Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism

Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism (Український інститут марксизму-ленінізму; Ukrainskyi instytut marksyzmu-leninizmu, or УІМЛ; UIML). A Party-sponsored educational and research institute in Kharkiv analogous to the Moscow-based Communist Academy. Its political patron was Mykola Skrypnyk. The UIML arose out of the Ukrainian Institute of Marxism, which was established in November 1922 by a decision of the CP(B)U Organizational Bureau to train instructors in ideology for institutions of higher education. In 1924 its name was changed to the UIML. The institute was divided into three divisions—economics, history, and philosophy-sociology—each consisting of three departments. The economics department was headed by D. Naumov, the agrarian department by Petro Liashchenko, and the co-operative and collectivization department by A. Lozovy. In the second division Matvii Yavorsky chaired the history of Ukraine department, H. Rokhkin the world history department, and S. Hopner the Communist Party history department. The third division consisted of the philosophy department under Semen Semkovsky, the sociology department under Volodymyr Yurynets, and the law department under Yurii Mazurenko. A special department on the nationality question was established in 1926 and headed by Skrypnyk. The institute’s duties were expanded in 1925 to include not only the training of teaching cadres but also research.

The institute’s prestige grew in the mid-1920s. Major Soviet political figures, such as Nikolai N. Popov (1927–8), Mykola Skrypnyk (1928–30), and Oleksander Shlikhter (1930–1), served as its directors. In 1923 its enrollment was 22. By 1931 it had 48 full members, 17 corresponding members, 29 research associates, and 165 graduate students. Beginning in 1927 the UIML published its own monthly, Prapor marksyzmu-leninizmu. From 1929 Matvii Yavorsky and Volodymyr Yurynets came under increasingly intemperate attack for Ukrainian nationalism, and the institute came to be portrayed as a hotbed of ideological heresy. Finally the CC CP(B)U ordered the UIML to be reorganized into a loose union of autonomous institutions called the All-Ukrainian Association of Marxist-Leninist Scientific Research Institutes (VUAMLIN).

Komarenko, N. Ustanovy istorychnoï nauky v Ukraïns’kii RSR (Kyiv 1973)
Mace, J. Communism and the Dilemmas of National Liberation: National Communism in Soviet Ukraine, 1918–1933 (Cambridge, Mass 1983)

James Mace

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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