The Ukraine


In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. The Ukraine is Number 52 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The study appeared at a momentous time in the history of Ukraine. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, political forces in the country demanded autonomy and later complete independence from Russia. A Ukrainian republic was declared in November 1917, and in February 1918 Ukraine concluded a separate treaty of peace with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The study discusses the development of a Ukrainian national identity since the 17th century; Ukrainian nationalism; relations between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine and Poland, and Ukraine and Romania; and the history of pogroms against the country’s large Jewish population. The appendices include an analysis of the population of Ukraine and the number of Ukrainians living in the Russian Empire (and in Austria-Hungary and the United States), and the text of the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Central Powers. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union and did not achieve independence from Russia until 1991.

Last updated: July 21, 2014