Poles and Ruthenians
Poles and Ruthenians – as West Ukrainians were called in earlier Austrian linguistic usage – are two peoples with a closely knit history. Nevertheless – or perhaps because of this – they were bound in a relationship that was laced with conflict. Both were divided into several nations because of the expansionist politics of the neighbouring Great Powers. The section of the two linguistic groups living within the Habsburg Monarchy was faced with different options in its development: the Poles were loyal partners and granted a great deal of freedom by the Viennese Government, whereas the Ruthenians were regarded as “underdogs” among the nationalities in the Monarchy.