Donets–Kryvyi Rih Soviet Republic

Donets–Kryvyi Rih Soviet Republic (Donetsko-Kryvorizka Respublika Sovietiv). An ephemeral Bolshevik state that existed in the Donbas in February–April 1918 with Kharkiv as its capital. The republic was set up after the Ukrainian National Republic signed the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers. Its organizers intended in this way to exclude the government of the Central Rada from the industrial regions of the Donbas. The Council of People's Commissars of the republic consisted of Artem (F. Sergeev) as chairman, Y. Vareikis, B. Magidov, Musii Rukhymovych, S. Vasylchenko, and others. The relationship of the republic to the Soviet government of Ukraine, which was established in December 1917, was not fully clarified. The Party organizations of Kharkiv gubernia and Katerynoslav gubernia were not subordinate to the Kyiv Party center of Leonid Piatakov and Volodymyr Zatonsky, and the Donets–Kryvyi Rih Soviet Republic regarded itself as independent of Soviet Ukraine. At the urging of Mykola Skrypnyk, the head of the Soviet government of Ukraine, Vladimir Lenin ordered representatives of the republic to participate in the Second All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets on 17–19 March 1918. The congress resolved to abolish the Donets–Kryvyi Rih Soviet Republic. In November 1918 the Bolsheviks of the Donbas (including Artem and Kliment Voroshilov) joined the Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government of Ukraine, and the question of a separate Donets–Kryvyi Rih Soviet Republic was no longer raised.

Vasyl Markus

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

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