Heorhiy Kirpa

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Heorhiy Kirpa statue inside Uzhhorod railway station

Heorhiy Mykolayovych Kirpa (Ukrainian: Георгій Миколайович Кірпа) (July 20, 1946 in Klubivka, Khmelnytskyi Oblast – December 27, 2004 in Bortnychi, Kiev) was a Ukrainian railway manager, statesman and politician, best known as the head of the Ukrzaliznytsia national railway company and Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications under President Leonid Kuchma.

Political career[edit]

In May 2002, Kirpa was appointed Minister of Transport[1] by the then President Leonid Kuchma and on April 23 was awarded an honourable title Hero of Ukraine. In a publicly debated move in 2003, the President placed paramilitary railroad armed forces under the direction of Kirpa. Kirpa was a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and the BBC described him as "one of the most influential figures" in Yanukovych's government.[2] During the first two rounds of the presidential election in fall 2004, Kirpa allowed the railway system to be used to shunt "carousel voters" around the country to rig the election in Viktor Yanukovych's favor. When he refused to continue to do so after the run-off was declared rigged and a third round was called by the Constitutional Court, he was found dead not long after of a "soviet-style suicide:" two bullets to the back of the head.

Death[edit]

Heorhiy Kirpa was found shot dead at his holiday home in Bortnychi (the outskirt of Kiev), on December 27, 2004.[1][3] The official police report states that Kirpa committed suicide.[3]

Remembrance[edit]

Late December 2009 the Southwestern Railways requested the Kiev City Council to rename Petrozavodska Street, which is located in the Solomianskyi Raion of Kiev, as Heorhiy Kirpa Street.[1] The Bortnychi railway station, the closest to Kirpa's residence and death place, was renamed "Heorhiy Kirpa Station" in his honor by Ukrzaliznytsia.

Key projects[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Southwestern Railroad asks Kyiv council to rename a street, Kyiv Post (December 24, 2009)
  2. ^ "Ukraine minister found shot dead". BBC News. 27 December 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b POLICE CONFIRM GEORGI KIRPA'S DEATH AS SUICIDE, Ukrinform (6 January 2005)

External links[edit]