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Football Championship of the Ukrainian SSR

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Championship of the Ukrainian SSR
Folded1991 (reformed)
Country Ukrainian SSR and  Moldavian SSR (before 1980)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toAmateurs
Domestic cup(s)Football Cup of the Ukrainian SSR
Last championsNaftovyk Okhtyrka (1st title)
Most championships4 - SKA Kyiv and Kryvbas
8 - Kharkiv city football team[a] (as Intercities champion)

The Championship of the Ukrainian SSR in football was a top competition of association football in the Ukrainian SSR in 1921-91. Number of Ukrainian clubs almost never competed in the championship such as Dynamo Kyiv.

The competitions were organized by the Football Federation of the Ukrainian SSR[1] that was created in 1959 in place of the Football Section.

Before 1980 selected teams of Moldavian SSR participated in the championship.

Historical outlook

Established as the All-Ukrainian inter-city competition in 1921, later it was included into number of All-Ukrainian Olympiads and Spartakiads. During several seasons the competitions were suspended due to football being identified as a "non-proletariat sport". Also because of a difficult social cataclysm in 1933 (Holodomor), there was no competitions as well.

With the establishment of the All-Union competitions in 1936 (united competitions), the republican football competitions in Ukraine were degraded to regional level. Since then and before the Great Patriotic War, the champion of Ukraine title was awarded to a team that would place first in the First Group (Persha Hrupa) of championship among sports societies and agencies. In 1960 those competitions were suspended and republican title was awarded to the top team of Ukrainian Zone in the Class B (Soviet Second League). The consistent and uniform All-Ukrainian Soviet competition take their beginning from 1960 as the first All-Ukrainian league was formed as part of the Soviet Second League, more known back then as the Klass B, with UkrSSR zone. In 1964 there were also established lower level republican competitions among collectives of physical culture (KFK). In 1970 the Soviet Second League was named as the second group of Klass A for the season, before changing to simply the Soviet Second League. For 1990 and 1991 seasons this competition was moved further down the Soviet league levels into the newly formed Soviet Second League B also earlier known as the G group or simply the Third League.

Until World War II up to 11 clubs competed in the Soviet championship. Nine clubs from Ukraine participated in the first season of the Soviet competition: Dynamo Kyiv (I Division); Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk and Dynamo Kharkiv (II Division); Dynamo Odesa, Spartak Kharkiv, Ugolschiki Staline, Lokomotyv Kyiv (III Division); Traktor Plant Kharkiv, Stal Dnipropetrovsk (IV Division). Later other clubs has entered the competition: Silmash Kharkiv, Frunze Plant Kostiantynivka, Sudostroitel Mykolaiv, and Dzerzhynets Voroshylovhrad.

The Ukrainian club competition in the Second League had existed and prior to 1963, but was not such an exclusive and consistent part of the Soviet League system. In 1970 and 1990 there were few reformations. In 1970 the First League was reduced to a single group and, because of that, the Second League extended into upper and lower (B) divisions. The lower division was named as the Second League B and for the next season was liquidated. In 1990 a similar reform was taken upon the Second League. Its 10 regional groups were reduced to just three still by the regional principal while the league was renamed into the Buffer League (West, Center, and East). This reform also introduced what was planned to be a fourth level of professional competition allowing each republic to have its own professional league. That fourth level competition was named as the Second League, the former name of the Buffer League.

Republican competitions before 1936

Championship of cities

The first nationwide football competitions in Ukraine were established in 1921 as inter-cities competition of the Ukrainian SSR. The city teams consisted of different players from various teams of a particular city. Until 1930 the competition took place in Kharkiv, in 1931 it was conducted in Kyiv, and in 1932 – in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia.

In 1936 the competition was consolidated into the Soviet competitions with some of its teams qualified for the Soviet Top League. The championship itself became a republican level competition with its best team qualifying for the Soviet competitions.

Season Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1921 Kharkiv Odesa Mykolaiv
1922 Kharkiv Odesa Kyiv
1923 Kharkiv Yuzivka Odesa
1924 Kharkiv Odesa Stalino
1925 no competitions
1926 no competitions
1927 Kharkiv Mykolaiv Odesa
1928 Kharkiv Horlivka Mykolaiv]
1929 no competitions
1930 no competitions
1931 Kyiv Kharkiv Kadiyivka
1932 Kharkiv Donbas Dnipropetrovsk
1933 no competitions
1934 Kharkiv Kyiv Vinnytsia
1935 Dnipropetrovsk Kyiv Kharkiv

Championship of the Proletarian Sports Society Dynamo

Parallel to the championship of cities there also existed separate tournament that was played among teams of Dynamo society (Proletarian Sports Society (PST) Dynamo) located throughout the Ukrainian SSR.[2] The first tournament was conducted as part of the All-Ukrainian Dynamo Festival which was organized on the orders of the top OGPU official in Ukraine Vsevolod Balitsky. The tournament was also known as the Dynamiada of Ukraine. There existed some degree of confusion due to great number of tournament at that time.[3]

Season Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1929[b] Dynamo Kharkiv Dynamo Kyiv Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk
Dynamo Stalino
1931[c] Dynamo Kyiv Dynamo Kharkiv Dynamo Odesa
Dynamo Stalino
1932[d] Dynamo Kharkiv Dynamo Kyiv Dynamo Odesa
Dynamo Stalino
1933[e] Dynamo Kyiv Dynamo Kharkiv Dynamo Odesa
Dynamo Stalino
1934[f] Dynamo Kharkiv Dynamo Kyiv Dynamo Stalino
Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk
1935[g] Dynamo Kyiv Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk Dynamo Kharkiv

Republican competitions after 1936

Football Championship among teams of sports societies (non-professional level)

The competitions were considered to be amateur. In Soviet Union officially all sports players were amateur athletes, however to differentiate level of teams, there were teams of sports societies and agencies (amateurs) and teams of masters (professionals).

Nonetheless in 1936 and in 1938 there were played games of one more tournament called the Season's Cup of the Ukrainian SSR to which qualified the cup holder and the champion.[4] Those tournament were discontinued and there only were two games.

Season Group Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1936 Ordzhonikidze Factory Kramatorsk Petrovsky Factory Dnipropetrovsk UDKA Kyiv
1937 Spartak Dnipropetrovsk Zenit Staline Stalinets Kharkiv
1938 Dzerzhynets Voroshylovhrad Stal Dniprodzerzhynsk Dynamo Mykolaiv
1939 Lokomotyv Zaporizhzhia Kharchovyk Odesa Lokomotyv Kharkiv
1940 Lokomotyv Zaporizhzhia Stakhanovets Ordzhonikidze Avanhard Kramatorsk
1941-45 no competitions World War II
1946 Spartak Uzhhorod BO Kyiv Dzerzhynets Kharkiv
1947 Bilshovyk Mukacheve Avanhard Kramatorsk Lokomotyv Kyiv
1948 1 Torpedo Odesa Dynamo Uzhhorod Dynamo Vinnytsia
2 Stal Kostiantynivka Military Unit 25750 (Kyiv) Stal Dniprodzerzhynsk
Play-off Torpedo Odesa Stal Kostiantynivka Dynamo Uzhhorod
1949 1 Metalurh Dniprodzerzhynsk Metalurh Kostiantynivka Traktor Kirovohrad
2 BO Kyiv Spartak Stanislav Lokomotyv Ternopil
Play-off BO Kyiv Metalurh Dniprodzerzhynsk
1950 Spartak Uzhhorod Labor Reserves Voroshylovhrad BO Kyiv
1951 BO Kyiv ODO Lviv Mashynobudivnyk Kyiv
1952 Metalurh Zaporizhzhia Chervonyi Styah Mykolaiv Iskra Mukacheve
1953 Spartak Uzhhorod Spartak Kherson Torpedo Kharkiv
1954 Zenit Kyiv Spartak Stanislav Budivelnyk Mykolaiv
1955 Spartak Stanislav Spartak Kherson Torpedo Kirovohrad
1956 Shakhtar Kadiivka Mashynobudivnyk Kyiv ODO Odesa
1957 SKVO Odesa ‡ Lokomotyv Artemivsk Mashynobudivnyk Kyiv
1958 Mashynobudivnyk Kyiv Metalurh Nikopol Naftovyk Drohobych
1959 Avanhard Zhovti Vody Torpedo Kharkiv SKVO Odesa

‡ – winners of the Football Cup of the Ukrainian SSR

Football Championship among teams of masters (professional level)

While many Ukrainian teams competed in the Class B before 1960, it was not until then when they were organized into own republican competition which was officially considered as the one among teams of masters (professional teams).

For 1990 and 1991 the Soviet Second League was again restructured and degraded farther into the fourth division of the competition yielding to the newly formed Buffer League. Buffer League (a.k.a. Second League) covered much bigger area for the competition, while the Second League (a.k.a. Lower Second League) was assigned specifically for most of the Soviet republics including Ukraine.

Soviet Class B (Ukraine)

Official name of the established competition was the Class B, UkrSSR (Russian: класс «Б», УССР). Originally reestablished soon after the World War II as the Second Group (1945-1949), the Class B football competitions succeeded it in 1950 as part of the Soviet second tier. As part of the Ukrainian championship, Class B existed in 1960-1970.

Note: until 1963 Class B was the second division of the Soviet football competition, analog of the First League with several zones formed by territorial principle. Since then it was degraded into the third and later renamed as the Soviet Second League.

Ukrainian competitions consisted of two zones until 1970, when it was restructured into two hierarchical leagues. After 1971 teams of the lower league lost their professional status (teams of masters).

Soviet second-tiered competitions
Season Group Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1960 1 Sudnobudivnyk Mykolaiv Lokomotyv Vinnytsia Arsenal Kyiv
2 Metalurh Zaporizhzhia SKA Odesa Trudovi Rezervy Luhansk
Play-off Metalurh Zaporizhzhia Sudnobudivnyk Mykolaiv
1961 1 Chornomorets Odesa Lokomotyv Vinnytsia Zirka Kirovohrad
2 SKA Odesa Trudovi Rezervy Luhansk Avanhard Zhovti Vody
Play-off Chornomorets Odesa SKA Odesa Lokomotyv Vinnytsia
1962 Trudovi Rezervy Luhansk Chornomorets Odesa Avanhard Simferopol
Soviet third-tiered competitions
Season Group Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1963 1 Lokomotyv Vinnytsia SKA Lviv Zirka Kirovohrad
2 SKA Odesa Azovstal Zhdanov Torpedo Kharkiv
Play-off SKA Odesa Lokomotyv Vinnytsia Azovstal Zhdanov
1964 Lokomotyv Vinnytsia SKA Kyiv Polissya Zhytomyr
1965 SKA Lviv SKA Kyiv Avanhard Zhovti Vody
1966 1 Dynamo Khmelnytskyi Desna Chernihiv SKCF Sevastopol
2 Avanhard Zhovti Vody Lokomotyv Kherson Dnipro Kremenchuk
Play-off Avanhard Zhovti Vody Dynamo Khmelnytskyi Lokomotyv Kherson
1967 1 Avtomobilist Zhytomyr Dnipro Cherkasy Dnipro Kremenchuk
2 Khimik Severodonetsk Torpedo Kharkiv Shakhtar Kadievka
Play-off Avtomobilist Zhytomyr Khimik Severodonetsk Dnipro Kremenchuk
1968 1 Avanhard Ternopil Bukovyna Chernivtsi Dynamo Khmelnytskyi
2 Lokomotyv Donetsk Spartak Sumy Desna Chernihiv
Play-off Avanhard Ternopil Bukovyna Chernivtsi Shakhtar Kadiyevka
1969 1 Spartak Ivano-Frankivsk Prometey Dniprodzerzhynsk Karpaty Mukacheve
2 Spartak Sumy Shakhtar Horlivka Shakhtar Sverdlovsk
Play-off Spartak Ivano-Frankivsk Shakhtar Horlivka Spartak Sumy
Soviet fourth-tiered competitions
Season Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1970 Khimik Severodonetsk Lokomotyv Vinnytsia Lokomotyv Donetsk

Soviet Class A, Second Group (Ukraine, Soviet third tier)

Season Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1970 Metalurh Zaporizhzhia Tavriya Simferopol Avtomobilist Zhytomyr

Second League (Soviet third tier)

Season Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1971 Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv Avtomobilist Zhytomyr
1972 Spartak Ivano-Frankivsk Hoverla Uzhhorod Tavriya Simferopol
1973 Tavriya Simferopol Avtomobilist Zhytomyr Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv
1974 Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv Metalist Kharkiv Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
1975 Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih Avtomobilist Zhytomyr SC Lutsk
1976 Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih Metalist Kharkiv SCA Odesa
1977 SCA Odesa SKA Kyiv Kolos Nikopol
1978 Metalist Kharkiv Kolos Nikopol SKA Kyiv
1979 Kolos Nikopol SKA Kyiv SKA Lviv
1980 SKA Kyiv Bukovyna Chernivtsi SKA Lviv
1981 Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih Nyva Vinnytsia Avanhard Rivne
1982 Bukovyna Chernivtsi Desna Chernihiv Kolos Pavlohrad
1983 SKA Kyiv Kolos Pavlohrad Nyva Vinnytsia
1984 Nyva Vinnytsia Kolos Pavlohrad Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv
1985 Tavriya Simferopol Nyva Vinnytsia Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv
1986 Zoria Voroshylovhrad Tavriya Simferopol SKA Kyiv
1987 Tavriya Simferopol Nyva Ternopil Prykarpattia Ivano-Frankivsk
1988 Bukovyna Chernivtsi Vorskla Poltava SKA Odesa
1989 Volyn Lutsk Bukovyna Chernivtsi Nyva Ternopil

Second League Lower (Soviet fourth tier)

Season Champion Runner-up 3rd Position
1990 Torpedo Zaporizhzhia Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv Avanhard Rivne
1991 Naftovyk Okhtyrka Prykarpattia Ivano-Frankivsk Kolos Nikopol

List of all champions

Performance by club

The table does not include city teams that competed in the cities' championship.

Club Winners Runners-up Third Place Winning Years
SKA Kyiv 4 5 4 1949, 1951, 1980, 1983
Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih 4 1 1971, 1975, 1976, 1981
Spartak Ivano-Frankivsk 3 2 2 1955, 1969, 1972
SKA Odesa 3 1 4 1957, 1963, 1977
Tavriya Simferopol 3 1 2 1973, 1985, 1987
Spartak Uzhhorod 3 1 1946, 1950, 1953
Metalurh Zaporizhzhia 3 1952, 1960, 1970
Zorya Luhansk 3 1938, 1962, 1986
Nyva Vinnytsia 2 3 3 1964, 1984
Bukovyna Chernivtsi 2 3 1982, 1988
Arsenal Kyiv 2 1 1954, 1958
Avanhard Zhovti Vody 2 1 1959, 1966
Lokomotyv Zaporizhzhia 2 1939, 1940
Sudnobudivelnyk Mykolaiv 1 3 3 1974
Avtomobilist Zhytomyr 1 2 3 1967
Kolos Nikopol 1 2 2 1979
Metalist Kharkiv 1 2 1 1978
Chornomorets Odesa 1 2 1961
SKA Lviv 1 1 3 1965
Avanhard Kramatorsk 1 1 1 1936
Shakhtar Stakhanov 1 1 1956
Spartak Dnipropetrovsk 1 1937
Bilshovyk Mukacheve 1 1947
Torpedo Odesa 1 1948
Avanhard Ternopil 1 1968
Volyn Lutsk 1 1989
Torpedo Zaporizhzhia 1 1990
Naftovyk Okhtyrka 1 1991

Performance by city (Cities' championship)

The 1936 championship is not included.

Club Winners Runners-up Third Place Winning Years
Kharkiv 8 1 1 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1934
Kyiv 1 2 1 1931
Dnipropetrovsk 1 1 1935

Pre-World War II teams of masters (professional clubs) in Ukraine

Post war teams of masters (professional clubs) in Ukraine before Ukrainian Class B

Teams from other republics

Moldavian teams

Belarusian teams

Russian teams

See also


  1. ^ Most often and its majority represented by players of FC Dynamo Kharkiv that competed at the Kharkiv city championship
  2. ^ officially named as the All-Ukrainian Dynamo Festival
  3. ^ officially named as the Cup of the All-Ukrainian PST Dynamo
  4. ^ officially named as the Challenge of the All-Ukrainian PST Dynamo
  5. ^ officially named as the All-Ukrainian Spartakiade of Dynamo
  6. ^ officially named as the Challenge of the All-Ukrainian PST Dynamo
  7. ^ officially named as the Challenge of the All-Ukrainian PST Dynamo


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Football Championship of the Ukrainian SSR
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