Farewell, Mr. President: Some Thoughts about Leonid Kravchuk – KyivPost

He were in a coma since 2021 and died on May 10, 2022, the 3rd month of the savage Russian aggression towards Ukraine. However, he controlled to claim previously: “Ukraine must be in NATO. There is no other option for Ukraine because today it is defending its land from the Russian aggressor.”

These are the phrases of the primary President of Ukraine (1991-94), Leonid Kravchuk.

He used to be born in 1934 within the village of Velykyi Zhytyn, Rivne Region. After college, he graduated from a cooperative technical school, and in 1958 – the Faculty of Economics on the University of Kyiv. At the similar time, he joined the Communist Party and started his political profession: he labored within the Chernivtsi regional birthday celebration committee, then within the equipment of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU).

In 1970 Kravchuk graduated from the Academy of Social Sciences underneath the Central Committee of the CPU, finished a dissertation, and endured his profession inside the equipment. In 1980 he was the top of the propaganda and agitation division of the CPU Central Committee. Everyone who labored with him on the time recollects that he used to be an exemplary legitimate and spoke best Russian.

As the republic’s primary propagandist, Kravchuk, amongst different issues, arranged counter-rallies towards the Ukrainian diaspora and dissidents who marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Holodomor famine of the early Thirties. Thus, Kravchuk’s next claims that he had identified not anything concerning the famine till he learn a selection of paperwork about it within the past due Nineteen Eighties are unfaithful. However, tough fact from politicians of this stage is futile.

In October 1988, we noticed Leonid Kravchuk as head of the ideological division of the CPU Central Committee, then secretary of the CPU Central Committee on ideology, a candidate for club of the birthday celebration’s management – its politburo. In 1989 he referred to as for a ban at the burgeoning democratic People’s Movement of Ukraine – Rukh, however the Communist Party’s leaders didn’t dare possibility this.  In June-September 1990 he labored because the Second Secretary of the CPU Central Committee.

Eventually, after CPU hardline boss Volodymyr Shcherbytsky used to be changed in past due 1989 by means of Soviet birthday celebration chief Mikhail Gorbachev, Kravchuk briefly sensed the path wherein political winds have been blowing.  He, and fellow communists who resisted Moscow’s makes an attempt to keep the Soviet empire, opted for lodging with Rukh and the nationwide democratic motion and the confirmation of Soviet Ukraine’s “sovereignty.”

In July 1990, Kravchuk used to be elected Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR. And right here got here his heyday. He antagonistic Gorbachev’s makes an attempt to keep the Soviet Union underneath the guise of “renewing” it via a brand new Union treaty. At the similar time, he drew nearer to Rukh and the nationwide democratic motion.

In August 1991, a putsch came about in Moscow aimed toward holding the Soviet Union in its conventional shape and disposing of Gorbachev (then the Soviet Communist Party chief) from energy. Caught by means of wonder, Kravchuk gave the impression to vacillate, however after the chance had handed, he used to be fast to reaffirm his wreck together with his previous. Under his stewardship within the Ukrainian Parliament, Ukraine declared its independence on August 24, 1991.

Kravchuk performed a brave main position in enforcing this ancient choice, by means of supporting the banning of the Communist Party in Ukraine, the development of a countrywide military, and the keeping of a countrywide referendum on December 1, 1991, to endorse the declaration of independence.

On the similar day that Ukrainians overwhelmingly supported independence, Kravchuk used to be elected president of Ukraine.  Armed with this unchallengeable mandate, on December 7-8, 1991, he met with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarus. With Kravchuk announcing Ukraine’s self-determination, they collectively made the verdict to liquidate the USSR and arrange the nebulous non-state affiliation which they named the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As Ukraine’s head of state, Kravchuk signed the record at the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Against the background of the commercial, social, and political difficulties which the transition to impartial statehood entailed, Kravchuk misplaced the presidential election to Leonid Kuchma in July 1994, who used to be nominated as being towards the allegedly “nationalist” Kravchuk. He behaved with dignity and peacefully passed over energy to his successor, setting up an excellent custom.

For me, that’s when Leonid Kravchuk reached his pinnacle and secured his position in historical past as a worthy first president of impartial Ukraine.

Afterward, his document used to be now not at all times that brilliant. Kravchuk acted in a different way at other instances. In 1994, he was a member of the Verkhovna Rada and looked as if it would lose his political bearings. In January 1998 he was a member of the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United), which integrated doubtful politicians and businessmen, or even a member of its politburo.

Kravchuk spoke out towards the 3rd president, Viktor Yushchenko, calling for his resignation, and condemning the 2004 Orange Revolution. Kravchuk used to be disadvantaged of the name of Honorary Doctor of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy National University for this in November 2004.

The fourth president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, gave Kravchuk the position of Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly. Kravchuk gave the impression to be again previously once more, the executor of any other “general line.”

During the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, Kravchuk followed a crucial place, believing that for the 5th President of Ukraine, non-public industry used to be extra essential than the state.

In the summer season of 2020, Poroshenko’s successor, Volodymyr Zelensky, appointed Kravchuk head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas. Kravchuk outstanding himself as a principled and company defender of Ukraine’s pursuits within the negotiating platform addressing Russia’s aggression in japanese Ukraine. He additionally supported President Zelensky towards his political detractors.

As an overly skilled flesh presser, Leonid Kravchuk understood that it’s unattainable to succeed in an settlement with Russia:

“They act on the world arena like a bull in a china shop … No one will want to sign international agreements with such leaders anymore. And I would recommend to all other states not to conclude any international documents with such a Russia. This state is unpredictable!”

Well, this evaluation by means of Kravchuk is irrefutable. As may be indeniable the truth that he, regardless of all of the meanders of his political profession has been and can stay, an emblem of impartial Ukraine.

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