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Mykola Volodymyrovych Tomenko (Ukrainian: Микола Володимирович Томенко) (born December 11, 1964) is a Ukrainian politician and statesman. He has been a member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) for two consecutive convocations (including 2006). In Verkhovna Rada he served as the Chairman of the Freedom of Speech and Mass Media Committee. In 2005, Tomenko served as Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine in the cabinet of Yulia Tymoshenko (coordinating social care and culture affairs).
He is currently deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada. Tomenko tendered his resignation as deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada on 4 July 2012 as a sign of protest against the way legislation on languages in Ukraine was passed on 3 July 2012.
Mykola Tomenko (born in a village of Mali Kanivtsi, Chornobai Raion in the Cherkasy Oblast of Ukraine) is one of the few veterans of the Soviet-Afghan War among the Ukrainian politicians. Between 1983 and 1985 Tomenko served his conscript service in the Soviet Airborne Troops, reaching a rank of Sergeant during the war.
In 1989, after his military service, Tomenko graduated from Kiev University specializing in Ukrainian political history. Shortly after, in 1992 he obtained his Kandidat degree (roughly equivalent to Ph.D.) defending his thesis on the topic "The issue of statehood in the program, documents and activities of the present-day parties in Ukraine (historical-political analysis)."
During his student years, after initially being a Komsomol activist, Tomenko later became the initiator of the local Komsomol organization's dissolution.
Tomenko began his professional career in 1992 at the Institute of National Operation and Self-government as the Head of the Political Science Department. Between 1992-1998 he was the vice-president of the Foundation “The Ukrainian Outlook”, the director of the Institute of Post-communism Society and the Institute of Politics (listed are non-governmental politics research organizations). At the same time he continued lecturing history and political science courses at Kiev universities, finally becoming the Head of the Politology department in the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”.
In mid-1990s Tomenko began his political career as a member of "My" (Ukrainian for Us) Political Union - a liberal-patriotic group close to Reforms and Order Party. In 1998 he was number 15 in the electoral list of Parliament candidates for Reforms and Order Party, but the party obtained no seats in parliament.
In 2002 Tomenko was elected to the Parliament on the list of the “Our Ukraine” Block (which contained Reforms and Order Party).
In late 2005 he left the party over a split on whether to back Yulia Tymoshenko or President Viktor Yuschenko, and became a member of Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc. In 2006 Tomenko became elected to Verkhovna Rada on the list of that Bloc. Tomenko was placed at number 8 on the electoral list of Batkivshchina during the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. He was re-elected into parliament.
Mykola Tomenko authored several scholarly books, more than a dozen of journal articles, and, an essay, like "Theory of Ukrainian Love".
Entering politics after studying it, Tomenko became a public speaker and hot issues commenter. This was criticized by his political opponents. In summer 2005, President Viktor Yuschenko became dissatisfied with Tomenko's public attitude towards coalition allies and accused him of willingness to "comment anything on Earth" and a lack of in-government team-play sense. One controversy during Tomenko's political career occurred when the 2005 Eurovision song contest was hosted in Kiev. He openly supported the GreenJolly music group as a candidate for representative of Ukraine. This caused criticism from show business professionals that alleged a poor choice and Tomenko's abuse of Deputy Prime Minister position during the process.
Ukrainian Cultural Development
Tomenko initiated several promotional programs to familiarize Ukraine to visitors as well as the well established residents with the Seven Wonders of Ukraine followed by the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine and the Seven Most Scenic Routes of Ukraine.
- Томенко М. Теорія українського кохання. К., 2004.
- Кудряшов С., Томенко М. та ін. Карта Севастополя: тріумф і трагедія Президентів: Фонд "Українська Перспектива": Експертна оцінка. - К., 1996. (and other research papers of this foundation)
- several studies of Ukrainian political history authored by Tomenko and S. Sliusarenko
- Opposition party demands inquiry into Constitutional Court's Oct. 1 ruling, Kyiv Post (October 5, 2010)
- Ukrainians protest against Russian language law, The Guardian (4 July 2012)
- Lytvyn:Language bill would have suited if all amendments had been accepted, Kyiv Post (4 July 2012)
- Tomenko resigns from post of deputy Verkhovna Rada chairman, Kyiv Post (4 July 2012)
- They Call Themselves the Opposition, The Ukrainian Week (31 August 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Список депутатів нової Верховної Ради, Ukrayinska Pravda (11 November 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Tomenko's personal website
- (Ukrainian) Institute of Politics website
- (English) Unofficial bio, Ukrayinska Pravda, February 6, 2005.
- (Ukrainian) Have Ukraine finally got its own coryphaeus of all sciences?, Ukrayinska Pravda, April 22, 2005.
- (Russian) Russia never mastered how to lose gratuitously, a chat with Tomenko at Korrespondent.net
- (Ukrainian) A two part Mykola Tomenko interview with Ukrayinska Pravda. Part 1, part 2
- (Russian) I've beaten Surkis, and interview. Stolichnye Novosti, April 5-11, 2005.
- (English) GreenJolly and their hit song on Maydan and at the Eurovision Song Contest, Welcome to Ukraine, 2005-2.