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Ukrainian Far Eastern Republic

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Ukrainian Far Eastern Republic or the Zelenyy Klyn State, or Green Ukraine, is a self-proclaimed Ukrainian colonial entity formed on the territory of the former Russian Empire in the areas of the Zelenyy Klyn (Amur region, Primorsk region along with the Ussuri region, Transbaikalia, Kamchatka and in the "exclusion zone" of the Manchurian railway), which were inhabited predominantly by ethnic Ukrainians.

Formation of Ukrainian statehood in Zelenyy Klyn began on June 11 (24), 1917, when the chairman of the Far Eastern Teachers' Union, Onysym Stupak, convened the First General All-Ukrainian Congress of the Far Eastern Public Figures and Citizens in Mykolsk-Ussuriysk. It was at this congress that the first executive body of Ukrainians at the Zelenyy Klyn, the Provisional Far Eastern Ukrainian National Committee, was established.

Ukrainian state movement in the Zelenyy Klyn established the following national self-government bodies: Ukrainian Far Eastern National Council, which was engaged in legislative activities, Ukrainian Far Eastern Secretariat, which dealt with the decisions of the Council, and the ten Ukrainian Far Eastern District Councils.

The highest people's body of Ukrainians in the Zelenyy Klyn were the All-Ukrainian Congresses of Public Figures and Citizens of the Far East, which addressed issues of national self-organization of Far Eastern Ukrainians and national state formation.

Formation of its own national army began in parallel to the creation of Ukrainian self-government bodies in the Far East. Between July and September 1917, eight Ukrainian units were formed in Vladivostok, one more was in the process of formation. Ukrainian troops formed in Zelenyy Klyn were sent to assist Ukrainian People's Republic in the war against Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1918.

Ukrainian state movement in the Far East was led by local teachers and public figures: Onysym Stupak, Gordiy Melashich, Gavrylo Krychenko-Mohyla, and Yuri Hlushko-Mova.

The apogee of the state movement in Zelenyy Klyn was the Third Ukrainian Far Eastern Congress, which took place on April 7, 1918. It proclaimed the foundation of the independent Far Eastern Ukrainian Republic, and its transformation into a colony of the then Ukrainian People's Republic.

On November 10, 1922, Ukrainian Far Eastern Republic and all Ukrainian state activity in the Zelenyy Klyn was liquidated by the Russian Bolsheviks, who occupied the Far East, and subsequently began repressions against the Ukrainian population.[1]

Following the liquidation of the state, all Ukrainian public activities moved to Harbin, which remained in China, where they enlisted the support of Japan in 1935, creating the Ukrainian National Colony, and prepared an armed uprising with the goal of reestablishing Ukrainian rule in Zelenyy Klyn. The said colony formed Ukrainian Far Eastern government in exile and its own battalion the "Far Eastern Sich." As a result of Japan's defeat in World War II and the occupation of Harbin by the Red Army in 1945, the Ukrainian colony was eliminated and the goal of the uprising was not realized.

Following the collapse of the USSR and Ukraine's independence, a new attempt was made to revive Ukrainian movement in the Far East. On March 19, 1993, the Fifth All-Ukrainian Far Eastern Congress was held in Vladivostok, establishing the Zelenyy Klyn and electing a new Secretariat. The congress sent an appeal to the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin and local authorities for recognition of the organization. However, the association was never registered and did not actually expand on its activities.

Today, almost the entire Ukrainian population of the former Ukrainian Far Eastern Republic has been eliminated, assimilated and russified. Percentage of Ukrainians in the area has decreased from 60% in 1913 to 2.8% in 2010. The last Ukrainian local public leader, Anatoliy Kril, who tried to establish a Ukrainian church in Zelenyy Klyn, was killed by the Russians on April 1, 2004.

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Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Smele Jonathan D. Historical Dictionary of the Russian Civil Wars, 1916-1926. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. - 1470 p.
  • Narratives of Annihilation, Confinement and Survival: Camp Literature in a Transnational Perspective (Culture & Conflict). De Gruyter. 2019. - 288 p.
  • Чорномаз В. А. Зелений Клин // Енциклопедія сучасної України : у 30 т. / ред. кол. І. М. Дзюба [та ін.] ; НАН України, НТШ, Координаційне бюро енциклопедії сучасної України НАН України. — К., 2003-2016. — ISBN 944-02-3354-X