Ukrainian assistance to refugees during the First World War
in Europe on the move
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This chapter concentrates on the impact of war on displaced Ukrainians before and after the collapse of tsarism in February 1917, whose lives were beset by political uncertainty, economic deprivation and social conflict. In the first months of the war, the Russian authorities failed to understand the scale and the challenge posted by mass displacement. In Ukraine, as throughout the Russian Empire, provincial councils were established and chaired by provincial governors who co-ordinated the arrangements for refugee relief. In fact most refugees managed to find work in agriculture, in the coal and iron ore mines in the Donbass and Kryvyi Rih (Krivoi Rog), and in newly created workshops. The refugee phenomenon during the First World War was a new social phenomenon that embraced the European continent. It produced moral and psychological damage on a large scale.

Europe on the move

Refugees in the era of the Great War

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