Pyatakov in 1916
|Chairman of Provisional Government
November 28, 1918 – January 29, 1919
(chairman of VUTsVK)
|1st Secretary of Central Committee of the CP(b)U
July 12, 1918 – September 9, 1918
|3rd Secretary of Central Committee of the CP(b)U
March 6, 1919 – May 30, 1919
|August 18, 1890
Horodyshche, Cherkassky Uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire
|January 30, 1937 46) (aged
Moscow, Soviet Union
|RSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1910–1918)
Russian Communist Party (1918–1927, 1928–1936)
|Saint Petersburg University
Pyatakov (party pseudonyms: Kievsky, Lyalin, Petro, Yaponets) was born August 6, 1890 in the settlement of the Mariinsky sugar factory. His father, Leonid Timofeyevich Pyatakov, was the chief engineer and director of the factory.
He started political activity as an anarchist while he was in secondary school, but he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1910. In 1912, he joined the Bolshevik faction. He was arrested and exiled to Siberia in 1912 with his partner, Evgenia Bosh, but they soon escaped and made their way to Switzerland, where they joined the émigré revolutionary community. Pyatakov and Bosh remained together until she committed suicide in 1925 because of chronic poor health.
His opinion on some points of the theory and tactics of the revolutionary struggle contradicted that of the party's Central Committee.
He was one of Vladimir Lenin's fiercest opponents on the national problem regarding both the course to be followed towards the socialist revolution and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Bolsheviks' peace settlement with Germany.
Pyatakov lived in Ukraine from March 1917, heading the Kyiv Committee of the party. He was repeatedly elected a member of the Central Committee but opposed the Ukrainian nationalists and stood for the transfer of power to the Soviets of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies in Ukraine. He also headed the Kyiv Military Revolutionary Committee. He declared that the party had to end the idea of self-identification of every nation. He stood on anti-chauvinistic international principles.
In 1918, Pyatakov was a leader of a group of Left Communists in Ukraine. He was one of the initiators of Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine. At the First Congress of CP(b)U in Moscow, Pyatakov was elected as Central Committee Secretary and headed the opposition to the Hetman Rebellion in August 1918. From October 1918 to mid-January 1919, he was a head of the Provisional Worker’s and Peasant’s Government formed by Bolsheviks for the fight with the Directory, and he took part in the formation of the Red Army in Ukraine.
In March 1919, he attended the 8th Congress of the Russian Communist Party in which he unsuccessfully opposed Lenin's position on national self-determination.
He collaborated with Nikolai Bukharin; both authored the chapter on "The Economic Categories of Capitalism in the Transition Period" in The Economics of the Transformation Period, published in 1920.
Pyatakov was placed in charge of the management of Donbass coal mining industry in 1921 and became a deputy head of the Gosplan (State Planning Committee) of the RSFSR in 1922 and deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of the National Economy of the Soviet Union.
The likeness of Pyatakov’s Left Communist views and Trotsky’s ideas led to his participation in practically all opposition trends that were designated as "Trotskyist".
He was expelled from the party for belonging to the "Trotskyite-Zinovievite" bloc but was reinstated in 1928 after he renounced Trotskyism, and became Deputy head of Heavy Industries. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Soviet State Bank in 1929 and held the position for a year.
In 1936, he was again accused of anti-party and anti-Soviet activity and expelled from the party. At his trial, he was accused of conspiring with Trotsky in connection with the case of the so-called Parallel anti-Soviet Party Centre to overthrow the Soviet government. He was accused of joining a conspiracy with the Nazis with the intent of seize power in the Soviet Union and of promising to reward Germany with large tracts of Soviet territory, including Ukraine. The prosecution presented evidence that he had secretly met with Trotsky in Norway for those purposes. On January 30, 1937, he was sentenced to death and executed.
- Orest Subtelny, History of Ukraine
- Bukarin, Nikolai; Field, Oliver (1979). The Politics and Economics of the Transition Period (PDF). Routledge, Kegan and Paul. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "The State Bank of the USSR". Bank of Russia Today. Bank of Russia. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
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