Ukrainian Political Emigration in the Second Polish Republic: Regional Aspects

Ukrainian Political Emigration in the Second Polish Republic: Regional Aspects




Ukrainian political emigration, Second Polish Republic, the internees, adaptation, public activities


The study traces that the end of the Ukrainian Revolution and the rejection of Bolshevik rule, which had established itself in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ussr) and led to the emergence of Ukrainian interwar emigration, which was dispersed across European countries. Within the emigrant community, two main groups were distinguished – military and civilian. The reasons why the majority of emigrants from the Ukrainian People’s Republic (Unr) chose Poland, as an ally in the struggle according to the Warsaw Agreement, have been identified herein. The emigrants’ desire to settle in the eastern voivodeships was influenced by geographical, linguistic, ethnocultural, and other factors. It has been substantiated that difficult living conditions prompted some emigrants to re-emigrate, particularly to France, where they faced hard physical labor, and to Czechoslovakia, mainly for educational purposes. It is emphasized that the existence of Ukrainian political emigration was an irritant for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics authorities, who fought against the emigrants by various means. The study highlights the difficulties of adaptation, internal conflicts, and the return of some emigrants to Soviet Ukraine. It is proven that Ukrainian political emigration was able to adapt to the new ethnopolitical conditions and make a significant contribution to the development of various spheres of life in the host countries. Political emigrants were particularly active in social, cultural, and educational practices in the eastern voivodeships of Poland.

Author Biography

Ruslana Davydiuk, Rivne State Humanitarian University, Ukraine

Doctor of History, professor at the Department of History of Ukraine at Rivne State University of Humanities (Rivne). She researches the social and political life of Western Ukraine in the interwar period, the history of Ukrainian political emigration, and the repression of the communist totalitarian regime in the Western Ukrainian area in 1939–1941.

Author of books: VUO. Volynske ukrainske obiednannia (1931– 1939 rr.) [Vohlynia Ukrainian Association (1931–1939)] (Lutsk, 2001); Pochutysia odnym nerozryvnym zi svoimy bratamy i sestramy Velykoi Ukrainy: Vidlunnia Holodomoru 1932–1933 rokiv na Rivnenshchyni [To Feel One and Inseparable with Your Brothers and Sisters of Great Ukraine: Echoes of the Holodomor of 1932–1933 in the Rivne Region] (Rivne, 2008); Z poliakamy za Ukrainu: Naddniprianska emihratsiia v suspilno-politychnomu zhytti mizhvoiennoi Volyni [With Poles for Ukraine: Dnipro Ukraine Emigration in the Socio-Political Life of Interwar Vohlynia] (Rivne, 2014); Ukrainska politychna emihrat- siia v Polshchi: sklad, struktura, hromadsko-politychni praktyky na terytorii Volynskoho voievodstva [Ukrainian Political Emigra- tion in Poland: Composition, Structure, Socio-Political Practices in Vohlynia Voivodeship] (Lviv; Rivne, 2016); V interieri mizhvoiennoi Volyni: Biohramy politychnykh emihrantiv – uchasnykiv Ukrainskoi revoliutsii [In the Interior of the Interwar Vohlynia: Biograms of the Political Emigrants – Participants of the Ukrainian Revolution] (Rivne; Lviv, 2023), co-author of a number of collective mono- graphs, member of the author’s team of the books Reabilitovani istoriieiu. Rivnenska oblast [Rehabilitated by History. Rivne Region], vol. 1–10 (Rivne, 2006–2021).

Interned at Południowo-Wschodni Instytut Naukowy (Przemyśl) (2018), and Ostroh Academy National University (2022).