The History of the Ukrainian SSR (1948–1982)

  • Stephen Velychenko


Between 1921 and 1946, histories of Ukraine were written by Ukrainian scholars living, working, and usually educated in the country and formally supervised by the Ukrainian branch of the Party. Drafts were probably read by friends and there is no record of formal institutional reviews, structured discussions, or stenographed protocols that authors were obliged to consider while revising. There is no evidence of guidelines from Moscow more explicit than Stalin’s two decrees and Drozdov’s exegesis. After 1945, conformity was imposed more efficiently thanks to the recentralization and expansion of the ideological apparatus and more detailed and explicit instructions. In 1947, the authorities not only demanded that historians link the Ukrainian and Russian pasts (see chapter 3), but obliged those Ukrainians chosen to write an acceptable survey to spend two months in Moscow at the All-Union Institute of History.1 Authors of chapters dealing with the early twentieth century were summoned in person to an interview with a commission that included Ukrainian CC member L. Kaganovich,2 while all concerned were provided with copies of reviews and protocols of the discussions. The result was an outline History of Ukraine (1948, 350 copies), subsequently reviewed by 86 historians, of whom no more than ten were Ukrainian. Although formally written by Ukrainian historians, due to such measures the resulting text must be considered a Russian rather than a Ukrainian interpretation of Ukraine’s past.


National Movement National Liberation Official History Early Edition Revolutionary Movement 
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© Stephen Velychenko 1993

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  • Stephen Velychenko

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