Petlyura, Simon sĭmyōn´ pyətlyo͞o´rə [key], 1879–1926, Ukrainian nationalist politician. In Jan., 1919, he became leader of the independent Ukrainian republic that emerged after the collapse of the Russian empire and the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I. His power was challenged from the north by the Red Army, from the south by the anti-Soviet Russian forces of General Denikin . In 1920, Petlyura allied himself with Poland under Joseph Piłsudski , but the 1921 peace of Riga between Poland and Soviet Russia recognized Soviet control over Ukraine. Exiled to Paris, Petlyura was later assassinated in revenge for the pogroms that occurred during his rule.
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