Leonid Kuchma

Leonid Kuchma

Second President of Ukraine, former head of TAG on Donbass
1 articles
Short biography

Leonid Kuchma is the second president of Ukraine.

Short biography

Leonid Kuchma was born on September 09, 1938 in Novgorod-Severskiy district of Chernigov region.


Dniepropetrovsk State University, faculty of physics and technology (1960).

Work experience

Since 1960. - Engineer, Senior Engineer, Lead Designer, Assistant of Chief Designer at Yuzhnoye Rocket and Space Design Office.

In 1966. - Technical Head of Tests at Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Since 1975. - Freed Secretary of the CPSU Committee at Yuzhnoye DO, later - at PA Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant.

Since 1982. - First Deputy General Designer of PA Yuzhmash.

In 1986. - By the decision of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, he was approved as the General Director of PA Yuzhmash.

Since 1990 - the People's Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. - In 1990 he became People's Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and a member of Committee on Defense and State Security.

From 1992 - 1993 - Prime Minister of Ukraine with the broadest possible powers. - From 1992 to 1993 he was the Prime Minister of Ukraine with the broadest possible powers, including the right to issue decrees and appoint the heads of local governments. When elected to this post he promised to learn the Ukrainian language, which he did not know. He made that promise.

Since 1993. - Chairman of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

Election of the president

In 1994 Kuchma was elected president of Ukraine. He defeated the then acting president Leonid Kravchuk by a margin of 1.9 million votes. During the election he supported the union with Russia and the official status of the Russian language, but did not fulfill these promises after his victory.

In 1999 he was elected for the second presidential term. His main opponent was the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine Petr Simonenko. He won by slightly less than 5 million votes.

Assassination of Gongadze

In November 2000, Socialist Party leader Aleksandr Moroz accused President Kuchma of organizing the murder of opposition journalist Georgiy Gongadze. The accusations were based on audio recordings provided by State Security Service Major Nikolai Melnichenko. This led to mass protests demanding Kuchma's resignation and punishment of those involved in the murder.

In March 2011, the General Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal case against Leonid Kuchma on suspicion of abuse of power and giving illegal orders to the leadership of the Interior Ministry, which led to the death of Georgiy Gongadze.

After presidency

After the end of his second term, he headed the Presidential Foundation for Ukraine.

TAG on Donbass.

After the beginning of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Donbass, Kuchma joined the established Trilateral Group to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

He was involved in the Donbass issue until October 2018, when he announced his resignation from the TAG.

In June 2019, newly elected President Vladimir Zelensky asked Kuchma to head the Ukrainian side of the TAG again. Kuchma agreed and continued to serve on the TAG until July 28, 2020, when his departure was announced again.


Leonid Kuchma is married with a daughter and two grandchildren.

Kuchma is close to one of the richest men in Ukraine, the head of the Interpipe Corporation Viktor Pinchuk. Kuchma's daughter Elena is Pinchuk's wife, the former wife of Ihor Franchuk, head of Chornomornaftogaz, son of the former Prime Minister of Crimea Anatoliy Franchuk.

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