Odessa Soviet Republic

The Odessa Soviet Republic (OSR; Ukrainian: Одеська Радянська Республіка; Russian: Одесская Советская Республика) was a short-lived Soviet republic formed on 30 January [O.S. 17 January] 1918 from parts of the Kherson and Bessarabia Governorates of the former Russian Empire.

Odessa Soviet Republic

Одесская Советская Республика
Coat of arms
Area claimed by the Odessa Soviet Republic
on 1 March 1918
StatusPuppet state of Soviet Russia
CapitalCity of Odessa
Common languagesRussian
GovernmentSoviet republic
LegislatureCouncil of the People's Commissars
Historical eraWorld War I
 Republic proclaimed
17 January 1918
13 March 1918
CurrencyOdessa ruble
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian People's Republic
Ukrainian Soviet Republic
Today part of

Brief description

The republic was proclaimed during the Bolshevik invasion of Ukraine immediately before Bolshevik forces pushed the Ukrainian government out of Kiev and Sfatul Țării proclaimed the independence of the Moldavian Democratic Republic. The Odessa Soviet's governing body was the Rumcherod, formed in May 1917 shortly after the February Revolution. After its Second Congress, the OSR's Soviet was chaired by Vladimir Yudovsky. He had been installed after a pro-Bolshevik coup d'état organized by the Narkom Nikolai Krylenko.

In January 1918, Yudovsky was appointed Chairman of the local Council of the People's Commissars and formed a government that included Bolsheviks, anarchists and members of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. The government proclaimed Odessa a free city and pledged allegiance to the Bolshevik government in Petrograd. The following month, the government was liquidated by Mikhail Muravyov and merged with the regional Central Executive Committee Rumcherod.

The city issued its own postage stamps and money. Amid the instability generated by the Civil War, these had greater value than money issued by the former Tsarist central government.

Political instability meant that the OSR was not recognized by any other government, including Russian Bolsheviks, during its brief existence. The Republic failed to stop the Romanian occupation of Bessarabia, a region to which it laid claim. It ceased to exist altogether when it was sacked by German and Austro-Hungarian troops on 13 March 1918, two months after its creation, following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between the Central Powers, Ukrainian People's Republic and Petrograd Sovnarkom. The government and army evacuated first to Nikolayev, then to Sevastopol and finally to Rostov-on-Don.

Odessan five-rouble note, 1917.

See also

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