Kuchma, Leonid Danylovych

Kuchma, Leonid Danylovych

(lĭŭnyēt` dənyē`ləvĭch ko͝och`mä), 1938–, Ukrainian politician, president of UkraineUkraine
, Ukr. Ukraina, republic (2005 est. pop. 47,425,000), 232,046 sq mi (601,000 sq km), E Europe. It borders on Poland in the northwest; on Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova in the southwest; on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south; on Russia in the
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 (1994–2005). Formerly the manager of the Soviet Union's largest missile factory, he was a member of the Ukrainian Communist party's central committee (1981–91). Elected (1991) to Ukraine's supreme soviet, he served (1992–93) as prime minister after Ukrainian independence. In 1994, he defeated the incumbent, Leonid KravchukKravchuk, Leonid Makarovich
, 1934–, Ukrainian leader, president of Ukraine (1991–94), b. Velyky Zhityn, Ukraine. A political economist and long-time Communist party ideologue, he became chairman of Ukraine's Supreme Soviet in 1990.
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, to win the presidency. Kuchma initiated some free-market reforms in his economically struggling nation and was successful at gaining Western support and funds for Ukraine, but the country suffered from a declining economy dominated by huge state-run industries. He was reelected in 1999, but he later was implicated in the Sept., 2000, disappearance and death of an opposition journalist, which led to an erosion of parliamentary and public support. In the 2004 elections opposition leader Viktor YushchenkoYushchenko, Viktor Andriyovych,,
1954–, Ukrainian politician, president of Ukraine (2005–10), b. Khoruzhivka, Ukraine. A technocrat trained as an accountant and economist, he rose in Ukraine's banking system under Soviet rule, and after Ukrainian independence he
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 defeated Kuchma's hand-picked successor, Prime Minister Viktor YanukovychYanukovych, Viktor Fedorovych
, 1950–, Ukrainian politician, president of Ukraine (2010–14). The graduate of a mining college and a polytechnic institute (1980), he was a mechanical engineer and member of the Soviet Communist party, and became manager of a
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. In 2011 Kuchma was charged with abuse of office in relation to the journalist's death, but the charges were later dismissed for procedural reasons.