Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union)

Communist Party of Ukraine
Коммунистическая партия Украины
General Secretary Stanislav Hurenko (last)
Founder Mykola Skrypnyk
Founded July 17, 1918 (1918-07-17)
Dissolved August 26, 1991 (1991-08-26)
Preceded by Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Succeeded by Socialist Party of Ukraine
Communist Party of Ukraine (1993)
Headquarters Kiev, Ukraine
Newspaper Pravda Ukrainy (in Russian)
Radyanska Ukrayina (in Ukrainian)
Youth wing Komsomol of Ukraine
Young Pioneers
Ideology National communism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation Comintern (1919–43)
Cominform (1947–56)
Colours      Red
Slogan Workers of the world, unite!
Anthem The Internationale
Party flag
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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 a local Red Guards. After the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk the Bolsheviks 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 into 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), 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 parties of the left orientation 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).

Years Name Remarks
1918 - 1920 Secretary of Central Committee
1920 - 1925 1st Secretary of Central Committee
1925 - 1934 General Secretary of Central Committee
1934 - 1991 1st Secretary of Central Committee

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.

# Secretary Took office Left office Deputy Congress
1 Yurii Leonidovych Pyatakov 12 July 1918 9 September 1918 None 1
2 Serafima Ilyinichna Gopner 9 September 1918 22 October 1918 None
3 Emanuil Ionovich Kviring 23 October 1918 6 March 1919 None 2
4 Yurii Leonidovych Pyatakov 6 March 1919 30 May 1919 None 3
5 Stanislav Vikentevich Kosior 30 May 1919 10 December 1919 None
- Rafail Borisovich Farbman
10 December 1919 23 March 1920 None
6 Nikolai Ilyich Beschetvertnoi 23 March 1920 25 March 1920 None 4
- Stanislav Vikentevich Kosior
25 March 1920 17 October 1922 None
7 Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov 23 November 1920 22 March 1921 Dmitriy Lebed 5
- Feliks Yakovlevich Kon
22 March 1921 13 December 1921
8 Dmitry Zakharovich Manuilsky 14 December 1921 10 April 1923 6
9 Emanuil Ionovich Kviring 10 April 1923 16 May 1924 7
17 May 1924 7 April 1925 Aleksei Medvedev 8
Ivan Klimenko
10 Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich 7 April 1925 12 December 1925
12 December 1925 29 November 1927 9
Aleksei Medvedev
29 November 1927 14 July 1928 10
11 Stanislav Vikentevich Kosior 14 July 1928 15 June 1930
Lavrentiy Kartvelishvili
15 June 1930 23 January 1934 11
Vasiliy Stroganov
Mendel Khatayevich
Pavel Postyshev
23 January 1934 3 June 1937 12
Mendel Khatayevich
3 June 1937 27 January 1938 13
Sergei Kudryavtsev
12 Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev
(acting until 18 June 1938)
27 January 1938 17 May 1940 Mikhail Burmistenko
(acting until 18 June 1938)
17 May 1940 3 March 1947 15
Demian Korotchenko
13 Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich 3 March 1947 26 December 1947
14 Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev 26 December 1947 28 January 1949 Leonid Melnikov
28 January 1949 16 December 1949 16
15 Leonid Georgyevich Melnikov 16 December 1949 27 September 1952 Aleksei Kirichenko
27 September 1952 4 June 1953 17
16 Aleksey Illarionovich Kirichenko 4 June 1953 26 March 1954 Nikolai Podgorny
26 March 1954 21 January 1956 18
21 January 1956 26 December 1957 19
17 Nikolay Viktorovich Podgorny 26 December 1957 19 February 1960 Leontiy Naidek
19 February 1960 30 September 1961 Ivan Kazaenets 20
30 September 1961 2 July 1963 21
18 Pyotr Yefimovich Shelest 2 July 1963 18 March 1966 Nikolai Sobol
18 March 1966 20 March 1971 Aleksandr Lyashko 22
Ivan Lutak
20 March 1971 25 May 1972 23
19 Vladimir Vasilyevich Shcherbitsky 25 May 1972 13 February 1976
13 February 1976 12 February 1981 Ivan Sokolov 24
12 February 1981 8 February 1986 25
Aleksei Titarenko
8 February 1986 28 September 1989 26
Vladimir Ivashko
20 Vladimir Antonovich Ivashko 28 September 1989 23 June 1990 Stanislav Gurenko 27
21 Stanislav Ivanovich Gurenko 23 June 1990 1 September 1991 Leonid Kravchuk 28
Grigoriy Kharchenko

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.[1] 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.[2]

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."[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.

Party headquarters

Years Photo Building Remarks
1922 - 1934 Building of Noble Assembly, Kharkiv
1934 - 1938 Security Service of Ukraine building, Kiev
1938 - 1941 Building of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kiev
1943 - 1991 Presidential Administration Building (Kiev)

Party newspapers

Central newspapers

Regional newspapers

See also


  1. accessed 24 January 2011
  2. Joseph Stalin, Biographical Chronicle accessed 24 January 2011
  3. The Self-Determination of Nations: The Theory and Practice (Ukraine and Georgia) by Annette Franz and Dave Hollis accessed 24 January 2011
  4. Draft Resolution on the Ukrainian Borotbist Party (Notes) accessed 24 January 2011
  5. A great experiment`; Towards the history of national communism in Ukraine By James Mace, accessed 24 January 2011
  6. Sovetskaya Ukraina. Old newspapers.
  7. Pravda Ukrainy. Old newspapers.

Further reading

External links

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