Galician Soviet Socialist Republic

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Galician Soviet Socialist Republic
Galitskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika
Puppet state of Soviet Russia


Capital Ternopil
Government Revolutionary Committee (provisional)
Chairman Volodymyr Zatonsky
Historical era Interwar period
 •  Established July 15, 1920
 •  Disestablished September 21, 1920
Preceded by
Succeeded by
West Ukrainian People's Republic
Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
Today part of  Ukraine
Part of a series on the
History of Ukraine
Coat of arms of Ukraine
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine portal
Main article: Polish-Soviet War

The Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (Galician SSR) was a self declared and short lived political entity that existed from July 15 to September 21, 1920. The communist state was established during a successful counter offensive of the Red Army in the summer of 1920 as part of the Polish-Soviet War and in course of which the Polish-Ukrainian joint military force (Polish Ukrainian Front) was forced to retreat from its positions along the Dnieper that it secured earlier in 1920 all the way to the foothills of Carpathian Mountains.

The republic became a buffer zone of the ongoing conflict within the area of the South-Western front of the Red Army. Due to the successful offensive in July 1920, the Soviet government also created the Polrevkom and had intentions to create the Polish Socialist Soviet Republic. A similar, but less elaborate activity, of communist Polrewkom, was related to the North-Western front of the Red Army (the "government" was seated in Białystok).

The Galician SSR was established on July 15, 1920 when the Galician Revolutionary Committee (Halrevkom), a provisional government headed by Volodymyr Zatonsky (Vladimir Zatonsky) and created on July 8 in Kiev under auspices of Communist Party of Ukraine, issued its declaration.

The communist government moved to Tarnopol (today Ternopil) in East Galicia on 1 August 1920 upon occupation of region by the Red Army. The same day the Halrevkom adopted a decree "About establishing of Soviet power in Galicia". The national languages (of equal status) were declared to be Polish, Ukrainian and Yiddish. With its decrees the communist government abolished private ownership of the means of production, established an eight-hour work day, separated church from state and nationalised church estates, established a single labour school with seven year education as well as nationalised the land. By the end of August the Halrevkom tried to conduct elections to establish a permanent Soviet government and convene the All-Galician congress of Soviets.

With the Polish offensive on 15 September those plans failed and the Halrevkom withdrew from Tarnopol. On 21 September 1920 the republic was officially abolished and its revolutionary committee was transformed into Galician Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. With the signing of peace of Riga in March 1921, the bureau was liquidated.

Halrevkom did not control the most important area of East Galicia: the Lviv area with its oilfields of Boryslav and Drohobych.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davies, Norman, White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War, 1919-20, Pimlico, 2003, ISBN 0-7126-0694-7. (First edition: St. Martin's Press, inc., New York, 1972)

External links[edit]