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«Україна – держава-трансформер, яку зібрала й контролює космополітично-денаціональна кланова мафія, що вибудувала в країні новітній неофеодалізм за принципом політико-економічного майорату. У цієї злочинної влади – приховане справжнє обличчя, що ховається під кількома масками, подвійне дно із вмонтованими нелегальними (нелегітимними) додатковими рушіями, механізмами та схемами управління, а шафа її уже давно переповнена потаємними скелетами, яким чим далі тим більше бракує у ній місця і які ось-ось виваляться на світ Божий» Павло Гай-Нижник

Pavlo Hai-Nyzhnyk

Formation of Ukrainian-Georgian diplomatic relations
at the UPR and the Ukrainian State
(1917–1918)

Ukrainian-Georgian diplomatic Завантажити файл PDF

Опубліковано: Hai-Nyzhnyk, Pavlo. Formation of Ukrainian-Georgian diplomatic relations at the UPR and the Ukrainian State (1917–1918) // Україна і Грузія: дипломатичні відносини, міжнародні зв’язки, історичні джерела. До століття встановлення дипломатичних відносин: Збірник наукових статей. – Київ: Інститут історії України НАН України, 2018. – С.17–37.


The article examines Ukrainian-Georgian relations in the times of the Ukrainian Central Rada (1917), as well as during the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Georgian Democratic Republic, Ukrainian People’s Republic, and the Ukrainian State (1918).

In 1917, representatives of the Georgian people already participated in the Congress of Nations convened by the Ukrainian Central Rada in Kyiv.

Georgians who were then in Ukraine saluted the proclamation of the UPR by the 3rd Universal in November 1917 and Ukraine’s independence by the 4th Universal in January 1918. In December 1917, I.Lordkipanidze was authorized by the Georgian National Council to perform the duties of military commissioner under the government of the UPR. In January 1918, he transferred his powers to D.Vacheishvili, with N.Bregvadze subsequently taking the post in April 1918.

In early September 1918, the diplomatic representation of Georgia was officially opened and started operating in Kyiv (with V.Tevzaia as a consul). This was followed by the opening of the Consulate-General in Odessa and a consulate in Kharkiv.

On July 20, 1918, by his order, Hetman P.Skoropadsky appointed a consular agent of the 1st rank in Tiflis. Ukrainian diplomats arrived in the Caucasus when the «curtain» of the Hetmanate «was falling». On December 5, 1918, the Ukrainian State established official diplomatic relations with the Georgian Democratic Republic, the broad bilateral agreement concluded between the states. On December 7, 1918, the parties signed the agreement on «Goods Exchange between Ukraine and Georgia», as well as an intergovernmental agreement on interbank transfer operations.

In October – December1918, the Ukrainian government was nurturing the plan of creating a joint military and political anti-Bolshevik bloc from Ukrainians, Don, Kuban, Terek, Georgia, Pre-Caucasian and Transcaucasian people.

Key words: Ukrainian-Georgian relations, the UPR, Ukrainian State, Georgian Democratic Republic

Павло Гай-Нижник,
доктор історичних наук,
завідувач відділом історичних студій
Науково-дослідного інституту українознавства
Міністерства освіти і науки України

СТАНОВЛЕННЯ УКРАЇНСЬКО-ГРУЗИНСЬКИХ
ДИПЛОМАТИЧНИХ ВІДНОСИН В УНР І УКРАЇНСЬКІЙ ДЕРЖАВІ
(1917–1918 рр.)

Висвітлюється перебіг становлення українсько-грузинських політичних взаємин за часів існування Центральної Ради у 1917 р. та налагодження дипломатичних відносин між Грузинською Демократичною Республікою Українською Народною Республікою та Українською Державою протягом 1918 р. Вже у 1917 р. представники грузинського народу були делегатами Українського Національного Конґресу та З’їзду Народів, скликаному Центральною Радою у Києві. Грузини, що перебували у ті часи в Україні, вітали проголошення ІІІ Універсалом УНР в листопаді 1917 р. та її державної незалежності IV Універсалом у січні 1918 р. У грудні 1917 р. І.Лордкіпанідзе був уповноважений Національною Радою Грузії виконувати обов’язки військового комісара при уряді УНР, якого в січні 1918 р. змінив Д.Вачейшвілі. У квітні 1918 р. військовим комісаром Грузії в Україні було призначено Н.Брегвадзе.

На початку вересня 1918 р. у Києві було відкрито дипломатичне представництво Грузії (посол – В.Тевзая), а незабаром – Ґенеральне консульство в Одесі та Консульство у Харкові. 20 липня 1918 р. гетьман П. Скоропадський затвердив консульського аґента І розряду в Тифлісі. Українські дипломати прибули на Кавказ вже під «занавіс» Гетманату. 5 грудня 1918 р. Українська Держава встановила офіційні дипломатичні відносини з Грузією, між державами було укладено широкий двосторонній договір. 7 грудня 1918 р. сторони підписали Договір «Про товарообмін між Україною та Грузією», а також міжурядову Угоду про міжбанківські переказові операції.

У жовтні–грудні 1918 р. урядом України виношувалися плани створення об’єднаного військово-політичного антибільшовицького блоку з України, Дону, Кубані, Тереку, Грузії, передкавказьких й закавказьких народів.

Ключові слова: історія дипломатії, українсько-грузинські взаємини, Українська Держава, Центральна Рада, УНР, Грузинська Демократична Республіка

პავლო გაი-ნიჟნიკი
ისტორიის მეცნიერებათა დოქტორიი, უკრაინის განათლებისა და მეცნიერების სამინისტროს უკრაინმცოდნეობის სამეცნიერო-კვლევითი ინსტიტუტის ისტორიული სტუდიების განყოფილების გამგე (კიევი, უკრაინა)

უკრაინა-საქართველოს დიპლომატიური ურთიერთობების ჩამოყალიბება პ. სკოროპადსკის ჰეტმანატის პირობებში (1917-1918 წწ.)

ანოტაცია. სტატიაში განხილულია უკრაინა-საქართველოს პოლიტიკური ურთიერთობების ჩამოყალიბება 1917 წ. ცენტრალური რადის პერიოდში და დიპლომატიური ურთიერთობების დამყარება საქართველოს დემოკრატიულ რესპუბლიკას, უკრაინის სახალხო რესპუბლიკასა და უკრაინის სახელმწიფოსთან 1918 წლის განმავლობაში.

უკვე 1917 წლისათვის ქართველი ხალხის წარმომადგენლები იყვნენ უკრაინის ეროვნული კონგრესისა და ყრილობის დელეგატები, რომელიც მოწვეული იყო კიევში ცენტრალური რადის მიერ.

ქართველები, რომლებიც იმ დროისათვის იმყოფებოდნენ უკრაინაში მიესალმნენ უკრაინის მესამე უნივერსალის ჩამოყალიბებას 1917 წ. ნოემბერში და სახელმწიფოებრივ დამოუკიდებლობას 1918 წ. იანვარში. 1917 წ. დეკემბერში საქართველოს ეროვნულმა საბჭომ მისცა უფლებამოსილება ი. ლორთქიფანიძეს შეესრულებინა სამხედრო კომისრის მოვალეობა უკრაინაში. 1918 წ. იანვარში იგი შეცვალა დ. ვაჩეიშვილმა. 1918 წ. აპრილში საქართველოს სამხედრო კომისრის თანამდებობაზე უკრაინაში დაინიშნა ნ. ბრეგვაძე.

1918 წ. სექტემბრის დასაწყისში კიევში გაიხსნა საქართველოს დიპლომატიური წარმომადგენლობა (ელჩი ვ. თევზაია). მალე გაიხსნა გენერალური საკონსულო ოდესაში და საკონსულო ხარკოვში. 1918 წ. 20 ივლისს ჰეტმანმა პ. სკოროპადსკიმ დაამტკიცა პირველი თანრიგის საკონსულოს აგენტი თბილისში. უკრაინელი დიპლომატები ჩავიდნენ კავკასიაში. 1918 წ. 5 დეკემბერს უკრაინამ ოფიციალურად დაამყარა დიპლომატიური ურთიერთობა საქართველოსთან. სახელმწიფოებს შორის გაფორმდა ორმხრივი ხელშეკრულებები. 1918 წ. 7 დეკემბერს მხარეებმა ხელი მოაწერეს ხელშეკრულებას ,,საქართველოსა და უკრაინას შორის ტვირთბრუნვის შესახებ“ ასევე გაფორმდა მთავრობათაშორისი შეთანხმება საბანკო გადარიცხვის ოპერაციების შესახებ.

1918 წ. ოქტომბერ-დეკემბერში უკრაინის მთავრობამ გამოკვეთა უკრაინის. დონის, ყუბანის, თერგის, საქართველოს, კავკასიის ხალხების ერთიანი სამხედრო-პოლიტიკური ანტიბოლშევიკური ბლოკის ჩამოყალიბების გეგმები.

საკვანძო სიტყვები: უკრაინა-საქართველოს დიპლომატიური ურთიერთობები, უსრ რადა, უკრაინის სახელმწიფო, პ. სკოროპადსკის ჰეტმანატი, ხელშეკრულება ,,საქართველოსა და უკრაინას შორის ტვირთბრუნვის შესახებ“.

Ukrainian-Georgian relations have a long history and stretch back even to the times of Rus, but the newest revival and deepening of ties between these peoples could occur at a qualitatively higher level only with the liberation of the two countries from the yoke of imperial Russia. The February Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd led to the fall of the autocracy of the Romanovs, the collapse of the empire, the intensification of the centrifugal processes in Russia, and the revival of national autonomo-federalist movements, which quickly acquired not only expressive cultural and educational features but also isolated sociopolitical characteristics with certain centers seeking to achieve national sovereignty and state independence. This initiated the transient process of the former Russian colonies’ seeking the path of their own national states’ revival. Both Ukrainian and Georgian peoples were not an exception in these dynamic transformations.

The Ukrainian-Georgian political rapprochement began from the very outset of the fall of tsarism. For example, on March 19, 1917, a representative of the Georgian organizations in Rostov, together with the French consul, welcomed the 10 thousand-strong demonstration of Ukrainians demanding the autonomy of Ukraine as part of the federal Russian Republic1. In early April, a delegate from Kyiv’s Georgian organizations – Koiava was a delegate of the Ukrainian National Congress in Kyiv and on April 7, 1917, spoke at it in Russian2. On April 8, in his complimentary speech to the National Congress, he noted, in particular, «You, Ukrainians, and we, Georgians, are especially close to each other. Our past destiny is the same. Ukraine and Georgia joined Russia on condition that they retain the full right of national self-determination, but unworthy Russian rulers violated the treaty and sought to strangle us. When they say, "Ukraine has risen," I say, "She never died, but only now are the bright days of her life." Our hearts, full of joy, shout together with you: "Long live free Ukraine! Long live the Federal Republic!"»3

In early August 1917, the Committee of the Georgian Military Union sent a telegram to the Ukrainian Central Council with a request to help inform the Georgian soldiers who were in the territory of Ukraine that an All-Russian congress of Georgian servicemen would be held in Tiflis on August 22. Therefore, the Minor Council (Mala Rada) of the Central Council decided to take measures so that a message about this congress could be published in newspapers4.

Representatives of the Georgian people participated in the Congress of Peoples, which took place from September 8 to 15, 1917 in Kyiv5. At this Congress, the representative of the Georgian National Democratic Party I.Mochavariani, also recalled that both Georgia and Ukraine in due time agreed to an alliance with Russia, but the Romanovs turned this union into a yoke. «Now, when the yoke is dumped, we should not think about breaking old contracts, but about restoring these treaties,» he said. «We need a strong organization and unification of nationalities in order to achieve the liberation of our countries, because no great power, and especially of a low culture, does not recognize the free will of the rights of small nations.»6

Another Georgian, the federalist socialist I.Baratashvili, in his inflammatory speech, pointed out that «the Georgian people lived in fraternal accord with all peoples, and above all, with the Muslim peoples of Transcaucasia. The new revolutionary government failed to remove the obstacles that make it difficult to build a new life. True, the old regime has left a difficult situation on its own, but the peoples of Russia are in power to solve those complex issues if they do it unanimously. For this, we must unite all living forces under the slogan of equality, brotherhood, and mutual love...

Ukrainian democracy has managed to rally all its aspirations around a single main task, namely, around achieving autonomy, which it already actually has. It is the Council that convenes the Congress of Nations, and not the government, which is engaged in allegedly more important matters, but which exactly it is still unknown. We are facing a great danger, both from the outside and inside, and the way of salvation is the new decentralism of the state, which does not mean its collapse.»7 Finally, he invited the entire audience, after all the peoples have achieved their goal of self-determination, to visit free Georgia8. Somewhat later, on November 7, 1917, at a meeting of the Minor Council, he, as a member of the Council of Peoples, welcomed the proclamation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic by the 3rd Universal of the Central Council, «Words and speeches fade before the Universal, which was here proclaimed, but I cannot refrain from congratulating this major historical act on behalf of the federal Georgians.

The Central Council has cut the Gordian knot with this act, and the Ukrainian people are now free. That centralism, which was the source of oppression of the peoples, the Central Council crushed and erased.

The pillar on which the imperialism of the Russian state stood crumbled... The revolution creates new laws, and on the basis of the laws of the revolution Ukraine has become free. The Ukrainian people chose their own way, from which a new life begins. Who wants to strengthen freedom and justice on the ground, he must go with the Ukrainian people and with the Ukrainian Republic... I want Ukraine to be that rock on which all nations would rely. Long live the Ukrainian Republic!.»9

Soon, on November 11, 1917, at an extraordinary meeting of the Minor Council on the bill on elections to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly, Notadze delivered a welcome speech on behalf of the Georgians of Kyiv. He read out a resolution, in which the meeting of the capital’s Georgians without any difference in parties showed «their sincere and boundless joy at the proclamation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic,» and then expressed confidence that «the flag you raised, a symbol of the federation, will not be left alone and other nations will also consciously and proudly raise this flag.»10

Attempts to establish diplomatic relations between Georgia and Ukraine date back to December 1917. It was then that I.Lordkipanidze, a deputy of the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, who was in Odessa, was authorized by the Georgian National Council to perform the duties of military commissioner under the government of the UPR. In January 1918, I.Lordkipanidze (due to his departure for Petrograd) transferred his powers to D.Vacheishvili.

On January 9, 1918, D.Vacheishvili appealed to the Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry О.Shulgyn with a request to allow citizens of Georgia to retain personal weapons for self-defense. At the same time, the Georgian military commissar unequivocally noted that in his country «there are more than one thousand Ukrainian citizens who have not yet been subject to any restrictions of civil rights and will not be subject to.»11 Soon, on January 13, 1918, the Georgian Military Commissariat was established in Kyiv. The government of the UPR recognized it as the authorized body of the National Council of Georgia.

The same day, a draft agreement was drawn up and adopted between the government of the UPR and the military commissioner of Georgia on the formation of Georgian military units in Ukraine and their relocation to their homeland to fight the Turkish troops and Bolshevik armed detachments12. During the talks, D.Vacheishvili suggested that the Georgian troops «preserved weapons, equipment, equestrian staff, and other property» if this was available in the unit; if not, then they should be provided with all of this by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s own order. However, the Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the UPR O.Shulgyn, by his resolution, questioned the satisfaction of such a petition, as he did not agree to inscribe in the agreement that in case the Ukrainian People’s Republic signed a peace treaty with the Central Council, its government undertook to «provide a rolling stock in two months for the transfer of all Georgian soldiers and drafted citizens on the same terms outside Ukraine.» 13

However, the members of the Ukrainian part of the commission put their demand that «all expenses related to the maintenance of both Georgian soldiers and newly-called Georgians are returned to Ukraine either from the national fund of the federation into which Georgia will enter, or the National Council of Georgia in the amount determined by a special commission of representatives of both nations.»14 The agreement, in fact, referred to: a) the formation of military units in the territory of Ukraine from Georgians soldiers, who were under the wartime conditions in Ukraine and on the Ukrainian front; b) the transportation of these units, when formed, to the territory of Georgia; c) the formation of troops from the drafted Georgians who were on the territory of Ukraine and their transfer to Georgia in case of announcement of the mobilization by the National Council of Georgia15. At the same time, a Georgian military detachment was formed in Kyiv, and all the Georgian servicemen switched over to the Georgian Military Commissariat, which was allowed to form military units (under the control of the UPR Military Ministry) for sending them to their homeland.

After the Central Council and the government of the UPR came back to Kyiv freed from the Bolsheviks in March 1918, representatives of Armenian and Georgian detachments again raised the issue of returning their units to the Caucasus. Therefore, on March 13, 1918, the Council of People’s Ministers of the UPR returned to the question of the stay of armed formations on its territory and decided that all national troops from the day of demobilization should be disbanded, the existing military units being disbanded by the order of the war minister of the UPR. These units were guaranteed free travel outside Ukraine in echelons without weapons. As for financial security, the Ukrainian ministers decided that «this case could be arranged only in accordance with the national or regional government to which these units were appointed.» 16

Three days later, on March 16, the government of the UPR, having considered the introduction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the return of Georgian and Armenian detachments to the Caucasus, reaffirmed its previous decision and decided to invite the Armenian and Georgian armed formations «to leave Ukraine without weapons.»17 On March 19, the echelon of Georgian servicemen, with the consent of the Ukrainian government and the German military command in Ukraine, set out on its way, but barely reached Znamenka station and stopped. In this regard, the Georgian Commissioner asked the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to facilitate «speedy and unhindered passage of the mentioned train to the border of Ukraine» along with military equipment, as well as to issue «a certificate for unimpeded passage across the Ukrainian border of parliamentarians from the echelon for negotiations with the Bolsheviks.» The then executive secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UPR M.Liubynsky reacted without delay and ordered to accept D.Vacheishvili’s request «for immediate execution.»18 In April 1918, N.Bregvadze was appointed military commissar of Georgia in Ukraine; D.Vacheishvili became his deputy, and the secretary was N.Bokugava. It was these people who later undertook to directly solve the problems of their fellow countrymen in Ukraine and to decide the issue of their return to their homeland.

Meanwhile, on April 16, 1918, at a meeting of the political section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UPR, a report was heard by the member of the Central Council M.Svidersky, who was evacuating the property of the Ukrainianized units of the 5th Army Corps from Trebizond. Touching upon the Georgian issue, the speaker expressed the opinion that the Georgians were not able to resist the advance of the Turkish forces, since they «did not have a real army.» At the same time, he analytically substantiated the arguments about the advantage Ukraine received from the establishment of self-determination and statehood of Georgia and the Caucasian people, on which, however, he did not put high hopes due to a virtually continuous internal interethnic strife. M.Svidersky also affirmatively answered the question of the chairman M.Liubynsky regarding «conversations about the Black Sea Federation» during his stay in Transcaucasia, adding that it was desirable with the center in Kyiv, or in Sevastopol, which could become a free city19.

At the same time, it should be noted that diplomatic, as well as economic and trade relations between Georgia and Ukraine during the first 18 months after the February Revolution in Russia and its actual decentralization developed too amorphously and did not receive practical implementation, but rather existed in the hypothetical form of the impractical imagination of the then international-federalist views of political romantics, at least among Ukrainian revolutionary figures. For example, the chairman of the Central Council M.Hrushevsky could not think of spreading Ukrainian political or economic influence in the Black Sea region, let alone of «imperialistic whims to seize foreign markets, exploit culturally backward margins as their colonies, use the overall economic expansion policy.»20 Instead, he expected the emergence of a world federation in which economic and cultural cooperation, voluntary cooperation among the Black Sea peoples would take place, and thus, «closely linking themselves, these Black Sea regions could create an unusually rich, large, and multilateral economic base.»21

Quite soon the internal political structure of Ukraine changed radically: other people came to power in Kyiv, with a different worldview and ambitions. On April 29, 1918, as a result of the coup d'état, under the «active neutrality» of the German occupation administration, the power of the Central Council, and hence the Ukrainian People’s Republic, were overthrown. There appeared a Ukrainian State with a liberal-bourgeois dictatorship in the form of the Hetmanate of General Pavlo Skoropadsky.

Coat of arms of the Georgian Democratic RepublicIn Transcaucasia, on May 26 (June 8), 1918, the «Act of Independence» proclaimed the creation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia*. In the «Act of Independence of Georgia,» which was adopted by the National Council, it was proclaimed, in particular, that «the Democratic Republic of Georgia wished to establish good-neighborly relations with all members of the international community.»22 The coalition Government of the state was headed by N.Ramishvili, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – by A.Chkhenkeli23. Two days later, Georgia signed a military-political treaty with Germany, according to which allied (de jure), but after all, occupation (de facto) German troops were stationed on its territory in order to ensure public order and state independence of the republic.

* After the Bolshevik coup in Russia, the Transcaucasian Commissariat – the joint government of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia – was established on November 28 (15), 1917, which on February 23 (10) 1918 convened the Transcaucasian Seim for the legal registration of interstate relations of the peoples of Transcaucasia. According to the decision of the Seim of April 22 (9), 1918, Georgia, together with Azerbaijan and Armenia, became part of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (TDFR). On June 8 (May 26), 1918, the Georgian National Council proclaimed the Georgian Democratic Republic (GDR). It should also be noted that from May to October 1918, most of the territory of Georgia was under German, and from June to October 1918 in Adjaria and other lands of Georgia – under Turkish troops.

Since then, Georgia, like a few months ago – Ukraine, had to be under the protectorate of Germany (in fact it became the military-political and financial-economic satellite of the Central Powers), since on April 27 (May 10), 1918, official Berlin and Istanbul signed a secret agreement on the division of spheres of influence in the Transcaucasia, according to which Georgia was recognized as the sphere of geopolitical interests of Germany24.

This fact was not an unusual phenomenon for the then international policy (it is enough to recall the analogous agreement between France and Great Britain of December 23, 1917 on the division of former Russia into «zones of influence,» in which the French part was determined to the west of the line: The Kerch Strait – the mouth of the Don – Don – Tsaritsyn; the British – to the east of it, that is, including the Caucasus and Transcaucasia25)./p>

Nevertheless, at that historic moment, the mutual stay of both Kyiv and Tiflis (Tbilisi) in the orbit of the power attraction of the Central Powers with the center in Berlin objectively facilitated geopolitical logistics for Ukraine and Georgia on the way to mutual rapprochement both on the international political plane and in the horizons of financial and economic cooperation, as well as regarding the birth of a military-defense project, where Kyiv, due to the obvious «weight» measurements, a priori assumed a leading role. The further course of events developed precisely according to this spiral and logic, and its collapse was caused by the intrigue of historical circumstances of both objective and subjective character for both states...

On June 6, 1918 the Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs A.Chkhenkeli, through the charge d’affairs of the Ukrainian State in Germany О.Kozii, appealed to the official Kyiv with a diplomatic note. It reported on the termination of the existence of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic and on the self-dissolution of the Transcaucasian Seim and the government, «taking into account the events that arose with the onset of the Ottoman forces in the Caucasus.»26 Another note, dated June 22, submitted by Minister A.Chkhenkeli, noted that the newly formed Democratic Republic of Georgia, which «wanted to organize its international relations in accordance with its vital interests and ensure its independence,» asked for its recognition by the Ukrainian State27. It is interesting that in the note, the Georgians argued the emergence of their statehood by the fact that «united with Russia by the political agreements concluded to provide Georgia with certain internal freedom and inviolability of its territory, Georgia quickly saw its rights trampled, its freedom under threat, and its liberties replaced by the regime of complete annexation.»28 Therefore, as one of the notes stated, after the fall of tsarism, the collapse of the empire, taking into account the articles of the Brest Peace Treaty between the Central Powers and the RSFSR, and the fact of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transcaucasia, «no connection links Georgia to Russia; it is free from all obligations in relation to another state.»29 Both notes were already sent on June 9 by О.Kozii to the Hetman government headed by F.Lyzohub.

Soon, on July 4 (17), 1918, the new Georgian Prime Minister N.Zhordania sent a letter to the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Doroshenko, stating that his government, with the aim of strengthening friendly relations between states, «appointed as its representative in the Ukrainian the government the citizen Viktor Tevzai and as his deputy – David Vacheishvili, who were granted special powers.»30

As for contacts in the sphere of finance, for example, on June 29, 1918, the war minister of Ukraine was asked by N.Bregvadze, the interim acting commissioner of Georgia in Ukraine, to intercede before the Hetman Council of Ministers regarding the possibility of immediate submission to his disposal of 50 thousand rubles. The sum was to be provided on the account of the Republic of Georgia to meet the basic needs of Georgian citizens, former soldiers on the Ukrainian front (referring to the Russian South-Western and Romanian fronts running through Ukraine), who extensively accumulated in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Rostov and for the transfer to their homeland31.

Already on July 15, 1918, a relevant report was submitted to the Ukrainian Government for consideration by the Ukrainian minister, who reported on the appeal of the Georgian Commissioner and asked to support «former military personnel on the Ukrainian fronts, prisoners of war and invalids, who, thanks to the anarchy reigning in the Russian Soviet Republic, do not have the opportunity to return to their homeland and suffer much from material insecurity,» while adding that they «participated in the previous war on the Ukrainian fronts and so in their time did the Ukrainian State a considerable favor.»32 The Ukrainian Government met the request of the Commissioner of Georgia (the minute book of the Small Council of Ministers on July 16 and 17)33, and on July 20, Skoropadsky approved the Resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers «On allocating 50,000 rubles to the war minister for loan to the Commissioner of Georgia.» It also noted that the loan was being provided «at the expense of the Georgian Republic» to help Georgian citizens to return to their homeland34. This decision was subsequently published in the State Gazette, followed by a respective order sent to its editor (July 29)35. Thus, Ukraine formally granted a cash interest-free and unlimited loan to Georgia.

Coat of arms of the Ukrainian State in 1918Meanwhile, on July 25, 1918, the Ambassador of the Ukrainian State to Germany, Baron F.Shteingel, was visited in Berlin by the «Head of a special delegation in Germany» Prince Avalov and its member E.Gegechkori, who confirmed the fact and force of the aforementioned note by Georgian Foreign Minister A.Chkhenkeli (he was also in the capital of Germany, but could not visit the hetman’s ambassador because of illness). In turn, Prince Avalov and Е.Gegechkori again appealed to the Ukrainian representative (this time in the person of Ambassador F.Shteingel) with a request that Ukraine recognize the Democratic Republic of Georgia as an independent state and, at the same time, they told him on behalf of their government that Georgia did not see any hindrance regarding its recognition of the Ukrainian State.

As a result of this meeting, Shteingel prepared a detailed report for the Ukrainian government and sent it with the first courier to Kyiv. On July 30, 1918, he sent a personal telegram to the minister of foreign affairs of the Ukrainian State, in which he wrote the following: «Given that it seems important to establish close and friendly relations with the Georgian people, I ask you, Mr. Minister, to present to His Highness Hetman the question of recognizing Georgia with your conducive conclusion. To establish diplomatic relations, Georgia can immediately send its permanent representative to Kyiv. Also, I would kindly ask you to give me a reply about the results by wire.»36

In the report, there were considerations regarding the Ukrainian benefits for the future development of Ukrainian-Georgian economic relations, namely:
• Georgia could become for Ukraine the way to the entire Transcaucasia and further – to Persia;
• Baku – Batumi railway and kerosene pipeline were convenient means for transportation and receipt of Caspian oil products; thus, the Ukrainian State could not only receive these energy resources but also become their transit supplier to the Black Sea region and Europe;
• the countries of Transcaucasia each year needed about 200 thousand poods of sugar and 3 million poods of wheat;
• an opportunity to become an exporting monopolist in the supply of Ukrainian grain and raw materials through Georgia to Transcaucasia, Persia, eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire, etc.37

In August 1918, a Georgian diplomatic mission headed by the member of the National Council of the Democratic Republic of Georgia V.Tevzaia, a lawyer by education, departed from Tbilisi to Kyiv. The mission was to establish diplomatic, trade-economic and cultural relations with the Ukrainian State. Diplomatic routine work continued until September 1918. Eventually, at the beginning of September 1918, after thorough, but comparatively short negotiations with representatives of the Ukrainian Government, the diplomatic representation of Georgia was officially opened and started operating in the Ukrainian capital. The Head of the Georgian Embassy in the Ukrainian State was V.Tevzaia; his deputy was D.Vacheishvili; government officials for special assignments were the acting commissioner of Georgia in Ukraine N.Bregvadze and S.Asatilini; military attaché – Colonel Kavtaradze; interim adviser – I.Moskalevsky, who was replaced by M.Skobelev on October 7. Among other employees were: A.Karpovych, A.Svanidze, G.Mamaladze, V.Makatsaria, and others38.

On October 24, V.Tevzaia informed the Hetman Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Doroshenko about the appointment of G.Hundadze as the plenipotentiary representative of Georgia under the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR and assured the Ukrainian minister that the Ukrainian State «acting through the competent bodies will facilitate the work of the citizen Hundadze in carrying out his diplomatic duties.»39

The structure and staff of the Georgian Embassy in Ukraine was defined as follows: the first and second secretaries, the consular department, the military attaché with an assistant, the economic department, the press bureau. Administrative and technical personnel included: the commandant of the building, typists, translators, the car driver, couriers, supporting personnel (the total of 20 people). The embassy was in Kyiv at 9 Karavaievska Street (now L.Tolstoy Street).

In Kyiv, as early as since the end of 1917, Georgian students had been printing the mother-tongue newspaper Zari (Ukr.: Dzvin, Eng.: Bell), which since 1918 had been actively assisted by the Georgian diplomatic mission in Ukraine. Also, press releases, which disseminated information about Georgia in Kyiv newspapers, were issued.

In September 1918, the Consulate General of Georgia in Ukraine in Odessa and the consulate in Kharkiv* headed by K.Tsagareli were opened. However, this diplomatic establishment on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine was laid already on the prepared soil, and not from a clean slate. As early as on May 9, 1918, the military commissar of Georgia in Ukraine N.Bregvadze40 approved the sworn attorney M.Jugeli as Georgia’s commissioner for the Odessa Military District with the rights to «form Georgian units and transfer them to their homeland,» and «to protect the interests of Georgia and the Citizens of Georgia within the Odessa Military District.»41

* In February 1919, in Kharkiv, the Bolsheviks shot the Georgian consul in Petrograd Cherkezishvili, who was returning to his Homeland through Ukraine.

It should be noted that the first public mention of plans to create a Georgian consulate in Odessa appeared in the city press in early July 191842. Officially, the foundation date of the Consulate General of Georgia in Odessa, headed by A.Ushveridze, is considered September 11, 1918, but it began its wide-ranging activity only from October 191843. The Consulate General in Odessa was located first in a landmark Georgian point at 3 Polska Street, and from November 1918 – at 15 Gogol Street; from February to September 1919 (already with the UPR) – at 4 Sadova Street*. The acting consul general was temporarily appointed and approved by the government of the Georgian Republic by the sworn attorney Evsei Ushveridze (he was elected chairman of the consular board of diplomats of all countries accredited in Odessa). The employees of the Consulate General were also V.Zhorzholiani and L.Mujiri, who sometimes served as the consul general. The first secretary was H.Mefert.

* In the 19th–20th centuries, Georgians in Ukraine lived mainly in cities, forming small colonies. A significant percentage of them were employees, doctors, lawyers.

Concerning the opening of the Georgian Consulate General in South Palmira, the local newspaper Odesskiy listok, for example, wrote that the immediate task of establishing a consulate in Odessa was to assist prisoners of war, subjects of the Georgian Republic returning to their homeland from captivity. Negotiations on their return were conducted in due time with the Central Powers and led to positive results. The consulate provided people who returned from captivity with rest areas at the consulate’s transfer station; gave them clothes, food, money, and, on preferential terms, arranged trips to Poti. It should be noted that the consulate also assisted prisoners of war of other nationalities, up to the organization of the relevant consular institutions44.

In practice, first and foremost, the Georgian Consulate General initiated in Odessa, with the purpose of protecting the rights of its citizens, their registration (directly in the premises of the Consulate General at 3 Polska Street), and also contributed to the self-organization of the Georgian community of Odessa province, holding, after approval of the charter, the first meeting of Odessa national community in November 1918 (then – at 15 Gogol Street)45. In September 1918, the Georgian Consulate General even managed to obtain from the Odessa customs the simplification of formalities for transporting Georgian goods46.

In the summer of 1918, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stepped up its work, trying, after the first months following the Hetman coup and the organization of its diplomatic missions in the Central Powers, to «escape» from the embrace of German-Austrian geopolitical trusteeship, which, in fact, was more of an international isolation policy for the Ukrainian State.

As a result, on July 4, 1918, Hetman P.Skoropadsky approved the Law «On the Establishment of Consulates General* and Consular Agencies Abroad,» approved by the Council of Ministers47, and the corresponding governmental Decree «for the maintenance of Consuls General and Consular Agents of the Ukrainian Power outside Ukraine in the former Russian Empire48, according to the staffing plans approved on July 4, 1918.» Thus, 321 thousand 255 rubles were allocated49. And already on July 20, 1918, by his order, the hetman appointed Oleksii Kulinsky** consular agent of the 1st rank in Tiflis50.

* The Governmental Decree «On Temporary Diplomatic Representations of the Ukrainian State and on the Allotment of 1,127,072 rubles 26 kopecks for their maintenance» was approved by Hetman P.Skoropadsky on June 21, 1918 [Державний вістник. 1918. № 20 (5 липня)].

** Later in Tiflis at 33 Sudova Street, a diplomatic mission (Extraordinary Diplomatic Mission) of the UPR in Georgia headed by I.Kraskovsky was opened. In February 1919, a Ukrainian diplomatic mission consisting of 19 people, led by L.Lisnyak, was already traveling from Vinnitsa to Tiflis through Odessa (February 18) [Украинская дипломатическая миссия в Грузию // Одесскій листокъ. 1919, 18 февраля]. It was then that the UPR consulates began to function in Tiflis and Batumi, and later in Gagra. The Consulate General of the Ukrainian State in Tiflis, which dealt with the affairs of the Northern Caucasus and Transcaucasia, was headed by O.Kulinsky (with M.Chekhovsky as a military attaché) appointed under the Hetmanate. In April 1919, O.Kulinsky was removed from office due to lack of personal authority and activities incompatible with consular duties. One of the reasons for this decision was the Georgian accusation of speculation and bribery, as well as the groundless issuance of Ukrainian certificates [Лотоцький О. В Царгороді. Варшава, 1939.С.125–126]. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UPR recognized his behavior as a compromise of the consular representation and anti-Ukrainian policy [Матяш І. Б. Українська консульська служба 1917–1923 рр. як державний інститут: становлення, функціонування, персоналії. К.: Інститут історії України НАН України, 2016.С. 150]. The post of Consul General in Tiflis was entrusted to Lev Lisniak. At the same time, his predecessor refused to deposit the archives of the consulate to the Ukrainian Commissariat in the Caucasus [Гасымлы М. Дж., Купчик О. Р., Дамиров А. У. Украинско-азербайджанские отношения: история и современность. К.: Изд. Дом Дмитрия Бураго, 2014.С. 77]. In Batumi E. Zasiadko supervised the vice-consulate of Ukraine, and E. Petrenko became a consular agent of the 1st class in Sukhumi [Бежуашвілі А. Від Дніпра до Кури: Україна і Грузія, дипломатичні відносини 1918–1920 рр. // Голос України. 1996, 24 травня; Лашко О. Україна – Грузія, стратегічне партнерство: Геополітичні пріоритети з позиції національних інтересів // Розбудова держави. 1995. № 2].

On August 15, by order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs «On the establishment of new consular agencies,» the Minister of Foreign Affairs, D.Doroshenko, ordered, with the consent of the minister of trade and industry and the minister of finance, to establish the first-category consular offices of the Ukrainian State (nominally on July 4) in 10 cities* (including Tiflis and Batumi) and the second- category offices in 20 cities** of the former Russian Empire51. However, the practical opening of the above-mentioned consular missions in the summer of 1918 did not actually happen. Their activities, staffing plans, and funding began to be formed only on September 1, 1918, and the corresponding Law «On the Formation of New Consular Institutions of the Ukrainian State and the Allocation of 832.766 rubles for their maintenance» was approved by Hetman P.Skoropadsky only on November 6, 1918 (the previous law of July 4, 1918 was repealed). So, by the 17th subparagraph of the 3rd paragraph of the law of November 6, it was determined to form 25 consular establishments of the Ukrainian State, in particular «in the Caucasus – the Consulate General in Tiflis and the vice consulates in Baku, Yerevan and Batum – Poti.»52

* It was about the creation of the 1st category consular representations of the Ukrainian State in Minsk, Vilno, Riga, Helsingfors, Samara, Novocherkassk, Tiflis, Batumi, Omsk, and Tashkent.

* It was about the creation of the 2nd category consular offices of the Ukrainian State in Novo-Nikolaevsk, Kazan, Tsaritsyn, Astrakhan, Stavropol, Nizhny Novgorod, Saratov, Ekaterinburg, Orsha, Voronezh, Kursk, Penza, Baku, Semipalatinsk, Biysk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Arkhangelsk, and Bukhara.

Ukrainian diplomatic assault force arrived in the Caucasus already as the «curtain» of the Hetmanate «was falling,» during the formation of the «second» UPR in the composition of only two people: its Head Ivan Kraskovsky and official Count Mykhailо Tyshkevych. Already on the spot, the official O.Evtukhov was accepted into the mission53.

However, we cannot say that for all this time the Ukrainian State and its citizens did not have a representative in the Transcaucasian region. Ukrainian interests in Tiflis were represented by the Transcaucasian Ukrainian commissar Hryhory Khymenko, while in Yerevan – by the chairman of the Council of the Yerevan Society «Prosvita» Volodymyr Hirchenko, authorized by Khymenko on May 22, 191854. I would also note that the Ukrainian Council played an important role in Georgia; with the help of the Ukrainian representation, it issued its own newspaper (editor S.Chalyi), which covered issues of mutual relations between the two peoples, the daily life of the Ukrainian community in Georgia, information from Ukraine, etc. In general, as the Ukrainian ambassador in Turkey O.Lototsky testified, the then Caucasus had a lot of the Ukrainian element in big cities (Tiflis, Batum, Sukhum, Baku) and whole colonies in the former Tiflis province, in Sukhumi district, and especially in Mugan (near Azerbaijan), which was even called the third Ukraine. Here settled «mainly Ukrainian sectarians. These people, quite cultured and hardworking, settled on a fertile land, under the conditions of a temperate climate. They sowed mostly bread and cotton and gained a good livelihood.»55

Nevertheless, the Transcaucasian Ukrainians needed help and trade-economic preferences from their historical homeland. In addition, as reported by the Ukrainian Regional Council in the Transcaucasia, only from the export of sugar and bread to the local regional market, Kyiv could receive monthly profits amounting to 325 million 500 thousand rubles56. As early as in September 1918, the Ukrainian Regional Council appealed to the government of the Ukrainian State with the proposal «to create, at least temporarily, in Tiflis, the center of the Transcaucasia, the Ukrainian Government’s agency of the entire Transcaucasian so that later, when a diplomatic mission was established, this agency would be subject to it.»57 On November 27, 1918, the Committee on Commodity Exchange of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Georgia addressed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian State H.Afanasiev with a similar proposal. In an effort to revive and strengthen commodity exchange between the countries, the Committee considered it expedient to establish at the Ukrainian consulate in Georgia «a commission that would allow the importation into Ukraine of goods allowed for export by the Commodity Exchange Committee of the Georgian Republic and, on the contrary, would allow the export from Ukraine of goods admitted for import within the borders of Georgia.»58

During the short existence of the Ukrainian State in the form of P.Skoropadsky’s Hetmanate, both sides prepared and eventually concluded a number of interstate (Ukrainian-Georgian) treaties, both political and financial-economic. On December 5, 1918, the Ukrainian State established official diplomatic relations with the Democratic Republic of Georgia. At the embassy, the Economic Council was established to deal with issues of regulating trade between countries.

On the same day, December 5, 1918, a broad bilateral agreement was concluded between the Ukrainian State and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, consisting of 22 articles and 6 sections, in particular on: the common rights of citizens of both sides; consular relations; trade; navigation; transit; special conventions; a mixed commission and the term of the contract.

In the section «On the Common Rights of Citizens» of the treaty, it was noted that citizens of each of the two contracting parties were granted, in compliance with their laws, complete freedom of arrival, travel or residence in any locality on the territory of both states (while guaranteeing comprehensive protection of laws and power as of a person so of their property) (Article 1). Citizens of each party obtained the right to acquire, own, use, and dispose of movable and immovable property, as well as land plots on the same grounds as local citizens (Аrt.2). They could enjoy the same rights as local citizens (Аrt.3) and also were exempted from any official service in court, administrative, or civil service. Citizens of both countries were not subject to military service (both land and sea) and were also released from all duties imposed due to wars or extraordinary circumstances, except when these duties regarded the fact of possession of real estate and extended to citizens of other states (Аrt.4).

Citizens of each contracting party had the right to establish joint-stock companies and all kinds of trade and cooperative societies in the territory of the other party, as well as to participate in existing institutions of this kind, using the same rights that were granted in these cases to local citizens. Joint-stock companies, as well as commercial, industrial, and financial enterprises legally operating in the territory of one of the contracting parties, were recognized after registration of their statutes or regulations by the relevant authorities of another state that had the legal right to operate within the country (Art.5). Regarding literary and artistic property, as well as rights for patents, factory, and trade drawings and stamps, the citizens of each contracting state could enjoy the same rights and protection as local citizens (Аrt.6).

The section «On consular relations» determined that each party was entitled to appoint a consul-general, consular and trade agent to all ports and areas of another state. All benefits and rights of these representatives were determined on the basis of reciprocity (Art.7).

The part «On trade» stipulated that citizens of both countries would enjoy equal rights concerning trade and industry in each other’s territory and would not be subject to additional or higher duties than local citizens (Art.8). As a principle, it was established for both parties not to interfere with mutual trade relations. However, for goods that were or could be subject to state monopoly, or for which it would be necessary to take measures of prohibition in the interests of hygiene, veterinary police, or public security, as well as those for which it would be necessary to establish export on the basis of barter, special conditions had to be applied (Аrt.9). Imported from the territory of Georgia to Ukraine and vice versa – from the territory of Ukraine to the territory of Georgia, the goods were exempted from the export duty, but an import duty was collected (in the amount not less than the import duty on these goods determined by the other contracting party (Art.10). The fee that could be levied by each of the contracting parties when registering the exported goods was not considered a duty (the amount of the above-mentioned registration fee could not exceed 2% of the value of the exported goods (Art.11).

Traders and industrialists who lived in another state, upon the existence of legitimacy certificates issued by the relevant institutions of their state, and evidence that they had received permission to carry out business activities in their state, had the right to personally or via salesmen conduct procurements in the territory of the other party, or, when having the samples of goods, accept orders in the territory of this region. Such traders and industrialists enjoyed the same rights in both states to exercise their activities as local citizens (Art.12). Both contracting parties were to formally notify each other of all important legislative projects in the commodity and industrial sphere (Art.13).

The section «On navigation» stated (Art.14) that Ukrainian ships and their cargoes in the waters of Georgia, and Georgian ships and their cargoes in the waters of Ukraine were in all cases eligible for the same rights as local vessels and cargoes. Any privileges that were stipulated by one of the parties in relation to a third state applied to the other side (the allowed exceptions from the above-mentioned decisions were privileges granted or possibly granted to the regional merchant fleet). The nationality of the vessel was established in accordance with the laws and regulations of each state on the basis of documents and patents issued by the relevant authorities (Art.15). Fully exempted from payment of harbor fees at the ports of both states were: 1) ships that arrived with cargoes and departed with them; 2) ships passing from one port to another of one of the contracting states (if they had a certificate of payment of these charges in any port of this country). The exemption did not apply to lighthouse, pilotage, towing, and other charges for the service and accessories for loading also paid by local vessels (Аrt.16). At the same time, any ship of each side that ran aground or sank off the coast of the other side enjoyed the same benefits as local vessels (Аrt.17).

The section «On transit» pointed out that all kinds of goods transported through the territory of one of the parties to the other party were to be exempted from any transit fee; however, the order established to protect the fiscal interests of the state through which the goods were transported, had to be dated (Art.18). The Ukrainian State and the Democratic Republic of Georgia mutually pledged to render assistance to transit (in compliance with Article 18) in all directions, which were not excluded for such transportation (Art.19).

The last section, «On special conventions, mixed commissions and the term of the treaty,» noted that in order to regulate the financial relations between the two contracting states and those related to communication, as well as post, telegraph, and telecom relations, a special agreement had to be concluded (Art.20). To develop the issue of fees, a possible customs union, detailed development of customs relations, ways of registering exported goods and the amount of fees, a mixed commission of four members was to be formed: two from Ukraine and two from Georgia. The commission also had to resolve misunderstandings that could arise between Ukraine and Georgia in applying this issue. When, however, a decision of an issue did not gather a majority of votes in the commission, the issue should be decided either by lot (when the commission members agreed to this), or by transferring the issue to an arbitration court with appropriate application of the rules of the Hague Conference (Аrt.21).

The contract entered into force from the moment of its signing (with the exception of §10, which, prior to its ratification, was adopted in appropriate application only in respect of goods with which the commodity importation and exportation by one of the contracting parties to the other was offset in part or in full). After the ratification of the treaty, each of the parties retained the right to refuse the treaty (denounce it) at any time. From the day when the other party was informed of such denunciation, the agreement remained in force for another two months (Art.22). The document was signed by the representative of the Democratic Republic of Georgia V.Tevzaia and the Assistant (Deputy) Minister of Trade and Industry of the Ukrainian State S.Borodaievsky59.

On December 7, 1918, the parties also signed the Agreement «On the exchange of goods between Ukraine and Georgia,» which regulated trade and economic relations between the two states, as well as an intergovernmental agreement on interbank transfer operations, which regulated the relations between Georgian banks in Tiflis (Tbilisi), Kutaisi, Batumi, Poti, Sukhumi in Georgia and Ukrainian banks in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Katerynoslav.

It should also be noted that in October–December 1918, Hetman P.Skoropadsky and his entourage conceived plans to create a unified military-political anti-Bolshevik bloc consisting of Ukraine, the Don, Kuban, Terek, Georgia, the pre-Caucasian and Transcaucasian peoples. This was specified during the personal meeting of the Ukrainian Hetman P.Skoropadsky with the Оtaman of the Great Don Army P.Krasnov in October 1918. On November 4, after the November Revolution in Germany, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian State H.Afanasiev sent telegrams to the governments of the Don, Kuban, Terek, Georgia, as well as to the representative of the Volunteer Army with a proposal to hold a conference in Kyiv on issues related to the creation of a united anti-Bolshevik military bloc60. On November 16, the government even instructed H.Afanasiev to draft a program of the congress61. On November 20, a repeated telegram was sent to the above-mentioned governments with a proposal to convene a conference on December 5, and on December 2 one more with a new date – December 18, 1918.

However, as P.Krasnov recalled, such a military-political union was aggressively opposed by the Denikin Volunteer Army, which, in addition to combating Bolshevism with the goal of restoring a united, indivisible Russia, also set itself the task of «destroying independent Ukraine, independent Georgia; encroachment on the full autonomy of the Crimea, The Don, and the Kuban.»62 Moreover, in the answer of General Dragomirov on behalf of the Volunteer Army, the Government of the South of Russia refused to send its delegates to Kyiv, proposing to hold a conference in Ekaterinodar or Simferopol, but ultimately stating that «the participation of the Georgian government, hostile to Russia and to the Volunteer Army, was unacceptable.»63

After the defeat of Germany in the First World War, its troops were withdrawn from the territory of Georgia, while under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros of October 30, 1918, the armed forces of Turkey as well. Since December 1918, there were British troops in Georgia. In Ukraine, on December 14, 1918, the Hetmanate of P.Skoropadsky was overthrown and the Directory of the Ukrainian People’s Republic came to power in Kyiv.


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35. Там само, арк. 4.
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