Ukraine in the Flames: "1917 in Kyiv" by Serhii Plokhii

Heorhiy Narbut Small coat of arms

"How could the Ukrainian idea, marginalized after the Revolution of 1905, emerge victorious in competition with visions of the future promoted by Russian liberals and social democrats, as well as proponents of Great Russian nationalism from the ranks of 'true Russian' patriots of Little Russian extraction? In the revolutionary atmosphere of the time, the mixture of liberal nationalism and socialism offered by the young leaders of the Rada turned out to be an addictive ideology. The territorial autonomy of Ukraine advocated by the Ukrainian parties came to be regarded as the only way out of the plethora of military, economic, and social problems besieging the country. The Central Rada led the way as the only institution capable of meeting the two main demands of the moment—land and peace."

Excerpted from Serhii Plokhy's The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, this article describes the events that took place in Kyiv in 1917, including the proclamation of an independent Ukrainian state. Read more.

Ukraine in the Flames of the 1917 Revolution

Red Army in Kyiv 1919

One hundred years ago, a series of upheavals in the Russian Empire ended the rule of the Tsars and ushered in a new era of communism. The Ukrainian People's Republic was declared following an attempted coup in Kyiv by the Bolsheviks, but the state was attacked by the communist regime in Moscow and soon became part of the Soviet Union.

To commemorate this turning point in Ukrainian history, the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University (HURI) has organized a series of events examining the revolution and its consequences. This series includes four talks: a film screening and discussion of Dovzhenko's Arsenal (led by Yuri Shevchuk); Anne Applebaum's presentation of research from her latest book, Red Famine; HURI Fellow Mikhail Akulov's talk on Hetman Skoropadsky; and Andrea Graziosi's discussion of the "many 1917s." Read more.

Інститут Відзначає Сторіччя Української Революції

Demonstration near Kyiv duma Summer 1917

Те, що сталося 7 листопада 1917 року в Петрограді, має різні назви. В. Ленін, керівник більшовиків і головний організатор цієї події, попервах називав її «переворотом». А у всесвітню історію вона увійшла, як «більшовицька», «російська» або як «Велика жовтнева соціалістична» революція, одна з найбільш трагічних і визначальних подій ХХ-го сторіччя. Але чи має сенс називати те, що Україна зазнала в період між 1917 і 1921 роками, «українською революцією»?

Цей ювілей – чудова нагода озирнутися й спробувати зрозуміти не лише нашу історію, але й не менш буремне сьогодення. Цієї осені Український науковий інститут Гарвардського університету планує провести низку заходів, присвячених сторічному ювілею революції. 

Далі читайте тут.

Introducing the 2017-2018 HURI Research Fellows


HURI is pleased to announce its seven research fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year.

HURI’s fellowship program offers funding for research in Ukrainian studies at all stages of an academic career. Our fellows conduct research in residence at HURI while making use of the extensive resources at Harvard University, participating in seminars, and connecting with other scholars in the field.

The diversity in backgrounds and interests of this year’s fellows demonstrates the breadth and depth of the Ukrainian studies field. As specialists of history, literature, poetry, political science, demography, and Medieval studies, our fellows will expand scholarship on Ukraine from the 11th century to the post-Euromaidan era.

Read about the incoming fellows.

Lost Kingdom: Ukraine and the Search for Russian Borders

Plohky Lost Kingdom

Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation is the latest volume from award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy. Covering the late 15th century through the present, this book focuses specifically on the Russian nationalism, exploring how leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin instrumentalized identity to achieve their imperial and great-power aims. Along the way, Plokhy reveals the central role Ukraine plays in Russia’s identity, both as an “other” to distinguish Russia, and as part of a pan-Slavic conceptualization used to legitimize territorial expansion and political control.

In this Q&A article, Plokhy reveals why Ukraine is so important to Russia's contemporary identity, how Russia is balancing its own multiethnicity with growing ethnic nationalism, and how Russia's aggressive, nationalistic foreign policy has been detrimental to its own development as a modern state. Read more.


2017 Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute
June 17–August 5, 2017

Admission Policy

2017 Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute offers unique courses in Ukrainian studies taught by Harvard faculty. These courses are intended for graduate students and advanced undergraduates who are concentrating in Ukrainian studies or who wish to broaden their educational experience. Although the Harvard Summer School has an open-enrollment policy, admission to the Ukrainian Summer Institute is based on the applicant’s academic record, a letter of recommendation, and an essay. Once accepted into the program, applicants must then complete the Harvard Summer School registration process.

Tuition for HUSI is commensurate with tuition rates charged for all other Harvard Summer School courses. Tuition for 2017 is $6,100 for 8 credit courses and $3,050 for 4 credit courses plus the cost of registration and other fees. Applicants may register for 8 or 4 credits to participate in the program. For those who wish to live on campus, the cost of room and board in 2017 is $5,550.

Please note: Applicants seeking the I-20 certificate for the student F-1 US visa must register for 8 credits.

All students seeking financial aid (US and international) must submit the HUSI application and supporting material by Monday, March 13, 2017. International students who do not seek financial aid must submit the HUSI application by Monday, April 17, 2017.


We are pleased to offer three courses this year through the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute:

  • Ukrainian for Reading Knowledge - 8 credits
  • State-Society Relations in Independent Ukraine - 4 credits
  • Society, Culture, and Politics in Modern Ukraine - 4 credits

Applicants wishing to register for a total of 8 credits must enroll in at least one HUSI 4 credit course to be considered part of the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute and may choose an additional 4 credit course from those offered by the general program of the Harvard Summer School. Applicants who decide to register for a non-HUSI course need to register for that course separately online through the Harvard Summer School. Please note that financial aid is not available for non-HUSI courses.


Complete the HUSI application and return it along with the following documents directly to Dr. Serhiy Bilenky, HUSI Program Director, 34 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138:

  • Essay
  • College transcript (a copy issued to the student is acceptable)
  • Recommendation from a college instructor (or employer if you are out of school)
  • For non-native English-speakers: most recent TOEFL scores, IELTS scores, or PTE academic score report as detailed on the application
  • Statement of request for fee reduction with supporting explanation

Application materials

pdficonDownload application materials.

Fees and Financial Aid

Tuition and fees are all payable to Harvard Summer School.

A limited number of scholarships are available; students must apply by Monday, March 13, 2017 for consideration. Students interested in Ukrainian for Reading Knowledge and who are either US citizens or permanent residents should apply for summer FLAS (Foreign Language Area Studies) funding through Harvard's Davis Center and their home institutions, or contact HURI Programs Administrator, Tamara Nary, for further information (nary@fas.harvard.edu).

Funding Opportunities

Ukrainian for Reading Knowledge is a FLAS-eligible language course.

Harvard and non-Harvard graduate and undegraduate students may thus apply for FLAS funding through Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and through their home institution, provided it participates in the US Department of Education sponsored program. For more information regarding FLAS funding and application, please contact Donna Griesenbeck.

Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Students applying for FLAS funding should separately apply for HURI's financial assistance by completing a HUSI application and submitting it by March 13, 2017.

Canadian students are encouraged to inquire at centers for international experience at their home institutions. The Ontario Student Assistance Program might also be of assistance. It offers a mix of grants and loans for students taking classes at approved institutions.


Harvard Summer School registration begins March 1, 2017.

Upon notification of acceptance into the 2017 Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute, applicants must then complete the registration process with Harvard Summer School.

You will be registered in your Ukrainian Institute courses automatically by the Summer School. You will then be emailed your ID number with instructions for logging in to your online services account so you may complete any additional registration requirements.

Additional registration requirements for Harvard Summer School (if applicable):

  • International students requesting an I-20 certificate for the F-1 student visa from Harvard Summer School: Meet all I-20 requirements no later than Monday, May 1, 2017.
  • Request Summer School housing in your Online Services account.
  • Make full payment of tuition, housing (if applicable), and all other fees. Credit card payments are accepted through Online Services. Alternative payment options are available.
  • If you will live in Summer School housing or are an international student attending Summer School while on a visa of any kind (including students who use the visa waiver program or similar entry programs established between the United States and foreign countries), you must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations requiring proof of immunization against certain communicable diseases. Submit proof of immunization.

For additional information and assistance in the application process contact:

Dr. Serhiy Bilenky
HUSI Program Director
Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute
34 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: 617-495-8097
Phone: 647-687-4953
E-mail: serh.bilenky@utoronto.ca

Copyright © 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Address: 34 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST
Phone: 617-495-4053
Fax: 617-495-8097
E-mail: huri@fas.harvard.edu