Leonid Kravstyuk, the first independent Ukrainian president, died after a long illness. A former Soviet Union politician and one of the tomb digger was 88 years old.

“A big loss for the whole of Ukraine. Today, Leonid Kravchuk died, the first president of Ukraine, the first chairman of Lada (Ukraine Parliament), and the man who founded modern Ukraine,” said the mayor of the capital of Ukraine. Kiev Vitali Klitschko from Telegram.

Important role

Kravchuyk was born in 1934 in the then Polish state that became part of the Soviet Union after World War II.

In 1958 he became a member of the Communist Party of Ukraine, in which he quickly built his career. In 1988 he became a party secretary. In 1989 he became a candidate member of the Ukrainian Politburo, and a year later he became a full member. On July 3, 1990, he also became president of the Ukrainian Supreme Council Verchevna Rada.

After the failure of the coup in Moscow, Kravchuk declared Ukraine’s independence on August 24, 1991. As a result, he played an important role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. On December 1st of that year, he became the first democratically elected President of Ukraine. In this position, he co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Boris Yeltsin (right) and Leonid Kravstyuk (left) in December 1991.

In 1994, Kravchuk lost to Leonid Kuchma near Moscow in the presidential election.

That year he arrived at Lada, but was reelected four years later. Kravstyuk joined the Ukrainian Unified Social Democratic Party in 1998, has been leading since 2002 and has re-attended parliament. In 2006, the party was unable to reach the election threshold.

Source: vrt

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