Verkhovna Rada

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This article is about the Ukrainian parliament. For the Crimean regional legislature, see Verkhovna Rada of Crimea.

Coordinates: 50°26′50.3″N 30°32′12.6″E / 50.447306°N 30.536833°E / 50.447306; 30.536833

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
Верховна Рада України
8th Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada
Coat of arms or logo
Volodymyr GroysmanPetro Poroshenko Bloc
Since November 27, 2014
First Deputy Chairman
Andriy Parubiy[1][2]People's Front
Since December 4, 2014
Deputy Chairman
Oksana Syroyid[1][2]Self Reliance
Since December 4, 2014
Seats 450
Political groups

Coalition members (265)

Opposition (107)

     Non-affiliated (50)

     Vacant (28)
Last election
26 October 2014
Meeting place
Виступ Віктора Галасюка у Верховній Раді України.jpg
Verkhovna Rada Building, Kiev, Ukraine
Due to the War in Donbass and the unilateral annexation of Crimea by Russia only 423 of the parliaments 450 seats were elected in the last election.[3][4][5]

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, Ukrainian abbreviation ВРУ; literally Supreme Council of Ukraine), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada,[6] is the unicameral parliament of Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada is composed of 450 deputies, who are presided over by a chairman (speaker). The Verkhovna Rada meets in the Verkhovna Rada building in Ukraine's capital Kiev.

The Verkhovna Rada was transformed out of the system of republican representative body known in the Soviet Union as Supreme Soviet (Supreme Council)[7] that was first established back in 1938 as a type of legislature of the Ukrainian SSR after the reorganization of the Central Executive Committee of the Ukrainian SSR.

The 12th convocation of the Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR (elected in 1990)[7] issued the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine,[7] introduced elements of a market economy and political liberalization, and officially changed the numeration of its sessions,[7] proclaiming itself the first convocation of the "Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine".[7] The current parliament is the eighth convocation. Because of the War in Donbass and the unilateral annexation of Crimea by Russia elections for the constituencies situated in Donbass and Crimea were not held in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election; hence the current composition of the Verkhovna Rada consists of 423 deputies.[3][4][5]

In elections to the Verkhovna Rada, a mixed voting system is used. 50% of seats are distributed under party lists with a 5% election threshold and 50% through first-past-the-post in single-member constituencies.[8][9] The method of 50/50 mixed elections was used in the 2002 and 2012 elections; however, in 2006 and 2007, the elections were held under a proportional system only.[10]


The name Rada (Ukrainian: Рада) means "council", "rede". It originated in Kievan Rus', and then represented a boyar and higher clergy council.[11] It was also used by Dnieper Cossacks in the 17th and 18th centuries for the meetings where major decisions were made and new councils were elected by popular vote.[12]

This name was later used by the Ukrainian People's Republic between March 17, 1917 and April 29, 1918 (Central Rada).[13] As well as West Ukrainian People's Republic and the Ukrainian government in exile where it was known as UNRada (Ukrainian National Rada).

Verkhovna, is the feminine form of the adjective "верховний" meaning supreme. It is derived from the Ukrainian word "верх" meaning "top".

Another name used less often is the Parliament of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Парламент України).


Before independence[edit]

  • Central Rada in 1917 - 1918
  • Ukrainian National Rada in 1918 (West Ukraine)
  • Labour Congress of Ukraine in 1919 (along with West Ukrainian delegates)
  • Rada of Republic in 1921 (exiled in Tarnow, Poland)

The Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR replaced the Central Executive Committee of the Ukrainian SSR that was elected by All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets and was a type of legislative authority of Soviet Ukraine according to the 1937 Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR. The All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets had already been renamed the Supreme Council in 1927.[14] The Congress of Soviets was initiated by the Central Executive Committee of Ukraine. The last chairman of the committee was Hryhoriy Petrovsky (also known as Grigoriy Petrovskiy in Russian transliteration).

The first elections to the Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR took place on June 26, 1938. The first session of the parliament took place in Kiev on July 25 through 28, 1938. The first Chairman of the council was Mykhailo Burmystenko who later died during World War II. In 1938, a presidium of the council was created that was led by Leonid Korniyets.

During the war the presidium was evacuated to the city of Saratov in the Russian SFSR. On June 29, 1943, the presidium issued an order postponing elections for the new convocation for one year while extending the first convocation. On January 8, 1944, the Cabinet Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR in agreement with the Communist Party decided to relocate the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from Kharkiv to Kiev. New elections were scheduled for February 9, 1947.

Yulia Tymoshenko, is appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine in the Rada on February 4, 2005.

Post-Soviet period[edit]

Until 24 August 1991 Verkhovna Rada was keeping the name Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR.[7]

The first partially free elections to the Verkhovna Rada and local councils of people's deputies were held on 4 March 1990.[15][7] Although the Communist Party still remained in control, a "Democratic Bloc" was formed by numerous parties, including People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh), Helsinki Watch Committee of Ukraine, Party of Greens of Ukraine, and many others.[15]

The twelfth convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR issued the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine on July 16, 1990, and declared Ukrainian independence on August 24, 1991, at approximately 6 p.m. local time.[16] At the time, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada was Leonid Kravchuk. The Act of Ukrainian Independence was overwhelmingly supported in a national referendum held on December 1, 1991. On September 12, 1991 the parliament adopted the law "On Legal Succession of Ukraine".[17]

The Constitution of Ukraine[18] was adopted by the thirteenth convocation of the Verkhovna Rada on June 28, 1996, at approximately 9 a.m. local time. The parliament's fourteenth convocation officially changed the numbering of the convocations proclaiming itself the third convocation of the Verkhovna Rada.[19] After the Orange Revolution, constitutional amendments were adopted on December 8, 2004,[20] by the fourth (fifteenth) convocation of the Verkhovna Rada. On October 1, 2010 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine overturned the 2004 Amendments, considering them unconstitutional.[21][22] On February 21, 2014, parliament reinstated the December 2004 amendments to the constitution.[23]


Verkhovna Rada building

The Verkhovna Rada meets in a neo-classical building on Kiev's vulytsia Mykhaila Hrushevskoho (Mykhaila Hrushevsky Street) and Ploshcha Konstytutsii (Constitution Square). The building adjoins Mariinsky Park and the 18th century Mariyinsky Palace, designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, which serves as the official residence of the President of Ukraine.

After the transfer of the capital of the Ukrainian SSR from Kharkiv to Kiev in 1934, a whole set of government buildings was planned for the city.[24] In 1936, a contest for the construction of the new parliament building was won by architect Volodymyr Zabolotny.

The original building was constructed from 1936-38. Having been destroyed in the Second World War, the building was reconstructed from 1945-1947, with the rebuilt glass dome one metre higher than the original.[24]

Other locations[edit]

Mission and authority[edit]

Lesser Coat of Arms of Ukraine.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Verkhovna Rada is the sole body of legislative power in Ukraine. The parliament determines the principles of domestic and foreign policy, introduces amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, adopts laws, approves the state budget, designates elections for the President of Ukraine, impeaches the president, declares war and peace, appoints the Prime Minister of Ukraine, appoints or confirms certain officials, appoints one-third of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, elects judges for permanent terms, ratifies and denounces international treaties, and exercises certain control functions.[25]

All procedural regulations are contained in the Law on Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.[26] The latest version of the document was adopted on December 16, 2012, in which through the initiative of the President of Ukraine amendments were made concerning registration and voting by parliamentarians.[27] 2012 became a year of numerous changes in regards to the document, among which were changes to the election of the Chairman. Bills are usually considered following the procedure of three readings; the President of Ukraine must sign a law before it can be officially promulgated.[28]


The Verkhovna Rada is a unicameral legislature with 450 people's deputies (Ukrainian: народний депутат) elected on the basis of equal and direct universal suffrage through a secret ballot.

Parliamentary factions, groups, and parties[edit]

Seating of parliamentary factions in the current composition of parliament - Petro Poroshenko Bloc
- People's Front
- Opposition Bloc
- Self Reliance
- Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko
- People's Will
- All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"
- Revival
- Independent

All members of parliament are grouped in parliamentary factions and groups. Members of parliament who were elected from a certain party list are not necessarily members of that party. Parties that break the 5% electoral threshold form factions in the parliament. The formation of official parliamentary factions is regulated by the Verkhovna Rada's rules and procedures.

Only 15 or more deputies may form a parliamentary faction and a MP may be a member of only one faction at a time. The chairman and his two vice-Chairman may not be the heads of factions.[22][29] Deputies who are expelled from factions or decide to leave them become individual lawmakers; individual deputies are allowed to unite into parliamentary groups of people's deputies that again have at least 15 deputies.[22][29] Several influential parties have been founded after originally being formed as a faction in the Verkhovna Rada, for example, the Party of Regions, All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" and Labour Ukraine.[30][31][32][33]

Each parliamentary faction or group appoints a leader. MPs who defect from one faction to another are known as "Tushky" a derogatory name meaning "carcass".[34][35] The term is applied to deputies allegedly bribed to switch factions.[34]

Since the 2014 parliamentary election women made up 11.1% of the parliament; setting a record for Ukraine.[36] After the 2012 parliamentary election women made up 10% of the parliament;[37] in 2010 they made up 8.5%.[38] The EU average for female representation in national legislatures by comparison is 25%.[36] 14 deputies missed all 51 sessions of parliament in 2010.[39]

Current factions[edit]

On 27 November 2014 five factions and two parliamentary groups where formed (at the opening session of the new parliament formed after the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election).[40]

Logo of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.png
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total Vacant
Petro Poroshenko Bloc People's Front Opposition Bloc Self Reliance Radical Party Fatherland Revival[a 1] People's Will[a 2][a 3] Non-affiliated[a 4]
End of previous convocation DNP[a 5] DNP[a 6] DNP[a 7] DNP 1 86 41 35 93 445 5
Seats won in 2014 election[41] 132 82 29 33 22 19 DNP DNP 96 423 27
November 27, 2014
(first session)[40][44]
145 83 40 32 19 20 38 418 32
December 2, 2014[48][44] 147 420 30
February 5, 2015[44] 150 82 31 21 18 42 422 28
June 24, 2015[44] 144 81 43 22 19 422 28
October 22, 2015[44] 142 26 20 48 422 28
Latest voting share 33.6% 19.2% 10.2% 6.2% 5.0% 4.5% 5.2% 4.7% 11.4% 93.8% 6.2%
  1. ^ Deputy groups (i.e. People's Will, Revival) consist of non-partisan deputies or representatives of parties that did not pass the 5% election threshold (i.e. Svoboda, Strong Ukraine, others).
  2. ^ Deputy groups (i.e. People's Will, Revival) consist of non-partisan deputies or representatives of parties that did not overcome election threshold (i.e. Svoboda, Strong Ukraine, others).
  3. ^ The People's Will deputy group in previous convocation was known as Sovereign European Ukraine.
  4. ^ Parties that did not pass the 5% threshold of the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Svoboda (7 seats), Right Sector (1 seat), Strong Ukraine (1 seat), Volia (1 seat), and Zastup (1 seat) are part of non-affiliated.[41]
  5. ^ 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list was filled by members of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR), which did not participate in the 2014 election independently. UDAR participated in the 2012 election, consisting of a faction of 41 deputies in the previous convocation.[42][43][44]
  6. ^ People's Front is a September 2014 split off from Fatherland; many current members of the People's Front were members of the Fatherland faction of the previous convocation.[45][46]
  7. ^ The Opposition Bloc consists mainly of former members of former President Yanukovych's Party of Regions,[47] which formed the largest caucus after the 2012 election with 185 deputies, although after the removal of Yanukovych and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the caucus consisted of only 78 members.

Parliamentary majority and Majority's opposition[edit]

  • The first parliamentary majority was composed out the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine known as the "Group 239". On July 16, 1990 the parliament adopted the Declaration about the State sovereignty of Ukraine. Out of 385 attending deputies for the declaration voted 355 with only 4 votes against it, 26 other deputies did not take part in voting.
  • On December 22, 1998 the parliamentary majority of the 3rd convocation was created in Verkhovna Rada. It consisted of following factions: "Fatherland", Group "Revival of regions", "Community", Party of Greens of Ukraine, People-Democratic Party, People's Movement of Ukraine, People's Movement of Ukraine (first), Group "Independents", Party "Reforms and Order" - "Reforms-Congress", Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Labor Party of Ukraine, and non-affiliated deputies.
  • On September 27, 2002 the parliamentary majority of the 4th convocation was created in Verkhovna Rada. It consisted of following factions: "Agrarians of Ukraine", People-Democratic Party, parties of Industrialist and Entrepreneurs and "Toiling Ukraine", "Regions of Ukraine", Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine (united), Group "Democratic Initiatives", Group "European Choice", Group "People's Choice", Group "People's Authority".[49]
    • On November 21, 2002 the parliament approved candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych who picked a government.
    • Following the Orange Revolution and amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, on February 4, 2005 the parliament reformed government by entrusting Yulia Tymoshenko when there appeared new majority consisting of such factions as BYuT, Our Ukriane, Socialist Party of Ukraine, and Socialist Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) as well as deputy groups of For United Ukraine: Party of Regions and Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The members of Communist Party of Ukraine demonstratively walked out of the session hall.
    • On September 22, 2005 the parliament managed to create new majority with Our Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine and Party of Regions to replace government of Tymoshenko with the Yekhanurov Government that received a vote of no confidence in January next year.
  • During convocation of the parliament between March 26, 2006 and April 2, 2007, there was one government. During spring and summer of 2006 parliament went through hardship in creating majority to establish new government.
    • Initially, on June 22, 2006 the parliamentary majority of the 5th convocation was created in Verkhovna Rada as the Coalition of Democratic Forces. It consisted of following factions: "Our Ukraine", Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, Socialist Party of Ukraine. On July 7, 2006 the parliamentary majority of the 5th convocation was reformed in Verkhovna Rada as the Anti-Crisis Coalition. It consisted of following factions: Party of Regions, Communist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, and few deputies from "Our Ukraine" and Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko. That majority created the Alliance of National Unity (second government of Yanukovych).

Members of Parliament[edit]

For all political issues in the parliament such as party switching and piano voting, see People's Deputy of Ukraine.

Members of the Verkhovna Rada are known officially as People's deputies of Ukraine. According to the "Law on elections of national deputies of Ukraine",[50] a citizen of Ukraine may become a People's Deputy if he or she has, on the day of election, a) reached 21 years of age; b) political franchise; c) resided in Ukraine for the last five years.

Deputies have the right to free transportation, free use of the hall of official delegations, free housing, free medical services and free vacations at health spas.[51][52] Each deputy is allowed to have up to 31 assistants-consultants four out of them are allowed to be admitted into the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada.[53] The Ukrainian President, Prime Minister, members of the government and deputies all have parliamentary immunity[54] and agents of law enforcement are prohibited from searching their homes or following them.[55] During the Orange Revolution[55] and the campaign for the 2007 parliamentary election Party of Regions, OU-PSD and BYuT all promised to strip lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity.[54] In June 2008 the parliament failed to adopt the Bill on restriction of privileges for deputies and introduction of imperative mandate. 192 people's deputies voted "for" the bill submitted by the BYuT faction out of 436 deputies registered in the plenary hall. The factions of the opposition Party of Regions, as well as the CPU and the Lytvyn Bloc voted against, the OU-PSD faction voted partially "for" and the BYUT faction voted unanimously "for". A proposal to send the bill for the first reading for a second time also did not find support.[51] In May 2009 the second Tymoshenko Government approved a bill amending the Law on the status of a people's deputy of Ukraine, this bill reduced certain privileges for incumbent and former deputies.[56] The parliament canceled some benefits and payments to lawmakers in December 2011.[57]

Deputies possess full legal immunity during their term of office.[58] In cases of egregious malfeasance, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine or the Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine can request that a deputy's immunity be revoked; the decision whether to revoke is up to the Verkhovna Rada. Deputies can also tender their resignation themselves.[59][60]

As of March 25, 2010 no deputy's immunity or their privileges were revoked.[61][62] Individual deputies can be stripped of their immunity if a bill to strip their rights is passed by the Verkhovna Rada.[55]

Oath of office[edit]

Before assuming office, the deputies must take the following oath before the parliament:

In original Ukrainian:

In English translation:

Other offices[edit]

Chairman and deputy chairmen[edit]

Current speaker of the Rada, Volodymyr Groysman.

The Verkhovna Rada elects from among its ranks a Chairman (Speaker; Ukrainian: Голова Верховної Ради), a First Deputy Chairman, and a Deputy Chairman.[65]

Before the Chairman of a newly convoked Rada is elected, parliamentary sessions are presided over by members of a temporary presidium of the first session (Ukrainian: тимчасова президія першої сесії). The temporary presidium is composed of five deputies, representing the four largest parliamentary fractions plus the chairman of a preparatory deputy group of the first parliamentary session, however the Rada may enact an ad hoc deviation from this composition rule.

The Chairman presides over parliamentary sessions, signs bills and sends them to the President for promulgation, signs and promulgates parliamentary acts (other than bills), organises staff work, etc.[66] The Chairman is also empowered to call special sessions of parliament,[67] enact bills vetoed by the President when the Verkhovna Rada votes to overturn a veto by a two-thirds majority, and participate in meetings of the National Security and Defence Council.[68]

In circumstances where the post of President of Ukraine becomes vacant, the Chairman of the Rada becomes acting head of state with limited authority.[69] The Chairman in duties of the President may dissolve parliament, appoint or submit for parliamentary approval candidates for key official posts, grant military ranks or state orders, and exercise the right of pardon.[69] The Constitution and Ukrainian legislation contain no provision for presidential succession in cases where the posts of President and Chairman of the Rada are vacant simultaneously.


The Presidium of the Verkhovna Rada is a collective name that was adapted for the Chairman and his or her deputies out of tradition. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was an official office that was elected at the first session of each convocation of the Supreme Soviet. Originally it consisted of a chairman, the chairman's two deputies, a secretary, and 19 additional members. Later compositions of the Presidium changed. The Presidium was regulated by Section 106 of the 1978 Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR. Since independence the institution has been discontinued, but the term is used for the leadership of parliament that includes the current Chairman and his or her deputies and may include faction leaders.

The first session of every newly elected parliament is headed by a temporary presidium that consists of six members of parliament according to Article 18 of the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada.

Ceremonial meeting and first session[edit]

One of the most important sessions of the parliament is the first session of each newly elected parliament. The preparation for the session is conducted by the Preparation deputy group with support from the Office of the Verkhovna Rada. The formation of the group out of the newly elected People's Deputies is conducted by the Chairman of the previous convocation or his/her deputy chairpersons (Article 13, Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada). The group elects its own chairperson, his or her deputy and a secretary on principles for establishing the temporary special commission. The group terminates its activity with establishment of parliamentary committees.

Before the opening of the first session of each newly elected parliament, all newly elected People's Deputies of Ukraine are gathered for a special ceremonial meeting to take the oath of office (article 14, Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada). An Invitation to take the oath is given by the Chairperson of the previous convocation who grants the leading word to the oldest member of the parliament who asks the members of parliament to rise and reads the oath out-loud. Every member of parliament signs a copy of the oath that is held in the archives of the Verkhovna Rada.

The plenary meetings of the first session review the following matters: formation of the provisional presidium of the first session, establishment and registration of the factions, the situation concerning legislation pending before parliament with the Chairman of the previous convocation, election of the Counting Commission, election of the Chairman, election of the Chairman's deputies, hearing of extraordinary messages on domestic and foreign affairs by the President of Ukraine, hearing and discussion of the Preparation deputy group report, about committees, about Conciliation board of deputy factions in the Verkhovna Rada, about media coverage of the work of the Verkhovna Rada.

Office of the Verkhovna Rada[edit]

The Office of the Verkhovna Rada is an internal supporting department of the Verkhovna Rada that provides organizational, legal, social, analytical and other support to parliament, its other departments and members of the parliament. The Office is apolitical in its role, and exists mainly to provide secretarial help.

Before the first session of each newly elected parliament the Office provides to members of parliament various documents among which are copies of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada, the official results of election from the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, the Law of Ukraine on the status of People's Deputies, among others (Article 12, Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada).

Office of the Ombudsman[edit]

The Office of the Ombudsman at the Verkhovna Rada was established in 1998 and was led by Nina Karpachova until 2012. The Office has its own secretariat and advisory council. The current Ombudsman is Valeriya Lutkovska who replaced Karpachova in 2012.


The Verkhovna Rada establishes parliamentary committees composed of various deputies.[70] On 4 December 2014 the current parliament formed 27 committees and 2 special control commissions.[71] The previous parliament (2012-2014) had 29 committees and an ad hoc supervisory board.[70] The sixth session of the Rada (2007–2012) had 28 committees, including the Budget Committee, the Special Control Commission of the Verkhovna Rada on Privatization and the Committee on Transportation and Communications. There are no permanent or standing committees, instead, committees are reformed from one convocation to another. One of the most significant for the work of the Verkhovna Rada is the Budget Committee .

Investigative commissions[edit]

Members of the Verkhovna Rada are permitted to created temporary investigative commissions. To create such a commission requires one third of the constitutional composition of parliament, 150 members. Before a draft on creation of such a commission may be scheduled for voting, it has to be approved by a relevant committee, the Committee on Regulations, deputy ethics, and ensuring the work of the Verkhovna Rada.

Mass media[edit]

Incidents in parliament[edit]

Corruption in the parliament could be noticed with several local millionaires being members of the Rada in one of the poorest countries in Europe.[72][73][74][75][76][77][77][78][79][39][80]

Fights and incidents[edit]

Ukrainian parliament during naval base debate (27 April 2010)

Brawls are not unusual in the Ukrainian parliament.[81][82] On several occasions work in parliament is blocked by sit-ins by various parties (usually for a couple of days; but in 2008 from 18 January till 6 March[83] and in February 2013 for 17 days[84]).[82][85] In 2000 and on 4 April 2013 the parliament split into two and held two sessions on two different premises.[86]

A microphone throwing championship among MPs, organized by the Kyiv independent media trade union, was held outside the building of the Verkhovna Rada on Friday, September 11, 2009 in response to an incident on September 1, 2009 when a Communist MP snatched a microphone from a STB reporter and threw it downstairs. Several MPs participated.[87]

A noticeable incident was the disorder of April 27, 2010, after the parliament ratified a treaty that extended the Russian Black Sea Fleet lease in the Crimean port of Sevastopol until 2042, when Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn had to be shielded with umbrellas as he was pelted with eggs, while smoke bombs exploded and politicians brawled.[88][89] Another major incident occurred on December 16, 2010 when several Rada members were admitted to hospital after Party of Regions politicians stormed the parliament podium, which was occupied by the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko faction.[82][90][91]

On December 12, 2012, an all-out scuffle broke out in Parliament, as Batkivshchyna party members attempted to prevent the swearing in of two members who had left the party.[92] (This was the Parliament's first session following the October 2012 election.)[92] The same day members of the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" removed the fence around the Verkhovna Rada[93] that was installed early October 2012.[94][95] The speaker of the parliament Volodymyr Rybak promised to review the incident of the fence removal.[96] The fence is not accounted as the property of parliament nor the city of Kiev. Rybak noted that the matter might require a review within a special designated committee.

From the parliamentary election of 28 October 2012 till the first months of 2013 parliamentary work was virtually paralyzed because the opposition (UDAR, Fatherland, Svoboda, others) blocked the podium and Chairman's seat on various days.[97]

2015 deadly riot[edit]

On August 31, 2015, a police soldier on leave threw a hand grenade towards the lines of law enforcement cordoning the Rada building from a riot. The grenade exploded behind the lines. Three members of the National Guard died and up to ninety other soldiers and police officers, as well as several journalists were wounded during the incident. Following the riot more than 140 people, including protesters were hospitalized. [98]

International relations[edit]

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe[edit]

Ukraine was accepted as a full member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 1995.

It is represented there by the parliamentary delegation of the Verkhovna Rada consisting of 12 representatives including a chairperson of the delegation, a vice-chairperson and their 12 substitutes; in total, 24 members. The Ukrainian delegation also has its own permanent secretariat of four members that assist in the inter-parliamentary relationships between the PACE and the Verkhovna Rada. For the full list of members, refer to the PACE main website at

Current composition[edit]

Party/faction SOC EPP EDG ALDE UEL None Total
PR 0/2 2/2 1/0 3/4
Batkivshchyna 3/3 3/3
UDAR 1/1 1/1
CPU 1/1 1/1
Svoboda 1/1 1/1
Independent 1/0 1/0 1/0 0/1 3/1
SEU (faction) 0/1 0/1
Total 1/2 4/4 3/3 1/0 2/1 1/2 12/12


Political developments in Ukraine have led to repeated changes in the electoral system used for parliamentary elections. Each convocation of the Verkhovna Rada has been elected under a different set of laws gradually evolving from the purely majoritarian scheme inherited from the Soviet era to a purely proportional scheme, effective from 2006 until 2010.

In the 1990 and 1994 elections, all 450 MPs were elected in single-member districts. Ukraine was therefore divided at the time into 450 electoral districts. Each district sent one member to parliament. In order to win a seat, a candidate needed more than 50% of the votes. If no candidate had 50%, then the two leading candidates participated in a run-off vote.

In the 1998 and 2002 elections,[10] 225 MPs were elected in single-member districts as earlier (with the exception that the candidate needed only a simple majority to win). The remaining 225 MPs were elected on a proportional basis. These seats were divided between the parties who passed a 4% electoral threshold.

In the 2006 and 2007 elections, all deputies were elected on a proportional basis. All seats were divided between the parties who passed a 3% electoral threshold. For the 2007 election, the threshold percentage was not changed, but some amendments to the election process were made. In the 2012 and 2014 elections[100] a mixed voting system was again used (50% under party lists and 50% under simple-majority constituencies)[8] with a 5% election threshold.[9]

According to current law, the next election to the Verkhovna Rada will be in 2019.[9][101]

2014 election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 26 October 2014 Verkhovna Rada election results[102][41]
Parties List votes % Swing % Seats (constituencies) Seats (proportional representation) Seats (total) Seats (% of total) Change


People's Front 3,488,114 22.14 [a] 18 64 82 18.22 New party
Petro Poroshenko Bloc 3,437,521 21.82 Increase 7.86%[b] 69 63 132 29.33
Self Reliance Party 1,729,271 10.97 1 32 33 7.33 New party
Opposition Bloc 1,486,203 9.43 [c] 2 27 29 6.44 First election
Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko 1,173,131 7.44 Increase 6.36 0 22 22 4.88
All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" 894,837 5.68 Decrease 19.86 2 17 19 4.22
5% threshold for the party-list vote
Freedom 742,022 4.71 Decrease 5.73 6 6 1.33
Communist Party of Ukraine 611,923 3.88 Decrease 9.3 0 0 0
Strong Ukraine 491,471 3.11 [d] 1 1 0.22
Civil Position 489,523 3.1 [a] 0 0 0
Zastup 418,301 2.65 1 1 0.22 New party
Right Sector 284.943 1.8 Increase 1.75[e] 1 1 0.22
Solidarity of Women of Ukraine 105,094 0.66 ? 0 0 0
5.10 67,124 0.42 0 0 0 New party
Internet Party of Ukraine 58,197 0.36 [f] 0 0 0
Party of Greens of Ukraine 39,636 0.25 Decrease 0.1 0 0 0
Green Planet 37,726 0.23 Decrease 0.12 0 0 0
Revival 31,201 0.19 ? 0 0 0
One Country 28,145 0.17 ? 0 0 0
Ukraine is One Country 19,838 0.12 New party[103] 0 0 0
New Politics 19,222 0.12 Increase 0.02 0 0 0
Power of People 17,817 0.11 0 0 0 New party
Ukraine of the Future 14,168 0.08 Decrease 0.11 0 0 0
Strength and Honour 13,549 0.08 ? 0 0 0
Ukrainian Civil Movement 13,000 0.08 ? 0 0 0
Bloc of Left Forces of Ukraine 12,499 0.07 ? 0 0 0
National Democratic Party of Ukraine 11,826 0.07 ? 0 0 0
Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists 8,976 0.05 [g] 0 0 0
Liberal Party of Ukraine 8,523 0.05 Decrease 0.02 0 0 0
Volia [h] 1 1 0.22 New party
Non-partisan, see below for per-constituency details [i] 96 96 21.33
Invalid ballot papers
Total 423 100
Sources: (Proportional votes, Constituency seats) Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine & ((% of total seats)
  1. ^ a b In the last election was part of Batkivshchyna
  2. ^ As UDAR in the last election
  3. ^ In place of Leading force party that did not participate in the last election
  4. ^ In the last election was part of Party of Regions
  5. ^ As UNA in the last election
  6. ^ Internet Party of Ukraine did not participate in party voting in 2012
  7. ^ In the last election was part of Our Ukraine
  8. ^ Independently concurred only at the constituency level, while in party list voting ran together with Self Reliance Party
  9. ^ Non-partisan candidates have no party affiliation and therefore do not participate in party voting

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Parubiy was elected the first deputy, for the first time in history of Ukraine the vice-speaker became a female deputy from Self-Reliance, Interfax-Ukraine (4 December 2014)
  2. ^ a b VR elected deputies for Hroisman. Ukrayinska Pravda. 4 December 2014
  3. ^ a b Parliamentary elections not to be held at nine constituencies in Donetsk region and six constituencies in Luhansk region - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (25 October 2014)
  4. ^ a b Ukraine crisis: President calls snap vote amid fighting, BBC News (25 August 2014)
  5. ^ a b "Ukraine elections: Runners and risks". BBC News Online. 22 May 2014. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  6. ^ started with capitalized letter. Don't confuse with the TRK "Rada" (Ukrainian: ТРК "Рада")- the official TV channel and production studio of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Verkhovna Rada in the Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine
  8. ^ a b (Ukrainian) ВР ухвалила закон про вибори народних депутатів, Interfax Ukraine (17 November 2011)
  9. ^ a b c Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (17 November 2011)
  10. ^ a b Ukrainian communists to seek return to proportional electoral system, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2012)
  11. ^ Padokh, Y. "Boyar Council". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  12. ^ "General Military Council". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  13. ^ Zhukovsky, A. "Central Rada". Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  14. ^ Serhy Yekelchyk '"Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation, Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-530546-3, page 89
  15. ^ a b Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. pp. s. 576–577. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0. 
  16. ^ "Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Resolution On Declaration of Independence of Ukraine". Official website of the Verkhovna Rada. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  17. ^ Law of Ukraine "On Legal Succession of Ukraine"
  18. ^ "Constitution of Ukraine". Official website of the Verkhovna Rada. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  19. ^ Laws of Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine decree No. 1420-XIV: Про визначення порядку обчислення скликань Верховної Ради України (On the calculation determination of the convocations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine). Adopted on February 1, 2000. (Ukrainian)
  20. ^ Laws of Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada decree No. 2222-IV: About the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. Adopted on 2004-12-08. (Ukrainian)
  21. ^ Update: Return to 1996 Constitution strengthens president, raises legal questions, Kyiv Post (October 1, 2010)
  22. ^ a b c Rada Approves Cancellation Of Rule That Bans Deputies From Switching Factions, FINANCIAL (October 8, 2010)
  23. ^ Ukrainian parliament reinstates 2004 Constitution, Interfax-Ukraine (21 February 2014)
  24. ^ a b Mefford, Svitlana. "The Building of Verkhovna Rada. History of the sitting place of Ukrainian Parliament". The Ukrainian Observer. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  25. ^ "Article 85". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  26. ^ (Official document) Law of Ukraine on Regulations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine
  27. ^ (Official document) Law of Ukraine on introducing changes to Regulations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine
  28. ^ The interns of the Program of Internship at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Central Executive Bodies for 2012-2013 learned the procedure of submission and passage of bills in the Verkhovna Rada, Verkhovna Rada (14 December 2012)
    Ukraine: Energy Policy Review 2006, International Energy Agency, 24 October 2006, ISBN 9264109919 (page 130)
  29. ^ a b Rada amends regulations of its activities, Kyiv Post (October 8, 2010)
  30. ^ Explaining State Capture and State Capture Modes by Oleksiy Omelyanchuk, Central European University, 2001 (page 22)
  31. ^ 2001 Political sketches: too early for summing up, Central European University (January 4, 2002)
  32. ^ State Building in Ukraine: The Ukrainian Parliament, 1990-2003 by Sarah Whitmore, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-0-415-33195-1, page 106
  33. ^ Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough by Anders Aslund and Michael A. McFaul, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006, ISBN 978-0-87003-221-9
  34. ^ a b Young people show Yanukovych 'red card', Kyiv Post (27 February 2012)
  35. ^ тушки, Google Translate
  36. ^ a b (Ukrainian) The new parliament greatest women in history, Ukrayinska Pravda (12 November 2014)
  37. ^ Too few women in the Ukrainian parliament, Kyiv Post (14 December 2012)
  38. ^ Topless protesters gain fame in Ukraine, The Washington Post (November 19, 2010)
  39. ^ a b #5 Richest: Kostyantyn Zhevago, 36, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  40. ^ a b (Ukrainian) In Parliament created a faction, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 November 2014) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "OPcans" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  41. ^ a b c 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) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "allcountedCECIU81114" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  42. ^ (Ukrainian) Block Poroshenko and kick off to the polls together, TVi (2 September 2014)
  43. ^ After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
  44. ^ a b c d e f (Ukrainian) Депутатські фракції і групи VIII скликання Deputy fractions and Groups VIII convocation, Verkhovna Rada
  45. ^ (Ukrainian)Yatsenyuk became a leader of the "People's Front" political council, while Turchynov is a head of its headquarters. Ukrayinska Pravda. 10 September 2014
    Ukrainian PM, Parliament Speaker to Head Newly Formed Popular Front Party, RIA Novosti (10 September 2014)
  46. ^ Ukraine's united opposition discussing formation of single party, Kyiv Post (7 December 2012)(subscription required)
    Five factions, including Communist Party, registered in parliament, Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)(subscription required)
    Sobolev: Front for Change and Reform and Order Party to join Batkivschyna, Interfax-Ukraine (11 June 2013)
    Front for Change, Reforms and Order to dissolve for merger with Batkivshchyna - Sobolev, Ukrinform (11 June 2013)
    (Ukrainian) Sobolev heads "Batkivshchyna" in the Rada, Televiziyna Sluzhba Novyn (20 March 2014)
    "Turchynov is summoned for interrogation to SBU today – BYUT". UNIAN. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
    "Batkivschyna to nominate Tymoshenko for presidency, Yatseniuk heads party's political council". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
    "BYT-Batkivschyna replaces its leader". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. 7 December 2011. Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  47. ^ Grytsenko, Oksana (September 21, 2014). "Allies of Yanukovych trying for parliament". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  48. ^ (Ukrainian) Two more deputies entered the Poroshenko Bloc faction, Ukrayinska Pravda (2 December 2014)
  49. ^ Ukrainian MPs form pro-Kuchma majority, BBC News (8 October 2002)
  50. ^ Про вибори народних депутатів України
  51. ^ a b Verkhovna Rada failed to adopt bill on restriction of privileges for deputies and introduction of imperative mandate, National Radio Company of Ukraine (June 18, 2008)
  52. ^ Future generations in debt, Kyiv Post (September 24, 2009)
  53. ^ Declaration of Verkhovna Rada
  54. ^ a b Official Immunity Turns Into Campaign Issue In Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (August 16, 2007 )
  55. ^ a b c Case of fugitive ex-deputy, a murder suspect, heats up immunity debate, Kyiv Post (July 9, 2009)
  56. ^ Government suggests canceling certain privileges for Memebres of the Parliament, Kyiv Post (May 27, 2009)
  57. ^ Lawmakers cancel some benefits, Kyiv Post (26 December 2011)
  58. ^ "Article 80". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  59. ^ The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed Several Resolutions on Early Termination of Authorities of the People's Deputies of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada official website (February 4, 2011)
  60. ^ "Article 81". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  61. ^ Jackpot, Kyiv Post (March 25, 2010)
  62. ^ Tymoshenko says her bloc will soon propose cancellation of deputy immunity, Kyiv Post (August 22, 2009)
  63. ^ "Стаття 79". Ukrainian Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  64. ^ "Article 79". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  65. ^ Leaders of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Official website of the Verkhovna Rada.
  66. ^ "Article 88". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  67. ^ "Article 83". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  68. ^ "Article 107". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  69. ^ a b "Article 112". Wikisource. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  70. ^ a b Rada approves composition of all committees, Kyiv Post (25 December 2012)
  71. ^ Rada sets up 27 committees, 2 special control commissions, Interfax-Ukraine (4 December 2014)
  72. ^ #50 Richest: Tariel Vasadze, 63, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  73. ^ #40 Richest: Serhiy and Oleksandr Buryak, 44 and 40, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  74. ^ #43 Richest: Oleksandr Feldman, 50, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  75. ^ #26 Richest: Yevhen Sihal, 55, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  76. ^ Kostyantin Valentynovych Zhevago, Bloomberg L.P. (2009)
  77. ^ a b #11 Richest: Andriy Verevsky, 36, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  78. ^ #19 Richest: Mykola Yankovsky, 66, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  79. ^ #24 Richest: Heorhiy Skudar, 68, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  80. ^ #29 Richest: Oleksandr Slobodyan, 54, Kyiv Post (December 17, 2010)
  81. ^ Verkhovna Rada fight, UNIAN photo-service
    Keywords: fight, UNIAN photo-service
    Ukraine coalition born in chaos, BBC News (July 11, 2006)
    (Ukrainian) Рейтинг бійок у Верховній Раді [репортаж, відео], 5 Kanal (December 20, 2010)
    Lyashko fought with Martynyuk in VRU (video), UNIAN (May 19, 2011)
    Video of first brawl in Verkhovna Rada becomes a YouTube hit, Kyiv Post (5 December 2014)
  82. ^ a b c MPs hurt in parliament brawl, BBC News (December 17, 2010)
  83. ^ (Ukrainian) Рекорд з блокування Ради становить 29 днів The record for blocking the Rada is 29 days, The Ukrainian Week (19 February 2013)
  84. ^ (Ukrainian) Interview of Rybak by the parliamentary television (РИБАК СКАЗАВ, ЩО РАДА ЗАПРАЦЮЄ 19 ЛЮТОГО). Ukrayinska Pravda. 2013-2-6
    Klitschko: Opposition won't unblock parliamentary rostrum until its demands are satisfied, Kyiv Post (6 February 2013)
    UDAR MPs spend night at parliament, still blocking presidium and rostrum, Kyiv Post (6 February 2013)
    Oppositionists block work of parliament, demand individual voting, Kyiv Post (5 February 2013)
    Parliament unblocked after Yanukovych televised claim (UPDATED), Kyiv Post (22 February 2013)
  85. ^ "BYuT faction blocks parliament’s presidium and rostrum". UNIAN. 22 October 2008. 
    "Rada Closes meeting". Ukrainian News Agency. 22 October 2008. 
    "BYT Unblocks Rada". Ukrainian News Agency. 24 October 2008. 
    "Sit-in disrupts Ukraine assembly". BBC News. June 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
    ELECTION OF NEW PRIME MINISTER AND GOVERNMENT, European Country of Origin Information Network (August 2006)
    Regions Party deputies block parliament's rostrum and presidium, Kyiv Post (9 December 2011)
    Ukrainian lawmakers fail to hold parliament meeting on Feb. 24, Kyiv Post (24 February 2012)
    Batkivschyna again blocks parliament’s work, Interfax-Ukraine (5 March 2013)
  86. ^ Ukraine parliament moves building amid opposition blockade, GlobalPost (4 April 2013)
  87. ^ Microphone throwing championship for MPs held near Ukrainian parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (September 11, 2009)
  88. ^ Parliamentary chaos as Ukraine ratifies fleet deal. Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 09:46 UK. BBC World
  89. ^ Protests in Kiev as Ukraine parliament approves Russia fleet treaty. The Hindu. KIEV, April 27, 2010.
  90. ^ Fierce fight in Ukraine parliament injures 6, Associated Press (December 17, 2010)
  91. ^ Ukraine opposition mourns democracy after MP brawl, Kyiv Post (December 18, 2010)
  92. ^ a b "Fear and loathing in Ukraine’s new parliament", Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)
    Video of the December 2012 brawl in Parliament, Le Monde
    New Ukraine parliament packs punches -- literally -- in first session, CNN (13 December 2012)
  93. ^ Svoboda sawed the fence around Verkhovna Rada down. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2012-12-12
  94. ^ Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine's ultra-nationalists, BBC News (26 December 2012)
  95. ^ The fence around the Council reinforce with concrete. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2011-11-12
  96. ^ Rybak is promising to solve the issue of a fence. Ukrayinska Pravda. 2012-1214
  97. ^ Ukraine parliament session seized by ruling party, Arizona Daily Sun (4 April 2013)
    Study: MPs off for 53 days in first hundred days of current parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (22 March 2013)
    Opposition stops blocking parliament, plenary sitting begins, Interfax-Ukraine (19 March 2013)
    Opposition blocks speaker's rostrum, puts forward three demands, Ukrinform (3 April 2013)
    Opposition lawmakers block rostrum and presidium of VRU, UNIAN (3 April 2013)
  98. ^
  99. ^ Member Nations of the CIS
  100. ^ Parliament mulls Feb. 3 vote to amend Constitution, Kyiv Post (January 31, 2011)
    Parliament sets parliamentary elections for October 2012, presidential elections for March 2015, Kyiv Post (February 1, 2011)
    Ukraine sets parliamentary vote for October 2012, Kyiv Post (February 1, 2011)
    Early parliamentary elections may take place in May - Ukraine's Yanukovych, RIA Novosti (January 25, 2010)
  101. ^ Rada fails to put on today's agenda three bills on elections of MPs, Interfax-Ukraine (14 August 2014)
  102. ^ General official results of Rada election, Interfax-Ukraine (11 November 2014)
    Central Election Commission announces official results of Rada election on party tickets, Interfax-Ukraine (11 November 2014)
  103. ^ Sukhov, Oleg (22 July 2015). "Volunteer and EuroMaidan activist to head war-torn Luhansk Oblast". Kyiv Post. 

External links[edit]