Ivashko, Vladimir Antonovich

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(b. 1932), Ukrainian Communist Party leader.

Vladimir Antonovich Ivashko was born in the Poltava region of Ukraine and made his career in politics. He graduated from the Kharkiv Mining Institute in 1956 and joined the Communist Party in 1960. In 1978 he was appointed secretary of the Kharkiv oblast (provincial) committee of the Party, and by 1986 he had been promoted to the Party secretariat. In 1987 Ivashko became the first secretary of the Dnipropetrovsk Party organization in Ukraine (a very significant power base of the Soviet Union, and the area in which Leonid Brezhnev had made his career). At the same time, he became the deputy party leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) under Volodymyr Shcherbytsky (19181989). In early 1980, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Ivashko was sent temporarily to Kabul, where he played the role of advisor to Soviet puppet ruler Babrak Karmal. Subsequently, however, he remained in Ukraine. After the resignation of Shcherbytsky in September 1989, Ivashko was elected first secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the CPU. During the summer of 1990, he resigned suddenly after Mikhail Gorbachev requested that he take up a newly created position in Moscow as deputy general secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on July 11, 1990. At the Twenty-Eighth Party Congress of the same month, he defeated Yegor Ligachev in an election to take on this role. Analysts continue to debate Ivashko's role in the failed putsch of August 1991 in Moscow, in which he appeared to have adopted a middle role between the plotters and Gorbachev.

See also: ukraine and ukrainians


Kuzio, Taras. (2000). Ukraine: Perestroika to Independence. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Solchanyk, Roman. (2001). Ukraine and Russia: The Post-Soviet Transition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Little-field.

Wilson, Andrew. (1997). Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s: A Minority Faith. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

David R. Marples

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