The fifth president of Ukraine, who came to power during mixed events in Ukraine. Many critics say that he is essentially a pragmatist and a successful businessman who is able to achieve his goal.
Childhood & youth
Petro (in Russian sounds like Pyotr, in Ukrainian — Petro) was born on September 26, 1965, in the small town Bolgrad, located in the Odesa region, not far from the border with Moldova. Before the war this area was part of Romania.
Petro’s father worked as the head of the agricultural machinery department, and his mother was the chief accountant.
The future president studied well in the school and since his childhood years he showed interest in foreign languages — he began to study French in the first grade. When Petro was 9 years old, his family moved to Moldova (Bendery). After graduating from high school, Petro Olexiyovych went to Moscow hoping to join the MGIMO, but the competition was very large, so he had to study in Kiev on the specialty “international economics”. On the third year of Petro Poroshenko went to the army. After demobilization he once again continued his studies at the Kyiv High School, and after graduation, he received a red diploma.
Petro Olexiyovych (Russin sounds like Petr Alekseyevich) began to engage in business even when he was a student. He created an enterprise “Center-service”, which was engaged in the conclusion and
payment of contracts. The future president received 1.5% of the transaction amount. So for the money he received, he bought the Volga car and, along with his classmate Sergei Zaytsev, began supplying shortage goods in the UkrSSR — including selling cocoa beans from Belgium & Holland to domestic confectionery factories.
After the collapse of the USSR, the accumulated experience and cash allowed Petro Olexiyovych to control
several confectionery factories, which later became the basis of his largest trust Roshen. Success in the confectionery business brought Poroshenko a fortune and a nickname — Chocolate King.
Along with the Roshen factory, Petro Olexiyovych owned a glassware factory, several production plants — bus and motor vehicles, starch manufacturing companies, Kraina insurance company, a shipyard “Leninskaya Smith”, and 2 sports and recreation complexes. Also, he is owner of few radio/media companies.
From 1993 to 1998, Petro Olexiyovych was the general director of the Ukrprominvest.
In 2006, the multimodal holding Prime Essents Capital was created. According to Forbes magazine, in 2014, the president of Ukraine with a $1.3 bln stake is in the 6th position among the richest citizens of the country. However, after a year this figure has decreased to $750 million.
Soon it became known that the president’s business was not sold, but “hidden” in the territory of Russia, despite the fact that Peter Olexiyovych repeatedly called it an “aggressor”.
The Ukrainian society was outraged by the fact that in Russia the Roshen factory is still operating. The Lipetsk confectionery company successfully operates, in spite of the statements and promises of the Ukrainian leader to close this trust.
The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly stated that he welcomed the work of this company in Russia since the company regularly paid taxes to the Treasury of Russia.
In 1998, the student’s dream of Petro Olexiyovych came true — he got into politics, becoming a deputy of the Supreme Soviet in the “Social Democratic Party of Ukraine.” But two years later he left it because of the conflict with Viktor Medvedchuk and Georgiy Surkis and created his own solidarity faction, which later became known as the “Solidarity Party of Ukraine”.
As a result of the unification of five political organizations in 2000, a new party was created — “Labor Solidarity of Ukraine”, in which Poroshenko became one of the co-chairmen. A year later, it was renamed into the “Party of Regions”, which was headed by the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov.
In 2001, Petro Olexiyovych left the Party of Regions and led Viktor Yushchenko’s election campaign. However, after Yushchenko was elected as President of Ukraine, Poroshenko received the post of National Security and Defense Council, and Yulia Tymoshenko assumed the post of Prime Minister.
In 2005, a loud scandal broke out in connection with multiple charges of Yushchenko’s encirclement in corruption and Petro Oleksiyovych was dismissed.
In 2009, Petro Olexiyovych became part of the Ukrainian NSDC as Foreign Minister. A year after the victory in the presidential election of the leader of the “Party of Regions” Viktor Yanukovych, Petro Olexiyovych was again dismissed, and his place in the government was taken by Konstantin Gryshchenko.
In 2013 Petro Olexiyovych sponsored EuroMaidan with firewood, water, and food. But he did not hold on to the 1st positions along with Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnybok, which helped him later reach the top of power.
President of Ukraine
During the events related to EuroMaidan, Petro Poroshenko won popular recognition, which helped him win the 2014 elections. Already in the first round of the presidential race Ukrainians gave him 50% of the vote.
On the inauguration of June 7, 2014, Poroshenko said that his goal was to preserve the unity of the country and return the Crimea to Ukraine. In addition, Petro Olexiyovych promised to provide Ukrainians with a visa-free regime in Europe and hoped that Ukraine would join the EU.
However, since the first days of Poroshenko’s presidency, most Ukrainians have changed their minds, which has led them to lose allies.
A month after the president’s term, Poroshenko sends an army to the south-east of Ukraine in order to overcome the protests of the population of Lugansk and Donetsk regions. As a result of the military conflict in the Donbas, according to the OSCE, more than 6,000 people and tens of thousands of security forces died.
Regardless of the so tragic outcome of the military conflict, Petro Poroshenko continues to make efforts to turn Donbas into power.
During the reign of Petro Olexiyovych, negotiations were held in the “Normandy format”, but, unfortunately, there was no concrete result. The fighting continued, and the society accused the head of Ukraine of being interested in obtaining additional dividends and economic benefits through the war.
Western media have repeatedly been informed that the US authorities do not want to keep this situation. In February 2017, Poroshenko met with Donald Trump, US President, on which sides discussed ways to resolve the military conflict in the Donbas area. In 2016, European politicians have repeatedly stated the need to revise the concept and approach to decisions that will help stop the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
As a result, the president of Poroshenko did not fulfill any of his promises, as he approached the post of President of Ukraine. And it was on him that the burden of responsibility for the death of Ukrainian citizens and the economic catastrophe in the country.
During his student years, Petro Oleksiyovych met Marina Peredenetsev, the daughter of the Deputy Minister of Health of the USSR. His appointee, who became his wife, was a specialist cardiologist, is now the head of the charitable foundation of Petro Poroshenko.
In the family of the 5th president of Ukraine, four children were born: the sons Alexei & Mikhail and the daughters Alexandra & Evgeniya.
Petro Poroshenko gained popularity and as head of state, who do not follow the neatness of the wardrobe. He was repeatedly noticed on important meetings in christened costumes. Sometimes jackets and trousers on Petro Olexiyovych, with a large figure (at a height of 180 cm, its weight reaches 93 cm) looked quite baggy. The photo of an inappropriately dressed head of Ukraine often fell in the international media and on Instagram pages. Poroshenko himself has repeatedly emphasized that he prefers Louis Vuitton brand clothing, and the style of the French President Emmanuel Macron is considered to be the standard of taste for himself.
Petro Olexiyovych Poroshenko nowadays
In the spring of 2018, the official address of the President of Ukraine to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I with a request for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine was held. Petro Olexiyovych took this decision not alone, but with the hierarchs of the UOC-KP. Constantinople gave a positive response to the head of Ukraine, and a procedure for the provision of tomosum was soon launched.
Poroshenko informed his subscribers on Facebook and Twitter about this event. In the light of anti-Russian rhetoric, Petro Olexiyovych called this procedure “the triumph of Orthodoxy” and “an act of a deep restoration of historical justice.” The Diploma of Independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was presented to Metropolitan Epiphanius on January 6, 2019.
In the spring of 2018, the actions of Petro Poroshenko provoked a tense situation in the waters of the Azov Sea. The Ukrainian side was arrested by sailors of the Russian ship “Nord” on the grounds of violation of Ukrainian rules of crossing the border.
In turn, the Russian side began a more biased survey of Ukrainian ships. In November, the situation worsened after the arrest of three courts belonging to the naval service of Ukraine. After the incident, Poroshenko called the actions of Moscow by aggression and temporarily introduced a military state in the regions adjoining the Azov Sea.
The main event of 2019 in the political life of the country was the regular presidential election. At the end of January, Poroshenko registered his candidacy on the list of candidates for the head of state.
His main rivals were Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna Party, self-nominee Yuriy Boyko, representative of the Civic Position Anatoly Gritsenko and candidate from the “Servant of the People” Party Volodymyr Zelensky. The last figure — a popular comedy actor and producer in Ukraine and Russia — was not initially considered a competitor. But Zelensky soon became a leader in the election race.
In his program, Poroshenko staked on further rapprochement with the European Union and the submission of an application for accession to the EU by 2024. Because in internal politics, Petro Olexiyovych actually failed, he used the levers of influence on the electorate, which supports the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.
However, after the first round of voting, it became known that Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko became leaders, and the first applicant overtook the current president’s votes by almost 2 times (30.24% against 15.95% of the votes). The second round was scheduled for April 21, 2019.
During the election campaign with the voters, the president emphasized that he would agree with any choice of the people and, in case of his defeat, would remain in politics. He plans, together with his party-mates, to take a place in Parliament where he will express the opinion of the opposition.
On April 19, on the eve of the decisive tour, Poroshenko and Zelensky debated in the arena of the National Olympic Committee “Olympic”. Before holding a meeting on the initiative of Volodymyr Olexandrovich, both candidates conducted drug tests. In Russia, the debates of the Ukrainian presidential candidates were broadcast on the air of the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio, and the video replay of their speeches was shown on the television channel “Russia 24” and the RT website.
According to the poll, the winner of the 2nd round of elections was Volodymyr Zelensky, gaining 72-73% of the vote against 25-26% of Petro Poroshenko. In recent days, before the official inauguration of the new head of state, Petro Oleksiyovych signed a law on the use of the Ukrainian language as a state language.