First Yatsenyuk government

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First Yatsenyuk government
16th Cabinet of Ukraine (since 1990)
Yatsenyuk government.jpg
Date formed27 February 2014
Date dissolved27 November 2014
People and organisations
Head of stateOleksandr Turchynov (acting)
Petro Poroshenko
Head of governmentArseniy Yatsenyuk
Deputy head of governmentOleksandr Sych
Volodymyr Groysman
No. of ministers20
Member partyBatkivshchyna
Status in legislatureCoalition
Opposition partyParty of Regions
Communist Party of Ukraine
Opposition leaderOleksandr Yefremov
Petro Symonenko
PredecessorSecond Azarov government
SuccessorSecond Yatsenyuk government

The first government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk was created in Ukraine on 27 February 2014 in the aftermath of the Ukrainian revolution.[1] The cabinet was formed as a coalition of the parties Batkivschyna, UDAR and Svoboda and the parliamentary factions Economic Development and Sovereign European Ukraine and other independent MPs.[1] On 24 July 2014, UDAR and Svoboda and 19 independent MPs had exited from the coalition to pave the way for the early parliamentary elections of late October 2014.[1] Prime Minister Yatsenyuk announced his resignation the same day,[2] but the Verkhovna Rada declined his resignation on 31 July 2014.[3]

After the 26 October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election the second Yatsenyuk government was created.


Euromaidan leaders Vitali Klitschko, Petro Poroshenko (second left) and Arseniy Yatsenyuk (right) with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 30 January 2014
U.S. Senator John McCain with Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok in Kyiv, Ukraine, 14 March 2014

The Yatsenyuk government followed the anti-government Euromaidan protests that began in 2013, and culminated in the 21 February 2014 dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.[4] The government was first presented at Kyiv's main Euromaidan protest camp at Maidan Nezalezhnosti on 26 February 2014.[5] The government was voted on by Verkhovna Rada on 27 February 2014.[6][7] There were no government posts for the UDAR party led by one of the Euromaidan leaders, Vitali Klitschko.[8][9] UDAR declined offers to participate in the new government.[10]

On its first day 250 MPs signed up to join the coalition, including the Batkivshchyna, UDAR, Svoboda factions, the Economic Development and Sovereign European Ukraine groups and other MPs.[11]

Parliamentary voting[edit]

For the candidacy of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, 371 members of parliament voted for Arseniy Yatsenyuk, only two votes short of the record high 373 votes won by Yulia Tymoshenko in 2005.[12]

Faction Number of members Yes No Abstained Did not vote Absent
Party of Regions 123 94 1 0 8 20
Batkivshchyna – United Opposition 88 85 0 0 0 3
UDAR 42 40 0 0 0 2
Svoboda 36 36 0 0 0 0
Communist Party of Ukraine 32 0 0 0 32 0
Not affiliated 59 51 0 2 2 4
Sovereign European Ukraine (group) 37 34 0 0 1 2
Economic Development (group) 32 31 0 0 0 1
All factions 450 371 1 2 43 33

Additional decisions[edit]

Proposals Yes No Abstained Did not vote Total
The composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine[13] 331 1 2 43 417
Appointment of Deshchytsia as acting Foreign Affairs Minister[14] 322 0 0 86 408
Appointment of Tenyukh the acting Defense Minister[15] 326 0 0 82 408
Appointment of Klimkin as Foreign Affairs Minister[16] 335 1 0 75 411
Resignation of Yatsenyuk as Prime Minister[17] 16 109 2 184 311

Changes to composition[edit]


On 1 March 2014 Ministry of Revenues and Duties was liquidated.[18] Its agencies were transferred to the Ministry of Finance. On 23 March 2014 the Ministry of Industrial Policy was merged with the Ministry of Economy and Trade.


On 19 June 2014 First Vice Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema was appointed General Prosecutor of Ukraine.[16] The same day Pavlo Klimkin was appointed as Ukrainian foreign minister, replacing Andrii Deshchytsia.[19]

On 2 September 2014 the 21 August 2014 resignation of Pavlo Sheremeta as minister of economical development and trade was accepted by the Verkhovna Rada.[20]

July 2014 coalition collapse and PM's failed resignation[edit]

On 24 July 2014 the coalition supporting the Yatsenyuk government collapsed[1] after early the afternoon UDAR and Svoboda announced that they had walked out of the coalition to pave the way for early parliamentary elections.[21] UDAR faction leader Vitaliy Kovalchuk stated his party had done this "Since we see that the Verkhovna Rada is not set for constructive work in accordance with the will of the Ukrainian people".[21] 15 independent deputies and 8 Batkivschyna deputies also quit the coalition.[21] Soon followed by 4 more independent deputies.[1] Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation late afternoon on 24 July 2014.[2] During his announcement of resignation in parliament Yatsenyuk hinted that the coalition had collapsed because politicians did not want to be seen involved in making budget cuts and had thus placed "political interest above the fate of the country"; according to him this was "a moral and an ethical crime".[22] Yatsenyuk's resignation has to be officially accepted by parliament and they did not do this the next day; parliament's next chance to accept his resignation would be in its next session on 31 July 2014.[23][24]

UDAR faction leader Vitaliy Kovalchuk stated that since Yatsenyuk had not written a letter of resignation ("and in accordance with the Constitution, Yatsenyuk had to file the verbal statement") parliament could not accept his resignation; Kovalchuk argued that hence Yatsenyuk was still Prime Minister.[25] Nevertheless, (also on 25 June 2014) the Yatsenyuk government appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for Regional Policy – Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman as its acting Prime Minister.[26] In the evening of 25 July the press service of parliament stated that parliament had "received the statement of the Prime Minister of Ukraine of his resignation".[27] But his resignation was to be officially accepted by parliament.[24] And the Verkhovna Rada declined his resignation on 31 July 2014 when only 16 (of the 450) MPs voted for his resignation.[3]


Early August 2014 the Yatsenyuk government introduced a draft tax reform which would reduce the number of taxes and fees from 22 to 9.[28]

The Yatsenyuk government has stated it does not have the intention of making Ukraine a member of NATO.[29]

The government has drawn criticism over the repeal of a law that protected the official use of the Russian language in Ukraine.[30][31]


Party key Batkivshchyna 6
Svoboda 3
Non-partisan/Undisclosed 9
Office Incumbent[6]
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
First Vice Prime Minister (Law enforcement and power block) Vitaly Yarema (until 19 June 2014)
Post vacant (from 19 June 2014)[16]
Vice Prime Minister (Humanitarian Policy) Oleksandr Sych
Vice Prime Minister (Regional Policy) Volodymyr Groysman
Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Communal Living
Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko
Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrii Deshchytsia (acting) (until 19 June 2014)
Pavlo Klimkin[19] (from 19 June 2014)
Minister of Finance Oleksandr Shlapak
Minister of Social Policy Lyudmyla Denisova
Minister of Health Oleh Musiy (until 1 October 2014)
Post vacant (from 1 October 2014)
Minister of Economy and Trade Pavlo Sheremeta[32] (until 2 September 2014)[20]
Anatoliy Maksyuta (acting) from 3 September 2014)[33]
Minister of Education and Science Serhiy Kvit
Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyshchuk[32]
Minister of Defense Ihor Tenyukh (acting) (until 25 March 2014)
Mykhailo Koval (acting) (from 25 March 2014 until 3 July 2014)
Valeriy Heletey (from 3 July 2014 until 14 October 2014)
Stepan Poltorak (from 14 October 2014)
Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov
Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Ihor Shvaika
Ministry of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Prodan
Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Andriy Mokhnyk
Minister of Infrastucture of Ukraine Maksym Burbak
Ministry of Youth and Sports Dmytro Bulatov
Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Ostap Semerak[34]
Minister of Revenues and Duties (office liquidated on 1 March 2014)
Minister of Industrial Policy (office reorganized)

On 12 November 2014 the ministers of Svoboda resigned (they became acting ministers till a new government was formed).[35]

International response[edit]

Arseniy Yatsenyuk and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Kyiv, Ukraine, 22 April 2014

A majority of the west has recognized the government, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Latvia Laimdota Straujuma, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko,[36] and Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius who on 27 February 2014 congratulated Yatsenyuk on his appointment as interim Prime Minister.[37][38][39] The recognition would extend further with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that same day telling Yatsenyuk that his interim government had the full support of the United States.[40][41][42][43]

A few days later, the United States Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on 4 March 2014 and met with Yatsenyuk, followed by members of the European Union that met with members of his government prior to the EU summit of 6 March 2014.[44][45][46]

Russia, however, denounced the events that led to the previous government's ouster as an illegitimate coup with both the Crimean parliament and the government of Russia considering the Yatsenyuk government as illegitimate.[a][b][c][d] This disagreement is one of the factors that contributed to the Crimean crisis that took place in the Crimean peninsula in the southeastern region of Ukraine which is predominantly pro-Russian.[a]


  1. ^ a b Gumuchian; Morgan; Chance (2014) "Moscow has denounced the events that led to Yanukovych's ouster as an illegitimate coup and has refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, putting the two countries on a collision course over control of Crimea, which has longstanding ties to Russia and has thousands of Russian troops stationed there."[47]
  2. ^ Dawber (2014) "Vladimir Putin has given a confident performance in front of the media, insisting that the events of the last 10 days in Ukraine amounted to nothing less than a coup d'état."[48]
  3. ^ The Washington Post (2014) "[Putin says:] Are the current authorities legitimate? The Parliament is partially, but all the others are not. The current Acting President is definitely not legitimate. There is only one legitimate President, from a legal standpoint. Clearly, he has no power. However, as I have already said, and will repeat: Yanukovych is the only undoubtedly legitimate President."[49]
  4. ^ BBC News (2014) "But Crimea's First Deputy PM Rustam Temirgaliev dismissed the suggestion, saying Crimea views the new authorities in Kiev as illegitimate."[50]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rada speaker announces dissolution of parliamentary coalition, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  2. ^ a b Ukrainian PM Yatseniuk announces resignation in parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  3. ^ a b Rada expresses confidence in prime minister Yatsenyuk, Kyiv Post (31 July 2014)
    Rada expresses confidence in PM Yatseniuk, Interfax-Ukraine (31 July 2014)
  4. ^ Ukraine: Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov named interim president, BBC News (23 February 2014)
    Ukraine protests timeline, BBC News (23 February 2014)
  5. ^ Ukraine crisis: Yatsenyuk is PM-designate, Kiev Maidan told, BBC News (26 February 2014)
  6. ^ a b Maidan nominates Yatseniuk for prime minister, Interfax-Ukraine (26 February 2014)
    Ukrainian parliament endorses new cabinet, Interfax-Ukraine (27 February 2014)
  7. ^ Рада назначила новый Кабмин
  8. ^ Protest Leaders Pick Activists for 'Government of Unity', The Wall Street Journal (26 February 2014)
  9. ^ Profile: Ukraine's key protest figures, BBC News (27 January 2014)
  10. ^ Who exactly is governing Ukraine?, (4 March 2014)
  11. ^ 250 MPs sign up to join coalition - Turchynov, Interfax-Ukraine (27 February 2014)
  12. ^ Individual voting. Verkhovna Rada. 27 February 2014
  13. ^ Individual voting Archived 19 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Verkhovna Rada. 27 February 2014
  14. ^ Individual voting. Verkhovna Rada. 27 February 2014
  15. ^ Individual voting. Verkhovna Rada. 27 February 2014
  16. ^ a b c MPs agree to Yarema's appointment as prosecutor general, Interfax-Ukraine (19 June 2014)
  17. ^ Individual voting Archived 4 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Verkhovna Rada. 31 July 2014
  18. ^ About liquidation of the Ministry of Revenues and Duties. Government portal. 1 March 2014
  19. ^ a b Parliament appoints Klimkin as Ukrainian foreign minister, Interfax-Ukraine (19 June 2014)
  20. ^ a b Verkhovna Rada accepts Sheremeta's resignation as economy minister, Interfax-Ukraine (2 September 2014)
  21. ^ a b c UDAR, Svoboda quit parliamentary coalition, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  22. ^ Yatseniuk says collapse of Rada coalition means failure to pass laws on filling budget, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  23. ^ (in Ukrainian) On Thursday, the Council will meet for a partially closed meeting, Ukrayinska Pravda (25 July 2014)
  24. ^ a b Yatseniuk's statement of resignation sent to parliament - Hroisman, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
    Koshulynsky closes parliament meeting, next one to take place on August 12, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
  25. ^ Yatseniuk is PM, should perform his duties until appointment of new government – UDAR leader, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  26. ^ Government adopts resolution appointing Hroisman as Ukraine's acting PM, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
    Deputy PM Hroisman appointed Ukraine's acting premier, says Avakov, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
  27. ^ (in Ukrainian) Statement Yatsenuk now on Board, Ukrayinska Pravda (25 July 2014)
  28. ^ Cabinet proposes number of taxes and fees be cut from 22 to 9 - Yatseniuk, Interfax-Ukraine (7 August 2014)
  29. ^ Deschytsia states new government of Ukraine has no intention to join NATO, Interfax-Ukraine (29 March 2014)
  30. ^ "Crimea poll leaves pro-Russians celebrating". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera. 17 March 2014.
  31. ^ "Ukraine conflict: Part of Luhansk 'retaken' from rebels". BBC News Europe. BBC News Europe. 18 July 2014.
  32. ^ a b Maidan's Council agrees candidates for ministers of culture, economy, youth and sports, Interfax-Ukraine (26 February 2014)
  33. ^ Кабмін призначив в. о. міністра економіки Максюту
  34. ^ In parliament's approval document listed as "Yevhen Semerak"
  35. ^ Svoboda party members in Ukrainian government resign – Deputy Premier Sych, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2014)
  36. ^ "Lukashenko recognizes Turchynov as legitimate leader of Ukraine - Apr. 14, 2014". 14 April 2014.
  37. ^ Stabilising Ukraine's economy, Official website of the Cabinet of Germany (28 February 2014)
  38. ^ PM Straujuma offers her congratulations to new government in Ukraine, LETA (27 February 2014)
  39. ^ PM Butkevičius congratulates Ukraine's new Prime Minister Archived 10 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Lithuania Tribune (27 February 2014)
  40. ^ New Ukraine Government Has White House's Support, U.S. Vice President Says, The Moscow Times (28 February 2014)
  41. ^ Joe Biden calls new Ukraine leader, pledges support, Politico (27 February 2014)
  42. ^ Biden: U.S. Supports Ukraine's New Government, Voice of America (27 February 2014)
  43. ^ Vice President Biden calls Ukraine PM Yatseniuk, pledges U.S. support, Reuters (27 February 2014)
  44. ^ "Ukrainian Prime Minister to Visit Washington D.C.", Time. (9 March 2014).
  45. ^ EU summit rolls out red carpet for Ukraine's Yatsenyuk, EurActiv (6 March 2014)
  46. ^ US imposes visa restrictions on Russian officials as Obama signs sanctions order, (6 March 2014)
  47. ^ Gumuchian, Marie-Louise; Morgan, Kellie; Chance, Matthew (10 March 2014). "Demonstrators rally as Crimea crisis mounts". CNN. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  48. ^ Dawber, Alistair (5 March 2014). "Ukraine crisis: How do you solve a problem like Crimea?". The Independent. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  49. ^ "Transcript: Putin defends Russian intervention in Ukraine". The Washington Post. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  50. ^ "Ukraine crisis: Crimea parliament asks to join Russia". BBC News. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  51. ^ "The Russian Foreign Ministry found nationalist extremists in the new Ukrainian government" (in Russian). Interfax. 27 February 2014. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External links[edit]