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The Ukrainian magazine Osnova (meaning Basis in English) was published between 1861 and 1862 in St Petersburg. It contained articles devoted to life and customs of the Ukrainian people, including regular features about their wedding costumes and traditions. Prominent figures associated with the magazine Osnova included Ukrainian intellectuals such as Volodymyr Antonovych and Tadei Rylsky, as well as poet Pavlo Chubynsky.

In the Russian Empire expressions of Ukrainian culture and especially language were repeatedly persecuted, for fear that a self-aware Ukrainian nation would threaten the unity of the Empire. In 1811 by the Order of the Russian government the Kiev Mohyla Academy (opened since 1632) was closed and outlawed. In 1847 the Brotherhood of Sts Cyril and Methodius was terminated. The same year Taras Shevchenko was arrested and exiled for ten years, and banned for political reasons from expressing his views. In 1862 Pavlo Chubynsky associated with Osnova was exiled for seven years out of Ukraine to Arkhangelsk. The magazine Osnova was discontinued for financial reasons; it was not being bought.