PhD (History), Associate professor, Нistory and documentation department, National Aviation University, Kyiv
The article is devoted to the issue of the activities of the American consul of the United States of America in the years of the existence of the Ukrainian National Republic, and also provides a historiographical analysis of works devoted to this problem (in particular, the works of I. Matyash, I. Datskiv, A. Pavlyuk, etc.). The author notes that with the proclamation by the Central Rada of the Third universal, which created the Ukrainian National Republic, the Ukrainian Central Rada was faced with the task of establishing external relations with various countries, including the United States of America. However, before the outbreak of World War I, the concept of “Ukrainian question” and “Ukraine” was “terra incognita” for Washington, which was primarily explained by the isolationist policies of the American government.
In its foreign policy, the United States has traditionally been guided by the idea of federalism in questions about the approaches of the state system. The United States did not pursue a separate course towards Ukraine. Washington viewed it as a component of its policy towards Russia. In the US attitude toward the Ukrainian National Republic, the reluctance to complicate the political choice for America was outweighed. There was fear that an inaccurately chosen priority would lead to an unwelcome conflict with Russia. It is stated that as the United States did not carry out a separate course towards Ukraine, so the leaders of the Central Rada did not develop a clear position towards the United States. However, the situation that developed at the end of 1917 made the American diplomatic community “look” at the situation in Ukraine. That is why the American consul Douglas Jenkins was sent to “assess” the capabilities of the young state. Douglas Jenkins had clear instructions from the ambassador to do nothing, in the absence of a further word from Washington that could be interpreted as recognition of the Ukrainian Council.
Particular attention is paid to the analysis of his seven reports, which the consul sent to the US State Department through the Consulate General in Moscow, and which is an important source in understanding the Ukrainian situation in late 1917 – early 1918.
Keywords: UNR foreign policy, American consul, United States, Douglas Jenkins, diplomacy, revolution 1917 – 1921.
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