Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union)

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Founder  Mykola Skrypnyk
Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union)
General Secretary  Stanislav Hurenko (last)
Founded  July 17, 1918 (1918-07-17)
Dissolved  August 26, 1991; 25 years ago (1991-08-26)
Preceded by  Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Succeeded by  Socialist Party of Ukraine Communist Party of Ukraine (1993)

The Communist Party of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Комуністична Партія України Komunistychna Partiya Ukrayiny, КПУ, KPU; Russian: Коммунистическая партия Украины), known as the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine until 1952, was the Ukrainian branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).



The Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine was created in July 1918 in Moscow. Most of its constituent members were former members of the Russian Bolsheviks who in 1917 pronounced themselves "Social-Democracy of Ukraine" and with the help of the Antonov-Ovseyenko expeditionary forces of Petrograd and Moscow Red Guards instigated a civil war in Ukraine by routing local Red Guards. After the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk the Bolshevik faction Social-Democracy of Ukraine was forced to dissolve as all Bolsheviks were forced out of Ukraine.

On October 13, 1952 the party officially was renamed as the Communist Party of Ukraine.

On August 26, 1991 the Communist Party was outlawed in Ukraine. Different sectors reconstituted themselves in different parties. One group led by moderate members under Oleksandr Moroz formed the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) out of most of the former members, a group of agrarians led by Serhiy Dovhan and Oleksandr Tkachenko formed the Peasant Party of Ukraine (SelPU), and another group, the Communist Party of Ukraine, was re-created in 1993 in Donetsk under the leadership of Petro Symonenko when the ban was lifted. The remaining members either changed political direction or created their own left-wing parties such as the Vitrenko bloc, Social-Democratic (United) party, and others.

Central Committees

Initial composition of the committee was elected at the 1st party Congress on July 12, 1918 and consisted of the following people: Ivan Amosov, Andrei Bubnov, Afanasiy Butsenko, Shulim Gruzman, Vladimir Zatonsky, Lavrentiy Kartvelishvili, Emmanuil Kviring, Stanislav Kosior, Isaak Kreisberg, Yuriy Lutovinov, Yuriy Pyatakov, Rafail Farbman, Pinkhus Rovner, Leonid Tarsky (Sokolovsky), Isaak Shvarts. Beside full members there also were candidate to the committee. The initial composition included Yan Hamarnik (Yakov Pudikovich), Dmitriy Lebed, Mikhail Mayorov (Meyer Biberman), Mykola Skrypnyk, Petro Slynko, Yakov Yakovlev (Epshtein). On September 9, 1918 Mayorov and Slynko replaced Kertvelishvili and Farbman as full members, while the last two lost their membership.

During World War II on October 2, 1942 there was created the Illegal Central Committee of the Party consisting of 17 members. The committee was dissolved on June 29, 1943. Among the members of the committee were such personalities as Sydir Kovpak, Leonid Korniets, Oleksiy Fedorov, and others.


The party had its own Politburo created on March 6, 1919. On September 25, 1952 the committee was renamed into the Bureau of the Central Committee (CC) of CP(b)U, and in October the same year as the Bureau of the CC CPU. On October 10, 1952 it became the Presidium of the CC CPU. On June 26, 1966 again the bureau was finally left with its original name as the Politburo of the CC CPU.

At first it consisted of five members and later another one was added. The first Politburo included Andriy Bubnov, Emanuel Kviring, Volodymyr Mescheriakov, Heorhiy Pyatakov, Christian Rakovsky, and later Stanislav Kosior, all centrists.

From March 23 until April 15, 1920 there was elected a Provisional Bureau which the next day was ratified by the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks).


Along with Politburo the party like its Russian counterpart had its own Orgburo that was created the same day as Politburo.

Party leader

The party was headed by its secretary. The position was highly influential and often was considered to be more important than the head of state (see Ukrainian SSR).

The following list is composed of the secretary of the Central Committee of the party who were the leaders of the Party. The position also was changing names between being called the First Secretary or the General Secretary, depending on a political atmosphere in the Soviet Union. The position was not officially of the head of state, but certainly was very influential, especially within the republic. The longest serving secretary was Vladimir Shcherbitsky with some 17 years as the head of the Communist Party, the second best is split between Stanislav Kosior and Nikita Khrushchev, both of which have 11 years.

  • Mykola Oleksiiovych Skrypnyk (20 April–26 May 1918) (Secretary of the Organizational Bureau)
  • Party Congresses

    There were 28 Congresses with the last one consisting out of two stages. There also were three consolidated conferences of the party from 1926 to 1932. At the second stage of the last Congress there were 273 members in the Central Committee.

    First Congress, July 1918

    This took place in Moscow and decided to call for preparations for an armed uprising against the occupying Central Powers forces and Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi’s dictatorship. There were only 15 members in the Central Committee and six candidates.It reversed the decision adopted that April by a preliminary council in Tahanroh to established an independent Ukrainian bolshevik party with a membership in the envisaged Third International apart from the Russian party.

    Central Committee

    Ivan Amosov, Andrei Bubnov, Afanasiy Butsenko, Shulim Gruzman, Vladimir Zatonsky, Lavrentiy Kartvelishvili (excl.), Emmanuil Kviring, Stanislaw Kosior, Isaak Kreisberg, Yuriy Lutovinov, Georgiy Pyatakov, Rafail Farbman (excl.), Pinkhus Rovner, Leonid Tarskiy (Sokolovsky), Isaak Shvarts.

    Promoted to members: Mikhail Mayorov (Meyer Biberman) and Pyotr Slinko

    Second Congress, October 1918

    This also took place in Moscow. Joseph Stalin was elected to the Central Committee.

    Central Committee

    Artyom (Fyodor Sergeyev), Nikolai Beschetvertnoi, Shulim Gruzman

    Third Congress, March 1919

    This congress took place in Kharkov. A new central committee with a majority of Left Communists was elected. This prompted the Eight Congress of the Russian Communist Party to pass the following motion: ""It is necessary to have a unified communist party with a unified central committee ... All decisions of the RCP and its leading organs are absolutely binding for all parts of the party, independent of their national composition. The central committees of the Ukrainian, Lettish and Lithuanian communists are conferred the rights of regional committees of the party; they are to be unreservedly subordinate to the central committee of the RCP."

    Fourth Congress, March 17–23, 1920

    The Borotbists were forced to dissolve themselves and their erstwile members were permitted to join the CP(b)U. Vasyl Ellan-Blakytny and Shumsky drawn from the Borotbist leadership were elected to the Committee and the Borotbist Central Committee passed a resolution dissolving the Borotbist party and its central committee. All members were instructed to apply for CP(B)U membership. Nearly 4,000 out of approximately 5,000 Borotbists were admitted to the CP(B)U.

    Later congresses

    From 1919 to 1934 all meetings were conducted in Kharkiv, capital of the Ukrainian SSR.

    There were three major Committees and several Bureaus. Each committee had members and candidates to members each with certain degree of obligations. The members and candidates to the committees were elected at the Party Congress. The number of members varied from one gathering to the next usually in ascending sequence. During the Great Purge the numbers remarkably declined as well as one of the committees, Central Control Committee, was disbanded. The first members were elected in 1918, 15 members of the Central Committee, six candidates as well as three members and two candidates of the Revision Committee. In 1920 the Central Control Committee was formed and by 1934 the Party accounted for some 191 members and 45 candidates in all committees. In 1937 there were only 71 members and 40 candidates in two committees. By 1990 the number of members grew just over 300 members.

    Central newspapers

  • Pravda Ukrainy (Sovetskaya Ukraina 1938–1943, Pravda Ukrainy 1944–1991), Russian language newspaper
  • Radyanska Ukrayina (Kommunist 1918–1926, Komunist 1926–1943, Radyanska Ukrayina 1944–1991), Ukrainian language newspaper
  • Silski Visti (1920–1991)
  • Ukrayina Moloda (1991)
  • Regional newspapers

  • Bilshovyk Poltavshchyny (1917-1941)
  • References

    Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union) Wikipedia