Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The year of the Hetmanate: we need to master unlearned lessons

In 2018, Den intends to introduce its readers to a deeper understanding of the legacy of Pavlo Skoropadsky
12 December, 2017 - 12:11

A good tradition of our newspaper, which started in 2009 and has been, by the way, supported by our readers as well, has been to celebrate important, significant events, facts, abrupt turning points of national history throughout a certain 12-month period. Thus, the cycles of Den’s years were born; they have been mostly devoted to prominent figures in our history, culture, critical political or military events. For instance, 2009 was proclaimed by Den to be the year of Hetman Ivan Mazepa, 2013 – the year of Volodymyr Monomakh, 2014 – the year of Prince Vasyl Kostiantyn Ostrozky (to honor the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Orsha), 2015 – the year of Yaroslav the Wise, 2016 – the 20th anniversary of Den, and 2017 – the year of the Ukrainian Revolution and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Europe.

We believe it is time to inform our readers what kind of year will be the coming year 2018 according to Den. We decided to proclaim it the 100th Anniversary of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky. There are good reasons for this, let us name just a few of them. Along with the “pure” romantics which every revolution gives rise to and which history needs as well, pragmatic state-builders are even more important to the nation, as they are focused on concrete, constructive work; without it, there is no historical progress. Skoropadsky, who ruled as Hetman of Ukraine from April 29 to December 14, 1918, was precisely such a leader. During seven and a half months of his reign, he laid the foundation of many state institutions in the administrative, economic, military, diplomatic, scientific, and cultural realms. His work would have taken years upon years for some other leaders. And it was done in the conditions of a world war which lasted almost the whole period of the Hetmanate, and despite the mistakes committed by the Hetman’s government, which also need to be discussed and, most importantly, analyzed. The second reason is the incredibly interesting, talented people who supported the Hetman and stood by his side then: Viacheslav Lypynsky, Mykola Vasylenko, Fedir Lyzohub, Dmytro Doroshenko... Their legacy, too, must be carefully studied. And finally, the “matrix” of 1918 is still in many respects relevant (or even threatening!) now, and it also needs very careful attention.

Hence, dear readers, we seem to have enough reasons to expound in detail, perhaps month after month, the events of 1918. Read Den/The Day next year!