139 Facts About Viktor Yanukovych


Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych is a former politician who served as the fourth president of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, after months of protests against his presidency.


Viktor Yanukovych was Prime Minister of Ukraine from 21 November 2002 to 7 December 2004 and from 28 December 2004 to 5 January 2005, under President Leonid Kuchma.


Viktor Yanukovych served as Prime Minister for a second time from 4 August 2006 to 18 December 2007, under President Yushchenko.


Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in 2010, defeating Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.


Viktor Yanukovych's platform included economic modernisation, increased spending, continuing trade negotiations with the European Union and non-alignment in defence policy.


Amid economic pressure from Russia, Viktor Yanukovych retracted plans to sign an association agreement with the EU, instead choosing to accept a Russian trade deal and loan bailout.


On 18 June 2015, Viktor Yanukovych was officially deprived of the title of president by parliament.


In social polls conducted since his departure from office, Viktor Yanukovych is regarded as the worst president in Ukrainian history.


Viktor Yanukovych has given his name to a collective term of different blunders made by Ukrainian politicians now called Yanukisms.


Viktor Yanukovych was born in the village of Zhukovka near Yenakiieve in Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.


Viktor Yanukovych is a surname of Belarusian origin, Yanuk being a derivative of the Catholic name Yan.


Viktor Yanukovych's mother was a Russian nurse and his father, Fyodor Yanukovych, was a Polish-Belarusian locomotive-driver, originally from Yanuki in the Dokshytsy Raion of the Vitebsk Region which is in present-day Belarus.


On various occasions, Viktor Yanukovych's family has been dogged by accusations that Fyodor Viktor Yanukovych was a member of the Schutzmannschaft during World War II, in particular claims by members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which included documents from the NKVD supposedly revealing his involvement with the Schutzmannschaft.


However, it has been stated by residents of Yanuki that Viktor Yanukovych's family left for the Donbas before 1917, and that the collaborator Fyodor Viktor Yanukovych was an unrelated individual.


However, Viktor Yanukovych left home due to conflicts with his stepmother, and was brought up by his Polish paternal grandmother, originally from Warsaw.


Viktor Yanukovych has half-sisters from his father's remarriage, but has no contact with them.


On 15 December 1967, at the age of 17, Viktor Yanukovych was sentenced to three years imprisonment for participating in a robbery and assault.


Viktor Yanukovych was sentenced to two years of imprisonment and did not appeal the verdict.


Decades later, Viktor Yanukovych characterised his arrests and imprisonment as "mistakes of youth".


In 1971, Viktor Yanukovych married Lyudmyla Nastenko a niece of Yenakiyeve city judge Oleksandr Sazhyn.


In July 1974, Viktor Yanukovych enrolled at the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute.


Viktor Yanukovych held various positions in transport companies in Yenakiieve and Donetsk until 1996.


Viktor Yanukovych began his term as Prime Minister on 21 November 2002 following a 234-vote confirmation in the Verkhovna Rada, eight more than needed.


In foreign affairs, Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet was considered to be politically close to Russia, although declaring support for Ukrainian membership in the European Union.


In 2004, as the Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych participated in the controversial Ukrainian presidential election as the Party of Regions candidate.


The second round of the election was annulled by the Supreme Court of Ukraine, and in the repeated run-off, Viktor Yanukovych lost to Yushchenko with 44.2 percent to Yushchenko's 51.9 percent.


Five days after his electoral defeat, Viktor Yanukovych declared his resignation from the post of Prime Minister.


In November 2009 Viktor Yanukovych stated that he conceded defeat only to avoid violence.


The press-service of the Ukrainian Cabinet asserted that Viktor Yanukovych suffered for the attempt to defend a girl from hooligans.


In 2008, Viktor Yanukovych spoke at a congress of the United Russia party.


In January 2006, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine started an official investigation of the allegedly false acquittal of the criminal convictions which Viktor Yanukovych received in his youth.


Yuriy Lutsenko, the head of the ministry, announced that forensic tests proved the forgery of the respective documents and initially claimed that lack of the formal acquittal precluded Viktor Yanukovych from running for the seat in the 2006 parliamentary election.


The signature of the judge for these documents in Viktor Yanukovych's retraction was forged.


On 25 May 2007, Viktor Yanukovych was assigned the post of appointed chairman of the Government Chiefs Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States.


In 2009, Viktor Yanukovych announced his intent to run for president in the then upcoming presidential election.


Viktor Yanukovych was endorsed by the Party of Regions and the Youth Party of Ukraine.


Viktor Yanukovych's campaign was expected to have cost $100 to $150 million.


On 11 December 2009, Viktor Yanukovych called for his supporters to go to Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kyiv's Independence Square, in case of election fraud.


Viktor Yanukovych faced a 7 February 2010 runoff against Tymoshenko, who finished second.


Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree endorsing a plan of events related to Yanukovych's inauguration on 20 February 2010.


Yushchenko congratulated and wished Viktor Yanukovych "to defend Ukrainian interests and democratic traditions" at the presidential post.


Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus at Viktor Yanukovych's invitation conducted a public prayer service at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra before Viktor Yanukovych's presidential inauguration.


On 3 March 2010, Viktor Yanukovych suspended his membership in the Party of Regions as he was barred by the Constitution from heading a political party while president, and handed over leadership in the party and its parliamentary faction to Mykola Azarov.


Viktor Yanukovych stated on 7 January 2010 that Ukraine is ready to consider an initiative by Dmitry Medvedev on the creation of a new Europe collective security system stating "And we're ready to back Russia's and France's initiatives".


Viktor Yanukovych stated during the 2010 presidential election-campaign that the current level of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO was sufficient and that the question of the country's accession to the alliance was therefore not urgent.


On 27 May 2010 President Viktor Yanukovych stated he considered Ukraine's relations with NATO as a partnership, "And Ukraine can't live without this [partnership], because Ukraine is a large country".


For 2012 Viktor Yanukovych predicted "social standards will continue to grow" and "improvement of administrative services system will continue".


In May 2012, Viktor Yanukovych set up the Constitutional Assembly of Ukraine, a special auxiliary agency under the President for drawing up bills of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine; the President then can table them in parliament.


On 25 June 2010, President Viktor Yanukovych criticised 2004 amendments in the Ukrainian Constitution which weakened presidential powers such as control over naming government ministers, passing those functions to parliament.


On 30 November 2010, Viktor Yanukovych vetoed a new tax code made by the Azarov Government and earlier approved by the Verkhovna Rada but protested against in rallies across Ukraine.


Viktor Yanukovych signed a new tax code on 3 December 2010.


Viktor Yanukovych saw the gas agreement signed in 2009 after the 2009 Russia-Ukraine gas dispute as very unprofitable for Ukraine and wanted to "initiate the discussion of the most urgent gas issues" after the 2010 presidential election.


Viktor Yanukovych had promised before his election as Ukrainian President 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".


Viktor Yanukovych 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.


Viktor Yanukovych rejected accusations that improvement of Ukrainian-Russian relations harmed relations with the European Union.


In February 2012, Viktor Yanukovych stated, referring to relations with Russia, "It is not wise to fall asleep next to a big bear".


Viktor Yanukovych stated that his "aim and dream" was to unify Ukraine, although in his opinion "there are already no borders between the East and West of the country today".


Viktor Yanukovych said he wanted to create a free trade zone and visa regime with the EU as soon as possible.


Viktor Yanukovych noted the importance of finding ways of reconciliation between Ukrainians fighting on opposite sides in World War II in his speech at the ceremony to mark Victory Day 2013.


Viktor Yanukovych stated in the past that he wanted Russian to become the second state language in Ukraine.


Viktor Yanukovych said that this law would need 226 votes in the Ukrainian parliament and that voters told him that the current status of Russian in Ukraine created "problems in the hospital, school, university, in the courts, in the office".


Viktor Yanukovych indicated that he was open to compromise with Russia on the Black Sea Fleet's future, and reiterated that Ukraine would remain a "European, non-aligned state", referring to NATO membership.


In May 2011, Viktor Yanukovych stated that he would strive for Ukraine to join the EU.


On 22 April 2010, Viktor Yanukovych stated he did not rule out the possibility of holding a referendum on the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine after the necessary legislative framework is adopted for this in future.


Viktor Yanukovych stated in February 2012 that the trial of Tymoshenko and other former officials "didn't meet European standards and principles".


The Azarov Government, the Presidential Administration and Viktor Yanukovych himself denied being involved with censorship.


Viktor Yanukovych has been widely criticized for "massive" corruption and cronyism.


Viktor Yanukovych had an estimated net worth of $12 billion, and has been accused by Ukrainian officials of misappropriating funds from Ukraine's treasury.


Viktor Yanukovych has denied that he embezzled funds and has said that his alleged foreign accounts do not exist.


Viktor Yanukovych abandoned his large estate, Mezhyhirya when he fled the capital.


Viktor Yanukovych had acquired the property in 2007, according to critics, through a convoluted series of companies and transactions.


Viktor Yanukovych did not reveal the price he paid, although he called it a "very serious price".


Documents recovered from Viktor Yanukovych's compound show among other expenses $800 medical treatment for fish, $14,500 spent on tablecloths, and a nearly 42 million dollar order for light fixtures.


Also recovered were files on Viktor Yanukovych's perceived enemies, especially media members, including beating victim Tetyana Chornovol.


In 2013, the Verkhovna Rada overwhelmingly approved finalizing the agreement with the EU, and Viktor Yanukovych urged parliament to adopt laws so that Ukraine would meet the EU's criteria and be able to sign the agreement in November 2013.


Jovita Neliupsiene, foreign policy aide to Lithuania's president Dalia Grybauskaite, said Viktor Yanukovych had called her to say he had changed his mind due to what she called Russian "economic pressure and blackmail".


The protesters, united under the Maidan People's Union, demanded Viktor Yanukovych fulfill his pledge to sign the Agreement or else resign.


Viktor Yanukovych has been accused, by Amnesty International among others, of using the Berkut to threaten, attack, and torture protesters.


Violence escalated after 16 January 2014, when Viktor Yanukovych signed draconian Anti-Protest Laws.


In June 2015 interview with BBC Newsnight Viktor Yanukovych stated that he never ordered the security forces to open fire, but he said he had not done enough to prevent bloodshed.


The resolution to remove Viktor Yanukovych was supported by all opposition parties: 86 deputies of Batkivshchyna, 41 deputies of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform, 36 deputies of Svoboda, 30 deputies of the Communist Party, as well as 99 independents.


The vote came an hour after Viktor Yanukovych said in a televised address that he would not resign.


Viktor Yanukovych subsequently declared himself to still be "the legitimate head of the Ukrainian state elected in a free vote by Ukrainian citizens", and maintained that his removal was a coup d'etat.


Viktor Yanukovych had been imprisoned since 2011, in what many saw as political payback by Yanukovych.


Viktor Yanukovych's release had been an unmet condition for Ukraine's signing of a European Union trade pact.


Viktor Yanukovych asked Dobkin to "pick out a few factories for me to visit"; the director of state-owned industrial giant Turboatom declined even to take his call.


Dobkin's impression of Viktor Yanukovych was "a guy on another planet".


Putin and Viktor Yanukovych later stated that Russian forces helped Viktor Yanukovych fly to Russia on 24 February 2014.


The Press Secretary of the department that manages Barvikha Sanatorium denied the report, stating that he had no information of Viktor Yanukovych settled in Barvikha Sanatorium.


Viktor Yanukovych claimed that the decisions of the Ukrainian parliament adopted "in the atmosphere of extremist threats" are unlawful and he remains the "legal president of Ukraine".


On 3 October 2014, several news agencies reported that according to a Facebook post made by the aide to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko, Viktor Yanukovych had been granted Russian citizenship by a "secret decree" of Vladimir Putin.


On 26 November 2015, Viktor Yanukovych received a temporary asylum certificate in Russia for one year; later extended until November 2017.


In 2017, Russian media suggested that Viktor Yanukovych is apparently living in Bakovka near Moscow, in a residence owned by Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.


Viktor Yanukovych said that an "armed coup" had taken place in Ukraine, and that he was still the legitimate president because there had been no impeachment, resignation, or death.


Viktor Yanukovych stated he had been able to escape to Russia "thanks to patriotic officers who did their duty and helped me stay alive".


Viktor Yanukovych described the new Ukrainian authorities as "pro-fascist thugs" and that they "represent the absolute minority of the population of Ukraine".


Viktor Yanukovych apologised to the Ukrainian people for not having "enough strength to keep stability" and for allowing "lawlessness in this country".


Viktor Yanukovych vowed to return to Ukraine "as soon as there are guarantees for my security and that of my family".


Viktor Yanukovych insisted he had not instructed Ukrainian forces to shoot at Euromaidan protesters.


Viktor Yanukovych said he was surprised by the silence of Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, on the events in Ukraine.


Viktor Yanukovych hoped to find out more on Russia's position when he meets with Mr Putin "as soon as he has time".


On 28 February 2014 Viktor Yanukovych claimed "eastern Ukraine will rise up as soon as they have to live without any means".


Viktor Yanukovych said he would try to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to return Crimea to Ukraine.


Viktor Yanukovych said he gave no orders to open fire on Euromaidan protesters.


At a press-conference in Rostov-On-Don on 11 March 2014 Viktor Yanukovych asked the Ukrainian military to disobey the "criminal orders" of a "band of ultranationalists and neofascists".


Viktor Yanukovych called the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election illegal, as well as US financial help, since US law allegedly did not allow the support of "bandits".


On 28 March 2014, Viktor Yanukovych asked the Party of Regions to exclude him.


On 21 February 2015, a year after the revolution, Viktor Yanukovych gave an interview to Channel One regarding the situation in Ukraine and promised to return to power as soon as he could.


On 18 June 2015, Viktor Yanukovych was officially deprived of the title of President of Ukraine.


On 22 June 2015, Viktor Yanukovych was interviewed on BBC Newsnight and he accepted some responsibility for the deaths just before his removal from power.


On 7 December 2015, Viktor Yanukovych announced his interest in returning to Ukrainian politics.


On 30 December 2021 Viktor Yanukovych filed lawsuits against the Ukrainian parliament at the Kyiv District Administrative Court in a bid to overturn his removal of the constitutional powers as President of Ukraine.


Since the revolution, Viktor Yanukovych has been convicted in absentia of high treason against Ukraine.


Viktor Yanukovych is wanted by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, charged with responsibility for mass murder of the Maidan protesters, as well as abuse of power, misappropriation of public funds, bribery, and property theft.


On 29 January 2010, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleksandr Medvedko claimed that Viktor Yanukovych had been unlawfully jailed in his youth.


Viktor Yanukovych is charged with property theft in a conspiracy with the chairman of the Nadra Ukrainy state company, which has been under investigation since March 2014.


The prosecutor's office considered that Viktor Yanukovych was helped by former government officials Mykola Azarov, Yuriy Kolobov, Anatoliy Markovsky, Hennadiy Reznikov, and Dzenyk.


Viktor Yanukovych is being charged with abuse of power and state treason that are being investigated since April 2014 as well as the new procedure on creation of criminal organization that is being investigated since the summer.


Viktor Yanukovych was charged with encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, high treason, and complicity in aggressive warfare by the Russian Federation aimed at altering Ukraine's state borders.


Viktor Yanukovych allegedly sustained back and knee injuries while "playing tennis".


Viktor Yanukovych was acquitted of the other charge relating to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.


The verdict was that Viktor Yanukovych was sentenced to 13 years of jail in absentia.


From 2006 to 2014, the younger Viktor Yanukovych was a member of the Parliament of Ukraine; he died by drowning at Lake Baikal in 2015.


In February 2017, Viktor Yanukovych admitted that after 45 years of marriage he had divorced Lyudmyla.


Until 2004, Viktor Yanukovych was known as batia among his family members, but since that time he became "leader".


Viktor Yanukovych himself stated that his ex-wife did not wish for her grandson to pick up the bad habits of his grandfather, but Viktor Yanukovych did not specify what kind of habits those were.


In March 2012, Viktor Yanukovych stated it was "a problem" for him in 2002 to speak Ukrainian but that "once I had the opportunity to speak Ukrainian, I started to do it with pleasure".


Viktor Yanukovych was seen by opponents as representing the interests of Ukrainian big business; they pointed out that his campaigns benefited from backing by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov.


Supporters of Viktor Yanukovych pointed out that the Donetsk Oblast secured unprecedented levels of investment during his time in office.


Viktor Yanukovych drew strong support from Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east of the country.


In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych was seen as outgoing President Leonid Kuchma and Russian President Vladimir Putin's protege.


Viktor Yanukovych admitted in March 2012 that it was a problem for him in 2002 to speak Ukrainian.


Viktor Yanukovych has made some blunders in Ukrainian since then.


Viktor Yanukovych's autobiographic resume of 90 words contains 12 major spelling and grammatical errors.


Opponents of Viktor Yanukovych made fun of this misspelling and his criminal convictions during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election campaign and the incident during the campaign in Ivano-Frankivsk when Viktor Yanukovych was rushed to hospital after being hit by an egg was a source of ridicule.


Viktor Yanukovych stated in November 2009 that he respects all Ukrainian politicians.


The Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine, Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, stated during an April 2012 interview with Korrespondent that Viktor Yanukovych's presidency "fell short of expectations".


Viktor Yanukovych continued to serve in that role through the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election, even as the US government opposed Yanukovych.


However, Manafort's friends have said that Viktor Yanukovych "stopped listening" to him after he became president in 2010; Manafort warned him of the consequences of "extreme" political measures.