The first station wagon of the Ukrainian Central Rada


July 5, 2022

The first Universal of the Ukrainian Central Council is a state-political act, the Universal of the Central Council, which proclaimed the autonomy of Ukraine. Adopted on June 10 (23), 1917 in Kyiv. The full name is Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada to the Ukrainian people, in Ukraine and outside Ukraine.


At the end of May, the Central Rada sent a delegation headed by V. Vynnychenko and M. Kovalevsky to Petrograd. The delegation demanded the Ukrainization of the army, administration, and school system, as well as for the Provisional Government of Russia to express its principled attitude to the possibility of granting autonomy to Ukraine. In response to the refusal of the Provisional Government, the Central Rada issued its First Universal, adopted on June 10 (June 23 according to the new style) and announced at the Second Military Congress. It stated: In Universal it was emphasized that the Central Rada will "create a new system of free autonomous Ukraine." The adoption of the First Universal forced the Provisional Government to send its delegation to Kyiv, consisting of Ministers Tereshchenko and Tsereteli. Later, Minister of Justice Kerensky joined them. From the Ukrainian side, the following took part in the negotiations: Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Simon Petliura. The result was recognition of the Central Rada as a regional governing body in Ukraine. The chauvinist circles of Russia were shocked by the "insolence" of the Ukrainians — the First Universal. The interim government and the press competed head-on in accusing Ukraine of "treason," "separatism," "breakthrough of the front," and other mortal sins. On June 29, 1917, a delegation of the Provisional Government arrived in Kyiv. After two days of debate, a compromise was found — the Petrograd ministers agreed that the Ukrainian Central Rada should draft a charter of autonomy of Ukraine with the condition that it be submitted for final approval by the All-Russian Constituent Assembly. Therefore, the text of the new Universal was prepared, which was to be announced simultaneously with the Declaration of the Provisional Government on the same day. A stormy meeting of the Provisional Government took place in Petrograd, at which M. Tereshchenko and I. Tsereteli reported on their trip to Kyiv. The majority of the government still voted for the agreement with Ukraine. The text of the agreement was telegraphed to V. Vynnychenko on July 3 (July 16 according to the new style).