The Russo-Ukrainian War of 1917-1918 and Struggle for Ukrainian Identity in Discourse of Newspaper ‘Sich’: View from Today

Keywords: Russo-Ukrainian war, national identity, ‘Sich’ newspaper, unity, aggression, peace, borders, security


The purpose of the research paper is to assess the social role of the first Ukrainian-language newspaper ‘Sich’ (1918) published in Oleksandrivsk (now Zaporizhzhia) in covering and characterizing the events of the Russo-Ukrainian war and the establishment of Ukrainian identity, which were key to public and political life.

The scientific novelty. The role of the newspaper ‘Sich’ in the struggle for Ukrainian identity in Zaporizhzhia region in the conditions of the Russo-Ukrainian War of 1917 – 1918 is analyzed. The content and depth of public opinion represented by the editors and authors of publications regarding the most pressing issues of the time: the causes, nature, prospects of Ukraine’s struggle against Russia, articles of the peace, establishment of borders, and security assurances of Ukraine are uncovered. The chronology of the publication of the newspaper ‘Sich’ is clarified, and the composition of its editorial board is characterized.

Conclusions. Newspaper ‘Sich’ positioned itself as a supra-party democratic journal of Ukrainian organizations and expressed the interests of the vast majority of the indigenous population of Zaporizhzhia region – peasants, workers, and Ukrainian intelligentsia. It played an important role in the information war of Ukraine against Russia, which is evidenced by the considerable number of articles devoted to Ukrainian-Russian relations and the depth of their analysis – from the historical past to the search for prospects in the future. The range of the newspaper’s publications covered various genres, a wide range of issues covered, depth and brightness of the expression of events’ analysis, testifying to the high level of journalistic competence of the members of the editorial board of the newspaper and its publishers, and, at the same time, the high level of national consciousness and patriotism of the environment it was intended for. The newspaper’s publications were noted for their critical assessments, realistic representation of the situation, originality of views on events and processes, vividness of language and images, and artistic techniques used to achieve a creative goal. Journalism of the newspaper ‘Sich’ in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine was thoroughly Ukrainian, patriotic, and imbued with the ideals of the struggle for Ukrainian identity, state, and national-cultural independence.

It can be concluded that the issues raised by the newspaper ‘Sich’ in 1918 are extremely relevant for modern Ukraine in terms of the next wave of Russian aggression, which turned into a full-scale war in 2022-2023, and testify to the fact that necessary stages of national unity of Ukrainians and the mental archetypes of its Russian enemies have not been comprehended yet.


Akbash, R. (2022). 1 travnia v istorii Zaporizhzhia: Kubok IHF, shliuz ta kolorovyi fontan [1-st of May in the history of Zaporizhzhia: the IHF Cup, a gateway and a colored fountain]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Basenko, I. (2020). Obraz nimtsiv na materialakh shchodennoi ukrainsko- ta rosiiskomovnoi presy Kyieva (sichen 1914 – hruden 1918 rr.) [Description of the Germans in the materials of the daily Ukrainian- and Russian-language press of Kyiv (January 1914 – December 1918)]. [Candidate’s dissertation]. Kyiv [in Ukrainian].

Bohuslavskyi, O. (2003). Informatsiino-presova diialnist Tsentralnoi Rady ta ukrainskykh uriadiv 1917-1920 rr. [Information and press activity of the Central Rada and Ukrainian governments 1917-1920]. Zaporizhzhia: HU «ZIDMU» [in Ukrainian].

Budrin, A. (2023, May 30). Ukraina mozhe otrymaty lyshe try realni harantii bezpeky: dyplomat nazvav, yaki same [Ukraine can receive only three real security guarantees: the diplomat named exactly which ones]. UNIAN, Informatsiine ahentstvo. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Chekis, O. (2022, July 16). Dopomahaiuchy Ukraini protystoiaty rosiiskii ahresii, Zakhid zakhyshchaie y sebe – istoryk [Helping Ukraine to resist Russian aggression, the West also protects itself – a historian]. Dzerkalo tyzhnia. ZN,UA. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Dontsov, D. (1918, May 18). Proba pryiazni [A test of friendship]. Nova rada, 79, 1 [in Ukrainian].

Dontsov, D. (1918, June 4). Proba pryiazni [A test of friendship]. Sich, 14, 2-3 [in Ukrainian].

Dontsov, D. (1918, May 19). Proba pryiazni [A test of friendship]. Vidrodzhennia, 42, 2-3 [in Ukrainian].

Ihnatusha, O. (2022). Aktualne zvuchannia patriotychnoi poezii rosiisko-ukrainskoi viiny 1917-1918 rr. na storinkakh provintsiinoi presy: pryklad mista Oleksandrivska (Zaporizhzhia). [The true sound of patriotic poetry of the Russian-Ukrainian war of 1917-1918 in the descriptions of the provincial press: the example of the city of Oleksandrivsk (Zaporizhzhia)]. Shosti Cherevanivski naukovi chytannia: zbirnyk naukovykh statei, VI, 158-161 [in Ukrainian].

Ihnatusha, O., Tkachenko, V. & Turchenko, H. (2001). Istoriia ridnoho kraiu (Zaporizka oblast): 1914-1939 rr.: Pidruchnyk dlia 10 klasu serednoi zahalnoosvitnoi shkoly. [History of the native land (Zaporizhzhia region): 1914-1939: Textbook for the 10th grade of secondary comprehensive school]. Zaporizhzhia: Prem’ier [in Ukrainian].

Ihnatusha, O. & Frolov, M. (2021). Reaction of social and political forces of Zaporizhzhia to the beginning of the Hetmanate (April-May 1918). Skhidnoievropeiskyi Istorychnyi Visnyk [East European Historical Bulletin], 21, 97-110. DOI: 10.24919/2519-058X.21.246899 [in English].

Kalennykiv, O. (1918, June 4). Ukrainizatsiia [Ukrainianization]. Sich, 14, 2 [in Ukrainian].

Kmet, M. (1918, May 5). Z Velykodnykh nastroiv [From Easter moods]. Sich, 2, 1 [in Ukrainian].

Kraliuk, P. (2022, August 2). Viina i mozhlyvyi rozpad Rosii. Chetverta sproba? [War and possible collapse of Russia. Fourth attempt?]. Radio Svoboda. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Lutsenko, I. (1918, July 12). Zavdannia chasu [Task of time]. Sich, 32, 1-2 [in Ukrainian].

M. (1918, May 28). Derzhavna mova. Virni syny Ukrainy [State language. Faithful sons of Ukraine]. Sich, 11, 2 [in Ukrainian].

M. (1918, May 28). Ukraina i yei susidy [Ukraine and its neighbors]. Sich, 11, 2 [in Ukrainian].

M.K. (1918, June 18). Rusyfikatsiia z «malorosiiskym» sousom [Russification with ‘Little Russian’ sauce]. Sich, 21, 2 [in Ukrainian].

N.N. (1918, June 13). («Vidrodzhennia»). Uriadova mova [(‘Renaissance’). Official language]. Sich, 19, 2 [in Ukrainian].

Nemo (1918, June 30). My i vony [We and Them]. Sich, 27, 1-2 [in Ukrainian].

P.Z. (1918, July 5). Pered zminoiu kursu [Before changing course]. Sich, 29, 1 [in Ukrainian].

Peto (1918, July 7). Pytannia chasu [A question of time]. Sich, 30, 1-2 [in Ukrainian].

Shchur, Yu. (2021, January 3). Borotba za nezalezhnist: Pro shcho oholoshuvaly v pershomu vypusku zaporizkoi «Sichi» 1918 roku. [Struggle for independence: What was announced in the first issue of «Sich» in Zaporizhzhia in 1918]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Shchur, Yu. (2022, January 3). Borotba za nezalezhnist: Pro shcho pysaly v chetvertomu vypusku zaporizkoi «Sichi» 1918 roku. [Struggle for independence: What was written about in the fourth issue of «Sich» in Zaporizhzhia in 1918]. Retrieved from [in Ukrainian].

Stepovyi, V. (1918, May 5). Slova bez zmistu [Words without meaning]. Sich, 2, 2 [in Ukrainian].

Verkhodub, O. (1918, July 2). Vorozhi khvyli [Enemy waves]. Sich, 28, 1-2 [in Ukrainian].

Verstiuk, V. & Ostashko, T. (1998). Diiachi Ukrainskoi Tsentralnoi Rady. Biohrafichnyi dovidnyk. [Personalities of the Ukrainian Central Rada. Biographical guide]. Kyiv [in Ukrainian].

Vii (1918, June 28). Zlydni politychnoi literatury [Poor political literature]. Sich, 26, 2 [in Ukrainian].

How to Cite
IhnatushaO. (2023). The Russo-Ukrainian War of 1917-1918 and Struggle for Ukrainian Identity in Discourse of Newspaper ‘Sich’: View from Today. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(43), 134-153.
Modern History