Ukrainian State

Ukrainian State (Українська Держава; Ukrainska Derzhava) also referred to as the Second Hetmanate (Другий Гетьманат; Druhyi Hetmanat) in order to designate it as a continuator of the traditions of the Cossack Hetman state of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was the official name of Ukraine under the Hetman government of Pavlo Skoropadsky, formally announced on 29 April 1918 in the Manifesto to the Entire Ukrainian Nation and the Laws on the Provisional State System of Ukraine. The Ukrainian State was formed as a result of a coup d'état directed against the socialist-leaning Central Rada and the Ukrainian National Republic and led by Skoropadsky and his conservative followers many of whom belonged to the Ukrainian Democratic Agrarian party and the All-Ukrainian Union of Landowners. This coup d'état was successful thanks to the military support of the German army and, in particular, the chief of staff of the German Supreme Army Command in Ukraine General Wilhelm Groener. The Ukrainian State, with its capital in Kyiv, existed from 29 April to 14 December 1918. During that time, its name appeared on official state seals and currency.

With the support of the German and Austrian armies, Pavlo Skoropadsky’s Ukrainian State extended over the territories of the northern, central, eastern (with the exception of a portion of the Donets Basin), and southern Ukraine (with the exception of southern Bessarabia and the Crimea), as well as the regions of Starodub and Belgorod, parts of the Kursk region and Voronezh region, the areas around Homel and Brest, Podlachia, the Kholm region, and parts of Transnistria. The legal structure of the Ukrainian State was a distinctly Ukrainian variant of a constitutional monarchy, based on some traditions of the Cossack Hetman state.

Following the anti-Skoropadsky uprising and the withdrawal of German troops from Ukraine, the Hetman government dissolved and Pavlo Skoropadsky abdicated on 14 December 1918. The Hetman government was replaced by the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic and the Ukrainian National Republic was restored.

[This article was updated in 2023.]

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