Viktor A. Yushchenko was born on February 23, 1954 in , , , into a family of teachers. His father, Andriy Andriyovych Yushchenko (1919-1992), took part in the , where he was captured by Germans and placed in the as a , but survived. After returning home, Andriy Yushchenko taught at a local school. Viktor's mother, Varvara Tymofiyovna Yushchenko (1918-2005), was both a Physics and Maths teacher at the same school.
Later, Viktor Yushchenko graduated from the Finance and Economics Institute, beginning his profession as an accountant. After completing his studies (1975), he worked as a deputy of the chief accountant in a , then served as a in the unit of on the – border (1975-1976).
Yushchenko worked in the banking system from 1976. From 1983 he was the Deputy Director for Agricultural Crediting at the Ukrainian Republican Office of the USSR State Bank. Then (1990-1993) he worked as vice-chairman and first vice-chairman of the joint-stock non-state-run agroindustrial bank Ukraina. In 1993, he was invited by to work in the newly-formed (Ukraine's ). After Hetman's resignation in 1993, Yushchenko was appointed the head of the supervisory board of the Bank. Later, in 1997, he was reappointed as the head of the Bank by the parliament.
As a central banker, Yushchenko played an important part in the creation of 's national , the , and the establishment of a modern regulating system for commercial . He also successfully overcame a debilitating wave of that hit the country and managed to defend the value of the currency following the .
In 1998, he wrote a thesis on “The Development of supply and demand of money in Ukraine” and defended it in the Ukrainian Academy of Banking, getting Candidate of Economic Sciences (Doctor of Economics) degree.
In December 1999, Yushchenko was unexpectedly nominated to be the by President after the previous candidate, , fell short by one vote of ratification by the parliament.
In 2001, Yushchenko refused to support and lead the which erupted following the murder of journalist . Moreover, he co-signed a highly critical public address with Kuchma calling the protesters "" -- despite the fact that many of them were supporters of his cabinet.
Significant economic progress was made during Yushchenko's cabinet service, though critics argue that this was made possible by the general situation of the economy, and was not the result of his actions. Soon, his government (particularly, deputy prime minister ) became embroiled in a confrontation with influential and industry leaders. The conflict resulted in a 2001 by the parliament, which was mainly the work of the , who had opposed Yushchenko's economic policies, and centrist groups associated with the country's powerful "". The vote was carried by 263 to 69 and resulted in Yushchenko's removal from office.
The fall of his government was viewed with dismay by many Ukrainians; four million votes were gathered in support of a petition supporting him and opposing the parliamentary vote and a 10,000-strong demonstration was held in .
"Our Ukraine" leader and political portrait
Official image of Yushchenko, also used in Yushchenko and political campaigns.
In , Yushchenko became the leader of the (Nasha Ukrayina) political , which received a plurality of in the year's to (Ukrainian parliament) . However, the number of seats won wasn't enough for a majority, and the efforts to form it together with other parties failed. Since then, Yushchenko has remained the leader and public face of the "Our Ukraine" ("Nasha Ukrayina") parliament .
Yushchenko was widely regarded as the moderate political leader of anti-Kuchma opposition, since other opposition parties were less influential and had fewer seats in the parliament.
Since the end of his term as prime minister, Yushchenko has become a political figure popular among Ukrainians in the western and central regions of the country.