Russian Nationalism and Ukraine
The Nationality Policy of the Volunteer Army During the Civil War
By Anna Procyk
Anna Procyk focuses on the nationality policy of the Volunteer Army and the Russian liberals who dominated its politics. Challenging the generally accepted view that the character of the White movement was primarily anti-Bolshevik or even restorationist, she shows how the concept of "one, indivisible Russia" was central to the Volunteer Army's ideology and identity and how it contributed to its failure. Dr. Procyk also challenges the view that the Volunteer Army's generals were reactionary monarchists and that they were primarily responsible for the White movement's failure. She persuasively demonstrates that the ideology and political program of the Russian liberal intellectuals who dominated the Volunteer Army's Political Center reinforced Denikin's refusal to deal with the independent Ukrainian governments of 1918-19 and his hostility toward the idea of a Russo-Ukrainian federation and an anti-Bolshevik alliance. The Volunteer Army failed to defeat the Bolsheviks because it was unable and unwilling to come to terms with the Ukrainian question. At critical junctures during the Russian Civil War, its struggle against an independent Ukraine overshadowed its struggle against the Bolsheviks.
About the Author
Anna Procyk is Associate Professor of History, Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York. She is currently doing research on the influence of Giuseppe Mazzini in Eastern Europe. Her article on the role of the Polish émigrés as disseminators of Mazzini's ideas in Ukraine is due to appear in Harvard Ukrainian Studies. She is also Vice-President of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh) of America, Inc.
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