Oleksandr Turchynov

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Oleksandr Turchynov
Олександр Турчинов
Turchynov March 2014 (cropped).jpg
President of Ukraine
Assumed office
23 February 2014[1]
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Preceded by Viktor Yanukovych
10th Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
Assumed office
22 February 2014
Preceded by Volodymyr Rybak
Prime Minister of Ukraine
In office
4 March 2010 – 11 March 2010
President Viktor Yanukovych
Preceded by Yulia Tymoshenko
Succeeded by Mykola Azarov
18th Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
In office
18 December 2007 – 11 March 2010
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Preceded by Mykola Azarov
Succeeded by Andriy Klyuyev
7th Director of the Security Service
In office
4 February 2005 – 8 September 2005
President Viktor Yushchenko
Preceded by Ihor Smeshko
Succeeded by Ihor Drizhchanyi
Personal details
Born Oleksandr Valentynovych Turchynov
(1964-03-31) 31 March 1964 (age 50)
Ukrainian SSR
Soviet Union
Political party Batkivshchyna (1999–present)
Hromada (1994–99)
Other political
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (2001–present)
Dictatorship Resistance Committee (2011–present)
Spouse(s) Hanna Volodymyrivna
Children Kyrylo
Residence Mariyinsky Palace
Alma mater National Mining University of Ukraine
Religion Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist[2]
Website Official website

Oleksandr Valentynovych Turchynov (Ukrainian: Олександр Валентинович Турчинов; born 31 March 1964) is a Ukrainian politician, screenwriter, and economist. Turchynov is the current Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament and acting President of Ukraine after Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power by the parliament on 21 February 2014.[3][4][5] Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, does not regard him as the legitimate Ukrainian President.[6] On 25 February Turchynov assumed the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.[7]

Turchynov is the first deputy chairman of the political party Batkivshchyna (All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland").[8][9][10]

Turchynov has served as acting Prime Minister in the past, when he was the First Vice Prime Minister in the absence of a prime minister after Yulia Tymoshenko's government was dismissed on 3 March 2010;[11] until the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) appointed Mykola Azarov as Prime Minister on 11 March 2010.[12][13]


Oleksandr Turchynov was born in Dnipropetrovsk. He graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute in 1986, after which he worked at Kryvorizhstal, a large Ukrainian steel producer.[14] From 1987 to 1990, he served as head of the agitation and propaganda division of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Komsomol (Communist Youth League) Committee, which was led by Serhiy Tihipko.[14] Tihipko and Turchynov became political advisers of Leonid Kuchma, then head of Dnipropetrovsk-based Pivdenmash missile manufacturer.[14] Kuchma and his entire team, including Tihipko and Turchynov moved to Kiev in 1992, after Kuchma was appointed Prime Minister.[14] In 1993 Turchynov was formally appointed an advisor on economic issues to Prime Minister Kuchma.[14]

Turchynov is an old ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, another prominent Ukrainian political figure from Dnipropetrovsk. They used to have a common business in Dnipropetrovsk. In December 1993, Turchynov co-founded and became Vice President of Ukrainian Union of Industrialist and Entrepreneurs. In 1994 he created the political party Hromada together with Pavlo Lazarenko, a business ally of Tymoshenko.[14] Turchynov was also director of the Economic Reforms Institute from January 1994 to March 1998 and was head of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences' Laboratory of Shadow Economy Research.[15][16]

Political life

In 1998, he was elected to parliament as a member of Hromada but after the scandal around Lazarenko, he left the faction and party (during May 1999) together with Yulia Tymoshenko's All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland". He was re-elected to parliament in 2002 and 2006 as part of the BYuT.

On 4 February 2005, Turchynov was appointed and served as the first‐ever civilian head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

In the spring of 2008 he was the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc candidate[17] for the Mayor of Kiev election he placed second at the election with 218,600 votes (19.13% of total vote).[18]

Turchynov and Oleh Tyahnybok in parliament, February 24, 2014

In December 2009 during the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election campaign Turchynov accused President Viktor Yushchenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych of coordinating their actions in their attempts to topple the Second Tymoshenko Government.[19]

On 4 March 2010, after the fall of the second Tymoshenko Government, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko resigned from that post on 4 March 2010[11] and Turchynov was empowered to fulfill the Prime Minister's duties until a new government was formed.[20] On 11 March 2010 the Azarov Government was elected[21] and Mykola Azarov was appointed Prime Minister the same day.[12][13]

In 2012 he was re-elected into parliament on the party list of "Fatherland".[22]

On 22 February 2014 he was elected as speaker of Verkhovna Rada.[3] On 23 February 2014, Turchynov was designated as acting President of Ukraine following the impeachment of Viktor Yanukovych.[1]

On 14 April 2014 while talking on the phone with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon Turchynov asked for the United Nations's support regarding the crisis in eastern Ukraine, to which the Secretary-General replied that peacekeepers may be sent in should Russia withhold its veto. Meanwhile, Turchynov issued a deadline to the pro-Russian insurgents to disarm and dismantle their barricades, but the deadline passed without incident.[23] Before he issued a deadline, which was scheduled for 9 am,[24] he tried to negotiate with insurgents and even proposed to hold referendum on the same day as elections which will be on 25 May. His proposition was questioned by journalists who feared that a the referendum might be sabotaged by pro-Russia insurgents.[25]


In August 2007, Turchynov replied to the accusation that his stance on same-sex marriage is typically conservative, "I do not agree. If a man has normal views, then you label him a conservative, but those who use drugs or promote sodomy, you label them a progressive person. All of these are perversions".[26]

In February 2006 state prosecutors opened a criminal case against Turchynov and his SBU deputy Andriy Kozhemyakin for destroying a file about FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive, organized crime boss Semyon Mogilevich, from the SBU archive. The case was dismissed four months later.[27] WikiLeaks documents mention Turchynov, then head of Ukraine's SBU, as having destroyed documents implicating Yulia Tymoshenko's alleged connections to Mogilevich.[28]

Non-official activities

In 2004 Turchynov published a book Illusion of Fear.[14] In 2005 he also wrote a script to the same name movie that is based on the book.[29] The movie was released in Ukraine in September 2008 and was the 2008 Ukrainian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[30]

Personal life

His wife is Hanna Turchynova (born 1970), PhD, Head of Foreign Languages at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. They have one son, Kyrylo (born 1994), a student.[citation needed]

Turchynov is known for abstaining from tobacco and alcohol.[31] He is part of the 1% of Ukraine's population that identify as being Protestant. Although some in the media have reported that he is a pastor,[32][33][34] the Associated Baptist Press and the European Baptist Federation report[31][35] that he is an elder and occasional lay preacher at his Kiev church, the Word of Life Center, which is a member of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Ukraine's Parliament Appoints Opposition Leader Acting PM". Novinite. Sofia News Agency. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cable: 06KIEV1663_a". WikiLeaks. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Ukraine: Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov named interim president". BBC News. 23 February 2014. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ukraine protests timeline". BBC News. 23 February 2014. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Turchinov elected as speaker of Ukrainian Parliament". Voice of Russia. 22 February 2014. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Dave Boyer (4 March 2014). "Obama tells Putin stop “meddling” in Ukraine and withdraw troops from Crimea". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Turchynov assumes duties of supreme commander-in-chief of Ukrainian Armed Forces". Interfax-Ukraine. 26 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Turchynov is summoned for interrogation to SBU today – BYUT". UNIAN. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Batkivschyna to nominate Tymoshenko for presidency, Yatseniuk heads party's political council". Interfax-Ukraine (Kyiv Post). 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "BYT-Batkivschyna replaces its leader". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. 7 December 2011. Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Press secretary: Tymoshenko vacates premier's post". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. 4 March 2010. Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych forms coalition". BBC News. 11 March 2010. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Azarov became Prime Minister". UNIAN. 11 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 March 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Turchynov campaign draws scrutiny". Kyiv Post. 24 April 2008. Archived from the original on 30 January 2011. 
  15. ^ Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko members biography's, Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko official website[dead link]
  16. ^ "Who Is Who in Tymoshenko's Government?". Ukrayinska Pravda. 23 December 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. 
  17. ^ "Тимошенко и Луценко объявили Турчинова единым кандидатом от коалиции" [Tymoshenko and Lutsenko announced Turchynov the only candidate from the coalition]. Korrespondent.net (in Russian). 22 May 2008. Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2008. 
  18. ^ UNIAN News Agency[dead link]
  19. ^ "Western Information Agency: Yushchenko and Yanukovych are playing ball". Kyiv Post. 4 December 2009. Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Cabinet: Turchynov will fulfill premier's duties until new government is formed". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. 4 March 2010. Archived from the original on 7 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Ukraine's new government puts final nail in coffin of the Orange Revolution". The Guardian. 11 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Список депутатів нової Верховної Ради" [List of Parliament Members of the new Verkhovna Rada]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) (UA). 11 November 2012. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Ukraine asks for UN peacekeepers as pro-Russia militants flout deadline". Windsor Star. 14 April 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Separatists Ignore Ultimatum, Tighten Grip on East Ukraine". Reuters (The New York Times). 14 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Separatist unrest spreads in Ukraine, no sign of military crackdown". Tehran Times. 14 April 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Overview of Lesbian and Gay rights in Eastern Europe". The Lesbian & Gay Foundation. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. 
  27. ^ Byrne, Peter (10 December 2010). "New and conflicting details emerge over Mogilevich's alleged involvement in nation". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. 
  28. ^ "newspaper=Kyiv Post". 10 December 2010. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "‘Illusion of Fear’ from Turchynov". Kyiv Post. 22 May 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. 
  30. ^ "Ukraine submits 'Illusion' for Oscar race". UNIAN. 16 October 2008. Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Elevation of Ukrainian leader puts spotlight on Baptists". ABP News. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  32. ^ "Profile: Olexander Turchynov". BBC News Online. 23 February 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  33. ^ Antonia Blumberg (25 February 2014). "Oleksandr Turchynov, Baptist Pastor, Named As Ukraine's Acting President". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "Ukraine Names Baptist Pastor as Acting President". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "European Baptist Federation". EBF. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Ihor Smeshko
Director of the Security Service
Succeeded by
Ihor Drizhchanyi
Political offices
Preceded by
Mykola Azarov
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Andriy Klyuyev
Preceded by
Yulia Tymoshenko
Prime Minister of Ukraine

Succeeded by
Mykola Azarov
Preceded by
Volodymyr Rybak
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
Preceded by
Viktor Yanukovych
President of Ukraine