Date of birth : 1950-07-09
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Yenakiieve, Ukraine
Nationality : Ukrainian
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-04-14
Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych (born July 9, 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who has been President of Ukraine since February 2010.
Yanukovych served as the Governor of Donetsk Oblast from 1997 to 2002. Subsequently he was Prime Minister of Ukraine from November 21, 2002 to December 31, 2004, under President Leonid Kuchma, and he was an unsuccessful candidate in the controversial 2004 presidential election, ultimately losing to Viktor Yushchenko. Yanukovych continued to lead his party, the Party of Regions, after the 2004 election, and he served as Prime Minister for a second time from August 4, 2006 to December 18, 2007 under President Yushchenko. On March 3, 2010, Yanukovych transferred the authorities of leading the party to Mykola Azarov.
Yanukovych was the top vote-getter in the first round of the January 2010 presidential election, and faced Yulia Tymoshenko in the second round of the election. Yanukovych won the second round of the election with 48.95% of the vote against Tymoshenko's 45.47%. He is thus the first directly elected president in Ukraine's history to win with less than 50% of the vote.
Yanukovych's political career began when he was appointed as a Vice-Head of Donetsk Oblast Administration in August 1996. On May 14, 1997 he was appointed as the Head of the Administration (i.e. Governor). Between May 1999 and May 2001 he was also the Head of Donetsk Oblast Council.
In 2001, Yanukovych graduated from the Ukrainian Academy of Foreign Trade as a Master of International Law. Only none of his classmates remember him attending the classes or taking any test. Later, Yanukovych was granted the titles of Doctor of Science and Professor in Economics.
President Leonid Kuchma appointed Yanukovych to the post of Prime Minister following Anatoliy Kinakh's resignation. Yanukovych began his term as Prime Minister on November 21, 2002 following a 234-vote confirmation in the Verkhovna Rada. Under Yanukovych, the government began to pay more attention to reforming the coal industry.
In 2009, Yanukovych announced his intent to run for President in the upcoming presidential election. He was endorsed by the Party of Regions. In December 2009 Yanukovych's candidacy was also endorsed by the Youth Party of Ukraine.
During the campaign Yanukovych declared he didn't see any opportunity for Yulia Tymoshenko to be Prime Minister if he is elected the president. On December 9, 2009 opposition leader Yanukovych stated that he would consider holding new parliamentary elections in March if a majority coalition cannot be quickly formed after his election as president because incumbent Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko "has her own program, and I do not think that she would agree to implement somebody else's. And what is even more important, even if she agrees, I won't believe her; President Yuschenko believed her twice, and she deceived him, I don't and can't have any confidence in Tymoshenko".
Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko accused him of financial fraud during the campaign. Yanukovych's campaign was expected to have cost $100 to $150 million.
In November 2009, Italian singer and composer Toto Cutugno accused the writers of the pro-Yanukovych song "Leader" written for the 2010 campaign of plagiarism of his song "Ti amo". Yanukovych distanced himself from the song, saying "I have heard nothing and I have ordered nothing".
On December 11, 2009 Yanukovych stated that his Party of Regions possesses information that "government representatives are currently "motivating" the chairmen of election commissions and seeking options for victory in every possible way" and called for his supporters go to the Maidan Nezalezhnosti in case of election fraud.
Early vote returns from the first round of the election held on January 17 showed Yanukovych in first place with 35.8% of the vote. He faced a February 7, 2010 runoff against Tymoshenko, who finished second (with 24.7% of the vote). Analysts predicted a slight advantage for Tymoshenko in the second (and final) round as she was more likely to attract voters from the other 16 candidates who did not proceed to the second round. Viktor Yanukovych refused before the second round of voting to hold debates with his opponent, saying Yulia Tymoshenko should either take responsibility for every word as prime minister, or go to the kitchen. After all ballots were counted the Ukrainian Central Election Commission declared that Yanukovych won the election with 48.95% of the vote compared with 45.47% for Tymoshenko Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc members immediately claimed that there was systematic and large-scale vote rigging in this run-off. On February 10, 2009 Yanukovych called on Tymoshenko to abandon her protests and resign as Prime Minister. On February 9, 2010 Yanukovych had stated that Borys Kolesnykov was his preferred next Prime Minister of Ukraine. According to him pre-term parliamentary elections will be imminent if the Ukrainian parliament would not work effectively. Yanukovych also stated that, as the largest faction in the parliament at the time, his party was entitled to nominate the premier. On February 15 Yanukovych stated "I do not rule out the candidature of Tigipko (as next Prime Minister). Tigipko is on the list which, in my opinion, will be discussed next week in parliament".
On February 17, 2010 the Administrative Court of Ukraine, suspended the results of the election on Yulia Tymoshenko's appeal. The court suspended the Central Election Commission of Ukraine ruling that announced that Viktor Yanukovych won the election. Ukraine's parliament had (on February 16) fixed February 25, 2010 for the inauguration of Yanukovych as president. Tymoshenko withdrew her appeal on February 20, 2010 after the Higher Administrative Court in Kiev rejected her petition to scrutinize documents from election districts in Crimea and also to question election and law-enforcement officials. The same day (February 20) Tymoshenko announced that she will not challenge the results of the second round of the presidential election in the Supreme Court of Ukraine since she believed there where no legal provisions for such an appeal, although Tymoshenko also stated "an honest court will assess that Yanukovych wasn’t elected President of Ukraine, and that the will of the people had been rigged".
Public Opinion Polls predicted the Party of Regions and Viktor Yanukovych's win in the 2010 Presidential election, which he won in the second round ballot against Yulia Tymoshenko in February 2010. According to an article in Kyiv Post in November 2009, Yanukovych's popularity in the Donbass was fading and Donbass voters voted mainly for Yanukovych to keep Tymoshenko from power.
Regarding the European Union Yanukovych wants to create a free trade zone and visa-free travel between Ukraine and the EU countries. Once "Ukraine achieves those standards that currently exist in Europe", then the country should consider joining the EU. "But today this is an absolutely motivating, stimulating process we must aspire to", he added. According to Yanukovych Ukrainian relations with "the West" are "a guide in both social and technical standards that we should strive for in creating a European life level in Ukraine".
According to Yanukovych, relations between Ukraine and Russia in the gas sector must be built “according to the rules of the market” He sees the gas agreement signed in 2009 after the 2009 Russia-Ukraine gas dispute as very unprofitable for Ukraine he and wants to "initiate the discussion of the most urgent gas issues" after the 2010 presidential election. Yanukovych has promised to create a consortium that would allow Russia to jointly operate Ukraine's gas transportation network and he has pledged to help Russia build the South Stream natural gas pipeline.
Yanukovych has promised to "solve the issue" concerning the Russian Black Sea Fleet, currently stationed in the Ukrainian port Sevastopol, "in a way so that the interests of Russia or Ukraine would not be harmed".
Family and personal life
Yanukovych is married to Lyudmyla Oleksandrivna they have two sons, Oleksandr and Viktor. Yanukovych is a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. His son, Viktor, is his party's co-chairman.
Until 2004, Yanukovych was known as batia ("Dad") among his family members, but since that time he became leader. As Yanukovych himself stated, his wife does not wish for her grandson to pick up the bad habits of his grandfather, albeit Yanukovych did not specify what kind of habits those were.
View the full website biography of Yanukovych, Viktor.