"Glory to Ukraine!": Who and when created the slogan?

The chant was born in Kharkiv. Made its way through Ukraine from Kyiv. Saved with the efforts of Galycians and Volynians in Lviv and Rivne. However, the commonly cited on the Internet quote: "And there will be a time, when one will say: "Glory to Ukraine", and millions will respond with "Glory to its heroes!" cannot be found in Stepan Bandera’s collection of works.

The slogan "Glory to Ukraine!" and its response "Glory on all of earth!" was first used by the Kharkiv Ukrainian students' association at the end of the 19th century.

The same association, at the foundation of which, the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party (RUP) was born in 1900 - the first modern Ukrainian political party under Russian occupation. The first known mention of the slogan is attributed to this event specifically.

A group of Revolutionary Ukrainian Party founders - independentist students of the Kharkiv Technology institute (now - National Technical University of "Kharkiv Politechnic Institute").

Yutiy Kollard (in the centre), Oleksandr Kovalenko (left),Levko Matsiyevych (right). Kharkiv, 1900

Once upon a time, Mykola Levytskyi, "the artillery father", was on his way to visit the family of Oleksandr Kovalenko - the co-founder of RUP, who in 1905 became one of the leaders of the battleship Potemkin mutiny.

As he was making his way, he kept looking around in search of the house, but soon realized he had forgotten the name of the needed street. He wondered if he should ask someone, but figured they might just laugh - Kharkiv isn't Kobelyaky, where everyone knows each other.

"When suddenly I see - a student, dark-haired, tanned, well, you know - a boy from our village. I'd ask him, but I feel somewhat ill at ease. All of the sudden, I hear him whistling "Ukraine Is Not Yet Lost" (author's edit: Ukrainian national anthem). - Wait a minute! - I say to the driver. - "Glory to Ukraine!" - I holler to the student. - "Glory on all of earth!" - he responds, running up to me from the sidewalk.

  Mykola Levytsky – the organizer of cooperative movement in Ukraine, a publicist. Yelisavetgrad (now Kropyvnytsky), 1896

Foto: Manuscript Institute of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine


Later in his recollection, O. Kovalenko recalls that was the way in which those, who then worked for the Ukrainian idea, recognized and greeted each other.

They were few, but they were united under the call: "Ukraine won't be lost, its glory will never disappear!.." [1]

This memory and aforementioned quote are of additional significance, as they connect the origins of the "Glory to Ukraine!" slogan to the Ukrainian national anthem (as the motto was formed upon the basis of the first sentence "Ukraine Is Not Yet Lost").

In the diaspora of the so-called first wave, it was also widely recognized when one should exclaim "Glory to Ukraine!".

When a Ukrainian flag was unravelled during a grand Ukrainian viche in Detroit (USA) with an attendance of 1200 in September 1916, a wave of applause roared through the room.

Those present stood, so as to honour the flag. A powerful call escaped their chests: "Glory to Ukraine! Long live Ukraine!". [2]

The beginning of the 1917 revolution

In March 1917, the revolution in Kyiv was just starting. At regional meetings however, one could hear a unanimous response to "Long live autonomous Ukraine!" in the form of "Glory! Glory to Ukraine!".

It was an ordinary set of slogans, among the likes of: "Long live the democratic republic! Glory to Ukraine!". [3]

  A note in the "Nova Rada" paper about the assembly which took place on March, 15 1917 in the Diyivka village (now a district of Dnipro City)

In Irkutsk (asian part of Russia), local Ukrainians together with local workers organised a May 1st celebration of labour.

Soldiers and officers of the 12th regiment created and demonstratively carried two, allegedly huge, blue and yellow flags through the town…

Many people approached, so as to see the writings on the flags. One of them featured "Long live free Ukraine!" and other then popular revolutionary slogans. The other included "Long live autonomous Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to all nations!". [4]

That same day at noon, in Irkutsk, a column of about 1,000 demonstrates was formed (soon joined by soldiers of the 10th regiment with a Ukrainian flag of their own).

In high spirits, the crowd sang "Ukraine Is Not Yet Lost" and "Us, haydamaky". And then "...the manifestation moved forward. "Glory to Ukraine!" came from the crowd, the roofs, and windows of nearby buildings."

 A demonstration in Vladivostok under Ukrainian flags and slogans. Probably, spring 1917

The first military congress, held May 18-21, 1917 in Kyiv, greeted the aforementioned legendary co-operative Mykola Levytskyi with a standing applause and cries of "Glory!".

The old man cried out of happiness, but replied: "Thank you...children! Thank you!...Glory to our Lord, survived after all!...Glory to Ukraine!...". And the whole room echoed with "Glory to Ukraine!".

The cover of the book by Volodymyr Kedrovsky (Winnipeg, 1967) which contained memoirs published without delay in late 1920s in Ukrainian periodicals

Khersonian V. Kedrovskyi recalls: "The cries of "Glory to Ukraine" last for a long time before somehow naturally verging into a song: "Ukraine is not yet lost!" [5]

At that congress, Mikhnovsky's militants lost the struggle for the military masses to Vynnychenko's autonomists.

Differences in the views between the two camps of that time were market with corresponding slogans. On the eve of the congress, a crowd of Ukrainians gathered by M. Hrushevskyi's house, chanting: "Glory to Ukraine!". Hrushevskyi replied with: "Long live democratic Russia".

However, in P. Shtepa's recollection of this story in an edition of "Nova Rada" (New Council) from May 7 1917, such instance is absent. [6]

V. Kedrovskyi recalls when he returned from the military congress to his Caucasian Equestrian Division (dubbed "The Wild"), he assembled the Ukrainian soldiers - including the Kubans - a total of about 800 people.

The last words from his story-report were drowned in a "loud applause and friendly cries of "Glory to Ukraine!" Later on in his memoirs he describes how the Ukrainization of the troops took place in his native Kherson:

"" ... create a whole Ukrainian regiment, or two. Glory to Ukraine! "- Lykhansky finished his speech. This "glory to Ukraine" ignited a thousands of voices and lasted for a long time; it sounded so powerful in the air.

"Those who consider themselves a conscious Ukrainian and want to come under their native yellow-and-blue flag, I ask you to raise your hand" ... Almost all present raised their hands.

It started with the separate shouts but quickly went into the entire crowd's choir calling out: "Glory to Ukraine! Glo-o-o-o-ry to Ukraine!" [7]

Clergymen and the faithful were not lagging behind the military.

In early May, a diocesan Ukrainian congress of the Podilsky province with the participation of the clergy and parishioners discussed issues of Ukrainianization of the church and autocephaly in Kamyanets-Podilskyi. Following the meetings, the congress sent a telegram to the Central Council, which ended with the words "Glory to Ukraine and its Church." [8]

Ukrainians welcomed the announcement of the First Universal of the Central Council on June 23, 1917 with the calls "Let a free Ukraine live" and "Glory to Ukraine" [9].

This announcement – moreover, full independence - was actively demanded by the delegates of the first military congress, but the Universal came about only after the results of the second military congress. The future Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the UNR Borys Martos remembered, how the local community in Poltava commemorated the Universal:

"A procession of a few thousands of people, headed by the clergy and carrying the Ukrainian flags proceeded to the bishop's house, where there was a wooden church, transported from Zaporizhzhya, in the yard…

A prayer service took place at the church ... and an ancient, maybe seventy-year-old, deacon in his garb in a solemn, excited voice, read the Universal.

I stood close by and saw how tears were running down his cheeks. When he finished, the crowd exploded with: "Glory! Glory to Ukraine!" [10].

In 1917, Ukrainians from the former tsarist Guards regiments freely conducted armed demonstrations under blue and yellow banners in the Russian capital. Even on the legendary "Aurora" cruiser an organization of Ukrainian sailors was active

The Ukrainians in Petrograd also organized a magnificent demonstration in the capital of the empire in honor of the announcement of complete autonomy of Ukraine. In front of the procession they carried national flags with inscriptions: "Let a free Ukraine live," "Glory to the Ukrainian Central Rada", etc. [11]

The chronicles do not record the use of the slogan "Glory to Ukraine!" on this occasion, but it was most likely there, because local Ukrainians knew it well.

The deputy head of the Ukrainian General Military Committee (UGVK) remembers his encounter with the Ukrainians who guarded the Winter Palace: "We greeted him (a watchman - Y.Yu.) and heard a loud response in a wholehearted soldier manner: "Glory to Ukraine!""

Then, when the security guards' hundred was lining up, in response to Alexander Pilkevich's greetings, the entire former royal palace heard the guards' powerful cry come to the fore: "Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Central Council, Glory to the General Committee, Glory!" [12]

From the Second universal to the Third

In response to the first universal, a delegation of ministers of the Petrograd provisional government, which included the military minister Oleksandr Kerenskyi and minister of foreign affairs Mikhaylo Tereshchenko, arrived in Kyiv.

When the ministers were in the Central Council on July 12th, a parade of Ukrainian military units took place by the building. [13] V. Kedrovskyi recalls:

"Throughout one and a half-two hours, Ukrainians-soldiers of all parts of the Kyivan garrison marched before the Central Council, surrounded by national flags, and in response to the greeting of the Council's head chanted: "Glory to Ukraine!.." [14]

It is important to note that that same day - July 12 1917 - the Ukrainian national slogan was heard in Sevastopol as well.

When a newly-built in Mykolaiv ship "Freedom" arrived into the city's post, a blue and yellow flag was placed on one of its towers (this was the first Ukrainian flag on a ship of the Black Sea fleet).

In response to the Sevastopol Ukrainian head council head's greeting, the Ukrainianized part of the crew hollered: "Glory", "Glory to Ukraine", "Glory to the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet" [15].

As result of negotiations between ministers from St. Petersburg and the Central Council in Kyiv, a joint, second universal, which many contemporaries considered shameful and a step backwards, was created (the question of Ukraine's autonomy was deferred).

Alas, the revolution continued, as did the Ukrainianization of armies under the slogan "Glory to Ukraine!.

As such, in September 1917, the first Ukrainian congress of the south-western front took place in Berdychiv with the participation of more than a thousand delegates. Amongst those presenting were a lot of stand-alone members, including Valentyn Otamanovskyi. Discussed were the independence of Ukraine, its borders, national flag and coat of arms, Ukrainian history and so on.

"Those speeches evoked a sense of pathos and enthusiasm amongst the participants - all delegates and guests stood on their knees, among them the military, with not fully healed scars on their heads and faces, and with tears in their eyes they sang the Ukrainian national anthem.

Upon standing up, they began carrying [present as honorable guests] Petliura, Hrushevskyi and Skoropadskyi in their arms with cries - Glory to Ukraine! Long live free Ukraine!" [16]

The South Western front, September 1917. Starshynas (officers) of the Bogdan Khmelnytsky Regiment together with Major General Viktor Galfter, the 10th Infantry Division commander which part was the regiment

Photo: the book "Armii Ukrainy 1917-1920", Moscow, 2002 by Yaroslav Tynchenko

On this south-western front fought the legendary Bohdanivskyi regiment, created in Kyiv in the first days of the revolution and with its own independent ideas was sent as far away from the capital as possible… to the front.

Here, it even attacked Germans with "planted bayonets and with a powerful call - "Glory to Ukraine!"".

Sotnyk [author's edit: captain, commander of a hundred men] of the 7th hundred of the second block of the Bohdanivskyi regiment Ivan Ostrovershenko later recalled, how the general once visited the regiment and was satisfied with the exemplary discipline, but reacted painfully to the language of the regiment:

"Oh, goddamnit, I don't understand this khokhol [author's edit: ethnic slur for Ukrainians] language! Nevertheless, you are doing a good job, thank you, officer-comrades!". He then loudly addressed the cossacks: - "Thanks to you, brothers cossacks!"

The cossacks replied: - "Glory to Ukraine, sergeant general!"

"What, what did they say?" - asked the general.

"Glory to Ukraine, sergeant general!" - replied the elders.

"Ah, so, after all you've got Ukraine on your mind, what does this mean? Malorossiya [author's edit: Little Russia], or something? Well, alright then. Still, a great job, thank you once again!." [17]

Probably, the first "Glory to Ukraine!" salutation proclaimed by the Georgians ("Nova Rada" from 12.11.1917)

The third military congress, that took places in Kyiv 2-12 November 1917 and gathered nearly 2 thousand delegates from 2 million Ukrainian soldiers - almost unanimously demanded the immediate proclamation of Ukraine's independence.

The provisional government had already planned to disperse the Central Council, but the bolshevik coup changed the agenda and independence was proclaimed through the Third Universal.

""Glory to Ukraine!" roared through the room and the delegates, full of enthusiasm, stood on their knees as they sang the national anthem" [18].

At the end of the day, the delegates of the congress departed for the Central Council. "Hats flew in the air and it was called out: "Long live independent Ukraine! Long live Ukrainian National Guard!" In response, the military accentuated their steps more clearly, responding with cries of "Glory to Ukraine!" [19].

 From the minutes of the joint meeting of presidiums of the 26 organizations of the Shostka town  (including the Jewish parties "Bund" and "Poale Zion"), December, 13 1917: "The speaker calls the meeting to greet the Ukrainian Republic, its Parliament – the Central Rada, and its government – the General Secretariat, procaliming: "Glory to Ukraine!". The whole meeting except the Bolsheviks greets upright with cheers and "Glory to Ukraine" exclamations."

Source: State Archives of Sumy Oblast (courtesy by Anton Zemanek)

The first Russo-Ukrainian war

Oleksandr Shulgin recalled, that with the proclamation of the Ukrainian People's Republic, there were no finances nor an organised army:

"But only a million of war-tired soldiers who, indeed, shouted "glory" to Ukraine and its Central Council, all the while attentively listening to the slogans and promises of the Bolsheviks." [20]

When in January 1918 the deputy head of the Central Council Mykola Shrah told professor M. Hrushevskyi, that the party of Ukrainian social revolutionaries' membership reached 1 million members, who had paid membership fees, he received the following response:

"Here I am going to speak. A crowd of thousands will be shouting with joy, exclaiming "Glory to Ukraine." A near majority of that crowd will be comprised of military, yet in all of Kyiv, you can't find a single gunner to protect the gates to which the enemy is advancing!" [21]

A participant of the battle of Kruty later wrote, that the decree on departure to the front was met by exclamations of "Glory!" from the young boys of the students' block.

 A loud "Glory to Ukraine!" at the high school student party in the "Rodyna" club  ("Nova Rada" from 20.03.1918)

"Hats flew in the ear, friendly handshakes, cries of joy - "Glory to Ukraine!".

When departing to go to the front and followed by exclamations of "Farewell! Come back alive!", they responded with "Glory to Ukraine!".

And when in the field they heard "Kids, lay down your arms, or else you'll be slain!", after a short pause, in what seemed like a unison, they all exclaimed "Never! Glory to Ukraine!". And in their last moments spent in painful convulsions they shouted: "Long live Ukraine!" [22].

In January 1918, "Glory to Ukraine!" was also heard in Caucasus - in the town of Trebizond (now Trabzon in eastern Turkey). Notably, it was heard coming from Poles, Georgians and Armenians.

When Mykola Sviderskyi - a representative of the Ukrainian government from Kyiv - arrived in town with the aim of Ukrainianizing the local pledge of the former Tsarist army, his first order of business was organizing a demonstrative parade-manifestation, which was strictly forbidden by the Russian corps team.

"I had to stand in the company of honor of M. Sviderskyi, when he, accompanied by the sounds of a military orchestra, that was playing Ukrainian marches all throughout, greeted

I stood next to M. Sviderskyi when he greeted the divisions of the Ukrainian infantry of the Kara regiment, then Kuban scouts and others, yet unformed Ukrainian soldiers, who were all standing in front of him and cried "Glory to Ukraine!" as the orchestra played on.

Ukrainian soldiers kept coming… According to our observations, there must have been approximately one and a half thousand."

The following memories of Lev Bykovskyi are even more fascinating:

Mykola Oleksiyovych Svidersky


"Ukrainian flags were no longer insight, but the army kept coming. These were the same grey columns, because all of them were in Russian uniforms and all looked the same, with the exception of carrying Polish flags!

They also greeted Sviderskyi with the cry "Glory to Ukraine!"

They were followed by columns with Georgian flags, and then - with Armenian…

This crowd comprised of thousands demonstratively marched before the Ukrainian commissariat, with music loudly playing in the background and everyone exclaiming "Glory to Ukraine".

M. O . Sviderskyi's hand was numb from the amount of times he'd saluted the crowd." [23]

According to the outcome of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, Germans transferred not just their army into Ukraine, but the blue-coated division as well, formed of Ukrainians held captive since the First World War.

When on March 3, 1918 1200 blue-coated soldiers departed the town of Wetzlar for their homeland, the wagons of the train carriage erupted with exclamations of "Glory to Ukraine!" that could be heard all over the platform. [24]

In Kyiv, the blue-coated division marched through the St. Sophia's Square. "An inexplicable amount of people, all of whom came to greet us. "Glory to Ukraine," we cried in unison, which was caught up by the music and soon turned into "Ukraine is not yet lost"... Our regiment marched ahead, behind us a whole division, with the sounds of the orchestra following us down the streets… Everywhere we went, we saw faces filled with joy and heard loud exclaims of "Glory! Glory!"". [25]

Frames of the Syniozhupannyk [Blue Overcoat] Division defile (March), of the Lubny Serdyuk Mounted Cossack Regiment  (September) and Sich Riflemen of the UNR Army (December) parade. Kyiv, 1918 

When on April 3 1918, German-Ukrainian militaries reached Hlukhiv and when a part of the bolsheviks had escaped in the direction of the Mykhailiv khutir, while the other part was killed by the bullets of the Germans and the cossacks: "It could be heard everywhere: "Glory to Ukraine!"" [26].

From there, the memory effectively demonstrates, which slogan would be said out loud, and which would be written on the flags (it is for this reason specifically that no images of flags with "Glory to Ukraine!" written on them can be found):

"Ukrainian cossacks let go of the red Bolshevik flags, instead hanging up Ukrainian blue and yellow ones with slogans:

"Long live free Ukraine." At the end of the procession came the battalion of death with a Ukrainian flag, on which a greeting was woven with golden thread: "We will die for Ukraine."

The second car followed with a slogan: "Death to enemies of Ukraine."

Hetmanate, second Russo-Ukrainian war

After the P. Skoropadsky coup, the tradition of "Glory to Ukraine" greetings persisted in the Hetman's troops. According to Vsevolod Petriv's memoirs, hetman's troops did not have military training, but only "marched well, crying loudly "Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Hetman"" [27].

The "Hetman's Glory!" answer is interesting because for the first time it was used as as a clear and short answer to the greetings of "Glory to Ukraine!".

Sviatoslav Shramchenko recalls such greetings, describing how on September 9, 1918, P. Skoropadsky traveled to Berlin from the central station in Kyiv:

"The honorary guards' hundred skillfully saluted the Hetman with their weapons, Hetman with his closest entourage greeted them with" Glory to Ukraine!" and received a loud response: "Glory to Hetman!" Following the march, the orchestra played the anthem: "Ukraine has not perished yet" [28].

In parallel with the new greeting among the hetman's troops, the old formula was also used in the military.

So, on May 27, 1918, when the ataman of the first infantry and cossack division (dubbed "Gray") Victor Sokyra-Yakhontiv arrived with his staff to Volodymyr Volynsky and greeted the Cossacks of the Division, they replied with: "Glory to Ukraine!" [29]

Unlike the blue-coat division, which was disarmed on the eve of the Hetman's coup, "gray" soldiers - formerly captured Ukrainians in Austria-Hungary - fought for Ukraine until November 1920.

 "Grey" Division Company of Honour greets their ataman Viktor Sokyra-Yakhontov. The town of Volodymyr-Volynsky, May, 27 1918

Source: TsDAVO of Ukraine (by the courtesy of Ivan Gomeniuk) 

The second Russian-Ukrainian war in the 20th century began long before the November 1918 uprising against P. Skoropadsky's regime.

Russian officers, so-called "volunteers" (later most of them became "White Guards"), penetrated into the Hetman's army and set up their own orders there.

One of the first victims of that war was the warrant officer Voropay. Chronologically, he became the first who, while dying at the hands of the invaders, cried: "Glory to Ukraine!".

His fellow V. Kedrovsky recalled this honest Ukrainian patriot:

"... during the first invasion of the Bolsheviks in Ukraine, he like me belonged to a circle of twelve souls who fought against the Bolsheviks in the Uman, Zvenyhorod and Baltsky counties.

A passionate, fanatical patriot, he fell as a hero in 1918 in Poltava, murdered by volunteers. Stranded with Hetman-Moscowite bayonets, he only called out: "Glory to Ukraine!"" [30].

In the winter of 1918-1919, when a wave of "otamanshchynа" and the second armed aggression of the Bolshevik Kremlin government swept through Ukraine, the Polish state (which at that time already waged war against the ZUNR for Galicia) claimed its rights to the Kholmshchyna and Volyn.

This caused an outrage, even on the other side of the ocean. On December 29, 1918, in the United States, Kholm's Orthodox Ukrainians held a demonstration, and the main cries were: "Glory to Ukraine!" and "Poles stay away from our Kholmshchyna, from our Pidlyashshia!" [31].

When on January 22, 1919, Colonel Hnat Porokhovsky drove "Polish gangs and the rest of the Hetman volunteers" out of Volodymyr-Volynsky, he received a welcome telegram from Otaman Volodymyr Oskilk, which ended with the words:

"Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the glorious Cossack army!"

Thus, the tragic Polish-Ukrainian war for Volyn began [32].

Greetings to Colonel Gnat Porokhivsky by Ataman Volodymyr Oskilko, January, 22 1919

On the same day - January 22, 1919 – in parallel with the battles in Volyn, the Unification Act of the Ukrainian lands was proclaimed in Kyiv. The railroad soldiers were the first to arrive at the Sofiyivska Square carrying a large national flag, on which the words "Glory to the Ukrainian heroes!" were inscribed. (prototype of the future "Glory to the Heroes!"). [33]

Several versions of the memoirs of Lyongin Tzhelevsky were preserved about how the Unification Act was announced. Among those that most closely followed the events, there is such description:

"The sun was bathing over the Sophia's dome ... it was reflected in a thousands of sparks from helmets and bayonets ... regiments, Ukrainian regiments, processed in front of the government of the united Ukraine ... all the church bells rang tirelessly, from the Dnipro river, one could hear the roar of the cannons; and people cried "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Cossacks! Glory to the Galicians! Glory of the Directory! Glory! Glory! ... "" [34].

A participant of the rally, then clergyman of the Kyiv cathedral of St. Sophia Fr. Pavlo-Grygoryi Korsunovskyi recalled:

"When the Unification Act was signed, a crowd of 250 thousand cried "Glory to Ukraine!" [35]

And when a celebratory concert took place for the military, in honor of the occasion (of unification) two days later in a building that is now the National Philharmonic (performing were the national choir, directed by M. Leonotovych and Yemets' bandura choir chapel), then:

"The proclamation of "glory" to Ukraine, great ataman Petliura, to all leaders and the undefeated army brought enthusiasm." [36]

In the beginning of 1919, the greeting "Glory to Ukraine!" became so popular, that one of the two armored trains of the UPR army on the anti-Russian front within the Sarnensky group of troops (dislocation: Dubrovytsia-Lunynets) was named "Glory to Ukraine!". [37]

And in March 1919 in Lviv, before being executed by the Poles at the Citadel, even ordinary rural youths from the suburbs, not just soldiers of the Ukrainian army, shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" [38]

When the united Ukrainian armies (UPR and UGA) arrived in Kyiv on August 31 1919, after long battles with the bolsheviks and the Poles, formally-dressed Kyievans walked out on the streets and showered them in flowers;

"...and there was no end to cries of "Glory to Ukraine", "Glory to Galicians" or "Glory to the Sich Riflemen." [39]

Other than the flowers and the greetings, blue and yellow flags decorated buildings. Osyp Stanimir recalls, that when his UGA battalion reached the city council, then:

"All of the space before the council, all streets and Khreschatyk were filled with colorful crowds…

I was taken down from my horse and practically carried all the way to the council, where the City Administration was already gathered. I gave out the appropriate orders to the battalion, ordered full readiness and hung up a huge blue and yellow flag from the balcony of the building…

A loud "Glory to Ukraine!" shouted three times seemed as if it was a live seal on the document signifying our taking over of Kyiv." [40]

The greeting "Glory to Ukraine!" became deeply rooted in the UPR Army - during both, exercise and combat.

Volodymyr Sosyura, who in July 1919 became a student of the Zhytomyr youth school, wrote in his novel "The Third Company": "Our hundred replied "Glory to Ukraine" incorrectly (not in unison), and Zubok-Mokievskyi chased us all down the hill in anger."

UPR Commander Mykhailo Omelyanovych-Pavlenko noted, that during the first winter campaign on December 28, 1919, near the town of Zhashkiv in the Kyiv region:

"The personal courage of colonel Dyachenko, who, crying out "Glory to Ukraine!", dove under enemy fire, encouraged the Cossacks so much, that the enemy had no time to look back before our cavalry attacked their location." And then: "This courageous assault disorganised the enemy so much that they could not resist, throwing down their arms, running down the streets and shouting hysterically." [41]

At last, the greeting "Glory to Ukraine!" was officially adopted by the UPR Army. This happened at the final stage of the legendary first winter campaign, on April 19, 1920 to be exact.

That day, M. Omelyanovych-Pavlenko issued an order number 18 to the armed forces of the UPR army "On muster roll".

The first paragraph of the decree started with "Glory to Ukraine!", that was then followed by an account of the successful capture of the town of Voznesensk. The final point of the order stated:

"In response to praise and thanks for their service to Ukraine, all army units must respond: "Glory to Ukraine" [42] (by law, in modern Ukrainian Armed Forces in such cases the response must be followed by: "I serve the Ukrainian nation").

The order of the official introduction of the "Glory to Ukraine" greeting in the UNR Army. April, 19 1920

Revolutionary and nationalist movement

The traditional greeting "Glory to Ukraine!" lived on even after the army of the Ukrainian People's Republic found itself in internment camps in Poland. Yuriy Horlis-Horskyi recalls in his memoirs, published in 1933 (which soon became the first part of the "Kholodnyi Yar" novel), that the insurgents, when greeted with "Glory to Ukraine!", responded with the same. [43]

However, Jakiv Vodianyi, who in 1921-1922 was also in Kholodnyi Yar, presents a different variation of the insurgents' greeting in his play, published in 1928: "Glory to Ukraine! Eternal glory!". [44]

At the same time, Yurko Stepovyi (Fedir Pestushko) in his story "In Kherson Steps" writes that his brother - ataman Kost' Blakytnyi - when greeting with "Glory to Ukraine!" heard "Glory!" in response. [45]

Ataman Il'ko Struk also used "Glory to Ukraine!" as a greeting.

In the occasion of Soviet elections (village and regional councils were elected April 28 1921), his rebels put up proclamations, stating that Ukrainians are "a nationalist peoples, capable of standing up for themselves."

The proclamation proposed to elect stand-alone revolutionaries and republicans, and ended with a slogan: "Glory to Ukraine - glory to Petliura!". That same slogan was used by Struk and his subordinates during oral agitation. [46]

One can find a lot of mentions of "Glory to its heroes!" being proposed by Yuriy Artiushenko in 1925 within the League of Ukrainian Nationalists (LUN), which soon became a co-founder of OUN, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

However, this claim requires back up by substantial evidence and valid resources. After all, on the internet, the phrase is often introduced with the words "it appears that" which are then followed by "that it was Yuriy Artiushenko who proposed to use the greeting: "Glory to Ukraine!" - "Glory to Cossacks!". The proposal was accepted, but on with a slight modification - the response was to be: "Glory to its heroes!"".

In Y. Artiushenko's memoirs and publications dedicated to him, which were published in 1962 and 1966, there is no mention of any connection between the greeting and LUN at all. [47]

While there is no mention of the greeting being adopted by LUN in his memoirs dated back to 1957, 1972 and 1985, there are allusions to the nationalist greeting "Glory to Ukraine" and the response "Glory to Ukraine, Glory!", which was always used by the horse regiment "Black Zaporozhians" in times of armed struggle. [48]

At the same time, the year in which LUN was founded was defining for the new greeting of the Ukrainian armed forces. In the fourth decree issued on July 10 1925, the Ukrainian national cossack association (UNAKOTO) established a new form of greeting for members of its organisation: "Glory to Ukraine - glory to cossacks" [49].

Interestingly enough, it was Ivan Poltavets-Ostrianytsia who was the head of UNAKOTO - one of Hetman P. Skoropadsky's trustees in 1918. It is therefore possible that the greeting "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Hetman!" was also his creation.

No later than 1929, another greeting was born in the environment of the Ukrainian military organisation (UVO): "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Chief!", which the OUN eventually had gotten used to and adopted as official at the Roman Great Congress of OUN.

Ivan Poltavets-Ostrianytsia – the alleged author of the formula "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Hetman!" and "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Cossacks!" in 1918 and 1925 respectively

Photo: The USA Plast Museum


This greeting emerged amongst UVO supporters in the United States during Yevhen Konovalets' visit to New York.

"After deliberate consideration, we decided to greet the Chief in accordance with UVO's ideology - in a military manner, namely, when Colonel enters the room, everyone present must salute Colonel in unison with a greeting "Glory to Chief!" and directly face him at command...when greeted with a loud "Glory to Chief!"...Colonel responded "Glory to Ukraine!"" [50].

In the mid-1920s, the greeting "Glory to Ukraine" spread to Ukrainian scout youth (Plast) in Galicia and Volyn.

Scouts used it in the summer of 1927 together with their own greeting "SKOB!" during a scout meeting in Alexandria near Rivne (as result of the meeting, the Poles banned Plast in Volyn that same year).

In underground Plast at the end of the 1930s, instead of "SKOB!" an alternative greeting was used: "Glory to Ukraine - Glory, Glory, Glory!" I.e. the same one as mentioned by Yuriy Artiushenko in his memoirs about "Black Zaporozhians" and LUN. [51]

This greeting "Glory! Glory! Glory!" is used by Plast to this day and was also used at the military parade on August 24 2018.

It was largely due to its popularity amongst the scouts, who joined OUN en masse following the banning of Plast by the Poles, that the greeting "Glory to Ukraine!" made a return and became popular amongst the general Ukrainian public.

During the Warsaw and Lviv processes on Stepan Bandera - and his brothers and sisters all the way from Plast - "Glory to Ukraine!" was occasionally heard in the room (consequently, the Polish court gave out additional punishments).

Due to the re-publishing of the court chronicles in the periodicals, the greeting made its way around the world and became universally used. Letters, announcements, even religious communities in the US were signed off with the greeting.

Nevertheless, the commonly cited on the internet quote that is often mistakenly assigned to Stepan Bandera: "And there will be a time, when one will say: "Glory to Ukraine", and millions will respond with "Glory to its heroes!" cannot be found in his collection of works.

At the same time, Bandera must have known, that when the Hungarian military drowned "Carpathian Sich" in blood, the sich riflemen often cried "Glory to Ukraine!" before their inevitable death (as result, back in 1939, nationalists banned the use of the greeting on Ukrainian radio programs from Vienna).

Therefore, the second congress of OUN in 1941 not only established a long-formed tradition with its decree, but also added a compulsory response to the greeting: "Glory to its heroes!".


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