Let’s Talk About Viktor Yanukovych; The Former Ukranian President

Who is Viktor Yanukovych?

Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych is a Ukrainian former politician who served as the fourth president of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, after months of protests against his presidency. From 2006 to 2007 he was the prime minister of Ukraine; he also served in this post from November 2002 to January 2005, with a short interruption in December 2004. He currently lives in exile in Russia, where he has lived since his removal from office in 2014.

A Little on Viktor Yanukovych Early Life

Viktor Yanukovych was born in the village of Zhukovka near Yenakiieve in Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. He endured a very hard childhood about which he has stated: “My childhood was difficult and hungry. I grew up without my mother, who died when I was two. I went around bare footed on the streets. I had to fight for myself every day.

Lets Talk About Viktor Yanukovych The Former Ukranian President
Viktor Yanukovych


Yanukovych is of Russian, Polish and Belarusian descent. Yanukovych is a surname of Belarusian origin, Yanuk being a derivative of the Catholic name Yan (“John”). His mother was a Russian nurse and his father, Fyodor Yanukovych, was a Polish-Belarusian locomotive-driver, originally from Yanuki in the Dokshytsy Raion of the Vitebsk Region which is in present-day Belarus. On various occasions, Yanukovych’s family has been dogged by accusations that Fyodor Yanukovych was a member of the Schutzmannschaft during World War II, in particular claims by members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which included documents from the NKVD supposedly revealing his involvement with the Schutzmannschaft. However, it has also been stated by residents of Yanuki that Yanukovych’s family left for the Donbas before 1917, and that the collaborator Fyodor Yanukovych was an unrelated individual. Others, particularly members of the Party of Regions, have claimed that the documents were a falsehood with the intention of disparaging Yanukovych ahead of elections.

By the time he was a teenager, Yanukovych’s father had remarried. However, Viktor left home due to conflicts with his stepmother, and was brought up by his Polish paternal grandmother, originally from Warsaw. His grandfather and great-grandparents were Lithuanian-Poles. Yanukovych has half-sisters from his father’s remarriage but has no contact with them.


On 15 December 1967, at the age of 17, Yanukovych was sentenced to three years imprisonment for participating in a robbery and assault. On 8 June 1970 he was convicted for a second time on charges of assault. He was sentenced to two years of imprisonment and did not appeal the verdict. Decades later, Yanukovych characterised his arrests and imprisonment as “mistakes of youth”.

In 1971, Yanukovych married Lyudmyla Nastenko a niece of Yenakiyeve city judge Oleksandr Sazhyn In July 1974, Yanukovych enrolled at the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute. In 1976, as a second-year student, he was promoted to director of a small trucking division within the Ordzhonikidzeugol coal-mining company. His appointment as the chief manager marked the start of his managerial career as a regional transport executive. He held various positions in transport companies in Yenakiieve and Donetsk until 1996.


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