HIGHEST BODY OF STATE AUTHORITY:The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

DATE OF FOUNDATION:December 25, 1917. From December 30, 1922, the Ukraine has been a constituent Union Republic of the USSR.

POPULATION:49.9 million, including Ukrainians (the majority), Russians, Jews, Byelorussians, Moldavians,

Tatars, Poles, Hungarians, Greeks and other nationalities.

AREA:603,700 square kilometres. The Republic is situated in the southwest of the European part of the USSR.

Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.
HIGHEST EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY:Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR.


LEADERSHIP:Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Ukraine.

EMBLEM OF THE UKRAINIAN SSR:The emblem is a hammer and sickle on a shield depicted in the rays of the sun and framed by ears of wheat, with the inscription "The Ukrainian SSR (in the Ukrainian language) on a ribbon in the lower part of the wreath and the inscription: Workers of All Countries, Unite! on the right (in the Ukrainian language) and on the left (in the Russian language). At the top of the shield, between the ears of wheat is a five-pointed star.

(From Article 166 of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR).

STATE FLAG OF THE UKRAINIAN SSR:The flag is a rectangle of cloth made up of two horizontal coloured strips, the upper strip being red and making up two thirds of the width of the flag, and the lower strip being sky-blue and making up one third of the width, with a hammer and sickle depicted in gold in the upper part, at a distance of one third of the length from the staff, and a five-pointed red star edged in gold above them. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is 1:2.

(From Article 167 of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR).

The custodian opens a safe and takes out a long box. When he lifts the cover it seems as if a bright ray of the sun is let into the depository, a former cell in an old monastery near Kiev. In the box is a gold scabbard for a Scythian sword. The sheath of gold, half a metre long, is ornamented with a scene depicting beasts of prey tearing a deer to pieces. The upper part of the scabbard is decorated with the head of a wild boar, a masterpiece of an ancient jeweller.

Those who have seen the famous pectoral, an ornament worn by a Scythian king on his breast, have no doubt also looked into the early period of Ukrainian history.

In the depository there are many vases, combs, cups, pectorals and bracelets made of pure gold, silver and bronze. They have all been found over a period of one hundred years during which archeological excavations were carried out in the lower reaches of the Dnieper river and on the northern coast of the Black Sea. These finds tell the story of the Scythian tribes that successfully beat off attacks by soldiers under Darius, the Persian ruler, in the 6th century B.C. The tribes traded with the Greek city-states on the coast of the Black Sea and surprised Herodotus with their wealth.

The steppes of the northern coast of the Black Sea were swept by the Sarmatians in the 2nd century B.C., and later by the Huns in the 4th century A.B.,who, like the Scythians, disappeared from the face of the earth.

In the 9th century A.D., an early Russian state was formed in the middle reaches of the Dnieper river with its capital in Kiev. It united two large eastern Slav states that of Kiev and Novgorod. Kiev Rus extended from the city of Novgorod in the north to the Black Sea region in the south, from the plateau of the Donets region in the east to the Carpathian mountains in the west. Most of the population were of early Russian nationality having a common language and religion, similar customs and common literary monuments. They were the forbears of the fraternal Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian peoples that emerged in the 14th-l5th centuries.

In the llth-12th centuries the early Russian cities grew rapidly. This led to the splitting up of Kiev Rus. Weakened by internecine strife it was unable to repel the attacks by numerous external enemies. In the 13th century Rus was laid waste by Mongol-Tatar hordes led by Batu Khan.

Emblem and flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev
Kiev fell in the late autumn of 1240 after a fierce assault on the city. After Batu Khan fought several more battles against Rus, he abandoned his plans for further conquest. Kiev and the Russian principalities situated to the northeast and southwest of the ancient capital thus saved Europe from an invasion by Batu Khans hordes. But these principalities lay in ruins over a long period and later became the outlying districts of Rusthe ukraine, i.e. borderland. Hence the name of the area, and the people inhabiting it became known as the Ukrainians. Meanwhile Rus moved northward to regions with impassable forests where it gained strength around the new capitalMoscow.

Over a period of four centuries Ukrainians lived under the yoke first of the Tatar and Turk oppressors and later of Polish, Hungarian, and Lithuanian enslavers.The army of Zaporozhye Cossacks (with its citadel in the island of Khortitsa situated beyond the rapids of the Dnieper river), though famed for its bravery and exploits, could not resist the onslaughts of enemies because it was numerically small and poorly organised. When the smoke of the fires dispersed, even for a brief period, and flocks of captives had been led off to the slave markets, peasants would come out to plough the field and the kobzar (minstrel) would sing about the sufferings of the people.

In 1648, the Ukrainian people waged an armed struggle to free themselves from the yoke of the Polish gentry. The Cossack and peasant army was headed by Bogdan Chmielnicki, hetman of the Ukraine. The war raged for six years. In the ranks of the liberatioil army Russian peasants and Don Cossacks fought side by side with Ukrainians.

Today in Kiev, a bronze equestrian statue of Bogdan Chmielnicki stands in a city square opposite the ancient cathedral of St.Sophia. It was in this very square that Bogdan Chmielnicki pronounced in 1654 the historic words:

We shall be with the Russian people for ever, so that our peoples would become one.

Reunification with Russia subsequently saved the Ukraine from enslavement by foreign invaders, and opened prospects for its economic development and cultural progress and for the mutual enrichment of the two fraternal peoples.

Today the territory of the Ukraine extends for nearly 900 kilometres from north to south and more than 1,300 kilometres from east to west. This accounts for the natural contrasts in the Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic occupies an area of 603,700 square kilometres. It extends from the Donets Plateau in the east to the Carpathian Mountains in the west, and from Polesye in the north to the Sea of Azov and Black Sea in the south.The diverse natural conditions und natural resources determine the specific features of development of each region
In the east are the steppes of the Donets basin (Donbas). In the past these were wild plains. Today there are steel-making plants surrounded by fields of wheat. In the extreme western part are the Carpathian Mountains. Even the wind that blows from the mountain slopes which are covered with forests seems to be of an emerald colour. In the north, in Polesye, the blue of the flax plantations competes with the blue of the forest lakes. Only 15 per cent of the Ukraines territory is forestland. In the not too distant future, however, there will be more forests. Each year the Republic plants half a million hectares of saplings.

In the south of the Ukraine are the coast of the Black Sea, and the coast of the Sea of Azov and the Crimean peninsula with its large seaports and famous health resorts. Between Polesye and the Crimea lies a vast tract of fertile black soil.

The Ukraine is rich in natural resources, with large deposits of iron, manganese, lead-and-zinc and titanium ores, oil, natural gas, potassium salts, phosphorites, graphite, and sulphur, marble, fluxes, spars, and building materials.

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic has a modern industry (large-scale power generating, metal-making, engineering and chemical industries) and agriculture. Industrial landscapes with factory stacks and electric power stations alternate with boundless multicoloured plantations of wheat, sugar beet and sunflower.

There are many historical and cultural monuments in the Ukraine, beautiful modern cities and villages, varied natural sceneries and flourishing arts and crafts.

Founded 1.500 years ago the city of Kiev Is now one of the biggest cities in Euro. It is the political, cultural and Industrial centre of the Ukraine
The Ukraine suffered immensely during the Second World War. The Nazis razed to the ground 714 Ukrainian cities and towns and 28,000 villages, and destroyed and plundered 16,000 factories and plants, close to 30,000 collective farms and state farms, and thousands of hospitals, schools and higher educational establishments. One out of every four inhabitants was left homeless.

The whole of the Soviet people took weapons in hand to fight the Nazi invaders. Partisan detachments and underground resistance groups operated in enemy-held territory. It was here, in the Ukraine,that sixteen-year-old girls and boys formed the Molodaya Gvardiya (Young Guard) group to wage a struggle against the Nazi occupation troops and for the independence of their homeland. The Hitlerites put members of the group to a cruel death by throwing them into a coal pit.

The Nazis tried to force Makar Mazai, the world-famous steel worker from Donetsk, to work for a steel mill in occupied territory. When Makar refused, the Nazis had burnt him alive in an open hearth furnace.

In every village and at every industrial enterprise in the Ukraine there are obelisks on which are inscribed the names of those who did not return from the war. These memorials are the only traces of the war in the Ukraine today.

People in the Ukraine treasure not only their own cultural achievements, but also those of other peoples. In Kanev, on the Hill of Taras which towers over the Dnieper, is the grave of Taras Shevchenko, great son and poet of the Ukraine. In Lvov there is a museum dedicated to Ivan Franko, writer and publicist. The country estate of Ivan Kotlyarevski, poet and educator, and the paternal home of Nikolai Gogol, the brilliant Russian writer, both in Poltava, have been turned into memorial museums. In Kamenka there is a museum devoted to Pyotr Chaikovski, the world-famous Russian composer; and in Ternopol Region, places connected with the memory of the great French writer Honore de Balzac have been preserved.

Upholding Soviet Power

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was formed as a result of the triumph of the socialist revolution in Russia. The Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets, at which the Ukraine was represented by 126 deputies (out of a total number of 649) was opened on November 7, 1917, the day the Great October Socialist Revolution was carried out. The congress adopted two decrees that were of the utmost importance for the peoples of the whole of Russia, namely the Decree on Peace, which declared Russias withdrawal from the First World War, and the Decree on Land which said that land would be transferred to the peasants.

Several days after it was formed the Soviet government headed by Lenin adopted The Declaration of Rights of the Peoples of Russia, which abolished all national restrictions and privileges and affirmed the equality and sovereignty of all the peoples, both big and small, inhabiting our vast country.

The first government of Soviet Ukraine was formed in December 1917. It implemented the decrees of Soviet power throughout the territory of the Ukraine, handing over land expropriated from the landlords to the poor peasants and exempting them from annual land rent.

The socialist revolution, however, was actively resisted by counter-revolutionary forces in all parts of Russia. In the Ukraine it came under the attack of Ukrainian counter-revolutionaries. The Central Rada was a bourgeois-nationalistic organisation of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, the landlords, rich peasants and reactionary intelligentsia. During the civil war that broke out in Russia it became one of the strongholds of counter-revolution in the whole of the country. It was supported by imperialists of the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany. At the request of the Central Rada German troops occupied the Ukraine. But the Ukrainian people, together with the Russian and other fraternal peoples of the country, waged a struggle against the counter-revolutionaries and interventionists. This struggle clearly showed that the people rejected the policy of the Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists. Meanwhile the working people of the Ukraine vigorously supported the programme of the Communist Party of Bolsheviks.

The Ukrainian people are proud of their revolutionary traditions and of their revolutionaries. Thus, Grigori Petrovski, one of Lenins comrades-in-arms, a worker from Kharkov, became the first head of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Pavel Dybenko and Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko, both from Chernigov, were among the organisers of the assault on the Winter Palace in October, 1917. Yuri Kotsyubinski, son of the famous Ukrainian writer Mikhail Kotsyubinski, became commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Nikolai Shchors, a doctors assistant from Snovsk, and Aleksandr Parkhomenko, a worker from Lugansk, became leaders of the red armed forces.

The black soil fields of the Ukraine yield rich grain harvests. Many weddings take  place in autumn, when harvest time is over.
After the counter-revolution was routed and Soviet power triumphed the Soviet Republics decided to unite and form a federal state. This step was dictated by considerations of security, economic rehabilitation and development. In December, 1922, the Seventh All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, expressing the will of the working people, said that it was in favour of the formation of a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

State Structure of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a Union Republic

The USSR is a multinational state inhabited by more than 100 nations and nationalities. It comprises 15 Union Republics, 20 Autonomous Republics, 8 Autonomous Regions and 10 Autonomous Areas.

What is the state structure of the Ukrainian SSR within this elaborate federal system?

The following is a statement by Aleksei Vatchenko. Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR, on the matter:

The Ukraine is a socialist state of the whole people. This means that all power in the Republic is vested in the people who exercise their authority through the Soviets of Peoples Deputies. The Soviets form the political foundation of the Ukrainian SSR. And socialist ownership of the means of production forms the basis of the Republics economic system.

The highest body of state authority in the Republic is the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR. It has 650 deputies who are elected for a five-year term. Sessions of the Supreme Soviet are convened twice a year. At the first session of each convocation (i.e. immediately after election) the Supreme Soviet elects a Chairman, four Vice-Chairmen, a Presidium, and standing commissions, and forms the government the Council of Ministers.

The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet consists of a Chairman, three Vice-Chairmen, a Secretary and 20 members and is a standing government body. It exercises the functions of the highest body of state authority of the Republic between sessions of the Supreme Soviet. It promulgates decrees, interprets the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, adopts decisions on the administrative-territorial structure of the Republic and supervises the work of local Soviets of Peoples Deputies. The Presidium institutes and confers honorary titles of the Ukrainian SSR, confers the Republics awards, grants citizenship of the Ukrainian SSR, and exercises the right of pardon of people convicted by the courts of the Republic.

As a constituent Republic of the USSR the Ukraine takes part in the elaboration of federal legislation and in the formation of the highest bodies of state authority of the whole country. In the USSR Supreme Soviet there are 176 deputies from the Ukrainian Republic. The Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukraine serves ex officio as a Vice-Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR serves ex officio as a member of the government of the USSR.

And now a few words about the structure of the highest body of state authority in the country the USSR Supreme Soviet. All the constituent republics have delegated to the USSR Supreme Soviet their powers with respect to the administration of affairs of common concern to the whole of the federal state. The USSR Supreme Soviet consists of two chambers: the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities. The former represents the interests of citizens irrespective of their nationality, and the latter represents the specific interests of the nations and nationalities inhabiting the USSR. The two chambers have equal rights, their equality being manifested in the principles on which they are formed.

The Soviet of the Union is elected by constituencies with equal populations. The Soviet of Nationalities is elected on a different basis: 32 deputies from each Union Republic (regardless of the size of its population), 11 deputies from each Autonomous Republic, five deputies from each Autonomous Region and one deputy from each Autonomous Area.

A law of the USSR is considered adopted when it has been approved by a majority of deputies of both chambers. As it should be in a federal state consisting of equal republics, no one Union Republic can force its will on another Republic either directly or indirectly.

Regional, city, town, district and village Soviets of Peoples Deputies are the local government bodies. In the Ukraine there are over 524,000 deputies of local Soviets, of whom 73 per cent are workers, 48 per cent are women and 55 per cent are non-Party people.

The Soviets are elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. A deputy is ensured conditions for the effective exercise of his rights and duties. A deputy regularly reports on his work to his constituency.

All citizens of the Ukrainian SSR, irrespective of race or nationality, sex, attitude to religion, education, social or property status, type and nature of occupation and other circumstances, enjoy equal rights in all fields of economic, political, social and cultural life.

As a sovereign state the Ukrainian SSR has its own Constitution, emblem, flag, national anthem and legislation. Its Constitution conforms to the Constitution of the USSR.

In the Soviet Union there has not been a single case where the sovereignty of the USSR clashed with the sovereignty of a Union Republic. The common aims of the working people of all nationalities ensure community of interests.

The Ukrainian people cherish their membership in the federal state. The importance of this membership fully manifested itself during the Great Patriotic War of the USSR against Nazi Germany (1941-1945). Peoples of all nationalities in the country defended and liberated the Ukraine from the invaders. Among the officers and men who were honoured with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in the battle for the Dnieper and liberation of Kiev were members of 33 nations and nationalities inhabiting the USSR.

As the Hitlerites retreated from Soviet soil under the blows of the Soviet Army, they resorted to scorched earth tactics. Twice the Ukraine was the scene of fierce front-line battles. The ringleaders of Nazi Germany thought that it would remain a wilderness for many decades. However, already in 1950 the industrial output of the Ukraine surpassed that of the last prewar year of 1940. This was largely due to the fact that the whole country helped to rehabilitate the economy of the Ukraine. In the 1946-1948 period alone over 45,000 complete sets of factory equipment, including machine tools and other gear, were delivered to the Ukraine from the Russian Federation and other Union Republics. During this period the USSR built or restored 6,200 big industrial enterprises, including 4,100 in the Ukraine.

The Ukrainian SSR is a founding member of the United Nations, a member of many other international organisations and bodies, and a signatory of many international treaties and agreements. In the field of international relations the Ukraine is working for a lasting peace, for social justice and the cultural progress of all peoples.

Equal Access to Cultural Achievements

The Ukrainian government allocates over 750 million roubles for the maintenance of cultural and art establishments, or 15 roubles a year in per capita terms (100 US dollars are equal to 67.5 roubles at the rate of exchange as of January 1,1981).

A considerable part of this large sum is spent on promoting amateur art activities. There are very many amateur art groups in the Ukraine including over 20,000 choirs, dance and song ensembles, and bandura orchestras (bandura is a Ukrainian national string instrument) and close to 30,000 amateur theatre companies. The purpose is to spot and encourage every single talent, even in the remotest village. Amateur art activities are organised at the 26.000 palaces and houses of culture and clubs functioning in the Ukraine.

In the Carpathian region in the western part of the Republic live the Gutsuls. Practically one out of every two or three Gutsuls can turn wood or clay into a work of art, can play a folk instrument or compose music. Dmitro Bilanyuk, 25, is a musician from Kossov, a small town at the foothills of the Carpathians. He conducts a folk instrument orchestra at the towns house of culture. This amateur orchestra goes on tours throughout the USSR and has also played in Italy and Romania. The All-Union record firm, Melodia, has put out a record of its best-known numbers.

Dmitro Bilanyuk says:

I started playing the violin at the age of five and have played it ever since.

Dmitros first teacher was Mikola Dutchak, an amateur musician himself. All his life Dutchak roved from one village to another playing a small violin with a collapsible bow. Speaking about his teacher Dmitro said:

He would have thought our instruments fabulousour violins, cymbals, drums and flutes. It is the state that pays for them and for the national Gutsul costumes worn by the musicians. They cost a good deal of money. There are also other amateur art groups at the house of culture: a choir, a folk dance ensemble and a drama troupe.

In summer and autumn the musicians tour mountain villages where they give concerts before local audiences. Dmitro says: There we play together with local musicians and record on tape folk tunes which we didn't know before. Later we include these songs in our repertory.

Galina Durnyak, an artist, heads a youth studio of painting, drawing and pottery-making in Lvov. The studio is attended by 100 boys and girls from various schools in the city. In the Ukraine there are over

100,000 Sunday painters and potters. Their works are shown at specially organised exhibitions, with the state providing all necessary facilities including exhibition halls. The best works are reproduced in magazines, and their authors are interviewed by journalists, and sometimes motion picture studis make documentary films about them.

Galina Durnyak herself graduated from an art school and after that she completed the Lvov Institute of Applied and Decorative Art. At school Galina had dreamed of studying medicine. Today she regards herself as a doctor in a way. She says:

I cure the kids of aesthetic blindness. I reveal to them the beautiful world of colour, lines and images. I try to foster in them a love for daily creative effort, regardless of what they may become in the future. In the Ukraine there are 79 professional theatre companies, of which 72 perform plays in the Ukrainian language, 25 state Philharmonic Societies and 6 symphony orchestras.

The Grigori Veryovka Choir in Kiev (Veryovka was the founder of the choir) is a professional group that has toured France, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Belgium, and countries of North and South America. After its tour in Mexico one critic there wrote:

A people that has such a folklore, that can perform and feel music in all its wealth of shades, must be a good people, because they understand beauty and love peace.

Anatole Avdiyevski, director of the group, conductor, composer and choreographer, bases the repertory mainly on works of modern composers. He often adopts, however, the Ukrainian folk style of performance. The choir also performs songs of other nations of the world.

The dance troupe of the choir consists of about 30 dancers. One of their numbers is the Zaporozhye Cossacks, a dance depicting scenes from the life of the Cossacks who in the 15-18th centuries lived in fortresses where women were not admitted. For entertainment the Cossacks competed in strength and agility contests. The number is based on elements from such traditional dances as the Metelitsa (Snow Storm) and the famous Gopak. The broad silk breeches of the dancers quiver like flames, and the curved swbrds of the Cossacks clang while the choir sings. It seems as if the stage would collapse under the clattering heels of the fiery dancers.

The opera and ballet theatre company is the biggest cultural establishment in the Ukraine. For instance, the troupe in Kiev consists of 160 singers, 123 musicians for the orchestra, 6 conductors and a large ballet corps. The tickets, however, are moderately priced. The most expensive ticket to the opera house costs no more than two roubles and fifty kopecks. In the Ukraine, as throughout the USSR, the state bears the largest part of the expenses for the maintenance of theatres.

Many workers, students and farmers from neighbouring rural areas go to the opera. The Zaporozhye Cossack Beyond the Danube is a Ukrainian opera which has been performed more than a thousand times on the stage in Kiev alone, and always to a packed house.

Many singers with the Kiev Opera are world-famous. One of them, the tenor Anatole Solovyanenko, who, incidentally, started as an amateur performer, was born into a miners family in which everybody sang, including his grandfather and great grandfather (is that how the family got its name Solovyanenko, which means Nightingale?). Dmitri Gnatyuk, a baritone, is the son of a peasant from Bukovina. As a boy he sang in the church choir. In 1940, when Dmitri Gnatyuk was 15. Northern Bukovina became part of Soviet Ukraine. And the gifted boy had an opportunity to study singing under experienced teachers. Dmitri Gnatyuk graduated from the Kiev Conservatoire. He has performed in concert halls and theatres in America, Australia and Western Europe.

Stepan Turchak, chief conductor of the opera and ballet theatre, said in an interview:

The theatre produces not only masterpieces of classical music, but also modern music which reflects our times. Thus, besides Chaikovskis Queen of Spades and Nikolai Lysenkos Natalka of Poltava (Lysenko was a Ukrainian composer), both 19-cen-tury works, our repertory includes works by contemporary Ukrainian composersSinking of the Fleet by Vitali Gubarenko and Bogdan Chmielnicki by Konstantin Dankevich.

Performance in opera classics sometimes brings world fame to Ukrainian singers. At an international contest in Japan in 1976, Gizela Tsipola, a soloist with the Kiev Opera, was hailed as the worlds best Madame Butterfly. A British recording firm invited Anatole Mokrenko, a baritone, to sing a part in Sergei Prokofyevs oratorio Ivan the Terrible. Lyudmila Yurchenko won a gold medal for her role in Khovanshchina (an opera by Modest Mussorgski), at an international contest in Barcelona.
From the Primer to an Eleven-Volume Dictionary

The worlds only copy of the Bukvar (a primer), the first printed primer in the history of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian peoples, is now in the library of Harvard University (USA). It was printed in 1574 in Lvov, the Ukraine, by Ivan Fyodorov, a Russian book printer from Moscow.There is another unique copy of a Bukvar, a handwritten copy, which is on display at the museum of Donetsk (Southeastern region of the Ukraine). In the third year of the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany, the Ukrainian village of Staromikhailovka was liberated by Soviet troops. Since the local school had only one copy of a primer, the teachers made 80 handwritten copies of it, one for each pupil in the first form.

Today the printing establishment Kommunist in Kharkov, one of the biggest in the Ukraine, has received orders to print 420,000 copies of a primer as a first batch. This is the most beautiful primer Ukrainian first formers have ever had. Printed in six colours it has many illustrations. Though cost of printing is high, it is issued to children free of charge like all school textbooks in the USSR.

There are seven million children enrolled in secondary schools in the Ukraine. More than two thirds of them attend schools where instruction is conducted in the Ukrainian language. There are also schools where instruction is in the Russian, Moldavian, Hungarian and Polish languages.

The rise in cultural standards of all sections of society is reflected in the publishing field in general, and in the volume of literature put out in the Ukrainian language in particular. In 1978 alone, the 26 publishing houses of the Ukraine put out more than 2,000 titles of books in the Ukrainian language in 93 million copies. For purposes of comparison we may recall that from 1798, when Ivan Kotlyarevskis Aeneid was published, to 1916, i.e. over a period of about 120 years before the October Revolution in 1917, only 2,531 books were put out in the Ukrainian language, or slightly more than ten books a year on the average. A poor record indeed. The policy of Russification pursued by the tsarist government was partly responsible for this, as well as the low educational level in the Ukraine in general.

Today the Ukraine is 100 per cent literate. As elsewhere in the Soviet Union, compulsory secondary (len-year) education has been introduced in the Ukraine. More than three quarters of the workers employed in the national economy have a higher or secondary (complete or incomplete) education. Over 17 million people, or one third of the Republics population, are attending schools or enrolled in educational courses.

After the October Revolution, as literacy level rose (illiteracy was finally eradicated in the late 1930s), the demand for literature in the Ukrainian language also increased. Here are a few figures. The first edition of Taras Shevchenkos works published after his death appeared in 1867 in 3,000 copies. In Soviet Ukraine his works have been published in 400 editions with a total printing of 18.5 million copies. The works of Ivan Franko have been published in 563 editions, those of Lesya Ukrainka183 editions, Mikhail Kotsyubinski345 editions and Olga Koby-lyanskaya76 editions. There is also great demand for works by Soviet Ukrainian writers. In the last five years alone 13 editions of the works of Pavlo Tychina,

15 editions of those of Maksim Rylski. and 13 editions of those of Oles Gonchar have been published.

Ukrainians are avid readers not only of their own authors. In the last 60 years, 138 editions of the works of Aleksandr Pushkin, 167 editions of those of Lev Tolstoy, 115 editions of those of Jack London, 26 editions of those of Mark Twain, 15 editions of I hose of Balzac, 34 editions of those of Jules Verne, and 46 editions of those of Maupassant have been published in the Ukrainian language.

Now let us consider the question: how popular are Ukrainian authors in the multinational Soviet state?

In the Soviet Union an average of 150 to 160 books by Ukrainian authors are published each year in Russian translations in a total printing of eight million copies. As Pavlo Tychina, the Soviet Ukrainian poet, puts it, such books instil a feeling of a single, united family in readers in the Caucasus, the Baltic Republics, Siberia and Soviet Central Asia. Books translated into Russian from any other language of the USSR immediately become accessible to Estonians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Kirghizes, Moldavians and Evenks. This information bridge has become possible because the main language for intercommunication between various nations and nationalities in the USSR is the Russian language.

There is no official state language in the USSR. The inhabitants of every Union Republic, Autonomous Republic, Region or Area use their own national language in every field of activity. But can the Ukrainian language fulfil all these functions in every possible case?

We put this question to Ivan Beloded, a Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and an eminent scholar in Ukrainian linguistics. In reply he notes that even before the October Revolution Ukrainian writers and poets had achieved a high level of perfection in the use of the language. In other areas, however,science, official correspondence, technology and oratorythe development ot style was still only at a rudimentary stage because the official language in tsarist Russia was Russian.

Today, interaction between the Russian and Ukrainian languages is of a creative character. Over a period of several decades the two languages have enriched each other and have made parallel progress. The A.A. Potebnya Institute of Linguistics of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences has studied these processes. The results of the investigations have been published in books, textbooks, books on grammar and dictionaries, including an eleven-volume Explanatory Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language published recently.

This dictionary has more than 130,000 entries, Ivan Beloded says. It has standardised the phonetits, grammar, orthography and vocabulary. It is the I list dictionary of its kind in the history of the (Jkrainian nation.

National Traditions and Fetes

Under socialism national relations are characterised by two trends. On the one hand, each nation develops on its own and, on the other, the nations draw closer together on principles of socialist internationalism. There is active exchange between them in the fields of science, technology, culture and art. Hut would not the distinctive features of a nation, the features that make it unique, destroy in this way?

In the Ukraine we have not come across any old c ustoms in a pure form, i.e. without modern admixtures. Take, for instance, the first sheaf festival. It probably originated with the earliest Slav grain growers many centuries ago. In many Ukrainian villages today the first sheaf is invariably cut with a sickle or scythe. As a rule, this honour is conferred (as encouragement) on the machine operator who had the best work record for the year. However, it is the machine operator working on a combine harvest-ci that closes the festival. The festival is accompanied by traditional dancing in a ring and singing.

Modern Soviet fetes are becoming increasingly popular. In Kiev there is a public catering firm named Svyato (Holiday). In 1976, it catered for the fete of naming a newborn baby for 1,300 families, and in 1979for more than 9,000 families.

In the Ukraine, west of the Dnieper river, the fete of the Initiation of Grain Growers is widely held. It is

ii mixture of very old customs and Soviet traditions. < )n the day of the fete the villages, especially the collective farm clubs, are brightly decorated. Members of the collective farm board and the best grain growers congratulate the young men and women who will be working at the farm for the first time. All the villagers take part in the ceremony which is followed by dancing and singing till late in the night.

Mariya Orlik, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Ukraine, and Chairman of the Republican Commission for Soviet Traditions and Festivals, notes that the establishment of a tradition is a prolonged process involving collective creativity, in which life itself is the arbiter that preserves or rejects elements of early rites and introduces new elements.

Mariya Orlik believes that the rise of new rites and ceremonies is not entirely a spontaneous process. In the USSR they are devised by scholars, composers and artists, and there are special organisers of festivals and performers at such festivals.

Our purpose is not only to preserve tradition, she says, but also to enrich it with a new content.

Decorative painting is one of the oldest forms of Ukrainian folk art. From early times the Ukrainians decorated the walls (both inside and outside) of their homes, stoves and household utensils.

Embroidery is also widespread in the Ukraine. There are several dozen folk handicraft centres which take special care to preserve these traditional arts. Many of them are known far beyond the frontiers of the Ukraine. Thus, Oposhnya pottery is exported to 12 countries where it has found a ready market. Situated in Poltava Region Oposhnya is known as the Athens of Ukrainian ceramics. Pottery made in Petrikovka, a village in Dnepropetrovsk Region, is decorated with traditional floral patterns in red and green. It is exported in large quantities to Canada, the USA, France and Great Britain.

One warm evening in August a guest staying at Intourist Hotel in Lvov suddenly fell ill. His name was Grigori Dyak and he had come from New York. The hotel staff immediately called an ambulance and then turned for help to a hospital affiliated with the local medical institute. Professor Tsezar Borzhiyevski, a wellknown surgeon in Lvov, examined the patient and found that the latter needed immediate surgery.

A year later Grigori Dyak was back in Lvov. He had come to consult the doctors about his health and, finally, to visit his native village which he, formerly a Ukrainian peasant, had left nearly half a century ago to emigrate to the United States.

On his second visit Grigori recalled how he had asked the doctor after the operation:

How much do I owe you?

The doctor merely laughed in reply. And Grigori thought that his laugh was somewhat too light-hearted.

It was only later that Grigori understood why the doctor took the matter so lightly. All medical service in the USSR is free of charge.

How Much Do the Free Benefits Cost?

According to figures released by the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, approximately one rouble out of every ten is spent on the public health service and physical culture. And the outlays for these purposes are increasing. In the last decade they doubled to exceed 2,000 million roubles in 1980. Today the Ukraines medical service is adequately staffed with doctors34 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, the average figure for the USSR as a whole. Medical aid is within reach of every citizen. All a patient has to do is to get an appointment or, if necessary, summon the doctor to his home.

At present the medical establishments of the Russian Federation, the Ukraine and . the Soviet Central Asian Republics, both urban and rural, are being outfitted with the latest (and therefore more expensive) medical equipment.

Nikolai Strogul, a resident of Lvov, does not even suspect the rising costs of medical services though all the members of his family have received medical treatment and he himself once spent a month in hospital. When asked how much it all cost, he replied:It didnt cost me anything. How much it cost the state I dont know.

According to the city public health department, a months hospitalisation normally costs 180 roubles. This sum covers only the salaries of medical personnel and the cost of medicines and food for the patient. If the cost of equipment, electricity, heating, maintenance of the hospital building (not to mention the cost of surgical operations or other specialised treatment) is added to it, the figure will be at least three times as big.

In the Soviet Union the state provides material guarantees for the rights of Soviet citizens. History has repeatedly shown that the mere proclamation of rights does not guarantee their exercise. All the rights of citizens proclaimed in the Soviet Constitution I lie right to work, leisure and rest, health protection, housing, education, etc., are ensured by the state.

Nikolai Strogul came to Lvov from a village in Vinnitsa Region at the age of 15. That was in 1944 when the war was still raging. The city was badly damaged but it already needed workers. This may sound like a paradox because before 1939, the year when the western regions were reunified with Soviet I Ikraine, hundreds of thousands of people were leaving the area of which Lvov was the centre in search of work on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. After reunification the whole country helped Lvov set up a large machine building industry. In the city there was a small factory which manufactured lorry cranes and vans for delivering bread. It was being renovated and expanded (today it is a big bus-building works known not only in the USSR but also in other countries). Nikolai applied there and was immediately taken on. The village boy first attended a course in production training and later a course for raising his skill. Today Nikolai is an experienced filler and team leader of a body-work department. Vera, Nikolais wife, works at the same factory as a seamstress. She had learnt the trade in the department making bus seat covers.

When Nikolai married Vera in 1953, Lvov, like all I he other cities and towns in war-ravaged Ukraine, was confronted with an acute housing shortage. The factory could offer the newlyweds only a room in the hostel. Later they received a one-room and then a Iwo-room flat. Since 1976, they have lived in a three-room flat with all modern conveniences (total floor-space 50 square metres) in a big block of flats near I lie factory.

The four times the Stroguls moved, each time to a better flat, reflect the rising of the Soviet Unions housing construction which accounts for one rouble out of every five invested in the national economy. I he Ukraine is building nearly 1,000 new flats a day,or 347,000 a year on the average. But despite the high rate of construction, the housing problem has not yet been solved. It is true that the accent has shifted. Now it is not so much a question of providing people with shelter as of increasing the average per capita floorspace. This indicates that the necessary conditions for solving the housing problem now exist. That is why the Constitution of the USSR adopted in 1977 includes an article (for the first time in the history of mankind) on the right of citizens to housing.

How much did the state have to lay out so that the Stroguls could enjoy this right? According to the housing construction department of the Lvov Bus Works, the average cost of one square metre of housing in Lvov is 150 roubles. This means that Stroguls flat costs the state 7,500 roubles.

Of course, the Stroguls do not own the flat; the state owns it. When they moved to a new flat the Stroguls signed a contract with the housing maintenance office. Under the terms of the contract the office is responsible for the upkeep of the flat and the tenant pays 15 roubles a month. This sum covers the rent of the flat, heating, electricity, gas and hot water supply. Rent amounts to 3 per cent of the Stroguls joint income of 490-500 roubles.

Of course, the Stroguls do not get a new flat every year. The 7,500 roubles the state paid for the building of the flat may be regarded as an extra state allowance to the family. But the Stroguls also enjoy other rights that require economic backing by the state. To have a family means to raise children, look after them, give them an education, and spend sleepless nights when they are sick. These are the usual cares of parents. In the USSR the state pays for some of the everyday expenses of a family.

When Nikolka, the Stroguls first child, was born, the maternity hospital fees, which came to 200 roubles, were paid by the state. It paid another 200 roubles when Igor, the second boy, was born. Both children went to a kindergarten. The Stroguls paid 12 roubles and 50 kopecks a month for each child or 150 roubles a year. The actual cost of accommodating a child at a kindergarten averages 510 roubles a year.

I his means that the state contributed 720 roubles a year to the earnings of Nikolai and Vera Strogul over a period of several years.

When Soviet children go to school for the first time l hey attend the traditional ceremony known as the first Bell. The girls go to school wearing white pinafores and big white bows in their hair and the boys wear blue jackets and trousers. It is a moving occasion, and for the parents also a carefree one, in the sense that they do not need to worry about the cost of l lie education. In the Soviet Union secondary (10-year) education is compulsory for all children, and it is free (education at all levels, including higher education, is tree in the USSR). Meanwhile, to provide a 10-year secondary education for Nikolka and Igor Strogul cost I he state 9,000 roubles.

Nikolai and Vera Strogul are wartime children. They were orphaned when their fathers were killed in action. They had to start working at an early age. They completed their secondary education at evening schools for working youth long after the usual school age. Although Nikolai and Vera Strogul say that their own education is adequate, they want their sons and future daughters-in-law to have a higher education. In the Ukraine many women have a higher education. Fifty-eight per cent of specialists in the Republic are women.

Young Nikolai has fulfilled the hopes of his parents. It is true that he has chosen to attend evening classes at the engineering department of Lvov Iolytechnical Institute. During the day he works as a liller-electrician at the same factory where his parents work. He believes that studying without discontinuing work is useful for a future engineer. Moreover the state has established special incentives for students of correspondence and evening schools. They are entitled to paid leaves during the examination period and during the period of defence of their diploma project.

Igor, the younger son, has not yet decided whether he will enrol in the daytime department of the institute or follow in the footsteps of his brother. Upon graduation from secondary school Igor went to work at his fathers section. If Igor chooses the daytime course he will not be a financial burden to his family. For the state will pay for his tuition. The cost of tuition over a period of five years at the institute averages 5,000 roubles. In the USSR the only problem for the applicant is to pass the entry examinations. Tuition fees pose no problem since tuition is free, and students are moreover given an allowance by the state. The question of where to study? arises because the choice is so wide. In the Ukraine alone there are 145 higher educational establishments with a total enrolment of 876,000. In terms of the number of students per 10,000 inhabitants, the Ukraine (168) is ahead of such countries as Italy (130) and Great Britain (95).

How do the Stroguls spend their leisure time? Every year Nikolai and Vera have a medical checkup at the factory polyclinic. Depending on their physical condition the workers through the trade union are provided with accommodation at sanatoria, rest homes, holiday hotels, preventive medical centres attached to the factories (where workers receive preventive medical treatment, board and lodging after regular working hours) or tourist camps. One out of every three accommodation cards to sanatoria and rest homes are distributed free of charge and practically all the restat a 70 per cent discount. (The state spends an average of 140 roubles per person on board alone at a sanatorium or rest home for a 24-day period).

Since the Stroguls have practically no complaints about the state of their health, they prefer to spend their annual leave at the Lazurnaya holiday home.

The next part 2. 2.