PRYKHODKO, Hryhory Andriyovych
(b. 20.12.1937, village of Oleksandropol, Synelnykivsky district, Dnipropetrovsk region)
Nationalist, Founder of the Ukrainian National Party, participant in the creation of the Ukrainian Inter-party Assembly, twice a political prisoner
Prykhodko was born into a peasant family tracing their roots to the Zaporizhye Cossacks.
The sense of protest against the world’s injustices and a rigorous rejection of the lies and primitivism of life in society were determined by the spirit which dominated in his family and the reality of the social system.
In 1964 he graduated from the Odessa electrical and technical institute for communications engineers as an electronics engineer.
Prykhodko does not consider himself to have been a dissident. Given that, in his opinion, the spirit of society, the place of the individual in society and human rights result from the level of freedom of the nation, he directed his efforts specifically at defending the interests of the nation, at its embodiment within the state. He is convinced that human rights and the rights of the state are on different planes which do not intersect.
Prykhodko was arrested for the first time on 27 December 1973 in Kaluga, where he was working as an engineer in the department of the chief power engineering specialist of a motor construction factory. He was accused of having distributed two leaflets of a general democratic content about the rights of nations and human rights, and about social rights. Even though there were only 7 copies of the leaflet and it contained no calls either to violence or to the overthrow of the regime, on 10 July 1974 he was sentenced by the Kalyga Regional Court under Article 70 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to 5 years deprivation of liberty. The court classified his activities as being “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda with the aim of undermining or weakening the Soviet regime””.
In his letter to the 4th session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 17 November 1975, Prykhodko demonstrated how the activity of the government of the USSR in the field of human rights contravened the laws of the USSR. This letter was used by M. RUDENKO in drawing up Memorandum of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, № I.
On 27 December 1978, Prykhodko was released from the Kaluga prison where he had been taken from the labour camp and sent back to his birthplace in the Dnipropetrovsk region where he was placed under surveillance. He worked as an electrician on the collective farm.
He was arrested for a second time on 1 July 1980 in his village in the Dnipropetrovsk area. His arrest coincided with his letter to the Head of the KGB of the USSR, Yury Andropov demanding that the latter take steps to ensure that I. SOKULSKY (who had been arrested earlier that year) was not placed in a psychiatric hospital. The letter goes on to say that if the dissident I. SOKULSKY (a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group) has indeed committed a crime, he should be tried in an open court, since cases on charges of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda are not envisaged by law as being held being closed doors. On the day when Andropov’s office received this appeal, Prykhodko was arrested and from 7 – 13 January 1981 tried and sentenced by the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Court in the same case as that of I. SOKULSKY to 10 years in prison and in special regime labour camp, with subsequent exile for 5 years. Prykhodko was charged on the basis of his manuscripts removed when searching I. SOKULSKY – “Pustelnyk” [“Hermit”], “Roman Rodenko” and “Antagonist” – about the conflict between the individual and the Soviet system, as well as the article “Vykhovane zlo” [“Inculcated evil”] about the immorality of Soviet society. In addition, Prykhodko’s charges related to appeals written by him between 1975 and 1980 to higher bodies of the USSR and Ukrainian SSR, as well as a miniscule text, written on a cigarette paper, removed during searches while imprisoned and on 18 September 1980. The actions of both those convicted by the court were qualified as falling under Article 62 § 2 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR (“anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda”), Prykhodko served his sentence in the Chistopolsk prison and in the special regime unit within the Perm political labour camps.
Prykhodko was released on 8 July 1988 under the pardon (without his having submitted the relevant appeal). Following his release, he became actively involved in the Ukrainian national liberation struggle. In February 1989 he began to publish and act as editor of the illegal journal “Ukrainsky chas” [“Ukrainian time”] which was aimed at inspiring Ukrainians to fight for their own state.
In October 1989 he created the first party in Ukraine’s recent history – the Ukrainian National Party (UNP), shattering the governing single-party situation and leading from spring 1990 to an explosive birth of a multitude of parties. The ultimate goal of the UNP was for the people to win national independence and the rebirth of the Ukrainian State in the form of the Ukrainian National Republic (proclaimed by Simon Petlura in 1918).
In July 1990 he took part in creating the Ukrainian Inter-party Assembly (UIA) which rejected the parliamentary road to achieving independence and advocated revolutionary actions through the creation of bodies of self-government of the people.
After the declaration of Ukraine’s independence, Prykhodko moved away from active politics. He remains the publisher and editor of the independent political studies journal “Ukrainsky chas”.
He lives in Lviv.
[Address to the 4th session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR about the hypocritical policy of the Soviet government in the field of constitutional guarantees of the rights of nations. Vladimir Prison, 17.11.1975 // Svoboda.– 1976.– 14 August.– ( // Ukrainske slovo.– 1976.– 29 August.)
Pismo Yakovu SUSLENSKOMU (around 1979) // Shlyakh peremohy .– 1979.– 2 December.
Visnyk represiy v Ukraini [Bulletin of repression in Ukraine]. External Representation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. – New York, 1980, No. 10.— p. 7.
Visnyk represiy v Ukraini . External Representation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. – New York, 1982, No. 7-8.— С. 3.
The Ukrainian Human Rights Movement. Documents and Material of the UHG. – Baltimore – Toronto: Smoloskyp, 1978.— pp. 77, 316.
’Khronika tekushchykh sobytiy’ [‘Chronicle of Current Events’] (CCE) - New York: Khronika, 1976, No. 40.— p. 85, No. 43.— p. 14.
CCE.— New York: Khronika, 1979, No. 51.— pp. 46, 65, 71-73, 74-76; No. 52.— pp. 57, 64, 73.
CCE.— New York: Khronika, 1983, No. 63.— p. 79.
Vesti iz SSSR [News from the USSR] . V 3. 1985-1986.— Munich: Prava cheloveka.— 1982, 7-8, 13-49.
The KHPG archives.
I. Rapp. Edited by H. Prykhodko.