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of the Ukrainian Central Rada

addressed to the Ukrainian people living in and outside of Ukraine.

People of Ukraine! The nation of peasants, workers, and toilers!

By your will, you placed us, THE UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA, as the guardians of the rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian land.

Your best sons, elected by people from the villages, from factories, from soldiers’ barracks, from all the communities and groups in Ukraine, have elected us, the UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA, and entrusted us to defend these rights and freedoms.

Your elected men expressed their will as follows:

Let there be a free Ukraine. Without separating from all of Russia, without breaking away from the Russian State, let the Ukrainian people in their own territory have the right to manage their own life. Let a National Ukrainian Assembly (Sojm), elected by universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage, establish order and a regime in Ukraine. Only our Ukrainian Assembly is to have the right to issue all laws which are to establish this regime here, in Ukraine.

The same laws that will establish the regime throughout the entire Russian State must be issued by the All-Russian Parliament.

No one knows better than we do what we need and which laws are best for us.

No one can know better than our peasants how to manage our own land. Therefore, we desire that after all lands throughout Russia are confiscated as national property, landowner (pomishchik), state, crown, monastic, and other lands, when a law is passed about this in the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, the right to have control of our Ukrainian lands, the right to use them, should belong to us, to our Ukrainian Assembly (Sojm).

Thus spoke those elected from the entire Ukrainian land.

Having spoken thus, they elected us, the UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA, from their midst and told us to stand at the head of our people, to guard their rights, and to create a new order of a free AUTONOMOUS UKRAINE.

And we, the UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA, have fulfilled the wish of our people, taken upon ourselves the heavy burden of building a new life, and started doing this great work.

We had hoped that the Central Russian Government would lend us a hand in this work and that, jointly with it, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, would be able to organize our land.

However, the Russian Provisional Government rejected all of our demands and refused the outstretched hand of the Ukrainian people.

We sent our delegates (envoys) to Petrograd to present our demands to the Russian Provisional Government.

And the chief demands were as follows:

That the Russian Government publicly, by a separate act, declares that it is not against the national freedom of Ukraine, against the right of our people to AUTONOMY.

That the Central Russian Government has in its cabinet our commissar on Ukrainian affairs for all matters related to Ukraine.

That local authority in Ukraine be united in one representative from the Central Russian Government, that is, by a commissar in Ukraine elected by us.

That a certain portion of the money collected by the Central Treasury from our people be returned to us, the representatives of these people, for their national and cultural needs.

All these demands of ours were REJECTED by the Central Russian Government.

It did not wish to say whether or not it recognizes the right of our people to autonomy, the right to rule their own life. It evaded the answer and referred us to the forthcoming All-Russian Constituent Assembly.

The Central Russian Government did not wish to have in its cabinet our commissar, it DID NOT WISH TO BUILD A NEW REGIME JOINTLY WITH US.

Likewise, IT DID NOT WANT TO RECOGNIZE A COMMISSAR FOR UKRAINE, so that we could, together with it, lead our land to organization and order.

And it refused to return the money collected from our land for the needs of our schools, education, and organization.

And now, people of Ukraine, we are forced to create our own destiny. We cannot allow our land to be cast into disorder and to collapse. If the Russian Provisional Government cannot introduce order in our land, if it does not want to start doing great work together with us, we must undertake it ourselves. It is our duty to our country and to the people who dwell upon our land.

And, therefore, we, the UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA, publish this UNIVERSAL to all of our people and declare that FROM NOW ON WE SHALL BUILD OUR OWN LIFE.

Therefore, let each member of our nation, each citizen of a village or town know henceforth that the hour of great work has come.

From this time on, each village, each volost (district), each board, whether city or zemstvo, that defends the interests of the Ukrainian people must have the CLOSEST ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONS WITH THE CENTRAL RADA.

Wherever, for some reason, administrative authority remains in the hands of people hostile to Ukrainianization, we prescribe that our citizens launch a broad and mighty campaign of organization and information of the people and, after that, ELECT A NEW ADMINISTRATION.

In towns and those places where the Ukrainian population lives together with other nationalities, we order that our citizens immediately COME TO AGREEMENT AND UNDERSTANDING with the democracy of those nationalities and jointly with them begin preparations for a new and correct life.

THE CENTRAL RADA expresses the hope that the non-Ukrainian peoples who live in our land will also be concerned about peace and order in our territory and during this trying time of national disorganization will, in the spirit of friendship, together with us begin the organization of AUTONOMY IN UKRAINE.

And after we complete this preparatory organizational work, we shall call representatives from all peoples of the Ukrainian land and work out laws for her. Those laws, that entire order which we shall prepare, the All-Russian Constituent Assembly must approve by its law.

People of Ukraine! Your elected body, the UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA, faces a great and high wall which it must demolish in order to lead its people out upon the road of freedom.

We need strength to do that. We need strong and brave hands. We need people’s hard work. And for the success of this work we need, first of all, great funds (money). Up to this time the Ukrainian people have turned all of their funds into the All-Russian Central Treasury, while the people themselves never had, and still do not have, anything in return for it.

Consequently, we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, order that all organized citizens of villages and towns, all Ukrainian public boards and institutions, beginning with July 1st, tax the population with a special tax for their own affairs and accurately and immediately transmit this tax regularly to the TREASURY OF THE UKRAINIAN CENTRAL RADA.

People of Ukraine! Your future is in your own hands. In this hour of trial, of total disorder and collapse, prove by your unanimity and statesmanship that you, a nation of grain producers, can proudly and with dignity take your place as the equal of any organized powerful nation.

Approved: IN KYIV. This 10th day of June, 1917.

Publishing house of the Ukrainian Central Rada.