All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee

All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee (Vseukrainskyi Tsentralnyi Vykonavchyi Komitet or VUTsVK). From 1919 to 1937 the highest executive body of the Soviet Ukrainian state between sessions of the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, which elected the members of VUTsVK. VUTsVK was responsible to the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets for legislation and the general running of the state. It appointed members of the Council of People's Commissars (Radnarkom) and of various VUTsVK committees, ratified economic plans and the state budget, and distributed state funds among central and local government agencies. Yet, in accordance with the VUTsVK decision of 14 March 1919 ‘On the Temporary Powers of the Council of People's Commissars in Legislative and General Executive Matters,’ the Radnarkom, not VUTsVK, became the basic legislative and executive body of the Ukrainian SSR. VUTsVK convened at least three times a year, and its work was supervised by its presidium, which functioned as the highest legislative, executive, and administrative body of the Ukrainian SSR between VUTsVK sessions. When the third constitution of the Ukrainian SSR was adopted in 1937, the functions of VUTsVK were taken over by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.

A similar role in the structure of the USSR government was played by the All-Union Central Executive Committee in 1923–36. It consisted of two chambers: the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities. In the latter each Union republic or autonomous soviet socialist republic had five representatives. The work of the presidium of the central executive committee and of the sessions of both chambers was supervised in turn by the chairmen of the committee (four, then seven) who were elected from among the members of the presidium according to the number of Union republics then in existence. Hryhorii Petrovsky, chairman of the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee, represented the Ukrainian SSR on the Presidium of the All-Union Central Executive Committee.

Theodore Ciuciura

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

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