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25 August 2022

Peasants become... Cossacks (to the history of the Kholodnyi Yar experience of National Liberation Struggles during the period of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1921)

Ukrainian Peasant
Peasants become... Cossacks (to the history of the Kholodnyi Yar experience of National Liberation Struggles during the period of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1921)

The problem, which the author formulates and tries to solve at least partially in this article, concerns historical processes of formation of modern nations in Europe and, in particular, in the countries of its eastern part. Guided by  the  established  norm  in  modern  humanities  that  the formation of existing modern nations «was not inevitable», he tries to trace the process of transition of «no» nation to «its existence» on the example of Ukrainian historical experience of the fi rst quarter of the twentieth century. This experience can’t  be  considered  positive  or  negative.  The  fact  is  that many variants of the Ukrainian modern creation of the nation gave, so to speak, a «half» result. These include, apparently, the vector of development, which is described as «peasants become Cossacks». Taking as a basis the thesis that the central theme of the twentieth century there is transformation of the ethnos  into  a  conscious  political  and  cultural  community (which is already substantiated in historiography), the author tries to consider this version of the nation.Purpose. The purpose of the article is to try to clarify the essence of the  Cossack version of  the creation of the Ukrainian  modern nation  (state)  on  the  experience  of the struggle of the insurgents of the Kholodnyi Yar era of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917—1921. The  basis  of  the  methodology  of  scientifi c research  is  an  interdisciplinary  approach  that  allows imagining, creating and analyzing the scientifi c picture of the world; it also helps to identify similarities and differences, as well as features and interactions of peoples and social groups.Results. Based  on  the  events  of  the  Kholodnyi  Yar, the author formulated a concept motivated by the desire to fi nd a «Cossack trace» in them. To this end, he focused on such cognitive positions as: fi rst, was the Cossack «public» movement really national or not? second, was the peasantry the object of the spread of this movement, or at least to some extent participated in it as a subject? third, most importantly, what  was  (if  any)  Cossack  in  this  movement,  other  than name? The biographies of the direct participants prove that the Kholodnyi Yar movement was Cossack, but not entirely «public»  (not  peaceful),  national,  but  limited  by  regional priorities. Prospects for the Cossack version of the creation of the Ukrainian modern nation in the experience of the struggle of the insurgents of the Kholodnyi Yar were extremely limited. First of all, because the historical memory of  the  Cossacks  had  already  been  lost  by  the  Ukrainian elites,  and  its  new  generation,  co-opted  mainly  from  the intelligentsia,  didn’t  see  in  the  peasantry  a  «Cossack» revolutionary potential. This did not mean the same oblivion in the people themselves. However, «underneath» initiatives were  clearly  lacking  for  large-scale  change,  as  regional movements could not ensure ultimate success. The study showed that the Cossacks of the fi rst quarter of the twentieth century, as a kind of modern national self-affi rmation of Ukrainians, more resembled the freemasonry of Koliivschyna thah the Bohdan Khmelnytskiy Zaporizhzhia Army state.

Source: Ostrovskyi O. (2020). Peasants become... Cossacks (to the history of the Kholodnyi Yar experience of National Liberation Struggles during the period of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1921). Ukrainian Peasant. №24: 49-52

Source web-site: https://ukr-selianyn-ejournal.cdu.edu.ua/article/view/4119/4383

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