Innovative Experience of the NEP: lessons for the present


The aim of the article: to draw attention to the lessons of the New Economic Policy, as insufficiently studied and generalized in the context of the development of the economy of Soviet Ukraine. This will allow, on the basis of deeper knowledge of history of the controversial interwar period, to understand the essence of strategic transformations at the present stage better, to avoid difficulties and miscalculations in their implementation. Research methods: historical-typological, historical-genetic, historical-comparative. Main results. The research proves that all instruments of market economy in a totalitarian society could exist only nominally. Non-acceptance of Lenin’s ideas set forth in the article “On Cooperation”, fixation only on his views regarding the early NEP, focus on administrative, repressive measures led to the fact that all the declared calls to support cooperative economy had an extremely low level of transformation into real supportive actions. The examples of successful initiatives of hard-working entrepreneurs, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses to find ways of socio-economic survival in the extreme conditions of the fight against COVID-19 are given. Concise conclusions. Government agencies administering economy took on the functions of chief executives, coordinating all economic activities, at the same time, putting it in a narrow framework of dependence on the Soviet state’s ideological and political decisions. The totalitarian system and any manifestations of private initiative were incompatible. The lessons of the NEP convincingly prove that free farming, small and medium business – the foundation of any developed society,  – are underestimated today (as they were a hundred years ago) and require systematic state support. Practical meaning: the importance of the chosen topic is predetermined by the possibility of using the past economic experience in carrying out modern socio-economic transformations of society. Type of article: research.

Author Biographies

Kostiantyn Nikitenko, Lviv National Academy of Arts

Sc. D. in History, Associate Professor, Dean of the Faculty of History and Theory of Art, Lviv National Academy of Arts, Lviv, Ukraine

Oleksandr But, Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University

Sc. D. in History, Professor, Professor at the Department of History of Ukraine and Special Branches of Historical Science, Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University, Vinnytsia, Ukraine


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How to Cite
NIKITENKO, Kostiantyn; BUT, Oleksandr. Innovative Experience of the NEP: lessons for the present. 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. 70–84, july 2022. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 june 2023. doi:
History of Ukraine