (i.e., Poland) became the only Power to be reckoned with in the East, and the only one which could be used against the Bolsheviks. The relations of the Entente with Poland are based entirely upon this fact. It was impossible not to recognise Poland’s independence or to refuse to her economic assistance, since this would have resulted in opening for the Bolsheviks the way to Central Europe. Likewise, at the critical moment, Poland was the only country which could replace Russia on Germany’s Eastern frontiers.

The principal political aim of the Entente in the East, namely, the defeat of Bolshevism and the rebuilding of Greater Russia either with or without a Tsar, would entirely alter Poland’s advantageous position. The three Russian counter-revolutionary armies, supported by the Entente Powers, attack the Soviet Republic on three sides, and in absorbing the power of the latter aid to a certain extent the arms of Poland.

But what will happen when the Soviet Republic is vanquished in this struggle and its place taken by the Russia or Koltchak or Denikin? Poland will lose all importance in the eyes of the Entente Powers, her interests will be subservient to those of Russia – a process already taking place to a certain extent. The decisions of the Council of Four in the matter of Poland’s Eastern frontiers are influenced not by any ethnographical or other reasons, but by the future Russia which is not yet in being.

We can see already the future attitude of Russia towards Poland. Koltchak, continuously beaten by the Bolsheviks and unable to extend his rule beyond the Ural Mountains, protests from the heart of Asia against the recognition of Esthonian, Georgian, and even Finnish independence. He was compelled to recognise Poland’s independence because the Polish army and Polish co-operation in the struggle against Bolshevism were indispensable to the Entente. But Sazanov, his Minister of Foreign Affairs, offered merely autonomy to the “Vistula province.” The Entente, however, did not dare to make the same proposition, in the name of the Don and Lena adventurers, to a victorious Poland. Denikin owes his salvation to the fact that Poland engaged the Bolshevik forces, but he acknowledged the independence of Poland without Chelm. The new Greater Russia reveals her policy in her designs on Chelm, so that Lithuania and Eastern Galicia can be disregarded in this connection. Given that the greater part of Russia is united, she will be supported by that same vast population which has long frightened Europe. We shall find no help in Entente Powers, who will sacrifice everything, and Poland first and foremost, to a strong Russia capable of paying her debts. Nor shall we find support in an antagonism between Germany and Russia, as that will no longer exist. This is shown by the close understanding between the armies of Lieven and von der Goltz.

The German soldiers in the Baltic provinces, who rebelled, so it appears, against superior orders to return home, formed in Courland a sort of military state in sympathy with the imperialist Lieven – Lieven, who refuses to recognise the independence of Lithuania.

At the other end of Russia, General von Krauss, the one-time head of a West Ukrainian Republic, is fighting the Bolsheviks independently; Denikin and his assistant, the German von Bredow, acknowledge him as the only legal representative of the Little Russians, and treat Petlura as a rebel.

All this may seem medieval, and one thinks of the Italian “condottieri” bartering arms and forming independent States; but this little band has Germany at its back ready to gather the fruits of its labours. The Russo-Prussian stranglehold, which suppressed Poland for 150 years, is ready again to begin its pressure. We can only avoid this by uniting against White Russia (i.e., reactionary Russia) with all those nations whose independence she threatens – above all with Ukraine.

In reply to all the learned discussions in the Polish Press regarding the independent existence of Ukraine, we say that if it does not at present exist it is in the interests of Poland to establish it.

The separation of Ukraine from Russia – the poisonous fangs drawn from the mouth of the Mongol beast – will surely result in the free national development of many States previously oppressed (by Russia), and will also result in the restoration of equilibrium among the European states concerned.

The Imperialists are well aware of this fact, and deny to Ukraine any suggestion of independence. Under pressure of the moment the word “federation” is uttered, but what that would signify in the event of Koltchak’s victory is realised by Ukraine, which rejects the idea of “federation” that would mean acknowledging von Krauss and other Germany manipulators of Petrushevitch. Mr Hankievitch, the Ukrainian Socialist, writes in Vperyot:

Behind Russian Federalism is to be found the greatest enemy of Ukraine (also of Poland) and also of Western European Democracy – Russian Imperialism. The disintegration of terrible Russia is the greatest benefit to mankind derived from the Great War – a benefit purchased by an ocean of blood and tears. let no one fare to do away with it!

The words express the sentiments of all the nations freed from Russian oppression – a Pole has not much to add. The desire to do away with this benefit to mankind is beginning to die down even in France; it is alive only in Germany and in our own reactionary camp. This is not the first time that our National Democratic Party has betrayed the principle of nationality and democracy. From the time when Mr Dmowski offered Witte his assistance against the Polish Revolution (assistance that was scornfully rejected) until the fall of Tsardom, our reactionaries persisted in their allegiance to Russia. Under this banner they struggled against all ideas of independence, described all Polish risings as the work of Jews and renounced all claims to Chehn, Vilna, Lvov (Lomberg), in fact, anything Russia desired. We might have drawn a veil over the past, but what is happening to-day? In the Polish Diet our reactionaries behave not as Poles but as Tsarist agents, and demand support for the Russia of Denikin.

Enough of the murderous work, in which all reactionaries unite for the purpose of suppressing the Eastern Proletarian Revolution! Neither the interests of Poland as a State, nor the interests of the Polish working class in particular can permit these criminal deeds to continue, instigated as they are by French capitalism and international reaction.

REMARKS -(1) The above is all very nice and pretty, but it is ten months too late. Daszynski, Maraczewski, and other leaders of the Polish Socialist Party (really only a Radical bourgeois party, although claiming to speak for the proletariat), both inside and outside the first “Socialist” Government of Pilsudski, betrayed the working masses of Poland by voicing, after the armistice, their horror of “Bolshevism” in the best capitalist tones. Instead of boldly making an alliance or coming to an understanding with Soviet Russia, as was suggest in certain Warsaw circles as far back as last February, they allowed themselves to be side-tracked by the pressure of the French and British Governments. Poland and the adjacent peoples are now suffering as a result of their (i.e., the Polish Socialist Party’s) base betrayal. A somewhat similar situation arose here in England. The Russian Workers’ Revolution of November, 1917, was basely besmirched by all the leading lights that control the Labour Party, the Fabian Society, and the I.L.P. – all these bodies claiming to be internationalist!! It is largely owing to their disgraceful work in the early stages (and not to the Winstonburg line) that Russia is now going through much anguish and travail, and may be destined to go through much more. Indeed, some of the members of the I.L.P. do not yet seem to have learnt anything. I have never heard two such insidiously counter-revolutionary speeches as those of Messrs. Philip Snowden and of Ramsay MacDonald when proposing and seconding (at the Albert Hall, London, on October 11) the resolution demanding the cessation of intervention in Russia. I am thankful to say that MacDonald’s speech seemed to fall very flat indeed – I have never heard him so poorly applauded!!

(2) The Mr. Dmowski so bitterly denounced above in Naprzod for his anti-Polish sentiments is the Polish “leader” whom the Entente Powers during the Great War recognised as “representing” Poland, and whom our Liberal and Fabian Press also recognised as such. Pretty, isn’t it?

MAZEPPA

1917PartiyaSoz-Rev election poster

Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries election poster for ‘Land and Freedom’

STRUGGLE IN THE UKRAINE. UKRAINIAN “DEMOCRACY” CRACKS.

(The Socialist, January 22, 1920)

I take an opportunity to write you a few notes on the situation in the Ukraine. Perhaps you will avail yourself of them if you have not got them yet from the Radio News Service.

The Ukrainian National Government (the Directorate) has been waging war against Denikin’s army up to November 10 last. It was for that reason that the so-called Entente had the blockade against Soviet Russia extended on to the Ukraine, under Petlura; though, as a matter of fact, the Directorate has never received from the Entente any help, unlike the Poles and Denikin, who have been getting everything they wanted; yet this order prevented getting into Kamenetz Podolsk even the medicaments bought by the Government in Switzerland, and caused rapid spread in the army of typhus of all three sorts and brought it to ruin. Lack of nutrition, clothes and boots has been the last stroke added to the plight of the Galician army and brought them to surrender to Denikin.

For them it was impossible to go back into Galicia, where they were awaited by extermination in the Polish death camps. On the other hand, the discipline and grip of nationalism was so strong in the Galician army that no extensive Communist propaganda could penetrate into their rank and file, and so the soldiers went over to Denikin together with their officers, if not at all, the greater part, anyhow.

Exodus to Warsaw

But what the Ukrainian army composed of the Galicians had done would have been impossible to do for Petlura, his partisans and the army of the mixed contingent both from the Dnieper and Dniester Ukraine for the simple reason that they were regarded by Denikin as “Traitors to Russia”. Nor could it have been possible for him and part of his men to go over to the Bolsheviks, as they had been fighting them a time long enough to render any reconciliation whatever out of the question.

There can be no peace between the Reds and the Petlurian nationalists, as all their fight and policies have always been a crime against Socialism: they served Denikin and the Entente with all their zeal and rendered service to no class except the class of international brigands. From the time of the Central Drada, now peaceful expired, Petlura has always been fighting the Russian Revolution and the Ukrainian peasants and workers in the name of so-called “Democracy,” with such a hatred which could, perhaps, only compared only to that of Kerensky and that type of Socialist; really, though, more lasting and even with the tinge of heroism, he has done all in his power to darken the great dawn of humanity. “Social Democrat” Petlura served even better than “Socialist Revolutionary” Kerensky for the International bankers whom they choose to call “motherland”.

But in November last he found his lot prepared from him by the “French democracy,” to which he addressed many frantic appeals. Just now they are preparing an appeal for the company of Henderson’s, Longuet’s, Scheidemann’s, and other Socialists from “king’s permission.” He was kicked out of the Ukraine, and went away to pay a visit to Pildsudsky, in Warsaw. There, for the price of the blood of the Galician peasants and workers and disavowal of their country, he will try to buy the help and create a shame Government, somewhere in Volynia, which, of course, would fight not Denikin but the Bolsheviks.

But not so his ministers. The Social Democrats, Socialist Revolutionary and Galician Radicals (Labourites), who thought it impossible to discern anything comforting in the society of the Polish reactionary clique, headed by Mazeppa, the Prime Minister, Bezpalko (Bukovinian), Makukh and Miron (Galicians), have thrown in their lot with the Soviet Ukraine; they were followed by some other men and a few thousand Cossacks, both from Galicia and the Dnieper Ukraine. Thus we have the whole of the National Government swept out of existence and its army divided in three groups – one went to Denikin, and, of course, soon would fall into the hands of the Red army; another found refuge in Poland, which would support them as long as there was any hope of making them sell Galicia to the Polish landlords; and the third put itself under the red banners of the Soviet Ukraine.

Long live the Union of Ukraine and Russia. At the same moment some Social Democrats, who had been imprisoned under Petlura, have adopted the Communist program; and so also have done the left wing of the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary Party; the right wing, consisting mostly of the “March Socialists,” of course stood away.

We must not mix up these so-called “Borotbists,” the former Socialist Revolutionary Party, which has always been inimical to the social patriots, stood on the program of the Soviet Republic, and fought the Directorate up to November last. At this moment they have enlisted all their membership in the army for the last struggle, their battle-cry being an Independent Socialist Ukraine.

On the other hand, we have a corresponding change in the policy of the Russian Soviet. Trotsky, in his appeal to the Red army, speaks of the fight for liberation of the Ukraine of peasants and workers, and ends with the words: “Long live the Ukrainian Independent Soviet Republic.”

Revolutionary Committee

The latest news seems to suggest that the Government of Rakovsky has been substituted by the Military Revolutionary Committee, composed of the representatives of the Ukrainian Communists, the “Borotbists,” and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. At the head of it are placed Petrovsky, Manovilsky, and Lopatinsky (a Galician). They addressed a proclamation which reads thus:

“The last hour of liberation of the Ukrainian workers and peasants has struck. The free, independent Ukrainian Socialist Republic will again arise. She will march on, hand and shoulder with the Russian Soviet Republic. Unification of their armies into one Russo-Ukrainian Red Army shall be the guarantee of the strength of this alliance. The fourth All-Ukrainian Soviet Congress shall be called up when the greater part of the Ukraine is cleared of the White Guards.”

Every sign promises the Socialist regeneration of the Ukraine now would meet no serious adversary from among the peasantry, for all the Ukrainian counter-revolutionaries have already gone away and sold themselves in service of the world’s bandits of Imperialism.

  1. PIDDUBNY

Ukrainain sr poster 1917

Progress of Communism in the Ukraine

(The Socialist, 8th April 1920)

The news that appeared in THE SOCIALIST (No. 4, 1920) about going over to the Bolsheviks on the part of the Petlurians must be corrected as far as his Ministers, Mazeppa and Bespalko, are concerned. Though not fighting as yet against the Red Army, they are still holding out on their own, and with the comical helplessness are trying to get General Pildoudsky to support them in their struggle, which would have to be turned now not against Denikin, who is already far away in the Crimea, and Kubab, but against the Soviet forces. Petlura himself got away as far as Warsaw, and, as the papers report, is a personal guest of Pilsoudsky, both being traitors to the working class, whose interests they had once defended. Pilsoudsky is now fighting for the Polish landed aristocracy, and is supported by the very same French bourgeoisie against whom he was fighting at the head of the Polish legions in the Austro-German Army; and Petlura is going so far as to disavow even land reform in the Ukraine. Over ten millions of the Ukrainians left in the teeth of the same Polish aristocracy. The Ukrainian Social Democrats are doing everything possible to get on a good footing with the Polish Socialist, their “brothers,” who are still barking the same “tender” tune with the reactionary elements of the Czechs and the Ukrainians, though just lately from their head office were sent orders to make peace (with the Ukrainian Socialists only!). All this would be indeed a laughable thing were it not so regretful, for this much ado about nothing is to be directed against the Bolsheviki. Iron logic! For all the Social-Patriots are everywhere the same. He who once stood on the road of counter-revolution must walk upon it to the end.

Punishment

But the day of their judgement is approaching. The Polish Reactionaries are  doing exactly the things that the Germans and Frenchmen had done in the Ukraine. In Galicia, Podolia, and Volhynia they have reinstated the big landowners, and in the most brutal way suppressed all that remained of the revolution. Even the Ukrainian schools and the Orthodox Churches were “turned” to Catholic, and therefore into Polish centres (as in the Cholm Province). In addition, tens of thousands of the workers who are interned are treated after the methods of Finland and Hungary. The Ukrainian railwaymen and postmen are discharged, and even thrown out into the street from the Government buildings to make way for the more patriotic Poles; and this is being done in an area populated by ten millions of the Ukrainians. In the villages armed bodies of soldiers are grabbing everything that has been left by the other bandits. Even “zemstvos” are being dissolved on the ground that the Poles are not represented in these (for there are but very few Poles in Podolia and Volynia). But the most drole act of the whole drama was when the Ministers themselves, Mazeppa and Bezpalko, were arrested in Kamentsk-Podolsk, and though they were soon released, still it was a good lesson to them, and a punishment rightly deserved for their alliance with the enemies of the working class.

Communist at Work

On the other side of the front great activity is being shown by the Communists. After the fall of Odessa more than two-thirds of the Ukraine is in the hands of the Red Army, including such towns on the right side of the Dnieper river as Kiev, Vinnitsa, and Zhitomir. The Galician Army that had formerly gone over to Denikin seems to have been left intact, and since have taken no part in actual fighting against the Bolsheviks. When Denikin’s Army was shattered to pieces they were left free to go where they liked. Part of them are on the Petlurian side, but the majority are incorporated in the Red Army. Practically all the largest towns on the right side of the Dnieper river are under the protection of these troops. And there is no difficult in explaining these transformations, since Eastern Galicia is being robbed, tortured, and bled white to an extent which makes it impossible for them to return, and drives from these parts ever-increasing numbers of the working people into Greater Ukraine. At the end of Heller’s and the French offensive in Galicia last year about 90,000 men of the Galician Army, under pressure of superior forces, were obliged to retreat on the other side of the Zbrooch River. About one-third of these men have since died from typhus, and the remainder divided themselves between the Reds and the Nationalists. Indeed, there are many Galicians still in Eastern Ukraine. In Vinnitsa they are publishing the “Cherwony Strilets” (the “Red Rifleman“) and the “Nad-Dnistriansky Communist” (the “Communist of the Dniester“). Even some of the Commissars in the provinces are Galicians. In Vinnitsa, for example, there is a Commissar Mikita. But the vanguard of the Red Army is composed of the “Borotbists” (Ukrainian Communists, formerly the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries), whose front lines are advancing in the south-west direction.

Everywhere in the Ukraine the school life is returning to its normal existence. The Ukrainian University and Academic of Science in Kiev were given better buildings, and have resumed their work, as the Poles dispersed the Ukrainian students from the Galician schools and from Lemberg University (in spite of the fact that in Eastern Galicia the population is composed of 74 per cent. Ukrainians, 12 per cent. Poles, and 13 per cent. Jews). They are finding their way back to Kiev. On the 13th February a law was passed in Kiev to the effect that all the great magnates’ lands be returned to the poorest peasantry, and efforts are being made to restore the efficient railway service which had been destroyed by the “Powstantsy” (rebels) during the last uprising against Denikin. In Kiev at the present moment the following papers are published: the official “Ukrainsky Wisty,” the “Communist,” the “Borotba,” the “Cherwony Prapor,”, “Borba,” etc.

From what has been said above it can be clearly seen that the Ukrainian working people have now got possession of their schools, the peasants of their land, and the workers of their factories. And now one is tempted to ask: what better than that can Petlura and his Ministers bring from Warsaw to the Ukraine? It is clear that if they would bring anything it will be the same thing which the Ukrainian middle-class Socialists brought to the Western Ukraine: restoration of landlordism, exterminations of the workers and peasants, and, in one word, counter-revolution.

  1. PIDDUBNY.

Communist Unity Socialist 1919

Communist Unity in the Ukraine. The Bolsheviks and the Nationalists

(The Socialist, August 26th 1920)

During the summer of 1917 and November 1917, the Bolsheviks in the Ukraine fought with the Central Rada against the Democratic Government of Kerensky. Although dominated by social patriots, the Central Rada included many Social Revolutionaries among its members, and this fact alone made possible the alliance between the Central Rada and the Bolsheviks. This alliance, however, between the Proletarian Party and the Revolutionary Nationalists could not be maintained for any length of time, and immediately after the defeat of Kerensky and his Government the two factions split.

In January, 1918, the Central Rada proclaimed the Ukrainian Democratic Republic. One of the first acts of the new Power was to disarm the Russian Bolshevik regiments which were at that time in Kiev. Thus began the struggle between the Russian Soviet Republic and the Ukrainian Nationalists. The Bolsheviks of the Ukraine gave their whole hearted support to the Russian Soviet Republic.

In the course of the struggle between Soviet Russia and the Ukraine the Ukrainian Bolsheviks organised in Kharkov the Ukrainian Soviet, and the fight then developed into a class war between the proletariat of Ukraine and the middle class, composed of peasants, intelligentsia, and social-patriots. Ever since January, 1918, the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of the Ukraine have been engaged fighting the battle of the proletariat against all kinds of counter-revolutionaries. What was the strength of the Communist Party? During the election to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly they had 70 members out of a total of 180 elected. They were next to the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary Party, who succeeded in having 112 candidates elected. The Communist Party had a large membership at the time of its struggle with the Nationalists, but in 1919 it only had a membership of 30,000, owing to the difficulty of keeping the organisation together during the waging of the class war and fighting against counter-revolutionaries. The party drew its membership mainly from town workers, and had very little influence in the country districts.

This year (1920) the Ukrainian Communist Party (Borotbist) has joined up with the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of the Ukraine, and from the day of fusion the C.O. has become a real party of the town and village workers.

As the Ukrainian communist Party (Borotbist) sprung from the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary Party it might be advisable to say a few words here on the history of this party.

In the summer of 1917 the U.S.R.P. held two Congresses, at which it constituted itself a distinct party from the Russian S.R. Party. There were, however, serious differences inside the U.S.R.P. At a further Congress held in November, 1917, these differences were very apparent. The chief difference of opinion was on the question of the Soviets or Parliament. A compromise resolution was passed, advocating the necessity of forming the Central Rada into a Central Soviet, but this was never put into practice. At this time began the German advance into the Ukraine, and displaced the Central Rada at the head of the Ukraine. The party was split, and while the Left Wing gave their support to the Bolsheviks, the Right Wing supported the middle-class politicians of the Central Rada. The two factions actually ended their differences in an armed fight, one fighting for the Social Revolution and the other for the “Democracy”.

When the Bolshevik uprising took place in Kiev seven members of the Left Wing were arrested. The subsequent retreat of the Central Rada and the entrance to the city of the Bolshevik army secured their release. The Left Wing fought in the ranks of the Bolshevik army, although the party officially acquiesced in the German occupation. The bourgeoisie and landowners, with the assistance of the German generals, succeeded in overthrowing the Government of the social-patriots.

The overthrow of the “Democratic” government took place on 29th April, 1918, and from that date the U.S.R.P. became an illegal party. They, however, succeeded in organising a Congress in the forest near Kiev. This was the last Conference held by the two factions. The Moderates resolved to endeavour to re-establish themselves as a legal party, and to organise the workers on the same lines as the West European comrades are doing under their respective Governments. The Left Wing, on the other hand, decided to work underground, and to prepare thus an uprising against the reactionary Government. The Congress elected a majority of the Left Wing to the Central Committee, and the Moderates then decided to form a separate organisation, under the name of the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary Party of Centrists. They supported the Social Democrats, and participated in the Petlurian Nationalist Government in 1919.

The revolutionary faction (the Borotbists) took part in the November Ukrainian Revolution against the Germans, but independently of the Nationalists and the U.S.R.P. (Centrist), and they acted with the Bolsheviks for the establishment of a Soviet Republic in the Ukraine. Their field of operation was in Chernighiv and Poltava, and it was there that the first conflicts broke out between the Nationalists and the Borotbists. Their paper (“Barotba”) was suppressed, and armed fighting took place everywhere. During the whole struggle the Borotbists were fighting along with the Bolsheviks, and the tendency was for a fusion of the two parties.

THE UKRAINIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (BOROTBISTS.)

The Borotbists started their armed attacks against the Nationalist Government without waiting on the assistance of the Bolsheviks. They attempted an uprising against Petlura in Kiev in February, 1919. They seized Chernighiv and Poltavu, and many other important cities.

The Nationalist Revolution was achieved in November, 1918, by the aid of the Borotbists and the Bolsheviks. They then turned their arms against the Nationalist Government, and with the aid of Bolshevik regiments from Russia succeeded in establishing the second Ukrainian Soviet Republic, which lasted from February to September 1919. The Borotbists took part in the Soviet Government in Kiev, and assumed the name of the Ukrainian Communist Party. There was little or no difference between the Ukrainian Communist Party and the Communist Party of the Ukraine (Bolsheviks), their programme being almost the same as that of the Communist Party of Russia.

The main point of difference was regarding the independence of the Ukraine and the extension of the Social Revolution to the villages. After the defeat of Denikin, however, the Bolsheviks had so closely approached the Borotbist point of view that the matter of fusion was only a question of a few months. On 9th December, 1919, the “Borotba,” in its comments on a Bolshevik resolution on politics in the Ukraine, said: – “They (the Bolsheviks) are gradually accepting our views. Should they go one step further in the same direction they would find themselves on the same common ground with us.”

In 1920 the situation was such that the two parties were contending for power in the Soviet Republic, and both parties were of the same principles and tactics, and both claimed the support of the Third International.

Among the Ukrainian Borotbists were many Russian comrades, who returned into Russia with the Red Armies when Denikin overran the Ukraine. On the other hand, the Borotbists remained in the Ukraine during the occupation by Denikin, and carried on an underground revolutionary movement and everywhere organised uprisings. Thus when the Bolsheviks returned they found that the Borotbists were everywhere in control. Most Communists were then of the opinion that the two parties should join forces.

It might be as well at this point to consider the differences between the two parties.

The Borotbists were of the opinion that the Ukraine should be an Independent Soviet Republic allied to the Russian Soviet Republic. They thought that in this way they would paralyse the Nationalist propaganda of the Petlurians. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, were out for a federation of Soviets. After the Denikin invasion the question of independence dropped, as the Russian Soviet Republic declared for the independence of the Ukrainian Republic, and the difference was now one of tactics only.

At the third All Russian Soviet Congress held in May, 1919, it decided for the federation with the Russian Republic, so that, although Russia had declared for an independent Republic for the Ukraine, the Ukrainian Communists desired federation. The opinions of the Borotbists regarding independence were rapidly undergoing a change, as they now realised that the triumph of the Socialists in Russia and elsewhere was dependent on as close an alliance as possible between the different countries. It was also clear to them that unity between the different Communist parties was very essential.

Towards the end of 1919 the Borotbists sent a delegation to the Executive Committee of the Third International to inquire about affiliation, and to state their case. The E.C. appointed a Commission to inquire into the situation, which was complicated, as the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of the Ukraine were already affiliated to the Third International. The Commission came to the conclusion that, in a country where the Proletarian Revolution was an accomplished fact, the existence of two Communist parties was undesirable, and would endanger the Revolution. They therefore recommended that U.C.P. should join forces with the C.P.U., the body already affiliated with the Third International. The Ukrainian Communist Party were [sic] thus confronted with two alternatives – either to maintain their name and organisation, and thus remain outside the Communist International, and have to fight the Bolsheviks in the Ukraine for power, or merge into the C.P.U. They decided on the latter course. The National Congress of the U.C.P. was held at Kharkiv on 20th March, 1920 when they met in session with the C.P.U. Thus there now remains only one united Communist Party in the Ukraine.

Outside of the Communist Party there still remains the Left Ukrainian Social Revolutionaries, but they are few in number, and are well on the way to unity with the Communist Party.

The Russian Mensheviks and the Ukrainian Opportunists have so much compromised themselves with the counter-revolution of Denikin or Petlura that were can be no question of their influence at all. If there is any other influence outside the Communist Party, that influence is playing into the hands of the world counter-revolution, and the working people begin to understand it better than ever.

GREGORY PIDDUBNY

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Ukrainian Nationalism.

(The Socialist, June 3rd 1920)

[The “Nation” refused publication of this letter in answer to some editorial comments which appeared in that paper on April 17th, 1920 – Ed.]

(To the Editor of the “Nation,”)

Dear Sir, – In your paper of 17th April, 1920, you wrote in your editorial comments on Ukrainian nationalism as the least sympathetic political movement of the East. I shall be very grateful to you if you will permit me space in the pages of your much esteemed journal for a few observations on the subject. I can assure you that I should not have troubled you with me letter had you not stated reasons for your anti-Ukrainism, which, as far as I can conclude, are these: (1) The Ukrainians inhabit a country very rich in agricultural and mineral resources, and therefore much desired by Russia, both by Socialists and Capitalists. (2) It has been under German and French protection, and tricked both patrons. (3) “The Ukrainians, under various leaders, slaughtered 30,000 Jews.”

The last point refers to any Ukrainian, and I shall treat it first. I maintain that the Ukrainian workers and peasants in general are not anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism, even in the Ukraine, is far less felt than in any other East European country – Poland, for example, and that is not because of the moral superiority of the Ukrainian, but because of the non-development of the Ukrainian middle class as competitors of the activities of Jewish traders. I am not defending Petlura’s policy, nor do I deny the massacres committed by his troops, but I resent the idea of describing Petlura, and still less Grigoriev, as representative of the Ukrainians. One must also note that there were twelve successive Governments in the Ukraine, and every one has fought for its existence; so that there are many towns and villages ruined everywhere by different partisans. It would hardly be possible to make the entire English national responsible for British Imperialism and its “civilised” killing of 8,000 persons in North Russia (as the Bolshevist paper, “Krasnaya Gazet,” says), but it is not secret that a great portion of the 100 millions’ worth of ammunition was used to suppress the Ukrainians.

As far as I know, the Ukrainian peasants stood for the party which has nothing to do with the “pogroms” – United Social Revolutionaries and the Bolsheviks. I am of opinion that the “pogroms” were for the most part caused as much by the Ukrainian Nationalists as by French Chauvinism or British Imperialism, which blockaded the Ukraine (both Nationalist and Bolshevist), and therefore increased two-fold the brigandage and pogroms as a natural consequence of that act. I would assert that one sees in the Ukraine less of anti-Semitism among the masses of the people than one sees in France of “anti-Bochism,” or in Australia of anti-Germanism, or in America of “lynching of negroes.” One can read in the British papers articles full of hatred towards the Germans, while there is no Ukrainian paper which preaches anti-Semitism.

About German patrons we need not say very much. If there was any choice in the Ukraine it was rather between middle-class democracy and Bolshevism, or between Bolshevism and the landed aristocracy of Hetman Skoropadsky protected by Germans, who were tricked just as much by the Ukrainians as Denikin by the British later on: the Ukrainians have beaten them all, in the first case by the organised Nationalist uprising headed by Vinnitchenko, and on the second occasion by the unorganised guerrilla insurgents, consisting of workers and peasants. Because of the Entente-German suppression of the Ukrainian Revolution and the blockade there were not only 40,000 Jewish victims, but then times as large a number of victims among the Galicians and all over the country, to say nothing of the ravages everywhere of typhus as a consequence of the blockade. And a great number of villages and towns were destroyed in a once prosperous country in the war between Denikin, Ukrainians, Poles and Bolsheviks.

The French protection has brought nothing even to the Nationalists of the Petlurian type except the blockade, the Odessa adventure, and the hell of the Polono-French invasion of Eastern Galicia. Then concentration camps with their “unsympathetic” Nationalists, tens of thousands of victims (in Brest-Litovsk 1,134 dead out of 4,000 prisoners from 16th September to 7th October, 180 every day in the beginning of August – rom the International Red Cross record.) In the Carpathian Mountains the Hotstools are dying from hunger as the result of the Polish occupation supported by French ammunition and officers, occupation which was done in the same way and supported by the same international finance as Denikin’s adventure was on the left bank of the Dnieper.

Now about the so-called “Ukrainian riches” which are do indispensable to Kerensky, Denikin and Lenin. The Ukraine is one of the most densely populated countries of Eastern Europe: and one can safely assume that those riches are to be used in the first instance by the Ukrainians themselves. Coal is wanted mainly for domestic use in the Ukraine, for the country is very poor in wood. The Ukrainian cereals were exported mainly to France and Germany, and Russia itself exported cereals and flax to England and Germany. The Black Sea coast is indispensable for the Ukraine and not to Russia, whose trade is directed to the Baltic ports. but even admitting that the Ukrainian sugar and part of its coal is highly necessary for Russia, could it be constituted as the ground for annexing the Ukraine by Russia? Then why not by France or Italy because of their need of the Ukrainian wheat or Poland in her need of Odessa? Is it that Georgia is to be grabbed because of Georgian marganets? We hope that the word is looking for a better way of arranging mutual commercial and trade relations than grabbing, seizing, and fighting. Surely the Ukraine will not consume all its sugar and will gladly give it in exchange for Russian cotton shirts and timber.

Of course, Lenin does not want any Ukrainian nationalists to be installed in the Donetz and Kriviy-Rog mines, as a matter of fact no more than British or Polish, because they would bring with them their French and English friends, who, having their shares in the “Makievka Mining Company” or in the “Maykop Petroleum Corporation,” who, though hostile at present to the Ukrainian Nationalists, would become then their best friends when it became profitable for them.

So it appears that Ukrainian Nationalism in its essential characteristic features is of the same nature as the Chauvinism of the French rentiers, the Imperialism of the British traders, the militarism of the German Junkers, the aggression of the Polish aristocracy, and the Zionism of the Jewish middle class.

As far as I can judge, Ukrainian and Jewish Nationalism are both of the self-same “idealistic nature,” so that in the Ukraine the intellectual leaders of both nationalisms are close friends, the more so that they have not yet emerged from the “idealistic” period of their development, and do not seem to understand that they spring from the same root from which World Imperialism grows, the root cause of anti-Semitism to-day.

I hold Ukrainian Nationalism responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Jews, of the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian workers in Galicia, Podolia, Volhynia, and all over the Ukraine; but I must do justice to it, and say that this responsibility, when compared to the Entente Imperialist crime against the Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian labouring masses, is nothing but the voluntarily helping hand of the feudal vassal assisting his sire in the dirty work of executions. – I remain, dear sir, yours,

GREGORY PIDDUBNY

[We intend publishing shortly an article entitled “Evolution versus Opportunism,” by Gregory Piddubny. – Ed. “Socialist.”)

COMMUNIST MARTYRS IN UKRAINE

(The Socialist, 1 July 1920)

COMMUNIST BOROTBISTS TORMENTED TO DEATH BY RUSSIAN BLACK HUNDREDS OF DENIKIN IN KEIV, ON THE NIGHT FROM 20th TO 21st OF NOVEMBER, 1919.

The graves on the thorny road of the Proletarian Revolution are every growing more numerous. The martyrs of Communism are no longer confined to any one nationality, land or race. No sooner have we healed the gaping wounds inflicted by the murders of the leaders of the German working class, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxembourg, than the furious hatred of the black reactionaries of Hungary began to mow down the ranks of our comrades. From the cold rocks of Finland, with her thousands of workers murdered by the White Gangs of Mannerheim, across the ocean to the United States of America, with their “democratic” pogroms and lynching of the Communists; from martyred Erin across the Channel to France; everywhere on the face of the earth the heroes and the martyrs of Communism are falling, the graves of our comrades are scattered.

But in vain do the terrified bourgeoisie revenge in frenzied agony the imminent collapse of its domination!

The assassination of Jean Jaures in France, of James Connolly in Ireland, and many others in Russia and the Ukraine, will not save Capitalism from crumbling to dust. For it is only their bodies that are dead, not the spirit, which lives undestroyed in the hearts of all Communists the world over. The spirit of a deathless ideal inspires us in our struggle, and the death of some of our comrades will strengthen our energy for new battles and victories.

Nor will the counter-revolution in the Ukraine save the new victims of the Polish “liberation,” just as it could not save itself on the previous occasion of Denikin’s invasion. Numerous as was the number of peasants and workers hanged by reactionaries, these same reactionaries were burnt to ashes by the flames of the Revolution.

And when we learned of the fighters falling in battle, of our comrades hanged and tortured to death, our hearts ached; and every time news came from the Ukraine, one of the theatres of the world revolution, it would bring us a new sorrow for those who had gone down fighting in the army of the Communists. It was with such a feeling of sorrow we received the news of the death of one of our best, our dearest comrades, Hnat (Ignatius) Mikhaylichenko. He was captured in Kiev during the battles for that city in November, 1919, and with two other comrades, Vassyl Chumak and Klava Kovaleva, and on the night of the 20th to the 21st of November they were all three tormented to death while in the custody (or torture chamber) of the Russian Black Hundreds.

We want to say here a few words of one of them, Hnat Mikhaylichenko, whom we knew personally, and who has played so prominent a part in the Communist movement and in the Revolution in the Ukraine. His name and his work must be placed beside those of Comrades Nerenovitch and Leonid Piatakov, two Communist leaders in the Ukraine killed by the Ukrainian Nationalists in 1918.

Hnat Mikhaylichenko, the son of a Ukrainian peasant, was born in 1886 in “Slobozhanschina” (in Kharkiv Province). He received his education at the Agricultural College in the same province. He participated in the revolution of 1905, and was an active worker, like many other students of that college, in the ranks of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. For his secret revolutionary activity amongst the Ukrainian peasantry he was imprisoned for a term of years.

The revolution of 1917 found him in the front line of the Ukrainian working masses, as the leader of the Left Wing of the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party. In November, 1917, he was elected on the list of the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party in the Ukraine as a member of the Constituent Assembly of Russia. As the Ukrainian Deputies refused to take part in the Assembly, he was sent there with some half-dozen Deputies to represent Ukraine on the opening day of the Assembly to read a declaration and to expose the reason of abstention on the part of the Ukraine from participation in the Imperial Russian Assembly. On the first and the last sitting of the Assembly that declaration was read, to the angry discomfiture of the Social-Patriots and to an indifference of the Bolsheviks. The Parliament was substituted by the Soviet System. He was also elected as member to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly, the convening of which was, however, prevented by the Hetman and the Germans.

He was amongst those seven members of the Ukrainian Central Committee of the U.S.R.P. who were arrested on the 13th of January, 1918, by the Central Rada during the Bolshevik uprising on the charge of conspiring with the Bolsheviki against the Central Rada authority. They were threatened with execution by the Nationalists, but the capture of the city of the Bolshevik troops set them free again. He worked with the Left Wing of the U.S.R.P., and was one of its leaders. When the Central Rada returned to Kiev with the Germans he remained there with a few comrades, and was threatened, with the other comrades of the Left Wing, with arrest for his work in the Soviets, the work which, by the way, saved hundreds of Ukrainians, who had been arrested.

The Central Committee of the U.S.R.P. never asked the Germans to enter the Ukraine, but it opportunistically tried to avail itself of the situation to enforce the Land Socialisation Law, but failed (Socialisation under the generals, indeed). Hnat Mikhaylichenko withdrew from activity in the party, and also from the Editorial Committee of the “Borotba,” which became vacillating in its tone at that time. But still it was his article in the last number of that paper, in which an appeal was addressed to the Ukrainian peasants and workers against the Hetman and the Germans, for which “Borotba” was suppressed. The Left Wing members of the Central Committee were hunted down in the town. Mikhaylichenko and Comrade Yellansky (now a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine) were arrested by the Russian Officers’ White Guards, the Germans, and the Ukrainian Hetman police. This was on the 13th of May, 1919. These arrests did not prevent the seizure of the Central Committee of the party by the Left Wing, and the split in the ranks of the U.S.R.P. took place on 18th May, 1919.

This was our comrade’s second arrest in Kiev during the revolution, the first by the “democratic” Central Rada, and the second by the equally reactionary newly-born Ukrainian authority. He was not destined, however, to remain long there, for in a few weeks he managed to evade the watchful eyes of his guards and to escape from prison. He lived for some time afterwards in the provinces with a false passport.

When the November Ukrainian Revolution of 1919 broke out against the Germans the Russian Volunteers and the Hetman, he returned to Kiev. After the U.S.R.P. split into two factions – the Left Wing, which in 1919 adopted the name of the Ukrainian Communist-Borotbist Party, and the Centrist faction ,which under the name of the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party (Centrist) afterwards affiliated itself to the Second International – Hnatko (which was his pen name) remained in the Borotbist section, of which he was himself the natural leader.

In 1919, when Kiev was occupied by the Red Army of the Borotbists and the Bolsheviks, he took an active part in the Ukrainian Soviet Government, and was the People’s Commissary of Supply.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian Nationalists were fighting their way back to Kiev, and, thanks to their counter-revolutionary energy ,the attempt of the Red Army to cross the Carpathian Mountains to Hungary failed, and the Russian Black Hundreds of Denikin, supported by the hundred million pounds worth of British munitions, attacked the young Soviet Republic from the East, Petlura acquiesced in the surrender of East Galicia to Poland, for his French and English masters desired it so, and he made supreme “Social-Democratic” efforts to help Denikin’s forces in their struggle with the Red Army, and thus the capital of the Ukraine was, for the second time since the revolution, in the hands of the Old Russian Black Hundreds of the Blackest type. It was seized for the first time by Hetman Skoropadsky.

From the end of the summer of 1919 to the month of December was raging around Kiev, “the mother of the Ukrainian cities.” On the first occasion when the Ukrainian Nationalists entered the city the Russian Monarchists at the same time entered the suburbs from the other side. The Ukrainians were driven out of the city, and the fight went on between the Red Army and Denikin. All the forces of the Bolsheviki and of the Borotbists were mobilised, the whole membership was enlisted in the army, and the fight went on everywhere. The Borotbists were holding the western sector. In October a part of the Red Army and some partisans (“powstansky“) entered Kiev but only for a brief period.

Amongst those who happened to remain in Kiev when the city was again captured by Denikin was Hnat Mikhaylichenko. He was seized by the agents of Denikin’s bureau, and on the night of 20th to 21st of November was tortured to death with two other Communists, Vassyl Chumak and Klava Kovaleya. A few days later Kiev was freed from the White Guards.

Dear comrade! Your body is dead, but your spirit still lives in all of us, your comrades, and calls us to carry on our common battle for the final liberation of the world from the yoke of capitalism.

He who saw you once will never forget the cold, piercing, unquenchable fire of your blue eyes, and he who once heard your deep, firm and unflinching voice, which was so much more impressive the more quiet the tone in which you spoke, will always remember you as one with whom we found ourselves allied for ever.

This comrade was not only a good organiser; he was also a capable leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party, and it was also, thanks to him, that the greater part of the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party joined the Communist Party, and rallied to the red colours of the Third International. Being of unusual mental ability, he gave to the central organ of the party, “Borotba,” ideological direction, and besides found time for literary work. He was an artist (painter), and has written a good few charming novels of the underground lives of the revolutionaries. In his person the Ukrainian proletariat lost not only one of its best fighters and leaders, but an able craftsman of the new Ukrainian army of builders of the new proletarian culture.

What a loss for the Ukrainian working people to lose its intellectual forces! For, while the other “historical” nations possessed, nationally, their intelligent classes, who in the end will submit to the advancing workers’ power, and will use their forces in the constructive work of the future, we in the Ukraine are poor in brain workers that even those few who have not passed over to the Russian counter-revolution are now serving, not the working class, but the enemies of the Soviet Republic, and have allied themselves to the world reaction.

And under such circumstances we are losing our comrades!

But nay, they died not in vain! The deeds of their live, the results of their mental activities, the achievements of their spirit, illumine the dark heavens of downtrodden humanity just as the lightning of the thunderstorm illumines the earth, setting fire to all decaying matter and cleansing the atmosphere.

I remember him and his voice as if it were yesterday, when at the sitting of the Central Committee he distinctly spoke a word that was in the minds of a great many others, but as yet spoken by no one – “The Central Rada intrigues with the Cossacks. The gang of counter-revolutionaries has made a nest in it!” A few days after he was arrested by a band of the Nationalists.

I remember his voice during the secret session of the Central Committee, when a band of German officers drove the Central Rada away and set the Hetman Skoropodsky on the “Ukrainian throne”: “Is it possible that the Central Rada will ingloriously expire like a cowed petty bourgeois without even protesting against the brutality of the counter-revolutionaries.” A week after he was arrested by the White Guards of the Hetman.

Then during the November uprising in 1919 against the Hetman we met again in Kiev. He tried to get across to Vinnichenko to talk with him and suggest to him that the only slogan of the revolution should have been – All Power to the Soviets. The meeting did not take place. Vinnichenko did not then break his connection with Petlura, and did not accept the slogan of the revolution till it was too late, till his conciliation with the Communists was made impossible by the nature of the struggle. Vinnichenko was tricked by the Nationalists, and was obliged to get away from Petlura. Now when he has become a Communist and has gone to Soviet Ukraine and Russia to fight against the Poles and Petlura, our dear Hnatko is alive no longer.

Black ravens have picked his blue eyes and his voice is silenced for ever!

Dear Comrades, dear Hnatko! Your bodies are dead, but the memory of your deeds, the spirit of your energy, the soul of your ideal, the heart of your revolutionary attainments is alive in your comrades, in all the fighters for Communism.

GEOGRE PIDDUBNY

 

 

 

 

 

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