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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 country.
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 Donets'ky clan, an eastern-Ukraine-based business and political group, and its leader Rinat Akhmetov. Although there have been no judicial convictions, it is commonly alleged that these businessmen have connections to organized crime.
Yanukovych's opponents also allege that he is in secret co-operation with the KGB (which supposedly started during his imprisonment). Proponents of this story argue that as an ex-convict, Yanukovych could not enter the Donets'k Polytechnic Institute, travel to the West and later make a career for himself, unless he was protected by some "shadow force" more powerful than a local MP. There is no documented proof to support such allegations, however.
Viktor Yanukovych is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church. He is married and has two children. His hobbies include (at least included in youth) auto racing and sports (boxing in particular).
Victor Yanukovich was born in 1950 in Enakievo city, Donetsk region.
He graduated Donetsk Polytechnic Institute (presently Donetsk State Technical University) with a degree in engineering and Ukrainian Academy of foreign commerce with a master’s degree in international law.