The quiet and the panic
In the second half of August 1914 the situation in Lviv was intense. The Russian troops breached the Austrian defensive line and started their active attack on the Eastern Halychyna. The Austrian authorities reacted to war failures with repressions against civilians suspected of espionage and aiding the Russian army. Searches and arrests took place in the apartments and societies of Russophiles and “political suspects”. Lviv prisons were overcrowded. Bad sanitary conditions and the threat of revolt made the police directorate ask the Halychyna governor for the permission to take about 2 thousands of imprisoned Russophiles from the city. In spite of the fact that transfer of Lviv to the Russian troops took place in quite a peaceful way, the occupation authorities required security guarantees. Lvivites were ordered to lay down arms and to give out 16 hostages (4 respected people from each community of the city –Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian and Old Rusyny ones). The new administration took care of the release of political prisoners, but persecutions of political suspects did not stop. Over several months 578 Ukrainians were taken to the depth of Russia, including 34 Greek Catholic priests. Lviv residents did not believe that the Russian authorities would stay in the city for a long time. Rumour had it that not far from Lviv there acted partisan units and that Russian occupation of Halychyna was a part of the strategic plan of Austro-Hungarian command. The greatest hopes were on the fortress in Przemysl, from which on March 22, 1915 the Austrian troops had to capitulate since they failed to resist a long and exhaustive besiege. That piece of news caused shock and hysterics in Lviv. Many people had heart attacks, some committed suicide.