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Political Overview
• Ukrainian Independence 24
august 1991
• First president: Leonid
Kravchuk (Леонід Кравчук)
• Pro-Western, for a sovereign
Ukraine. Removed Nuclear
Weapons from Ukraine (to
• December 1991 to July 1994.
• member of the Ukrainian
Politburo in 1989
• chairman of the
Verkhovna Rada in 1990
Kravchuk p2
- Most prominent acts: Ukrainian annual inflation rates from 1992 to
1994 reached the world's highest record of 10000%.
- Delay of payout of salaries for many years
- Collapse/sell out of the global merchant fleet (Black Sea Steamship
- After his term in office, joined the Dynamo Group, known the as Anti
U.S./Anti N.A.T.O. political party SDPU.
Political Overview part 2
Second president: Leonid
Kuchma (Леонід Данилович

- Prime Minister of Ukraine in

- July 1994 to January 2005 (re-
elected in 1999 )
- Pro-Russia: referred to
Russian as ‘an official
language’, though pro-
- Involvement in murder of
Georgiy Gongadze, co-founder
of Ukrayinska Pravda
(Ukrainian Truth). One of 10
journalists ‘murdered’ between
1995 and 2004
• Pavlo Ivanovych Lazarenko
(Павло Івáнович Лазарéнко)
, Prime Minister under Kuchma.

• Appointed by Kuchma in 1996

• Survived several assassination
• Business partner of pm-to-be
Yulia Tymoshenko, maintained
a monopoly on import of
Russian Natural Gas together.
• Illegally entered the U.S.A.
Suspected and arrested on
accounts of money-laundering,
corruption and fraud and
convicted to 9 years in prison
in a U.S. federal prison, case
currently being reviewed as
several convictions were
• Suspected of involvement in
several murder cases like that
of Vadym Hetman; creator of
the National Bank of Ukraine.
Political Overview part 3
• Elections of 2004.
• Battle between Pro-Russian
Yanukovych (Party of Regions)
and Pro-Western Yushchenko
(Nasha Ukraina)

• 2 rounds. First round: fraud on

behalf of Yanukovych, followed
by the Orange Revolution
• Yushchenko poisoned
(allegedly by henchmen of
• Re-election led to victory for
Yushchenko (see next slide)
Political overview part 2

-Note: on both sides, high percentages of votes for 1 side for example
1) L’viv Oblast and surrounding regions: 90+ percentage vote for
2) Donetsk Oblast, autonomous region Crimea: high percentage votes for
ПОРА! Orange revolution, a mass protest against the election fraud and the
communist/Modern Russian behaviour of succession-by-appointment.
A revolution fitting in a pattern initiated by the ousting of S.Milosevic
and the Rose Revolution in Georgia.
After the Orange Revolution
• Crisis and political unstability
• Appointments and dismissals,
most significant that of Yulia
Tymoshenko, prime minister
• Archrival Yanukovych
becomes prime minister,
predominantly to enforce ties
with Russia, boosting
economic development
• Gas crisis: Russian state
company Gazprom, cuts off
gas delivery to Ukraine due to
outstanding debts, affecting
the whole of Europe
2007 elections
• April 2, 2007: Parliament dissolved, early elections in October 2007.
• Orange Revolution-style protests engaged by Party of Regions
(Yanukovych), occupation of Maidan; the independence square in
• 3 main contenders: Party of Regions (Yanukovych), Nasha Ukraina
(Yushchenko), Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko.
• Victory; Party of Regions though speculation of fraud in Donetsk,
• Surprising victory of Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, making a new coalition
between Nashia Ukraina and Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko and perhaps
Lytvyn, possible.
• Tymoshenko to be Prime Minister once again instead of
Yanukovych, despite pressure of Vladimir Putin by calling in a debt
of nearly 1 billion dollars.
Ukraine, election results 2007
• Note 1:) Much like Russia, Ukrainian political parties rely heavily on
support from the armed forces, the intelligence services and the
• Oligarchs:Tymoshenko; the self-proclaimed gas-princess, Viktor
Pinchuk; son-in-law of Kuchma, Rinat Leonidovich Akhmetov;
Richest Ukrainian, sponsor of Yanukovych and mafia boss. Unlike
Yanukovych, never convicted. Member of Parliament for the Party of
• Tymoshenko and Akhmetov, as well as Yanukovych are possible
candidates for the presidential elections in 2010.
• Note 2:) It is very unlikely that Ukraine will join the E.U. though
memberships of both N.A.T.O and the WTO are not impossible,
main obstacle remaining: the Russian Federation
• Principal source of information:

- Ukrainian Pravda

- Interfax Ukraine

- BBC in Ukrainian