Leonid Bachynsky, born 28 February 1896 in Katerynoslav (later Dnipropetrovsk and now Dnipro), was a teacher, community activist and journalist. He studied the natural sciences at Kyiv University, before joining the ranks of the Ukrainian National Republic’s army (1918-1920). During the revolutionary years, he gave many lectures to the soldiers in UNR army camps, before moving along with other UNR leaders to Tarnów in 1920. Moving briefly to Przemyśl in 1921, he was assigned the directorship of a gymnasium in the village of Luka near Sambir, where he taught until the school was dissolved in 1923 by the Polish authorities. Bachynsky then moved to the Transcarpathian city of Uzhgorod, where he taught and also became involved in the organization of Plast (Ukrainian Scouts) until 1929, when the Czechoslovak government forced him to leave, reportedly because of his work with Plast and also his use of the term Carpatho-Ukraine in articles and speeches. He moved back to Przemyśl where he continued teaching, writing and organizing Ukrainian youth until the outbreak of war in 1939, when he moved to Jarosław and became director of a trade school. In 1944, along with many others, Bachynsky fled westward, landing in a deported persons camp near Heidenau, where he resumed his pedagogical work and youth outreach, prior to moving to the United States in 1950. He authored and compiled more than 45 works, many of them on farming and biology.
In 1952, he founded the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ohio, which he directed until 1977. Once in the US, Leonid worked as a machinist, but his real passion was collecting. His brother Evhen regularly sent him materials to Cleveland from Geneva from the 1950s to the 1970s, including the personal papers of diplomats, documentation of the Ukrainian Red Cross, and other items. Most of those were transferred to Carleton University in 1982, though the imprint of the Bachynsky brothers is still very much visible in the UMA’s holdings.
- Dnipro, Ukraine
- Kulick, Orysia Maria