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Tsentrosoiuz (Центросоюз; full name: Союз кооперативних союзів; Soiuz kooperatyvnykh soiuziv [Union of Co-operative Unions]). A central association of Ukrainian agricultural co-operatives in Galicia for marketing their farm products and purchasing various commodities for them. It was established on the initiative of Teofil Kormosh in Peremyshl in 1899 as the Farming and Trading Association and had 40 members. In 1911 it transferred its headquarters to Lviv and affiliated itself with the Silskyi Hospodar society, forming the Provincial Union of Agricultural Associations, a trade syndicate of the Silskyi Hospodar. By the outbreak of the First World War the union had 16 branches in the major towns and 481 members, including 66 co-operatives. Its turnover in 1912 totaled almost 11 million Austrian kronen, and its operations extended to Bukovyna, Transcarpathia, Bosnia, and the Ukrainian communities in Canada and the United States. Before the war the directors of the union included Denys Korenets, Kormosh, I. Lypetsky, and Sylvestr Herasymovych; Yevhen Olesnytsky served as chairman of the board of directors. During the war the union dissolved.

In 1921–2 co-operative associations on a regional or county level arose throughout Galicia, and the Union of Agricultural Associations was established to co-ordinate their activities. In 1924 the union adopted a new statute and changed its name to the Union of Co-operative Unions, or Tsentrosoiuz. At the time it represented 5 central co-operative organizations, 25 county or regional associations, and 1,491 primary co-operatives. Its turnover was 1.7 million zlotys. It supplied Ukrainian rural co-operatives with consumer and dry goods, agricultural machinery and equipment, building materials, fuel, mineral fertilizers, and seed. Tsentrosoiuz owned and operated factories manufacturing soap, thread, and batteries and processing meat. It marketed Ukrainian agricultural produce (meat, eggs, etc) throughout Poland and even in Central and Western Europe. The farm co-operative movement grew quickly in the late 1920s before the onset of the Great Depression and then revived in the mid-1930s. By the end of 1938 Tsentrosoiuz represented 4 central co-operative organizations, 26 county or regional associations, and 143 other co-operatives. Its turnover increased from 10.6 million zlotys in 1933 to 37.5 million in 1937. Its top executives in the interwar period were Sylvestr Herasymovych, Yuliian Sheparovych, V. Medvetsky, Mykola Tvorydlo, Ivan Martiuk, and O. Radlovsky; the chairman of the board of directors was Denys Korenets and then Ostap Lutsky. During the Second World War the organization was directed by Illia Semianchuk. When Soviet power was established in Western Ukraine, Tsentrosoiuz was dissolved.

Andrii Kachor

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

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