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Pavlo Petrovich Skoropadskyi ( ; Pavel Petrovič Skoropadskij; Pavlo Petrovich Skoropads'kyj) 3 May 1873, Wiesbadenmarker, Germanymarker — 26 April 1945, Metten monasterymarker clinic, Bavariamarker, Germany) was a Ukrainian politician, earlier an aristocrat and decorated Imperial Russian Army general. Skoropadsky became a conservative leader in Ukraine's unsuccessful struggle for independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In a 29 April 1918 coup d'etat that toppled the Ukrainian People's Republicmarker, Skoropadsky was declared Hetman (leader) of the government of a "Ukrainian State" (Ukrayinska Derzhava). His government, and his period in power, are both referred to as "the Hetmanate."

Technically the Ukrainian People's Republicmarker had been abolished by an elected All-Ukrainian Congress of farmers. In reality the coup d'état had been sanctioned by the German military, which in the spring of 1918 had occupied Kievmarker and other parts of Ukraine. This was in accordance with an agreement with the Ukrainian Republican government, intent on repelling invasion by Russian Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. In return, the Republican government pledged food stocks, which were to be expropriated from the peasants. The German military command was dissatisfied with the inefficiency and incompetence of the Republican government, which repeatedly failed to deliver the supplies on time. It may be that the Republican government never actually meant to enforce the widely unpopular agreement.

Skoropadsky was accused by other Ukrainian politicians of being a German puppet supported by large local landowners. He was also considered too pro-Russian and dictatorial: he formed a new cabinet comprising mostly Russian monarchists, committed to federation with a future non-Bolshevik Russia.

Despite these criticisms, by contrast with the earlier socialist Rada, his government was given credit for having created an effective administrative organization, established diplomatic ties with many countries, concluded a peace treaty with Soviet Russia, and built many schools and universities.

In November 1918 Skoropadsky was removed from power in an uprising led by Symon Petliura. The uprising nominally restored the Ukrainian People's Republicmarker, but power was vested in a Directoria, an unelected body of five directors headed by Volodymyr Vynnychenko.

Pavlo Skoropadsky with officers


Though ousted from office, Skoropadsky never abdicated his title of hetman. While living in Germany he maintained close contacts with German government and army officials which sprang from personal friendships reaching as far back as his military-college days.During World War II, Skoropadsky fled before advancing Soviet forces along with the retreating German army. He died in Germany after being wounded by an Allied bombing.

His movement continued into the early 1980s, influencing a Ukrainian monarchist program based on the Cossack State model. It ended gradually with the aging of eastern-Ukrainian émigré communities.Skoropadsky's daughter, Olena Ott-Skoropadska resides in Switzerland, has visited Ukraine several times and has been honored for her historical writings.

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