The Ist Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists took place on 26 November 2011 in Kamyanets-Podilskyi.
The event, which took place in the Khmelnitsky region of Ukraine is very significant and indicates that a Ukrainian monarchic movement exists (strange as it may appear) and moreover, since this congress, we can say that the monarchic movement has begun to turn into some recognisably organised forms and become a reality of Ukrainian political life. In spite of all its seeming exoticism as regards Ukraine, monarchists do exist in this country…
The main goal and theme of the Congress was to define the possible ways of restoring and establishing monarchy in Ukraine. The meeting of monarchists was organised in the old historical city of Kamyanets-Podilskyi. It was not by mere coincidence that the place for this event was chosen by organisers. The fortress of Kamyanets, which is one of the oldest in country, holds memories of legendary Russ and Lithuanian princes, Polish kings and Russian emperors, who visited this fortress and here made their great decisions that still have a reified influence on the destiny of European nations. The atmosphere of this medieval city, steeped in legends and filled with the spirit of ancient times, really encourages its visitors to think about the great history of the Ukrainian nation that through the centuries was ruled by glorious monarchs, brave knights and noble lords.
The organisers of this unique event are ordinary “little Ukrainians”, representatives of the young intellectual generation of patriots, who sensed the call of their forefathers and an obligation to unite for a great purpose and the future of Ukraine. The vast majority of members of the initiative group that assembled the Congress are active members of the Ukrainian Traditionalist Club from Kyiv, which is a kind of philosophical society that unites people of conservative (traditional) political views. Among the participants of the Congress were also several descendants of Ukrainian noble families. The Congress united delegates from different regions of the country, members of patriotic public organisations, scientists and some other interested individuals who count themselves as monarchists.
Also, taking part in the Ist Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists were representatives of the “Habsburg Foundation”, a charitable organization that was founded and headed by Karl von Habsburg, the grandson of the last Austrian emperor, Charles I, current head of the House of Habsburg-Lothringen, titular king of Galicia and Lodomeria, and duke of Bukovina.
In addition to the Ukrainian delegates at the Congress, also present were foreign guests from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, USA and Belorussia.
According to the programme of the Congress, the plenary session was divided into two parts. In the first part, which was ideological-theoretical, the participants made their reports on political, legal, historical and philosophical themes. Among the main topics, which were reviewed in the first part of the Congress were the issues of historical traditions of Ukrainian nationhood, different types of government, advantages of a monarchy in relation to a republic, legal forms of monarchy and also the issues of hereditary and elective monarchy. Also, some speakers talked about the relations between state and church and religious substantiation of royal power.
At the end of first part of the plenary session there was a discussion of problematic issues between the participants. The most interesting debate was about the period of hetmanate - a short-lived Ukrainian state of 1918, when Hetman Pavlo Skoropadski was an autocratic ruler of Ukraine, who tried to establish monarchy in the country with a military and political facilitation of Germany and Austria. Another controversial question concerned the work of a famous Ukrainian conservative ideologist V. Lypynsky and his theory of hereditary monarchy in the form of hetmanate.
The second part of the Congress was dedicated to organizational issues regarding the establishment and formation of a Ukrainian monarchic movement, and to defining the ways of restoring monarchy in Ukraine. During the session and in the course of reviewing some issues, there were several interesting and heated discussions. We can say that the most difficult was a question of legitimate dynasty and the appointing of concrete pretenders to the Ukrainian throne. As it turned out, among the Ukrainians there is no one who can be a legitimate pretender to the Ukrainian throne or hetman mace. Unfortunately, all Ukrainian-Russian princes and noble families which can be legitimate pretenders to the Kyiv throne have already passed away.
Therefore, the discussion proceeds mainly around the pretenders “from the Varangians” (foreigners), from European royal houses which have sovereign rights and any historical connections to Ukraine. The views of participants divided into three main groups, one of these defending the Habsburg claims, the second supporting the House of Romanov, and the others undecided, - but not in agreement with the previous two options. However, the Ukrainian monarchists think that it is too early to choose a specific dynasty and concrete pretenders. This issue will be resolved a little bit later, during the next meeting. In order to make some decisions at the end of the Congress there was a voting procedure and adoption of a resolution.
The foreign guests who were present at the Congress accepted the proposals and declared their support for the initiative of Ukrainian monarchists and promised to help them in their future activity and to provide international facilitation and informational support for the movement which has started in Kamyanets-Podilskyi.
The results of the Ist Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists were formalized in its decisions that resulted in 13 paragraphs of a resolution. Thus, according to paragraph 3 of the Resolution - the Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists (C.U.M.) was recognised as the central coordinator and main collegial body of the united monarchic movement of Ukraine. The Resolution has called up on all Ukrainian patriots, supporters of the conservative political views,
monarchists, and others of a similar disposition to unite around the C.U.M. in order to establish the organised monarchic movement and restore monarchy in Ukraine. By the decision of the majority of delegates of Congress, utilising a free voting procedure, it was decided that a future Ukrainian monarchy should be constitutional and hereditary. Also, that the basic principle of the activity of Ukrainian monarchists was to be non-violent ideological engagement, and that legitimate restoration of monarchy in the country is possible only by changing the Constitution of Ukraine. In future, all decisions that are are deemed necessary for Ukrainian monarchists to engage with will be made during regular session of the Congress.
Also, among the agreements reached at the Congress, the most determinative concerned the necessity of creating the organisation of Ukrainian monarchists, which has to become the main instrument of ideological combat for the restoration of monarchy in Ukraine. It is in view of this project that this organisation will be created in the nearest future. The constant and task oriented activity of the monarchists’ organisation on the territory of the whole country will quickly spread the idea of Ukrainian monarchy among the people and will prepare the ground for the necessary constitutional transformation.
Unfortunately, the Ist Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists didn’t resolve all of the problematic issues which monarchists have today. Among these issues there are some ideological and some legal. Also, one of the most difficult is a question of legitimate dynasty. Besides that, the monarchists present didn’t reach an agreement concerning the leader (a person who can become head of the movement). Therefore, all these and other questions will be reviewed at the IInd Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists, which will take place in Lviv on 28-29 April 2012.
It is commonly perceived that history is like a spiral. Maybe now we are becoming witnesses and immediate creators of new Ukrainian history, history that has begun in Kamyanets-Podilskyi, the city of the sun…
In spite of all sceptical noises of the enemies of the monarchic idea, permanent attacks from the left and right political flanges, and the disbelieving laughter of the republicans, pseudo-democrats, socialists and liberals, the Ist Congress of Ukrainian Monarchists persuasively assured its participants that in XXI century Ukraine a new force has suddenly appeared that ambitiously declares itself. This force is grounded on the ancient tradition, faith of our forefathers and the creative mind.
Ukrainian monarchists are confident that the time will come when the Grand Duke will sit in Kyiv, on the throne of our ancestors, and will raise the hetman mace of Bohdan (Khmelnitsky) radiating the glory of Ukraine all around the world…Saint Sophia of Kyiv will rejoice again, the bells will ring happily and Ukraine will welcome its saviour – the Anointed One !
The monarchists believe in this…and our belief is strengthened and fortified because we are Ukrainians...... and God is with Us!
Viva Ukraine and God save the King!!!