Vladimir Antonovich Ivashko (Russian: Влади́мир Анто́нович Ива́шко; Ukrainian: Володимир Антонович Івашко, Volodymyr Ivashko) (28 October 1932 – 13 November 1994), was a Soviet Ukrainian politician, briefly acting as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) during the period from 24 August 1991 to 29 August 1991. On 24 August Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, and on 29 August the CPSU was suspended by the Supreme Soviet. Before becoming General Secretary he had been voted Gorbachev's Deputy General Secretary within the Party on 12 July 1990, a newly created position as a result of the 28th Congress of the Communist Party
The Communist Party in between Gorbachev's resignation and its suspension was politically impotent. By the time of the 28th Congress in July 1990, the party was largely regarded as being unable to lead the country and had, in fifteen republics, split into opposing factions favouring either independent republics or the continuation of the Soviet Union. Stripped of its leading role in society, the party lost its authority to lead the nation or the cohesion that kept the party united. Actual political power lay in the positions of President of the Soviet Union (held by Gorbachev) and President of the Russian SFSR (held by Boris Yeltsin). During the August coup he did not make public statements but on behalf of the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee distributed letters to local party organizations calling on them to uphold the CPSU.
Mikhail Gorbachev brought in his ally Ivashko in to replace the long-serving Volodymyr Shcherbytsky as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian SSR on 28 September 1989. Ivashko led the Communists to victory in the first relatively free parliamentary election held in the Ukrainian SSR, which took place from 4 March to 18 March 1990, the Communists winning 331 seats to the 'Democratic Blocks' 111 seats. Ivashko was elected by the communist majority to the post of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR on 4 Jun 1990. Since the abandonment by the Communists of their `leading role` in early 1990 this position now superseded that of First Secretary of the Communist Party as most powerful position in the Ukraine.
He resigned his position as First Secretary on 22 June 1990 following opposition demonstrations against his occupation of both the First Secretary post and Chairmanship of the Rada. However, on 9 July 1990 he too resigned as Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR after declining to be recalled to Kiev during the 28th Congress of the Communist Party in Moscow, and a few days later successfully secured the position of Deputy General Secretary of the CPSU.
Ivashko retired in 1992 and died on 13 November 1994, at the age of 62 after an undetermined "long illness".