Ukrainian People's Republic

Coordinates: 50°27′N 30°30′E / 50.450°N 30.500°E / 50.450; 30.500
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Ukrainian People's Republic
  • Українська Народня Республіка (Ukrainian)
  • Ukrainska Narodnia Respublika
1917–1918; 1918–1921[a]
Anthem: Ще не вмерла України
Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy
"Ukraine has not yet perished"
State seal:
The Ukrainian People's Republic (green) in 1918 superimposed on modern borders
The Ukrainian People's Republic (green) in 1918 superimposed on modern borders
StatusAutonomy within the Russian Republic (1917–1917/1918)
Partially-recognized state (1917/1918–1921)
Government-in-exile (1921–1992)
de facto capitals:

Common languagesOfficial:

Minority languages:
Russian, Yiddish, Polish, German, Belarusian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Urum, etc.
GovernmentProvisional parliamentary republic (1917–1918)
Provisional directorial[1] parliamentary republic (1918–1920)
President (Central Council) 
• 1917–1918
Mykhailo Hrushevskyi
President (Directorate) 
• 1918–1919
Volodymyr Vynnychenko
• 1919–1920[b]
Symon Petliura
Prime minister 
• 1917–1918
Volodymyr Vynnychenko
• 1918–1919
Volodymyr Chekhivsky
• 1919
Borys Martos
• 1919–1920
Isaak Mazepa
• 1920–1921
Vyacheslav Prokopovych
LegislatureCentral Council[c]
Labor Congress
Historical eraWorld War IRussian Civil War
• Autonomy declared
23 June 1917
20 November 1917
22 January 1918
• Directorate formed
13 November 1918
• Republic restored
14 December 1918
• Unity Act signed
22 January 1919
18 March 1921
• Authority handed over to post-Soviet Ukraine
15 March 1992
• Total
860,000 km2 (330,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian Republic
1918 April:
Ukrainian Soviet Republic
1918 December:
Ukrainian State
West Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets
Odesa Soviet Republic
Donetsk–Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic
Ukrainian State
Second Polish Republic
South Russia
Ukrainian SSR
Post-Soviet Ukraine

The Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR)[d][e] was a short-lived state in Eastern Europe. Prior to its proclamation, the Central Council of Ukraine was elected in March 1917 as a result of the February Revolution, and in June, it declared Ukrainian autonomy within Russia. Its autonomy was later recognized by the Russian Provisional Government. Following the October Revolution, the Central Council of Ukraine denounced the Bolshevik seizure of power and proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic with a territory including the area of approximately eight Russian imperial governorates (Kiev, Volhynia, Kharkov, Kherson, Yekaterinoslav, Poltava, Chernigov and Podolia). It formally declared its independence from Russia on 22 January 1918.

During its short existence, the republic went through several political transformations – from the socialist-leaning republic headed by the Central Council of Ukraine with its general secretariat, to the socialist republic led by the Directorate and by Symon Petliura. Between April and December 1918, the socialist authority of the Ukrainian People's Republic was suspended, having been overthrown by the pro-German Ukrainian State of Pavlo Skoropadskyi, who was elected as the Hetman of Ukraine by a congress of peasants.[2][3][need quotation to verify] After the collapse of the Ukrainian State, the Ukrainian People's Republic declared its unification with the West Ukrainian People's Republic in January 1919. After the Polish–Ukrainian War, it signed an alliance with the Second Polish Republic. On 10 November 1920, the state lost the remainder of its territory to the Bolsheviks. The Peace of Riga on 18 March 1921 between Poland, Soviet Russia (acting also on behalf of Soviet Belarus), and Soviet Ukraine sealed the fate of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

After the October Revolution, many governments formed in the territory of Ukraine, most notably the Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets based in Kharkov, and its Soviet successors. This force, along with the Ukrainian People's Republic, the White movement, Poland, Green armies, and anarchists, fought constantly with each other, which resulted in many casualties among Ukrainians fighting in the Ukrainian War of Independence as part of the wider Russian Civil War of 1917–1923. Soviet Russia would extend its control over what would ultimately become the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922.[2]


Revolutionary wave

A February 1918 article from The New York Times shows a map of the Russian Imperial territories claimed by the Ukrainian People's Republic at the time, before the annexation of the Austro-Hungarian lands of the West Ukrainian People's Republic.

On 10 June 1917, the Central Council of Ukraine declared its autonomy as part of the Russian Republic by its First Universal at the All-Ukrainian Military Congress. The highest governing body of the Ukrainian People's Republic became the General Secretariat headed by Volodymyr Vynnychenko. The Prime Minister of Russia Alexander Kerensky recognized the Secretariat, appointing it as the representative governing body of the Russian Provisional Government and limiting its powers to five governorates: Volyn, Kiev Governorate, Podolia, Chernigov, and Poltava. At first Vynnychenko protested and left his post as Secretariat leader, but eventually returned to reassemble the Secretariat after the Tsentralna Rada accepted the Kerensky Instruktsiya and issued the Second Universal.

After the October Revolution the Kievan faction of the Bolshevik Party instigated the uprising in Kiev on 8 November 1917 in order to establish Soviet power in the city. Kiev Military District forces attempted to stop it, but after the Tsentralna Rada threw its support behind the Bolsheviks, the Russian forces were eliminated from Kiev. After expelling the government forces, the Rada announced a wider autonomy for the Ukrainian Republic, still maintaining ties to Russia, on 22 November 1917. The territory of the republic was proclaimed by the Third Universal 20 November 1917 (7 November by Old Style)[4] of the Tsentralna Rada encompassing the governorates: Volyn, Kiev, Podolie, Chernigov, Poltava, Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Kherson, Taurida (not including Crimea). It also stated that the people of the governorates: Voronezh, Kholm, and Kursk were welcome to join the republic through a referendum. Further the Tsentralna Rada in its Universal stated that because there was no Government in the Russian Republic after the October Revolution it proclaimed itself the Supreme governing body of the territory of Ukraine until order in the Russian republic could be restored. The Central Council of Ukraine called all revolutionary activities such as the October Revolution a civil war and expressed its hopes for the resolution of the chaos.

After a brief truce, the Bolsheviks realized that the Rada had no intention of supporting the Bolshevik Revolution. They re-organized into an All-Ukrainian Council of Soviets in December 1917 in an attempt to seize power. When that failed due to the Bolsheviks' relative lack of popularity in Kiev, they moved to Kharkov. The Bolsheviks of Ukraine declared the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic outlawed and proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets with capital in Kiev, claiming that the government of the People's Secretaries of Ukraine was the only government in the country. The Bolshevik Red Army entered Ukraine from the Russian SFSR in support of the local Soviet government. As the relationships between members within the Tsentralna Rada soured, a series of regional Soviet republics on the territory of Ukraine proclaimed their independence and allegiance to the Petrograd sovnarkom (Odesa Soviet Republic (southern Ukraine), Donetsk-Krivoi Rog Soviet Republic (eastern Ukraine)). The Donetsk-Kryvoi Rog Republic was created by a direct decree of Lenin as part of the Russian SFSR with its capital in Kharkov. That decree was successfully implemented by Fyodor Sergeyev who became the chairman of the local government as well as joining the Soviet government of Ukraine, simultaneously. Unlike Fyodor Sergeyev's Republic, the Odesa Republic was not recognized by any other Bolshevik governments and on its own initiative had entered a military conflict with Romania for control over the Moldavian Democratic Republic, whose territory it was contesting.

1919 Ukraine People's Republic Diplomatic passport issued for serving in Switzerland


The following information is based on the exposition of the Museum of Soviet occupation in Kiev (Memorial in Kiev).[5]

Spring 1917

  • 8–12 March – February Revolution in the Russian Empire, victory of the democratic forces
  • 17 March – establishment of the Ukrainian Central Council
  • 4 April – recreation of Prosvita, establishment of the Ukrainian Cooperative Committee, and the Temporary Military Council, liberation of the people of Galicia, particularly Andrey Sheptytsky
  • 9 April – Mykhailo Hrushevsky returns from exile to head the Ukrainian Central Council
  • 10 April – the Ukrainian Central Council supported the convocation of the Ukrainian National Congress
  • 11 April – establishment of the Ukrainian Military Society of Hetman Polubotok headed by Mykola Mikhnovsky, organization of the 1st Ukrainian Volunteer Regiment of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
  • 13 April – a big demonstration took place in Kiev with over 100,000 people, establishment of the Ukrainian National Council in Petrograd
  • 2–4 May – the Ukrainian National Congress took place in Kiev, involving about 900 delegates, the Congress confirmed the composition of the Ukrainian Central Council of 150 members headed by Mykhailo Hrushevsky
  • 17 May – the commander of the Southwestern Front General Brusilov permitted the organization of the Bohdan Khmelnytsky Regiment which drafted 3,574 volunteers
  • 18 – 1 May Ukrainian Military Congress took place in Kiev attended by over 700 delegates. The Congress elected the Ukrainian General Military Committee of 18 members headed by Symon Petliura

Summer 1917

  • 10–15 June – the 1st All-Ukrainian Peasant Congress took place in Kiev in which 2,200 delegates participated
  • 11 June – extraordinary congress of the council of Ukrainian Military Society of Doroshenko in Simferopol decided to create a separate Ukrainian Regiment
  • 18–24 June – ignoring the prohibition of the Russian Provisional Government, the 2nd Ukrainian Military Congress took place in Kiev. The congress accepted the declaration of a detailed plan of Ukrainization of the Russian Army, leaving Symon Petlyura as the head of the Ukrainian General Military Committee. The congress showed its support to the Ukrainian Central Council. The council of Kharkov Governorate recognized the Ukrainian Central Council as a government authority in Ukraine
  • 24 June – announcement of the 1st Universal (Declaration) of the Ukrainian Central Council at Sofiyivska Ploshcha (Sofia Square)
  • 28 June – the Ukrainian Central Council elects the General Secretariat of Ukraine as an authority of state power
  • 11 July – a delegation of the Russian Provisional Government (Kerenskyi, Tereshchenko, and Tsereteli) arrived in Kiev
  • 14 July – the Ukrainian Central Council adopted that Petty Council consisting of 40 representatives from Ukrainian and 18 from national minorities
  • 16 July – the Petty Council adopted the 2nd Universal (Declaration) of the Ukrainian Central Council
  • 29 July – the Petty Council adopted the Statute of the Highest Government of Ukraine
  • 8 August – a terrorist attack took place at the railroad station "Post-Volynsky" (Kiev) where the newly formed Bohdan Khmelnytsky Regiment was attacked by the Moscow cuirassiers and Don Cossacks
  • 17 August – the Russian Provisional Government issued a temporary instruction (Instruktsia) for the General Secretariat of Provisional Government in Ukraine where it recognized the competency of the General Secretariat over five Governorates (Gubernias): Kiev, Volyn, Poltava, Chernihiv, and Podillia

Autumn 1917

  • 22 September – the Petty Council adopted the declaration about the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly. The representatives of national minorities in the Petty Council condemned the intentions of Ukraine to separate from Russia
  • 27 September – start of the State Democratic Convention in Petrograd
  • 13 October – by the petition of the Kiev Court Chamber the Russian Provisional Government initiates investigation against the General Secretariat for the intention to convene the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly
  • 7 November – October Revolution in Petrograd. Petty Council created of the Regional Committee in Protection of Revolution in Ukraine. The committee announced the extension of its powers over the nine Ukrainian governorates
  • 8 November – the Ukrainian Central Council adopted a resolution which condemned the revolution. In protest, the Bolsheviks left the Regional Committee and the Ukrainian Central Council
  • 9 November – the commander of the Kiev Military District General Kvetsinsky refused to recognize the Regional Committee which in turn was dissolved transferring all its powers to the General Secretariat
  • 11 November – arrested Bolsheviks of a revolutionary committee. The Ukrainian Central Council adopted a bill about elections to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly handing to the Petty Council to finalize the law and conduct the elections
  • 14 November – the Ukrainian Central Council and the General Secretary are recognized as state authorities. The General Secretary of Military Affairs Symon Petliura subordinates the Kiev militia (law enforcement) to the Ukrainian government
  • 20 November – after the announcement of the 3rd Universal (Declaration) the deputies of Russian Cadets V. Krupkov and Polish Kolo V. Rudnytsky surrendered their mandates of the Ukrainian Central Council
  • 21 November – the General Secretary of Military Affairs Symon Petliura appoints General Pavlo Skoropadsky a commander of the Right-bank Ukraine armed forces
  • 22 November – in the presence of the French, Italian, and Romanian diplomatic missions, the 3rd Universal (Declaration) was announced at Sofiyivska Ploshcha (Sofia Square)
  • 27 November – the Ukrainian Central Council adopted a resolution regarding the Kholm Governorate protesting its annexation by Poland
  • 30 November – General Secretariat announced that Sovnarkom is not a legal authority of Russia. The Petty Council adopted the Law "About the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly" where it was established its composition of 301 members:
    • Kiev Governorate – 45
    • Volhynian Governorate – 30
    • Podillya Governorate – 30
    • Yekaterinoslav Governorate – 36
    • Poltava Governorate – 30
    • Kherson Governorate – 34
    • Kharkov Governorate – 35
    • Taurida Governorate – 9
    • Chernihiv Governorate – 27
    • Ostrohozh district – 15

(Each deputy represents 100,000 of population, a right of vote have citizens of 20 years and older; established the Central Election Commission to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly)

Winter 1917–18

"Ukrainian People's Republic" – French-language map, dating from 1918
UPR postcard depicting a group with the yellow-blue flag and anthem lyrics, defending themselves from a Russian double-headed eagle. (November–December 1917)
UPR postage stamp
  • 14–15 December – the Petty Council adopted the Law about the General Court, the highest judicial institution of the Ukrainian People's Republic. International diplomatic missions transferred their offices from Mohyliv-Podilsky to Kiev. The government of France on 18 December announced its intention to have a diplomatic relationship with Ukraine. England declared a similar intention
  • 19 – 1 December Congress of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' deputies of Ukraine expressed its complete trust to the Ukrainian Central Council and General Secretariat and condemned the Ultimatum of Lenin-Trotsky
  • 22 December – the Petty Council adopted the Law on taxes and collections, with which all taxes and collections belonged to the State Treasury of Ukraine
  • 23 December – the General Secretariat determined the composition of the Ukrainian delegation to the peace talks in Brest-Litovsk
  • 25 December – the Peace Conference in Brest-Litovsk sent in a telegram for Ukraine to join the negotiations
  • 3 January – General Georges Tabouis was appointed the Commissar of French Republic to the Government of Ukrainian People's Republic
  • 6 January – start of the peace negotiations in Brest. The head of Ukrainian delegation Vsevolod Holubovych requests recognition of Ukraine as a sovereign state, adding of the Kholm Governorate, and conducting a plebiscite on the territory of Austria-Hungary where dominated the Ukrainian population to add that territory to Ukraine
  • 9 January – 171 delegates were elected to the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly
  • 10–12 January – the Central powers recognized the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Brest as a separate and plenipotentiary to conduct negotiations on the behalf of Ukrainian People's Republic
  • 16 January – the Petty Council adopted the law about creation of the Ukrainian National Army and its composition based on a militia principle
  • 22 January – the Petty Council adopted the law about the National-Individual Autonomy. For the last text of the 4th Universal (Declaration) voted: "for" – 39 voices, "against" – 4 voices, "abstained" – 6
  • 29 January – Battle of Kruty
  • 9 February – the Brest peace treaty was signed with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria
  • 10 February – Due to advance of the Russian Bolshevik forces the government of Ukraine was evacuated to Zhytomyr from Kiev
  • 21 February – the Ukrainian delegation issued a declaration about reasons for the arrival of German forces in Ukraine
  • 27 February – the Ukrainian Central Council adopted the law about the introduction in Ukraine a new style of calendar according which a time moves 13 days ahead. The Petty Council adopted the law about the new monetary system. The monetary unit became hryvnia that had 8.712 units of pure gold. Adoption of the law about the coat of arms of the Ukrainian People's Republic – Trident (Tryzub)

Spring 1918

In April 1918 troops loyal to the Ukrainian People's Republic take control of several cities in the Donbas region.[6]

  • 2 March – the Petty Council adopted the law about citizenship of Ukraine, the law about new administrative system. The Russian established gubernias were to be replaced by new administrative unit – zemlia (land)
  • 18 March – several perished student-veterans of Kruty were reburied in Kiev
  • 11 April – 12 May 1918 was designated as the first convocation of the Ukrainian Constituent Assembly
  • 13 April – Adoption of the Ukrainian Central Council resolution condemning the annexation of Bessarabia by Romania
  • 23 April – an economic treaty is signed between Ukraine and Germany with Austria-Hungary
  • 25 April – Adoption of the law about the Central Economic Council of Ukraine
  • 29 April – Adopted a bill on the Constitution of Ukraine. The All-Ukrainian Agrarian Congress elects Pavlo Skoropadsky the Hetman of Ukraine


Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (9 February 1918):
  Ukrainian People's Republic
  Claimed territories (striped)
  German troops in autumn, 1917
  Soviet Russia
  Don regional government
  Kuban regional government
  Crimea regional government
  Polish council

Due to the aggression from Soviet Russia, on 22 January 1918, the Tsentralna Rada issued its Fourth Universal (dated 22 January 1918), breaking ties with Bolshevik Russia and proclaiming a sovereign Ukrainian state.[7] Less than a month later, on 9 February 1918, the Red Army seized Kiev.

Besieged by the Bolsheviks and having lost much territory, the Rada was forced to seek foreign aid, and signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 9 February 1918 to obtain military help from the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Germany helped the Ukrainian Army force the Bolsheviks out of Ukraine. On 20 February 1918 the council of the Kuban People's Republic accepted the resolution for a federal union of Kuban with Ukraine as Bolshevik forces pushed towards Yekaterinodar. It was agreed to forward the resolution for ratification to the Ukrainian government.

After the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Ukraine became a virtual protectorate of the German Empire which at that time seemed more favorable[to whom?] than being overrun by the Soviet forces that were spreading havoc in the country. Germany was anxious about losing the war and was trying to speed up the process of food extraction from Ukraine, so it decided to install its own administration in the person of Generalfeldmarschall von Eichhorn who replaced the Colonel General Alexander von Linsingen. On 6 April the commander of the Army group Kijew issued an order in which he explained his intentions to execute the conditions of the treaty. That, of course, conflicted with the laws of the Ukrainian government, which annulled his order. By April 1918 the German-Austrian Operation Faustschlag offensive had completely removed the Bolsheviks from Ukraine.[8][6][9][10][11] The German/Austro-Hungarian victories in Ukraine were due to the apathy of the locals and the inferior fighting skills of Bolsheviks troops compared to their Austro-Hungarian and German counterparts.[11]

The Germans arrested and disbanded the Tsentralna Rada on 29 April 1918 to stop the social reforms that were taking place and restarted the process of food supply transfer to Germany and Austria-Hungary. The German authorities also arrested the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Vsevolod Holubovych, on terrorist charges, and thus disbanded the Council of People's Ministers. Prior to this, the Rada had approved the Constitution of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Concurrently with all these events and a few days prior to the change of powers in the country on 24 April 1918 the government of Belarus confirmed the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce in Kiev headed by Mitrofan Dovnar-Zapolsky on the initiative of the Belarusian secretary of finance Pyotr Krechevsky.[12]


May–November, 1918:
  Ukrainian State
  Territories of Ukrainian Union (striped)

After the coup, the Rada was replaced by the conservative government of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky, the Hetmanate, and the Ukrainian People's Republic by a "Ukrainian State" (Ukrainska derzhava). Skoropadsky, a former officer of the Russian Empire, established a regime favoring large landowners and concentrating power at the top. The government had little support from Ukrainian activists, but unlike the socialist Rada, it was able to establish an effective administrative organization, established diplomatic ties with many countries, and concluded a peace treaty with Soviet Russia. In a few months, the Hetmanate also printed millions of Ukrainian language textbooks, established many Ukrainian schools, two universities, and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

The Hetmanate government also supported the confiscation of previously-nationalized peasant lands by wealthy estate owners, often with the help of German troops. This led to unrest, the rise of a peasant partisan (guerrilla) movement, and a series of large-scale popular armed revolts. Negotiations were held to garner support from previous Rada members Petliura and Vynnychenko, but these activists worked to overthrow Skoropadsky. On 30 July, a Russian Left Socialist-Revolutionary, Boris Mikhailovich Donskoy, with help from the local USRP succeeded in assassinating von Eichhorn, blowing him up in downtown Kiev at a broadlight.

Due to the impending loss of World War I by Germany and Austria-Hungary, Skoropadsky's sponsors, the Hetman formed a new cabinet of Russian Monarchists and committed to federation with a possible future non-Bolshevik Russia. In response, the Ukrainian socialists announced a new revolutionary government, the Directorate, on 14 November 1918.


Spring 1918

  • 29 April – All-Ukrainian Agrarian Congress elects Pavlo Skoropadsky as the Hetman of Ukraine
  • 30 April – Mykola Vasylenko was appointed the Chairman of Council of Ministers and tasked with the formation of government
  • 7 May – the Council of Ministers confirmed its intentions to add Crimea to the Ukrainian State
  • 15 May – Signing of a treaty between governments of Ukraine from one side and Germany and Austria-Hungary from another to provide a loan in amount of 400 million karbovanets for acquiring the Ukrainian food
  • 18 May – the Council of Ministers adopted the law about a creation of the State Guard
  • 23 May – started peace negotiations between representatives of Ukraine and Russia
  • 28 May – to Kiev arrived the plenipotentiary delegation of the Regional Council of Kuban headed by Mykola Ryabovol with proposition of unification of Kuban with Ukraine
  • 30 May – the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Doroshenko petitioned with a special letter to the Ambassador of Germany in Ukraine, baron Alfons Mumm von Schwarzenstein, to include Crimea to Ukraine

Summer 1918

  • 12 June – the Congress of Landowners and Agrarians of Tavria Governorate that took place in Simferopol supported the proposition to include Tavria to Ukraine
  • 20 June – the All-Ukrainian Church Council took place in Kiev
  • 1 July – adopted the decision about a creation of the Ukrainian university in Kamianets-Podilsky
  • 2 July – adoption of the law about citizenship of the Ukrainian State
  • 8 July – creation of the State Senate of the Ukrainian State as the supreme judicial institution
  • 9 July – creation of the commission in development of project of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences
  • 10 July – Kiev Orthodox clergy lifted the anathema on Hetman Mazepa
  • 24 July – Ukraine and Germany ratified the Brest Peace Treaty, adoption of laws about the general military obligation, criminal responsibility for exceeding the maximum established prices and speculation, appointments to government service
  • 27 July – due to the anti-Ukrainian policies of the Crimean government of Sulkevich the Ukrainian State established an economical blockade of the peninsula
  • 1 August – adoption of laws about supreme government and political position of military servicemen
  • 2 August – adoption of the law about the creation of fund of the National Library of Ukrainian State
  • 6 August – the All-Ukrainian Church Council called for the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church
  • 10 August – confirmed the statute of the Ukrainian State Bank and its base and reserve capitals
  • 17 August – adopted the law about a restriction on import of the Russian monetary units
  • 22 August – in Vienna Turkey and Ukraine exchanged documents that ratified the Brest Peace Treaty
  • 10 September – signing of an economic agreement between Ukraine, Germany, Austria-Hungary for the 1918–1919 fiscal years
  • 18 September – temporary stop of custom war with Crimea on the petition of the Sulkevich government

Autumn 1918

  • 5 October – in Kiev started negotiations between Ukraine and Crimea about the conditions of Crimea inclusion to Ukraine
  • 6 October – Kiev State Ukrainian University is opened
  • 16 October – Hetman of Ukraine issued declaration on the revival of cossackdom
  • 17 October – adopted a declaration about organization of volunteer militia on upholding the order of law
  • 21 October – Hetman of Ukraine met with the extraordinary mission of the Kuban regional government headed by Colonel V. Tkachov
  • 6 November – the German authorities transferred the ships of the Black Sea fleet to the Ukrainian State
  • 13 November – the Soviets annulled the Brest Peace Treaty and refused to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian State
  • 13–16 November – signing of agreement about trade, consulate, and sea relationships, railway and financial treaties between the government of Ukraine and the extraordinary mission of the Kuban regional government
  • 14 November – Anti-Hetman Uprising
  • 26 November – the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences is created chaired by Vladimir Vernadsky

Winter 1918

  • 5 December – signing of agreement of cooperation between Ukraine and Georgia
  • 14 December – Hetman of Ukraine surrender his powers and emigrated to Germany


The government of the UNR in 1920 – Symon Petlura is sitting in the centre.
Proposed borders presented by the Ukrainian delegation at the Paris Conference
Language map published by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in 1914

The Directorate gained massive popularity, and the support of some of Skoropadsky's military units including the Serdiuk Division. Their insurgent army encircled Kiev on 21 November. After a three-week-long stalemate Skoropadsky abdicated in favor of the Council of Ministers who surrendered to the Revolutionary forces. On 19 December 1918, the Directorate took control of Kiev.

The Bolsheviks invaded Ukraine from Kursk in late December 1918 where the new Ukrainian Soviet government was reestablished earlier in November of the same year. On 16 January 1919 Ukraine officially declared a war on Russia while the Russian Soviet government continued to deny all claims of invasion. On 22 January 1919, the Directorate was officially united with the West Ukrainian People's Republic, although the latter entity de facto maintained its own army and government. On 5 February, the Bolsheviks captured Kiev.[13]

Throughout 1919, Ukraine experienced chaos as the armies of the Ukrainian Republic, the Bolsheviks, the Whites, the foreign powers of the Entente, and Poland, as well as anarchist forces such as that of Nestor Makhno tried to prevail. The subsequent Kiev offensive, staged by the Polish army and allied Ukrainian forces, was unable to change the situation. On 10 November 1920, the Directorate lost the remainder of its territory to the Bolsheviks in Volhynia as it crossed into Poland to accept internment.[14] In March 1921, the Peace of Riga sealed a shared control of the territory by Poland, the Russian SFSR, and the Ukrainian SSR.[citation needed]

As the result, the lands of Galicia (Halychyna) as well as a large part of the Volhynian territory were incorporated into Poland, while the areas to the east and south became part of Soviet Ukraine.[citation needed]

After its military and political defeat, the Directorate continued to maintain control over some of its military forces. Preempting a planned invasion by its rival Archduke Wilhelm of Austria,[15] in October 1921 the Ukrainian National Republic's government-in-exile launched a series of guerrilla raids into central Ukraine that reached as far east as Kiev Oblast. On 4 November, the Directorate's guerrillas captured Korosten and seized much military supplies. But on 17 November 1921, this force was surrounded by Bolshevik cavalry and destroyed.[citation needed]


Winter 1918–19

  • 14 December – the Directorate of Ukraine received the state powers in Ukraine after the Hetman of Ukraine emigrated to Germany
  • 16 December – the Directorate renewed the law about National-Individual Autonomy
  • 19 December – the grand entry of Directorate to the capital of Ukraine. Military parade at Sofiyivska Ploshcha. Note of protest to the countries of Entente due to occupation of ports of the Southern Ukraine (Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War)
  • 26 December – Directorate published a basis of its economic-social policies and political system
  • 31 December – Directorate issued a note of protest to the Soviet Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine
  • 1 January – Directorate adopted the law about the Supreme body of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Cathedral Church
  • 2 January – order of the Chief Otaman Symon Petlyura to exile all enemies of Ukraine
  • 3–4 January – repeated notes of protest to the Soviet Russia due to its intervention
  • 4 January – Directorate adopted the law about Ukrainian monetary unit, hryvnia
  • 8 January – the government of Ukraine adopted the Land Law, based on the principles of socialism
  • 16 January – declaration of war with Moscow due to no results of peace negotiations
  • 22 January – declaration of Unification between Ukraine and West Ukraine at Sofiyivska Ploshcha
  • 23 January – session of Labor Congress initiated by Directorate was opened in Kiev. The congress attended over 400 delegates, out which 65 represented the West Ukraine. It expressed its trust in Directorate and adopted the law about the form of government in Ukraine
  • 2 February – due to the advance of Bolsheviks Directorate moved from Kiev to Vinnytsia
  • 13 February – Directorate changed the composition of the Council of National Ministers
  • 17 February – Directorate petitioned to the governments of Entente and the US for help in fight with Bolsheviks
  • 27 February – Chief Otaman met with Entente Commission in Khodoriv

Spring 1919

  • 15 March – the delegation of West Ukraine headed by Yevhen Petrushevych met with Directory in Proskuriv to further discuss development of joint operations
  • 4 April – plenipotentiary representative of Ukraine at the Versailles Peace Conference H.Sydorenko expressed his protest to the Polish military attack onto the Ukrainian territory and its political and material support by Entente
  • 9 April – Directory adopted the declaration on resignation of the Ostapenko government and appointing the new composition of the Council of National Ministers headed by Borys Martos
  • 15 April – the government of Ukraine appointed General Oleksandr Osetsky as the Otaman of the Army
  • 29 April – Volodymyr Oskilko Affairs
  • 9 May – Symon Petlyura was elected the head of Directory in Radyvyliv
  • 20 May – the peace negotiations of the diplomatic mission of Ukraine with the command of the Polish Army of Haller in Lublin showed no results

Summer 1919

  • 12 June – the government of Finland reestablished its diplomatic relationships with Ukraine
  • 16 June – the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri informed the Chairman of Directorate S. Petliura on the approval of Count Mykhailo Tyshkevych as the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Holy See
  • 18 June – the delegation of Ukraine at the Versailles Peace Conference together with the representatives of Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Northern Caucasus expressed its protest against recognition of the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace conference the government of Admiral Kolchak as the Supreme government of Russia
  • 20–21 June – signing of a temporary agreement of Ukraine with Poland in Lviv and establishment of demarcation line (Delwig line)

Anti-Bolshevik and other uprisings

The following is the list of numerous uprisings that took place during the formation of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Some of them were in opposition to the Petlyura's government (such as the Oskilko's Affair), some were against the establishment of the Soviet regime, some took place to eliminate the Entente forces. According to Cheka documentation, in Ukraine took place 268 uprisings from 1917 through 1932, where in over 100 raions the mutinied peasants were killing chekists, communists, and prodotryads that were requisitioning food by force which more resembled expropriation.[16]


Mykola Plaviuk
Mykola Plaviuk, the last President of the Ukrainian People's Republic in exile

The government of Ukrainian People's Republic operated in Warsaw, Paris, Weimar, Kissingen, Munich, and Philadelphia.

After the beginning of the World War II Taras Bulba-Borovets, with the support of the President of the Ukrainian People's Republic in exile Andrii Livytskyi, crossed the German-Soviet border and started organizing UPA military units subordinate to the UPR Government.[19]

The 10th Emergency Session of the Ukrainian National Council recognized the state of Ukraine as the successor of the Ukrainian People's Republic in exile and agreed to transfer the powers and attributes of state power to the newly elected President of Ukraine in 1991.[20]

International recognition

The Ukrainian People's Republic was recognized de jure in February 1918 by the Central Powers of World War I (Austria-Hungary, Germany, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria)[21] and by Bolshevik Russia, the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Georgia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and the Holy See. De facto recognition was granted by Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Persia.[22] Partial de facto recognition was received from the Belarusian Democratic Republic (see Belarus–Ukraine relations).

Later in 1918 Russia chose to withdraw its recognition of independent Ukraine, representing the protocols of the Versailles Treaty as justification for its action. In 1920 Symon Petliura and Józef Piłsudski signed the Warsaw Treaty in which both countries established their borders along the Zbruch River.[23][24][25] The states that previously recognized the Ukrainian People's Republic ceased any relationships with its Government-in-exile after they recognized the Soviet Government in Kiev.[22]

Important diplomatic missions and results


According to the latest census that was taken 1897, the republic was accounted for over 20 million population in seven former Russian guberniyas, plus three uyezds of the Taurida Governorate that were located on the mainland.

National composition (thousands)

Administrative division

On 4 March 1918 the Ukrainian government accepted the law about the administrative-territorial division of Ukraine. The law stated that Ukraine is divided into 32 zemlia (land) which are administered by their respective zemstvo. This law was not fully implemented as on 29 April 1918 there was the anti-socialist coup in Kiev, after which Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky reverted the reform back to the guberniya-type administration.

Armed forces

The headquarters of the republic's armed forces was called the General Bulawa and was considered to be located in Kiev. Of course, due to constant intervention from the Petrograd sovnarkom and the German Empire the physical location of it was changing (Kamyanets-Podilsky, Bila Tserkva, others).

Main military formations (UPR)

The following three Zaporizhian infantry regiments and the 3 Haidamaka Regiment of the biggest Ukrainian military formation, the Zaporizhian Corps, later were reorganized into the 1 Zaporizhian Division.

Main military formations (WUPR)

Money and banking

In December 1918 a temporary law about the issue of state banknotes by the UPR was adopted. According to this law: "Bank-notes must be issued in karbovanets" (Ukrainian: Карбованець). Each karbovanets contains 17.424 parts of pure gold and is divided into two hrivnas (Ukrainian: Гривня) or 200 shahs (Ukrainian: Шаг).

There were numerous banks in the republic among the most popular ones were the Ukrainabank and the Soyuzbank that were created by Khrystofor Baranovsky, the leader of a cooperative movement.

10 karbovantsiv (1918)


The area claimed by the Ukrainian People's Republic in 1919 (red and pink), compared with Ukraine after it regained independence in 1991 (red and green for the territories not claimed in 1919).

See also


  1. ^ Interrupted by the pro-German Ukrainian State in April-December 1918. In exile until 1992.
  2. ^ In exile, 1920–1926.
  3. ^ Dictatorship in 1918, Ukrainian Constituent Assembly cancelled due to war
  4. ^ Ukrainian: Українська Народня Республіка, romanized: Ukrainska Narodnia Respublika, in modern orthography Українська Народна Республіка, romanized: Ukrainska Narodna Respublika; abbreviated: УНР, romanized: UNR
  5. ^ Also being translated to English as Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) or Ukrainian Democratic Republic.


  1. ^ Directory (Ukrainian ruling body) at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ a b Yekelchyk 2007.
  3. ^ Europa Publications (1999). Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, 1999. Taylor & Francis. p. 849. ISBN 978-1-85743-058-5.
  4. ^ The Third Universal in the archives of the Verkhovna Rada (in Ukrainian)
  5. ^ "Official website of Kiev Memorial". Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) 100 years ago Bakhmut and the rest of Donbas liberated, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 April 2018)
  7. ^ Serhy Yekelchyk, Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation, Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-530546-3, p. 72
  8. ^ "Ukraine – World War I and the struggle for independence". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  9. ^ Tynchenko, Yaros (23 March 2018), "The Ukrainian Navy and the Crimean Issue in 1917–18", The Ukrainian Week, retrieved 14 October 2018
  10. ^ Germany Takes Control of Crimea, New York Herald (18 May 1918)
  11. ^ a b War Without Fronts: Atamans and Commissars in Ukraine, 1917–1919 by Mikhail Akulov, Harvard University, August 2013 (pp. 102 and 103)
  12. ^ Babushka with a red wagon Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  13. ^ Subtelny 2000, p. 365.
  14. ^ Subtelny 2000, p. 375.
  15. ^ Timothy Snyder (2008). Red Prince: the Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke. New York: Basic Books, pp. 138–148
  16. ^ People's War (Ukrainian pravda, photos) (Ukrainian)
  17. ^ Left-bank Uprisings (Ukrainian pravda) (Ukrainian)
  18. ^ Festival in Lehedzyne (Ukrainian pravda) (Ukrainian)
  19. ^ Бульба-Боровець Т. Армія без держави: слава і трагедія українського повстанського руху. Спогади. Вінніпег: Накладом Товариства «Волинь», (tr, "glory and tragedy of the Ukrainian insurgent movement. Memories. Winnipeg: Courtesy of the "Volyn" Society") 1981. С. 113–115.
  20. ^ Плав'юк М. Державний центр УНР на еміграції (ДЦ УНР) (tr. "UKR State Center for Emigration (UKR State Center)") Archived 2016-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Terms of Peace Treaty Made by Ukraine; New Republic Gets Increased Territory at Expense of Rest of Russia, The New York Times, 12 February 1918 (PDF)
  22. ^ a b (Talmon 1998, p. 289)
  23. ^ Alison Fleig Frank (2009). Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia. Harvard University Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-674-03718-2.
  24. ^ Richard K. Debo (1992). Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918–1921. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-0-7735-6285-1.
  25. ^ Ivan Katchanovski; Zenon E. Kohut; Bohdan Y. Nebesio; Myroslav Yurkevich (2013). Historical Dictionary of Ukraine. Scarecrow Press. pp. 747–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7847-1.


Further reading

External links

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