Viktor Yanukovych (July 9, 1950 - ) was the conservative president of Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, until forced out by a Leftist revolution. He is a former Communist bureaucrat during the period of single party rule (as nearly everyone was during that period from that area of the world), and became the leader of his Pro-Russian "Party of Regions" in the multiparty system.
In late 2013 and early 2014 public protests over corruption arose in Kyiv. After signing an agreement on February 21, 2022 that he would not run for re-election when his term expired, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, a head of department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Russian observer Vladimir Lukin as witnesses, that evening Yanukovych was chased out of Ukraine by Obama State Department-backed neo-Nazi death squads.
Yanukovych was born in the Donets Basin. In 1969 he started to work in heavy industry. Yanukovych attended the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. For some time he was a member of the Communist Party. In 1997 he became governor of Donetsk province. In 2002 president Leonid Kuchma appointed him as prime minister.
In 2004 Yanukovych was a candidate of the parliamentary elections, where he won against Viktor Yushchenko. Many people called the elections "unfair" and protested. The Supreme Court of Ukraine canceled the result. In a second round of the elections Viktor Yushchenko won. This period is called the Orange Revolution.
In the elections that foreign observers declared to be fair, 2010 Yanukovych was the winner. In his tenure, many oppositional activists were arrested. Include Yulia Tymoshenko, the Minister chairwoman under the government of Yushenko. Tad Devine, a longtime Democratic consultant, Devine worked on Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000 and John Kerry’s in 2004, maanaged Viktor Yanukovych’s 2010 presidential campaign. In 2016 Devine managed Bernie Sanders Democratic primary campaign. Devine is a former partner of Paul Manafort.
From 2013 to 2014, Leftist neo-Nazis with Obama administration assistance fomented unrest under the guise of wanting a pro-European future. As result of Yanukovych announced new elections. On February 22, 2014 he was discontinued by the parliament. Yanukovych fleed to Russia, where he lives until now.
- See also: Maidan coup
On February 21, 2014, President Yanukovych signed an agreement with the leaders of the parliamentary opposition that he would not seek re-election the following February since his removal was the protesters primary demand. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, a head of department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Russian observer Vladimir Lukin were witnesses. It was hoped the agreement with opposition leaders would bring ton an end the crisis situation in Ukraine.
In the evening of the same day, on Maidan Sqaure, the radicals rejected the agreement. Threatening an armed offensive, the extremists demanded that Viktor Yanukovych leave the presidency before 10 a.m. on the morning of the 22nd. The leader of the neo-fascist Pravy Sektor, Dmitri Yarosh claimed that his militants would continue the violent uprising until Yanukovych resigned.
Soon the security forces were withdrawn from the government quarter. This was taken advantage of by revolutionary militants, deciding not to wait for the expiration of their announced deadline. Neo-nazi activists and participants of the "Maidan Self-Defense" stormed the Presidential Administration, Parliament, the Cabinet of Ministers, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. On the evening of February 21, 2022 Yanukovych, together with the heads of the Verkhovna Rada and the presidential administration – Volodymyr Rybak and Andriy Kliuyev – fled Kiev to Crimea for their own personal safety. Throughout Ukraine, massacres unfolded between supporters and opponents of the U.S.-appointed Maidan junta.
According to the procedure of impeachment defined in Article 111 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Rada must establish a special investigatory commission to formulate charges against the president, seek evidence to justify the charges and come to conclusions about the president's guilt for the Rada to consider. To find the president guilty, at least two-thirds of Rada members must assent.
Prior to a final vote to remove the president from power, the procedure requires
- the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to review the case and certify that the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration has been followed, and
- the Supreme Court of Ukraine to certify that the acts of which the President is accused are worthy of impeachment.
To remove the president from power, at least three-quarters of Rada members must assent.
The Rada didn't make any pretense of following this procedure. No investigatory commission was established, and the Courts were not involved. On 22 February 2014, the Rada simply passed a resolution purporting to remove Yanukovych from office in accordance with the Constitution.
The constitutionality of Yanukovych's removal from office has been questioned by constitutional experts. According to Daisy Sindelar from Radio Free Europe, the impeachment may have not followed the procedure provided by the constitution: "[I]t is not clear that the hasty February 22 vote upholds constitutional guidelines, which call for a review of the case by Ukraine's Constitutional Court and a three-fourths majority vote by the Verkhovna Rada -- i.e., 338 lawmakers." The vote, as analyzed by Sindelar, had ten votes less than those required by the constitutional guidelines. The decision to remove Yanukovich was supported by 328 deputies. Article 11 maintains that a vote on impeachment must pass by two-thirds of the members, and the impeachment itself requires a vote by three-quarters of the members. In this case, the 328 out of 447 votes were about 10 votes short of three-quarters.
Two days later Ukraine's parliament dismissed five judges of the Constitutional Court for allegedly violating their oaths, who were then investigated for alleged malpractice.
- Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?, By MAX BLUMENTHAL, FEBRUARY 25, 2014.
- Yanukovych's removal was unconstitutional (March 2014).
- Sindelar, Daisy (23 February 2014). Was Yanukovych's Ouster Constitutional?. Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty (Rferl.org).
- Parliament votes 328–0 to impeach Yanukovych on Feb. 22; sets May 25 for new election; Tymoshenko free (LIVE UPDATES, VIDEO). Kyiv Post (23 February 2014).
- Rada dismisses Constitutional Court judges appointed from its quota. Kyiv Post (24 February 2014).