Ukrainian State

Ukrainian State

: "This article is about the government of the Ukrainian National Republic, 1918–1920. For the Cossack state under the Russian Empire (1654–18th century), see Cossack Hetmanate."Infobox Former Country
native_name = Українська Держава
conventional_long_name = Ukrainian State
common_name = Ukraine
continent = Europe
region = Eastern Europe
status =
status_text =
year_start = 1918
year_end = 1918
date_start = April
date_end = December
event_start =
event_end =
p1 = Ukrainian People's Republic
flag_p1= Flag_of_Ukraine.svg
s1 = Directorate of Ukraine
flag_s1= Flag_of_Ukraine.svg

coa_size = 97px

image_map_caption =
capital = Kiev
government_type = Monarchy
title_leader= Hetman
leader1 = Pavlo Skoropadsky
year_leader1 =

Ukrainian State ( _uk. Українська держава, "Ukrains’ka Derzhava") or The Hetmanate ( _uk. Гетьманат, "Het’manat") was a short-lived polity in Ukraine, installed under support of the Central powers by Ukrainian Cossacks and military organizations after disbanding the Central Rada of the Ukrainian National Republic on 28 April 1918.


As the Central Rada proved unable to maintain order; in chaotic conditions, the administration soon lost the confidence of the landowning and business interests. In April 1918, these organized a coup and appointed the Conservative General Pavlo Skoropadsky (commander of the first Russian Corps to have been "Ukrainianized", and later leader of the free cossacks) as Hetman of what was termed the "Ukrainska Derzhava" or Ukrainian State. The Austro-Hungarian and German occupiers, wanting stability above all else, welcomed the coup; Skoropadsky co-operated with them, making him unpopular among many Ukrainian peasants. The new state retained the "tryzub" and the national colors, but reversed the flag design to light blue over yellow. The Sich Riflemen opposed the coup and were disbanded along with the "Bluecoats" (a Ukrainian division named after their blue uniforms and formed from POWs in Germany and Austria).

Internal opposition was provoked by the Hetman's requisitioning of food stocks and restoration of land to the wealthy landowners. Opponents of the Skoropadsky regime committed acts of arson and sabotage, and in July 1918 assassinated Field-Marshall Hermann von Eichhorn, the commander of the German troops in Ukraine. The anti-Skoropadsky coalition succeeded in forcing him to re-form the Sich Riflemen Corps in August 1918. By then it was becoming obvious that the Central Powers had lost the war and that Skoropadsky could no longer rely on their support. He then turned to support from conservative Russian elements in society and proposed joining a federation with Denikin's Russia, which further eroded his standing among Ukrainians. After the Armistice in November 1918 they formed a rival body known as the Directory, whose forces were spearheaded by the Sich Rifles; the "Greycoats" also joined the revolt. Although German and Austrian troops were still present in Ukraine, they had no further interest in the war. Most of Skoropadsky's own forces went over to the directory, and he had to turn to the thousands of White Russian officers who escaped to Ukraine intending to join Denekin's Volunteer Army, which was based in the Don region further to the east. These were assembled into a "Special Corps" of white Russian officers; Denekin was willing to let them fight for Skoropadsky because he distrusted the Ukrainian nationalists, but they were unable to resist the Directory's troops. These Kiev in December 1918, overthrew Skoropadsky's regime and forced him into exile.

After Skoropadsky was expelled by insurgent forces, the Hetmanate was replaced by the Directorate.


* Comparison of Skoropadsky to Yushchenko: "Ukrainian History: Deja Vue" and article in "Ukrayinska Pravda" (Ukrainian Truth), October 11, 2005, available [ online (in English)] .

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