Short History of Creation of Ukraine and Donetsk-Krivorog Republics after the 1917 Coup d’Etat in Russia

On the 8th of December 2016, an analyst and blogger RoSsi BaRBeRa – one of the few that I read for their honest and direct approach to the world events – publish an article titled “Ukraine and the new bout for for-free [Euronews journalists are striking because of the refusal to count them as Russians]”.

In short, that article was describing an absurd situation after closing of the Ukrainian office of Euronews. Euronews closed down its Ukrainian-language office in France. It was created in 2011, and as with all the Euronews participating countries, Ukraine was to pay a certain license contribution towards running of their department. (Russian VGTRK, btw, owns 7% of shares of Euronews). After the 2014 “revolution” Ukraine decided that Europe owes Ukraine for the defence of the European values, and stopped paying. The Ukrainian department was then financed by Euronews from the common funds, but was not disbanded as Russophobia was in high demand. At the same time Euronews tried to get the money from Ukraine (€10 mill) through Ukrainian court system. To the European amazement, Ukraine did the same number as they did on the Russian Gazprom – the debtor started dictated conditions. Euronews haven’t got a cent. Now, in December 2016 Euronews shut down the Ukrainian department. And here comes the essence of the story:

The journalists from that department attempted first to apply to the Russian-language department (currently the most profitable in the Euronews consortium, with good salaries), but were refused. The reason from the management was this: Ukrainians do not have enough command of the Russian language and culture to work in the Russian department (after all, that’s what the rabid Ukrainian propaganda was all about all this time!). Ukrainian Euronews journalists – who only the day before were “defending Europe against Russian aggression” – suddenly did a U-turn and indignantly stated that they were all born in USSR, are from the same country, and anyway, Russian department employed Armenians and Belorussians, so why are Ukrainians discriminated. When it became clear that Euronews would not budge on the decision, they did another U-turn and started blaming, who else – Putin for not allowing them to work in the Russian department of Euronews… Curtain.

That was a pre-history, now comes the story…

As a post-scriptum to the article, RoSsi BaRBeRa posted the following image:

Translation: Ukro-patriots. Learn this by heart. In 1922 Ukraine ascended into USSR without Harkov, without Herson, without Odessa and Donetsk, without Lugansk, and, of course, without Crimea. Ukraine even didn’t have Lvov back then. All these lands Ukraine got while being a part of the “damned” USSR. For free.

The year in that image, as well as the facts, were challenged in one of the comments, to which RoSsi BaRBeRa wrote an extensive reply, which I find enlightening and am translating below with a few minor edits:

Everything is clear with the period of the Russian empire. No national republics existed before 1917. Further, after the revolution, on January 30, 1918 in Kharkov hotel “Metropol” there took place the 4th Regional Congress of Soviets of Workers’ Deputies which initially proclaimed the creation DKR (Donetsk – Krivoy Rog Republic). But it was not enough to declare it creation, it is needed be reaffirmed, acknowledged, and not only orally, but de facto. After all, a war was going on, and there was chaos in the country. Nearby to the self-proclaimed DKR was just as equally self-proclaimed UPR (Ukrainian People’s Republic) – a unit in the central part of the outskirts (Okraina – Ukraina) of the former Russian Empire, acting against the Soviet authorities.

And there lay the problem, because a few days before the official proclamation of the DKR, the UNR Central Council (with the center in Kiev) signed in Brest an anti-Russian treaty with Germany and Austria-Hungary, which allowed the entry of the Austro-German forces on its breakaway territory. Clearly they had no legal rights to do so, but in general they did 100 years ago exactly what they do now – lying down with pleasure and selling themselves to the West. At the same time, the UPR did not just ask the Germans for protection, but also gave away to the invaders of the West Polesie with the Belarusian people and Donbass itself, which the Ukrainian Parliament considered to be theirs, while the Petrograd and DKR itself considered themselves to be Soviet.

So, on one hand a unitarian Ukraine did not exist back then, but rather there were two conflicting with one another breakaway territories, and the other, at the beginning of March 1918 the Germans outright occupied Donbass, and without Russia, which later fought off the land from the enemy, they (Ukraine) would simply not come to pass. Let’s continue.

Next, by the decision of Germany and Austria-Hungary, the wishing to be Soviet leadership of the not yet manifested Donetsk republic, was deposed and a commissioner was appointed – Hetman Skoropadsky. While the occupied -both UNR and DKR they called for Ukrainian State. Later, having renamed it to the Ukrainian People’s Republic, they put in charge one of their own, the present “independence hero” Petliura, who under the auspices of the Germans, cut down all right, left and centre – both the partisans of Makhno, and the Reds, and the Whites, and the locals. After the defeat of Germany and its allies and the return of Donbass by the Soviet military into Russia, Stalin said: “There is no need and should be no separate Don-Kriv-Bass”, and with that he annexed this territory to the formed at that time united Ukrainian SSR. But they (Donbass) initially did not want it! What does this mean? The fact that even the earliest Donbass, at the end of accession in 1922 was also presented the UkSSR (Ukraine) for free. Presented by Russia. Of which the image above speaks. Before the USSR, Ukraine did not have those territories. Just like Ukraine itself did not exist. A couple of months under the German occupation does not count.

Perhaps you are right in that it made sense to supplement the information in the picture that, Donbass was given to Ukraine by Russia in 1919, not in 1922, and I admit it, but this does not change the essence at hand.

Next, on March 10, 1919 3rd Congress of Soviets of the UkSSR took place in Kharkov, which declared the establishment of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) as an independent state, the draft Constitution of the UkSSR was adopted. The congress approved the policy of the Ukrainian government on the comprehensive strengthening of relations with Soviet Russia. Thus, Ukraine acceded to the wishes of the other independent republics of the Soviets on the establishment of a union with them. And declared desire to become part of Russia. In their desires, they indicated that they consider their own administrative boundaries wherever Ukrainians lived – in Kiev, Kherson, Podolia, Volyn, Kharkov, Poltava, Chernigov, Ekaterinoslav and Tauride areas. But it’s all wishing on paper, signed against the backdrop of a civil war and while the Soviet Russian military advanced into Ukraine returning native Russian land. At that time, the civil war in Ukraine was rapidly taking turn to our advantage (in favour of the Reds), and October 11, 1919 Red Army began the decisive offensive against Denikin Red – or in fact, the third attempt to establish the Bolshevik rule on the territory of the former Russian Empire outskirts (okrainas). On December 12th, Soviet troops entered Kharkov, on December 16 – Kiev, on February 7, 1920 – Odessa. Eastern Ukraine is almost completely taken over by the Bolsheviks at the end of December 1919, the central and right-bank Ukraine – by the beginning of 1920.

And only then began the territorial disputes of the Ukrainian SSR and the South-East of Russia. When liberated by Soviet warriors Ukraine, habitually wanted more for themselves, their appetite increased and raised the question of creation of their own Don province, in order to include it in the part of the Donets Coal Basin, which was a part of the Don region of Russia, and at the same time – Taganrog. However, since this issue was discussed in closed circles and without the consent of the administration of the Don Region, on the 17th of January 1920, Donetsk Revolutionary Governorship (Gubrevkom) of the city of Lugansk ordered “until the economic territory of the Donetsk province and the proper distribution of the province areas is clarified, to TEMPORARILY approve … 11 administrative districts that make up the Donetsk province as described by UkSSR” including there also the territory of the Shakhty district – White-Kalitvensky, Bokovo-Hrustal’nyj, Alexander-Grushevsky areas and individual settlements of the Taganrog district.

I stress, temporarily. As long as the civil war continues.

But be that as it may, in April 1920, at the suggestion of the CPC of Ukraine and Presidium Council decided to establish the Donetsk province (governorship) of Ukraine from the parts of Kharkov, Ekaterinoslav provinces and regions of the Don Cossacks. From Ekaterinoslav province of Russia, Ukraine entirely got Bahmutskiy, Lugansk and Mariupol counties, and from the area of ​​the Don Cossacks, again – Russian – all the Taganrog district, the villages of the district of Donetsk (Gundorovskaya, Kamensky, Kalitvenskaya, Ust-Belaya Kalitva). Lugansk became the centre of Donetsk province.

And this is another “gift” to Ukraine from Russia. But I say it again, it was initially a temporary one.

But in general, there is a visual infographics of the “gifts” by Russia to its Ukrainian republic.

(Dates:
20th November 1917 (proclamation of UPR in Kiev) -> 12th December 1917 (proclamation of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in Harkov) -> 1st November 1918 (proclamation of Western-Ukrainian People’s Republic in Lvov) -> 1919 (Creation of Ukrainian SSR, Western territories fall under Polish control) ->
1939 (Eastern Galicia becomes part of UkSSR) -> 1940 (Northern Bukovina and Southern Bessarabia become part of Ukraine) -> 1945 (Zakarpatie [Trans-Carpathia] becomes part of Ukraine) -> 1954 (Crimea is transferred into UkSSR)

Another map, is the sate of the South-Russian republics by 1917-1918:

ДКР (DKR) – Donetsk-Krivorozhje Republic
УНР (UPR) – Ukrainian People’s Republic
КРЫМ – Crimean Republic
ОДЕССА – Odessa Republic

2 thoughts on “Short History of Creation of Ukraine and Donetsk-Krivorog Republics after the 1917 Coup d’Etat in Russia

  1. This is fascinating.

    The more I hear Russophobe bantered around the media the more interested I develop in Russia as a country and its history.

    I hate to say this, but Russia got ‘rorted’ (Australian slang for ripped off) with the whole peace / USSR dissolution thing in the nineties. The West perceives Russia as weak; and as soon as the West sees someone weaker than it, they strike.

    Russia needs to be strong. I hope Russia rebuilds its strength. Only then will the West stop its war-mongering.

    Fascinating article. (Found your blog from futuristrendcast.wordpress.com and Lada Ray…

  2. Thank you for the comment.
    I agree with you that in the 90’s (but in reality starting from the 80’s) USSRs was weakened to a point that it could be taken apart from within. The leadership was inadequate at best (Gorbachev, who accepted NATO’s oral promise of non-expansion to the East), and criminal at worst (who enriched “Family” and facilitated blossoming of oligarchy). And the people of USSR, though the radio stations live “Voice of America” and “Radio Svoboda” were lead to believe that the West only wished the best for them, and as USSR made the grave mistake of forbidding those stations and Western literature, it further achieved the effect of the “forbidden fruit”.
    On the bright side, Russia is well on the way of rebuilding and is strong enough now to hold its own. Hopefully that would help to rebalance our crazy tilted world…

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