East View produces a variety of valuable collections for researchers and graduate-level students in Ukrainian studies. Covering the period from 1830 to 1945, the collections include primary source documents on uprisings against the Russian Empire; the Prosvita Society (a pro-Ukrainian cultural organization); the Stolypin assassination; the short-lived government and secret police of Hetman Skoropadsky; Ukraine under Nazi occupation; and more. All collections are available online, in full-image, text-searchable files, providing researchers with convenient access to rare, primary source materials. See below for detailed collection descriptions; please inquire for pricing and availability.
The Chernobyl Files collection contains reports prepared for and by a variety of Russian and Ukrainian government agencies, including the KGB, that document and detail the most important developments in the wake of the disaster, as well as internal reports and investigations on its various causes.
Much has been written about the assassination of Pyotr Stolypin, who headed the Russian government at the time of his death on September 1911. As head of the Russian government amid massive protests of workers and peasants against the autocracy, Stolypin was firm in suppressing the protests, but he also started programs to reform, first and foremost, Russia’s extensive farming community, the government infrastructure, and economy. Most authors have based their narratives on reminiscences and historical press accounts while only a few researchers used archive sources. This unique collection of the archive-based information includes documents little known to both the broad public and the scholarly community. The collection includes such materials from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast as the correspondence of the investigator of the Kyiv circuit court concerning the killer Dmitri Bogrov and other revolutionaries implicated in Stolypin’s assassination as well as the report to the prosecutor of the Kyiv circuit court about the murder, the record of Bogrov’s questioning, and the report on the site and time of Bogrov’s execution.
The Beilis Case was one of the most important public events in Russia before WWI. It lasted for two and a half years and stirred up the attention of the entire civilized world. The authorities accused Mendel Beilis, a Jewish clerk at a brick factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, in a ritual murder of a Gentile boy, Andrei Yushchinsky. The police knew the identity of the real perpetrators but were forbidden to arrest them as the government’s plan was to convict a Jew and to incite mass anti-Semitic pogroms around the country. When Beilis was acquitted by the jury this heinous scheme failed. This unprecedented collection from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast (GAKO) presents unique documents covering the trial and the events around it. It includes there are proceedings of the court, testimonies of all 355 witnesses, speeches by the prosecution and the defense, materials of the investigation, articles from the newspapers, and other pertinent sources. The documents are in Russian, Yiddish, German, and Polish.
There are periods in the history of every state and nation that determine the path of their historical development. Significant in this regard is Ukraine’s history during the early 20th century, which saw revolutions in 1905 and 1917, a civil war, two world wars and changes in the social and political system. Carefully preserved by the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast (GAKO), this collection features leaflets and posters from key moments in Ukraine’s history. Included are political party posters from the Russian Revolution of 1905; leaflets and anti-pogrom posters from the civil war era in Ukraine; and leaflets from World War II. This is a unique collection covering the history of the 20th century during some of its most complex and tragic periods.
In August-September 1941 the Battle of Kyiv was fought by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. At one point, the enemy pushed forward hundreds of kilometers. In reaction, the Council of People’s Commissars and the Central Committee recommended the creation of underground resistance movements in areas captured by the enemy. This collection brings together a wealth of documentary evidence from these underground and guerilla movements. Organized into six major parts, the collection contains holdings rich in a variety of areas of interest: reports dealing with the operation of underground Bolshevik organizations and guerrilla units; a complete list of the guerrilla units, their locations and members; lists of built-up areas destroyed by Nazi troops in retaliation for armed resistance by guerrilla units; information about concentration camps for prisoners of war or about the civilian population killed or deported as forced laborers to Germany; reports on armored train operations during the Soviet defense of Kyiv; minutes of secret meetings held by underground fighters; and documents of the commissions for the affairs of former guerrillas of the urban and rural executive committees of Kyiv Oblast.
This collection of rare archival documents from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast (GAKO) contains important materials from Jewish Societies in Ukraine during 1857-1929, many of which were founded by donations from Jewish philanthropists and foreign Jewish charities. Includes materials on the Kyiv Society for Aid to Jewish Victims of Military Actions, the Kyiv Committee of the Jewish Community Health Society, the Kyiv Executive Office of the Central Committee of the United Jewish Socialist Workers’ Party, the Society for Study of the Jewish Workers’ Movement and Revolutionary-Socialist Tendencies among Jews, the Kyiv Committee of the Society of Manual and Agricultural Labor for Jews in Ukraine, the Novofastovsk Jewish Society, Jewish social organizations, and the newspaper Kommunistishe Fon, an organ of the Kyivan Jews of the Gubernial Committee of the Bolshevik Party of the Ukraine.
There were several short-term periods when emigration was possible during the years of the Soviet regime. Documents in this collection include materials from thousands of families emigrating from the Soviet Union from 1926-1930. This collection from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast contains documents from the “Joint-Stock Company Russo-Canadian-American Passenger Agency” (“Aktsionernoe obshchestvo Russkocanadsko-amerikanskoe passazhirskoe agenstvo”) (RUSCAPA), which was was set up in the early 1920s by Russian, Canadian and American passenger carriers. Its central Moscow office, Kyiv branch and representatives operating throughout Ukraine helped Soviet citizens process the necessary emigration documents and arranged for their transit to the United States, Canada, southern Africa, or the Caribbean. Personal information regarding their family members, age, family status, state of health, literacy standards, and funds spent to leave the country are included. Each of the 1,470 dossiers is a personal file of an individual and family members emigrating. Dossiers range in size between 3 and 150 pages. Documents include the questionnaires, medical certificates, personal letters and telegrams filled out and submitted in order to leave the USSR.
Generalkommissariat was created in Ukraine when it was occupied by Nazi Germany in September 1941. The documents (orders, instructions, memos, correspondence, reports, summary reports, etc.) shed light on the Generalkommissariat’s organizational, economic and political activities, including issues concerning health, labor, agriculture and foodstuffs, economic, politics, law, transport, and forestry.
On September 19, 1941, soon after the Nazi Germany’s forces invaded the USSR, they occupied the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. One of the first measures taken by the occupation forces was the establishment of the new Kyiv City Council, the municipal executive body run by local officials appointed by Germans. Previously unavailable, this collection consists of a vast number of unique historical records (over 90,000 pages), including: appeals to population by the City Mayor and the Nazi German command; the establishment of loyal police force; gathering information on political moods among population; conducting inventory of factories, plants and workshops; maintenance of rail and road transport; distribution of bread rations; reopening of schools, libraries and theaters; lists of City Council employees, their personal dossiers and ID papers; transporting local civilians to Germany for forced labor; registration of people of German descent and much more.
Scattered around the World today are an estimated 12 million descendants of Jewish emigres who departed Ukraine for the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia between 1895 and 1917. From start to finish, this remarkable diaspora was managed by a single organization in Kyiv, the Society for Adjustment of Jewish Emigration, later called the Jewish Emigration Society. The Society organized and managed the outflow of Jewish emigres and their destinations abroad before it was disbanded in 1917. This collection includes over 10,000 pages of documents of the Jewish Emigration Society, as well as over 36,000 pages of detailed personal correspondence.
In 1905, revolutionary demonstrations in Russia forced Czar Nicholas II to issue a Manifesto on October 17 in which he promised to convene a State Duma and granted the freedom of speech, the press, of associations and assembly. After the Manifesto was published, pogroms organized by the Black Hundred erupted in Gomel, Odessa, Saratov and many other places. The Black Hundred, an anti-Semitic, ultra-nationalist movement that supported the autocracy of the reigning monarch, believed that the Jewish people, in particular, strongly supported the Manifesto. The pogrom in Kyiv on October 18-21, 1905, stands apart from others because of its scale and tragic results. The collection was compiled from materials from the Judicial Investigator of Critical Cases of the Kyiv District Court (1905-1906; 4,173 pages), the Kyiv District Court (1872-1919; 2,907 pages), and the Committee for Aiding Victims of the Pogrom of October 18-21, 1905 (1905-1912; 3,260 pages).
Several months after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the capital of Ukraine fell to the Nazi occupying forces. Immediately, the Germans established a bureaucratic infrastructure made up of both German and local occupation authorities. This collection contains four groups of documents from some of those organizations.
The world at large may have sighed in relief with the end of World War I, but the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and subsequent Russian Civil War brought new outbreaks of anti-Semitic activities– particularly in Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands of Jewish people fell victim to pogroms. In addition to the dead, the region was flooded with the sick, the homeless and the poverty stricken as well as over 300,000 orphans. This collection offers a unique research opportunity – over 30,000 pages of never before seen correspondence, witness accounts, reports describing commissioners’ and committee activities, records of individual investigations, refugee and victim lists and statistics, communications with Western relief organizations and documents pertaining to Jewish emigration out of Ukraine. Also included is information on the organization of the commission itself as well as the organization and operation of orphanages, schools, hospitals, work centers, shelters and refugee camps.
The Polish Legions (“Pol’skie Legiony”) were formed in June 1917 by the Poles serving in the tsarist army. In the wake of the 1917 October coup, they resisted the Bolsheviks’ attempts to establish Soviet rule in Ukraine. Their aspirations for reviving the Polish state and incorporating considerable territories of land in western Ukraine were strongly opposed by the Ukrainian Central Rada. The German and Austrian military commanders also didn’t want to see the well-armed Polish units in Ukraine with their controversial political agenda. Eventually, some of the Polish Legions were defeated, others were disbanded, ending this unique episode of the Polish independence movement. Documents in this collection provide insights that are key to understanding Polish fervor for national self-determination, including: orders by the High Command of Polish Legions; personnel listings; local Polish military newspapers; documentation on the wages of Polish officers and soldiers; Romanian front correspondence regarding aid to Polish POWs; minutes of conferences held by Polish officers; and materials on the disbandment of Polish Legions in Ukraine.
The November Uprising (1830–1831)—also known as the Cadet Revolution—was an armed rebellion against the rule of the Russian Empire in Poland and Lithuania. The uprising began on November 29, 1830 in Warsaw when a group of young non-commissioned officer conspirators from the Imperial Russian Army’s military academy in Warsaw directed by Piotr Wysocki revolted. They were soon joined by large parts of Polish society. Despite several local successes, the uprising was eventually crushed by a numerically superior Russian army under Ivan Paskevich. The collection contains a total of 432 cases (dela), all included in one index (Opis’). The index (Opis’) is arranged in chronological order inside each year. The documents in the collection provide a wealth of information; the majority of which are originals. They make it possible for scholars to gain insight into the operation of investigating committees and those who took part in the uprising. The collection features the names of many individuals and is thus of interest to researchers and students of Polish and Russian History.
In the early 1900s, the leading organization in Russia devoted to education and enlightenment among the Jewish population was Obshchestvo prosveshcheniia evreev (The Society for the Proliferation of Education among Jews). The Ukrainian chapter of this society first formed in Kyiv in 1903. Thanks to membership dues and donations, the OPE distributed financial subsidies to Jewish educational programs and supplied Jewish schools and Talmud Torahs with literature in the provinces of Kyiv, Volynia, Podol and Chernigov. During the First World War, the society helped set up schools and preschool centers for the children of Jewish refugees. Documents in this collection covering the activity of the OPE as well as other Jewish cultural societies are from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast, and total more than 17,600 pages of rare documents.
The Prosvita Society was a cultural and educational public organization originally founded in Lvov in 1868 to promote education among the Ukrainians. Much later, after the 1905 revolution and the emperor’s manifesto of October 17, promising to guarantee freedom of religion, speech, assembly and associations, Prosvita came to Eastern Ukraine and to other regions of the Russian Empire. In 1905 and 1906, branches of Prosvita were formed in Kyiv, Ekaterinoslav, Odessa, Kamenets-Podol’sk, Zhitomir, Chernigov, the Kuban Region, Baku, and Vladivostok. The society’s goal was to “promote Ukrainian culture and, more importantly, education of the Ukrainian people in their own language.”
Soon after German troops occupied Ukraine in 1941, they took control of local newspapers, turning them into organs of Nazi propaganda that promoted the ideas of the “new German order.” These newspapers were published not only in Kyiv, but also in a number of provincial cities under German occupation.
On April 28, 1918, after disbanding the Central Rada (Parliament) of the Ukrainian National Republic, the Hetmanate, a short-lived provisional government of Ukraine, was installed by Germany. The coup organizers appointed the conservative general Pavlo Skoropadsky as Hetman of what was termed the “Ukrayinska Derzhava,” or Ukrainian State. During the short period of his rule, Hetman Skoropadsky established diplomatic ties with many countries, concluded a peace treaty with Soviet Russia, and built schools and universities. He also set up a secret Informer Division within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The regime of Skoropadsky, accused by some Ukrainian politicians as the puppet regime of German government, did not last long: after losing the support of Germans and Austrians, the Hetman was overthrown by the insurgent forces of Semyon Petliura and forced into exile in Germany, thus ending this short but significant period of Hetmanate rule in Ukrainian history. The collection contains materials from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast and documents the Division’s searches and arrests. Materials include evidence of secret agent recruitment and training as well as surveillance of Bolshevik party members. These resources also shed light on the moods of the local population.
Revolutionary turmoil swept through the Russian Empire in the early 1900s. After the wake of “Bloody Sunday” on January 9, 1905, the tsarist government saw that it could not survive through police measures and punitive raids alone. Thus, in 1905 the government supported right-wing political parties. The Union of the Russian People (Soiuz russkogo naroda), one of the most notorious, was founded in St. Petersburg by A.I. Dubrovin, the editor of a monarchist newspaper, Russkoe Znamia, and an active participant in pogroms. Tsar Nicholas II gave his full support to this organization. Its charter was adopted in August of 1906. The height of the Union’s activity came at the end of 1905 and early 1906 when branches of the Union of the Russian People formed throughout the empire. The Ukrainian chapter of the Union was organized in Kyiv, on April 29, 1906. The Union was openly nationalistic and discriminatory against the smaller ethnic groups that made up the Russian Empire. This collection is based on the rare materials obtained from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast. Among its contents are papers on the opening of the Russian People Union of Archangel Michael in Kyiv Gubernia, lists of members of the boards and councils of the Union’s departments and correspondence with the Mayor of Petrograd and local police officers.