Kost Levytsky


Kost Levytsky

Kost Levytsky (1859 – 1941) was a Ukrainian politician.

Biography

Levytsky was born on November 18 1859 in the settlement of Tysmenytsya of today’s Ivano-Frankivsk region into the family of a Greek Catholic priest. After finishing the Stanislaviv gymnasium he studied at Law faculties of Lviv and Vienna Universities. In 1884 he was awarded the Doctor’s degree in law, and in 1890 opened the barrister’s office in Lviv.

Kost Levytsky took active part in public and political life in his student years, he was one of the leaders of Academic Fraternity, the Circle of Law. From the first years of his barrister’s practice K. Levytsky was a practical advocate of the rights and freedoms of people. He united his professional activity with that in the sphere of Ukrainian enterprises, he was a co-founder and leading figure in the economic associations Zorya, People’s trade, Dniester, Province Credit Union. At the same time he was a well-known scientist in law, translated foreign laws into Ukrainian, worked with Ukrainian law terminology; he had published German-Ukrainian Law Dictionary, a series of popular works in law for the broad circles of Galician people, founded such professional editions as Chasopys pravnycha (Law periodical) and Zhyttia i pravo (Life and Law) and was their editor.

Kost Levytsky was a patriarch of Ukrainian political life, leader of the land's first political organization Narodna Rada (People’s Council, 1885), a cofounder and a head of Ukrainian National Democratic Party. In 1907 he was elected an ambassador of the Austrian parliament, in 1908, that of Galician Sejm, headed the ambassador’s clubs. He fought for the national aspirations of Ukrainian people. K. Levytsky was the author of the conception of the national movement development through evolution, organic work and broad political work in masses; he was the adherent of the strategic course for Galicia autonomy as the first step to ward statehood. He favoured development of the mass Ukrainian societies, units of intellectuals, peasants, youths, the Sokol-Sitch movement.

At the onset of the World War I he headed the Supreme Ukrainian Council (1914) in Vienna, which defined Tsarist Russia as the main enemy of the nation, and called Ukrainians to the struggle against it for the restoration of a united Ukrainian state.

In 1916, as a prosecutor for the Austro_Hungarian Empire, he played a role in the sentencing to death of Ukrainian Russophiles, and sent others to imprisonment in Talerhof. [Vavrik, VR : Terezin I Talergof]

In autumn 1918, in the course of disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire K. Levytsky became a member of the Ukrainian National Council, which announced formation of the Ukrainian state on October 19, and on November 1 the Council headed a victorious armed rebellion in Lviv, Galicia and Bukovyna, which resulted in formation of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic (ZUNR). Being an experienced public and political figure, K. Levytsky headed the first government – State Secretariate – which developed under the war the state and army formation activity for independence against Poland.

After K. Levytsky’s resignation in December 1918 he was a head of the commission on elaboration of the election reform, a representative in the affairs of press and propaganda, in foreign affairs; he also headed diplomatic missions of ZUNR which were sent to Riga (1920), Geneva (1921), he was a member of the ZUNR delegation in Genoa (1922), headed a Committee of political emigration. In 1923 he came back to Lviv after liquidation of the exile government.

In the years between wars he was a member of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian National Democratic Association (1925–1939), was a director of Centrobank, head of the Union of Ukrainian Barristers, author of fundamental scientific works including "The History of the Liberation Struggles of the Galician Ukrainians Since the War of 1914–1918" (Parts I–III. – Lviv, 1929–1930), "The Great Derangment: On the History of Ukrainian State in March-November 1918 on the Basis of Recollections and Documents" (Lviv, 1931).

After the Soviet Army took Western Ukraine, he was arrested by the People’s Commissariate of Internal Affairs and put in Lubyanka prison in Moscow in September 1939. I. Stalin, M. Khrushchov, V. Molotov and L. Beria were involved in his case. In spring 1941 he was released and came back to Lviv. In the beginning of the Soviet-German war, on June 30 1941, they announced the formation of Ukrainian state. K. Levytsky headed the state representative body – a Council of Seniors (Ukrainian National Council since July 30), defended the interests of Ukrainians, tried to mitigate the occupational regime, carried on negotiations with the administration of district Galicia, required the end of groundless repressions, and pleaded for the release of imprisoners, with positive results.

Kost Levytsky died on November 12 1941 and was buried at Yanivsky cemetery in Lviv. The higher clergy and numerous public figures attended his funeral.

See also

* Yevhen Petrushevych

Sources

* [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pagesLELevytskyKost.htm Display Page ] at www.encyclopediaofukraine.com
* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Ukraine.html Ukraine ] at www.worldstatesmen.org
* [http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control/en/publish/article?art_id=1316301&cat_id=1301860 Government portal :: Governments of the West Ukrainian People's Republic - Officials ] at www.kmu.gov.ua
* [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/pages/S/T/StruggleforIndependence1917hD720.htm Struggle for Independence (1917–20) ] at www.encyclopediaofukraine.com
* [http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control%5Cen%5Cpublish%5Carticle?art_id=1316906&cat_id=1301860 Government portal :: Governments of the West Ukrainian People's Republic ] at www.kmu.gov.ua

References


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