• Olesia Rozovyk


Council of People’ Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR, resettlement process, agrarian overpopulation, Ukrainian SSR


The article, based on little-known sources, deals with the process of forming the policy of the Soviet government to solve such a problem as agrarian overpopulation of the USSR. The article presents data on overpopulation in some districts of the Ukrainian SSR, such as Kyiv, Chernihiv and Volyn districts, where such a phenomenon as scarcity of land and low-yielding soils was presented. An Emergency Resettlement Commission was established within the People’s Commissariat of Land Affairs by the decision of the Council of People’ Commissars (CPC). This Commission solved all issues related to the resettlement of peasants within the republic and abroad. Similar commissions were also formed in all provincial and county centers of the Ukrainian SSR. These commissions began active work on the registration of landless peasants and the search for vacant lands, primarily in the republic for their resettlement, beginning in the spring of 1921. Commissions were also carried out with the All-Russian (later All-Union) Resettlement Commission on the provision of land in uninhabited areas of the RSFSR, such as the Volga region, the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan, the Far East, Kuban, Stavropol, North Caucasus to the settlers from Ukraine. In February 1923, the CPC of the Ukrainian SSR took measures to ensure the planned resettlement of the rural population of the republic in Ukraine and abroad. In the autumn of 1923, the VIII All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets approved the main directions of resettlement policy in the republic. It was reduced to the following measures: first – the resettlement of Ukrainians in the free lands of the Ukrainian SSR; second – resettlement, first of all, of the poor population, which included assistance in farming; third – the resettlement of part of the population from rural areas to cities; fourth – the resettlement of small peasant families in the All-Union Colonization Fund in the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan, the Far East. In April 1924, CPC of the Soviet Union, supporting the resettlement movement, adopted a resolution “On the benefits of migrants”. It determined the level of material assistance to the families who settled in new lands. Thus, during 1921–1925, the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee and the CPC of the Ukrainian SSR developed a program of resettlement of the Ukrainian population within its ethnic lands and the Union Colonization Fund. This was the first five-year cycle of resettlement policy of the government of the USSR, and in 1926 a new resettlement program was approved, designed first for seven and then for ten years.