In Ukrainian and foreign historiography there are no scientific works where the policy of Russian autocracy and social and cultural life in Ukraine at the beginning of the 20-th century were examined in complex. In this research creative opinions and ideas of Ukrainian experts and foreign re-searchers are taken into account. Complex of the reliable archived and published documents forms the source base of the research and makes possible to carry out generalized analysis of the problem.
Repressive character of national policy of tsar’s government >vas direc¬ted to annihilation of the rests of economic originality, territorial, ethnic, national and political authenticity and national consciousness of the Uk-rainian people. The forms of Russian empire’s nationally-colonial oppres¬sion included denial of Ukrainian national idea, propaganda and stren¬gthening of the Russian nationally-political and cultural prevailing up to the full assimilation of Ukrainian nation. Realization of tsar’s policy in Ukraine included ideological, political and cultural indoctrination and strengthening of Russian national and political superiority on ethnic Uk¬rainian territory. Tsar’s government favoured the migration of population from the central provinces of empire to the territory of Ukraine (mostly to cities and industrial centers) in order to form there a well-to-do stratum (intellectuals, landowners, clergy men, lower middle class) from the rep¬resentatives of Russian nationality. In order to minimize social tension in Ukraine tsar’s government organized migration of Ukrainians from their native land to Far East and Siberia. All these measures resulted in dena¬tionalization and deteriorated the position of Ukrainian national idea.
Ukraine was the major strategic source of military-economic power of Russian empire and one of its main industrial regions. The use of Ukrainian economic resources was an important factor for the Russian empire’s power enhancing. The autocracy’s idea to transform Russia into «the third Rome» required strengthening of colonial expansion and cruel persecution of national, social and cultural movements in Ukraine. The use of military force for suppression of peasant uprisings, repeated proclamation of the state of emergency in the Ukrainian provinces, establishing courts of mili¬tary justice aimed to suppress revolutionary actions, changes in the electoral
legislation that limited rights of peasants and workers (most of them were Ukrainians), peculiarities of pre-election campaigns in the Ukrainian pro-vinces, support of monarchist organizations’ activity — all these factors testify to the evident anti-Ukrainian character of Russian tsarism’s policy.
Claims of the Ukrainian students concerning democratization of higher education in Ukraine and foundation of the Ukrainian departments in higher educational establishments, students’ aspiration for national and cultural awakening of Ukraine caused government’s repressions and re¬sulted in establishment of drastic control both from the educational and local authorities. The edition of newspapers and magazines in Ukrainian had been prohibited until 1905, November 24, when the Temporal rules allowed the Ukrainian press. Even then the life of magazines in Ukrainian language remained brief. When World War I began the tsar’s government forbade printing of any periodical editions in Ukrainian language.
In every possible way local authorities limited cultural, educational and publishing activity directed to revival of the Ukrainian culture; they took the control of the activity of Ukrainian nationally-educational societies, clubs, societies of wiping out of illiteracy. Founders of these societies were accused of anti-government activity. The fight of tsar’s government against Ukrainian national movement directed to awakening of national consci-ousness resulted in strengthening of repressive policy and, with beginning of military operations in 1914, in total prohibition of any activity.
In Russian part of Ukrainian territory the legalization of political parties and organizations was banned until the revolution in 1905: autocracy bar¬red any possibility of democratization of political life in Ukraine. The tsar’s government considered an agitation of Revolutionary Ukrainian Party (RUP) to be the reasons of peasant uprisings in 1902-1903. As one of re¬quirements of Ukrainian political parties was the proclamation of auto¬nomy of Ukraine and overthrow of the tsarism in the Russian empire, tsar’s government directed all possible repressive measures to a fight aga¬inst Ukrainian political movement which considerably influenced on a re¬volutionary situation in the state. So for prevention of development of Ukrainian political movement the network of departments of Secret Poli¬tical Police was established in Ukraine. They supervised the state of the public political mind and functioning of political parties; limited activity
of the last (liquidate underground printing-works, annihilated agitational stuff, put Ukrainian political figures under superveillance, arrested them, liquidated local cells of parties). Tsar’s government suspected the members of Ukrainian political parties of connection with the certain circles in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, that is why in the wartime they intensified su¬perveillance and repressions against Ukrainian leaders and political orga¬nizations still functioning in Ukraine. During occupation of Galychina and Bukovyna by Russian troops, tsarism planned to put an end to Ukrainian national liberation movement forever.
In the rather developed spiritual culture of the Ukrainian people and in its major constituent — fulsome language — tsarism saw the permanent threat to integrity of the Russian Empire and conducted a policy of dena¬tionalization of Ukrainians up to their full ethnic disappearance. In Russian Empire the idea of the only possible domination of Russian language, Russian literature and culture was widely spread. Narrowing of the sphere of the Ukrainian language use and reducing it to the level of a peasant jar¬gon was the basis of policy of russification. Correspondingly the use of Ukrainian language in church, court and public establishments as well as bringing books in Ukrainian language from abroad were banned. The tsa¬rist government’s policy of russification is a unique example of cultural genocide and intolerance in history of humanity. But even such policy was not able to eradicate aspiring of the Ukrainian people to independent development of their mother tongue, national education and culture.
The analysis of tsarist educational policy in Ukraine proves its anti-Uk- rainian character: under created conditions Ukrainian education was forced to adapt to the Russian imperial standards. Introduction of general obli¬gatory education failed in Ukraine even on the level of primary school. The basic requirement of progressive intellectuals to grant Ukrainian people the right to study their mother tongue was remained unsatisfied. Inefficient school caused low level of Ukrainian people’s culture and as a result — delay of their spiritual development.
Autocracy constantly laid obstacles to development of culture in Uk¬raine. They created artificial barriers and prohibitions for the figures of Ukrainian literature, theatre, art and music. The persecution consisted in the permanent censorial prohibitions of works of Ukrainian literature,
plays of known playwrights. Ukrainian prose writers, poets, artists were systematically prosecuted by police.
Negative consequences of anti-Ukrainian tsarist policy towards social and cultural life in Ukraine are appreciable even nowadays:
1 1) as a result of migrational policy of tsarism and Soviet regime in Rus¬sian part of Ukraine with the aim of dissolution of the Ukrainian ethnos,
I on the in territory of present Ukraine lives more then 16 million represen- , tatives of not Ukrainian nationalities (8 millions of them are ethnic Rus- i sians);
| 2) tsar’s government did everything possible to force Ukrainians forget about their separate Church: the use of Ukrainian language in churches \ was forbidden, Russian bishops were appointed by Synod to the Ukrainian j departments and Ukrainian clergymen were appointed to the central pro-vinces of the empire. Nowadays, in new historical conditions, Moscow , Patriarchy insistently object against granting autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Church and against the use of Ukrainian language during church sermons. These sad phenomena are the consequences of tsarist policy to¬wards the Ukrainian Church, they demonstrate the everlasting Russian imperial chauvinism and so-called church imperialism. The Ukrainian Or¬thodox Church of Moscow Patriarchy is a part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Present day Russia is not interested in the loss of such reliable channel of influence in Ukraine;
3) The fact that some part of present day Ukrainian society does not apprehend Ukrainian history is the consequence of tsarist anti-Ukrainian policy. For ages so-called «imperial consciousness» and «imperial menta¬lity» were “drummed» into minds of people. That resulted in distortion of Ukrainian national psychology.
In addition, present day Russia strives for domination in our ideological and cultural spheres. Ukrainians are offered to orient their mentality to Russian patterns. In Ukraine the Russian Federation legally registers ma-gazines, computer programs and disks with anti-Ukrainian ideology which is direct interference into the internal affairs of our state;
4) nowadays in Kyiv, cities of Eastern Ukraine and Autonomous Re¬public of Crimea (further is APC) Russian language practically supplants Ukrainian in printed editions, on the radio and TV. The market of literature
in Ukraine is captivated by editions in Russian language. In Ukraine only 25% of books are edited in Ukrainian and 75% — in Russian language. It is an example of the Russian Federation’s carefully worked out cultural expansion in Ukraine. Mass media in Ukraine are actually divided between I Moscow oligarchs and local ones, that additionally contributes to Moscow/ domination in Ukraine. In spite of the fact that Kyiv central TV channels mainly use Ukrainian language, private channels mostly use Russian. Broj adcasting on state TV and radio channels in the central and eastern region^ is practically in Russian with the exception of news and some rare pro-) grams; /
5) in 2003, the magazines in Russian made up 60.6% in APK, 42.85% — in Donetsk and 33.64% — in Dnepropetrovsk areas. In Ukraine newspapers in Russian made up about 50.49% (mostly in Zaporizhzhya, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Luhansk, Donetsk areas and in Crimea). Problems the periodic press of independent Ukraine faces today, in considerable degree repeat the problems of the Ukrainian periodicals in the beginning of the 20-tn century under Russian tsarism’s rule. Thus in the period of democratic transformations, it is actual to use the previous experience of struggle f6r Ukrainian linguistic and cultural revival. It will help Ukrainian authorities to exercise constitutional human rights to freedom of speech and consci¬ence, and to improve the state of the Ukrainian periodicals.
Thus, the book trade and distribution of the press as well as the radio and TV work for russification of Ukraine;
6) due to the tsarist government’s policy of russification of Ukraine that got annihilating features under the USSR rule millions of Ukrainians really use Russian language in public and private life, especially in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. For decades a stereotype of not prestigi¬ous and inferior Ukrainian language has been implanted in public consci¬ousness;
7) one of negative consequences of Russian tsarism’s educational policy in Ukraine is an embodiment of russification tendencies in the system of education. This consequence was observed during the 20th century — both under the soviet rule and after proclamation of independence of Uk¬raine. Even nowadays we still feel it.
8) unprecedented oppressions of Ukrainian cultural life in Russian Em¬
pire influenced not only on attitude to Ukrainian language in the sphere of education but also on a policy in the sphere of culture both in the Soviet Union and in independent Ukraine. There are a lot of examples: on the stage of T. Shevchenko National Opera House of Ukraine mostly West- European classics in Russian translation or Russian classics are performed. In other theatres the similar situation takes place: among the plays perfor¬med during a season only some of them are written by Ukrainian authors, others are the examples of Russian and West-European dramaturgy with the exception of I. Franko National Academic Ukrainian Drama Theatre. Certainly, such sad phenomenon as the Russian-language theatres in Uk¬raine depends to a great degree on the policy of Ministry of culture and tourism of Ukraine and directly on the management of the theatres. The most of managers of the Ukrainian theatres are not Ukrainians but repre¬sentatives of national minorities of Ukraine. Last factor, in our opinion, is also a consequence of tsarist policy in Ukraine.
The present state of economic, social and political life in Ukraine is caused by hard historical heritage of the colonial past under Russian and Soviet empires when autocracy and communist regime pursued a policy of annihilation and persecution of the Ukrainian ethnos, language, culture and any other forms of national life. Millions of Ukrainians lost their ethnic original face through the rapture of live connections with their past. No-wadays Russia performs an organized wide front attack on Ukrainian cul¬ture and consciousness. Ukrainians are still in captivity of cultural, political and economic influences.