Ukraine – Forward!

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Ukraine – Forward!

Україна – Вперед!
LeaderNatalia Korolevska[1][2]
Founded1998 (1998)[3] As Ukrainian Social Democratic Party[3]
Split fromSocial Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)
Preceded byUkrainian Social Democratic Party
Membership (2010)About 86,000[4]
IdeologySocial democracy[1][4][5]
National affiliationOpposition Platform — For life
ColoursLight blue/yellow/red

Ukraine – Forward! (Ukrainian: Україна – Вперед!, Ukrajina – Vpered!) is a political party in Ukraine. From its registration in December 1998[3] till March 2012 it was named Ukrainian Social Democratic Party.[2] The party has, according to official figures, about 86,000 party members.[4] The official name of the party is: Party of Natalia Korolevska "Ukraine – Forward!" (Ukrainian: Партію Наталії Королевської "Україна - Вперед!").[6][7]

Ukrainian Social Democratic Party was since its first election in 2002 a long a member of Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) but its leader Korolevska fell out with the BYuT's new leaders and they expelled her party from the bloc in March 2012.[8] As a part of BYuT the party was always represented in the Ukrainian Parliament.[3] But running independently in 2012 it failed to win parliamentary representation. [9][10] Party leader Korolevska did became Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine in the second Azarov Government on 24 December 2012.[11] In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election members of the party took part in the elections on the party list of Opposition Bloc; Opposition Bloc won 29 seats.[12][13][14] From 2018, the party is a member of the Opposition Platform — For Life bloc.

Ukraine – Forward! is seen as a pro-business party and the party has campaigned for Yulia Tymoshenko's release from jail.[15]


Party of Human Rights[edit]

The party traces its history back to 1994 when the Minister of Justice of Ukraine Vasyl Onopenko created his party, Party of Human Rights, which in January 1995 has united with the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Party of Justice, later named as the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united). Onopenko became famous for leaving the office of Minister of Justice in protest to the events of 1995 connected with the burial of the Patriarch Volodymyr and became known as the Black Tuesday. A major break up of the party took place in 1998, after which Onopenko once again created a new party.

Ukrainian Social Democratic Party[edit]

Logo of Ukrainian Social Democratic Party

The Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (Ukrainian: Українська соціал-демократична партія, УСДП, romanizedUkrayins’ka Sotsial-Demokratychna Partiya, USDP) was founded in 1998[3] by former members of the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united).[4] The first leader of the party was Vasyl Onopenko who in the Presidential elections in 1999 got 0,47% of the votes.[4]

At the parliamentary elections on 30 March 2002, the party was part of the Yulia Tymoshenko Electoral Bloc alliance.[3] Three members of the party were included to the parliamentary faction of the Yulia Tymoshenko Electoral Bloc: Vasyl Onopenko (MP), Volodymyr Levtsun (MP), Anatoliy Semynoha (director of "Agro-Ros").

During the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006 the party also took part in the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc.[3] Out of 129 seats won by the bloc only eight were given to members of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party.

Top 10 members

In November 2006 Yevhen Korniychuk became the chairman of the party.[16] He served as the First Deputy Justice Minister in the Second Tymoshenko Government.[17][18]

In the parliamentary elections on 30 September 2007, the party was again part of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc.,[3] that won 156 out of 450 seats. Again the party only received eight seats in parliament.

Top 10 members

In August 2011 Korniychuk voluntarily resigned from his post in connection with criminal investigations against him.[19] The leadership of Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc had accused him of working together with their arch-rivals Party of Regions.[19] Former member of All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (that party was also a member of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc) Natalia Korolevska was elected party leader on 23 December 2011.[1]

Ukraine – Forward![edit]

Party leader Korolevska was expelled from the “Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko-Batkivschyna”-faction (formerly BYuT faction) in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) on 14 March 2012.[20] The same day the party stated on its official website "We are deeply shocked and outraged by the betrayal of the leadership of the faction "Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko-Batkivschyna".[21] These events also made the party leave the Dictatorship Resistance Committee.[20][21] But it assured it was still "in opposition to the current regime, the Yanukovych regime".[21][22] On 15 March 2012 the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party was expelled from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc for alleged "cooperation with the presidential administration and the ruling regime".[23]

Top 10 members[24]

On the 22 March 2012 party congress the party was renamed Party of Natalia Korolevska "Ukraine – Forward!" (Ukrainian: Партію Наталії Королевської "Україна - Вперед!"); in short Ukraine – Forward!.[6][7] Former members of Korolevska's old party All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" have joined the renamed party since.[25] In June 2012 the party stated it would not cooperate with the Party of Regions in a new parliament.[26]

Results in the 2012 elections

The party did participate in the October 2012 parliamentary elections.[6] In March 2012 the parties popularity in opinion polls had reached a level far below above the election threshold (which was raised to 5% in November 2011[27]) with about 1% of the votes predicted to go to the party but in May 2012 the prediction had increased from 1% to 3.8%.[28][29][30] Experts believed the party was gaining potential voters from former supporters of Sergiy Tigipko and his Strong Ukraine.[31] Famed Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko joined the party immediately after his retirement in July 2012;[8][15] he took second place on the party list for the October 2012 parliamentary elections.[31] During the campaign for this election the party was one of the biggest spenders.[5][31] The party official reported it had spent US$7.6 million on the election campaign in multi-member constituencies.[32] Political scientist Artem Bidenko estimated that the party had spent some US$150 million on the campaign.[33] In June 2012 the party was advertising on 320 billboards in Kiev alone and on 900 across Ukraine.[5] One of their election billboards claimed that “an average wage of 1,000 euros and a pension of 500 euros” was realistic for Ukraine (the monthly average wage was €300 at the time).[34] In the election the party won 1.58% of the national votes and no constituencies (it had competed in 105 constituencies[35]) and thus failed to win parliamentary representation.[9][10] On 11 October 2012 the party had filed a lawsuit at Kiev's economic court against the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Kyiv International Institute of Sociology with a demand that they retract their reports about the low rating of the party; on 29 November 2012 the party revoked this lawsuit.[9]

Despite that in June 2012 the party had stated it would not cooperate with the Party of Regions in a new parliament[26] and in October 2012 had threatened Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych with impeachment[36] Korolevska became Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine in the Party of Regions lead and appointed by Yanukovych second Azarov Government on 24 December 2012.[11]

For the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, the party joined the Opposition Bloc along with other five parties; in these elections Opposition Bloc won 29 seats.[12][13][14]

Recent issue stances[edit]

During the campaign for the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election the party promises to relieve small and medium business to the maximum possible extent, “an active part of a fair and efficient state”, “securing social justice and high social standards”, “more welfare” and counteraction against “societal rifts along cultural, linguistic, religious and national lines” and they committed to introduce “total citizen control on all government levels”.[5]


Presidential since 1999
(year links to election page)
Year Candidate Votes %
Vasyl Onopenko
Parliamentary since 2002
(year links to election page)
Year Votes % Mandates Notes
part of Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
part of Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
part of Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
No seats
part of the Opposition Bloc
part of the Opposition Platform — For Life


  1. ^ a b c Korolevska promises not to change ideology of Ukrainian Social Democratic Party, Kyiv Post (24 December 2011)
  2. ^ a b Korolevska everywhere, but is she going anywhere?, Kyiv Post (30 March 2012)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h (in Ukrainian) Українська соціал-демократична партія, Database DATA
  4. ^ a b c d e (in Russian) Украинская социал-демократическая партия, Информационно-аналитический центр "ЛІГА"
  5. ^ a b c d A Royal Gift to the Government, The Ukrainian Week (5 June 2012)
  6. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Королевська перейменувалася та обіцяє звинувачувати лідерів БЮТ, Ukrayinska Pravda (22 March 2012)
  7. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) УСДП перейменувалася в партію "Україна – Вперед!", BBC Ukrainian (22 March 2012)
  8. ^ a b Ukraine's Shevchenko gives up soccer for politics, Reuters (28 July 2012)
  9. ^ a b c Kyiv Economic Court closes Korolevska party's case against pollsters, Kyiv Post (29 November 2012)
  10. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) Proportional votes Archived 2012-10-30 at the Wayback Machine & Constituency seats Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  11. ^ a b Yanukovych appoints new Cabinet of Ministers, Kyiv Post (24 December 2012)
  12. ^ a b Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrinform (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  13. ^ a b Opposition Bloc boosts rating by distancing itself from Yanukovych era, Kyiv Post (Oct. 24, 2014)
  14. ^ a b Opposition Bloc boosts rating by distancing itself from Yanukovych era, Kyiv Post (Oct. 24, 2014)
    Development party of Ukraine, 'Ukraine - Forward!' and four more political forces team up in Opposition Bloc, Kyiv Post (Sept. 15, 2014)
    Ukraine’s Elections: The Battle of the Billionaires, The Daily Beast (10.25.14)
    (in Ukrainian) Non-Maidan parties united into the Opposition Bloc. Radio Liberty. 14 September 2014
  15. ^ a b Shevchenko hangs up boots for politics[permanent dead link], AFP (28 July 2012)
  16. ^ Social Democratic Party leader calls on authorities to resolve conflict with Channel 5 and TVi, Kyiv Post (August 16, 2010)
  17. ^ Official website of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party Archived 2008-12-27 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Court grants amnesty for former First Deputy Justice Minister Korniychuk, Kyiv Post (9 December 2011)
  19. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) Наталія Королевська: замах на БЮТ, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 December 2011)
  20. ^ a b (in Ukrainian) З БЮТ пішли дві людини Королевської, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 March 2012)
  21. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Заява УСДП:Керівництво «БЮТ-Батьківщини» зрадило 10-річне співробітництво Archived 2012-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, Official website of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (14 March 2012)
  22. ^ (in Ukrainian) Наталія Королевська:УСДП вийшла з КОДу Archived 2012-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, Official website of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (14 March 2012)
  23. ^ (in Ukrainian) Королевську викинули ще й з блоку Тимошенко, Ukrayinska Pravda (15 March 2012)
  24. ^ (in Ukrainian) «Україна-Вперед!» оголосила топ-10 кандидатів (СПИСОК) "Ukraine-Go" announced the top 10 candidates (list), Коментарі (2 August 2012)
  25. ^ (in Ukrainian) До Королевської втекли ще 103 "штики" Тимошенко , Ukrayinska Pravda (6 April 2012)
  26. ^ a b Korolevska's party not planning to cooperate with Regions Party in new parliament, Kyiv Post (5 June 2012)
  27. ^ Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (17 November 2011)
  28. ^ "Ratings of parties in elections to the Verkhovna Rada: May 2012".
  29. ^ (in Ukrainian) Якби вибори відбулися сьогодні (два опитування), UNIAN (12 April 2012)
  30. ^ Electoral moods of the population of Ukraine: March 2012, Rating (2 April 2012)
  31. ^ a b c Korolevska recruits acting, sports stars for campaign, Kyiv Post (Aug. 2, 2012)
  32. ^ Parties spend over Hr 600 million on elections, according to report, Kyiv Post (16 November 2012)
  33. ^ Candidates spent $2.5 billion on election campaign, says expert, Kyiv Post (2 November 2012)
  34. ^ Footballers and other candidates, The Economist (8 October 2012)
  35. ^ (in Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
  36. ^ (in Ukrainian) ЯНУКОВИЧ ПРИЗНАЧИВ НОВИЙ КАБМІН. І КОРОЛЕВСЬКІЙ ДАЛИ КРІСЛО, Ukrayinska Pravda (24 December 2012)

External links[edit]