Symon Petliura

Ukrainian military leader (1879–1926) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Symon Vasylyovych Petliura[lower-alpha 1] (Ukrainian: Си́мон Васи́льович Петлю́ра; Russian: Симон Васильевич Петлюра; 22 May [O.S. 10 May] 1879 – 25 May 1926) was a Ukrainian politician and journalist. He was the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian People's Army (UNA) and led the Ukrainian People's Republic during the Ukrainian War of Independence, a part of the wider Russian Civil War.

Quick facts: Symon Petliura, 2nd Chairman of the Directora...
Symon Petliura
Симон Петлюра
Petliura c.1920s
2nd Chairman of the Directorate
In office
11 February 1919  25 May 1926
(In exile from 18 March 1921)
Prime Minister
Preceded byVolodymyr Vynnychenko
Succeeded byAndriy Livytskyi1
Secretary of Military Affairs
In office
28 June 1917  6 January 1918
Prime MinisterVolodymyr Vynnychenko
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMykola Porsh
Personal details
Born(1879-05-22)22 May 1879
Poltava, Poltava Governorate, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died25 May 1926(1926-05-25) (aged 47)
Paris, France
Political partyRUP (1900–1905)
USDLP (1905–1919)
(m. 1910)
ChildrenLesya (1911–1941)
Alma materPoltava Orthodox Seminary
OccupationPolitician and statesman
Military service
AllegianceUkrainian People's Republic
Branch/serviceUkrainian People's Army
Years of service1914–1922
RankChief Otaman
CommandsHaidamaka Kish of Sloboda Ukraine
1As President of Ukraine in exile

Petliura was born to a family of Cossack heritage in Poltava. From an early age he embraced socialism and Ukrainian nationalism, which he advocated through his highly prolific career as a journalist. After the 1917 February Revolution overthrew the Tsarist monarchy, the Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed and Petliura was elected head of its military. The Republic was briefly interrupted by the pro-German Ukrainian State, but in late 1918 Petliura, along with other members of the socialist Directorate of Ukraine, organised a revolt and overthrew the regime, restoring the Republic. He became the leader of the Directorate in early 1919, after the Bolsheviks invaded Ukraine and drove the UNA to Galicia. Facing imminent defeat, Petliura entered an alliance with Józef Piłsudski's Poland. The Polish–Soviet War concluded with Polish victory but Ukraine remained under Soviet control, forcing Petliura into exile. He initially directed the government-in-exile from Poland, but eventually settled in Paris.

During the Civil War, the UNA were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Jewish civilians, and Petliura's role in the pogroms has been a topic of dispute. In 1926, Petliura was assassinated in Paris by Jewish anarchist Sholem Schwarzbard, who had lost relatives in the pogroms.

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