Liubchenko, Panas

Liubchenko, Panas [Любченко, Панас; Ljubčenko], b 14 January 1897 in Kaharlyk, Kyiv county, Kyiv gubernia, d 29 August 1937 in Kyiv. Soviet political leader. A member of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, in 1918 he headed its leftist faction, known as the Borotbists. Eventually, when internationalists within the party, which split off and in 1918–20 reorganized, formed the Ukrainian Communist party (of Borotbists), and merged with the CP(B)U, he became secretary of the Party’s Kyiv gubernia committee, head of the Chernihiv gubernia Executive Committee (1921–2), and president of the All-Ukrainian Association of Agricultural Co-operatives (1922–5). In 1927 he was promoted to the position of secretary of the Central Committee of the CP(B)U, and in 1934, to that of full member of the Politburo. At the same time he was deputy chairman (1933) and chairman (1934–7) of the Council of People's Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR. Liubchenko carried out the Party’s centralist policies in Ukraine. In the show trials of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine he acted as a ‘people’s prosecutor’ from the All-Ukrainian Council of Trade Unions. He also played a political role in the collectivization and the grain requisition, which precipitated the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 in Ukraine. He seems to have committed suicide while facing imminent arrest. At the Moscow show trials he was accused posthumously of creating a nationalist-fascist organization. He was rehabilitated in the early 1960s, and his biography was published in 1970.

Vasyl Markus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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