Petro Kohutov was born on November 19, 1919, in Petrusha Volya, a village in what was the Krosno Province in Lemkovina. The son of a peasant, he completed elementary school in his native village, and then took cooperative courses in Lvov. From his youth, Petro Kohutov had been drawn into the whirlpool of public life. Assisted by Stepan Kaminsky, his fellow countryman, Petro Kohutov met with such prominent authors as Yaroslav Halan, Wanda Wasilewska and with the gifted Lemko poet Bohdan-Igor Antonych who used to recite his poetry for Lemkos during the “evenings” of poetry at student dorms in Lvov.
After he returned to his home village, Petro Kohutov worked for an agrarian cooperative, and later in the mine in the village of Kipnyk. He was arrested there on charges of disseminating revolutionary leaflets and Soviet editions.
In 1938 he lived in the township of Krosno. It was there, in the local Labor Home, in the company of members of the Communist Union of Subcarpatnia, that Petro Kohutov met with Wladyslav Gomulka and other prominent figures in the Polish progressive movement.
Beginning in 1939 and until the end of World War II, he was in the front ranks of the anti-Nazi movement.
After the war, Petro Kohutov worked as a department head, and later as the director, of one of Lvov’s largest book stores. At the same time he graduated from the Law Department of Ivan Franko University. For almost 25 years he worked as the head manager of the “Intourist” Restaurant (until 1986).
“Merited Worker of Culture of the Ukrainian SSR”, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Lvov Branch, Ukraina Society, Petro Kohutov remained — and is still — in the vanguard of public and cultural activities, particularly those related to Lemkovina.
He is the author of many articles and feature stories on Lemko history and culture, on their struggle for liberation, and on prominent Lemko political and creative personalities. His earliest anti-Nazi publications were carried by the Lvov and Kolomiya-based newspapers ZEMLIA I VOLIA (“Land and Freedom”) and SELIANSKI VISTI (“News of the Countryside”). He also wrote verses. His first poet “Memories of a Prison Cell”, appeared in the peasant-worker Calendar SVIT PRATSI (The Light of Labor, Kolomiya,1939). Petro Kohutov has regularly contributed articles to KARPATSKA RUS, NASHE SLOVO, and to other Soviet and foreign periodicals.
He ranks as one of the founders of the Lemkovina Folk Choral Ensemble, and of the Lemkivshcnyna Social-Cultural Association, sponsored by Lvov’s Cultural fund.
Petro Kohutov has organized meetings among Lemkos residing outside the Ukraine — in the United States, Canada, and Poland.
In recognition of his meritorious activities, the Ukrainian SSR Supreme Soviet conferred Petro Kohutov with a Diploma of Honor. He is also the recipient of many government awards, including the “Great Patriotic War” Orders, Grades One and Two and numerous medals and other Diplomas of Honor.
Lemkos living in all corners of the world wish Petro Kohutov a long and fruitful life, so he can continue the good job aimed for the good of all of his fellow countrymen, for furthering friendship and peace among nations.