After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the issue of the future fate of Carpatho-Ukraine became urgent. On January 21st, 1919, at the “Meeting of all Ruthanians, living in Hungary” that took place in Khust, over 400 deputies from all Carpatho-Ukraine declared annexation of the territory to the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR). But the critical condition of the UPR Directorate didn’t allow this to happen due to the aggression of Bolshevik Russia. Instead, the American People’s Council of Carpatho-Ruthenians, founded in emigration in June 1918, after negotiations with the President of the Czech Republic Tomash Masaryk (Tomáš Masaryk) on November 12th, 1918, in Scranton (USA) made a decision to annex Ruthenia lands to Czechoslovakian republic on the footing of federation. This decision was later consolidated with the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Treaty of Trianon, according to which Carpatho-Ukraine as autonomy was annexed to Czechoslovakia under the name “Subcarpathian Rus”.
Carpatho-Ukraine after annexation de facto became an agricultural appendage to economically developed Czech territory. The territory of “Subcarpathian Rus” comprised 5% of all territory of the Czechoslovakian republic, where lived 9% of population and remained only 0,07% of production capacity. Market share of manufacturing industry in the economics of the region comprised only 2%, and over two thirds of the territory of Carpatho-Ukraine (260 116 hectares) were reserved for Czech military colonists. Almost 90% of farms were trapped in debt. This was caused not only by high rent, but also by numerous fines and taxes, which became 13 times higher over the decade (1919-1929). Fighting for better life, population was actively supporting radical left parties. In particular, in the 1924 general elections communists got 40% of all votes. In 1935 amount of votes in their favor fell to 15%, but they still got more votes than any other party.
Anti-Czech attitude enhanced also because of the center-based policy of Prague. During the period between the wars the government, regardless of its international commitments, didn’t give the region the status of autonomy. On the territory of Carpatho-Ukraine there were many Czechs (in 1930 there were 30 thousand Czechs, 70-80% of them were in the governmental establishment). Czech schools were privileged: 213 independent Czech schools were opened over the period of 20 years.
Political movement of Carpatho-Ukraine contained several competing branches: Russophile, autochthonic, and Ukrainian. The Ukrainian movement, represented by young intelligentsia (teachers, students), with the support of living connection with people, had substantial achievements. Activity of “Prosvita” society together with the network of reading rooms all over the region (in 1936 – 14 branches and 233 reading rooms), “Teachers’ community” , national theatre, choir in Uzhgorod, Plast , Ukrainian schools and influence of Ukrainian press contributed to the victory of the Ukrainian national movement in Carpatho-Ukraine in the end of the 1930s. Russophiles gathered around “Alexander Dukhnovich society” and around Orthodox Church, organized by Russian emigrants and supported by the Czech government to counterbalance Greek-Catholic church.