Purpose. To determine the main directions and tasks of winter barley breeding in the Central Forest-Steppe of Ukraine. Methods. Field, laboratory, analytical, statistical. Results. There is insufficient amount of scientific publications in recent years with regard to elaboration and extending theoretical principles of winter barley breeding under conditions of climatic changes in Ukraine, especially in the Forest-Steppe. Based on our data of many years of experimental research (2003/04–2015/16) confirmed by the world scientific achievements the main directions and tasks are assigned to be the priority of winter barley breeding in the Central Forest-Steppe of Ukraine. There were argued the necessity of purposeful creation of varieties feature various intensity and purpose of use with appropriate quality parameters: for livestock feeding, malt and food industries. The main factors are identified to have stronger impact on winter barley yielding capacity in recent years. These are wintering conditions, uneven distribution of rainfall, higher temperatures, lodging, and affection with complex of pathogens. Conclusion. It is necessary to elaborate theoretical bases of winter barley breeding for individual programs according to the purpose of use: feed, food and malt. Within the purpose of use mentioned above both intensive and universal varieties should be developed. Generally, winter barley varieties in the Forest-Steppe of Ukraine should meet high yielding capacity and stability, winter-hardiness, drought and heat tolerance, lodging resistance, resistance against powdery mildew, stripe blotch, spot blotch, net blotch, and dwarf leaf rust.