Childhood and Youth
Viktor Andreyevich, like all other Ukrainian presidents, was born in the province Khoruzhivka. Viktor Andreyеvich’s parents were teachers, they worked at the school of Khoruzhivka. Victor’s father, Andrey Andreevich, was followed for a long time by the Soviet secret services, who were also embarrassed by his release from German concentration camps alive and healthy, and his cooperation in 1946-47 with the OUN. But the “dubious” past of the father did not interfere with the professional growth of Victor.
In 1975, Victor graduated from the Ternopil Financial and Economic Institute. The work of a young specialist began as a deputy chief accountant on the collective farm named after the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution in the village of Yavorov (Ivano-Frankivsk region).
After that he spent 1 year in the army as a border guard.
Marriage and children
After returning from the army, Victor gets a job in one of the district offices of the UkrSSR State Bank. At the same time, he married Svetlana Mikhailovna Kolesnik. They have two children: daughter Vitalina and son Andrey.
He gоt married for the second time in 1993 with an American woman of Ukrainian origin, Ekaterina Mikhailovna Chumachenko (according to some sources — Catherine Claire). Victor met her on the plane. A new love was the reason why Yushchenko divorced his 1st wife. There are three children in a second marriage: daughters Sophia Victoria and Christina Catherine, and son Taras.
Promising Economist Yushchenko in the late eighties (in 1987) was invited to work by Vadim Getman, who headed the union Agroprombank. Viktor Andreevich was appointed the leading post of one of the departments of the Kyiv branch. During the years of “perestroika”, the protégé of the future head of the National Bank did an excellent job of transforming the state financial institution into a commercial one.
In the winter of 1992, V.Getman leaves the post of head of the NBU and recommends Yushchenko to parliament. The proposal was supported. January 26, 1993, Victor Andreevich was appointed a chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine. In this position, he became the third leader in the history of independent Ukraine. Yushchenko was one of the founders of financial reform in Ukraine. For the next six years, under the supervision of Yushchenko, the new economy of the country was transformed from a planned one to a market one. And this is not only a coincidence of historical circumstances: the new head of the National Bank of Independent Ukraine was engaged in monetary reform, which was aimed to introduce hryvnia. In 1998, he prevented the catastrophic size of the financial crisis, similar to what happened in the Russian Federation at the same time.
In the late nineties, Yushchenko was the most popular politician in Ukraine. President Kuchma of that time was perfectly aware of it when he was looking for a replacement of Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko. Yushchenko’s candidacy as prime minister was approved by parliament on December 1999.
He has worked a little less than 1.5 years because he could not cope with backstage political intrigues. At first, the prime minister tried to find a way out, condemning the action “Ukraine without Kuchma”, but quickly realized that it was a road to nowhere. In the spring of 2001, after catastrophic criticism, he resigns. This step was the start for the transition to the opposition and the creation of the “Nasha Ukraina” (“Our Ukraine”) political bloc. That bloc sensationally won on party elections of 2002.
This victory can be considered one of the prerequisites of the coming Orange Revolution. It was clear who the favorite candidate was. Even ambitious Yulia Tymoshenko chose to clean the way for the ex-head of the NBU. The political elite, which was in power then, worked against Yushchenko, supporting the candidacy of another Viktor — Yanukovych.
In 2004, before the upcoming elections, Viktor Andreevich was poisoned with dioxin, which leads to deformation of the face and skin.
These were turbulent times: everyone remembers the tent camp on Maidan, insane fraud and the historic third round of elections, which brought victory to the representative of the pro-Ukrainian forces.
The first steps of Yushchenko as the head of the country were confident and radical. The “cleansing” of the authorities from representatives of the old party elites was in full swing. A lot was done in the direction of studying historical sources connected with Holodomor and OUN-UPA-activities. But afterward, the Viktor Andreyevich team ceased to be coordinated — everyone started to want power. It was like pulling the rope onto different directions, where Tymoshenko & Poroshenko was on the opposite sides. The Party of Regions has come to the fore. Next, the early parliamentary elections took place, and they were accompanied by scandals.
The indecision of Viktor Yushchenko led to the fact that even before the end of his presidential term, Ukrainians had to choose his replacement — Yanukovych or Tymoshenko.
At the time of the 2010 presidential election, Ukrainians gave Viktor Yushchenko only 5.45%. It was a heavy blow. Two years later there was another failure — already at the 2012 parliamentary elections. After that, the ex-president left politics.
In the summer of 2005, V.A. Yushchenko, the then-current president of Ukraine, hit the epicenter of another scandal, which was caused by condemnation of the luxurious life of his eldest son — Andrew. Close attention to the family members caused an overreaction from the president, which had a bad effect on his democrat’s image & worsened relations with the Ukrainian journalistic community.
Yushchenko was actively criticized for his susceptibility to the influence of his so-called “dear friends”, spinelessness, non-compliance with election promises and the inability to unite potential and obvious political allies.
Although the political figure of President Yushchenko was a big disappointment for Ukrainians, Viktor Andreyevich went down in history as owner of many Ukrainian and foreign awards, awarded orders as well:
- Ph.D. in economics, defended his thesis on the topic “The Development of the Supply and Demand of Money in Ukraine”
- Academician of the Academy of Economic Sciences of Ukraine,
- Academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Economic Cybernetics.
In 2005, his candidacy was submitted for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Viktor Yushchenko today
Now Yushchenko is retired, but sometimes he gives interviews, expressing his opinion on the current state of political affairs.
In May 2018, he was elected as a Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Alpari Bank.
Viktor Andreevich remains a supporter of the political reform revision, ardently
supports the existence of a single state language — Ukrainian. He actively supports the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, joining the WTO. He repeatedly expressed his views on the creation of a single local Ukrainian Orthodox Church.