The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement was a movement based primarily in Western Ukraine that addressed the economic plight of the western Ukrainian people through the creation of financial, agricultural and trade cooperatives that enabled western Ukrainians (primarily peasants) to pool their resources, to obtain less expensive loans and insurance, and to pay less for products such as farm equipment. The cooperatives played a major role in the social and economic mobilization of the western Ukrainian people, most of whom were peasants. First begun in 1883, by 1939 cooperatives had 700,000 members in western Ukraine, employing 15,000 Ukrainians. The cooperatives were shut down by the Soviet authorities when western Ukraine was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939. However, they continue to exist and flourish among Ukrainian emigrants and their descendants in North and South America, Europe and Australia.
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