Volodymyr Shcherbytsky

Volodymyr Vasylyovych Shcherbytsky (Ukrainian: Володи́мир Васи́льович Щерби́цький IPA: [vɔlɔˈdɪmɪr vɐˈsɪlʲɔvɪt͡ʃ ʃt͡ʃerˈbɪt͡sʲkɪj], Russian: Влади́мир Васи́льевич Щерби́цкий, IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr vɐˈsʲilʲɪvʲɪt͡ɕ ɕːɪrˈbʲit͡skʲɪj]; 17 February 1918 — 16 February 1990) was a Ukrainian and Soviet politician. He was a leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine from 1972 to 1989.

Volodymyr Shcherbytsky
Володи́мир Щерби́цький
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine
In office
25 May 1972 – 28 September 1989
Preceded byPetro Shelest
Succeeded byVladimir Ivashko
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
In office
23 October 1965 – 25 May 1972
Preceded byIvan Kazanets
Succeeded byOleksandr Liashko
In office
28 February 1961 – 26 June 1963
Preceded byNikifor Kalchenko
Succeeded byIvan Kazanets
First Secretary of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine
In office
7 July 1963 – 23 October 1965
Preceded byNikita Tolubeev
Succeeded byOleksiy Vatchenko
In office
December 1955 – December 1957
Preceded byAndrei Kirilenko
Succeeded byAnton Gayevoy
Full member of the 24th , 25th, 26th, 27th Politburo
In office
9 April 1971 – 20 September 1989
Candidate member of the 22nd Politburo
In office
6 December 1965 – 8 April 1966
In office
31 October 1961 – 13 December 1963
Full member of the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th Central Committee
In office
31 October 1961 – 31 October 1983
Personal details
Born(1918-02-17)17 February 1918
Verkhnodniprovsk, Ukrainian People's Republic
Died16 February 1990 (aged 71)
Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union


Grave of Volodymyr Shcherbytsky

An influential figure in the Soviet Union, a member of Soviet politburo since 1971, he was a close ally to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. His rule of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was characterized by the expanded policies of re-centralisation and suppression of dissent. While supporting Russification policies, he still allowed the Ukrainian language to keep circulating side-by-side with Russian in this traditionally bilingual republic. Scherbytsky's power base was arguably one of the most corrupt and conservative among the Soviet republics.[1]

On 20 September 1989, Shcherbytsky lost his membership of the politburo in a purge of conservative members pushed through by Mikhail Gorbachev.[2] Eight days later he was removed from leadership of the Communist Party of Ukraine at a plenum in Kiev personally presided over by Gorbachev.[3]

Shcherbytsky died on 16 February 1990 after a long illness.[4]


Volodymyr Shcherbytsky was twice awarded the Hero of Socialist Labour — in 1974 and 1977. During his public service he also received numerous other civil and state awards and recognitions, including the Order of Lenin (in 1958, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1983 and 1988), the Order of October Revolution (in 1978 and 1982), the Order of the Patriotic War, I class (in 1985) and various medals.[5]

Economic Growth in the Ukrainian SSREdit

Taking office in 1972, Volodymyr Shcherbytsky greatly expanded the economy despite the challenges of Acceleration and Gorbachev. In his 17 years as First Secretary of the Ukrainian SSR the economic potential increased nearly fourfold. This was a massive increase in comparison to previous decades.[6] In addition, the raw volume of industrial production increased over five times what it was in 1972. It was not only heavy and light industry that expanded at this time. Agriculture also expanded as well. Agriculture production doubled while he was in charge and by 1989 the Ukrainian SSR was making more than 51 million tons of grain. This was more than a ton of grain produced per person at that time.


In 1985 Leonid Kravchuk who was a secretary of Communist Party of Ukraine about ideological matters was preparing a report for Shcherbytsky for the next party committee gatherings following a plenum of the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In his report Kravchuk mentioned a word perestroika. As soon as Shcherbytsky had heard the word, he stopped Kravchuk and asked.


  1. ^ Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova By Karen Dawisha, Bruce Parrott. Cambridge University Press, 1997 ISBN 0-521-59732-3, ISBN 978-0-521-59732-6. p. 337
  2. ^ Garthoff, Raymond L. (1994). The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution. p. 393. ISBN 0-8157-3060-8.
  3. ^ Garthoff, Raymond L. (1994). The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution. p. 397. ISBN 0-8157-3060-8.
  4. ^ "Vladimir Shcherbitsky, 71, Dies; Former Ukraine Communist Chief". The New York Times. Associated Press. 18 February 1990.
  5. ^ http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control/uk/publish/article?showHidden=1&art_id=1261563&cat_id=661258
  6. ^ I. A. Kugukalo, L. M. Koretskiy & I. A. Velichko (1960) Economic Regionalization of the Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Geography, 1:8, 23-32, DOI: 10.1080/00385417.1960.10769873
  7. ^ http://www.istpravda.com.ua/articles/2011/09/10/53558/
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20180421235708/http://vz.ua/publication/21329-vladimir_shcherbitskii_poslednii_ukrainskii_sekretar

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Petro Shelest
1st Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Vladimir Ivashko
Preceded by
Andriy Kyrylenko
Mykyta Tolubeyev
1st Secretary of the Communist Party of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast
Succeeded by
Anton Hayevyi
Oleksiy Vatchenko
Political offices
Preceded by
Nykyfor Kalchenko
Ivan Kazanets
Prime Minister of Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR)
Succeeded by
Ivan Kazanets
Oleksandr Liashko