The national-communist policies of Ukrainization grew out of the weakness of early Soviet governments in Ukraine following the Revolution of 1917 and the failed Ukrainian struggle for independence. As early as 1920 Mykola Skrypnyk attributed this weakness to national hostility between the Ukrainian peasantry and the Russified workers, which was reflected in the Ukrainophobic policies of the Soviet authorities. The way to legitimize Soviet rule in Ukrainian eyes lay in the gradual de-Russification of the proletariat in Ukraine and its adoption of Ukrainian culture. The Borotbists, led by Oleksander Shumsky, offered a similar analysis. Despite widespread opposition to Ukrainization within the largely Russian CP(B)U, ex-Borotbists, such as Shumsky, Vasyl Blakytny, Serhii Pylypenko, and Mykhailo Semenko, were given considerable authority over Ukrainian cultural policy. Under Skrypnyk's supervision all postsecondary education was rapidly Ukrainized while the Ukrainian language was promoted among the government bureaucracy and in the military. This process resulted, among others, in the brilliant flourishing of Ukrainian literature (led by such writers as Mykola Khvylovy), culture, and scholarship. The successes of Ukrainization fostered the myth that Ukrainians had achieved a measure of national liberation within the Soviet framework, but the hopes of the national communists were brutally quashed. As part of wide-ranging repressions directed against Ukrainians, in 1932 Stalin ordered the CP(B)U to halt the implementation of Ukrainization and root out 'national deviations' from the Party line. The 1933 Party purge singled out 'national communists' as primary targets. The suicide of Khvylovy in May 1933 and that of Skrypnyk in July 1933 mark the end of openly expressed national-communist ideas in Ukraine... Learn more about national communism and the Ukrainization policies of the 1920s by visiting the following entries:


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