Yuriy Kotsiubynsky

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Yuriy Mykhailovych Kotsiubynsky
Юрій Михайлович Коцюбинський
People's Secretary of Military Affairs (acting)
In office
December 1917 – March 7, 1918
Prime Minister Yevgenia Bosch
Mykola Skrypnyk
Preceded by Vasyl Shakhrai
Succeeded by Volodymyr Ovsiyenko
People's Secretary of Internal Affairs
In office
March 7, 1918 – April 18, 1918
Prime Minister Mykola Skrypnyk
Preceded by Yevgenia Bosch
Succeeded by position disbanded
Head of Derzhplan
In office
February 1934 – November 1934
Prime Minister Panas Lyubchenko
Preceded by Mykola Skrypnyk
Succeeded by Kyrylo Sukhomlyn
Personal details
Born (1896-12-07)December 7, 1896
Vinnytsia, Podolia Governorate
Died March 8, 1937(1937-03-08) (aged 40)
?Kiev, Soviet Union
Citizenship Russia, Soviet
Nationality Ukrainian
Political party RSDLP(b) (1913)
Spouse(s) Olha Petrovna Kotsybynska
daughter of Petrovsky
Children Oleh

Yuriy Kotsiubynsky (Ukrainian: Юрій Михайлович Коцюбинський) (December 7, 1896 – March 8, 1937) was a Bolshevik politician, activist, member of the Soviet government in Ukraine, one of the co-founders of Red Cossacks Army of Ukrainian Republic.

Until the Revolution

Yuriy, like his father Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, was born in Vinnytsia, Podolia Governorate. He studied in the Chernihiv Gymnasium. In 1913, Yuriy joined the Bolsheviks and in 1916 was mobilized to the Russian Imperial Army. Later he studied in school of praporshchiks in Odessa and serving in Petrograd. In the capital Kotsiubynsky led an anti-war agitation among soldiers for which he was arrested on several occasions by the Provisional Government. There he also became a member of a military organization at the Petrograd Committee of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolshevik), a commissar of Semenovsky Guard Reserve Regiment, the Chief of Red Guard and commandant of the Moscow-Narva region (Petrograd).

After the Revolution

With his future brother-in-law Vitaly Primakov Kotsiubynsky took active participation in storming of the Winter Palace during the October Revolution. Later he headed the Red Guard detachment of Moscow-Narva Distinct (Saint-Petersburg) against the forces of Kerensky - Krasnov, being also the commandant of the mentioned district. In December 1917 he became a deputy of People's Secretary of Military Affairs and later was acting as the Secretary. In January 1918 he became the Chief of Staff of the Soviet Ukrainian People's Republic and chairman of military collegiate, nominally heading the army of the Petrograd Red Guards and Baltic Sailors in the fight against the national forces of the Ukrainian People's Republic occupying Kiev in February 1918. In reality the army was led by Muraviov who was subordinated to Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko.

In March 1918 Kotsiubynsky was elected to the Central Executive Committee (a.k.a. Tsikuka) and also was appointed as the People's Secretary of Internal Affairs. In July 1918 Kotsyubysnky joined the All Ukrainian Central Military revkom. Since November 1918 became a member of the reinstated Ukrainian Bolshevik government, the Provisional Workers-Peasants Government of Ukraine. During 1919-1920 Kotsiubynsky headed several regional party offices in Chernihiv and Poltava. From April to November 1919 he was a chairman of the Chernigov Governorate executive committee (governor). Since 1920 he held diplomatic missions to Austria and Poland until 1930. In 1922-23 he was an auditor of Marxist courses at the Socialist Academy. In 1930 Kotsiubynsky became the deputy of head of Derzhplan; however in September 1933 he occupied the chair of Derzhplan and became the deputy chairman of the Ukrainian sovnarkom (Vice Prime Minister). During these last several years he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee.


In November 1934, Kotsiubynsky was fired from his job losing his membership in the Central Committee. In February 1935, he was arrested while being charged with anti-Soviet activities and convicted by the decision of the Special Board of NKVD to six years of exile in Almaty. In March 1935 he was excluded from the Party. In October 1936 Kotsiubynsky was arrested again while in exile and transferred to Kiev. There, together with Vasyl Poraiko, Holubenko, Tytar, Tyrchuk, Volodymyr Lohinov and Pleskachevsky, he was charged with directing activities of a secret Trotskist center in Ukraine (Ukrainian Trotskyite Opposition) at the behest of Georgy Pyatakov.[1]

On March 8, 1937 he was convicted by the Collegiate of the Soviet Supreme Court and executed by firing squad later the same day. In December 1955 he was rehabilitated.

There exist the Letter without envelope to Kotsiubynsky from Serhiy Okhrymenko in which the Ukrainian scientist blames him in bloody crimes against his own people.

(Pavlo Khrystiuk, Ukrainian historian)



  1. ^ International Trotskyist Tendencies
  2. ^ Profile at personalities

External links

  • Handbook on history of the Communist Party
  • Small Dictionary of history of Ukraine
  • Profile at personalities
  • Yu.Kotsyubynsky on the service at the Red commissars
Preceded by
office installed
Deputy of People's Secretary of Military Affairs
December 1917–December 1917
Succeeded by
office liquidated
Preceded by
Mykola Skrypnyk
Head of Derzhplan
February 1934–November 1934
Succeeded by
Kyrylo Sukhomlyn
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