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Roman Rachmanny

Author of In Defense of the Ukrainian Cause


Roman Rakhmanny: Ukrainian journalist, editor, writer, literary scholar, historian.

Real name: Olynyk, Roman Dmytrovych. Other pseudonyms: Roman Khmil, Romain d’Or. Born 26 December 1918, village of Piddnistriany, now the district of Zhydachiv, Lviv oblast.  Died 24 June 2002 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

After completing primary school in his native village, he became a student of the Rohatyn Gymnasium. After its closure by the Polish authorities he continued his studies in the Lviv Academic Gymnasium, which he completed in 1937. That same year he began his studies at the Greek-Catholic Theological Academy in Lviv. In September 1939, because of Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine, he was forced to interrupt his studies and immigrate to the Lemko region of German occupied Ukraine, where he worked as a teacher. In 1941 he participated in the activities of the semi-legal Expeditionary Groups (Pokhidni hrupy) of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which endeavoured to revive socio-political and cultural life in parts of Ukraine freed from the Bolsheviks. Evading arrest by the Gestapo after the liquidation of his sub-group, he returned to Lviv, where he continued his studies at the Theological Academy, completing them with distinction in 1944. After the return of the Red Army to Western Ukraine, he immigrated to Germany. From 1945 to 1948 he published many articles about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in the English, French, Swiss, and Dutch press, and was the founder and co-editor of the newspaper Chas (Time) (Fürt, Germany, 1945-48). He was a member of the editorial board of Ukrainska trybuna (Ukrainian Tribune) (Munich, 1945-48), and headed the Ukrainian Press Service.

In 1949 Roman Rakhmanny immigrated to Canada, where he continued his journalistic activities and played an active role in the socio-political life of the Ukrainian-Canadian community. That year he became the co-founder of the Canadian branch of the League for the Liberation of Ukraine and the newspaper Homin Ukrainy (Ukrainian Echo). He studied at the University of Toronto, where he obtained an M.A. in Slavic Studies in 1958. In 1962 he defended his doctoral dissertation at the Université de Montréal. He was a visiting lecturer of Ukrainian literature at l’Université de Montréal (1961-62) and McGill University (1974-76). Rakhmanny took an active part in the work of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the Union of Ukrainian Journalists of Canada, the Union of Ukrainian Writers in Exile, the World Congress of Free Ukrainians, the Canadian Association of Slavists, the International PEN Club, and in 1997 was made a member of the Kyiv-based Writers' Union of Ukraine (now National Writers' Union of Ukraine).

From 1959 to 1974 Roman Rakhmanny worked as an announcer-producer at the Ukrainian Section of CBC’s Radio Canada International (RCI) and from 1975 to his retirement in 1984 was the head of this service. He was a member of the editorial board of the journals Suchasnist (Present Times) (1963-86) and Novi dni (New Days) (1970-71).

For his outstanding journalistic achievements, Roman Rakhmanny received the First Prize of the Union of Ukrainian Journalists of America in 1972. In 1973 he was awarded the Shevchenko Medal by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. In 1992, on the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, he was listed among the one hundred most distinguished Ukrainian Canadians and was awarded an honorary citation and a medal by the Ukrainian Canadian Committee. In 2003 his biographical sketch appeared posthumously in the prestigious memorial almanach-directory, Zoloti imena Ukrainy: Narodzheni Ukrainoyu (The Golden Names of Ukraine: Born of Ukraine), Kyiv, 2003, 2 vols.

Roman Rakhmanny is the author of numerous books, including Krov i chornylo (Blood and Ink, 1960), Budivnychyi pershoi Ukrainskoi Narodnoi Respubliky (The Builder of the First Ukrainian People’s Republic, 1966), Na piatdesiatii paraleli (On the Fiftieth Parallel, 1969), Ne slovom iedynym (Not By Word Alone, 1971), Chervonyi smikh nad Kyievom (Red Laughter Over Kiev, 1971), Vohon' i popil (Fire and Ashes, 1974), Vohni samostiinoi Ukrainy (Fires of an Independent Ukraine, 1978), In Defense of the Ukrainian Cause (1979), Derzhavnytska slava UPA (The State-Building Glory of the UPA, 1982), Dmytro Dontsov i Mykola Khvylovy, 1923-33 (1984).

The three-volume work entitled Ukraina atomnoho viku (Ukraine of the Atomic Age, 1987-91), encompassing the journalistic works of Roman Rakhmanny, attracted the attention of large numbers of politicians, scholars, journalists, and publicists. It was widely reviewed, with critics noting that the body of Rakhmanny’s writings enriches “the theory and practice of world journalism, and is an instrument for researching life and predicting the development of socio-political thought in the contemporary world.” For this work, Roman Rakhmanny received Ukraine’s highest award, the Shevchenko State Prize in March 1994.

A selection of Roman Rakhmanny’s essays and articles entitled Rozdumy pro Ukrainu (Meditations on Ukraine) was published in Kyiv in 1997. In late 1999 a Ukrainian translation of his doctoral dissertation entitled Literary-ideological trends in Western Ukraine, 1919-1939 was published in Kyiv under the title Literaturno-ideolohichni napriamky v Zakhidnii Ukraini, 1919-1939 roku.


  • Bedrii, A. “Perlyny ideolohichnoi politychno-istorychnoi publitsystyky,” Vyzvolnyi Shliakh, 1989, no. 8.
  • Komenchuk, Ia. “Ukrainska publitsystyka v otsintsi krytyky: [Otsinka zhurnalistychnoi pratsi R. Rakhmannoho], Vyzvolnyi Shliakh, 1985, no. 10.
  • Marunchak, M. Biohrafichnyi slovnyk do istorii ukraintsiv Kanady, Winnipeg, 1986. Ukrainska zhurnalistyka v imenakh (A Biographical Dictionary of Ukrainian Journalism), Lviv, 1999, 6th ed., Natsionalna Akademiia Nauk Ukrainy (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, V. Stefanyk Library in Lviv, the Research Centre for Periodicals. Editor: M. M. Romaniuk.
  • Zaborskyi, D. “Publitsyst mysli i sertsia,” Literaturna Ukraina, 20 January 1994.

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