After Mazepa, Russia's enemies for a long time stopped trying to tear Ukraine away from it. It looked too hard, hopeless. So Napoleon was a master at using not only military, but also subversive operations. He specifically studied, for example, the Cossack uprisings, tried to grope their respective connections with the Cossacks. But he did not try to play the "Ukrainian card". However, this is not surprising. Starting a campaign against Russia, Bonaparte proclaimed the revival of Great Poland to be one of his goals. But it was meant not just Poland, but such Poland as it was at the height of its power — including Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine. Naturally, under the auspices of France. But the pans were terribly happy and excited by such prospects. Under the banner of Napoleon, the 80 of thousands of Poles performed, they made up the best corps of Bonaparte’s light cavalry.
Could the conqueror quarrel with them, flirt with the Ukrainians? And for the Ukrainians, the horrors and burdens of the Polish yoke were not so distant past. Grandparents talked about this to their grandchildren, bandurists sang songs about terrible tragedies, about the times of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, about Pereyaslavskaya Rada and reunification with Russia ... They were not on the way with a foreign emperor who wanted to revive the pan power.
Approximately the same laws operated during the whole XIX century. France fed the Poles, time after time initiated their uprisings, the massacre of the Russians. After the defeat of the next rebellion, the French provided asylum to its participants. Heinrich Heine eloquently wrote about such “fighters against tsarism” in the poem “Two Knights”:
Svolochinsky and Pomoysky - who among the nobility of the couple? -
They fought bravely for freedom against the Russian whip.
They fought bravely, and in Paris they found both shelter and food.
Just as sweet for the Motherland to survive as to die ...
Similarly, England supported and fed the highlanders of the Caucasus. When hordes of the whole of Europe landed in Crimea in 1854, plans were made to crush the Russians and tear off the outskirts of their state. In the Caucasus, to form a "caliphate" of Shamil, and in the west all the same "Great Poland" with Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine. These plans, too, were not destined to be realized - they threw their enemies too hard under Sevastopol. But secret operations were not aimed at the Ukrainians for the time being. They are already too firmly fused with the Russian people.
However, it is necessary to clarify one subtlety. In the Russian Empire in general there was no division according to nationalities! And the nationality was not indicated in the documents. Only religion. If a person is Orthodox, it automatically means that he is “Russian” - even if his ancestors were Germans, Tatars, Jews. Thus, the Ukrainians were considered “Russians” (by the way, recall Gogol’s Taras Bulba, the famous monologue about the Russian partnership). If for some reason it was necessary to emphasize the place of birth or residence of a person, they used the word "Little Russians". Among the Ukrainian intelligentsia, there was a completely natural interest in local national folklore, storiesto traditions. But this did not in the least contradict the unity and strengthening of state foundations. After all, its folk culture existed in the Russian North, in the Urals, in the Don, and in Novgorod - its diversity only enriched and developed the common Russian culture.
The situation began to change at the end of the XIX century. A bloc between Germany and Austria-Hungary began to take shape against Russia. And in the part of Austria-Hungary, during the partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1797, the western part of Ukraine fell - Galicia and Lodomeria (it was also historically called Chervonnaya Rus). The official language here was German, Austrian law was introduced. The Slavs in the Habsburg Empire generally remained "minor" peoples. But against Russia, the “Ukrainian question” could be used. But first he had to be created! After all, it did not exist!
Began processing intellectuals. Under the secret auspices of the Austrian government and special services in Lviv were funded and created cultural, literary societies and circles. Established communication with colleagues in Kiev. And the national basis was gradually adjusted to the nationalistic one. It was combined with liberal and socialist theories. The figures of traitors were presented as fighters for independence - against "tsarism" and enslavement. The separatists themselves called themselves “Mazepins”. On the Austrian money the newspaper Pravda was published. In Russian - his Ukrainian intelligentsia knew better. By the way, the newspaper was not a success. In 1907, the Austrians took it away from the nationalists and handed it over to Trotsky. Ukrainians are very offended, but whoever pays, he orders the music. And then Lenin borrowed the name, and Trotsky was offended, accusing him of plagiarism.
As the World War approached, Germany took on the “Ukrainian question” as well. Prominent Kaiser ideologues Rohrbach and Ballin joined in its development. The overall leadership of subversive activity was entrusted to the State Secretary of the German Foreign Ministry Zimmerman. General Rohrbach took a trip to Russia, exploring different areas for separatist sentiment. A “League of non-Russian peoples of Russia” was created, headed by Baron Eksyul. Moreover, the first in significance were the “Ukrainian question”, the second “Polish”, the third “Jewish”. The “League of the Rescue of Ukraine” emerged under the leadership of the Pan-Germanist Heinze and a special headquarters for contacts with the Ukrainians, who headed the Regings-President Schwerin. The Uniate Church became an active ally of the Germans and the Austrians, hoping to occupy a dominant position in the separated Ukraine. Financing channels were established through Sweden and Romania, emissaries and propaganda literature were sent to Ukraine.
Austrian Chancellor Berthold pointed out: “Our main goal in this war is to weaken Russia for a long time, and to this end we should welcome the creation of an independent Ukrainian state.” Minister M. Erzberger wrote about the same thing - they say, the common goal of the Central Powers is “to cut off Russia from the Baltic and Black Seas”, and this requires “liberation of non-Russian peoples from the Moscow yoke and realization of the self-government of every nation. All this under the German rule ... ”
The reality was different. The population of Western Ukraine sympathized with the Russians! The outbreak of war was marked here by mass arrests for "Russophilism". But in the very first battles, the tsarist forces utterly defeated Austria-Hungary, occupied all of Galicia as far as the Carpathians. At the same time, tens of thousands of interned Russians and local residents accused of sympathy for our country were released from prisons and camps. By the way, Western Ukraine itself was in 1914 very different from the current one. The local population was called "Rusyns". They greeted the Russians with sincere joy, considered them brothers. Overwhelmingly, the Ruthenians remained Orthodox, and the officers who got to Galicia with surprise noted that the language in the Carpathian region is much closer to Great Russian than in Eastern Ukraine. (What is not surprising - in the Dnieper region, the Slavs mixed with the Turkic peoples, and the Kievan Rus dialect remained in the Carpathian region).
The royal administration behaved very gently in Galicia. No contributions were imposed, there was no repression. Freely allowed Uniate and Judaic worship. Even an ardent Russophobe of the Uniate Metropolitan Sheptytsky was not touched. Only warned - not to allow in the sermons of anti-Russian calls. He broke the ban, and he was exiled ... to Kiev. In defense of Sheptytsky, the entire “progressive” public of Russia raised a howl. And in Rome, he was almost martyred.
In April, the king visited 1915 Galicia. In Lviv, he was greeted with a storm of enthusiasm. Crowds of residents greeted him, flooded the streets and squares. Nicholas II made a balcony in front of the masses of citizens. In Lviv! Without fear of terrorist attacks, there was not a single hostile antics! The Tsar spoke about the Russian historical roots of Galicia, concluded with the words: “May there be one, indivisible mighty Russia!” The townspeople answered with a general “Hurray”, the ladies covered the entire area under the balcony with flowers.
But in the summer of 1915, the Russians had to retreat. Austrians and Hungarians entered Galicia, cracking down on the "traitors". However, the individual repression is not limited. A monstrous colossal experiment has unfolded to remake an entire nation! Almost all Orthodox priests were hung up “for cooperation with the enemy” - after all, the Russians went to their churches, prayed, ordered orders. History has not preserved even the names of these martyrs. Who are interested in simple rural priests, if they suffered not in the “Stalinist” repression, but from Catholics? And the entire intelligentsia, which was recognized as “Russophilic” - teachers, journalists, doctors, students, was sent to the concentration camp Telerhof. About him came very little information for one simple reason - from there no one returned. Gas chambers have not yet been built, but there were hunger, cold, illness, shootings ...
A small Galician intelligentsia disappeared there. Orthodox priests were replaced by Uniates, the former teachers, Mazepa, began to teach a different story, an artificially developed language, a mixture of Ukrainian and Polish. And the results were akin to genocide. Most of the inhabitants of Galicia remained alive, nobody destroyed them, but ... the people disappeared! Changed beyond recognition. Orthodox Rusyns, who spoke an adverb close to Russian, were preserved only in the mountains and in Slovakia. All the rest of the population of Western Ukraine in a couple of years turned into “zapadents” - zealous Uniates, speaking a completely different language and hating “Muscovites” ...
The agitators of the Mazepins also traveled through prisoner of war camps. They inspired the inhabitants of Little Russia that they belong to a completely different nation, and their interests are very different from the Russians. However, the leaders of the “League of Rescue” themselves admitted that they were working in vain, while the Ukrainians absolutely did not succumb to their propaganda. Western security services also tried to cooperate with the nationalists. Russian counterintelligence detained American journalist and experienced spy John Reed, who was carrying money and instructions to the independent supporters.
The fruits appeared after the revolution. The fall of the monarchy brought the whole country into chaos. Revolutionaries took advantage, everywhere they created their own Soviets. The separatists also benefited - Finnish, Estonian, Caucasian, Polish, etc. Including in Kiev, suddenly the Verkhovna Rada (translated as “council”), headed by Vinnichenko and Petlyura, surfaced. At first, she put forward limited demands for autonomy within Russia. But the collapse deepened, and Rada spoke about independence. Kerensky, heading the government, made concessions in everything — he hoped for reciprocal support from the nationalists. Allowed to form a "Ukrainian army." More precisely, the 34 corps was renamed the Ukrainian army. He was ordinary, Russian, but commanded by General Skoropadsky, a descendant of the famous hetman.
There were also “gaydamak” detachments - the same gangs as the Red Guard, but on the caps they wore not red, but “yellow-blokyt” ribbons. However, the Haidamaks differed from the red ones in something else. They dressed up in operetta scrolls, trousers, got drunk, sang and danced. In November 1917 in Petrograd, the power was seized by the Bolsheviks. We concluded a truce with the Germans, negotiations began in Brest. But in Kiev, the cadets of local schools won in street battles. The Central Rada used it - it turned out to be the only alternative to the Bolsheviks in the city. Declared itself a government. She also sent a delegation led by Sevruk and Levitsky to Brest, and she behaved very arrogantly. In Ukraine, there was bread, meat, lard, and in Germany and Austria-Hungary famine began. Rada began to demand that she be given Austrian Galicia and Bukovina for food supplies.
But the red army of Muravyov moved to Kiev, and as its successes the Ukrainians became more compliant. The Haydamaky and the “sich” archers fled, and 8 February 1918, on the day of the fall of Kiev, Central Rada signed peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary. She simply surrendered to their patronage, inviting their troops. The Germans moved their units, and the Reds fled. 28 February they threw Kiev. German commanders diplomatically let the Ukrainian "army" forward - several hundred people, and the invaders followed. But when they looked around, they realized that it was pointless to cooperate with Rada. Nobody supports it. The report to the head of the operational department of the Eastern Front states: “The Ukrainian independence, on which the Rada relies, has extremely weak roots in the country. Its main advocate is a small handful of political idealists. ” Rada began to carry out the "Ukrainization" of the language, drowned in chatter, and in Ukraine there was complete anarchy - all kinds of "fathers" and the parties fought among themselves.
Then Field Marshal Eichhorn decided to disperse the Rada. With her entered into "Economic Agreement". Ukraine pledged to supply 60 million pounds of bread, 2,8 million pounds of livestock with live weight, 37.5 million pounds of iron ore, 400 million eggs, etc. For this, Germany “to the extent possible” supplied the products of its industry. By signing the agreement, Parliament was no longer needed. Ukrainian politicians "hinted" that their power was over. They gathered for the last time, hastily adopted the "Constitution of the Ukrainian People's Republic", produced by Professor Grushevsky, and fled to their homes for fear of arrest. Although they did not touch. The Germans convened in the Kiev Circus "Congress of grain-growers", where the hetman was elected - General Skoropadsky. He had no real power. He was not even allowed to create his own army. The Germans fueled the entire policy, the occupying troops were stationed in Ukraine.
But the borders of Ukraine identified the Germans. The southern part of its present territories - Kherson, Nikolaev, Odessa, never belonged to the Ukrainians. This area, which was conquered from the Turks and Nogais, in the Russian Empire was not called “Little Russia”, but “Novorossia”. But after all, the occupation was carried out on the basis of an agreement with Ukraine! And the rich coastal cities with the division of the Germans gave the Austrians. That added them to Ukraine. In the same way Donbass never belonged to the Ukrainian lands. But here was coal! The Germans needed to put a paw on him. They indicated that the Donbass is also Ukraine. And the Bolsheviks in 1918 did not dare to argue with the Germans. Performed everything that they dictate.
However, the Crimea, even Germany did not rank among the Ukrainian possessions. There was no way to find at least some historical excuse. The Germans also occupied the Crimea, but they created a Tatar government there headed by Sulkevich (a Lithuanian Tatar by birth). He led negotiations with Turkey to submit to her as a vassal khanate.
However, the time of the rule of Germany was short. She suffered a series of defeats from the Entente powers, revolutions began among her allies - in Bulgaria, Turkey, Austria-Hungary. In November, 1918 flared up in Germany itself. Kaiser abdicated the throne. German units came out of obedience, loaded into trains and drove home. The Bolsheviks immediately terminated the Brest Treaty, the Red troops moved again to Ukraine.
But Ukrainian separatists turned out to be closer. The leaders of the former Parliament - Petlyura, Vinnichenko, Shvets, Andrievsky, gathered in Belaya Tserkov a new government, a Directorate, and spoke at Kiev. The core of their armed forces was the regiment of "sichovyh archers" Evgen Konovalets. It was formed from Western Ukrainians who served in the Austrian army. Adjacent detachments and gangs, all kinds of "Haidamaks". Even Skoropadsky’s Serdyuki — his personal convoy dressed in Ukrainian national clothes — even went over to the Petliurists.
The Germans did not abandon the hetman, they took it with them. And small White Guards, who believed him and tried to defend his power, died or were forced to hide. 15 December 1918, the Petliurists broke into Kiev. By the way, the best Galician units were very surprised. They were told that they are fighting for the liberation of the Ukrainian people, but it turned out that Kiev is absolutely a Russian city, almost no one can speak Ukrainian! To correct this omission, an order was issued on the Ukrainization of signs. Russian was not allowed even along with Ukrainian. For a few days, Kiev turned into a paint shop - painted over, corrected. Special patrols checked the execution of the order and spelling, looked for errors from owners who did not know Ukrainian. But the caricature campaign with signs was the only event actually carried out by the Directory. They came up red and kicked her out.
In the future, the path of the nationalists divided. Petlyura was supported by the Entente, the dismemberment of Russia completely suited France, England, and the United States. But his fertile warrior was too frail. Both the Bolsheviks and the White Guards thrashed him. Finally, Petliura made an alliance with the Poles, agreed to cede Ukraine to their submission. At the same time he betrayed his former support, the Galicians. Poland took possession of the short-lived Western Ukraine Republic, interned and shot Galician shooters. Their commander, Konovalets, moved to the maintenance of the German special services, began to form the Ukrainian Military Organization - later it became known as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), after the death of Konovaltsa other leaders emerged: Bandera, Melnik. The OUN "became famous" for wild terrorism in Poland, collaborated with the German Nazis, then passed under the care of NATO.
As for Ukraine, as we have seen, it turned out to be cobbled together from disparate parts during the period of the German occupation. In this form, it has become a Ukrainian Soviet Republic. It became part of the USSR. In 1939, when Poland collapsed under the German strikes, it was possible to annex Western Ukraine. But the idea of transferring the Crimea to the Ukrainians occupies a very special place. It was first heard not in Kiev, not in Moscow. She sounded in 1919 from the lips of the American President Wilson at the Versailles Conference, which undertook to reshape the borders of different countries after the World War!
The question is, what was the business of the Americans to Ukraine and the Crimea? But this was the case. The decision was proposed by Wilson and made by the Council of the Entente, recorded in the conference materials. Although at that time it remained unrealized. Only in 1954, Khrushchev unexpectedly transferred the Crimean region from the RSFSR to Ukraine. It was not motivated by anything, could not be explained. It remains unclear which of the advisers suggested the idea to Khrushchev, what mechanisms were used to introduce it into the head of the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. But it turned out that his hands carried out the long-standing decision of the Western coalition.