The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine

The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine  (Ukrainian: Акт проголошення незалежності України) was received by the Ukrainian parliament on 24 August 1991. The Act re-established Ukraine’s state independence. The act was introduced in the aftermath of the 19 August coup attempt, when hardline Soviet Union Communist leaders sought to regain central Communist Party control over the USSR.

In response (within a stressful 11-hour extraordinary session), the Supreme Soviet (parliament) of the Ukrainian SSR, overwhelmingly approved the Declaration Act in a special Saturday session. With 321 votes in favor, 2 against, and 6 abstentions (out of 360 attendees), the Act passed. The text was written mostly by Levko Lukyanenko, Serhiy Holovatyi, Mykhailo Horyn, Ivan Zayets, and Vyacheslav Chornovil during the night of 23 August–24 August. The parliament called for a referendum on support for the Declaration of Independence on the same day (24 August). The idea to hold a national referendum came jointly from opposition leaders Ihor Yukhnovsky and Dmytro Pavlychko.

The Parliament also voted for the establishment of Ukraine’s national guard and turned over to itself jurisdiction over all the armed forces located on Ukrainian territory.