Tahanrih Bolshevik Conference

Tahanrih Bolshevik Conference. On 19–20 April 1918, during the Bolsheviks’ retreat from Ukraine, 71 delegates of Bolshevik and pro-Bolshevik organizations in Ukraine (excluding those of the Donets–Kryvyi Rih Soviet Republic) met secretly in Tahanrih to discuss matters of organization, program, and tactics. There the proponents of two divergent views clashed. The Poltava gubernia delegates, headed by Vasyl Shakhrai and Yurii Lapchynsky, pushed for the creation of an independent ‘Ukrainian Communist party,’ while the Katerynoslav gubernia delegates, headed by Emmanuil Kviring, advocated the creation of an autonomous ‘Russian Communist party (of Bolsheviks) in Ukraine,’ subordinated to Moscow. In the end the compromise suggested by Mykola Skrypnyk—to create a Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine (CP[B]U) linked to the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) (RCP[B]) through the Comintern—was adopted by a vote of 35 to 21; it was supported by Georgii Piatakov and other left Bolsheviks who, unlike their Moscow comrades, wanted to continue fighting the Central Powers and therefore supported for tactical reasons the notion of a party independent of Moscow. The Central Executive Committee and People's Secretariat were abolished and replaced by the ‘Insurgent Nine’ (four Bolsheviks, four left Socialist Revolutionaries, and one left Social Democrat [see Russian Social Democratic Workers' party]) to direct the partisan struggle in Ukraine (see Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21), and an Organizational Bureau (Piatakov, Skrypnyk, Stanislav Kosior, Volodymyr Zatonsky, Yan Hamarnik, A. Bubnov, I. Kreisberg) was elected to prepare the First CP(B)U Congress, to be held in July in Moscow. At the congress the independence of the CP(B)U was abolished, and it was transformed into a regional organization of the Moscow-controlled RCP(B).

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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