Ukrainian Politician and Writer. His parents Vasyl and Olha came from a Cossack background. He continued his education at the Russian Orthodox Seminary in anticipation of entering the priesthood. He was discharged after his membership in Hromada, an Ukrainian nationalist movement, was discovered. In 1900, he joined the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party. Fearing arrest, he fled to Kuban where he worked as a teacher and archivist. In 1903, he was arrested for his political sympathies. When released on bail, he emigrated to the city of Lviv in the Western Ukrainian. He wrote several pieces for various Ukrainian publications using a variety of pen names and continued to change residences to escape persecution for his political views. In Moscow, in 1910, he married Olha Bilska and had a daughter a year later. Until 1917, he worked at the Russian journal "Ukravinskava Zhin." The following year, he was appointed head of the Ukrainian General Military Committee, later the first minister for military affairs. Political disagreements with the secretary leader led to his departure. He found employment instead with a military formation. By 1919, he had become the leader of the directorate and with the outbreak of hostilities between Ukraine and Soviet Russia continued to defend the fledgling republic. He withdrew to Poland at the end of 1919, which recognized him as the head of the Ukrainian government. He signed an alliance with the Polish government who would assist him in overtaking the Bolshevik regime. Unfortunately, the Red Army was never totally expelled from the region and the Soviet Union demanded Petliura's return. Seeking to evade deportation, he finally settled in Paris in early 1924, starting a Ukrainian language newspaper and continued to direct the Ukrainian National Republic. On May 25, 1926, Sholom Schwartzbard approached Petliura as he was walking down a Parisian street and fatally shot him. Schwartzbard's parents and fifteen members of his family were murdered in the pogroms in Odessa, a the mass murder of Jews in the Ukraine during the course of the civil war. Some of these murders were associated with soldiers under Petliura's command. There is controversy as to his direct knowledge and possible lack of action. Petliura was buried with his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, the Soviet secret police also killed his two sisters, Orthodox nuns who had remained in the Ukraine. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, several statues were erected in the Ukraine including a bust in Rivne. He is also remembered but not always favorably in folk songs. However, many remember him as a national hero and a martyr for the Ukrainian state.
Bio by: Winter Birds PA