Rukh People's Movement Of Ukraine Essay

1049 words - 4 pages

In order to understand the "Rukh", it is important to first understand the situation going on in Ukraine in the late 1980s. During this time, there were many informals which were organizations not legally sanctioned that supported Ukrainian national causes. The number of such organizations grew dramatically at this time, and in Ukraine, one of the most active organization, was the Lion's Society (Tovarystvo Leva) which was mostly in the Western parts. In early 1989, a number of these "informal" organizations supported by well-known writers and scholars in Kiev, formed the Popular Movement of Restructuring in Ukraine known as the "Rukh." The People's Movement eventually became a center-right political Party. This quotation sums up the overall message of the organization: "We do not impose on Russia how to interpret its own history. Why did Russia try, and continues to try to impose on us the use of the Russian language? Why do Russians want to make us forget our own history and our heroes? Ukrainians must know their history and live accordingly, instead of living by the stereotypes spun by Soviet ideologists." On September 8, 1989, the organization held its founding congress in Kiev, and the first elected leader of the movement was Ukrainian poet and screen writer: Ivan Drach. At this time, the organization had about 280,000 members and this number was growing daily. This organization promoted and reinforced its commitment to upholding the sovereignty of the Ukrainian Republic, more specifically to promoting the Ukrainian language and culture, to voicing ecological concerns, and to supporting the democratization of the political, social, and economic systems. At first, the movement was aimed at supporting Gorbachev's Glasnost policies: policies that promoted freedom and expressions and allowed nationalities of the USSR to voice their grievances and aspirations. In the quotation mentioned above, it is obvious that this political movement is all about nationhood and the protection of nationality. This is demonstrated by the organization not only defending the Ukrainians but it also maintained the solidarity of all ethnic groups in Ukraine, therefore people of other ethnic groups joined the organization as well. The program and statues of the movement were proposed by the Writers Association of Ukraine and were published in the journal Literary Ukraine (Literaturna Ukraina) on February 16,1989. The organization takes its roots in Ukrainian dissidents, such as Vyacheslav Chornovil however it also included many other politically oriented members from the liberal communists to the integralist nationalists. The cause of the organization reflected its popularity. Support for the Rukh grew rapidly however it remained unevenly distributed since it was mostly based in western Ukraine and among the Kiev intelligentsia. In order to further attract new members, the organization used the new feature at the time which had become very popular called mass...

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