Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

sovereign state (1919–1922) and a republic of the Soviet Union (1922–1991); one of the founding members of the UN in 1945

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR or Soviet Ukraine was in the southwestern part of the Soviet Union. It had the second largest population of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. This lasted from 1922 to 1991.

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (1936–1991)
  • Украинская Советская Социалистическая Республика (Russian)
  • Ukrainskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika
  • Українська Радянська Соціалістична Республіка (Ukrainian)
  • Ukrayins'ka Radyans'ka Sotsialistichna Respublika

Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic (1919–1936)

  • Украинская Социалистическая Советская Республика (Russian)
  • Ukrainskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Sovetskaya Respublika
  • Українська Соціалістична Радянська Республіка (Ukrainian)
  • Ukrayins'ka Sotsialistichna Radyans'ka Respublika
1941–1944: German and Romanian occupation
Motto: Пролетарі всіх країн, єднайтеся! (Ukrainian)
"Proletari vsikh krayin, yednaitesia!" (transliteration)
"Workers of the world, unite!"
Anthem: Інтернаціонал (Ukrainian)
Internatsional  (transliteration)
"The Internationale"

Державний гімн Української Радянської Соціалістичної Республіки (Ukrainian)
Derzhavnyi himn Ukrainskoi Radianskoi Sotsialistychnoi Respubliky  (transliteration)
"State Anthem of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic"
Location of the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union from 1954
Location of the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union from 1954
StatusIndependent Socialist Republic (1919–1922)
Union Republic of the USSR (1922–1990)
Union Republic with priority of Ukrainian legislation (1990–1991)
CapitalKharkiv (1919–1934)[1]
Kyiv (1934–1991)[2]
Common languagesRussian (dominant)[3][4]
Ukrainian (folkloristic)[4]
(in 1990 Ukrainian declared as official)a[5]
GovernmentSoviet republic
First Secretary 
• 1918–1919
Emanuel Kviring (first)
• 1990–1991
Stanislav Hurenko (last)
Head of state 
• 1919–1938
Grigory Petrovsky (first)
• 1990–1991
Leonid Kravchuk (last)
Head of government 
• 1919–1923
Christian Rakovsky (first)
• 1988–1991
Vitold Fokin (last)
LegislatureSupreme Soviet[6]
Historical era20th century
• Declaration of the Ukrainian Soviet republic
10 March 1919
30 December 1922
15 November 1939
24 October 1945
• Priority of Ukrainian laws declared, Soviet laws partially abolished
16 July 1990
• Declaration of independence, Ukrainian SSR renamed to Ukraine
24 August 1991
1 December 1991
10 December 1991
• Dissolution of the Soviet Union (Ukraine's independence formally recognized)
26 December 1991
• Soviet government officially abolished (New constitution)
28 June 1996
1989 census603,700 km2 (233,100 sq mi)
CurrencySoviet ruble (karbovanets)
Calling code7 03/04/05/06
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ukrainian People's Republic
Free Territory
Second Polish Republic
Kingdom of Romania
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
General Government
Polish People's Republic
Kingdom of Hungary
Crimean Oblast
Kingdom of Romania
Moldavian SSR
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
General Government
Polish People's Republic
Today part of Ukraine
 Russia (some parts disputed)
 Romania (Tătaru Mare Island)
  1. Law of Ukraine "About languages of the Ukrainian SSR"
Order of Lenin Order of Lenin
 Hero of the USSR Four Hero City awards

The Ukrainian SSR was a founding member of the United Nations.[7] It did not really have much power because it was tightly controlled by central all-Soviet Union authorities. When the Soviet Union broke apart, the Ukrainian SSR became Ukraine.

During its 72-year history, the republic's borders changed many times. The eastern city of Kharkiv was the republic's first capital. However, in 1934, it was moved to the city of Kyiv. Kyiv is still the capital of Ukraine. Among other largest cities there were Odesa, Dnipro, Donetsk (named Stalino before 1961), Lviv, Zaporizhia.



Ukrainian SSR was one of 4 first republics of USSR.

In 1939 some lands of Western Ukraine was incorporated in Ukrainian SSR. It was occupied by Poland in 1921 and had cities Lviv, Ternopil, Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk), Rivne.

In 1940 was taken from Romania Nortern Bukovina (Chernivtsy oblast) and part of Bessarabia.

During the WWIV all of its territory was occupied. There was large partisan movements. Kyiv and Odesa became hero cities.

In 1953 former head of Communist party of Ukraine Nikita Khrushchev became the General Secretary of the CPSU. In 1964 he was removed by Ukrainian Leonid Brezhnev who was in office before his death in 1982.

In 1954 Crimea was incorporated in Ukrainian SSR.

In 1986 there was Chernobyl atomic station catastrophe.





In the republic there were about 29 mln people in 1926, 47.1 mln in 1970, 49.6 mln in 1979, 51.7 mln in 1989.

In 1989 5 cities had more than 1 million people. It was Kyiv (2.6 mln), Kharkiv (1.6 mln), Dnipro (1.2 mln), Odesa (1.1 mln) and Donetsk (1.1 mln).

The larger nation was Ukrainians, 2nd nation was Russians during all the history. Among the other nations were Jews, Belarusians, Moldovans and Romanians, Poles, Greeks.




  1. "History" (in Ukrainian). Kharkiv Oblast Government Administration. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  2. Soviet Encyclopedia of the History of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. 1969–1972.
  3. Language Policy in the Soviet Union by Lenore Grenoble, Springer Science+Business Media, 2003, ISBN 978-1-4020-1298-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mariya Kapinos. Honest History: Where, why Ukrainians speak Russian language (and how Kremlin uses it to stoke conflict in Ukraine). Kyiv Post. 6 April 2018
  5. Law of Ukraine "About languages of the Ukrainian SSR"
  6. History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442640855
  7. "Activities of the Member States - Ukraine". United Nations. Retrieved 2011-01-17.

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