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The Council was the first political representative body of Galicia's Ruthenians. It functioned in Lviv in 1848-1851. The Council proclaimed unity of the Galician Ruthenians with the Ukrainians of the Russian Empire and their disctinction from the Polish and Russian peoples. It demanded that Galicia be divided into Ruthenian and Polish provinces and aimed to secure equal rights for the Ruthenian language in education and public sphere. It launched the a political national movement of the Ruthenians in Galicia.

This publication is a part of the Spring of Nations in Lviv project.


The Supreme Ruthenian Council was the first political representative body of the Ruthenians of Galicia. It was formed on 2 May 1848, in the course of the Spring of Nations, at the initiative of the Greek Catholic Metropolitanate leaders in Lviv. The Council was headed by bishop Hryhoriy Yakhymovych and later by Rev. Mykhaylo Kuzemskyi. Its network in Galicia was based on the structure of the Greek Catholic Church. The Council functioned till 30 June 1851.

The Council proclaimed unity of the Galician Ruthenians with the Ukrainians of the Russian Empire and their distinction from the Polish and Russian peoples. It demanded that Galicia be divided into Ruthenian and Polish provinces and aimed to secure equal rights for the Ruthenian language in schooling, administration, and public space. During the revolution, it remained completely loyal to the ruling dynasty and empire.

The Council had its representatives in the first Austrian parliament. It participated in the Slavic Congress in Prague, organized the first Ukrainian-language newspaper, Zoria Halytska, founded the Halytsko-Ruska Matytsia, held the Congress of Ruthenian Scholars, and was successful the opening of a Ruthenian language department at Lviv University. For the first time, it adopted blue and yellow colors as national symbols of the Galician Ruthenians. The Council launched a political national movement of the Ruthenians in Galicia.

The Ruthenians movement before the revolution

The Supreme Ruthenian Council, as the representative body of the Galician Ruthenians, emerged in the context of the revolutionary events in Western and Central Europe, commonly referred to as the Spring of Nations. During the spring of 1848, revolutionaries in Europe combined the political slogans of national freedom and unity with democratic demands of social equality, elimination of feudal duties, and the like. In the Austrian Empire, as a result of an uprising in Vienna, in April 1848 Emperor Ferdinand agreed to adopt a constitution, declared elections to the first All-Imperial Parliament, guaranteed basic freedoms for his subjects and finally abolished corvée throughout the empire.

In Lviv, the revolutionary tendency was taken up initially by local Polish activists. Already in April 1848, they used the freedoms granted by the Emperor and formed the Central National Council (pol. Rada Narodowa Centralna). Concerning the national issue, they stood by the idea of ​​reviving the Polish Commonwealth in its 1772 borders and treated the local Ruthenians only as an ethno-denominational group of a single Polish nation, denying them political rights.

In fact, the Polish movement was the only political national movement in Austrian Galicia at the time. Its activists came mostly of local nobility, which could be both of Polish or Ruthenian descent. Politically unambiguous, the Council associated itself with the tradition of the old Commonwealth, the so-called "noble republic" where they enjoyed broad political privileges. In the conditions of a single "Polish noble nation", the Ruthenians in the Commonwealth were  partly discriminated, but nevertheless loyal subjects of the state who did not show any political activity of its own in the previous centuries. Their affiliation with the Uniate Church of the Eastern (Greek) rite, made up their principal identity marker.

Even before the revolution, in the first half of the 19th century, a large proportion of Ruthenian students and seminarians in Lviv sympathized with the Polish movement, attracted by their democratic slogans. At the same time, back in the 1830s, Polish activity, along with the romantic slogan of the "return to the common people," instigated the emergence of a new literary trend in their midst (the Ruthenian Triad). Although not very numerous at the time, it became increasingly influential. Its supporters used  local dialects in their literary works and called for the awakening of the Galician Ruthenians' consciousness.

On 19 March 1848, during the first revolutionary demonstrations in Lviv, no mention of the Ruthenians as a separate group came up in the Polish activists' petition to the Emperor. This caused indignation among the Ruthenians present there. In response to the position of the Polish side, Ruthenian leaders headed by Rev. Mykhaylo Kuzemskyi gathered on 2 May 1848 in St. George Cathedral in Lviv.  They announced the establishment of the Supreme Ruthenian Council as a kind of alternative to the Polish one which was the only mouthpiece for the Ruthenians of Galicia in the political arena.

Roles and motivations

The location for the first political organization of the Galician Ruthenians was not chosen spontaneously. The St. George cathedral, center of the Halych Metropolitanate had been both spiritual and main representative center of the Galician Ruthenians. The Greek Catholic Church was the only official institution at the time who represented the entire Ruthenian community of Galicia in the monarchy.

Due to the reforms of Joseph II in the late 18th century, the Greek Catholic Church found itself in much more favorable conditions than in the old Commonwealth. It was equated in rights and dignity with the Roman Catholic Church, its clergy enjoyed legal and financial protection of the monarchy. Moreover, a "Ruthenian" General Theological Seminary, separate from the Latin one, was established in Lviv. As a result, a separate Ruthenian student environment was formed in the provincial capital; the clergy educated at the seminary made up the basis of Ruthenian intelligentsia in the region.

The Greek Catholic hierarchy, the Ruthenian community representative, owing to the privileges became perhaps the most loyal group to the monarchy in the province. Remembering their formerly discriminated position, they were hostile to the Polish movement's ideas of reviving the Commonwealth. In addition, senior hierarchs could fear that, joining the Polish movement, they would lose their role not only as spiritual but also as social leaders of their people. At the same time, the minor clergy increasingly addressed their leaders with questions about political orientation for themselves and their flock in a revolution that continued to penetrate the province.

Its flock adhered to similar positions. It was peasants, who  made up the lion's share of the Ruthenian population in the province. They saw the Polish revolutionaries as their landlords, and feared the restoration of feudal duties in the event of their victory. Since peasants owed their liberation from serfdom and, more recently, from corvée to the "good Emperor", their sympathies were also entirely on the government's side.

Thus, in 1848, both the church hierarchy and peasantry, the pastors and their flock, found themselves quite naturally in opposition to the revolutionary forces led by the Polish movement. Like it or not, both became the monarchy's allies. In order to preserve power, the empire decided to use the Ruthenians' newly born national feelings and ancient social antagonism between peasants and landowners as a counterweight to the Polish revolutionaries. Governor Franz Stadion became the main mediator between the Ruthenian leaders and Vienna; it was he who gained a positive response from the government to the Ruthenians' request and thus encouraged them to be more active.

Driven by the expectations of the lower classes and by the threat of a Polish revolution and, most importantly, having received tacit encouragement from the government, the church hierarchs decided to take the matter in their own hands. Consequently, in the revolutionary year 1848 the Supreme Ruthenian Council appeared on the political scene with the slogans of the Galician Ruthenians’ national separation from the Polish nation and, at the same time, of their complete loyalty to the Emperor.


The first constituent assembly of the Council was held in St. George Cathedral on 2 May 1848. More than a hundred "Ruthenian dignitaries" from Lviv attended. 30 permanent members to the Council (although their number could be increased later), as well as a governing body consisting of a chairman, two deputies and two secretaries were elected then.

Hryhoriy Yakhymovych, an auxiliary bishop of Lviv, headed the Council. At the time he acted as Head of the Halych Metropolitanate, while the Metropolitan Mykhaylo Levytskyi was away from Lviv, living in the Univ monastery due to health reasons. His influence on the church management was not very significant; he blessed and approved the creation of the Council. Rev. Mykhaylo Kuzemskyi was considered the main initiator of convening the Council and its prime mover. A member of the Metropolitan Chapter in Lviv, he was elected a deputy chairman. It was Kuzemskyi who presided over most of the subsequent Council's meetings.

The first meetings were held in St. George Cathedral; later, on May 12, the Council moved to the Theological Seminary building on Kopernika street. According to the charter, meetings except for urgent ones were to be convened twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Meetings and voting were open, although, at the request of at least three members, a meeting could be held in secret. Decisions were taken by a simple majority of votes provided that at least half of the Council members were present. New members were elected by the Council itself by ¾ votes. In accordance with the charter, several executive departments were set up in the Council to deal with finance, correspondence, legal and political affairs, education, and the like. A separate department was designated for spiritual affairs.

As the Council was in fact a self-proclaimed representative body, with the top-ranking clergy as its founders, it had to see to its own legitimization as a mouthpiece for the whole nation of "all classes", before the Polish opponents,the Vienna government, and its own people alike.

The founders sought to ensure that lay persons and clergy receive equal participation. Rev. Mykhailo Kuzemskyi and Ivan Borysykevych, a lawyer were elected as deputy chairmen, and Rev. Mykhailo Malynovskyi, a canon, and Teodor Leontovych, a Credit Society employee became the Council's secretaries. The first appeal of the Council was signed by 66 people, with 19 clergymen and 10 seminarians among them, while civil servants, law students, teachers, other Lviv citizens and even one landowner made up the rest. However, the Council did retain a certain clerical character. For example, a person was elected to the executive positions of the chairman, deputy or secretary "once and for all", save perhaps he would resign, which is typical of church structures.

It was much more important to build the Council's own network throughout the region so that it could speak on behalf of the entire province. During May-July of 1848, over 50 local Ruthenian councils were formed in Galicia, which were established under the church deaneries and subordinated to the central one in Lviv. The plans were to further deepen the Council's network to rural parishes. Leaders of local councils were also mostly priests (often deans), but the Supreme Council's directive prompted representatives of all classes to be included in the councils. Moreover, according to the recommendations of the center, the number of clergy should not exceed one third of all members of the Councils. Thus, the whole representative structure of the Ruthenian Councils in the province was built on the basis of the Greek Catholic Church structure, with the top of the pyramid in Lviv. At the same time, this structure did not act on a representative principle, since the local councils did not have their ambassadors in the central one, but could only address their needs and suggestions to it.

In addition, in order to make its position known, from 15 March 1848 the Council published in Lviv its own periodical, Zoria Halytska, which is considered to be the first Ukrainian-language newspaper ever.

National orientation

As the events of 1848 separated the Ruthenian movement from the previously united Polish main line, an urgent question of the Galician Ruthenians' national identity was raised.

Vasyl Podolynskyi described four possible national orientations from which the Galician Ruthenians of that time could choose. His famous article, entitled A Word of Warning (pol. Słowo przestrogi) came out in 1848. The first, a Ukrainophilic one, sought the independence of the Ruthenian people, to which both the Galicians and "those Ukrainians" on the other side of the Austro-Russian border belonged. The second was Polonophilic, preserving the previous status quo and integrating the Ruthenians into the Polish project with certain cultural rights. The third was "Austro-Ruthenian", loyal to the throne and ready to develop Ruthenian nationality within the monarchy, thus potentially restricting the Ruthenian nation to the territory of Austria. And the fourth, "Russo-Ruthenian," saw the Ruthenians as an integral part of the "wider" Russian nation and potentially counted on the support of the Russian Empire.

This national question was answered by the Council in its first "Appeal to the Ruthenian People" published in Zoria Halytska on 10 October 1848, which later became the Council's most cited document:

"We, Ruthenians of Galicia, belong to the great Ruthenian nation, whose 15 million members, of whom 2.5 million live in Galicia, all speak the same language."

Although the boundaries of the "Ruthenian nation" were not formulated precisely in this Appeal, it is quite clear from the stated number that what was at issue were "those Ukrainians" from the Russian Empire, mentioned by Podolynskyi. This gives grounds for claiming that in the national question the Supreme Ruthenian Council adopted the Ukrainophilic platform of unity of the Ruthenians and Ukrainians of both empires and, accordingly, their separation from the competing Polish and unified Russian projects.

This idea, based on an ethnographic understanding of the people, originated among Ruthenian students in the 1830s. According to memoirs from those times,  , by the time of the revolution, the idea had indeed conquered much of the Ruthenian intelligentsia. Markiyan Shashkevych was among its very first spokesmen in Galicia, but was repressed by the same church leaders; now the first constituent meeting of the Council commemorated him, which was supposed to symbolize a break with previous conservative policies and the adoption of his concept. An important role was also played by the previous epoch of Romanticism, which spread the ethnic concept of people and nation across Europe, so the ethnographic unity of the Galician Ruthenians and Dnieper Ukrainians was seen by the intellectualls of that time as an objective reality.

In addition, the Ruthenians justified their claim for Galicia with historical arguments. In their publications, they turned to the medieval Halych principality, emphasizing precisely the Ruthenian roots of the region and thus establishing their own national tradition. It is also with the heritage of the Halych (Galician) princes that they associated their newly found national symbols, adopted at a secret meeting of the Council on 18 May 1848, namely, a golden lion against a blue background (known in fact from the gonfalon of the Lviv land in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410) and the two colors of the coat of arms, blue and gold, combined in the flag (which later, at the turn of the 20th century, became the symbol of the whole Ukrainian movement in the both empires).

However, this national choice in favor of Ukrainian orientation was not unambiguous and inevitable, but rather a result of a certain coincidence. In fact, each of the four concepts mentioned by Podolynskyi had a certain chance of being implemented in 1848.

For example, the top hierarchy of the church, which set the tone for the Council's activities, viewed its people not so much in modern ethnic categories but rather in pre-modern denominational ones. They were more adherent to the "Austro-Ruthenian" concept, which enabled fostering their Ruthenian nationality and at the same time demonstrating their unconditional loyalty to the throne. This attitude became apparent in the Council’s charter, which stipulated that every "honest Ruthenian of the Greek rite admitting his Ruthenian nationality" and born in Galicia could become a member of the Council, thus actually reducing its representation exclusively to the laity of its own metropolitanate.

Another, "Russian" or "all-Russian" concept, although it did not manifest itself during the "Spring of Nations", had already some influential supporters among Galicians (for example, one of the first Galician-Ruthenian historians, Denys Zubrytskyi); in the subsequent post-revolutionary decades the local Ruthenian elite, including most of the Supreme Ruthenian Council’s active members, was almost completely dominated by this concept.

In the end, even the "Polonophilic" concept, explicitly opposed by the Supreme Ruthenian Council, found its adherents during the revolution. This resulted in the creation of the so-called Ruthenian Council (Rusky Sobor),a representation of Ruthenians loyal to the Polish movement and an alternative to the Supreme Ruthenian Council. One the most famous representatives of the Ruthenian Council was Ivan Vahylevych, once a friend of Markiyan Shashkevych in the "Ruthenian Triad" and one of the pioneers of the Ruthenian revival in Galicia, or Yulian Lavrivskyi, the future chairman of the Prosvita society. The Ruthenian Council was also joined by some Ruthenian-born aristocrats, such as prince Leon Sapieha and count Włodzimierz Dzieduszycki. The latter two even appealed to the Metropolitanate with the intention of "returning" to the Greek rite, but received a refusal from bishop Yakhymovych, who headed the Supreme Ruthenian Council. However, the Ruthenian Council did not gain much influence among the Ruthenians and eventually became a branch of the Polish National Council.

Thus, the Ukrainian orientation proclaimed by the Supreme Ruthenian Councilin 1848 was not the only possible answer to the national question, but rather the most optimal one among others. It allowed emancipating from the Polish movement and at the same time maintaining loyalty to the throne, without directly linking with the neighboring empire, but at the same time not being confined to a narrow regional dimension and compensating the Ruthenians' cultural and political immaturity, presenting them as part of a broader and more powerful national project, though still quite ephemeral at that time. Moreover, it represented not the only current national orientation of the Galician Ruthenians at that time, though a dominant one.

Crown land division and flags Political program

The national break with the Polish movement was also a precondition for the main political demand addressed by the Supreme Ruthenian Council to the Vienna government during the revolutionary events in the monarchy. It was a demand that the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria be divided into two separate provinces: the Western, that is, Polish one, centered in Krakow, and the Eastern, Ruthenian one, whose capital was to remain in Lviv, as well as possible addition of Ruthenian territories in Hungary to Galicia, and thus formation of a separate crown land in all Ruthenian regions of the monarchy. This political program was complemented by a demand that the preservation of equal rights for Catholics of both rites be guaranteed and that the Ruthenian language have equal rights with Polish in education, administration, judicial procedure and public space.

For Lviv, the implementation of these requirements would certainly have significant consequences: the partial loss of controlled territories in the west was to be compensated by the acquisition of new lands in the south; instead, having become the capital of the Ruthenian province, where both languages ​​and cultures were equalized in rights, the city would potentially acquire a much more pronounced Ruthenian national character.

It is quite clear that such a program provoked a sharp confrontation with the Polish movement, which was to be solved on the international scene. In June 1848, a delegation of the Supreme Ruthenian Council participated in the Slavic Congress in Prague, where representatives of all Slavic peoples of Austria met. The purpose of the Congress was to work out a common position of the Austrian Slavs before the upcoming parliamentary elections for the final transformation of the empire into a federation of different nations. The contradictions between the Ruthenians and the Poles, which were an obstacle to this common position, were the subject of discussion at a special Polish-Ruthenian Congressional commission mediated by Czechs. Although a certain compromise was reached, neither party was satisfied with it. Due to an aggravation of revolutionary events, the Congress was  disbanded too early, so its decisions never came into effect, and the struggle between the two camps was continued in the parliament in Vienna.

In July 1848, the first elections to the State Council (ger. Reichsrat) took place in the Austrian Empire, at which many representatives of the Supreme Ruthenian Council, most of them clergy, got the mandates of parliament members. Galicia's parliamentary representation was dominated by peasants; however, as a result of prosaic lack of education, they clearly needed support and even guidance from their pastors in political activity. It is interesting that in the Parliament not only Ruthenian but also Polish peasants from Galicia, the so-called mazury, were looking for support from the representatives of the Supreme Ruthenian Council, since, in their "kinsmen" from the Polish camp, they saw first of all the landlords and, therefore, opponents.

Consequently, in its social policy, the Council had to balance between the interests of different social groups united in it: predominantly conservative clergy, especially leaders of the latter, who also held a leading position in the Council; mainly liberal secular intelligentsia whose support the clergy had enlisted; and the peasantry, which was the main social base of the Ruthenian movement. This was reflected in a certain contradiction of the social agenda: the Supreme Ruthenian Council adopted a liberal platform, typical for the Spring of Nations, including elimination of class privileges, provision of political and legal liberties, freedom of commerce and trade, guarantee of private property; at the same time, however, the Council defended the interests of peasants in the case of buying out landowners' lands. The Council's leaders themselves remained intuitively conservative, even though, as pastors, they sympathized with their faithful, given the latters' basic needs.

By January 1849, by means of the peasants' support and a wide-spread network across Galicia, the leaders of the Council managed to collect over 200,000 signatures in favor of dividing Galicia into Ruthenian and Polish provinces. In response, the Polish National Council, along with the loyal Ruthenian Council, conducted their own collection of signatures against the division of the province, but achieved much more modest results. Yet the issue of the division of Galicia remained unresolved till the end of the revolution and, moreover, till the very end of the empire itself.

The efforts of the Council to create their own armed forces, the Ruthenian National Guard in the cities and towns of Galicia, separate from the Polish guard, and self-defense units in the villages also failed. It was not until March 1849 that the government felt the need to take advantage of the Ruthenians' loyalty and agreed to the creation of a battalion of Ruthenian mountain riflemen, who were to assist the imperial army in protecting the Carpathian border with Hungary, which continued its uprising against Vienna.

Cultural activities

It was on the cultural field that the Council managed to reach greater achievements. Thus, not wishing to lose the loyalty of the "faithful Ruthenians", on 9 May 1848, a week after the formation of the Council, the government agreed to introduce Ruthenian in public schools; from January 1849 the Ruthenian language became a compulsory subject of study in gymnasiums. In September 1848, the first department of Ruthenian language and literature was established at Lviv University; historically, it is considered the first Ukrainian-language university department. A little later it was headed by Yakiv Holovatskyi, one of the former members of the Ruthenian Triad.

In addition, in June 1848 the Council members established in Lviv the Halytsko-Ruska Matytsia, an educational organization, patterned after similar structures of the same name, which were formed by the other Slavic nations of the empire, especially by Czechs (Matica). The Matytsia was headed by Mykhaylo Kuzemskyi, one of the Council leaders. The main purpose of its activities was to publish accessible books in the vernacular, to care for the development of Ruthenian literature and to spread education among the populace.

The largest cultural event in Lviv, organized by the Supreme Ruthenian Council, became the so-called Congress (Sobor) of Ruthenian Scholars, held in the Theological Seminary building on 19-25 October 1848. It was for the first time in Galicia that a general forum of Ruthenian intellectuals from all over the province took place. The congress was attended by 118 people, mostly writers, educators, officials, students and, of course, priests, including the main initiator of the Congress, poet Mykola Ustyyanovych, aforementioned Yakiv Holovatskyi, the future director of the Academic Gymnasium in Lviv Vasyl Ilnytskyi. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the main problems ofthe Galician Ruthenians' cultural development and to formulate its further trends.

The main cultural issue on the agenda was the issue of literary language and orthography, directly related to the issue of national identity. At that time, there was no well-defined standard of the Ruthenian language. The choice was between reliance on the ancient Church Slavonic language and the local dialects, that is, the "Ruthenian" language, as well as, within the vernacular itself, between etymological and phonetic systems of writing. In addition, the Ruthenian intelligentsia of that time preferred to use Polish in their personal communication: already at the first constituent meeting of the Council, the participants had to make a conscious decision "to speak in Ruthenian between themselves and at the meetings," which was obviously an expression of their own political position, not merely everyday life.The Supreme Ruthenian Council issued its first documents in a language close to the vernacular, but written with etymological spelling. In particular, it was in this way that the above-mentioned "Appeal to the Ruthenian people" was written. The same principle was used in the Zoria Halytska newspaper. In the end, the Congress of Ruthenian Scholars made a compromise decision to stick to the vernacular with phonetic spelling, but adherents of etymological writing were allowed to use the latter. In fact, the language and spelling issues remained unresolved until the early 20th century.

Elimination and consequences

On 7 March 1849 Emperor Francis Joseph abolished the Parliament and promulgated a new constitution drafted by Franz Stadion, the former governor of Galicia, who had promoted the formation of the Supreme Ruthenian Council and now was the interior minister of the empire. The constitution restored a strong centralized administration in the monarchy, effectively eliminated the prospect of forming self-governing crown lands and became a precondition for the full restoration of absolutism, which took place two years later. The defeat of the revolution was at the same time the beginning of the end of the Supreme Ruthenian Council, despite its undeniable commitment to the throne and dissociating itself from the revolutionary forces. Political activity seemed to make sense no more, so the intensity of meetings continued to fade.

In the political sphere, it achieved virtually no changes: Galicia remained undivided; moreover, Agenor Gołuchowski, one of the leaders of the Polish conservative camp, became the new governor. In fact, the only practical achievement of the revolutionary years for the Ruthenians of Galicia was the newly created department at the university and the introduction of Ruthenian into general schooling. These modest achievements contrasted sharply with the scale of expectations and activity in 1848. This could not but cause the Ruthenian leaders, the senior church hierarchs in particular, to be very disappointed with the government's policy and at the same time to reject them from political activity, the rejection making itself felt in the following decades. This decadence, triggered by the revolution outcome, resulted in a powerful conservative reaction within the Ruthenian camp itself. The conservative party of "Old Ruthenians" continued to consist mostly of the Supreme Ruthenian Council's former activists, and its main center was also the metropolitan cathedral in Lviv, which is why they were often called "saint Georgeans".

The Council itself finally ceased to exist on 30 June 1851, when it was reorganized into a commission for the construction of the National House in Lviv, another modest achievement of the Spring of Nations for the Ruthenians of the province. The organization, which emerged as a political representation of its nation in the face of the revolution, ended up as a commission to build an establishment, which became the main public institution of the Ruthenian Galicia in the coming decades and a model for the further institutionalization of the Ruthenian movement in the province.

However, from a broader historical perspective, the Supreme Ruthenian Council, like the Spring of Nations in general, played a key role in the political life of the Ruthenians, the whole crown land, and Lviv in particular. In 1848 the Galician Ruthenians first entered the political scene and formally claimed their emancipation from the province's dominant Polish national project, thereby radically altering the local political landscape. The Ukrainian orientation declared in the Council's manifesto was finally established in Galicia only in the late 19th century. However, the very fact of its declaring at the time of the Ruthenian political debut became a powerful precedent for the following generations of Galician Ukrainophiles, who no longer started a "new affair" but just continued in their declarations the line of the Supreme Ruthenian Council, legitimizing their own position in front of the society. In this sense, the Council became the starting point of the Ruthenian national movement in Galicia in general and its Ukrainian vector (at first just one of potential options, and ultimately the main one) in particular.

In the end, the creation of the Supreme Ruthenian Council was the beginning of a long process of struggle between the two national projects. Claiming the same territories, these movements, subject to the gradual development of both, were doomed to confrontation, which eventually resulted in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict in 1918, exactly 70 years later. Lviv, as the administrative and religious capital of the province, became the main arena of this competition in the subsequent era of "nationalisms."

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Hryhoriy Yakhymovych (pol. Hryhorij Jachymowycz, Grzegorz Jachimowicz) — auxiliary bishop of Lviv, later bishop of Przemysl, chairman of the Supreme Ruthenian Council.
Mykhaylo Kuzemskyi (pol. Mychajło Kuzemśkyj, Michał Kuziemski) — priest, member of the Metropolitan Chapter; one of the main initiators, the deputy chairman and, for a long time, the actual chairman of the SupremeRuthenian Council.
Mykhaylo Levytskyi (pol. Mychajło Levyckyj, Michał Lewicki) — Metropolitan of Galicia.
Ivan Borysykevych — deputy chairman of the Council, one of the authors of its charter.
Yakiv Holovatskyi (pol. Jakiw Hołowacki, Jakub Głowacki) — writer, participant of the Congress of Ruthenian Scientists, head of the department of Ruthenian language and literature at Lviv University from January 1849.
Franz Stadion — Governor of Galicia (1846-1848), the main political mediator between the Council and the government.



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By Roman Melnyk
Edited by Vasyl Rasevych