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07KYIV3102, UKRAINE: WHO’S WHO IN THE TYMOSHENKO GOVERNMENT

December 20, 2007

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07KYIV3102 2007-12-20 05:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO6407
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHKV #3102/01 3540555
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 200555Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4607
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 08 KYIV 003102 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: WHO'S WHO IN THE TYMOSHENKO GOVERNMENT 
 
Classified By: Pol Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  The new Tymoshenko government, confirmed by 
the Rada December 18, is an interesting mix of PM Tymoshenko 
loyalists and President Yushchenko loyalists, and of 
experienced politicians and technocratic newcomers. 
Disagreements over Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense slots 
between the parliamentary faction and the Presidential 
Secretariat held up the vote on Tymoshenko and the Cabinet 
 
SIPDIS 
for a week -- Yuriy Yekhanurov, now Defense Minister, 
announced at the last minute that he would not vote for 
Tymoshenko unless the differences were resolved.  The average 
age in the new Cabinet is 50.  Almost half of the Cabinet is 
from western Ukraine, a big difference from previous 
Cabinets, but eastern, southern, and central Ukraine are 
represented as well; there are even three ministers born in 
Russia.  Tymoshenko controls the economic portfolios with the 
exception of energy, while OU-PSD is in charge of the social 
ministries and the President retains his purview over foreign 
affairs and defense. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  While some of the ministries will be run by 
highly-qualified professionals, the fractious nature of the 
appointment process is likely to be reflected in the work of 
the Cabinet.  Both Tymoshenko and Yushchenko chose ministers 
who would be personally loyal to them, possibly setting the 
stage for a struggle for power reminiscent of Tymoshenko's 
first cabinet of 2005.  Ironically, the fragility of the 
227-member coalition -- which complicated the Tymoshenko 
confirmation vote -- may be of some benefit now, as both 
sides will have to compromise if they want to accomplish 
anything.  End summary and comment. 
 
Naming the Cabinet: Not an Easy Task 
------------------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU) The Cabinet is split 50-50 between ministers 
nominated by BYuT and OU-PSD, although not all ministers are 
members of one bloc or the other.  In general, BYuT controls 
the economic portfolios and OU-PSD controls the social and 
national security and defense ministries, although BYuT gave 
OU-PSD the Agriculture Minister slot in exchange for the a 
second deputy prime minister slot for Tymoshenko foreign 
policy adviser Hryhoriy Nemyria.  There is a third deputy 
prime minister slot, for regional policy, that remains 
vacant.  The press reported the OU-PSD MP Matviyenko, who had 
expressed doubt about whether the bloc should support 
Tymoshenko becoming PM, was now lobbying for the job, but 
Tymoshenko told the press December 18 that she was leaving it 
open for the possibility of coalition expansion. 
 
4. (C) Six ministers -- Pavlenko, Pynzenyk, Lutsenko, 
Ohryzko, Melnyk, and Krupko -- are returning to positions 
they have previously held, while another ten are seasoned 
politicians.  Six have deep background in their fields, but 
have never worked for the government.  It seems that within 
the BYuT quota, Tymoshenko has aimed for a mix of ardent 
loyalists, like Turchynov and Vinskiy, who will protect the 
PM, and apolitical technocrats to provide good advice, but 
who might also be easier to control.  The OU-PSD quota, much 
like the faction that named them, is a more motley crew, 
representing the various parties within the faction, as well 
as the interference of the Presidential Secretariat. 
Secretariat Chief Baloha's fingerprints are all over the 
 
SIPDIS 
fights over the Education, Justice, and Defense Ministers, as 
well as the decision to leave Yuriy Melnyk in as Agriculture 
Minster, despite his alleged corruption and anti-WTO stances. 
 
Oleksandr Turchynov: First Deputy Prime Minister (BYuT) 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
5. (C) Tymoshenko's right hand man, Turchynov will run all 
the economic programs for the government and help manage and 
oversee her government's vision.  He is a dogged fighter and 
will support Tymoshenko in everything she does.  In the past 
few years, Turchynov has run the Security Service (SBU) and 
served as deputy secretary of the National Security and 
Defense Council (NSDC) at Tymoshenko's behest, although his 
educational and work background over the last 17 years has 
been economic and political.  While at the SBU in 2005, 
Turchynov was allegedly collecting compromising materials on 
Yushchenko's closest allies; he resigned from the SBU when 
Tymoshenko was fired in September 2005.  Turchynov has been 
tied to Tymoshenko since the early 1990s, first when he 
worked as deputy governor of Dnipropetrovsk under 
Tymoshenko's former business partner Pavlo Lazarenko, and 
then as co-founder of the political party Hromada in 1993 
with Tymoshenko and Lazarenko.  Turchynov joined the Rada in 
1998, while running Hromada' 
s political council, until Lazarenko was arrested in 1998. 
Tymoshenko subsequently founded the Batkivshchina party -- 
 
KYIV 00003102  002 OF 008 
 
 
the backbone of BYuT -- which Turchynov helps run; he is also 
deputy head of BYuT.  Turchynov is an ordained Baptist 
Minister.  He was born March 31, 1964 in Dnip
ropetrovsk. 
 
Ivan Vasyunyk: DPM for Humanitarian Affairs (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
6. (C) Vasyunyk is coming from his post as First Deputy Head 
of the Presidential Secretariat.  His influence there has 
waxed and waned, but recently he was said to be closely 
working with Baloha to run OU-PSD's somewhat disastrous 
parliamentary campaign this September.  In addition, he's 
been said to be working on strategies to get Yushchenko 
elected to a second term.  In the Secretariat, Vasyunyk has 
been a key point of contact on our MCC Threshold program, and 
is co-chair of the MCC Threshold Program Board.  As DPM for 
humanitarian affairs, Vasyunyk will have oversight 
responsibility for most of the ministries run by OU-PSD 
ministers.  Vasyunyk is an economist by profession, and has 
studied at Harvard and at universities in England and 
Germany.  After teaching management at the Lviv Management 
Institute, which he helped found, Vasyunyk turned to politics 
in 2002, when he joined the Rada as part of Our Ukraine.  He 
was born July 7, 1959 in Lviv oblast. 
 
Hryhoriy Nemyria: DPM for EuroIntegration (BYuT) 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
7. (C) Nemyria will have a tough challenge ahead of him in 
making his position meaningful.  Yushchenko first created a 
DPM for EuroIntegration in 2005 for his good friend Oleh 
Rybachuk, but it proved difficult to produce results with 
ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Economy 
pursuing European integration policies on their own.  The 
Cabinet in Ukraine is structured to give each DPM 
responsibility for certain ministries, but the previous DPM 
for Eurointegration had none and it is hard to see which 
ministries Nemyria might take charge of now, since MFA and 
MOD fall under the President and most other relevant 
institutions are likely to fall under Turchynov's purview. 
 
8. (C) Nemyria's position was a last minute deal within the 
coalition, and BYuT had to give OU-PSD the Agricultural 
Ministry in exchange for getting agreement on Nemyria. 
Nemyria is Tymoshenko's foreign policy adviser and has been 
her intermediary for contacts with Western governments, both 
in Kyiv and in Europe, which has raised his profile within 
the bloc; however, he has not been a very publicly prominent 
member of BYuT in the last two years.  Prior to joining the 
Rada in 2006, Nemyria ran the Soros-financed International 
Renaissance Foundation, where he also studied European 
integration issues.  An academic by training, in the late 
1980s and 1990s Nemyria lectured at Donetsk University, 
founded the Center for Political Studies, and than served as 
deputy rector of the highly-esteemed Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 
Kyiv.  He was born April 5, 1960 in Donetsk oblast. 
 
Volodymyr Ohryzko: Foreign Affairs (President) 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
9. (C) Deputy Foreign Minister Ohryzko's nomination to be 
Minister appears to be a way for Yushchenko to reassert 
himself after the Regions-led Rada refused twice to approve 
Ohryzko as Foreign Minister in February 2005.  Ohryzko was 
former FM Tarasyuk's top deputy and personal choice as a 
replacement, and we've heard they share some of the same 
prickly personality traits.  Many say Ohryzko is not well 
liked within the Foreign Ministry -- the diplomatic cadre 
reportedly was supporting Deputy Minister Khandohiy who also 
seemed to have been favored by former FM Yatsenyuk over 
Ohryzko.  Ohryzko also has a reputation for fierce 
anti-Russian views; he stirred up controversy at a conference 
in Crimea, when he allegedly requested translation into 
Ukrainian of all comments made in Russian. 
 
10. (SBU) Ohryzko is a career diplomat, joining the Foreign 
Ministry of the Soviet SSR immediately upon graduation from 
Kyiv State University in 1978.  He has served in Germany and 
Austria, but has spent most of his career in Kyiv.  Ohryzko 
was born April 1, 1956 in Kyiv. 
 
Yuriy Yekhanurov: Defense (President) 
------------------------------------- 
 
11. (C) When Yushchenko made the surprise nomination of 
Yekhanurov to run the Defense Ministry on December 11, 
several MPs told us that they thought Yekhanurov would be the 
new "Poroshenko" in the Tymoshenko government, in other words 
a close Yushchenko ally whose job was to try to keep 
Tymoshenko's ambitions in check -- Petro Poroshenko filled 
this role as NSDC Secretary in 2005.  Others believed the 
 
KYIV 00003102  003 OF 008 
 
 
position was the price Yushchenko had to pay to get 
Yekhanurov's agreement to sign the coalition agreement -- 
Yekhanurov acknowledged to the Ambassador that although he 
signed the agreement, he still objected to many parts of it, 
and it was not clear until the final minute that Yekhanurov 
would vote for Tymoshenko. 
 
12. (C) Former NSDC Secretary Horbulin predicted to us that 
Yekhanurov would run a tighter ship than his predecessor, 
Anatoliy Hrytsenko, with financial/workflow controls 
improving.  However, he saw Yekhanurov as lacking the 
strategic vision that made Hrytsenko an effective reformer 
and key supporter of NATO membership.  First Deputy Defense 
Minister Polyakov told us that he believed it was Baloha's 
idea to replace Hrytsenko with Yekhanurov, because the former 
was too independent and principled, "not a yes-man", implying 
that Yekhanurov will work more hand-in-glove with the 
President's team. 
 
13. (C) Yekhanurov has a mixed reputation.  He was seen as a 
reformist under President Kuchma, but his 11-month tenure as 
Prime Minister in 2005-2006 bore mixed results, especially as 
he was unable or unwilling to derail the January 2006 gas 
deal, which he claimed he opposed.  He is, however, respected 
by Regions and Lytvyn Bloc, which may have made his 
appointment more palatable.  In our contacts with him, he 
appears to have a strong personal dislike for Tymoshenko, and 
has long preferred a broad coalition of Our Ukraine and 
Regions.  Since serving as First Deputy Prime Minister under 
PM Yushchenko in 2000-2001 and then helping run Yushchenko's 
successful 2002 Rada and 2004 presidential campaigns, 
Yekhanurov has remained close to the President.  Yekhanurov 
ran the State Property Fund through the mid-1990s, where he 
helped guide Ukraine through the early stages of 
privatization.  He was born August 23, 1948 in Yatkutska, 
Russia; he is an ethnic Buryat. 
 
Iosip Vinskiy: Transportatino and Communication (BYuT) 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
14. (C) Vinskiy was one of the two Socialist who defected to 
BYuT in 2006 after party leader Oleksandr Moroz made his deal 
to join Party of Regions in the Anti-Crisis Coalition.  Since 
then Vinskiy has been a key Tymoshenko ally and insider with 
a full-time job at BYuT headquarters.  He rarely talks to us 
and not often to the pr
ess.  He was a major participant in 
the "Ukraine Without Kuchma" movement in 2001, which is 
probably how he got to know Tymoshenko.  He has been a Rada 
MP sine 1994, always in the Socialist faction, where he 
served on a variety of committees.  His background is in 
agricultural engineering, but he moved into politics in 1981, 
working in Ukrainian Communist Party structures and then 
joining the newly created Socialist Party in 1991.  Vinskiy 
was slotted to be a deputy prime minister, and only moved to 
the Transportation Ministry on December 17, the day before 
the Cabinet was confirmed in the Rada.  While MPs we spoke 
with agreed that Vinskiy was a better choice than the 
original nominee for the job -- automobile magnate Tariel 
Vasadze -- they expressed concern that he was not 
well-qualified to run the Ministry, which has some serious 
issues to tackle.  Vinskiy was born January 2, 1956 in 
Khmelnitskiy oblast. 
 
Viktor Pynzenyk: Finance (BYuT) 
------------------------------- 
 
15. (C) Pynzenyk became close to Tymoshenko when he worked as 
Minister of Finance in her 2005 Cabinet, although he remained 
in the Yekhanurov Cabinet when she was fired.  Pynzenyk 
withdrew his Reforms and Order Party (PRP) from the Our 
Ukraine bloc in March 2006 in an unsuccessful attempt to run 
in the Rada elections with another minor party, Pora, but 
later that year PRP formally joined BYuT.  He now sits on 
BYuT's presidium.  Pynzenyk has always had a somewhat 
competitive relationship with Yushchenko, as they were both 
seen as leading economic reformers in the 1990s.  Under 
President Kuchma, Pynzenyk was variously Deputy Prime 
Minister for economic reform and head of the President's 
economic reform council, but it was Yushchenko who was tapped 
to be Prime Minister in 2000.  Pynzenyk is in charge of both 
the new government's budget proposals and its entire 
government program, which should be based on the coalition 
agreement.  Pynzenyk understands market economics and as 
Finance Minister was a strong advocate 
 of budgetary restraint.  In our discussions with him, he 
comes across as a sincere Ukrainian patriot who worries about 
the future of his country.  He has two economics degrees from 
Lviv University, as well as a doctorate in economics from 
Moscow's Lomonosov University.  He was born April 15, 1954 in 
Zakarpattya oblast. 
 
 
KYIV 00003102  004 OF 008 
 
 
Bohdan Danylyshyn: Economy (BYuT) 
--------------------------------- 
 
16. (C) Danylyshyn is an academic who chairs the Council on 
Researching the Productive Forces of Ukraine, an economic 
think-tank within the National Academy of Sciences.  He is a 
professor and a corresponding member of the National Academy 
of Sciences, and has written a wide-variety of economics 
publications, many focused on municipal and regional 
development.  Presidential adviser Rybachuk told us that 
Industrial Union Donbas (IUD) co-owner Vitaliy Haiduk had 
confirmed that Danylyshyn was "his guy"-- the press has 
reported this as well; IUD is a behind-the-scenes supporter 
of Tymoshenko.  The Embassy has worked with Danylyshyn since 
2003 on environmental issues, such as Earth Day and the 
controversial Danube-Black Sea canal issue.  On the latter, 
he was one of the few within the GOU to oppose construction 
through the fragile Danube Biosphere Reserve.  Affable and 
receptive to Embassy meeting requests, Danylyshyn struck us 
as being an idealist far removed from the world of 
policy-making.  These sentiments wer 
e echoed by several politicians in the Rada, who told us that 
Danylyshyn is a nice guy, but has no government experience 
and is a weak leader.  Danylyshyn was nominated by the 
Embassy in 2005 to participate in an IV program on 
Sustainable Environmental Policy, but was unable to attend. 
He was born June 6, 1965. 
 
Yuriy Melnyk: Agriculture (OU-PSD) 
---------------------------------- 
 
17. (C) Melnyk is the current minister, having first joined 
the Yekhanurov government in late 2005 as Deputy PM for 
Agriculture and moving into the AgMin position under PM 
Yanukovych in August 2006.  When the other orange ministers 
resigned, he remained under the Communist quota in the 
Cabinet.  He has been called a knowledgeable specialist, but 
in reality he is seen as a representative of large 
agribusiness interests, including his own.  Melnyk has been 
at times an open opponent of Ukraine's WTO accession, despite 
the GOU's clear policy to pursue accession.  He went from 
academia into the Ag Ministry in 1996, where he has worked in 
some capacity ever since.  He is generally considered 
apolitical.  Melnyk has close ties the Ukrainian Poultry 
Union (UPU), the most powerful lobby in the Ukrainian 
agricultural sector, as well as to Ihor Tarasyuk, co-owner of 
the biggest poultry and egg producer in Ukraine.  Tarasyuk is 
also Director of the Presidential Secretariat's State 
Administrative Directorate, which manage 
s all property owned by the Presidential Secretariat and NSDC 
-- many believe that Tarasyuk got Melnyk his job, and that 
UPU might have made a substantial payment to keep Melnyk in 
his slot.  Melnyk is responsible for implementing policies 
that benefit the poultry producers, such as restricting 
exports of feed grains to keep prices lower for domestic 
firms.  He also has implemented administrative measures to 
controls prices, while the Veterinary Service under his 
Ministry has been reluctant to fulfill WTO commitments 
(including to the U.S.) to open Ukraine's markets for meat. 
Melnyk was born August 5, 1962 in Cherkasy oblast. 
 
Vasyl Knyazevych: Health (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------- 
 
18. (C) Knyazevych, uncle of OU-PSD MP Ruslan, has been 
President Yushchenko's chief doctor since 2005.  In November 
2006, he was also appointed Head of the Medical Department of 
the State Affairs Administration.  He started his career as a 
physician at a district hospital in Ternopil oblast.  He 
later served as Chief of the Health Protection Department in 
the Ternopil Oblast Administration, where he earned a 
reputation as Western-leaning and open-minded, but also as a 
poor manager, while participating in a USAID health reform 
project.  Knyazevych is rumored to have strong ties to Petro 
Bahriy, the head of a local pharmaceutical association, and 
was supposedly responsible for directing drug and equipment 
procurement contracts to Bahriy during the construction of 
First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko's "Hospital of the Future", 
which was built on land under Knyazevych's authority while 
serving in the State Affairs Administration.  He was born in 
March, 1956 in Ivano-Frankivsk. 
 
Yuriy Lutsenko: Interior (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------- 
 
19. (C) Lutsenko is returning to the Ministry that he ran 
from February 2005 until he was pushed out of office in 
December 2006.  He had been trying to implement reforms in a 
deeply troubled and corrupt ministry, and received decent 
marks for his efforts, although
 his lack of law enforcement 
background hampered his conceptual understanding of what 
 
KYIV 00003102  005 OF 008 
 
 
reforms were needed.  If he were, however, to be put at the 
Ministry's helm for a long period of time and surround 
himself with European-oriented professionals, it is 
conceivable that some of the necessary reforms would take 
hold in this 300,000-man institution.  However, Lutsenko is 
unlikely to be there long enough to institute deep change 
given that he also harbors the desire to become mayor of 
Kyiv, which he sees as a good jumping-off point to run for 
President in 2010. 
 
20. (C) Lutsenko was a field commander during the Orange 
Revolution, and has been loyal to Yushchenko ever since, 
although he remained a leader in the Socialist party until 
Moroz agreed to go into coalition with Party of Regions and 
the Communists in 2006.  Lutsenko remained in the Yanukovych 
government at Yushchenko's behest in August 2006, but the 
Regions-led majority in the Rada and government attacked 
Lutsenko, ordering raids of his home and the homes of 
Lutsenko's allies, leaking accusations of corruption, and 
finally firing him on December 1, 2006.  Lutsenko began his 
own political movement, People's Self-Defense, in early 2007, 
but has told us numerous times that the September Rada 
elections came too soon for him to be able to turn it into a 
real political force, forcing him to join Our Ukraine. 
There are rumors that Lutsenko is a hard drinker, although we 
have never seen him act other than professionally.  Lutsenko 
was born December 14, 1964 in Rivne. 
 
Mykola Onishchuk: Justice (OU-PSD) 
---------------------------------- 
 
21. (C) Onishchuk's candidacy to be Justice Minister was a 
major roadblock to final agreement on the Cabinet slate, with 
many in OU-PSD outraged over his selection to be part of 
their quota; the decision presumably was made by the 
Presidential Secretariat.  The main objection we heard from 
MPs was that Onishchuk had been a hold-out in agreeing to 
sign the orange coalition agreement and to support 
Tymoshenko, and that he should not be rewarded for 
"blackmailing" the bloc.  In addition, he supposedly worked 
in 2004 with then Presidential Administration Head Medvedchuk 
to find a legal justification for giving President Kuchma a 
third term in office, and leading member of OU, Roman 
Zvarych, also wanted the Minister position.  However, in the 
end, the OU-PSD faction dropped its objections to Onishchuk. 
 
22. (C) Onishchuk has chaired since August, 2007 the National 
Commission for Strengthening Democracy and Rule of Law -- 
charged with law enforcement and judicial reform -- where we 
have found him to be knowledgeable, open to new ideas, 
politically-astute, and a consensus-builder.  He is openly 
and avidly pro-European.  Although a lawyer by profession, he 
is not well-versed in criminal law, but made good use of 
allies and experts to make some important steps forward.  He 
graduated from the law department at Kyiv Shevchenko 
University.  Then Onishchuk became the 1st Deputy Head of the 
Lawyer's Association, under infamous lawyer and Presidential 
Administration Head Medvedchuk.  A longtime member of the 
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Ukraine (PIEU), 
Onishchuk also worked as an adviser to party leader Anatoliy 
Kinakh, when the latter was PM in 2001-2002.  When PIEU 
defected from Our Ukraine to the Anti-Crisis Coalition in 
March 2007, Onishchuk remained in OU.  He graduated from the 
law department at 
Kyiv Shevchenko University.  In the 1990s, he worked for a 
private law firm.  He was born October 26, 1957 in Zhytomyr 
oblast. 
 
Ivan Vakarchuk: Education (OU-PSD) 
---------------------------------- 
 
23. (C) Vakarchuk, Rector of Lviv University and father of 
OU-PSD MP Slava Vakarchuk (Okean Elzy lead singer), was one 
of the hardest fought-for appointees in the Cabinet.  Almost 
unanimously backed by the OU-PSD faction, the Presidential 
Secretariat had demanded the appointment of Vasyl Kremen as 
 
SIPDIS 
Education Minister.  Although Kremen is known as one of the 
preeminent education experts in the country, he was also a 
member of the odious Social Democratic Party (united) and 
served as Education Minister under the first Yanukovych 
government, where he used his financial resources and 
position to unfairly campaign for Yanukovych for president in 
2004.  However, Kremen's nomination faced so many objections, 
the Presidential Secretariat gave their approval to Vakarchuk 
on December 18, which allowed the Cabinet vote to go forward. 
 
 
24. (C) At Lviv University, Vakarchuk was originally very 
popular, but we have heard complaints recently that he has 
become less democratic and more authoritarian policy in 
setting university policy.  He has been good in his oversight 
 
KYIV 00003102  006 OF 008 
 
 
of successful partnership programs between Lviv University 
and University of Oregon, Eugene, and Kansas University.  We 
are hopeful that his appointment will bring positive changes 
to the Ministry, which is currently very conservative. 
Vakarchuk was born March 6, 1947 in  Moldova, but has spent 
most of his life in Lviv. 
 
Yuriy Prodan: Fuel and Energy (OU-PSD) 
-------------------------------------- 
 
25. (C) Although Prodan is coming to the Cabinet from a 
position as Deputy Secretary of the NSDC, the bulk of his 
career has been in the energy sector.  An electrical engineer 
by training, he has worked in various capacities at 
Kyivenergo and Ukrenego, both electricity generators, run 
Energorynok, the state enterprise that manages Ukraine's 
electricity market, and served as First Deputy Fuel Minister 
(2005-2006).  Prodan also has a long and favorable track 
record as regulator of the National Electricity Regulation 
Commission (NERC), from 2001-2004.  In his most recent 
government position at the NSDC, Prodan openly criticized 
Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko for his plans for Ukraine's 
energy market, which Prodan felt were thinly disguised 
attempts to privatize Ukraine's strategic energy assets. 
Unlike Boyko, Prodan does not have direct ties to the 
lucrative gas and oil industries, which might enable him to 
take on vested interests that currently dominate those 
sectors.  Prodan has a reportedly excellent working re 
lationship with Tymoshenko, and is considered to be extremely 
loyal to the President. Local newspapers have dubbed Prodan 
as the Presidential Secretariat's "Man," due to Prodan's 
pro-presidential stance.  He was educated at Kyiv Polytechnic 
Institute, considered one of the best institutions of higher 
learning in Ukraine.  Prodan was born January 27, 1959 in 
Norilsk, Russia. 
 
Vasyl Vovkun: Culture and Tourism (OU-PSD) 
------------------------------------------ 
 
26. (SBU) Vovkun is a distinguished director and screenwriter 
from
 Lviv.  Although Vovkun directed Yushchenko's 
presidential inauguration in 2005 and has run the official 
Independence Day celebrations for the past three years, he 
has turned down offers from Yushchenko to become a 
presidential adviser.  He has been quoted in the press as 
saying that he "took part in the Orange Revolution as a 
conscientious citizen without expecting ... rewards from the 
victors," and that he felt great about not having succumbed 
to the temptation to become a high-ranking bureaucrat. 
Vovkun was born June 14, 1957 in Lviv. 
 
Volodymyr Shandra: Emergency Situations (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
27. (C) Shandra, who previously served as Minister of 
Industrial Policy under Tymoshenko and Yekhanurov, reportedly 
received his new position because he is the uncle of 
Yushchenko's son-in-law.  The Ministry of Emergency 
Situations is often a desired position, because it has such a 
large budget.  After completing his studies at the nuclear 
power plants department of Moscow Engineering Institute in 
1987, Shandra went to work at the Khmelnitskiy power plant. 
In the 1990s, Shandra worked as a private entrepreneur and 
then ran a firm that produced roofing insulation materials. 
He only entered politics in 2002, when he joined the Rada as 
part of the OU faction.  Shandra was born January 11, 1963 in 
Ternopil oblast. 
 
Yuriy Pavlenko: Youth, Sports, and Family (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
28. (C) At 32, Pavlenko is a rising star in Our Ukraine.  He 
is returning to the Ministry he ran from February 2005 until 
October 2007, when he resigned along with the rest of the 
orange ministers in the Yanukovych government.  Pavlenko then 
accepted the governorship of Zhytomyr oblast, but we heard 
that he was unhappy being out of Kyiv politics, and we saw 
him periodically hanging out with friends at the Rada. 
Pavlenko was number 7 on OU-PSD's electoral list in the 
pre-term elections as part of an effort to get younger faces 
out in front of the campaign.  In his previous tenure as 
minister, he was very helpful to us in solving problems 
regarding foreign adoptions and in increasing the Ministry's 
actions with regards to combating trafficking-in-persons. 
His staff told us that he has a genuine desire to understand 
the issues and was willing to invest the time to learn. 
However, they said his youth and political inexperience last 
time limited his ability to really take charge of many of the 
issues in his por 
tfolio, which cross ministerial lines.  During the 2004 
presidential campaign, he ran Yushchenko's Donetsk 
 
KYIV 00003102  007 OF 008 
 
 
headquarters.  Pavlenko has degrees in history and public 
administration.  His brother-in-law is Ruslan Knyazevych, 
also a young star in Our Ukraine and whose uncle is the new 
Minister of Health.  He was born March 20, 1975 in Kyiv. 
 
Volodymyr Novitskiy: Industrial Policy (BYuT) 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
29. (SBU) Novitskiy has worked in his field for a long time. 
From 1992-1995 he was a Deputy Industrial Policy Minister. 
He spent four years in Moscow, working on an economic policy 
committee for the CIS.  In 2000-2001, he returned to Kyiv and 
led the State Committee for Industrial Policy.  Then he 
served as Deputy Industrial Policy Minister in 2003-2005, and 
was reappointed deputy minister since 2006.  He holds a PhD 
in technical science, specializing in the processing of oil 
and gas.  He was born September 9, 1947 in Khmelnitskiy 
oblast. 
 
Vasyl Kuybida: Regional Development and Building (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
30. (C) Kuybida served as mayor of Lviv from 1994-2002, where 
he was very popular.  He worked with the National Democratic 
Institute to develop a strategic development plan for the 
city; NDI reported that although he listed carefully to 
consultants and set up a task force, he never followed 
through on the recommendations.  He has an antagonistic 
relationship with current Lviv Mayor Sadoviy, who accused 
Kuybida of corruption related to land sales and 
privatizations.  Kuybida comes off as a "please everybody" 
type, who has succeeded well under both Kuchma and 
Yushchenko.  He was vice president of both the Local and 
Regional Congress of Europe and the Ukrainian Association of 
Cities.  Borys Tarasyuk, leader of Rukh -- one of the 
constituent parties in the OU-PSD bloc -- told us that 
Kuybida was the only minister from Rukh on the OU-PSD quota 
in the Cabinet.  Kuybida's official bio on the web reports 
that he served as vice President of MAUP, the commuter 
college known for its dissemination of anti-Semitic informa 
tion, from 2002-2005, a position created especially for him. 
Kuybida studied applied mathematics at Ivan Franko University 
in Lviv and also at the National Institute for Governance and 
Self-Defense. He was born into a family of political 
prisoners in Komi, Russia May 8, 1958. 
 
Oleksiy Kucherenko: Housing and Utilities (OU-PSD) 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
31. (SBU) Kucherenko, a longtime MP from OU, most recently 
served as the head of a subcommittee on the Rada committee 
for Housing and Communal Services.  He was first elected to 
the Rada in 1998, but left in 2000 to become governor of 
Zaporizhzhya.  He then went into private business, returning 
to the government in 2005 as a member of the State Committee 
for Housing and Utilities.  He rejoined the Rada in 2006 as a 
member of OU.  Kucherenko holds degrees in information 
technology and public administration.  Kucherenko was born 
April 3, 1961 in Vinnitsya, although he grew up in Poltava. 
 
Viktor Poltavets: Coal Industry (BYuT) 
-------------------------------------- 
 
32. (SBU) Poltavets currently heads the Luhansk Giproshakht 
state enterprise after previously serving as Minister of Coal 
Industry during Soviet times.  Poltavets began as a low level 
mine worker, working his way up to coal mine director, then 
director of several larger coal mining concerns.  Poltavets 
is politically unaffiliated.  He was born in 1937 in Luhansk 
oblast, and at 70 is the cabinet's oldest member. 
 
Hryhoriy Filipchuk: Environment (BYuT) 
-------------------------------------- 
 
33. (SBU) Filipchuk appears to have almost no background in 
ecological issues, and seems to have received his position 
because he was the head of Tymoshenko's campaign headquarters 
for Vinnitsya Oblast in the last elections.  By profession, 
he was a history teacher, who went into education management 
and then politics.  He had a seat in the Rada from 1994-2002, 
while concurrently serving as governor of Chernivtsi from 
1996-1998.  His one brush with environmental issues was as 
Chairman of the Rada Environmental Policy Committee in 
1997-1998.  After leaving the Rada, Filipchuk went back to 
education issues, workin
g at the Ministry and then serving as 
the General Director of the Ukrainian National Center for 
Standards and Certification in 2005.  Filipchuk was born 
December 19, 1950 in Chernivtsi oblast. 
 
Petro Krupko: Cabinet of Ministers (BYuT) 
----------------------------------------- 
 
KYIV 00003102  008 OF 008 
 
 
 
34. (SBU) Krupko held the same post under Tymoshenko's 
previous government in 2005; when the government collapsed, 
he moved to become First Deputy Justice Minister.  Krupko 
headed the Cabinet of Minister's legal department in 1996 
under PM Lazarenko, and was Deputy Minister of the Cabinet 
when Yushchenko was PM in 2000.  In that latter position, 
Krupko drafted the constitutional amendments that President 
Kuchma later put to referendum.  He was elected to the Rada 
for the first time in 2007, on the BYuT list.  Tymoshenko has 
publicly dubbed Krupko as the ideal minister.  In his first 
tour as minister, we found Krupko helpful on investment 
dispute issues. Krupko was born March 5, 1958. 
 
Lyudmila Denisova: Labor and Social Policy (BYuT) 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
35. (SBU) Denisova was the former Minister of Finance for 
Crimea who was briefly detained and arrested in 2000 for 
"abuse of authority" while carrying out her mandate.  The 
matter was quickly closed, and Denisova became a strident 
critic of both the Prosecutor's Office and Tax Authorities, 
regularly criticizing them for ruining Ukraine's financial 
system.  Denisova also served on the Labor and Social policy 
Committee in the Crimean Rada and has a degree in this field. 
 Tymoshenko introduced her as the leader in the fight for 
pension reform, a key plank in Tymoshenko's election 
campaign.  Denisova is 47 years old. 
 
36. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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