Evolution of Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s political views in 1920 in the context of the crisis of the Soviet form of the Ukrainian state


The article is devoted to the relations between Volodymyr Vynnychenko and Lev Trotsky – leading figures of the revolutionary period of 1917–1921. The 1920s were one of the most difficult and controversial periods in the life of Volodymyr Vynnychenko. Formulation of the problem. There are many versions and assumptions about the reasons for V. Vynnychenko’s break with the Bolsheviks: from his careerism to his unwillingness to be a screen for Bolshevik policy in Ukraine, which actually destroyed his political dream – the creation of independent Soviet Ukraine. V. Vynnychenko’s decision is hotly debated, both among professional historians, educators, and among ordinary readers, users of social networks, and various historical groups. The aim of the research is to find out the reasons for the evolution of V. Vynnychenko’s political worldview and the influence of Lev Trotsky on these changes. The main results. The author draws attention to L. Trotsky’s influence, both on the fact of V. Vynnychenko’s return from emigration and on his coming abroad. The documents were signed by L. Trotsky and conversations with him had a significant impact on V. Vynnychenko’s decision, as evidenced by entries in his diary, the book “Renaissance of the Nation” and his autobiography. Influenced by these texts and meetings, V. Vynnychenko realized that the Bolsheviks’ recognition of Soviet Ukraine’s right to independence was a declaration of intent, not a real policy. At the same time, V. Vynnychenko himself believed that his views also influenced Trotsky’s political worldview, which in the 1930s began to criticize Bolshevik centralism and their policy toward Ukraine’s sovereign status. The study is based on a variety of sources. The author uses the methods of comparative analysis, microhistory, biography, applies a regional approach, drawing attention to the fellowship of V. Vynnychenko, L. Trotsky, G. Zinoviev, influential politicians of the revolutionary period of 1917–1921. Concise conclusions. V. Vynnychenko’s contradictory, sometimes difficult to understand, decisions in 1920 received different assessments from representatives of modern Ukrainian historiography. Some historians believe that V. Vynnychenko outplayed himself, i. e. the Bolsheviks used him to propagate Soviet power in Ukraine, and his hesitations had a negative impact on the development of the Ukrainian revolution in 1920. Other historians try to explain V. Vynnychenko’s steps by trying to reach an agreement with the Bolsheviks to implement his plan, which was to put into practice the idea of Ukrainian statehood in the Soviet form. The study is based on a variety of sources (the diary entries of Vladimir Vynnychenko during 1920, his leaflets, analytical memoirs given in the book “Renaissance of the Nation”, published in 1920, his autobiography, information reports of the Political Department of the UPR, which mention the name of V. Vynnychenko, and also the journalistic legacy of Lev Trotsky, devoted to the question of the independence of Soviet Ukraine). Scientific novelty and originality. For the first time in historiography, the author draws attention to the mutual influences of V. Vynnychenko and L. Trotsky on the evolution of their political worldview. The type of article: theoretical.

Author Biography

Yurii Mytrofanenko, Kirovograd Regional Institute of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education named after Vasil Sukhomlinsky

Ph. D. in History, Senior Lecturer of Theory and Methods of Secondary Education, Kirovograd Regional Institute of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education named after Vasil Sukhomlinsky, Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine


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How to Cite
MYTROFANENKO, Yurii. Evolution of Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s political views in 1920 in the context of the crisis of the Soviet form of the Ukrainian state. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 4, n. 2, p. 50–58, july 2022. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/162>. Date accessed: 05 june 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/26210419.
History of Ukraine