Negotiations and Armistices
Although communication was regular, the goals sought by the parties were mutually exclusive. Negotiations began and collapsed depending on the current situation on the front line and the news about arriving reinforcements. The general background of the talks was formed by remarks about the need to stop the hotheads, that all would be decided by the Entente, about fratricide, etc. At the same time, the Poles recognized their interim government and did not recognize the ZUNR, while the Ukrainians did not consider the Poles as an army, but only a rebellion on the civilian side. Therefore, the issues of the formation of the city militia — on a proportional basis, including Poles, Ukrainians and Jews, — the presence of armies in the city, and the disarmament of civilians could not be solved in principle, because they would change the balance of power. Under the pressure of civilians, the Ukrainians and the Poles were able to find understanding in regard to the problems of water supply, electricity, and gas, on which the lives of the inhabitants of the whole city depended, as well as regarding the temporary cessation of hostilities for the burial of the deceased, the delivery of foodstuffs, medicines, and the access of doctors. Other economic issues rested on the status of the City Council (City Hall) and on the officials’ crossing the front line; therefore, they remained unresolved.
The only ones with whom it was possible to reach an agreement were Jews. They formed their own militia and retained neutrality, which, however, did not save them from destruction and casualties, when the front stretched across the Jewish section, and especially after November 21, during a Jewish pogrom organized by the Poles as a revenge for the Jews’ "excessive" neutrality.
Ukrainians and Poles began to negotiate as early as November 2, joint commissions including civilian representatives were formed. They probably sought peace, but final decisions were taken by the military. The negotiations between the commandants also resulted in nothing but a temporary pause in the battles, as well as the appeal of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and Archbishop Józef Bilczewski.
On November 19 the parties signed an agreement on the operation of urban infrastructure, hospitals, and sanitary services in the context of fighting in the city.