1917 - Ukrainian SRs form their own party

Resolution of the founding congress of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist-Revolutionaries

4 - 5 April 1917

1. On the question of autonomy and federation:

a) At a time when great creative endeavours are taking place among the free peoples of Russia, the founding congress of the UPSR recognises that the greatest need of the Ukrainian people is the implementation of wide-ranging national and territorial autonomy for the Ukraine, with guarantees for the rights of national minorities. A Ukrainian Constituent Council should be convened urgently to work out the forms and bases of this autonomy, and to prepare the elections to the All-Russia Constituent Assembly for the Ukrainian people and the other peoples on the territory of the Ukraine.

b) If the Russian government hinders the convocation of a Ukrainian Constituent Council by force at all, or makes any attempt to exert pressure with the help of force, the Party of Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionaries will regard this as a continuation of the imperialist policy of predation and oppression that the Muscovite Tsars and the Russian Emperors pursued towards the Ukraine.

c) At the same time the congress considers that the best type of structure for the Russian state would be a federative-democratic republic, and the UPSR will work for this at the All-Russia Constituent Assembly

2. On the question of our attitude to the Provisional Government:

a) The party supports the Provisional Government in its work, insofar as it defends the interests of the working people.

b) The party demands that the Provisional Government make a declaration on its attitude to Ukrainian autonomy.

3. On the question of the war:

a) The party looks upon the war as a war for the freedom of the peoples of Russia, and urges that the Provisional Government conclude peace with the warring powers, so long as the governments of the hostile powers renounce annexations and encroachments upon the freedom of the peoples of Russia.

b) Welcoming the Provisional Government's declaration on ending the war without annexations or reparations, the party urges the Government to take a further step in this direction and announce peace terms consistent with the demands of democracy. Only such a step will enable the democracies of the warring powers to exert the necessary pressure on their governments to compel these governments to negotiate the speediest end to the war.

c) The Ukrainian SRs insist that the nations of Europe without states should be able to decide their own destinies at the peace conference, including their national self determination.

d) The Ukrainian SRs address their appeal to the revolutionary masses of the warring powers to struggle actively against the predatory policies of their governments.

e) Believing that the Ukrainian soldiers, spread around various military units, will be unable fully to express their will at the Constituent Assembly elections if these elections take place during wartime, the UPSR calls for Ukrainian servicemen to be concentrated in distinct regiments.

This resolution was adopted at the founding congress in Kiev.

[Translated from the Ukrainian by Francis King. Translator's note: This document reflects one of the ways in which politics fragmented in the Russian Empire in the course of 1917. Alongside the well-documented divisions into left and right between - and within - parties and groups on the all-Russia level, there were also processes of regional and national fragmentation. It is very noticeable in this resolution - of a socialist party - that social and economic demands are very much secondary to national demands.]
Source: document reproduced on Kiev University history website: http://www.history.univ.kiev.ua/ukrbooks/doc1900.html