Ukraine: State Independence and Reorientation

By | October 5, 2021

With the founding of »Ruch« (1989) as a popular movement chaired by the writer IF Dratsch , various opposition groups came together. After Ukrainian was made the state language in early 1990, Ukraine declared itself sovereign within the USSR on July 16, 1990. Since 1990, numerous parties have emerged from very different directions.

After the coup by the Orthodox Communist forces in the USSR in August 1991, Ukraine separated completely from the State Union of the USSR and declared its independence on August 24, 1991. In a referendum on December 1, 1991, the population confirmed this decision and elected L. M. Kravchuk to the president. Trying to resolve the economic crisis in his country through reforms, Kravchuk often failed with his initiatives because of the anti-reform majority in the Supreme Council. In interaction with this economic and political constellation, the failure to modernize and denationalize the economy led to a decline in total industrial production. The approval of the successor organization to the Communist Party of Ukraine (banned in 1991) in 1993 was characteristic of the anti-reform mood in the Supreme Council. The miners’ strike in June 1993 (again miners protests in 1998) was an expression of the growing dissatisfaction among the population. In the elections to the Supreme Council (March / April 1994), the opponents of reform retained the predominance. LD Kuchma as President, who initiated closer cooperation with Russia. In 1997 Valery Pustowojtenko (* 1947; People’s Democratic Party) became head of government. See thereligionfaqs for Kiev of Ukraine.

The left-wing parties emerged stronger from the parliamentary elections at the end of March 1998, but failed to gain a majority (CP: 123 seats, Socialist and Peasant Party: 32 seats, Progressive Socialists: 16 seats). In the face of a parliamentary crisis that lasted for several months, President Kuchma decided in June 1998 to rule by decree; It was not until July 1998 that the Supreme Council agreed on Olexandr Tkachenko as chairman of the parliament. In November 1999, Kuchma was finally able to win the presidential election again in a runoff election with 56.3% of the vote. In December 1999, he appointed the reform-oriented financial expert W. Yushchenko to succeed Prime Minister Pustowojtenko in office; This was confronted in particular with the fact that Ukraine was de facto insolvent at this point in time due to the very high national debt. In April 2000, President Kuchma sought to strengthen his position vis-à-vis parliament through a referendum that he had called and which was supported by a majority of the population (including a vote on a reduction in the number of MPs, on expanded possibilities for the president to dissolve parliament, and on the Introduction of a bicameral parliament); the constitutional amendment he was striving for failed, however, because of the necessary approval by parliament. On December 15, 2000, with the shutdown of the last working unit, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was shut down.

After the murder of the journalist Georgi Gongadze (* 1969, † 2000) critical of the government, violent protests against the Ukrainian state power, especially against President Kuchma, began at the end of 2000. The opposition accused the authorities, among other things. Obstructing independent media, suppressing or intimidating critical politicians, influencing the judiciary and corruption. International human rights organizations and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also called for substantial improvements in the human rights situation in Ukraine (such as a reform of criminal and civil law). In April 2001, Yushchenko became Prime Ministeroverturned by a vote of no confidence in parliament supported by the communists and the oligarchic parties, but remained in office until the end of May 2001 when the Supreme Council elected the candidate AK Kinach (chairman of the Union of Ukrainian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs) proposed by President Kuchma as head of government. In May 2001, the former Russian Prime Minister WS Tschernomyrdin became Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine and, as Vladimir Putin’s representative, assumed an important position in the development of Russian-Ukrainian economic relations.

In the parliamentary elections on 31 3. 2002, although accounted for by Yushchenko Our Ukraine “the most votes led alliance” (23.6%), followed by the Communists (20%), which President Kuchma related electoral coalition “For a united Ukraine «(only 11% of the vote) was then able to win numerous directly elected, non-party MPs for its parliamentary group, which became the strongest with 176 seats. Kuchma, who remained under domestic political pressure even after the parliamentary elections (demonstrations, massive calls for resignation) and was increasingly criticized internationally (e.g. by the USA and other NATO states accusing Iraq of selling an early warning radar system), dismissed the Kinach government in November 2002on the grounds of inadequate reform and social policies in coping with the country’s economic crisis. Successor in the office of prime minister was the previous governor of the Donetsk region VF Yanukovych .

Ukraine - State Independence and Reorientation