Ukraine under the Soviets

Ukraine under the Soviets

Ukraine under the Soviets

Ukraine under the Soviets

Excerpt

It was not many months after the downfall of the tsarist regime in Russia in 1917 that that great empire began to disintegrate. The subject peoples began to demand their own states and showed themselves willing to fight for them. The significance of this was lost upon most of the leaders of the Western democratic powers and they tried to explain it as some new device of the German General Staff, instead of recognizing it as a part of a democratic procedure.

Three and a half years of war had then passed and the attention of the democracies was focussed on the Western Front. They were aware of the contribution in manpower the Russian Empire had made to the common cause and they looked forward with apprehension to the campaign of 1918 without the aid of the imperial Russian army. They had greeted the disappearance of the tsars in a bloodless revolution as a sign of the triumph of democracy and they were ill prepared to face the strange events that followed the fall of the Romanovs.

They could not believe that the government of Lenin and the Communists who seized control of the city of Petrograd late in 1917 could long endure. Its methods they could not understand and they sought to interpret them in terms with which they were familiar. They did not try to fathom the reasons why, within a few months, the Russian Empire fell apart and they sought instinctively to bring it once more together.

They watched without understanding the downfall of the Ukrainian National Republic, the rise of Soviet rule in Ukraine and elsewhere, the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics . . .

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