All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets

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All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets
Всеукраїнський з'їзд Рад
 Ukrainian SSR
Type
Type
History
Established 1917
Disbanded 1937
Preceded by Central Council of Ukraine
Succeeded by Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR
Seats Varies in every congress
Elections
Indirect elections

The All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets (Ukrainian: Всеукраїнський з'їзд Рад, Russian: Всеукраинский съезд Советов) was the supreme governing body of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1917–22. From 1922 to 1938 the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR designated after the 1918 Russian Constitution mandated that Congress to be convened at least twice a year. The 1926 Constitution (in correspondence to all Soviet constitutions) lowered the minimum to once a year.

In total there were 14 Congresses of Soviets that for the most of the time took place in Kharkiv. Importance in conducting the congress of Soviets advised the People's Commissar in Affairs of Nationalities of the Russian Sovnarkom Joseph Stalin in his recommendations to a representative of Central Committee of Ukrainian Social Democratic Labour Party Mykola Porsh and a member of the Kiev regional committee of RSDLP(b) Sergei Bakinsky on November 30, 1917.[1] The congress was intended to replace the Central Council of Ukraine.

The All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets was renamed to Supreme Council in 1927.[2]

History[edit]

Cancelled First Congress (Kiev)[edit]

The very first Congress of Soviet initially took place in Kiev on December 17 (December 4, old style), 1917 in the hall of Merchant Assembly of the M.Sadovsky Theater (today the National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine). Over 2500 delegates participated at the congress. The Congress was called by the Kiev regional soviet of workers' and soldiers' deputies on the request of the Bolshevik organizations of Ukraine. Concurrently on December 16-18, 1917 in Kiev was taken place a regional congress of Bolsheviks of Ukraine. The Bolshevik Congress created a united political party of Ukraine the "RSDLP(b) - Social-Democracy of Ukraine" headed by the Chief Committee.

The first addressed issue was the election of the Congress presidium which was headed by the honorary chairman of congress Mykhailo Hrushevsky. The central question on the congress agenda was the "Ultimatum of the Sovnarkom of Russia to the Central Council of Ukraine". On December 18, 1917 the congress condemned the ultimatum. The Bolshevik faction leader and member of organizational committee Vladimir Zatonsky announced that there has been a misunderstanding as too many delegates that were present at the congress without a right of vote. Zatonsky proposed to announce a break and check credentials of all delegates. As an answer to the proposal, the leader of the Peasant Association Mykola Stasyuk declared that the regional committee of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies wished to falsify the will of Ukrainian people by giving preference to workers and soldier who in addition were not even Ukrainians over peasants. Therefore the central committee of the Peasant Association took care on its part to increase the peasant representation at the congress. After that Bolsheviks proposed to recognize the congress as a consultative meeting. When the proposal was rejected, the 127 supporters of Bolsheviks left the congress in protest. The rest participating delegates recognized the assembly as a competent congress. On December 18, 1917 the 124 delegates from 49 Soviets who left the Kiev Congress gathered at a separate meeting in the Kiev Central Bureau of Trade Unions.

First Congress (Kharkiv)[edit]

On December 21, 1917 the Red Guards of the Soviet Russia led by Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko occupied Kharkiv. At night on December 22, 1917 the Russian Red Guards with local Bolsheviks disarmed Ukrainian military units and arrested leaders of the Kharkiv City Council and garrison. On December 23, 1917 Bolsheviks established a revkom (revolutionary committee). The headquarters of a local Red Guard was established on December 14, 1917 and was located in the Stock Exchange building at Market Square (today Ploshcha Konstytutsii - Constitution Square).

On December 24-25, 1917 in the building of Noble Assembly (Market Square) in Kharkiv took place another First Congress of Soviets. The congress gathered initially 964 participants, amount of which later grew to 1250. The congress reviewed several issues: attitudes towards the Central Council of Ukraine, war and peace as well as about organization of military force, about Ukraine and Soviet Russia, estate and financial issues and others.

The congress approved the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russian SFSR and Central Powers, declared the independence of the Soviet Ukrainian People's Republic as a federative republic of Soviet Russia, Law about socialization of land adopted by the 3rd All-Russian Congress of Soviets, "About state system", decrees on 8-hour work day and labor control, organization of the Workers-Peasant Red Army of Ukraine. The policy of the Central Council of Ukraine in the resolution "About political moment" was condemned requesting withdrawal of the Austrian and German Armed Forces from Ukraine. Participants elected the new composition of the Central Executive Committee of Ukraine of 102 members headed by Vladimir Zatonsky.

Second Congress (Katerynoslav)[edit]

The Second All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets took place in Katerynoslav.

Transformation[edit]

The Congress ceased to exist at the end of the constitutional reform of 1936-1937, when the first on the union and then at the republican levels indirect election to Soviets were replaced by direct elections at all levels with the Supreme Soviet as the highest body.

List of all congresses[edit]

Order Date Location Main events
I All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets[3] (cancelled) December 17-18, 1917 Kiev Adaption of the Central Council of Ukraine as the supreme authority

Mykhailo Hrushevsky (Chairman of the Central Council of Ukraine)

I All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets December 24-25, 1917 Kharkiv Proclamation of the Soviet power

Creation of the People's Secretariat Yukhym Medvedev (Chairman of the Central Executive Committee)

II All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets March 17-19, 1918 Katerynoslav Proclamation the sovereignty of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zatonsky (Chairman of the Central Executive Committee)

III All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets March 6-10, 1919 Kharkiv Adaptation of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR

Grigory Petrovsky (Chairman of the Central Executive Committee)

IV All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets May 16-20, 1920 Kharkiv
V All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets February 25 - March 3, 1921 Kharkiv Adaptation of the Union Workers-Peasant Treaty between Soviet Ukraine and Soviet Russia,

Government of Ukraine was partially integrated into the Government of Russia

VI All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets December 14-17, 1921 Kharkiv
VII All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets December 10-14, 1922 Kharkiv
VIII All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets January 17-20, 1924 Kharkiv
IX All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets May 3-10, 1925 Kharkiv Amendments to the Constitution in correspondence with the 1924 Soviet Constitution
X All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets April 6-13, 1927 Kharkiv
XI All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets May 7-15, 1929 Kharkiv Adaptation of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR as member of the Soviet Union
XII All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets February 25 - March 4, 1931 Kharkiv
XIII All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets January 15-22, 1935 Kiev
XIV All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets (extraordinary) January 25-31, 1937 Kiev Transformation of the Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee into the Supreme Soviet

Adaptation of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR (Stalin's Constitution)

Election[edit]

The Congress was formed of representatives of city councils (soviets) (1 delegate per 25,000 voters) and the congresses of the provincial (oblast) and autonomous republican council (1 deputy for every 125 thousand inhabitants).

Powers[edit]

The exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress consisted of:

  • Election of the Central Executive Committee of Ukraine
  • Adoption of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR and amendments to it.
  • Approval of amendments proposed by the executive committee
  • Approval of constitutions of the autonomous republics of Ukraine

On the other issues the Congress and Central Executive Committee had the same authority.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Khmil, I.V., Shatalina, Ye.P., Hrytsenko, A.P., Boiko, O.D., Yefimenko, H.H. Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Vol.1. "Naukova dumka" (Scientific Thought). Kiev, 2003.
  • History of state and law of Ukrainian SSR. Vol.2. "Naukova dumka" (Scientific Thought). Kiev, 1987.
  • Honcharenko, V.D. "All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets of Workers', Peasants', and Red-Armymen Deputies - the Supreme body of authority of the Ukrainian SSR in 1917-37. Educational and Methodical Compilation of Higher Education. Kiev, 1990.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]