Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government of Ukraine

Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government of Ukraine (Tymchasovyi robitnycho-selianskyi uriad Ukrainy). The second Bolshevik attempt to form a Soviet administration in Ukraine. Set up on 20 November 1918 in Kursk, Russia, by the CC of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), the new government was announced on 28 November. The CC of the CP(B)U had no say in its creation. Its first head, Georgii Piatakov, was replaced on 29 November by Khristian Rakovsky, an even stronger opponent of Ukrainian independence. The chief positions in the government were held by Russians who were anti-Ukrainian: foreign affairs by Kh. Rakovsky; national economy by G. Piatakov, Emmanuil Kviring, and Musii Rukhymovych; propaganda by Artem; military affairs by N. Podvoisky and Valerii Mezhlauk; and internal affairs by V. Averin and Kliment Voroshilov. Ukrainians received secondary appointments: Volodymyr Zatonsky, education; O. Khmelnytsky, justice; Mykola Skrypnyk, state control; A. Zharko, communications; and Yurii Kotsiubynsky and E. Shchadenko, members of the Revolutionary Military Council. In January 1919 this government was established in Kharkiv by the Red Army. Its immediate task was to supply Russia with bread during the winter of 1918–19 and then to replace the Hetman government with the Soviet one. In early March the Third All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, called by the provisional government, changed its name to the Workers' and Peasants' Government of Ukraine and adopted the First Constitution of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which copied closely the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic Constitution.

Ostap Skrypnyk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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