The «Rout» of the Rup in 1903: The Scale and Factors of the Government's (Un)Success

Keywords: RUP, 1903, Gendarmerie «liquidation», local organizations, party committees, «internal» agents


The article is the first special study of the Gendarmerie operation of the end of 1903 – the beginning of 1904, aimed at the liquidation of the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party. Until now the historiography of the issue is limited to several mentions of operation’s individual episodes in publications with a broader content. The source base of the study is comprised of archival documents of Gendarmerie offices and security departments, periodicals of the RUP and memories of its activists. Based on the author's reconstruction of the state and personal composition of party structures in 1903–1904, an attempt was made to determine the consequences of the operation for the central, regional and local organizational levels of the RUP. Attention is paid to the factors that determined the ambiguous course of events and different positions inside party organizations (personnel, management bodies, material and technical base, connections, scope of activities, etc.). The historiographical assessment of these consequences as “a catastrophe for the RUP” has been subjected to a critical review. Being based on the opportunistic statements of the party leader M. Porsh and its “archivist” and historian A. Zhuk it is not confirmed by empirical material. As a result of the Gendarme operation of 1903 the RUP really suffered great losses the latter being partial and temporary. A significant part of the party network at all levels managed to avoid failures and ensure the continuity of the party's activities. Crushed organizations were able to resume their work in a few months. The change of the party leader and the split at the “unheld” congress of the RUP in 1904 contributed to a clearer definition of the party's ideology and organizational structure. This gives reason to qualify the events of that time rather as an (un)success of the government: having delivered a striking blow to the leading organizational centres of the RUP on the territory of the empire, it was unable not only to implement its plan to destroy the whole party, but even to liquidate any local organization.


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How to Cite
Naumov, S. (2022). The «Rout» of the Rup in 1903: The Scale and Factors of the Government’s (Un)Success. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series: History, (61), 85-109.