The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a petit bourgeois Ukrainian nationalist party of left Social Revolutionaries (SR’s). It originated in ‘May 1918 as a result of a split in the Ukrainian SR Party. It received its name from the central organ of the party, the newspaper Borot’ba (Struggle). The Borot’bysty leaned upon the nationalist intelligentsia and sought support among the middle peasants. Their leaders were G. Gryn’ko, V. El-lanskyi (Blakytnyi), Af. Liubchenko, and A. Shumskyi. Under the impact of the changing relationship of social forces, the political program of the Borot’bysty underwent an evolution from bourgeois democratism to the acceptance of the Soviet program. The ideology of the Borot’bysty remained nationalist and petit bourgeois. They aspired to collaboration with Soviet power, and at the Third All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, Mar. 6–10, 1919, they voted for the resolutions introduced by the Bolsheviks.

V. I. Lenin and the Communist Party followed a flexible tactic in relation to the Borot’bysty, attempting to win over that section of the working peasantry who still followed them, to attract the best elements of the Borot’bysty to their side, and to create the preconditions for liquidating the Borot’bysty as a party. On the basis of a Central Committee directive of the RCP (Bolshevik) of Apr. 8,1919, representatives of the Borot’bysty were included in the Soviet government of the Ukraine. During the period when Denikin’s troops seized the Ukraine, the Borot’bysty fought for political hegemony there but did not succeed. The Communist Party continued to criticize their petit bourgeois inconsistency and nationalist views. On Dec. 17,1919, an agreement was reached between the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine and the central committee of the Borot’bysty, according to which representatives of the Borot’bysty were included in the All-Ukrainian Revolutionary Committee. The political basis of the agreement was the decision of the eighth conference of the RCP (Bolshevik) on Soviet power in the Ukraine. The Borot’bysty signed the manifesto of the All-Ukrainian Revolutionary Committee and pledged to fulfill it along with the Communists. Attempting to make use of the legal opportunities to struggle against Soviet power, Petliura elements poured into the Borot’bysty party and found refuge there. Demands for the creation of an independent army in the Ukraine began to be heard in the ranks of the Borot’bysty, violating one of the basic terms of the agreement. The Borot’bysty appealed to the Executive Committee of the Comintern with a request for admission to that organization. On Feb. 22, 1920, in his notes on the Comintern Executive Committee resolution denying the application of the Borot’bysty, V. I. Lenin insisted on the need to strengthen the motivation for this refusal and proposed to charge the Borot’bysty “not with nationalism but with counterrevolutionary and petit bourgeois qualities” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 40, p. 159). The Borot’bysty party was notified that nobody prevented the genuine Communist elements within it from entering the ranks of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine.

It was Lenin’s opinion that in the interests of consolidating the forces of the Ukrainian people it was best that the Borot’bysty party be dissolved and its best elements be admitted to the Communist Party. The left wing of the Borot’bysty, headed by V. Blakytnyi, G. Gryn’ko, Af. Liubchenko, and A. Shumskyi, also recognized the necessity of this measure. They succeeded in having the Borot’bysty party dissolved of its own accord and absorbed by the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine. The All-Ukrainian Conference of the Borot’bysty of Mar. 20, 1920, adopted a resolution to this effect. The admission of former Borot’bysty into the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine was carried out on an individual basis.


Lenin, V. I. “Zamechaniia k rezoliutsii Ispolnitel’nogo Komiteta Kommunisticheskogo internatsionala po voprosu o borot’-bistakh.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 40.
Lenin, V. I. “Telegramma v Presidium Vseukrainskoi konferentsii borot’bistov.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 51.
Lenin, V. I. “Telegramma v Presidium Vseukrainskoi konferentsii borot’bistov.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 40, pp. 44–47.
“Pro stavlennia do inshykh partyi.”In Komunistychna partita Ukrdiny v rezoliutsiiakh i rishenniakh z’izdiv i konferentsii, 1918–1956. Kiev, 1958.
“Ugoda pro vstup. partii borot’bystiv do Vseukraïn’skago revkomu.” In Radians’ke budivnytstvo na Ukraïni v roky gromadians’koi viiny (1919–20): Zbirnyk dokumentiv i materialiv. Kiev, 1957.
“Dyrektyvy partkomam, Materiialy y dokumenty.” Litopys revoliutsii, 1929, nos. 5–6.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.