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Turianytsia, Ivan I.

Turianytsia, Ivan I. (b. May 25, 1901, Mukachevo [Hungarian Kingdom], Ukraine; d. March 27, 1955, Uzhhorod [USSR], Ukraine) — political activist in Subcarpathian Rus’. After serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army (1917-1918) Turianytsia participated in the short-lived Communist government in Hungary and joined its Hungarian Red Army (1919). He remained in Budapest (1921-1925) working as a chimney sweep, then returned home in 1925 and was employed as a construction worker in Mukachevo. He entered the Subcarpathian *Communist party and rose rapidly through its ranks. He was made secretary (1928-1929) of the party’s Mukachevo cell and was sent to the Institute of Journalism in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where he received training (1930-1933) as a party functionary. Upon returning home he was appointed secretary (1933-1938) of the Subcarpathia’s Council of the Red Workers’ Unions/Chervonna profspilka.

In 1939 Turianytsia emigrated to the Soviet Ukraine and at first worked in a factory in Voroshylovhrad (1940-1941). Upon instructions from the Czechoslovak Communist party and the Soviet authorities he joined the *Czechoslovak Army Corps in 1942. A year later he represented Subcarpathian Rus’ as a delegate to the All-Slavic Anti-Fascist Committee that met in Moscow. In October 1944, following an agreement between the Soviet authorities and General Ludvik Svoboda, the head of Czechoslovak Army Corps, Turianytsia was appointed a member of the Czechoslovak administration for Subcarpathian Rus’ under the leadership of Frantisek *Nemec. Following instructions from Soviet security forces, within two days of the Czechoslovak administration’s arrival in Khust Turianytsia secretly moved into the zone controlled by the Soviet military and, together with a group of others from the Czechoslovak Army Corps (declared to be deserters by the latter’s military prosecutor), he organized the Communist party of *Transcarpathian Ukraine. It was they who headed the “movement” calling for the “reunification of the Transcarpathian Ukraine” with the Soviet Ukraine, the justification subsequently used by the Soviet Union in international circles to justify its annexation of Subcarpathian Rus’.

At the First Congress of People’s Committees of the Transcarpathian Ukraine, held in Mukachevo on November 26, 1944, Turianytsia was “elected” chairman of the National Council of Transcarpathian Ukraine. For his services to the Soviet Ukraine he was appointed first secretary (1946-1948) of the Communist party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine for the Transcarpathian oblast, member (1946-1954) of the Central Committee of the Communist party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine, and deputy (1946-1948) of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union. The Soviet policy of removing local cadres and replacing them with “easterners” was to affect Turianytsia’s career. In 1948 he was removed as the first secretary of the Transcarpathian oblast Communist party and given instead an uninfluential sinecure as head (1948-1955) of the regional parliament (Oblasna rada). This unexpected political demotion concerned him to such a degree that it contributed to his early death.

Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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