All-Ukrainian peasant congresses

All-Ukrainian peasant congresses (Vseukrainski selianski zizdy). The First All-Ukrainian Peasant Congress was held in Kyiv on 10–16 June 1917. There were 2,200 delegates, all of them members of the Peasant Association, of which about 1,500 were representatives of 1,000 volosti. The congress supported the demands of the Ukrainian Central Rada and required of the Russian Provisional Government that they be immediately fulfilled. It instructed the Central Rada to draw up a project of autonomy for Ukraine within a federated democratic Russian republic, to call immediately a convention of representatives of all the peoples and lands that desired autonomy, and to Ukrainianize at once all state and civil institutions. Rejecting the principle of private ownership of land, the congress wanted a Ukrainian land fund controlled by a Ukrainian assembly and by county and volost land committees. It elected the Central Committee of the Peasant Association (Mykola M. Kovalevsky, Pavlo Khrystiuk, Arkadii Stepanenko, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Mykola Stasiuk, Borys Martos, and others), which was to be the executive agency of the All-Ukrainian Council of Peasants' Deputies (133 members). This committee sat on the Central Rada.

The Second All-Ukrainian Peasant Congress took place on 21–23 May 1918. The Hetman government banned the congress; hence, it convened secretly in the Holosiievo Forest near Kyiv. After declaring its loyalty to the Ukrainian National Republic, the congress adopted resolutions that were very critical of the Hetman government and German intervention in Ukrainian affairs.

Khrystiuk, P. Zamitky i materiialy do istoriï ukraïns’koï revoliutsiï 1917–20 rr., 1, 3 (Vienna 1921; repr New York 1969)
Doroshenko, D. Istoriia Ukraïny 1917–1923, 2 vols (Uzhhorod 1930–2; repr New York 1954)

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

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