Congress of the Enslaved Peoples of Russia

The Congress of the Enslaved Peoples of Russia was a congress of representatives of different nationalities to discuss their political situation in the Russian Empire. It was held on 21–28 September [O.S. 8–15 September] 1917 in Kyiv, Ukraine.[1]


World War I and the February Revolution brought hopes that the various minorities in the Russian Empire could attain some freedoms. The congress was organized by the Ukrainian Central Rada to discuss these political aspirations and better coordinate their efforts. In total, there were 93 representatives[1] of 20 nations,[2] including Belarusians, Buryats, Georgians, Estonians, Jews, Lithuanians, Latvians, Crimean Tatars, Moldavians, Don Cossacks, and Cossacks.[3] Polish and Finnish representatives did not participate as they had already proclaimed independence.[4] The Russian Provisional Government was represented by Maksym Slavinsky, member of the Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets).[1] Latvians had ten representatives, including future Prime Minister Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics. Estonians were represented by future Minister of Foreign Affairs Ants Piip.[5]

The congress resolved the Russia should be organized as a federation of nations that would grant autonomy to the various nations.[1] Only Lithuanians, represented by nine men, including Augustinas Voldemaras, Antanas Tumėnas, and Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, demanded full independence.[4] The congress elected the Council of the Peoples of Russia, chaired by Mykhailo Hrushevsky, and established journal Svobodnyi soiuz (Свободный союз, Free Union). However, due to the October Revolution, the council and the journal were short-lived.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Reent, O.P. (2005). "З'їзд поневолених народів". In Smoliy, Valeriy; et al. (eds.). Encyclopedia of the History of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Vol. 3. National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Institute of History of Ukraine. ISBN 966-00-0610-1.
  2. ^ Holian, Anna (2011). Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism: Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany. University of Michigan Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-472-02767-5.
  3. ^ a b "Congress of the Peoples of Russia". Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b Čepėnas, Pranas (1986). Naujųjų laikų Lietuvos istorija. Vol. II. Chicago: Dr. Kazio Griniaus Fondas. pp. 73–74. OCLC 3220435.
  5. ^ Alston, Charlotte (2011). Piip, Meierovics & Voldemaras: The Baltic States. Haus Publishing. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-1-905791-71-2.

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