All-Ukrainian Association of Consumer Co-operative Organizations

All-Ukrainian Association of Consumer Co-operative Organizations [Всеукраїнська спілка споживчих кооперативних організацій; Vseukrainska spilka spozhyvchykh kooperatyvnykh orhanizatsii or Вукоопспілка; Vukoopspilka (VUKS)]. A Soviet central association of Ukrainian consumer co-operatives that in 1920 replaced the Dniprosoiuz central co-operative union and took over its assets. By 1928 the VUKS network encompassed 41 raion unions (raisoiuzy), 351 workers’ and urban co-operatives with 6,993 stores and 1,719,000 members, and 8,988 rural consumer societies with 14,000 stores and 3,065,000 members. VUKS’s gross sales in the 1927–8 fiscal year amounted to 531.1 million rubles. VUKS purchased goods from the state trusts and syndicates and supervised the large deliveries of grain and other farm products to the state. In 1928 it ran market outlets for the raion unions in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Rostov-na-Donu; purchase offices in Moscow and Baku; 15 mills with an annual production of 151,000 tonns; and over 20 vegetable-oil plants and other enterprises. The association’s own capital in 1928 totaled 8.4 million rubles, and its shareholders’ equity was worth 3.6 million rubles. Within its system of co-operatives VUKS conducted important organizational and educational work. By 1933 the system included 23,396 rural trade depots and 7,888 urban stores.

In the first half of the 1930s the urban co-operatives were dissolved, and most of their organizers became victims of the Stalinist terror. The assets of these co-operatives were taken over by the state-run commercial system. The network of rural consumer co-operatives continued to operate, however. By 1941 VUKS represented 9,403 co-operatives (757 of them raion unions), with a membership of 10,506,700 shareholders. It managed 51,926 stores, 8,636 warehouses, and 2,211 manufacturing enterprises. Its annual liabilities amounted to 359 million rubles. During the Second World War under the German occupation VUKS functioned for a brief period owing to private initiative. The difficult economic conditions after the war compelled the Soviet authorities to restore the entire system of consumer co-operatives. The central body of consumer co-operatives in Ukraine was Ukoopspilka (Ukrainian Association of Consumer Societies), which was subordinated to the Central Union of Cooperative Societies (Tsentrosoiuz) in Moscow.

Vasyl Markus, Illia Vytanovych

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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