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The Orthodox Nationalist: Hetman Skoropadsky and the Rebirth of Ukraine – TON 060717

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Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson concentrates on Ukraine in this week’s Orthodox Nationalist podcast.

Hetman Paul (Pavel) Skoropadsky was one of the few shining lights in Ukrainian history in the early 20th century. In the midst of chaos and death, faced by Poles, Reds, Anarchists, Masons, Nationalists of all stripes and a total collapse in public morale, the last Hetman of Ukraine created something extraordinary.

A former tsarist officer, Skoropadsky was elected by the church and the army in April in 1918. Metropolitan Nikodim of Kiev supported the return of Ukraine to its Cossack roots. In his brief tenure in power, Ukraine was revived and commerce, industry and moral life returned.

He believed in Ukrainian independence, but an independence that in no way would oppose Russia. He believed in a strong alliance of church and state to rebuild a country traumatized by civil war and the First World War.

Industry was reborn to the extent that the government was able to lend Gen. Denikin 10 million rubles to continue the fight against the reds. The Hetman revised maritime and commercial law and had a budget surplus. He founded the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences and rebuilt the major universities at Kharkiv, Kiev and Odessa.

For a short time, White refugees came to his Ukraine and he built a mini-Renaissance of Russian Orthodox thinking. This is largely why the "Young Ukraine" Masonic Lodge unseated him in December.

Simon Petluria was no Nationalist, but a liberal social democrat who invited the Polish army in to fight the Reds that his own government could not fight. Yet, Skoropadsky rebuilt an army of 300,000 Ukrainians, many from the units who fought for Austria-Hungary in the Great War.

Social Nationalism works. In various guises, it has worked under Hitler, Park in Korea, the Lokot' community in Russia, Lukashenko in Belarus, China and Putin's Russia.

Skoropadsky secured the recognition of 30 countries for an independent Ukraine. This had never happened before. International trade boomed since Ukrainian sugar was in high demand. However, the Allies fought him alongside the Reds, and he had to flee to Berlin in December of 1918. He died in an Allied bombing of Germany during World War II.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Hetman Skoropadsky and the Rebirth of Ukraine – TON 060717


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