National army of Pavlo Skoropadskyi as conception and reality (April-December 1918)




Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi, Ukraine, Armed Forces, military education, Military Manual of Hetmanate times


This year is marked with a centenary of governance of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi, one of the most charismatic leaders of the Ukrainian state over the period of national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian nation in the 20th century (29.04 - 14.12.1918). The formation of the Armed Forces of the Ukrainian state is considered probably the greatest achievement of the Hetman as he managed to involve in the above process some experts who were highly qualified and willing to serve Ukraine though it was not easy, given the fact that most Ukrainian public figures preferred to cooperate with Bolsheviks rather than the 'reactionary pro-Russian' government.

The article reviews the formation process of military forces of the Ukrainian state during the above period. It is shown that over a short governance period Hetman and his public officers managed to create an efficient army numbering about 65 thousand people. The presentation logic covers the army formation by branches of troops, which enabled the author to outline an army structure. It is pointed out that P. Skoropadskyi's idea was to use Ukrainian Cossacks as an important mobilization factor for a future national army. In October 1918 he issued a Universal on revival of the Ukrainian Cossacks in eight provinces of Ukraine, under which the above institution was to be in charge of physical and moral education of youth, life arrangement of military community as well as cultural and educational activities in the army.

Rights and obligations of military personnel, the term of service and potentiality of engaging the military in social life were regulated by the following laws issued during the Hetmanate period: "On General Military Service Duty" and "On Political and Legal Situation of Military Servicemen".

It is also established what training background was created over the period under review to support and develop the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Author Biography

Bogdan Levyk, National University 'Lviv Politekhnika'

Doctor of Historical Sciences, Assistant Professor of the History of Ukraine and Ethno Communications Department


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How to Cite

Levyk, B. (2018). National army of Pavlo Skoropadskyi as conception and reality (April-December 1918). Skhid, (2(154), 93–99.