Central Council of Ukraine: Introduction to Foreign Policy Activity

  • Post category:Issue XIX

Vladyslav Verstiuk
Professor, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine

DOI 10.37837/2707-7683-2018-1

Abstract. The article describes the time when after the fall of autocracy in the Russian Empire, the power was taken by the Central Council of Ukraine emerged in Kyiv.
The fall of autocracy gave a chance for change, the newly formed Provisional Government declared its inclination to renewal and democratization processes. Ukrainians enthusiastically met the revolution. The Central Council of Ukraine emerged in Kyiv to head the national liberation movement. It based the political strategy on the slogan of gaining national-territorial autonomy of Ukraine in the Federal Democratic Republic of Russia.
The strength of the federalist-autonomous model was that in the First World War it made it possible to legitimately put the “Ukrainian question” to the Provisional Government and the Russian political elite without being accused of separatism.
Signing of the Brest Peace Treaty testified to the success of young non-professional Ukrainian diplomacy.
This was the first earnest act of the UPR on the international scene. However, given the circumstances Ukraine experienced, it had small effect. The difference could have been made only by a third-party military aid from countries of the Fourth Alliance, which later resulted in the occupation of Ukrainian lands. Unfortunately, it turned into the occupation of Ukrainian lands.
The weakest side of the Central Council was its Foreign policy. It was started with a considerable delay, it was a late reaction to the actions of the Bolsheviks. As a result, the Central Council failed to achieve recognition among the Entente countries, and a peace treaty with the Fourth Alliance in the long run, after the end of the World War, compromised Ukrainian statehood in the eyes of the victors.
The author emphasizes that wartime occupations acquire take the form of colonial exploitation and subordination regimes, which is clearly illustrated by the Central Powers’ presence in Ukraine in 1918.
It is also concluded that the Central Council, willing to rescue Ukraine from one disaster, brought it new challenges.
Keywords: Central Council, General Secretariat, Ukraine, occupation, international scene, Brest Peace Treaty, Fourth Alliance.

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