Naval F o rce s of the H etm anate
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- Naval F o rce s Under the D irectory
Naval F o rce s of the H etm anate
After the raising o f the Ukrainian flag on the ships the Commander o f the
fleet, Rear-Admiral Sablin, sent a telegram to Kyiv and to the command o f
the German forces in Ukraine asking for the advance on Sevastopol to be
halted. At that time the advance o f Colonel Bolbochan’s detachment was
halted: the German command resolutely- dem anded the return o f the
Ukrainian troops beyond Perckop. Clearly, the Germans w ere primarily
interested in Sevastopol and the fleet, which was based there. The conflict
becam e so acute that the Germans actually threatened to disband ihe
THE UKRAINIAN REVIEW
Ukrainian units. Bolbochan’s detachment left Crimea and went first to
Melitopol, and then on to Oleksandrivka.
Meanwhile, the Commander o f the German forces in Crimea, General von
Kosch, rep lied that he had no com petence to halt the advance, but
promised to send Sablin’s appeal to the German Commander-in-Chief in
Ukraine, Field Marshal Hermann Eichhorn.
Without waiting for a reply, Rear-Admiral Sablin, who had little idea what
was going on in Kyiv, decided to transfer some o f the ships to Novorosiysk.
Those that remained in Sevastopol were placed under the command o f
Rear-Admiral Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi. At 20.00 hrs on April 30, when the
German artillery had already taken up its positions on the outskirts o f
Sevastopol, the two dreadnoughts, Volya and the Empress Catherine the
Great, together with 15 destroyers, left Sevastopol. The following day, May
1, the Germans entered the city. German guards were posted aboard all the
ships which remained under the command o f Admiral Ostrohradskyi (pri
marily older vessels), and German flags were raised. The fleet, albeit tem
porarily, found itself in German captivity.
Relations between Ostrohradskyi (whom Hetman Skoropadskyi6 appoint
ed on May 21 Ukraine’s representative in Crimea) and the German com
mand became very tense. Ostrohradskyi asked to be relieved o f his com
mand. He was replaced by Rear-Admiral Vyacheslav Klochkovskyi, who
succeeded in establishing a dialogue with General Kosch. As a result, the
Germans ceased raising their flag on certain vessels.
R ear-A dm iral S a b lin ’s squ adron, w h ich by n o w had arrived in
Novorosiysk, raised the Russian naval ensign o f St. Andrew. The Germans
issued an ultimatum for all the ships to return to Sevastopol by June 16
(later extended to June 19). On the night o f June 16, the dreadnought Volya,
the hydrographical reconnaissance vessel Troyan, and 7 destroyers sailed
from Novorosiysk to Sevastopol. The remaining vessels, including the other
dreadnought — the Empress Catherine the Great — as a result o f the activi
ties o f agents o f the Entente and the anti-Ukrainian Bolshevik propaganda
campaign, w ere sunk during a raid on Novorosiysk. T w o motives were
involved: the Bolsheviks did not want the ships to becom e Ukrainian, and
the Entente could not allow the ships to fall into German hands.
When this part o f the squadron had returned to Sevastopol, the Germans
rem oved the officers and hoisted their ow n ensign on the ships and
declared them interned. The Ukrainian government in Kyiv took no counter
measures against the German allies, believing that the issue o f the ships and
Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi seized p ow er with the support o f the Germans in a coup d'etat
which overthrew the Central Rada (see note 4 ) on April 29, 1918. T he nam e o f the Ukrainian
National Republic w as'changed to the Ukrainian State. On the day o f the coup, Skoropadskyi
issued a manifesto in which he proclaimed himself the Hetman o f all Ukraine. H e abdicated on
Decem ber 14, 1918, follow in g a mass uprising against his regime, handing over his p ow er to
his Council o f Ministers, which, in turn, yielded it to the Directory (s ee note 7).
the fleet in general would somehow resolve itself with time. The Ministry of
Naval Affairs therefore began drafting state and normative acts regarding the
development and functioning o f the fleet, its emblems, and so on. Order
No. 166/28 o f July 15, 1918, which ratified a law on naval uniforms, was fol
low ed on July 18 by the law on the naval ensign. On September 17 order
No. 372/159 defined the pennant for the naval vessels and the standards of
the ambassador and envoys o f the Ukrainian State.
Other laws and regulations o f that time included: “Regulations on the offi
cer corps o f the naval medical service”, “Regulations on the naval medical ser
vice”, “Regulations on naval representatives abroad”, “Staff o f harbour pilot
stations”, “Staff o f the corps o f naval coastal defence”, “Regulations on the
Council o f the Naval Minister”, regulations on various enterprises, belonging
to the Naval Department, and other documents. In other words, preparations
to draft a “Law on the fleet” were in full swing. In Novem ber 1918, the
Germans handed back almost all the ships to Ukraine. Hetman Skoropadskyi’s
order o f November 11 on the Naval Department ratifying the order o f battle
introduced a provisional Table o f Organisation for naval staffing. An order of
November 12, 1918, announced the first call-up o f recruits, under the com
m and o f C om m ander L. Shram chenko. Th e same day Rear-A dm iral
Klochkovskyi was appointed temporary commander o f the Ukrainian Navy,
and Admiral Andriy Pokrovskyi Minister o f Naval Affairs. At the end o f
November 1918, the Germans handed over the Mozyr (Pinsk) river flotilla to
the Ukrainian state. Captain Illyutovych was appointed its commander.
In December 1918 the Germans left Sevastopol and other state ports, and
ships o f the Entente appeared in their place. Despite the fact that the Russian
naval ensign o f St. Andrew had been raised on the orders o f Klochkovskyi,
the Allies posted guards aboard all the surface vessels and began to divide
them among themselves as the spoils o f war. Some o f these ships, including
the dreadnought Volya, were taken by the Allies to Constantinople.
Naval F o rce s Under the D irectory
The removal o f the Hetman and the establishment o f the rule o f the
Directory7 fundamentally changed the political situation.
A person o f dubious political views, political commissar Akymov, was
appointed to the Naval Ministry in Kyiv. He collected a team o f near-incompe
tents, and set about introducing the “democratic-socialist order" by dismissing
highly-qualified naval officers. Rear-Admiral Ostrohradskyi, the deputy minis
ter, could do nothing. He saw in Akymov’s actions an attempt to disintegrate
the Ministry. These actions very soon cost the Central Rada very dearly.
T he Directory was set up on Novem ber 14, 1918, to lead the uprising against Skoropadskyi. It
was headed by Volodym yr Vynnychenko. Its members included Symon Petlura, T eod or Shvets,
Andriy Makarenko, and Opanas Andriyevskyi. Following Skoropadskyi's abdication (s ee note 6),
the Directory re-established the Ukrainian National Republic. Set up originally as a revolutionary
leadership, the Directory was transformed into the official government o f the Republic.
THE UKRAINIAN REVIEW
Order No. 1/696/50 “On the Naval Department" o f December 25, 1918,
installed First Lieutenant Mykhailo Bilynskyi as Naval Minister. He immedi
ately rem oved the commissar from power. Under Bilynskyi’s leadership,
people with sound knowledge, breadth o f outlook, and leadership qualities
began to do serious work. In the course o f a few weeks laws were adopted
on the staff o f the Naval Ministry, and a school for midshipmen, to be
opened on October 1, 1919. On January 25, 1919, a “Law on the fleet” was
adopted as the basis o f government policy in building the naval forces,
including naval aviation and the Marines. A ccording to this law, the
Ukrainian navy was to consist o f combat and support vessels o f all types.
This law provided for the creation o f the necessary system o f communica
tions, a department o f naval aviation, a system o f coastal defence, and the
required amount o f support vessels for the fleet. The navy was to consist of
800 officers and 12,500 ratings.
The educational establishment was to include a Midshipmen’s Academy, to
be opened in Mykolayiv, with courses for officers, special officer courses (for
navigation officers, electrical engineers, gunnery officers, and others), special
schools for fleet petty officers and ratings, recruit training schools, and so on.
Part six o f the law provided for the delineation o f a theatre o f possible oper
ations, the reconstruction o f naval ports and fortifications, the establishment of
a harbour pilots’ service and a hydrographical expedition o f the Black Sea.
In accordance with the law on the Naval Department o f January 27, 1919,
and order o f the Directory No. 57/28 o f January 25, the ships under construc
tion at the Mykolayiv and Kherson shipyards, which were to become a part of
the combat fleet, were given the following names: to be commissioned in 1919
— the light cruisers Bobdan Kbmelnytskyi and Taras Shevchenko, the destroy
ers Kyiv, hriv, Chyhyryn, Baluryn, the submarines Shchuka, Karas, A .II. 22,
A .II. 23, and the submarine mother-ship Dnipro, to be commissioned in 1920
— the battleship Sohom a Ukraina, the light cruisers Petro Doroshenko and
Pelro Sabaydachnyi, the destroyers Ivan Vyhovskyi, Ivan Sirko, ly ly p Orlyk,
Kosl llordienko, Ivan Kotliarevskyi, Martyn Nebaba, Ivan Pidkova, and Petro
Mobyla, and the submarines A .II. 21, A .ll. 2d, and A//. 26.
At the same time the recruitment o f a Regiment o f Marines was begun in
Vynnytsia, and then extended to Kolomyia. The idea was that the hutsuls,8
w ho were skilled in rafting logs down rivers would be good human material
for the Marines. With the agreement o f the leaders o f the ZOUNR (Western
Provinces o f the Ukrainian National Republic9), the Directory issued credits
H Inhabitants o f Ukraine's Carpathian Mountain region.
O n November 1, 1918, after the disintegration o f the Austro-Hungarian F.mpire, the Western
Ukrainian National Republic (Z1JNR) was proclaimed in Galicia and Bukovyna. On January
the Ukrainian National Rada, as the representative assembly o f Western Ukraine, voted to unite with
the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR: sec note 5). The act o f union was proclaimed on January 22,
1919, in Kyiv and was confirmed by the Ukrainian Parliament — at that lime the Labour Congress
(con ven ed on January 23, 1919) — on January 28, 1919. The name o f the Western Ukrainian
National Republic was changed to the Western Province o f the Ukrainian National Republic
(ZO U N R ). The final integration o f the tw o states was to be worked out by the Constituent Assembly
o f all Ukraine, with full territorial autonomy being extended to Western Ukraine.
to enable West Ukrainians, who had been serving in the Austro-Hungarian
armed forces, to return home from the Adriatic. The recruitment was com
pleted in Brody, Lviv oblast. In June 1919 the I Hutsul Regiment o f Marines
went into battle against the Bolshevik forces at Volochyska. A little later, the
II Hutsul Regiment o f Marines was formed in Kamyanets-Podilskyi, and
recruitment for the III Regiment was started. These three regiments formed
the First Division o f Marines.
Units o f the First Division o f Marines, including the I Hutsul Regiment,
took part in the First (1920) and Second (1921) Winter Campaigns o f the
Arm y o f the Ukrainian National Republic against the Bolsheviks. On
Novem ber 17, 1921, in the village o f Mali Mynky near Bazar Lieutenant
Commander Mykhailo Bilynskyi fell in battle against the forces o f Hryhoriy
Kotovskyi and most o f the Marines with him met the same fate. The rest
w ere shot by the Bolsheviks.
The ships, which the Entente had taken to Constantinople in 1919, were
forced to raise the Russian naval ensign o f St. Andrew. Shortly afterwards,
they were transferred to Sevastopol and placed under the command o f the
W hite General Pyotr Wrangel, w ho used them in the fight against the
Bolsheviks. It was on board these ships that Wrangel’s army (around 80,000)
was evacuated in November 1920 to Constantinople and surrounding areas,
and later to the French North African port o f Bizerta. Some o f the ships fell
into the hands o f the Bolsheviks who incorporated them into their fleet.
The ships which were in Bizerta were claimed by both the governments
o f Bolshevik Russia and the Ukrainian National Republic (the latter was at
that time in exile and demanding its rights through the League o f Nations).
However, France began to sell some o f the ships for scrap. Some o f these
ships were incorporated in the French fleet and were still sailing under the
French flag as late as the beginning o f the 1950s.
At the end o f 1919 the Mozyr (Pinsk) flotilla was seized by the Poles, who
included it in the Polish Pinsk flotilla.
In 1922-1939 the Bolsheviks put on trial a number o f Ukrainian naval offi
cers and ratings who had taken part in the struggle for liberation, accusing
them o f “Petlurism” (Ukrainian nationalism). The percentage o f Ukrainian
sailors in the Black Sea Fleet fell sharply in comparison with the pre-revolu
tionary times. The Bolshevik ideological machine had learnt its lesson from
the Ukrainisation o f the fleet during the revolution and began systematically
to staff it with personnel from the Russian territories. Thus ended the history
o f the Ukrainian Navy in 1917-1920.
THE UKRAINIAN REVIEW
POEMS FROM KHARKIV
Stepan Dupliy is a physicist working in the nuclear physics department of
Kharkiv University. Although in his covering letter, the author stated that he
agreed to any necessary editorial corrections, the Editors have decided to print
them exactly as received.
I have not been full o f my praying delight
And I have shrunken.
What have I done? — The old man
Is dispersed by hopelessness.
The restlessness —
The mind’s evil —
Reigns not there.
The nonhuman delicacy
Is not the Ray.
W ho is there? —
O f the morbid bondage.
Oh! Priestess o f dreams! —
You are being poured over
From head to foot
By the nightmare.
You are a lover
O f the inconsolable and meek
Has stained my meaning
D o not betray
The steel o f dreams —
I am alive with Fullmoon.
The distance o f essence
With the salvation
O f a rush to the Nothingness —
O f the pious
O f the loneliness’s Dream —
The wheezing moan
O f the exhaustedness
O f evil —
T o Sorrow,
T o the naiveness o f Time,
T o the imperishableness
Soul’s outcast —
THE UKRAINIAN REVIEW
My air —
Is the blinding flow o f radiation.
1 gnaw it —
And my life is wiped by X-rays.
I don’t want to decay on atoms!
Do I go that way? —
W e are blamelessly squeezed.
The quiet and calmness:
“What’s the matter, don’t be afraid...”
By what do you measure everything?
You cannot get round
The childish prattle
And trembling o f essence
By the faith in the degrees o f lie.
So w ho is to be responsible?...
The coast o f my gibberish is cut up
By neglectfulness o f senses.
I’ll burn my sinfulness to pay my debts to the night,
I’ll burn my sinfulness to pay my debts to the night.
I’ll soften in the colours o f lines
O f the ihrown-away idylls —
I’ll forget the Passion cry,
I’ll forget the Passion cry.
I’ll carry out ITis words
And take her white-lie kisses —
I’ll beautify my crypt by anguish,
I’ll beautify my crypt by anguish.
I’m not afraid o f the destroying TIope,
I’ll let out my moan to them
Before I find the final peace,
Before I find the final peace.
Skinned by Him, all infinities
on the table
o f my soul’s dream —
o f fancy
are lapped by vileness:
W eeping is an echo from the unknown Abyss.
I dreamt o f night —
The garden o f graves.
T w o steps — away
Go the debts o f my soul.
The nimbus melted
Extorting a moan.
I pray: do read
A moment yelling,
Do not dare leave
Concealing your face.
Please flood with Dream
The stagnated Meaning
To burn to ashes
For Fate’s encore.
Forgive my wrecking
And failures, soul selling.
Their’s is the delirium —
Mine is Work, Home, Morgue.
I’ve stonily awoken —
A ray is gliding
O ff the bottom o f madness:
I’ll keep the coup inside me.
Naivete gnaws, hurts, revenges.
My Sin is dethroned — the fancy-realm AIDS.
Crying. I stand by the window —
Everywhere there is that cruel silence o f mine.
Cri de coeur melts into the night,
Extorting my daughter-hope.
Time revenges for my lying role —
I know it in my heart, but how to burn my failures?
The phone has been done to death —
With my dearest I’ve become a widower.
Do not beat me with the past, I’m kissing the ground.
What on earth shall I do? Get cool for good?
The gibberish glides to the depths o f my soul.
H ow not to waste? — Write to write yourself out...
THE UKRAINIAN REVIEW
Doom is covered with the snow o f idylls —
Whether to save my Light
Or to clothe up
My latest and inner worries
In the mud o f etceteras?
Fylfot o f dreams
Unspoken and unuttered,
Poisoned by the mind.
N ew s From Ukraine
U kraine C h id e s Y e ltsin Over
R u ss ia ’s P o lice Role
K Y IV — R e sp o n d in g to Boris
Yeltsin’s appeal for a United Nations
mandate to act as a guarantor o f
peace in the former USSR, Ukrainian
officials attacked the Russian presi
dent on Monday, March 1, for trying
to becom e the policeman over other
“This w ou ld mean dictatorship,
interference in internal affairs and a
threat to the sovereignty and territor
ial integrity o f Ukraine”, the Foreign
Ministry o f Ukraine said.
Yeltsin said on Sunday, February
28, that Russia should be granted spe
cial powers on the territory o f the for
mer Soviet Union to stop ethnic con
flicts. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry
said this would be a crude violation
o f all existing international laws. “No
one in Ukraine made such a request
o f the Russian president”, it said.
M ykola M ykhailychenko, c h ie f
political adviser to President Leonid
Kravchuk, said earlier Kyiv w ould
never recognise Ukrainian territory
as a sphere o f Russian special inter
est. “W e will never agree to Russia
o n c e again b e c o m in g an e ld e r
brother or any other kind o f brother.
W e want relations o f equality”, he
Mykhailychenko said he saw the
appeal as a Russian attempt to win
international en dorsem ent for its
long-standing drive for dominance
in the region o f the former Soviet
Yeltsin insists he has no ambitions
to reassert Kremlin rule over the for
mer Soviet republics, but sees any
instability among Russia’s neighbours
as a great threat to Russia. Borders
are largely open and the flo w o f
refugees and guns from numerous
conflict areas is difficult to control.
T h e Transcaucasian rep u b lic o f
Georgia last month accused Russian
troops on its territory o f interfering in
civil conflict there and called for their
withdrawal. In his speech Yeltsin did
not say what powers he sought from
the international comm unity. His
brief appeal may be v ie w e d more
sym path etically in C entral Asian
states such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
and Tajikistan. Russian troops are
currently playing a peace-keeping
role in Tajikistan, w hich has been
torn by clan and political conflict for
In Budapest, Kravchuk suggested
on Friday, February 26, that Eastern
Europe needed new security solu
tions to cope with the vacuum left
by the Soviet Union’s collapse.
“W e need to create a region o f
security in East Europe... in a broad
er sen se” , Kravchuk told a news
conference after holding talks with
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