Henadi Korolyov. The idea of the Black Sea Federation by Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1918)

The author of this article explores the genesis of the idea of the Black Sea Federation through the prism of the works of Michail Hrushevsky — the Ukrainian historian and statesman, chairman of the Central Rada (Council) (March 1917 — April 1918). The causes and circumstances of the origin of this idea during the 1917–1921 Revolution in Ukraine have been thoroughly examined. Geopolitical, civilizational and personal factors have been analyzed. Transformations of M. Hrushevsky’s federalist views, their ideological component and pro-Western and anti-Russian orientation have been described. The idea of the Black Sea Federation is modeled as „a co-operation of the peoples of the Black Sea region”, which should unite the space of the nations living between the Baltic and Black Sea. „The Federation of the regions” is presented by Hrushevsky as an internal design of the future state body. Furthermore, he puts a special emphasis on the connotation of the term „federation” into „confederation” through the reception of a politician and a scientist.

It is concluded that the idea of the Black Sea federation was one of the Ukrainian elite’s respond to the formation of Bolshevism in the former empire of the Romanov dynasty, to the successful offensive of the German Army on the Eastern Front in early 1918. The author believes that M. Hrushevsky’s idea of the Black Sea federation was a natural result of the 1917–1921 revolution in Ukraine which, however, failed to receive a realistic political content.

Translated by Anatol Minkovsky