Fyodor Sergeyev

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Fyodor Sergeyev
Фёдор Серге́ев
Chairman of CVRK in Ukraine
In office
September 18, 1918 – March 10, 1919
Preceded by Andrei Bubnov
Succeeded by Grigoriy Petrovskiy as head of CIKUk
Chairman of the Provisional Workers-Peasants Government of Ukraine
In office
January 16, 1919 – January 28, 1919
Preceded by Yuri Pyatakov
Succeeded by Government dissolved, replaced by Council of People's Commissars
Chairman of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic
In office
February 14, 1918 – February 17, 1919
Chairman of the Kharkov Military Revolutionary Committee
In office
September 24, 1917 – February 17, 1919
Personal details
Born Fyodor Andreyevich Sergeyev
(1883-03-19)March 19, 1883
Glebovo, Kursk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died July 24, 1921(1921-07-24) (aged 38)
Tula, Russian SFSR
Nationality Russian
Political party Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (1902-1921)
Spouse(s) Yelizaveta Lvovna Repelskaya
Children Artyom Sergeyev (adopted son of Stalin)
Alma mater Bauman Moscow State Technical University
Occupation Revolutionary, Politician, Communist agitator

Fyodor Andreyevich Sergeyev (Russian: Фёдор Андре́евич Серге́ев, Ukrainian: Федір Андрійович Сергєєв; March 19, 1883– July 24, 1921), better known as Comrade Artyom (това́рищ Артём), was a Russian revolutionary, Soviet politician, agitator, and journalist. He was a close friend of Sergei Kirov and Joseph Stalin. Sergeyev was an ideologist of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic.

Early life

Sergeyev was born in the village of Glebovo, Kursk Governorate, Russian Empire near the city of Fatezh to a family of a peasants. His father Andrey Arefyevich Sergeyev was a contractor to a construction porter, who in 1888 moved the family to Yekaterinoslav. In 1901 Fyodor finished studies at the Yekaterinoslav realschule. He went on to attend the Imperial Moscow Technical College. Sergeyev joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and became interested in revolutionary thinking, adopting the nickname 'Artyom',[1] but was expelled after throwing a protest on the school campus.

Party career

From 1902 he was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, later remaining with the Bolshevik faction of the party. He was a prominent party agitator in Yekaterinoslav, Kursk, and the Ural mountains region. In 1905 Sergeyev participated in the armed uprising in Kharkiv. In 1906 for a short time he headed the Perm party committee. Sergeyev was a member of the 5th congress of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party after which he was arrested and sentenced to the Nikolayev detention companies, later substituted by an exile to Siberia.

In 1910 he escaped to Brisbane, Australia where he organized the Union of Russian Emigrants. In 1912 Sergeyev receiving a British citizenship was a chief-editor of "Echo of Australia" and was better known as "Big Tom". He joined the Australian Socialist Party and was involved in trade-unionist opposition to the first world war.[2] In 1917, after the February revolution, he returned to Russia, becoming a leader of the Bolshevik faction in the Kharkiv council.

In October 1917 he was organizer of a military coup-d'etat in Kharkiv and the whole Donets basin region. At the 1st congress of Soviets in Ukraine he was elected to the Central Executive Committee of Ukraine and later appointed the Ukrainian Narkom of Trade and Industry. Sergeyev was a chairman of the Sovnarkom of the unrecognized Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic in Ukraine and Narkom of Public Economy. His actions secured the nationalization of industrial centers concentrated in the eastern Ukraine. Sergeyev became one of the organizers of Ukrainian Central Military-Revolutionary Committee in resistance to Central powers and Kaledin's Cossacks. On March 27 he organized the Donetsk Army by the order of Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko, however by the end of April 1918 that army was integrated into the 5th Army of Red Army headed by Kliment Voroshilov.


Fyodor Sergeyev died in 1921 during the test of the Aerowagon and was buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

The city of Bahmut (now in Ukraine), former center of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic, was renamed in his honor as Artemivsk in 1924. His infant son Artyom Fyodorovich was adopted by Joseph Stalin.

On 15 May 2015 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a bill into law that started a six month period for the removal of communist monuments and the mandatory renaming of settlements with a name related to Communism.[3]

In fiction

In Thomas Keneally's novel The People's Train, the lead character, Artem — aka “Tom” — Samsurov, is loosely based on the life of Sergeyev.


  1. Fried, Eric, 'Sergeyev, Fedor Andreyevich (1883–1921)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sergeyev-fedor-andreyevich-8386/text14723, accessed 27 October 2011.
  2. Fried, Eric, 'Sergeyev, Fedor Andreyevich (1883–1921)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sergeyev-fedor-andreyevich-8386/text14723, accessed 27 October 2011.
  3. Poroshenko signed the laws about decomunization. Ukrayinska Pravda. 15 May 2015
    Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes, Interfax-Ukraine. 15 May 20
    Goodbye, Lenin: Ukraine moves to ban communist symbols, BBC News (14 April 2015)