1991 Ukrainian independence referendum

Last updated
Ukrainian independence referendum
Sunday, 1 December 1991
Do you support the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?
Ukrainian independence referendum result.jpg
The result of the referendum in a bulletin.
Results
Votes%
Yes check.svgYes28,804,07192.26%
X mark.svgNo2,417,5547.74%
Valid votes31,221,62597.90%
Invalid or blank votes670,1172.10%
Total votes31,891,742100.00%
Results by region
Ukr Referendum 1991.png
  Yes    No
Note: Yes results in yellow color. Saturation of colour denotes strength of vote

A referendum on the Act of Declaration of Independence was held in Ukraine on 1 December 1991. [1] An overwhelming majority of 92.3% of voters approved the declaration of independence made by the Verkhovna Rada on 24 August 1991.

Ukraine Sovereign state in Eastern Europe

Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.

Declaration of Independence of Ukraine

The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on 24 August 1991. The Act established Ukraine as an independent state.

Verkhovna Rada Ukrainian Parliament

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the unicameral parliament of Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada is composed of 450 deputies, who are presided over by a chairman (speaker). The Verkhovna Rada meets in the Verkhovna Rada building in Ukraine's capital Kiev.

Contents

The referendum

Voters were asked "Do you support the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?" [2] The text of the Declaration was included as a preamble to the question. The referendum was called by the Parliament of Ukraine to confirm the Act of Independence, which was adopted by the Parliament on 24 August 1991. [3] Citizens of Ukraine expressed overwhelming support for independence. In the referendum, 31,891,742 registered voters (or 84.18% of the electorate) took part, and among them 28,804,071 (or 92.3%) voted "Yes". [2]

On the same day, a presidential election took place. All six candidates campaigned in favour of a "Yes" vote in the independence referendum. Leonid Kravchuk, the parliament chairman and de facto head of state, was elected to serve as the first President of Ukraine. [4]

Leonid Kravchuk Ukrainian politician

Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk is a former Ukrainian politician and the first President of Ukraine, who served from 5 December 1991, until his resignation on 19 July 1994. He is also a former Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and People's Deputy of Ukraine serving in the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) faction.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada speaker of Ukrainian parliament

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is the presiding officer of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's unicameral parliament. The chairman presides over the parliament and its procedures. Chairmen are elected by open voting from the parliament's deputy ranks.

President of Ukraine Ukrainian head of state

The President of Ukraine is the Ukrainian head of state. The president represents the nation in international relations, administers the foreign political activity of the state, conducts negotiations and concludes international treaties. The president is directly elected by the citizens of Ukraine for a five-year term of office, limited to two terms consecutively.

From 2 December 1991 on Ukraine was globally recognized as an independent state (by other countries). [5] [6] [7] That day the President of the Russian SFSR Boris Yeltsin did the same. [8] [9] [10] [11] In a telegram of congratulations Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sent to Kravchuk soon after the referendum, Gorbachev included his hopes for close Ukrainian cooperation and understanding in "the formation of a union of sovereign states". [12]

Boris Yeltsin 1st President of Russia and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was a Soviet and Russian politician who served as the first President of the Russian Federation from 1991 to 1999. A member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1961 to 1990, he later stood as a political independent, during which time he was ideologically aligned with liberalism and Russian nationalism.

President of the Soviet Union Head of State of the Soviet Union between 1990 and 1991

The President of the Soviet Union, officially called President of the USSR or President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was the head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 15 March 1990 to 25 December 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was the only person to occupy the office. Gorbachev was also General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between March 1985 and August 1991. He derived an increasingly greater share of his power from his position as president until he finally resigned as General Secretary after the 1991 coup d'état attempt.

Mikhail Gorbachev 20th-century General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a Russian and formerly Soviet politician. The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of its governing Communist Party from 1985 until 1991. He was the country's head of state from 1988 until 1991, serving as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Ideologically, he initially adhered to Marxism-Leninism although by the early 1990s had moved toward social democracy.

Ukraine was the second-most powerful republic in the Soviet Union both economically and politically (behind only Russia), and its secession ended any realistic chance of Gorbachev keeping the Soviet Union together. By December 1991 all former Soviet Republics except the RSFSR [13] and the Kazakh SSR [13] had formally seceded from the Union. [14] A week after his election, Kravchuk joined with Yeltsin and Belarusian leader Stanislav Shushkevich in signing the Belavezha Accords, which declared that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. [15] The Soviet Union officially dissolved on 26 December. [16]

Post-Soviet states States established following the disestablishment of the Soviet Union

The post-Soviet states, also collectively known as the former Soviet Union (FSU) or former Soviet Republics, and in Russian as the "near abroad" are the sovereign states that emerged and re-emerged from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its breakup in 1991, with Russia internationally recognised as the successor state to the Soviet Union after the Cold War. The three Baltic states were the first to declare their independence, between March and May 1990, claiming continuity from the original states that existed prior to their annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940. The remaining 12 republics all subsequently seceded. 12 of the 15 states, excluding the Baltic states, initially formed the CIS and most joined CSTO, while the Baltic states focused on European Union and NATO membership.

Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic One of the republics in the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1991

The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic was one of the transcontinental constituent republics of the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1991 in northern Central Asia. It was created on 5 December 1936 from the Kazakh ASSR, an autonomous republic of the Russian SFSR.

Stanislav Shushkevich Belarusian politician and scientist

Stanislav Stanislavovich Shushkevich is a Belarusian politician and scientist. From August 25, 1991 to January 26, 1994, he was the first head of state of independent Belarus after it seceded from the Soviet Union, serving as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet. He supported social democratic reforms and played a key role in the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Results

The ballot paper used in the referendum, with the text of the Declaration of Independence printed on it. Buleten 1991-12.jpg
The ballot paper used in the referendum, with the text of the Declaration of Independence printed on it.

Ukrainian media had converted en masse to the independence ideal.

Polls showed 63% support for the "Yes" campaign in September 1991; that grew to 77% in the first week of October 1991 and 88% by mid-November 1991. [17]

55% of the ethnic Russians in Ukraine voted for independence. [18]

ChoiceVotes%
For28,804,07192.3
Against2,417,5547.7
Invalid/blank votes670,117
Total31,891,742100
Registered voters/turnout37,885,55584.2
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

By region

The Act of Independence was supported by a majority of voters in each of the 27 administrative regions of Ukraine: 24 Oblasts, 1 Autonomous Republic, and 2 Special Municipalities (Kiev City and Sevastopol City). [4] Voter turnout was lowest in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. [17] Calculating the "yes"-votes as a percentage of the total electorate reveals a lower percentage of all possible voters in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, and Odessa Oblasts and Crimea supported Ukrainian independence than in the rest of the country. [17]

No-vote in % per Ukrainian Oblast Ukr Referendum 1991 No.png
No-vote in % per Ukrainian Oblast
Subdivision Voted "Yes" % [4] Voted "Yes" % of total electorate [19]
Crimean ASSR 54.1937 (with a 60% turnout of voters in all Crimea [20] )
Cherkasy Oblast 96.0387
Chernihiv Oblast 93.7485
Chernivtsi Oblast 92.7881
Dnipropetrovsk Oblast 90.3674
Donetsk Oblast 83.9064
Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast 98.4294
Kharkiv Oblast 86.3365
Kherson Oblast 90.1375
Khmelnytskyi Oblast 96.3090
Kiev Oblast 95.5284
Kirovohrad Oblast 93.8883
Luhansk Oblast 83.8668
Lviv Oblast 97.4693
Mykolayiv Oblast 89.4575
Odessa Oblast 85.3864
Poltava Oblast 94.9387
Rivne Oblast 95.9689
Sumy Oblast 92.6182
Ternopil Oblast 98.6796
Vinnytsia Oblast 95.4387
Volyn Oblast 96.3290
Zakarpattia Oblast 92.5977
Zaporizhzhia Oblast 90.6673
Zhytomyr Oblast 95.0686
Kiev City 92.8775
Sevastopol City 57.0740 [20] (with a 60% turnout of voters in all Crimea [20] )
National Total90.3276 [21]

See also

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References

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