Supreme otaman (holovnyi otaman). The title of the commander in chief of all Ukrainian armed forces adopted by the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic. On 13 November 1918 Symon Petliura was elected to the office. The Ministry of Defense, which was set up at that time and headed by Gen Oleksander Hrekov, was placed under the jurisdiction of the supreme otaman. During the uprising against the Hetman government the insurgent army was commanded by Gen Oleksander Osetsky as acting otaman. On 11 August 1919, after the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic united with the Ukrainian Galician Army, command of the joint forces was given to the Staff of the Supreme Otaman, headed by Gen Mykola Yunakiv. Petliura remained supreme otaman until his death.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]