Prime Minister of Ukraine

The Prime Minister of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Прем'єр-міністр України, Prem'ier-ministr Ukrayiny) is Ukraine's head of government,[1] presiding over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is the highest body of the executive branch of the Ukrainian government. The position replaced the Soviet post of the Chairman of Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, which was established on March 25, 1946.

Since Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been sixteen prime ministers,[2] or twenty, counting acting PMs. Arseniy Yatsenyuk was the first Prime Minister who came from Western Ukraine. Two prime ministers were born in the Russian SFSR.

The current prime minister is Volodymyr Groysman since he was sworn on 14 April 2016.[3]

Prime Minister of Ukraine
Прем'єр-міністр України
Lesser Coat of Arms of Ukraine
Володимир Гройсман КМУ (cropped)
Volodymyr Groysman

since 14 April 2016
AppointerPresident of Ukraine
with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada
Term lengthDuration of the parliamentary convocation (4 years)
Inaugural holderVolodymyr Vynnychenko
FormationJune 28, 1917
SuccessionNone; resignation or removal renders cabinet illegitimate
Salary20,000 per month


The prime minister is appointed by the president with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada. The consent is deemed granted by the parliament when a simple majority of its constitutional membership votes in favour of the candidate nominated by the president. The highest parliamentary approval to date was received by Yulia Tymoshenko who was appointed the Prime Minister on February 4, 2005 with 373 votes in the Verkhovna Rada. Other prime ministers who received more than 300 votes were Arseniy Yatsenyuk (371), Yatsenyuk again in 2014 (341)[4] Vitold Fokin (332), and Leonid Kuchma (316).

The procedure of granting consent by the parliament is usually preceded by several days of comprehensive consultations and interviews of the candidate by the parliamentary factions. The approval by the legislature is not a mere formality. Some candidates were ratified by a narrow margin and a candidate may be turned down. For instance, in 1999, Valeriy Pustovoitenko fell three votes short of being re-confirmed after he tendered his resignation at the second inauguration of President Leonid Kuchma in 1999. Kuchma chose Viktor Yushchenko as his alternative candidate. Another example is the approval of Yuriy Yekhanurov's candidacy (he fell three votes short of approval, but was confirmed on the second attempt two days later).

After the constitutional reform of late 2004, the president was restricted in his choice of prime minister and was virtually obliged to nominate the person proposed by the parliamentary coalition. The prime minister, as with all members of executive branch, cannot be a member of parliament.

Duties and powers

P031214PS-0710 (14104760453)
U.S. President Barack Obama talks with then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, March 12, 2014.

The Prime Minister heads Ukraine's executive branch of government, the Cabinet of Ministers and signs decrees passed by the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister has the authority to propose candidates for ministry offices to the Verkhovna Rada,[5] with the exception of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense, which are proposed by the president. The Prime Minister can also propose candidates for the heads of regional administrations to the president for consideration.[5]

The Prime Minister can also countersign decrees and laws passed by the president. The constitution is silent on the exact regulation of the countersigning. The Prime Minister (and the respective minister) are responsible for the execution of laws passed by the cabinet.

While in office, the Prime Minister is granted full legal immunity from all prosecutions and legal proceedings. The Prime Minister's office is headquartered in the Cabinet of Ministries building in central Kiev. The Prime Minister was paid a yearly salary of 202,776 UAH (16,898/month) (US$26,770) in 2005.[6] In 2013, following a petition in Fokus magazine, the secretariat of the cabinet stated that the monthly salary of Prime Minister was 33,980 UAH (US$4,173.42), which is eleven times more than the average salary in the country.[7]

Prime Ministers are frequently asked by individual citizens for help in solving their personal problems, sometimes successfully. In 2012, Prime Minister Azarov received dozens of personal pleas every day on his Facebook page.[8] By-passing local Governments is an age-old practice in Ukraine.[8]

Acting and Vice-Prime Ministers

Oleksandr Turchynov March 2014 (cropped)
Oleksandr Turchynov served as Acting Prime Minister in 2010 after Yulia Tymoshenko tendered her government's resignation.

The First Vice-Prime Minister, also known as the First Deputy, heads the cabinet in the absence of the prime minister due to resignation or dismissal. Among the most notable First deputies were Yukhym Zvyahilsky and Mykola Azarov, who served as the acting Prime Minister for a longer period of time than anyone else. Valentyn Symonenko, Vasyl Durdynets, Oleksandr Turchynov and others also served as acting Prime Minister.

Apart from the First Vice-Prime Minister, there are also several other vice-ministers who support the Prime Minister and may be in charge of one or more ministries. In 1991–1992 the office of the State Minister was also introduced. Traditionally Vice-Prime Ministers are in charge of an area of general state government policy such as the Agro-Industrial Complex, Humanitarian Affairs, Economic Affairs, or Regional Policy. On certain occasions, those deputies may be given regular ministerial portfolios as well, as happened in the 2010 Azarov Government.

Dismissal and resignation

The Prime Minister, like other Cabinet members, may resign voluntarily by tendering their resignation to the President. A resignation by the Prime Minister results in the dismissal of the entire Cabinet. After the adoption of the current Constitution in 1996, only Prime Ministers Pavlo Lazarenko and Mykola Azarov have left their post this way.[9] While the Prime Minister does not have a set term limit, he or she stays in office for the duration of the parliament term, unless he or she resigns or is dismissed earlier.

Before the constitutional reform of 2004, the prime minister was usually dismissed unilaterally by the president. After the reform, the prime minister could only be dismissed by the parliament. Formally, the Verkhovna Rada needed to pass a resolution of no confidence of the cabinet, which had to result in the prime minister's resignation. However, the parliament could not put such a resolution to the vote within one year of the approval of the cabinet's official programme. The Cabinets of Prime Ministers Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were dismissed in this way, with the latter refusing to tender his resignation to the president claiming a violation of the one-year period condition. The Cabinet of Yuriy Yekhanurov had also been formally dismissed, but the parliamentary act was subsequently repealed.

List of Prime Ministers (1991–present)

Since Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been 15 prime ministers[2] (19 including acting PMs). Yulia Tymoshenko was the first (and only) female Prime Minister of Ukraine.[10] Before the re-appointment as Prime Minister of Mykola Azarov, Tymoshenko was the longest serving prime minister serving for two terms and a total of 1,029 days (days serving as acting Prime Minister are not included in these numbers).[11] Since Azarov was re-appointed as prime minister on 13 December 2012, he has since broken Tymoshenko's record.[12][13] Azarov resigned on 28 January 2014, due to public outcry and protests following the Euromaidan.[14] He was succeeded up by Arseniy Yatsenyuk on 27 February 2014.[15] Yatsenyuk announced he would resign as Prime Minister on 24 July 2014;[15] but his resignation was declined by parliament on 31 July 2014 when only 16 (of the 450) MPs voted for his resignation.[16][17]

Parliamentary approval

N Date Prime Minister Origin Political Party Parliament votes % (of 450)
1 November 14, 1990 Vitold Fokin Zaporizhia Oblast Non-partisan 332 73.8
2 October 13, 1992 Leonid Kuchma Chernihiv Oblast Non-partisan 316 70.2
3 June 16, 1994 Vitaliy Masol Chernihiv Oblast Non-partisan 199 44.2
4 March 6, 1995 Yevhen Marchuk Kirovohrad Oblast Social Democratic Party of Ukraine ??? ???
5 May 28, 1996 Pavlo Lazarenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Hromada ??? ???
6 July 16, 1997 Valeriy Pustovoitenko Mykolaiv Oblast People's Democratic Party 226 50.2
7 December 22, 1999 Viktor Yushchenko Sumy Oblast Non-partisan 296 65.8
8 May 29, 2001 Anatoliy Kinakh Moldavian SSR Industrialists 239 53.1
9 November 21, 2002 Viktor Yanukovych Donetsk Oblast Party of Regions 234 52.0
10 February 4, 2005 Yulia Tymoshenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Batkivshchyna 373 82.9
11 September 22, 2005 Yuri Yekhanurov Russian SFSR Our Ukraine 289[18] 64.2
12 August 4, 2006 Viktor Yanukovych Donetsk Oblast Party of Regions 271 60.2
13 December 18, 2007 Yulia Tymoshenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Batkivshchyna 226[19] 50.2
14 March 11, 2010 Mykola Azarov Russian SFSR Party of Regions 242 53.8
December 13, 2012 252 56.0
15 February 27, 2014 Arseniy Yatsenyuk Chernivtsi Oblast Batkivshchyna 371 82.2
November 27, 2014 People's Front 341 75.8
16 April 14, 2016 Volodymyr Groysman Vinnytsia Oblast Petro Poroshenko Bloc 257 57.1


  1. ^ Economic Interdependence in Ukrainian-Russian Relations by Paul J. D'Anieri, State University of New York Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-7914-4246-3 (page 187)
  2. ^ a b Eugenia Tymoshenko: the fight to save my mother Yulia, The Guardian (23 September 2012)
  3. ^ Ukraine MPs approve Volodymyr Groysman as new PM, BBC News (14 April 2016)
  4. ^ Ukrainian parliament appoints Yatseniuk prime minister, Interfax-Ukraine (27 November 2014)
  5. ^ a b Government approves draft law on cabinet according to which president appoints premier, Interfax-Ukraine (October 5, 2010)
  6. ^ "The salary of Yushchenko rose 9 times – to $4.5 thousand". NTA-Privolzhye. July 14, 2005. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
  7. ^ Azarov receives more than 30 thousands in a month (Азаров отримує більше 30 тисяч на місяць). Ukrayinska Pravda. 2013-1-24
  8. ^ a b Help Me, Father Czar!, Kyiv Post (5 April 2012)
  9. ^ Laws of Ukraine. President of Ukraine decree No. 599/97: On the resignation of Prime Minister P.Lazarenko. Adopted on 1997-07-02. (Ukrainian)
  10. ^ Ukraine's First Woman Prime Minister Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Azarov is record-holder in holding PM post Archived December 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, ForUm (4 December 2012)
  12. ^ Ukraine parliament approves Azarov as prime minister, Reuters (13 December 2012)
  13. ^ Azarov urges Ukrainians to be worthy of liberators' feat, Ukrinform (9 May 2013)
  14. ^ BBC News (January 28, 2014). "Ukraine's PM Azarov and government resign". Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Walker, Shaun (July 24, 2014), "Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk resigns", Guardian, retrieved July 24, 2014
    "Ukraine Prime Minister Resigns, as Kiev Moves Toward Elections". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
    Rada speaker announces dissolution of parliamentary coalition, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
    Ukrainian PM Yatseniuk announces resignation in parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
    Yatseniuk says collapse of Rada coalition means failure to pass laws on filling budget, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  16. ^ Rada expresses confidence in PM Yatseniuk, Interfax-Ukraine (31 July 2014)
  17. ^ Yatseniuk's statement of resignation sent to parliament - Hroisman, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
    Koshulynsky closes parliament meeting, next one to take place on August 12, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
  18. ^ Yekhanurov initially collected 223 votes out of the necessary 226, but he was appointed after the second try.
  19. ^ Tymoshenko initially collected 225 votes out of the necessary 226. Some deputies announced that their votes did not correspond to the results. The Tymoshenko candidacy was approved on the second try.

External links

Chief of Local State Administration (Ukraine)

In Ukraine, the title Head (Chief) of Local State Administration (Ukrainian: Голова місцевої державної адміністрації) refers to the chief executive of each of the administrative divisions of Ukraine: oblast (region/province), raion (district) or city, in case of Kiev and Sevastopol.

Informally the position of the head of Regional State Administration or more commonly Oblast State Administration (for oblasts) is referred to as governor. However, its function is very different from a traditional gubernatorial position.

The Head of Local State Administrations are appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine on the submission of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for the term of office of the Head of the State.

First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine

First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine is a government post of Cabinet of Ukraine. In the absence of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the First Vice Prime Minister performs his or her duty as the acting Prime Minister of Ukraine. In 1991 the post was grandfathered from the already existing First Deputy Chairman that was part of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR.

In an absence of the First Vice Prime Minister, his or her functions are performed by other Vice Prime Ministers who are members of the Cabinet of Ministers. Similarly to Prime Minister, all office duties of the First Vice Prime Minister are supported by the Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers.

Along with other members of Cabinet of Ministers, the newly appointed First Vice Prime Minister takes one and the same oath of office at a plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament). According to the Article 10 (Law of Ukraine about the Cabinet of Ministers), a member of Cabinet of Ministers (except for the Prime Minister of Ukraine) who refuses to take the oath is considered as such who refused to accept the post. Every newly appointed member of already existing cabinet needs to take the oath at the next plenary session of Verkhovna Rada.

First Yanukovych government

The first Yanukovych Government was the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers between 21 November 2002 and 5 January 2005, led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych had been elected Prime Minister of Ukraine with 234 votes, only 8 more than needed.On December 1, 2004 (during the Orange Revolution) the Ukrainian Parliament passed a vote of no-confidence. The government supported NATO membership of Ukraine (2002) and sent Ukrainian troops to Iraq in 2003.

Government of Ukraine

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Кабінет Міністрів України, Kabinet ministriv Ukrayiny; shortened to CabMin), commonly referred to as the Government of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Уряд України, Uryad Ukrayiny), is the highest body of state executive power in Ukraine. As Cabinet of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, it was formed on 18 April 1991 by the Law of Ukrainian SSR No.980-XII. Vitold Fokin was approved the first Prime Minister of Ukraine.

The Cabinet is a collegiate body consisting of the Cabinet's presidium composed of five individual and several ministries that are represented by their respective minister. Some ministries may be headed by members of the Cabinet presidium (Vice Prime Ministers). The presidium of Cabinet is composed of the Prime Minister of Ukraine presiding over the Cabinet and assisted by his First Vice Prime and other Vice Prime ministers. The Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers ensures the operations of the cabinet.

The current Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is since 14 April 2016 the Groysman government.

Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast

The Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is the head of executive branch for the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.

The office of Governor is an appointed position, with officeholders being appointed by the President of Ukraine, on recommendation from the Prime Minister of Ukraine, to serve a four-year term.

The official residence for the Governor is located in Dnipropetrovsk. The current Acting Governor is Valentyn Reznichenko, who assumed office on March 24, 2015.

Governor of Kirovohrad Oblast

The Governor of Kirovohrad Oblast is the head of executive branch for the Kirovohrad Oblast.

The office of Governor is an appointed position, with officeholders being appointed by the President of Ukraine, on recommendation from the Prime Minister of Ukraine, to serve a four-year term.

The official residence for the Governor is located in Kropyvnytskyi. Since 16 September 2014 the current Governor is Serhiy Kuzmenko.

Governor of Lviv Oblast

The Governor of Lviv Oblast is the head of executive branch for the Lviv Oblast.

The office of Governor is an appointed position, with officeholders being appointed by the President of Ukraine, on recommendation from the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

The official residence for the Governor is in Lviv. The current Governor is Oleh Synyutka, who assumed office on December 26, 2014.

Governor of Volyn Oblast

The Governor of Volyn Oblast is the head of executive branch for the Volyn Oblast.

The office of Governor is an appointed position, with officeholders being appointed by the President of Ukraine, on recommendation from the Prime Minister of Ukraine, to serve a four-year term.

The official residence for the Governor is located in Lutsk. Since 22 March 2018 the current Governor is Oleksandr Savchenko.


Korrespondent (Russian: Корреспондент; Ukrainian: Кореспондент; literally: Correspondent) is a weekly printed magazine published in Ukraine in the Russian and Ukrainian languages. It is part of United Media Holding group, created by Boris Lozhkin and owned by Serhiy Kurchenko.

List of Prime Ministers of Ukraine

The Prime Minister of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Прем'єр-міністр України, Prem'ier-ministr Ukrayiny) is Ukraine's head of government presiding over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is the highest body of the executive branch of the Ukrainian government.

Since Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been 16 Prime Ministers (19 counting acting PMs). Unlike the President of Ukraine, who is directly elected by popular vote every five years, the Prime Minister is appointed by the President upon the ratification of the candidate by the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

Volodymyr Groysman is the incumbent Prime Minister since 14 April 2016.

Mykola Azarov

Mykola Yanovych Azarov (Ukrainian: Мико́ла Я́нович Аза́ров; Russian: Никола́й Я́нович Азaров, translit. Nikolay Yanovich Azarov; né Pakhlo; Cyrillic: Пахло; born 17 December 1947) is a Ukrainian politician who was the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 11 March 2010 to 27 January 2014. He was the First Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister from 2002 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2007. Azarov also served ex officio as an acting Prime Minister in the First Yanukovych Government when Viktor Yanukovych ran for president at first and then upon resignation of his government.

Following the victory of Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 presidential election, Azarov succeeded Yanukovych as leader of the Party of Regions, and he was appointed as a fully fledged Prime Minister in March 2010. After weeks of Euromaidan protests, and clashes, during which civilians were killed, Mykola Azarov offered his letter of resignation on 28 January 2014. Since 3 July 2014 Azarov is in the international wanted list for alleged abuse of power. On 19 January 2015 Kiev District Court of Pechersk Raion issued an arrest warrant as a preventive measure to allow for extradition of Azarov from the Russian Federation.

Oleksandr Vilkul

Oleksandr Vilkul or Aleksandr Vilkul (Ukrainian: Олексaндр Юрійович Вiлкул, Russian: Александр Юрьевич Вилкул) is a Ukrainian Statesman, former Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Chief of State commission for technogenic and ecological safety and emergency situation.

His father Yuri Vilkul has been Mayor of Kryvyi Rih since 2010.

Valentyn Symonenko

Valentyn Kostyantynovych Symonenko (Ukrainian: Валентин Костянтинович Симоненко; born July 4, 1940 in Odessa) is a Ukrainian politician. Between 1996 and 2011 he was chairman of the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine.

In 1983-1992 he served as mayor of Odessa, then as the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine in the Fokin Government, and for period of 10 days in October 1992 (October 2–12) ex officio acted as a Prime Minister of Ukraine upon the resignation of Vitold Fokin and the appointment of Leonid Kuchma to the office. Symonenko became the first "acting Prime Minister".

Symonenko has been elected to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) for three sequential terms (11, 12(1), and 13(2) convocations).

In 1996 he was elected as the Chairman of the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine. In 2003 he was re-elected for the second 7-year term. The Accounting Chamber executes control over revenues and expenditures of the State Budget of Ukraine on behalf of the Verkhovna Rada

Valeriy Pustovoitenko

Valeriy Pavlovych Pustovoitenko (born 23 February 1947) was confirmed as prime minister of Ukraine on 16 July 1997. Pustovoitenko was Ukraine's eighth prime minister. He resigned in connection with Leonid Kuchma's re-election for a new term. He is a former leader of the People's Democratic Party of Ukraine.

Vasyl Durdynets

(Maj. Gen. Ret.) Vasyl Vasylovych Durdynets (Ukrainian: Василь Васильович Дурдинець, b. 27 September 1937) is a Ukrainian politician and diplomat. He served as Acting Prime Minister of Ukraine during a short period in July 1997.

Vitaliy Masol

Vitaliy Andriyovych Masol (Ukrainian: Віталій Андрійович Масол; 14 November 1928 – 21 September 2018) was a politician in his native Ukraine both during and after the era of the Soviet Union (USSR). He held various posts in the Ukrainian SSR, most notably the Head of the Council of Ministers, which is the equivalent of today's Prime Minister, from 1987 until late 1990, when he was forced to resign. He was later Prime Minister of Ukraine, confirmed in that post on 16 June 1994. He resigned from that post on 1 March 1995.

Vitaly Yarema

This article uses national romanization of Ukrainian.

Vitaly Yarema (Ukrainian: Віталій Григорович Ярема, Vitaly Hryhorovych Yarema) is a Ukrainian politician, law enforcement expert who was General Prosecutor of Ukraine from 19 June 2014 until 10 February 2015. His previous position was First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine in Yatsenyuk Government since 27 February 2014, where he was responsible for law enforcement and the power block. Yarema was an MP of Batkivshchyna party (unaffiliated), a former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Kiev (2005–2010), and a retired lieutenant-general of police.

Vitold Fokin

Vitold Pavlovych Fokin (Ukrainian: Віто́льд Па́влович Фо́кін; born 25 October 1932 in Novomykolaivka, Novomykolaivskyi Raion, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast), the son of a teacher, was appointed first deputy prime minister of Ukraine in November 1991. Today Novomykolaivka is located in Zaporizhia Oblast.

Fokin graduated from National Mining University of Ukraine in Dnipropetrovsk.

After Vitaliy Masol was forced to resign Fokin was appointed Head of the Council of Ministers of Ukrainian SSR (today's equivalent of prime-minister) on 17 October 1990.

Volodymyr Groysman

Volodymyr Borysovych Groysman, sometimes transliterated as Volodymyr Borysovych Hroisman (Ukrainian: Володи́мир Бори́сович Гро́йсман (born 20 January 1978), is a Ukrainian politician of Jewish descent who has been the Prime Minister of Ukraine since 14 April 2016.From March 2006 until February 2014 Groysman was the Mayor of Vinnytsia. From then to November 2014, he held two concurrent positions as the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for Regional Policy and the Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine. He was elected into parliament on the party lists of the pro-presidential Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Groysman's next post was the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's national parliament), starting late November 2014 until being appointed Prime Minister.

He is the first ethnically Jewish Prime Minister of Ukraine.

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