Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Rare postcards depict Ukrainian village life at turn of 20th century

Rural life
Rare postcards depict Ukrainian village life at turn of 20th century
Volodymyr Koziuk, collector, painter, photographer and People’s Artist of Ukraine from the village of Chesnivka, Vinnytsia Oblast, recently published some 40 rare postcards of Ukrainian landscapes of the 19th – early 20th  centuries.
Halychyna village landscape

“These are rare historical postcards. I want people to see and use this material, so please share my album. I’ve been collecting Ukrainian postcards since 1992. My favorite topics include Ukrainian landscapes, typical Ukrainian villages and farm dwellings, as well as all aspects of rural life! Yes, these old village homes have inspired me for close to 25 years. Moreover, I clearly understand that these postcards represent a valuable part of our history and heritage! I’d like everyone to have access to them, because I’m not interested in collecting things for myself, but for the Ukrainian people.”

Volodymyr Koziuk

Many of the postcards are labeled “Little Russia” (Малороссия) whereas they obviously refer to the political and geographic territory of present-day Ukraine. Here is a brief explanation:

Little Russia (Russian: “Малороссия” – Malorossiya”), la Petite Russie (French term on the postcards)  is an archaic geographical and historical term that continues to be used in Russian nationalist discourse, in which modern Ukrainians are presented as a single people in a united Russian nation.

“Little Russia” developed into a political and geographical concept in Russia, referring to most of the territory of modern-day Ukraine before the 20th century. Accordingly, derivatives such as “Little Russians” (Russian: Малороссы – Malorossy) were commonly applied to the people, language, and culture of Ukraine. Prior to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a large part of Ukraine’s élite population adopted a “Little Russian identity” that competed with the local Ukrainian identity.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, the term started to recede from common use. It is regarded as derogatory, referring to those Ukrainians with little or no Ukrainian national consciousness. The term retains currency among Russian nationalists who deny that Ukraine and Ukrainians are distinct from Russia and Russians. By the late 1980s, the term had become archaic, and Ukrainians regard its anachronistic usage as extremely offensive.

Poltava Oblast


Mills in Poltava Oblast belonging to Prince Kochubey


Rural life


On the banks of the Psel River


On the Vorskla River near the village of Havrontsi, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Harvesting flax. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Geese grazing on the bluffs. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Village house in Kamenske


Sunset. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Village home in Mykola Hohol’s native region. (Hohol was born in Sorochyntsi, Poltava Oblast).  Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Street in the village of Petrivka, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Village of Semianivka, Poltava Oblast.  Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Harvesting hops, village of Dykanka, Poltava Oblast


View of village of Petrivka, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Silently flows the River Vorskla, Poltava Oblast. Photo: V.A. Svitlychny


Village of Zintsi near Poltava


Poltava landscape
Ukrainian “types”
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!