Andriy Richytsky was the pseudonym for Anatoliy Andriyovych Pisotsky, a Ukrainian politician, journalist, and literary scholar. He was born into a family of comparatively well off peasants, and studied at the Petrovsky agricultural academy in Moscow though he did not finish his fourth year. In the early days of the revolution of 1917, he joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers Party and became the organization's representative in the Ukrainian Central Rada. He maintained key positions despite the vicissitudes of the civil war period and in 1919 helped found the Ukrainian Communist Party, which acted independently of Ukrainian SDWP and also Russian communists.
In 1924, along with other members of the UCP, Richytsky joined the Communist Party of Ukraine (Bolshevik faction), finding common cause with Mykola Skrypnyk and vocally criticizing not only historian and politician Mykhailo Hrushevsky but also the writer Mykola Khvylyovy. From 1925 onward, Richytsky held a variety of editorial positions, taught at the Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism, and in 1930 began work on the Soviet Ukrainian encyclopaedia. In 1931, he edited what would become a controversial edition of Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar, illustrated by the artist Vasyl Sedliar. The images included alongside Shevchenko’s poems drew on universal existential issues of the human condition under oppression. Nevertheless it would seem that both Sedliar and Richytsky were keenly aware of the famine raging in the Ukrainian countryside, making the content of the images politically problematic if not subversive. Richytsky was directly involved in grain procurement in Odessa in 1932-1933 and would have seen the crisis unfolding first hand. In June 1933, he was severely reprimanded by the party and he was removed from working on the Soviet Ukrainian encyclopaedia and his post on the editorial board of the paper Bilshovyk Ukrainy. In September 1933, he was arrested for alleged involvment in a Ukrainian military organization and active counterrevolutionary work aimed at toppling Soviet rule in Ukraine. In March 1934, Richytsky and seven others were tried in the same village in Odessa where he had been involved with grain procurement. He was sentenced to death and executed after a failed appeal, while the others were given long sentences in hard labour camps.
Kyiv City, Kiev, Ukraine 02000
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- Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine
Date of death
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- Kulick, Orysia Maria