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Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych (born July 9 1950) was Prime Minister of
Ukraine from November 21, 2002 to December 31, 2004 and current leader
of Ukrainian Party of Regions. He was appointed prime minister after
previously serving as governor of Donets'ka oblast' in the east of the
In the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004, Yanukovych was declared
the winner. However, the legitimacy of his official victory was
questioned by many Ukrainians, international organisations, and foreign
governments. The second round of the election was subsequently annulled
by the Supreme Court, and in the repeated run-off, Yanukovych lost to
the opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.
The Ukrainian parliament also passed a non-binding motion of no
confidence in his government, urging outgoing president Leonid Kuchma to
dismiss Yanukovych and appoint a caretaker government. Five days after
the defeat at the presidential election, Yanukovych declared his
resignation from the post of prime minister.
In 1968 and 1970, Yanukovych (according to officials) was convicted and
imprisoned for robbery and bodily injury. It was recently announced that
he was acquitted in 1978, although without documentation.
In 1972, Yanukovych became an electrician in a local bus company and
later finished tehnikum. In 1980, he graduated (by correspondence) from
Donets'k Polytechnic Institute, where he qualified as a mechanical
engineer. Immediately after that, Yanukovych was appointed chief manager
of a transportation company in Yenakiyeve (Donets'ka oblast') and
admitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This was the start
of a quick management career in regional automotive transport.
Yanukovych's political career began when he was appointed Head of State
Administration (i.e., oblast' government) of Donets'ka oblast', in 1997.
In 2001, he graduated from the Ukrainian Academy of Foreign Trade as a
Master of International Law. Later, Yanukovych was granted the titles of
Doctor of Science and Professor.
His primary language is Russian, which is by far the dominant language
in the eastern parts of Ukraine, and Crimea. Publication of his
handwritten documents revealed that he made numerous spelling mistakes
in Ukrainian; in particular, he was unable to write his title, position
or wife's name, properly.
Yanukovych has been long patronized by Georgi Beregovoi, a Soviet
cosmonaut of Ukrainian background. Being, then, the Soviet member of
parliament for Donbas, Beregovoi was said to be protecting an unjustly
convicted youngster and promoting his further career.
Yanukovych has been accused by his opponents of being connected to local
organized crime since the late 1980s and being its lobbyist up to
national-level politics. Indeed, he is closely linked to the so-called
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