Directory, Ukrainian

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Directory, Ukrainian


the counterrevolutionary, bourgeois-nationalist central body of power in the Ukraine, formed by the leaders of the Ukrainian bourgeois-nationalist party on the night of Nov. 14, 1918, in Belaia Tserkov’, amid the collapse of the German occupation and the power of the Hetmanate. Until February 1919 the chairman of the Ukrainian Directory was V. K. Vinnichenko. The commander of the directory’s armed forces was S. V. Petliura, who, after Feb. 10, 1919, was also chairman of the Ukrainian Directory.

Leaving Belaia Tserkov’ on Nov. 18, 1918, units under the Ukrainian Directory captured Kiev on December 14, with the support of the retreating German occupation troops. From this moment, a bourgeois-kulak dictatorship was established in the Ukraine. The kulaks and the urban bourgeoisie were the main social base of the Ukrainian Directory. The directory demagogically covered itself with socialist phrases. It promised to turn over the pomeshchiks’ (landowners’) land to the peasants and to establish the power of the “laboring” soviets in the provinces. In reality, however, the Ukrainian Directory established a brutal counterrevolutionary regime, dispersed the Soviets of workers’ and peasants’ deputies, and arrested and executed Bolsheviks and revolutionary workers and peasants. The working masses of the Ukraine, under the leadership of the Bolsheviks, answered the terror of the Ukrainian Directory with mass uprisings and the creation of insurgent detachments, units of the Red Army, and partisan detachments. In its foreign policy, the Ukrainian Directory leaned toward the countries of the Entente. On Jan. 16, 1919, the Ukrainian Directory declared war on Soviet Russia. The directory agreed to place the railroads, banks, and basic sectors of industry under the control of the Entente, to conclude an alliance with General A. I. Denikin, and to create a 300,000-man army to struggle against the Soviet power.

The main armed forces of the Ukrainian Directory were routed by the Ukrainian Soviet troops and insurgents from January to April 1919. The members of the directory fled Kiev and then Vinnitsa. The Ukrainian Directory and the remnants of its troops were driven close to the frontier river, the Zbruch. Taking advantage of Denikin’s offensive in the Ukraine and the transfer of the troops of the former bourgeois Western Ukrainian People’s Republic over to the side of the Ukrainian Rada after the end of the republic, the troops of the Ukrainian Directory, together with the Galician Corps, began a counteroffensive. They dug themselves in at Kiev on Aug. 30, 1919 but on August 31 were expelled from the city by Denikin’s forces. Denikin, carrying out a great-power policy, rejected an agreement with Petliura and by October 1919 had routed Petliura’s forces. The Galician Corps went over to Denikin’s side. Petliura escaped to Warsaw, where, in the name of the Ukrainian Directory, he concluded an agreement with the Polish government on Apr. 21, 1920, for a united war against the Soviet state. According to the agreement, Poland annexed 162,000 sq km of Ukrainian territory with a population of 11 million people. After the end of the Soviet-Polish War of 1920 and the complete defeat of the Petliura bands, Petliura, personally representing the Ukrainian Directory in Warsaw, abolished the Ukrainian Directory by his decree of Nov. 20, 1920.


Grazhdanskaia voina na Ukraine, 1918-20 (collection of documents and materials), vol. 1, books 1-2. Kiev, 1967.
Komunistychna partiia Ukrainy v rezoliutsiiakh i rishenniakh z’izdiv i konferentsii, 1918-1956. Kiev, 1958.
Lenin, V. I. Ob Ukraine. Kiev, 1957.
Suprunenko, N.I . Ocherki istorii grazhdanskoi voiny i inostrannoi voennoi interventsii na Ukraine (1918-1920). Moscow, 1966.
Rybalka, I. K. Rozhrom burzhuazno-natsionalistychnoi Dyrektorii na Ukraini Kharkov, 1962.


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