Ladies & Gentlemen,
below is a new chapter of Ukraine's Foreign Ministry project "Cartographic propaganda" by Kyrylo Halushko.
When Maps Fall Behind (1919-1920)
As we wrote last time, due to the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Ukraine finally returned to the political map. However, geography brought it together with those states that lost World War I as early as at the end of 1918 (Germany and Austro-Hungary). All the treaties of wartime concluded with them were not taken into account by the winning Entente powers (Britain, France, USA).
In 1919 and 1920, the contemporary grand politics tried to catch up with incredible changes in post-war Europe. The general thought based on US President Woodrow Wilson’s ideas that borders should follow ethnic lines did not take into account the fact that the population was mixed in many parts of Europe. The situation was resolved by military force, plebiscites (referendums) and wills of great powers.
They tried to overlook Ukraine, as the Entente placed its bets on the new Poland and Russian White Movement that were to halt the Bolshevik expansion. Nevertheless, a “probability” of Ukraine was taken into account, as indicated by the 1919 British map of Europe under newly concluded treaties (Fig.1). All Eastern European borders look chimerical to us in that map. Ukraine is more or less close to its ethnic borders there, but with numerous mistakes. Fig. 2 shows that the status of Galicia was undecided for a long time: The Daily Telegraph Victory Atlas of the World, 1920.