In czarist times and during the Soviet epoch as well, Ukrainians and Belarusians were frequently accorded the same treatment. Prior to the Russian Revolution, they had been viewed as two lesser branches of the common Russian tree, dwarfed by the main—Great Russian—branch. After the revolution the Ukrainians and the Belarusians found themselves among that select group of Soviet nationalities who were able to make a career on an equal footing with Russians even outside their own republics. 1