Article title The West Ukrainian People's Republic and Its Place in the History of the National State-Building (on the 100th Anniversary of Proclamation)


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 10/2018
Сторінки [165-184]
DOI 10.33498/louu-2018-10-164

The purpose of the article is to analyze the establishment and development of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic (the ZUNR) and to determine its place in the history of the national State-building. The article analyzes the background of the origin and the processes of establishment and development of the ZUNR, and also determines its place in the history of the national State-building. The author notes that the proclamation of the ZUNR was a milestone event in the thousand-year history of the national State-building. This event proved that the Ukrainian people exercised their right to political self-identification, in line with the European and world standards and traditions of those times which recognized the people’s right to selfidentification. The proclamation of the ZUNR had a landmark impact on the establishment of the Ukrainian people and its struggle for national dignity and state independence in the twentieth century. It is emphasized that one of the major reasons leading to the fall of the ZUNR was the military aggression by Poland and Romania. Besides, the collapse of the Republic was also caused by extremely hard international circumstances and the support by the post-war Europe of Poland’s and Romania’s expansionist and invasive actions against the ZUNR. Actually, foreign policy factors were the main reason destroying both Ukrainian States: in case of the Ukrainian People’s Republic it was the offensive of the Bolshevik troops supported by local Bolsheviks which occupied a significant part of the Ukrainian lands; and in case of the ZUNR – the seizure of its territory by Poland and Romania. Both Ukrainian States could probably handle the internal troubles and problems, but the external aggression by the neighbors having much more power was forbidding. The author indicates that the ZUNR was of great historical importance. It was one more attempt of the Ukrainian people to restore the State, get rid of the age-old power of outsiders, the government which in various ways imposed its domination, law, ideology, and history. Besides, a big plus was the fact that the ZUNR was formed as a national state on the democratic basis: recognition of the people as the source of power, equality of all before law, aspiration to enshrine the newly established State in the constitutional terms, proclamation of the principles of division of power into legislative, executive and judicial, guarantee of the extensive political and cultural rights to national minorities, etc. The Ukrainians presented themselves to the whole world as a separate nation possessing the right to its own State. The level of national consciousness of the Ukrainian people of those times increased significantly. The Ukrainians gained the experience of State-building which rooted firmly into the historical memory and was inherited by the next generations of fighters for the Ukrainian State, including in the twentieth century. The historical significance of the ZUNR is also underlain by the fact that the identity of the Ukrainian nation was preserved and the process of the Ukrainian State-building was intensified. 


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