Karmaliuk, Ustim

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Karmaliuk, Ustim Iakimovich


(also, Ustim Iakimo-vich Karmeliuk). Born Feb. 27 (Mar. 10), 1787; died Oct. 10 (22), 1835. Leader of a peasant movement against serfdom in Podolia Province in the Right-bank Ukraine.

Karmaliuk was born in Podolia, the son of a serf. For repeated “insubordination,” Karmaliuk was sent away by his master in 1812 as an army conscript. He escaped, however, and in early 1813 he organized a rebel detachment of serfs. He called upon the peasants to refuse to perform corvée and to deal mercilessly with their oppressors. The rebels plundered the serf-owners’ estates, taking the property and money and distributing it among the serfs. The high point was reached between 1832 and 1835, when at least 20, 000 serfs were involved in the struggle, in addition to a number of urban poor and runaway soldiers. Among Karmaliuk’s comrades-in-arms, D. Khron, I. Chernomorets, and A. Slovinskii especially distinguished themselves. Several times Karmaliuk fell into the hands of the tsarist authorities and was sent to prison or exiled to Siberia, but after successful escapes he returned each time to his native land and renewed the struggle. The peasant movement spread over an extensive territory and played a large role in weakening the system of serfdom. Karmaliuk was treacherously murdered in the village of Kari-chintsy-Shliakhovy. The Ukrainian people have composed many folk songs, legends, and tales about Karmaliuk. Ukrainian written literature and painting have also paid him tribute.


Kanivets, V. V. Karmaliuk. Moscow, 1965.
Lavrov, P. A. “U. Ia. Karmaliuk (Iz istorii krest’ianskogo dvizheniia v Podol’skoi gubernii v 20–30 gg. XIX v.)” In the collection Trudy istoricheskogo fakuTteta Kievskogo gosudarstvennogo un-ta, vol. 1. Kiev, 1939.
Gurzhii, I. Ustim Karmaliuk. Kiev, 1955.
Ustim Karmaliuk: Zbirnik dokumentiv. Kiev, 1948.
Narod pro Karmaliuka: Zbirnik foVklornikh tvoriv. Kiev, 1961.


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