Osnova and the Origins of the Valuev Directive

  • Michael Moser University of Vienna


After the Crimean War, Ukrainian intellectuals utilized the temporary liberalization in the Russian Empire to extend the use of the Ukrainian language beyond the spheres of folklore and fine literature, to develop Ukrainian into a modern standard language, and to set measures to disseminate this language among speakers of Ukrainian. These processes were reflected, inter alia, in the journal Osnova (The Foundation) of 1861-62. As my study shows, when the Russian administration issued the Valuev Directive in 1863, it did not ban the Ukrainian language as such, but it effectively banned its standardization and dissemination.

Author Biography

Michael Moser, University of Vienna
Associate Professor at the Institute of Slavic Studies