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. Bukovina is Number 5 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. Bukovina, a region in southeastern Europe that is today partly in Ukraine and partly in Romania, was, at the time this study was written, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was annexed by Austria in 1776, following the Russo-Turkish War (1768−74) and the first partition of Poland (1772). The study notes that the Bukovina “lies on the great highway of migration from east to west, and is consequently inhabited by a strange mixture of races, even to the present day.” The main groups living in the territory (formally an autonomous duchy administered as an Austrian crown land) included Romanians, Ukrainians (Ruthenians), Germans, Jews, Poles, and Magyars. The major industries were agriculture and forestry. Austria ceded the province to Romania after World War I. In 1940 the Soviet government pressured Romania to cede the northern portion of Bukovina (along with Bessarabia) to the Soviet Union, which controlled the territory until the breakup of the Soviet state in 1991.

Last updated: July 21, 2014