Galicia (RTC)

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Rzejeń Autonomica Galicja
Autonomnyj Rajon Hałyczyna
Автономний Район Галичина
Autonomous Region of Galicia
Conventional short name:
Local: Galicja, RAG (Wenedyk)
Hałyczyna, ARH (Ruthenian)
Галичина, АРГ (Ukrainian)
English: Galicia
Flag of Galicia
Subdivision of: Kingdom of Veneda (RTC)
Cities:  
 Capital: Czytać Leoniór (Львів) (732,800 inhabitants)
 Other: Tarnopol (Тернопіль) (221,300)
Czytać Stanisławiana (Stanysławiw, Станиславів) (204,200)
Użhorod (Ужгород) (111,300)
Drohobycz (Дрогобич) (79,100)
Mukaczewo (Мукачеве) (96,124)
Przemyśl (Peremyszl, Перемишль) (67,300)
Kałusz (Калуш) (63,800)
Stryj (Стрий) (62,500)
Languages:  
 Official: Wenedyk, Ruthenian
 Others: Ukrainian, Rusyn, Lithuanian, Yiddish
Chairman of the Galician Council: Darko Popczuk
Population: 7,785,040 inhabitants
Established: 1923,
Map showing the location of Galicia within the RTC
Map showing the location of Galicia within the RTC

Galicia (Wen. Galicja, Ruth. Hałyczyna, Ukr. Галичина) is a Ruthenian/Ukrainian autonomous region within the borders of the Kingdom of Veneda. It consists of four provinces: Leonina, Olwarzyn, Hałycz, and Skarpacja. The capital is Czytać Leoniór (in Ukrainian: Львів).

Galicia has 7,785,040 inhabitants, 2,747,873 (35.3%) of whom are Ruthenians, 1,807,278 (23,2%) Veneds, 1,610,067 (20.7%) Ukrainians, 819,112 (10.5%) Rusyns, 357,753 (4.6%) Jews, 147,470 (1.9%) Hungarians, 98,209 (1.3%) Lithuanians, and 93,887 (1.2%) Slevans.

Contents

Administration

Government

The Autonomous Region of Galicia is governed by the Galician High Council, a body that is elected every four years along with the provincial elections. It consists of 75 members.

The composition of the incumbent Galician High Council, elected in 2003, is as follows:

Party Seats
RNDO - Ruthenian National-Democratic Organisation 35
SDPH - Social-Democratic Party of Galicia 9
ORWiL - Organisation of Ruthenes in Veneda and Lithuania 5
DN - National Democracy 5
UD-DS - Democratic Union 4
BR - Republican Bloc 3
PKRDK - Communist Party of the RTC 3
FUN - Front of Ukrainian Nationalists 3
NG - Our Galicia 3
KRN - Confederation for an Independent Republic 2
WWPS - Venedic Unified Socialist Party 2
LiD - Freedom and Democracy 1

For an explanation of the parties, see: Political parties in the RTC

Chairman of the GHC is Darko Popczuk. It should be noted that the governors of the provinces respond to the Sejm of Veneda, not to the GHC.

Administrative Divisions

Galicia consists of the four provinces Leonina, Olwarzyn, Hałycz, and Karpacja.

Ruthenian vs. Ukrainian

Although there are few differences between Ruthenian and Ukrainian, they are treated as two separate languages and nationalities within the Kingdom of Veneda (not so in Lithuanian, which recognises only the Ukrainian nationality). The differences are basically the following:

  • Ruthenian is based on various West Ukrainian dialects, Ukrainian is based on all Ukrainian dialects;
  • Ruthenian has undergone a stronger influence from Wenedyk in particular, including a lot of loanwords;
  • Ruthenian is written in a version of the Latin alphabet that is very close to the one used by Wenedyk;
  • Most of the Ruthenians are Greek-Catholic, although among them are also Orthodox and a few Roman Catholics, while the Ukrainians are almost by definition Orthodox.

During the 19th and 20th century, the Ruthenians and the Ukrainians have grown apart to a considerable degree. Although the situation between them is not tense as that of the Serbs and Croats *here*, the parallels are obvious. See http://steen.free.fr/rtc/rutenik.html for more information.

History

Before the First Great War, Galicia has always been part of Veneda. But in 1917, in the same period when Ukraine declared its independence from czarist Russia and the RTC was occupied by Germany and Hungary, the Ukrainians of Galicia proclaimed an independent West-Ukrainian People's Republic (ZUNR). They endeavoured unification with Ukraine. However, after the Kingdom of Veneda had been proclaimed, it immediately occupied the ZUNR and put an end to its independence.

When Ukraine was under severe attack of the Bolsheviks, it made a deal with the government of the RTC: Ukraine would abandon its claims to Western Ukraine and withdraw its armies from the ZUNR, in return for the Republic's military support against Russian troops, and under the condition that Galicia would gain an autonomous status. Both parties kept their promises. With the help of the Republic, Ukraine successfully liberated itself from the Russian invasion, and Galician autonomy within the borders of the RTC was formalised in 1923.

Not every Galician was happy with this solution: first of all, they felt they had been sold out by the Ukrainian government, and secondly, they had hoped to become a third constituent part of the RTC instead remaining part of Veneda. Nevertheless, Galicia was a place where Ukrainian language and culture could flourish, which became especially especially important during the decades when Ukraine was ruled by the SLOB (Ukraine's counterpart of the SNOR).

Initially, Galicia consisted only of the provinces Leonina, Olwarzyn and Hałycz. In 1956 it was expanded with Carpatho-Ukraine, which had previously been part of Hungary and enjoyed a short period of independence after the Second Great War as State of Karpatia, after a majority of the local population had voted to become part of the RTC as a separate province, Karpacja.

Current issues

Unlike the Veneds, who are scattered over hundreds of political parties, the Ruthenians and Ukrainians are reasonably united. The largest Ruthenian/Ukrainian party, the RNDO (Ruthenian National-Democratic Organisation), is omnipresent in Galicia. This party has always endeavoured Galicia to become a separate kingdom within the framework of the RTC, although its long-term objective is reunification with Ukraine. Most Veneds, especially those in Galicia itself, are strongly opposed against both ideas, because they consider Galicia an "inseparable part of Venedic soil, spirit and history", and indeed, there is a large Venedic population in the western areas, particularly in the capital, Czytać Leoniór. Lithuania is unhappy with it too, because it fears a significant reduction of its influence on republican matters. Notwithstanding its official status, Galicia behaves pretty much like the "third crown" it desires to become; the colourful, energetic president of the Galician council, RNDO leader Darko Popczuk, occasionally refers to himself as "viceroy of Galicia and Lodomeria".

The situation is obscured by the fact that a national reawakening is taking place in the (Lithuanian) province of Volhynia, where the vast majority of the population is Ukrainian. Currently the province's authorities demand Volhynia be added to Galicia, which would de facto turn Galicia into a condominium between Veneda and Lithuania. Needless to add that Galicia itself welcomes the idea, as it would loosen up its ties with Veneda considerably. On November 25, 2004 the Ukrainian authorities on both sides, in Galicia and Volhynia, organised a referendum, in which a vast majority of both populations spoke out for unification. None of this has been put in effect yet; the Lithuanian authorities reacted oppressively and arrested Volhynia's governor Orest Paliczny, the Venedic authorities did not react at all. Since the referendum, ethnic tension has increased, both in Galicia between the Ukrainians and the Veneds, and in Volhynia between the Ukrainians and the Lithuanian government.

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