Greater Ukraine

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Map of Ukraine presented by Ukrainian delegation on Paris Peace Conference, 1919.
Map of Ukrainian settlement in Eastern Europe based on a postcard issued in 1919.

Greater Ukraine (Ukrainian: Велика Україна; Velyka Ukrayina) or United Ukraine (Ukrainian: Соборна Україна; Soborna Ukrayina) refers to an irredentist concept of the territory claimed by some Ukrainian nationalist groups outside the Republic of Ukraine which are considered part of national homeland by Ukrainians, based on the present-day or historical presence of Ukrainian populations in those areas.

Principalities of Kievan Rus', (1054-1132)


Rise of nationalism

The 10 commandments of the Ukrainian People's Party (1902–1907) were developed by Ukrainian nationalist, the leader of UPP Mykola Mikhnovsky in 1904. These commandments were kind of honor code for the party. They called for a one, united, indivisible, from the Carpathians to the Caucasus, independent, free, democratic Ukraine – a republic of working people.[1]

Claimed regions

Since Mikhnovsky the idea of ‘Ukrainian Independent United State’ (Ukrainian: Українська Самостійна Соборна Держава Ukrainska Samosiyna Soborna Derzhava) has been a key nationalist slogan, but many would argue that the ‘unification’ (соборність sobornist’) of Ukrainian lands was partially completed in 1939–45.

Today’s would-be Ukraina irredenta is mainly in the east, on the territory that is now part of Russia Russian Federation:

In the west, some radical nationalists would also covet the following territories:

The possibility of Ukraine making serious territorial pretensions against its neighbors can be discounted (irredentist movements have become more prevalent within Ukraine itself, supporting unification of predominantly Russian-speaking regions with the Russian Federation, see 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine). Nevertheless, more radical Ukrainian nationalists may well attempt to take advantage of Russian difficulties in troubled regions such as the north Caucasus, and perhaps even further afield, particularly if any serious conflict should develop between Russia and Ukraine.[2]


Ukrainians in Kuban, according to census of 1926.

Ukrainians first settled the Kuban in 1792 and until the mid-twentieth century the majority of the population there identified themselves as Little Russians or Ukrainians. Due to adverse Russian and Soviet national policies, including the Holodomor, most of the population adopted a Russian self-identification[citation needed], and the percentage of those who identified themselves as Ukrainians dropped from an official 55% (1926) to 0.9% (2002).

See also


  1. ^ (in Russian) Мирчук П. Возрождение национальной идеи. — Киев: Украинская издательская спилка, 1999
  2. ^ Andrew Wilson, Ukrainian nationalism in the 1990s: a minority faith, Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 181, 183
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