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In the 19th century, Ukraine was a rural area largely ignored by Russia and Austria-Hungary. With growing urbanization and modernization, and a cultural trend toward romantic nationalism. Nationalist and socialist parties developed in the late 19th century. Austrian Galicia, which enjoyed substantial political freedom under the relatively lenient rule of the Habsburgs, became the center of the nationalist movement.
When World War I ended, the Russian Revolution of 1917 ensued, and a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination reemerged, with heavy socialist influences. The Central Rada of Ukraine declared the autonomy of Ukrainian People's Republic within the Russian Republic on June 23, 1917. Following the Bolshevik takeover of power in Russia after the October Revolution of 1917 and the Soviet aggression to Ukraine, the Central Rada issued its Fourth Universal, breaking ties with Bolshevik Russia and proclaiming a sovereign Ukrainian state on January 25, 1918.
In April 1920, Head Otaman of Ukraine, Symon Petliura and First Marshal of Poland, Józef Piłsudski signed the Treaty of Warsaw. According to the treaty, Ukraine recognizing the recent Polish territorial gains in western Ukraine while in exchange Poland recognized the Ukrainian People's Republic as an independent state with border along the Zbruch River and under Petliura's leadership. The treaty was followed by a formal military alliance between Poland and Ukraine where Ukrainian Republic was to subordinate its military under Polish command and provide the joint armies with supplies on Ukrainian territories; the Poles in exchange promised to provide equipment for the Ukrainians.
The Ukrainian People's Army under Symon Petliura which aided by Polish Army successfully defeated Bolshevik forces on August 24, 1920. The Peace of Lviv concluded the war between Ukraine, Soviet Russia, and Poland on March 27, 1921. The Ukrainian People's Republic was recognised by Finland on June 15, 1921, Colombia on December 31, 1921, Argentina on May 17, 1922, and the United Kingdom, the United States and France on October 3, 1922.