The Involvement of Urban Workers in the Sovietization of Ukrainian Village by Communist Power (the 1920s)

Keywords: peasantry, village, city, worker, power, Sovietization


The paper deals with the involvement of urban workers in the process of Sovietization of Ukrainian village by Communist power in Ukraine in the 1920s. The reasons for involving workers to this process have been found out. The attitude of workers to participation in socio-political and economic transformations in the Ukrainian village is analyzed. Attention is paid to the influence of the participation of workers in imposing the communist management of household affairs on the peasants upon the relations of Ukrainian city and village. The reaction of the peasantry to the participation of workers brigades in the collectivization of the village and violence against peasants is analyzed.

The ideology of the communist party asserted the alliance of workers and peasants. In fact, the policy of Soviet power did not meet the interests of either the workers or the peasants. Despite the declarative character of the dominant role of workers in the life of society, all decisions were taken by the Communist Party, in particular, its leaders. Pursuing a political goal, the party repeatedly used social contradictions between the city and the village. Considering the urban residents more loyal to power, the Bolsheviks during the 1920s repeatedly sent workers to the village to promote the Sovietization.

The Sovietization of the Ukrainian village in the early 1920s had the features of a military campaign against the peasantry. In the middle of the second decade, workers were often involved in the village work. The main task of their activities was to propagandize and supervise the countryside. At the end of the 1920s, the Communist power began massively use the workers again for the forced imposing of the collective-farm system upon the peasants. The workers were sent to the village, where they headed the first collective farms. The authorities often used the workers to confiscate peasants' personal property, and for psychological and physical oppression of the peasantry. Such a policy encouraged the escalation of contradictions between the urban and rural residents, interethnic hostility, and growth of violence. Industrial enterprises faced the lack of human resources. That led to the slowing down of plants productivity. Officially, the workers were going to the village voluntary. In fact, in Ukraine there were many cases of demonstration of workers unwillingness to participate in foisting the collective farm system on peasants. Some workers tried to leave the village under any reason.

History of Ukraine