Ste,-Those of us wteo have blood relatives in Western Ukissine are deeply indebted to the CATHOLILI HERALD and to the Catholic Press in general for its generous attitude to 'the fate of our kinsmen who recently' fell under the Red Rule. But we fail to understand why it is that your Russian correspondent, writing in your issue of October 20, insists upon confusing readers by his pet political concept about the nationality of the Ukrainians when even the Red overlords are more considerate of their national feelings.
Leaving aside his teindentious interpretation of Ukrainian history, the fact remains that although Stalin's conquest is not Polish, neither is it Russian. The population of thoeft territories is Ukrainian and White Ruthenian. One could easily quote Ukrainian, Russian and disinterested authorities to show that your Russian correspondent is labouring under a ecmantic illusion, dear to the hearts of Russian imperialists, which commonly goes under the name of " the unity of use Russian nation." In the light of twersitieth-century research it has been shown to have no more scientific value than, once notorious, Pan-Siavism. However, we need not invoke the sanction of authority.
If we wish to know the nationality of any people, the beat way to find out is to ask them. I venture to say (subject to correction, of cotirse) that your Russian correspondent has not recently been to any part of Ukraine; probably not since the World Ware and has not had an opportunity to remise first-hand inquiries among the people he is writing about. Failing that, he should have availed himself of Polish sources which certainly cannot be accused of statistical bias in favour off the Ukrainians. From the Polish Statietleal Year Book for 1938 he would have learned that in the five Ukrainian provrinees Lwow, Stanislawow, Tarnopol, Volynia and Polesiethe proportion of Russians among rural dwellers was : 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.6 and 0.9 per cent., respectively.
The simple facts of the case were clearly outlined by Professor Stepan Rudnytsky, lately of Kharkov University, as far beick as 1910. He wrote: " The Ukrainian peasant is much more highly conscions of his national individuality as opposed to the Russian than as opposed to the Pole. The ethnologic culture of the Ukrainian peasantry is so much higher than that of the Russian that the Ukratnian looks down with contempt upon. the 'rough Katzap.' This, as it wene, ethnologic feeling of independence has protected the 'Ukrainian peasantry from Russification not only within its national territory but even in its distant Siberian and Turkestan colonies." His conclusion is ably supported by a popular Russian saying that " the khakhol is always a khakhol "; th.e. word " khakhol ' being a derogatory Russian name for the Ukrainians.
Anthropologically, the Ukrainians are Dinaric and, therefore, farther removed from the Russians than are, for instance, the Poles. Culturally and historically, they belong to the West and, in this respect, have much more in common with the Pokes than with the Russians. As a people they do not identify themselves with etther, and deeply resent any attempt, especially on the part of the Russians who suppressed and oppressed them for over 200 years, to identify them with themselves.
STEPAN DAVIDOVICH, B.A.
Kensington Close, Wright's, Lane, London, W.8.