All-Ukrainian workers' congresses

All-Ukrainian workers' congresses (Vseukrainski robitnychi zizdy). The First All-Ukrainian Workers’ Congress took place in Kyiv on 24–26 July 1917. It was called at the initiative of the Ukrainian faction of the Kyiv Council of Workers' Deputies. About 300 delegates attended the congress. This attests to the weakness of ethnic Ukrainian labor organizations in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party dominated the congress. Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Mykola Porsh, Dmytro Antonovych, Serhii Veselovsky, Maksym Palamarchuk, and Mykhailo Yeremiiv were among the members of the congress presidium. The General Secretariat of the Central Rada members Ivan M. Steshenko, Borys Martos, and Valentyn Sadovsky participated in the congress. The congress recognized the autonomy of Ukraine, demanded peace and the distribution of land among the peasants, called on the workers to support the Central Rada and its General Secretariat, and elected the All-Ukrainian Council of Workers' Deputies, consisting of 100 members (70 from the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' party and 30 from the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries), who were seated on the Central Rada. It also elected three members to the Little Rada.

The Second All-Ukrainian Workers’ Congress was held illegally in Kyiv on 26–27 May 1918. Because of the Hetman government's ban only about 200 delegates attended. The congress declared its opposition to the Hetman regime, demanded a return to the principles of the Central Rada, and supported the independence of the Ukrainian National Republic.

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

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