|THE 1917 REVOLUTION IN UKRAINE|
News Of The Tzarist Regime's Collapse
"To the surpass of many, the Central Rada generated immediate and growing support. In Petrograd and Kiev, Ukrainians staged huge parades to publicize their cause and demonstrate their backing for the Central Rada. On 19 April a Ukrainian National Congress was held in Kiev. Attendeede by 900 delegates from all over Ukraine, from Ukrainian communities throughout the former empire, and from various economic, educational, military, and welfare organizations, it formally elected 150 representatives to the Central Rada and reaffirmed Hrushevsky's leadership."
"On 18 May, when over 700 delegates of Ukrainians serving in the army met in Kiev, they instructed their representatives to join the Central Rada. About a month later, close to 1,000 delegates Ukrainian Congress of Peasants did likewise. Afterwards, the Congress of Workers also joined the Central Rada. Elated by this show of confidence, the Central Rada began to view itself not merely as a representative of the relatively few nationally conscious Ukrainians but as the parliament of Ukraine..."
"But as the limitations of the Provisional government's power became more obvious, the Central Rada decided to press its advantage. Intent on gaining recognition as the highest political authority in Ukraine, on 23 June it issued its First Universal (manifesto), which proclaimed: "Let Ukraine be free. Without separating entirely from Russia, without severing connections with the Russian state, let the Ukrainian people have the the right to order their own lives in their own land."
"Shortly thereafter, the Central Rada announced the formation of the General Secretariat, which was to function as the executive branch of government. Headed by Vynnychenko and composed of eight ministries, most of which were held by Social Democrats, the General Secretariat took over responsibility for the administration of Ukraine."
"These measures infuriated the Russians
in Ukraine and the Provisional Government in Petrograd. In mid July, the
latter sent a delegation, led by Aleksander Kerensky, to Kiev to negotiate.
But weakened by the disastrous failure of its offensive in Galicia, the
Russians were forced, although with strong qualifications, to recognize
the General Secretariat as the administrataive of five Ukrainian provinces
(Kiev, Poltava, Podilia, Volhynia, and Chernihiv). This recognition marked
the high point of the Central Rada's influence and authority."