A year later, 22 January 1919, the Universal of the Directory of the Ukrainian People's Republic, the so-called Unification Act, was made public on the Sofiyska Square in Kyiv.
It happened so that Ukrainians were for centuries deprived of their own statehood. After more than a century of liquidation of the Hetmanate, the territory of Ukraine was divided between two empires (some territories belonged to the Russian Empire, while some were under the Austro-Hungarian Empire). Ukraine as such did not exist on the political map of the world.
The tremendous historical changes, which occurred on the European continent in the early 20th century, in particular the events of the World War I, resulted in the collapse of seemingly invincible empires. Thus, a new state - the Ukrainian People's Republic – appeared on the eastern Ukrainian lands as a result of the collapse of the Russian Empire, while the West Ukrainian People's Republic was founded after the collapse of Austro-Hungarian Empire in Western Ukraine.
On 17 March 1917, the Central Council of Ukraine was established in Kyiv. For the entire period of its existence, it released four Universals, which determined the stages of the Ukrainian state – from the autonomous to the independent.
After the Bolshevik Revolution in Petrograd, the Central Council released the Third Universal on 20 November 1917 which proclaimed the creation of the Ukrainian People's Republic. The Fourth Universal defined it as a "free independent state of the Ukrainian people".
18 January 1919, the delegation of the West Ukrainian People's Republic arrived in Kyiv and held a joint meeting with members of the Directory and the Council of People's Ministers, at which the agreement on unification of the West Ukrainian People's Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic was fully approved.
22 January 1919, the Act of Reunification of Ukrainian lands was proclaimed on the Sofiyska Square in Kyiv.