Chronology of Russification and Destruction of the Ukrainian Language

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When foreigners ask why so many Ukrainians speak Russian, tell them some historical facts that show the chronology of the russification and destruction of the Ukrainian language, culture and nation from 1708 to 1990.

1708, November - Destruction of the hetman's capital Baturyn according to order of Peter I (all 6,000 men, women and children were murdered with extreme cruelty, and the city was completely destroyed and burned).

1720 - Decree of Peter on banning the printing of new books in Ukrainian in Kiev-Pechersk and Chernihiv printing houses, and the old books before printing were ordered to bring into line with Russian.

1721 - Decree of Peter I on the censorship of Ukrainian books. Destruction of the Chernihiv printing house.

1729 - Decree of Tsar Peter II, which obliged to transcribe from Ukrainian into Russian all government decrees and orders.

1755, 1766, 1769, 1775, 1786 - Prohibitions of the St. Petersburg Synod to publish Ukrainian books.

1764 - Instruction of Catherine II to Prince O. Vyazemsky to strengthen the Russification of Ukraine, Smolensk, Baltics and Finland.

1769 - Decree of the Synod on the seizure of Ukrainian primers and Ukrainian texts from church books.

1786 - Prohibition of church services in Ukrainian, introduction of Russian pronunciation of Church Slavonic texts. Order on the Mandatory Russian Language at the Kyiv Academy.

1817 - Closure of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

1831 - Abolition of Magdeburg law by the tsarist government (this puts an end to non-Russian justice, government elections and local autonomy in Ukraine).

April 5, 1847 - Arrest and indefinite exile of Taras Shevchenko as a private in a separate Orenburg corps under the resolution of Nikolay I under the strictest supervision, with a ban on writing and drawing, which was tantamount to imprisonment (stayed there until August 2, 1857).

1862 - Closing of Ukrainian Sunday and free adult schools.

July 18, 1863 - Circular of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia Petr Valuev on the ban on printing books in the Ukrainian language.

1869, 1886 - Decrees of the tsarist administration on additional payments to officials of Russian origin in Ukraine for success in Russification.

May 18, 1876 - Alexander II's Secret Em Decree on banning the import of any Ukrainian books and pamphlets from abroad into the empire, banning the Ukrainian theater and publishing in Ukrainian original works of fiction, texts of Ukrainian songs under music.

1881 - Prohibition of church sermons in Ukrainian.

1888 - Decree of Alexander III on banning the use of the Ukrainian language in official institutions and the baptism of children with Ukrainian names.

1895 - Prohibition of Ukrainian children's books.

1907 - Closing of the Ukrainian periodicals by the tsarist government, confiscation of Ukrainian literature published during the 1905-1907 revolution, repression against Ukrainian cultural figures.

1908 - Decree of the Senate of the Russian Empire on the "harmfulness" of cultural and educational activities in Ukraine.

1914, March - Prohibition by the tsarist regime of celebrating the 100th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko's birth.

1914 - Decree of Nikolay II on the abolition of the Ukrainian press. Prohibition of the use of the Ukrainian language, printing of books, newspapers and magazines in the Ukrainian language in Galicia and Bukovina occupied by the Russian army. Defeat of the Enlightenment Society, destruction of the library of the Shevchenko Scientific Society. Deportation of many thousands of conscious Ukrainians to Siberia.

1921-1923 - famine in the steppe regions of Ukraine, caused by the policy of "military communism" and food distribution in the countryside, which killed up to 1.5 million peasants.

September 1929 - Arrest of prominent figures of Ukrainian science, culture, and UAOC - for "belonging" to the fictional ODPU Union for the Liberation of Ukraine (SVU) and the Union of Ukrainian Youth (CYM).

1929-1930 - The first phase of collectivization and "dekulakization" in Ukraine. Expulsion of hundreds of thousands of wealthy Ukrainian peasants to Siberia and the Far East.

1930, March 9-April 19 - Trial in Kharkiv against 45 figures of Ukrainian science, literature, culture, UAOC - for belonging to the so-called "Union for the Liberation of Ukraine" (SVU).

1932-33 - Organization of an artificial famine by the Bolshevik regime in Ukraine, 8 million Ukrainian peasants died. Mass resettlement of Russians in extinct Ukrainian villages.

1933 - The pogrom of Ukrainians in the Kuban.

1934-41 - Destruction of architectural and cultural monuments in various cities of Ukraine, arrest and execution of 80% of the Ukrainian intelligentsia.

1937, November - Mass execution of Ukrainian writers and other figures of Ukrainian culture imprisoned in Solovki (to the 20th anniversary of October coup).

April 24, 1938 - Introduction of the Russian language as compulsory in all schools of Ukraine.

1939-1941 - Large-scale repressions against Ukrainians in the western regions. Mass deportations of the Ukrainian population to remote areas of the USSR.

March 3, 1947 - Appointment of L. Kaganovich as the first secretary of the Central Committee of the CP (B) UKkraine and a new "cleansing" among Ukrainian cultural cadres because of accusation in "Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism."

1949 - Another "purge" in the CP (b) of Ukraine due to the decisions of its 16th Congress on January 25-28 on charges of Ukrainian nationalism.

March 23-24, 1954 - The 18th Congress of the Communist Party approved the recruitment of young men and women from Ukraine to Siberia and Kazakhstan for the development of virgin and fallow lands (during 1952-1956, about 100 thousand people went there).

1957-61 - Intensified anti-religious actions in the USSR, the elimination of about half of the church and religious institutions (parishes, monasteries, seminaries).

October 15, 1959 - Assassination of Stepan Bandera by KGB agent B. Stashinsky.

1961, January - Closed trial in Lviv over members of the Ukrainian Workers 'and Peasants' Union (L. Lukyanenko, I. Kandyba, S. Virun, etc.), who defended the right of the Ukraine to leave the USSR.

1962 - Trial over 20 members of the Lviv Ukrainian National Committee, four of whom were sentenced to death.

1963 - Subordination of the National Academies of Sciences of the Union Republics to the Moscow Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

1965, August-September - The first big wave of arrests of Ukrainian figures in Ukraine (Bohdan and Mykhailo Horyni, P. Zalyvakha, S. Karavansky, V. Moroz, M. Osadchy, A. Shevchuk, etc.).

1969, June - Letter from Ukrainian political prisoners (M. Horyn, I. Kandyba, L. Lukyanenko) to the UN Commission on Human Rights on the poisoning of political prisoners.

1972, January-May - The second big wave of arrests of intellectuals in Ukraine.

1972, May - Removal from the post of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party P. Shelest for Ukrainian nationalism; cleaning of CPU executives.

1978, November 11 - Directive of the Board of the Ministry of Education of the USSR "To improve the study of the Russian language in secondary schools of the republic" (strengthening Russification).

1979, March-October - New arrests of Ukrainian figures in Ukraine: O. Berdnyk (March 6), Y. Badz (April 23), Y. Lytvyn (August 6), M. Horbal (October 23) and others. (All of them were sentenced to maximum terms of imprisonment in concentration camps and exile in remote areas of Russia).

1979, May 18 - The mysterious murder of composer V. Ivasyuk near Lviv.

1980-81 - Arrest of Ukrainian politicians S. Naboka, L. Miliavsky, L. Lokhvytska.

1983 - Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU on strengthening of the study of Russian in schools and payment 16% allowance to teachers of Russian language and literature ("Andropov Decree") and the directive of the Board of the Ministry of Education of the USSR "On additional measures to improve Russian language educational schools, pedagogical educational establishments, preschool and out-of-school establishments of the republic”.

1984 - O. Tikhiy, Y. Litvin, V. Marchenko died in the camps.

September 4, 1985 - Рoet Vasyl Stus died in the concentration camp.

1989 - Resolution of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU on the only official national language (Russian) in the USSR.

1990, April - Resolution of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on granting Russian the status of an official language in the USSR.

Author: Tetyna Druzenko


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