In January 1919 in Sokalshina the front ran from Rava-Ruska through Uhniv-Varyazh-Uhryniv-Nismychi

Довгі століття Україна залишалась розділена на дві частини

Galicia soon awoke to political life, where at the end of the last and the beginning of the present centuries many Ukrainian magazines and newspapers were published, and a great deal of educational work was carried out.

At the head of advanced ideas was the great writer, revolutionary-democrat Ivan Franko. Without the help of others, Galician Ukrainians rose up and actively prepared for the struggle for the freedom of their native land. The Sich and Sokil sports and educational societies were organized en masse, and in 1911 Plast was formed in Lviv, where young people studied military affairs.

Here is how Ivan Franko wrote about the Sich Society: Hey, Sich is coming.

  • Beautiful poppy blooms!
  • Who cares about our work – It is sacred to us.
  • Hey, January is coming,
  • Topirtsyamn damn!
  • Who loves black darkness, And we have a clear day!

It was 1914. The air smelled of gunpowder. At that time there were already 96 military rifle societies in Galicia.

O. Semenyuk and O. Demchuk organized the Sich Riflemen’s Falcon. Thus, before the First World War, the Legion of Sich Riflemen emerged. Western Ukrainian politicians hoped that Austria would give Galicia independence, so in the war they joined forces against tsarist Russia, whose troops also included many Ukrainians. But could young Galicians in such a difficult situation know who they would have to fight. Because, as Doctor of Historical Sciences Yu. Slyvka rightly points out, they “went to war with the empire for the interests of their people. Especially since in Austria at that time the democratic and national rights of Ukrainians were more protected than in Russia. In addition, the legions of the Sich Riflemen were neither classists nor state formations ”… (Free Ukraine, October 13, 1989).

The archery fervor that pervaded the heroism of the Galician youth in the early years of the war began to fade when they saw it. that the Austrian authorities are not interested in granting Western Ukraine the promised autonomy.

Heavy fighting broke out in the Carpathians, especially in late April 1915 on Mount Makivka (Skole district), as described in the song “There in Makivka.” The Sich Riflemen showed mass heroism at the battlefields near Brzezany and on Mount Lysonya in September 1916, where every stone was soaked in their blood.

Prominent Ukrainian writer Volodymyr Vynnychenko said about the Sich Riflemen: “Once in a thousand years such an army will be born”

The Austro-Hungarian Empire soon collapsed. Independent states grew up on its ruins, including the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic, which was proclaimed on November 1, 1918. On November 9, 1918, the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic formed its own government, the People’s Secretariat. Kost Levntsky also became president, and later Yevhen Petrushkevych. The Polish bourgeoisie sought to seize Eastern Galicia, and therefore launched a war against the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic. ZUNR formed the Ukrainian Galician Army. The main core of the GA was the Sich Riflemen, who were then in Bukovina. Galician Ukrainians enlisted the most conscious youth in the army. The intelligentsia and students joined its ranks en masse. Even the girls joined the UGA as ordinary soldiers. The army of the 3rd Ukrainian People’s Republic grew rapidly and in the summer of 1919 reached 100,000 men. It also included a Jewish unit.

The Fifth Sokal Brigade was also formed

Stubborn battles at the beginning of the Polish-Ukrainian war unfolded for Lviv, although Ukrainian shooters led by Captain Dmytro Vitkovsky took power in Lviv without blood. In the first two months of November-December 1918, the UGA often won battles, but its military operations lacked a system and sequence. During this period, the Poles captured Lviv and Przemyśl. There was a railway. The Polish army received large reinforcements from the west. In January 1919, in Sokalshina, the front ran from Rava-Ruska through Uhniv – Varyazh – Uhryniv – Nismychi to Volodymyr-Volynskyi. On the second day of Christmas 1919, a great battle took place (as the old people testified) near Uhrynov – Nismych.

ROZHANKOVSKY THEODOR LONHYNOVYCH (1875 – 1970) – Ukrainian scientist, judge, politician and military figure, first commander of the USS Legion, ataman of the UGA, military attache of the UPR mission in Prague.


ROZHANKOVSKY THEODOR LONHYNOVYCH (1875 – 1970) – Ukrainian scientist, judge, politician and military figure, first commander of the USS Legion, ataman of the UGA, military attache of the UPR mission in Prague. Teodor Rozhankovsky was born on February 14, 1875 in the town of Sokal in the Lviv region. He graduated from Lviv University. Until 1914, Theodore Rozhankovsky worked as a judge in the city of Turka. Rozhankovsky was the organizer of the people’s life of Turkiv region, its ambassador to the Galician Sejm (since 1913, from the IV district, elected after the death of his predecessor – Dr. Joseph Ganchakovsky, was a member of the “Ukrainian-Russian Sejm Club”) from the Ukrainian National Democratic Party. In the Galician Sejm of the 10th convocation, Rozhankovsky was a member of the Ukrainian Sejm Club.


Theodore Rozhankovsky was a member of the Combat Command and the first commandant of the USS Legion (August 1914).
When Theodor Rozhankovsky strongly opposed the decision of the Austrian army command to send untrained gunners against the Russian offensive, he was removed from command of the Legion.
From October 1914 to November 1918 Rozhankovsky Commandant and Deputy Commandant Kosh USS.
Soon Teodor Rozhankovsky became the ataman of the Ukrainian Galician Army and the commandant of the Stanislavov Military District (1918-1919). Teodor Rozhankovsky – Member of the Ukrainian National Council of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic, D 1919-1920. Rozhankovsky – Military Attaché of the Ukrainian People’s Republic Mission in Prague. After the defeat of Ukraine in the PVZ (The first liberation struggle of 1914-1924), Teodor Rozhankovsky lived in Galicia occupied by the Poles, worked as a lawyer in Lviv. After the arrival of Soviet power in Galicia, he moved to Prague, and from there to the United States. Theodor Rozhankovsky died on April 12, 1970 at the age of 95 in Wigoken, New Jersey, USA. Buried in St. Andrew’s Cemetery in South Bound Brook.

In February 1919, the UGA was successful in the war. But it was at this time that the Entente Commission (Britain, France, Italy, and the United States) arrived and demanded that the command of the Ukrainian Galician Army cease hostilities and begin negotiations. The Entente Commission demanded that Lviv, Drohobych, and Boryslav (the Barthelemy Line) be handed over to the Polish army, to which the ZUNR government did not agree. On March 2, 1919, the fighting continued. Haller’s well-armed and well-formed French army was sent to help the Polish army. European states took control of Eastern Galicia. The UGA is in a difficult situation: lack of weapons, food, and clothing. In May 1919, the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic had to accept difficult conditions in negotiations. The Polish government did not abide by the agreement. In mid-May, Galler’s army launched an offensive across the front. On May 16, the enemy captured Lutsk, then occupied Krystynopil, Velyki Mosty, Zhovkva, Rudky, Komarno, and Sambir. The Ukrainian Galician Army was threatened with an attack from the rear by Romania.

Later, the UGA counterattacked. On June 8, 1919, it inflicted a significant defeat on the Polish army near Chortkiv, and on June 18-22 near Brzezany and Zolochev. However, due to a lack of weapons and strong pressure from the Entente’s army prepared by the Entente, on July 16-18, 1919, the UGA crossed the Zbruch River, where a new phase of its struggle and a dramatic finale began.

Galicia suffered heavy losses. She gave in this war for the will of the people all the color of the generation raised by Ivan Franko and his associates.

M. TRETYAK, member of the Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Language Society.
newspaper Forward, 1990. FROM THE AUTHOR: I ask you to transfer the fee for the article to the construction of a monument to Taras Shevchenko in Sokal.
Photos provided by Yuri Korin

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