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Ukrainian Central Rada
Coat of arms or logo.
Type
Type unicameral
Leadership
Head of the Rada M. Hrushevsky
Structure
Members 822 (July 1917)
Meeting place
Ukrainian Club Building, Kiev
Website
The former meeting place of the Tsentralna Rada in Kiev.

The Tsentralna Rada or Central Rada (Ukrainian: Центральна Рада, Tsentral’na rada) at first was the All-Ukrainian center that united political, public, cultural, professional organizations, Later after the All-Ukrainian National Convention (17 March - 21 April 1917) it became the revolutionary parliament of Ukraine. According to the Soviet encyclopedia[1] it was a counter-revolutionary united body of bourgeoisie and minor-bourgeoisie nationalistic parties in Ukraine from 1917-1918.

Contents

Overview

It directed the Ukrainian national movement and with its four Universals led the country from the autonomy to the sovereignty. During its brief existence from 1917 to 1918, the Tsentralna Rada, which was headed by the Ukrainian historian and ethnologist Mykhailo Hrushevsky, was the fundamental governing institution of the Ukrainian People's Republic and set precedents in parliamentary democracy and national independence that were never completely forgotten during Soviet times and are still remembered today.

Establishment

The Central Rada was founded in Kiev on March 17 (old style 4), 1917 by the initiative of the Society of Ukrainian Progressionists with participation of Ukrainian political parties, Ukrainian military, workers, religious activists, students, entrepreneurs, public and cultural organizations such as the Ukrainian Science Association, the Ukrainian Pedagogic Association, the Association of Ukrainian Technicians and Agriculturists etc. M. Hrushevsky was elected the Head of the Rada and Deputy Head - V. Naumenko. On March 22, 1917 the Rada published its first declaration To the Ukrainian people for the support of the Russian Provisional Government. When M. Hrushevsky took control on March 27, 1917, the Rada became acting center of the Ukrainian national movement. But straight after the convocation of the All-Ukrainian National Congress, the Rada transformed into a sort of parliament that consisted of 150 people elected from the Ukrainian political parties, professional and cultural organizations and delegates from guberniya's.

During its lifetime there were nine plenary sessions of the Central Rada: eight in 1917, one in 1918, and one extended session of the Mala Rada. Already prior to the First Ukrainian Universal the Central Rada was increased by 130 representatives that were delegated by II Military Congress (June 23, 1917) and 133 members of the Peasants' Deputies Council that were elected at the I All-Ukrainian Peasant's Congress (June 15, 1917).

Mala Rada

At that Congress the new presidium of the Rada was elected, M. Hrushevsky as the head and S. Yefremov and V. Vynychenko as his deputies.

Mala Rada, or the Small Council, was the Executive Committee of the Cetral Rada. It was created in June 1917 and consisted of 30 members the members of the presidium, secretaries of the Rada, and two representatives from each political block. The Chairman of that council was elected Mykhailo Hrushevsky who also held the position of the Chairman of the Central Rada. His deputies became Volodymyr Vynnychenko and Serhiy Yefremov. All important matters were addressed at meetings of the Mala Rada in the first place and later the designed projects were ratified at the plenum of the Central Rada.

First and Second Universals

After the declaration of autonomy (First Ukrainian Universal, 10 June 1917) the Central Rada elected the General Secretariat, autonomous government of Ukraine consisting of eight secretariats. The Soviet Encyclopedia clearly points to the fact that the autonomy was declared in spite of the Provisional Government and then the Central Rada changed its mind and went on a compromise and postponement the declaration until the Constituent Assembly convention. The Soviet Encyclopedia did not disclose the details and the factors that took place at that particular time and accused the Rada in deception. While in fact the Russian Provisional Government and Alexander Kerensky, in particular, issued Instruktsiya on July 16, 1917 in which it was recognizing the regional autonomy and the General Secretariat although made substantial changes to the Rada's proposition and desided: "appoint as the supreme body of government of regional affairs in Ukraine a separate body, the General Secretariat, the composition of which will be determined in agreement with the Central Rada". According to the instruction the Secretariat was to be the representative body of the Provisional Government. Such respond really disappointed Volodymyr Vynnychenko who protested it and dissolved his cabinet. After the acknowledgment by the Central Rada of the Provisional Government Instruktsiya, the Rada issued its Second Universal confirming the agreement between both governments. The composition of the Rada also was increased by 100 representatives elected at the I All-Ukrainian Workers' Congress (July 24 - 27, 1917) and other representatives of minorities.

Texts of the Tsentralna Rada Universals
Soviet Encyclopedia outlook

The Soviet Encyclopedia also claims that the Rada took an aggressive opposition against the October Revolution as well as the Kyiv Bilshovyk Uprising. Then the Rada by pulling towards Kiev the nationalistic military units overtook the government and on November 13, occupied the city. Later in a week it declared itself the supreme government of the UNR (the Soviet Encyclopedia here used the words so called) and established the strict terrorist regime. December 25, 1917 the All-Ukrainian Congress of the Soviet Ukraine declared the Rada out of law while its participants organized the opposition government to the Rada.

The Soviet Encyclopedia failed to add the fact that the Kiev Uprising took place in the collaboration of the Bolsheviks and other parties that all were part of the Rada as well as what really happened on November 13 and then November 16.

Staff

By the end of July 1917 the Central Rada had formally 822 deputies (according to Pavlo Khrystiuk). The members of it belonged to the following parties:

  • All-Ukrainian Peasants' Deputies Council - 212
  • All-Ukrainian Military Deputies Council - 158
  • All-Ukrainian Workers' Deputies Council - 100
  • Representatives of non-Ukrainian Workers' and Military Deputies Councils - 50
  • Ukrainian Socialist Party - 20
  • Russian Socialist Party - 40
  • Jewish Socialist Parties (Fareynikte, Bundists, Poalei Zionists - 35
  • Polish Socialist Party - 15
  • Representatives of cities and gubernias - 84
  • Representatives of professional, educational, economical, public organizations, and other national minorities - 108

Out of these 822 people the Mala Rada was elected with 58 member including 18 members of various national minorities. From the initiative of the Central Rada in Kiev took place the congress of Russian nationalities 21-28 September 1917.

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Hrushevsky, Mykhailo (1918). "На порозі нової України" (The first step towards the new Ukraine). Kiev.
  • Shulhin, O. (1918). "Політика" (Politics). Kiev.
  • Vynnychenko, Volodymyr (1920). "Відродження нації" (Revival of the nation). Vol I-II. Vienna.
  • Khrystiuk, Pavlo (1921). "Записки і матеріали до історії української революції 1917—1920 pp." (Notes and materials to the history of the Ukrainian Revolution 1917-20). Vol I-II. Vienna.
  • Zolotariov, A. (1922). "Із історії Української Центральної Ради" (From history of the Ukrainian Central Rada). Kharkiv.
  • Skrypnyk, M. (1923). "Начерк історії пролетарської революції на Україні" (Outline of history of the proletarian revolution in Ukraine). Chervonyi Shliakh (Red Pathway). Kharkiv.
  • Richytskyi, A (1928). "Центральна Рада від лютого до жовтня" (The Central Rada from February to October). Kharkiv.
  • Doroshenko Dmytro (1932). "Історія України 1917—1923" (History of Ukraine 1917-23). Vol I "Доба Центральної Ради" (The times of the Central Rada). Uzhhorod.
  • Reshetar, J. (1952). "The Ukrainian Revolution 1917—1920". Princeton.
  • Pidhainy, О. (1966). "The Formation of the Ukrainian Republic". Toronto — New-York.
  • Makhun, Serhiy (2005). "1917—1918 годы: Потерянное время Центральной Рады, или «Между двумя креслами»". Zerkalo nedeli. #32(560) August 20-26. Kiev. The copy of the article. (Russian)
  • Bilokin, Serhiy (2000). "Доля членів Центральної Ради в СССР" (The fate of the Ukrainian Central Rada members in USSR). Vyzvolnyi Shliakh (Liberating Pathway). Vol I. 14-26 pp. The copy of the article. (Ukrainian)
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