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Simon Vasil'evich Petliura

Ukrainian nationalist leader

Simon Petliura, Ukrainian nationalist leader.


Petliura, Simon was born on May 17, 1879 in Poltava. Son of a coachman.


Started his education in a seminary in the 1890s. Expelled for nationalist activity, emigrated to L’vov (then Austro-Hungary). On his return, worked as an accountant at Kuban and Kiev.

Lived in Petersburg in 1907. Editor of the newspaper Ukrainskaia Zhizn’ (Ukrainian Life), 1912. During World War I, worked in Zemstvo organizations.

After the February Revolution 1917, organized the Ukrainian Military Committee. Minister of Defence in the Ukrainian government (Central Rada), 1918. Under the German occupation, April 1918, and Hetman Skoropadski, was chairman of the All Ukrainian Zemstvo Union.

From November 1918, after the fall of Skoropadski, member of the Ukrainian Directoria and ataman (commander of the Ukrainian army). Chairman of the Directoria, February 1919. Fought against the Red Army and the White Army of General Denikin in alliance with Poland under Pilsudskii.

Defeated at the end of 1919. Reached Kiev again with the Poles in the spring of 1920. Emigrated to Poland after the Polish retreat, and then to France.

Assassinated in Paris by the Cheka agent, Shwarzbard.