Valeriy Heletey

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Valeriy Heletey
Valeriy Heletey.jpg
13th Minister of Defence of Ukraine
In office
3 July 2014 – 14 October 2014
PresidentPetro Poroshenko
Preceded byMykhailo Koval
Succeeded byStepan Poltorak
Chief of State Security Administration
Assumed office
15 October 2014
PresidentPetro Poroshenko
Preceded bySerhiy Kulyk
In office
2 March 2014 – 3 July 2014
PresidentOleksandr Turchynov (acting)
Petro Poroshenko
Preceded bySerhiy Kulyk
Succeeded bySerhiy Kulyk
In office
24 May 2007 – 14 July 2009
PresidentViktor Yushchenko
Preceded byPetro Plyuta
Succeeded byOleksandr Birsan
Personal details
Valeriy Viktorovych Heletey

(1967-08-28) August 28, 1967 (age 51)
Verkhniy Koropets, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Alma materNational Academy of Internal Affairs (1994)

Valeriy Heletey (Ukrainian: Валерій Вікторович Гелетей) (born on August 28, 1967) is a Ukrainian Colonel General who served as Minister of Defense from July 3 to October 14, 2014.[1][2]


Born in Mukacheve Raion in the Zakarpattia Oblast, Heletey worked briefly as an electrical mechanic at a local truck company before being drafted into the Soviet Armed Forces in 1985; he served in the Soviet Border Troops. In March 1988 Heletey started a career in the police (MVS) and in 1994 graduated from the Ukrainian Academy of Internal Affairs (higher police academy) in Kiev. After that he worked until 2006 for the police department, specializing in the fight against organized crime (HUBOZ) for the city of Kiev.

In October 2006 Heletey as a Colonel was employed by the Presidential Administration, heading its service on issues of law-enforcement agencies. On December 4, 2006 he was promoted to the special rank of Major General of police.[3]

On May 24, 2007 Heletey became a chief of the State Security Administration (UDO) that specializes in security of government officials. On June 20, 2007 Heletey was granted a military rank of Major General[4] and on August 21 of the same year he was promoted to Lieutenant General.[5] On August 20, 2008 Heletey received another promotion: to the rank of Colonel General.[6] In July 2009 he was relieved from his position as UDO chief.

On March 2, 2014 the acting president Of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov appointed Heletey as the UDO chief once again, replacing Serhiy Kulyk. On July 2, 2014 the newly elected President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko proposed Heletey's candidacy for the post of the Minister of Defense,[7] and next day (July 3) the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) approved the proposal with the support of 260 of the 450 parliamentarians.[1][8]

During his maiden speech Heletey hinted that Ukraine would regain control of Crimea, lost during the 2014 Crimean Crisis: "I am convinced that Ukraine will win, and trust me, a victory parade will certainly be held in a Ukrainian Sevastopol."[1][9] At the end of August/beginning of September 2014 he wrote on his Facebook page that the rebels had been defeated and Russia had been forced to begin a full-scale invasion of the region with regular forces, saying: "A great war has arrived at our doorstep - the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War Two. Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands." On 1 September 2014 Newsweek reported that Heletei claimed on his Facebook page that Russia threatened Ukraine with nuclear attack if it won't stop fighting rebels.[10]

On 12 October 2014 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted Heletey's resignation, saying that it was time for a change in the country's defense leadership.[11] After he was replaced by National Guard of Ukraine commander Stepan Poltorak, Heletey was appointed head of the State Guard of Ukraine.[12]

On 20 October 2014, the Temporary Investigative Commission of Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliamentary inquiry into the Battle of Ilovaisk) published a report on events related to the "Ilovaisk's cauldron" where it acknowledged that the tragedy at Ilovaisk took place due to inadequate actions of the Defence Minister Heletey and the Chief of General Staff Muzhenko.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Heletei appointed Ukrainian defense minister, Interfax-Ukraine (3 July 2014)
  2. ^ About resignation of Heletey from the post of Minister of Defense. Parliamentary resolution of Ukraine. 14 October 2014
  3. ^ "Ïðî ïðèñâîºííÿ ñïåö³àëüíèõ ³ â³éñüêîâèõ çâàíü - â³ä 04.12.2006 ¹ 1021/2006". Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Ïðî ïðèñâîºííÿ â³éñüêîâîãî çâàííÿ - â³ä 20.06.2007 ¹ 541/2007". Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Ïåðåâ³ðêà". Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Ïðî ïðèñâîºííÿ â³éñüêîâîãî çâàííÿ - â³ä 20.08.2008 ¹ 738/2008". Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  7. ^ President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko conducted a meeting with leaders of parliamentary deputy factions and groups. President of Ukraine website. July 2, 2014
  8. ^ Heletey became the Minister of Defense. Ukrayinska Pravda. July 3, 2014
  9. ^ Ukraine's new defence minister promises Crimea victory, BBC News (3 July 2014)
  10. ^
  11. ^ "BBC News - Ukraine crisis: Government setbacks in Luhansk and Donetsk". BBC News. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  12. ^ "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ № 810/2014". President of the Ukraine. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  13. ^ The intermediate report of the Temporary Investigative Commission in investigation of tragic events near Ilovaisk. Full text. Ukrayinska Pravda. 20 October 2014.

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