Vladimir Vinnichenko Ukrainian politician Biography
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Volodymyr Vynnychenko (b. July 26, 1880, in Yelisavetgrad, Kherson province, d. March 6, 1951, in France ) was a Ukrainian politician, statesman, and writer.

After the Russian revolution in February 1917, Vynnychenko served as the head of the General Secretariat, a chief executive body in Ukraine. He was authorized by the Central Rada of Ukraine (a de facto parliament) to conduct negotiations with the Russian Provisional Government, 1917.

Vynnychenko temporarily resigned his post in the General Secretariat, but in the midst of a political crisis in Ukraine that followed the October Revolution in Petrograd which overthrew the Provisional Government, quickly resumed his duties.

It is often claimed that political mistakes of Vynnychenko (who was, in effect, prime minister) and Mykhailo Hrushevsky (the head of the Central Rada) cost the newly established Ukrainian People's Republic its independence. Both men were strongly opposed to the creation of the army of the Republic and repeatedly denied the requests by Symon Petliura to use his volunteer forces as the core of a would-be army.

 

On January 22, 1918, at the time when the Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed independent, the country was squeezed between the German forces along its western border and the Bolshevik army of Muravyov along the eastern border. Within days, Muravyov invaded Kyiv and the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic signed a very unpopular treaty with Germans to rebuff Russians in exchange for a right to expropriate food supplies.

After the coup d'etat of Hetman Skoropadsky (in collaboration with Germans) in March, 1918, Vynnychenko left Kyiv and took an active part in organizing a revolt against the Hetman. The revolt was successful and Vynnychenko returned to the capital on December 19, 1918, as the head of the Directorate, a five-member body with supreme legislative and executive power. The Directorate proclaimed the restoration of the Ukrainian People's Republic with Vynnychenko as its president.

Vynnychenko, unable to restore order and overcome the disagreement among the Directors, stepped down on February 10, 1919. He emigrated the following March.

Vynnychenko spent the following 30 years in Europe. He is the author of "Renaissance of the Nation", "Sun Machine" and several other novels.

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