Universals (Central Council of Ukraine)

Universals of the Central Council of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Універсали Української Центральної Ради) are legal acts-declarations issued by the Central Council of Ukraine in 1917-18. These documents marked the main stages of the development of the nascent Ukrainian state, from the proclamation of its autonomy to the declaration of full independence.

General outlook

Act number Adaptation Details
1 23 June [O.S. 10 June] 1917 Declared the announcement of Ukraine national autonomy as part of Russian Republic
2 16 July [O.S. 3 July] 1917 Compromise with the Russian Provisional Government announcing that the final form of Ukraine autonomy will decide the Russian Constituent Assembly
3 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1917 Announced Ukrainian People's Republic: Ukraine does not completely brake away from Russia
4 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1918 Declared independence of Ukraine

I Universal

I Universal
Ratified June 23, 1917
Location Kiev, Russian Republic
Author(s) Volodymyr Vynnychenko
Purpose declaration of the national autonomy

On June 23, 1917 the I Universal declared the autonomy of Ukraine "from now on we alone will create our life". It was an answer of the Central Council of Ukraine to the Provisional Government of Russia for its negative attitude towards the autonomy of Ukraine. According to the I Universal, "not separating from the whole Russia ... Ukrainian people must alone govern their lives", and laws must be approved by the All-National Ukrainian Assembly. The author of the I Universal was Volodymyr Vynnychenko. After the declaration of autonomy, on June 28, 1917 there was created the General Secretariat of Ukraine.

IV Universal

On 25 January 1918 (backdated 22 January 1918) IV Universal declared independence of Ukraine so the Ukrainian People's Republic could conclude an international treaty with the Central Powers.[1] It also condemned Bolshevik aggression.[2]


  1. Serhy Yekelchyk, Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation, Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-530546-3
  2. Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution: Fighting Words, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2010, ISBN 0313385238 (page 164)

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