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Section III. UKRAINIAN Statehood In the years 1917-1921


  1. III Universal Declaration and the UPR
  2. Fighting the Bolsheviks with UCR
  3. Universal IV
  4. The destruction of the normal everyday way of life and mood of the population in a worsening political confrontation
  • Basic terms and concepts of the theme

Nationwide constituent assembly, the Universal III UCR, Ukrainian People Republic, IV Universal UCR, and All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets (Kharkiv)

  • Key dates

November 1917, December 1917, January 1918, February 7, 1918

  1. How has the relationship UCR and the Provisional Government in autumn 1917?
  2. When and under what circumstances the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia?
  3. What were the slogans and the first steps of the Bolshevik government?

1. III Universal Declaration and the UPR

  1. What was the position in relation to the UCR immediately after the Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd?
  2. Why change it?
  3. As established power UCR in London?
  4. What was the content of the Third Universal?
  5. What are the manifestations of weak policies UCR after its adoption?

The beginning of the liberation of the Ukrainian people. Formation of the Ukrainian National Republic (March 1917 - March 1918)

October 25, 1917 in Petrograd armed uprising prevailed during leadership of the Bolshevik Party. As a result of the rebellion, the power Provisional Government was overthrown. Second Congress of Soviets declared Russia, the Republic of Soviets of Workers, Soldiers and Peasants Deputies and approved the Soviet government - the Council of People's Commissars (RNA).

The victory of the Bolsheviks in Petrograd, encouraged them to spread their power to the rest of the territory, including Ukrainian. This struggle they launched under the slogan: the land - the peasants, factories - workers world - people, authorities - councils. The greatest support for the Bolsheviks used in proletarian districts of Donbass, which received the majority local councils. In other parts of Ukraine, their social base was weak and  establish their own power they could. To resolve this  problems the Bolsheviks tried to use local zbilshovyzovani garrisons in Zhmerynka Nemiroff, Kamenetz-Podolsk, Rivne, Starokonstantinov et al. But then, the initiative is again passed to Central Council. In the winery, fighting ensued between troops loyal to Interim Government, and parts that have supported the Bolsheviks. In result of the Bolsheviks seized power and held it to the end of November,  then control over the city took over the Central Council.

Competition for power and opened in Kiev. First Central Council sympathetic attitude to the Bolsheviks, considering its main enemy  Provisional Government. Together with the socialist minority groups October 25 (7 November) it created a National Committee for the Protection of Revolution, was aimed not pass through Ukraine counterrevolutionary  troops that went to Petrograd to suppress the Bolshevik uprising. But making sure that the Soviets intend to extend its authority and to Ukraine, UCR negative attitude to the events in Petrograd and condemned Bolshevik revolution.

Head of the Kiev military district (authority of the Provisional Government) competing for power, initially planned to arrest probilshovytsku Cabinet Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies, and later the Central Council. 28 October (10 November) members of the Kyiv council workers 'and soldiers' deputies were arrested. However, it resulted in mass strikes  and armed the workers. Management Staff of the Kiev military County had to go for talks. The result was an agreement by which the responsibility for keeping order in Kiev assumed the Central Council, which at that time controlled the key points of the city. Gradually a large number of troops of the Provisional Government left Kyiv. The Bolsheviks agreed recognize the Central Council boundary government in Ukraine.

Proclamation of the Third Universal. Kyiv, November 1917

7 (20) November Central Council adopted the Universal III, which proclaimed Ukrainian National Republic (UNR)as an autonomous state unit of the Russian republic, but not under Bolshevik authorities. Calling Ukraine's Republic, Central  The Council has tried to emphasize democracy young state, whose sovereign  speaking people.

Emblem and seal of the UPR

Let us turn to sources

From Universal III Ukrainian Central Rada. 7 (20) November 1917

... Now Ukraine is the Ukrainian National Republic. Not away from the Russian Republic and preserving its unity, we stand firmly on our land, our forces to help the whole of Russia to  the entire Russian Federation Republic became free and equal peoples.
Go to the Constituent Assembly Ukraine all power? Belongs to us Ukraine? Ty Central Council, and our Government - General Secretariat of Ukraine ... Henceforth in the territory of the Ukrainian People Of the existing title to the lands and other lands netrudovyh Improvement of agricultural value, and also to lands,  cabinet and church land - is abolished. Recognizing that those lands yep property and all other working people have to go without compensation, Ukrainian Central Council instructs the Secretary General for Land  for immediately a law on how poryadkuvaty? those lands to  Ukrainian Constituent Assembly ...
On the territory of the People's Republic of Ukraine Seg day set in the factories and work eight o'clock ...
Similarly, we shall insist that at the Peace Congress Ukrainian people's right  in Russia and outside Russia was in violation of the treaty of peace. But peace to everyone citizen of the Republic of Ukraine? must stand firmly on their positions  as at the front, and in the rear ...
With this aim we instruct the General Secretariat of cases do all measures, streamline the judiciary and bring it according to rules  understood by the people ... Also in the Ukrainian People's Republic should be provided all the liberties won by the Russian Revolution: Freedom speech, press, religion, assembly, unions, strikes, and integrity of the person residence, the right and the possibility of using local languages

What were the main clause of? What is its content different from I and Universal II? Do you think that as regarded to he population of Ukraine? Why?

Thus, Universal declared a broad program socio-economic and political reforms. An important role assigned minority rights. UCR declared herself a fan early conclusion of World War II, signing rival parties to a peace treaty without annexations and indemnities. Universal determine  UNR area, to which should have included: Kiev, Podolia, Volhynia, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Ekaterinoslavschine of Taurus.

The document reflected the mood of the majority of Ukrainian population became important event in the life of Ukrainian society, which marked the new phase of state-nation building in Ukraine on the principles democracy. Meanwhile Universal III demonstrated that the leaders Central Council remained under the influence of ideological representations contained in the programs Ukrainian socialist parties, and while were not ready to proclaim the independence of Ukraine.

Widespread publication of the Universal was 9 (22) November Kiev Sophia Square. According to eyewitnesses, it was a national holiday for All Ukraine.

A new Ukrainian state based on democratic principles. The evidence that there are laws and regulations approved by the Central Council after adoption of the Universal III. Yes, 11 (24) November passed a bill on Ukrainian elections to the Constituent Assembly that would be based on equal, universal, direct, secret, without distinction of sex vote. Results of elections for the National Constituent Assembly, which  held in November 1917, showed that the Ukrainian national Party won 75% of the vote.

However, announcing the program transformation of society, not government UNR showed consistency in its implementation. Contrary to the provisions of III Pact, the Central Council began to abandon immediate solution Agricultural issues, declaring that "... Land system of Ukraine are confirm and finally determine the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly. This Ukrainian government's position has meant that the wealthy were blame the UCR is that it is pursuing a policy for the poor,  poor and argued that the government only supports the rich.

Proved complicated situation for the young Ukrainian state and foreign policy, especially in relations with Russia. With the advent  Bolsheviks to power the situation worse, because they wanted In Ukraine its power. In response to this attitude on the part of  The Bolshevik Central Council appealed to the Regional Government Don, Kuban,  Crimea, Moldova and Siberia with the proposal to create a federation of nations Russia. She tried to take on their shoulders the burden of transformation in Russia federal state.

Leaders of the Central Council sought recognition from the Allies of the UNR, but real support and not received.

2. Fighting the Bolsheviks with UCR

  1. Objectives of the Soviet government pursued, addressing the "Manifesto"?
  2. Why UCR regarded the Manifesto as interference in internal affairs of Ukraine?
  3. What were the results of the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets?
  4. Why the Bolsheviks as quickly advance through the territory Ukraine?

The first war of Soviet Russia with the Ukrainian National Republic (December 1917-1918)

Inconsistent and indecisive internal and external policies of the Central Council urged the Bolsheviks to attempt to seize power in Ukraine. They begun to prepare an uprising in Kiev. However, UCR, having learned about such plans, 30 November (December 13) surrounded by his army barracks zbilshovyzovanyh parts, disarmed them and sent in custody echelons to Russia. And failed attempt to capture the forces of Kyiv zbilshovyzovanoho 2 nd Guards Corps.

Increase of independence sentiment in Ukrainian society and Central Council rebuffed attempts by the Bolsheviks to establish his authority in Ukraine has caused dissatisfaction with the Council of People's Commissars (RNA) - Russia's new Bolshevik government. 4 (17) December 1917 sent to RNA Kyiv "Manifesto to the Ukrainian people with categorical demands to Ukrainian Rada. By hereby RNA, on the one hand, and recognized the UPR  Law of national independence of the Ukrainian people, and the other - refused to accept "the Council as authorized representative of workers and exploited masses of the Ukrainian republic, since the latter does not recognized the Soviet government in Ukraine.

The "Manifesto" were formulated claims of Bolshevik power to the Central Council:

  • not pass through Ukraine to Russia Bolshevist troops;
  • Disarmament stop the Red Army units in Ukraine and return them to arms;
  • abandon attempts to transform South-Western Front in its subordination of the Ukrainian Central Council;
  • Bolshevik troops pass through Ukraine to the southern front.

In case of rejection of these conditions Sovnarcom threatened to launch a war against UPR. The General Secretariat on behalf of the Central Council has given strong resistance to RNA kvalifikuvavshy ultimatum as a gross interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

Let us turn to sources

From the General Secretariat of the UPR response to an ultimatum Sovnarkoma. 5 (18) December 1917

General Secretariat of People's Commissars in a statement that they recognize the Ukrainian Republic, sees or falsity or contradiction themselves.
Unable to simultaneously recognize the right to self-determination up to separation and at the same time to make a rough attempt at this right? General Secretariat strongly odkydaye every attempt People Commissioners interfere in the case of state regulation and political Life in the People's Republic Ukrainian ...

How the General Secretariat responded to summons? What he explained this response?

Sovnarcom in response to that decided "to consider the Council at war with us. 9 (22) December to the troops began to arrive in Kharkiv V.Antonova Ovsijenka-appointed commander of Russian troops against UCR, and the next day they disarmed ukrainian bronedyvizion. A few days into Kharkov in Russian outpost troops deployed for further preparation for armed struggle  against the Central Council.


The severity of the political situation in Ukraine as a result of armed conflict in the struggle for power amplified activity of the Bolsheviks, associated with the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets. Planned UCR express distrust and elect its new members from among the delegates workers 'and soldiers' councils. This time the Bolsheviks recognized  Central Council as the highest body boundary of power in Ukraine, with a view replace its workers' councils and peasant deputies, among whom they had an impact. However, the results of preparatory work for the Congress were not unfavorable for the Bolsheviks. The management of some local councils, led by SRs and Mensheviks, refused to participate in the congress, which The Bolsheviks tried to use to remove power from Central Council.

Leaders of the Central Council, aware of such plans, do not dare prevent the Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, not to be subject to charges  antydemokratyzmi. However, they did not intend to give chance to the Bolsheviks to stage a coup and tried to collect as much as possible onto delegates of the peasants and ukrainian parts to be support the Central Council. Such delegates arrived at the rally of more than 2 ths. against 150 people. Bolshevik supporters.

All-Ukrainian Congress of Workers, Soldiers and Peasants' Deputies held in Kiev 06.04 (17-19) December, but the organizer of his work played no committee workers and soldiers' councils and leadership Central Council to be subjected to the policy of the Russian Soviet government sharp criticism. The vast majority of the delegates argued for full support of the Central Council and its policies aimed at achieving Ukraine's independence. However, Congress almost unanimously approved a resolution condemning the policy Sovnarkoma.

Considering these circumstances, delegates, the Bolsheviks and their supporters Kyiv left and moved to Kharkov. There they joined the work Third Congress of Workers and Soldiers Deputies Donetsk-Krivoy Rog pool and offered to change his status at the first All-Ukrainian Congress Soviets. The work of the congress took place in Kharkiv 11-13 (24-27) December entirely  Bolshevik scenario. Delegates welcomed the uprising in Petrograd and Sovnarkoma approved policy. Congress declared Soviet power in the UPR and extended to Ukraine Lenin decrees. In addition, delegates elected Central Executive Committee of Soviets of Ukraine, which in turn created People's Secretariat - the Bolshevik government of the UPR, which became an alternative General Secretariat.

All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets finally distinction between the political forces and brought  Ukrainian society to the fratricidal civil war. From Russia to Ukraine came close to 20 thousand revolutionary-minded sailors, soldiers and Red Guards. December 25 (7 January) V.Antonov-Ovsienko ordered the general attack against UNR. December 29 Bolsheviks Ekaterinoslav captured. The city previously baked rebellion workers who came to the aid of Russian troops. Under such a plan  Bolsheviks were not once. 6 (19) January Bolshevik forces from Kharkov and Lozova launched an offensive in the direction of Poltava-Kyiv. Together with they were Bolsheviks and other formations, which went to Kyiv from the north, from the borders of Belarus and Russia. They took part in the march to Kyiv and zbilshovyzovani Ukrainian military units under the direction of Yu Kotsubynsky.

Central Council tried to stop the aggression. But most of ukrainian military units, who supported the idea of

Central Leadership Council, trying to delay progress Bolshevik troops in Kyiv, sent their militias to railroad Hrebinka-Sharp. These consisted of forming unit Haidamaks, Detachment Military School cadets. Khmelnitskogo and booth Kiev students and school students. The total number of Ukrainian  defenders was about 650 people. Soviet troops who were advancing against them were almost ten-fold advantage in manpower.

The battle began in the morning 16 (29), 1918 and lasted several hours. But the Bolsheviks came up reinforcements from the armored trains. Then the defenders pulled down the track and in the evening retreated toward Kyiv. Shortly  it appeared that not enough of one student group. His fighters, departing at dusk, huddled on the trail and got into captivity to Bolsheviks. Hot, angry about the loss of three hundred Red, shot 27 prisoners and high-school students. In Battle of steep Ukrainian soldiers have lost about 250 people. This fight entered into the national history as a tragic page of the struggle for an independent Ukraine.

Burial students killed when cool. Kyiv, 1918

Military leadership aware of the strategic importance of the UPR Defense Bakhmatsky directly from railroad Hrebinka-cool, but was compelled to withdraw some troops from the front to suppress the Bolshevik Workers uprising that began in Kiev at the plant "Arsenal" in the night at 16 (29) January. Army rebels raided the Central Council - 300 They were shot. But this victory could not fundamentally change strategic situation in Ukraine in late January. Bolshevik armed groups continued to develop its offensive Kyiv.

Kyiv Plant "Arsenal". 1918

3. IV Universal UCR

  1. What circumstances prompted the leaders of UCR to prepare the IV and the Universal Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?
  2. Why will not cause any real change in Ukrainian society?

Deploying the war against Soviet Russia put an end to illusions UNR Central Council of ideas regarding autonomy and federalism. Early In 1918 it became clear that finding ways of compromise between Ukraine and Russia exhausted, so the majority leaders of the Central Council began inclining to the declaration of full independence of Ukraine. Such a decision  pushed them and negotiate separate peace at Brest * started in December 1917 between Bolshevik Russia and Germany along with its allies.

9 (22) January leaders of the Central Council started to discuss the text Universal IVThat sought to declare autonomy and independence of the UPR. The final document was released on the night 12 (1925), 1918

Let us turn to sources

Universal IV Ukrainian Central Rada. (22 (9), 1918)

People of Ukraine!
Thy power, the will, the word was on Earth Ukrainian Free People Republic ... Henceforth, the Ukrainian People's Republic became independent, no from one independent, free, sovereign state of the Ukrainian people .... with all the neighboring states? we want to live in harmony and friendly, but none of them can interfere with life on her own Ukrainian Republic.
The power of it will belong only to the people of Ukraine, whose name, until bring together Ukrainian Constituent Assembly, we will celebrate, Ukrainian Central Council,? and performing our body which will be called singular Council of Ministers.
So first attribute of our Government - Council People's Ministers - from the day's already started to conduct negotiations peace with the central states and prove themselves fully to their end? and establish peace to our region began its economic life in  peace and harmony ...
In the case of the Land Commission, elected at our last session, has already made  law on transfer of land without compensation working people, taking on basis for the abolition of land ownership and Socialization ...
All the same democratic freedoms set forth in the Universal 3-m, Ukrainian Central Council reaffirms in particular states: 'independent Ukrainian People's Republic of nations enjoy national personal autonomy, acknowledged them by law 9 January.

What main idea contains text of the Universal? What he develops text predecessors UCR? What value do you see it?

In Universal also proclaimed that UNR seeks peace coexistence with neighboring nations. However, the government and citizens of the UPR  zaklykalysya to combat Bolshevik aggression.

In addition, the Central Council announced the dissolution of a standing army and organization instead of national police. People's Council of Ministers instructed to immediately proceed with the restoration industry, providing  control over such important areas as trade in economic life export-import operations and pricing. Universal acknowledged need to transfer land to the peasants planting.

Ukrainian population perceived IV Universal quietly, without celebrations and demonstrations, as it were. Most people are not tied their hopes for a better life with new declarations Central Council. Almost universally adhered to anarchy, property rozkradalosya factories and plants, hrabuvalysya aristocratic estates. Authority of the Central Council  in Ukrainian society continued to fall. IV Declaration Universal was an important event in the state building process in Ukraine, but moment in the history of the UPR not only coincided with the culmination Ukrainian national movement, and held in conditions of deep economic and political crisis.

Bolshevik troops continued to expand its offensive opportunities and 26 January (7 February) in 1918 seized Kyiv. Central Council moved to Zhitomir and it led the struggle against Russian military units.

4. The destruction of the normal everyday way of life and mood of the population in a worsening political confrontation

  1. What to expect from the Revolution the average person?
  2. As understood by D. Doroshenko "deepening the revolution"?
  3. How did people's attitude to democracy, rule of law to human life and others.?

Tense political situation in the Ukrainian lands in autumn 1917 eroded ordinary everyday way of living. The average man waiting for the revolution to improve their own lives. The farmers demanded ground troops - end the war. City residents experienced shortage Food, suffered from speculation and constant growth forces. However, the Interim Government and the Central Council of delaying the resolution of questions  which affected the interests of the majority.

Time in Ukraine suffered terribly from the pogroms and beshketuvan that reaching its soldiers from the front, which, according to contemporaries, often turned into bands of robbers and oppressors. "In general terms Disorder Central Council was unable to secure law and order and of Kyiv and other major cities had to do it yourself. In  were selected homes of house committees having found weapons organized self-created war of house wife. Often people who never in his life is not kept in the hands of weapons, forced were cleaned and repaired rifles and discuss strategic methods protection of buildings and estates of robbers attacked.

This situation skillfully used the Bolsheviks, calling farmers workers and soldiers to independently solve their own problems. Under the influence of mass agitation soldiers fleeing from the front, back in home villages with weapons, helping fellow landlords loot estates and land grab. The Bolsheviks and Workers ozbroyuvaly created combat troops to seize power in the industrial centers Ukraine.

Part of the revolutionary minded Ukrainian intelligentsia hoped that the deepening of the revolution will eventually lead to competition independence. However, anarchy and chaos in a completely different impact on life population. Ukrainian historian D. Doroshenko, who worked at the time province commissar of the Provisional Government, and the Central Council Chernihiv province - described this: "When two months ago were receiving from different parts of the Chernihiv province Telegram pidpalennya estates, the destruction vinokurennyh plants of economic equipment, and killing others. ? P. Savich invariably smiled and said: "Deepening the revolution!" Then one day received a telegram on murder in order to plunder his dad and mother. Poor Savich tried  deepening of the revolution itself. "

D. Doroshenko

In November 1917 - January 1918 the situation deteriorated. Began fighting and real fighting between the militias of the Bolsheviks  ukrainian and parts of Central Council. Suffered from this first of all, most of the population of Ukraine.

Let us turn to sources

S. Sumy of armed clashes in Kiev

"Building on our Maryyinsko-street rozmischavsya between Blagoveshchensk Jewish bazaar and station. With advancing Ukrainian Jewish Bazaar,  the station - the Bolsheviks, ... Our Land, was in the center warring camps, and passed from hand to hand. Every government that its held - in the face of several soldiers knocked at the gate and claimed that located on our roof machine gun. ... Further, the Ukrainian was always confident that our roof is placed Bolshevik machine gun, and Bolsheviks - the Ukrainian. They did it according to the searches, followed on apartments ... sometimes find old clocks or balls of flour, which owners do not have time to hide. Although no watches, no balls of flour is shot, they still confiscated, this is true, these searches ended. "

About telling your document? What is common in the actions of soldiers on both parties? What felt while tenants? What impression  you these things?

Similar events took place in other cities. During the battles of the population hovalosya in basements, in cold and dark. Shops and bazaars were closed;  so eat that had won at home or in the risk their lives. Ukrainian scientist V. Vernadsky - witness contemporary events he wrote in his diary: "I write. At home all asleep. And on the streets - crack a machine gun. Man gets used to everything, how surprising - and not hear gun know what is happening in the city? We live on the outskirts, in a remote Lane ... But always and may break, and we feel under power thieves. Poltava is full of nervous mood? Exeunt collision Bolsheviks and peasants. Again feeling the full power all the robbers. ?. You live all the time, feeling the violence. "

Thus, ordinary, everyday way of life was destroyed. Laws did not act, as well as authoritative institutions. In a worsening political opposition sentiment quickly radykalizuvalysya population. Changed attitude to life. They began to spread the illusion that  overcome hunger, poverty, gain ground, better housing can force weapons. Gradually exacerbated violence, hatred disappointment capabilities of national democracy. Znetsinyuvalosya human life.

  1. Why was adopted and which contain the provisions of the Third Universal UCR?
  2. What were the internal and foreign policy UCR in October - November, 1917?
  3. What was caused by the Bolshevik government ultimatum to the Central Council?
  4. Under what circumstances and events which started the war with the Central Council of the Bolsheviks?
  5. When and how the Soviet regime was proclaimed in Kharkov?
  6. As there was a campaign by Bolshevik troops in Kyiv?
  7. When and under what circumstances the battle took place under cool?
  8. What was the content of the Universal IV UCR?
  9. What was the mood of the population in the aggravation of the political opposition?
  10. Consider the text of the Third Universal and fold the table: what issues and how the supposed deal. Do you agree with finding sponsors for the content of the Third Universal: "... he demonstrated that the leaders of the Central Council remained under the influence of stereotypes Russian imperial center and at the time were not ready to declaration of independence of Ukraine "? Explain your opinion.
  11. What events preceded Sovnarkoma ultimatum? Could the Central Council meet the conditions of an ultimatum and remain in power?
  12. What are the reasons was deteriorating relations between the UPR and Bolshevik government of Russia in early December 1917? Arguments their opinions with facts.
  13. What were the consequences of decisions and the Congress of Soviets in Kiev and Kharkov? Compare them. What can you conclude? What are these processes Ukrainian society witnessed these events?
  14. How independent were the actions of the Ukrainian Bolsheviks of the Soviet regime? Prove.
  15. Why, despite the high national spirit among the Ukrainian population, the Central Council was unable to resist the offensive of Bolshevik troops?
  16. Define your personal position: Universals and the four had the highest value for the further development of Ukraine.