Petro Yukhymovych Shelest (Ukrainian: Петро Юхимович Шелест; Russian: Пётр Ефи́мович Ше́лест) (February 14, 1908 – January 22, 1996) was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.
Petro Shelest was born in a Ukrainian peasant family in a village near Kharkiv in 1908.
In 1928 he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in 1935 graduated from Mariupol' Metallurgical Institute.
Between 1943 and 1954 Shelest was a chief manager of several large factories in Leningrad and Kyiv.
Between 1954 and 1962 he was the Mayor of Kyiv in addition to becoming a secretary of the Ukrainian Communist party.
Soon he was promoted to the top position of first secretary of the Communist party of Ukrainian SSR and led it between 1963 and 1972. During his tenure and due to his cautious encouragement, there was a brief yet noticeable resurgence of the Ukrainian national culture. In 1968, Shelest was awarded the "Hero of Socialist Labor" title.
In 1972 he became deputy chairman of the Sovmin (USSR Council of Ministers). Shelest himself believed that his appointment was a result of the intrigues initiated by Brezhnev. In his memoirs, Shelest denounces his successor Shcherbitsky and Brezhnev as "intriguers" and criticized their style of government as "autocratic" and "non-communist". He found it hard do adapt to his new duties and resigned in 1973, citing health problems.
From 1973 to 1985 Shelest worked as a manager of an aircraft design bureau near Moscow. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he visited Ukraine several times and delivered lectures about his tenure as the Ukrainian leader. He died in Moscow in 1996.