Oleksandr Turchynov

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Oleksandr Turchynov
Олександр Турчинов
Turchynov March 2014 (cropped).jpg
11th Secretary of RNBO of Ukraine
Assumed office
16 December 2014
President Petro Poroshenko
Preceded by Andriy Parubiy
10th Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
In office
22 February 2014 – 27 November 2014
Preceded by Volodymyr Rybak
Succeeded by Volodymyr Groysman
President of Ukraine
Acting
In office
23 February 2014 – 7 June 2014
Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov (Acting)
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Preceded by Viktor Yanukovych
Succeeded by Petro Poroshenko
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Acting
In office
4 March 2010 – 11 March 2010
President Viktor Yanukovych
Preceded by Yulia Tymoshenko
Succeeded by Mykola Azarov
18th Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
In office
18 December 2007 – 11 March 2010
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Preceded by Mykola Azarov
Succeeded by Andriy Klyuyev
7th Director of the Security Service
In office
4 February 2005 – 8 September 2005
President Viktor Yushchenko
Preceded by Ihor Smeshko
Succeeded by Ihor Drizhchanyi
3rd convocation
In office
May 12, 1998 – May 14, 2002
Deputy People's Deputy of Ukraine
Constituency Hromada, No.12[1]
4th convocation
In office
May 14, 2002 – July 7, 2005
Constituency Fatherland, No.7[2]
5th convocation
In office
May 25, 2006 – June 15, 2007
Constituency Fatherland, No.2[3]
6th convocation
In office
November 23, 2007 – December 19, 2007
Constituency Fatherland, No.2[4]
7th convocation
In office
December 12, 2012 – November 27, 2014
Constituency Fatherland, No.4[5]
8th convocation
Assumed office
November 27, 2014
Constituency People's Front, No.3[6]
Personal details
Born (1964-03-31) 31 March 1964 (age 54)
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Political party Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1987-1991)
Hromada (1994–1999)
Fatherland (1999–2014)
People's Front (2014-present)
Other political
affiliations
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (2001–2012)
Dictatorship Resistance Committee (2011–2014)
Spouse(s) Hanna Volodymyrivna
Children Kyrylo
Alma mater National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine
Signature
Website Official website

Oleksandr Valentynovych Turchynov (Ukrainian: Олександр Валентинович Турчинов; born 31 March 1964) is a Ukrainian politician, screenwriter, Baptist minister and economist. He is the current Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.[8]

Turchynov is a former acting President of Ukraine from the removal from power of President Viktor Yanukovych on 21 February 2014,[9][10][11][12] until Petro Poroshenko was sworn in as Ukrainian President on 7 June 2014.[13] He then became Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament until 27 November 2014. Turchynov also served as acting Prime Minister in 2010 (when he was the First Vice Prime Minister in the absence of a prime minister after Yulia Tymoshenko's government was dismissed on 3 March 2010[14]) until the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) appointed Mykola Azarov as Prime Minister on 11 March 2010.[15][16]

Turchynov was the first deputy chairman of the political party Batkivshchyna (All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland") and a close associate of party leader Yulia Tymoshenko.[8][17][18][19] He started the new political party People's Front in September 2014, now together with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.[20]

Biography

Oleksandr Turchynov was born in Dnipropetrovsk. He graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute in 1986, after which he worked at Kryvorizhstal, a large Ukrainian steel producer.[21] From 1987 to 1990, he served as head of the agitation and propaganda division of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Komsomol (Communist Youth League) Committee, which was led by Serhiy Tihipko.[21] Tihipko and Turchynov became political advisers of Leonid Kuchma, then head of Dnipropetrovsk-based Pivdenmash missile manufacturer.[21] Kuchma and his entire team, including Tihipko and Turchynov moved to Kiev in 1992, after Kuchma was appointed Prime Minister.[21] In 1993 Turchynov was formally appointed an advisor on economic issues to Prime Minister Kuchma.[21]

Turchynov is an old ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, another prominent Ukrainian political figure from Dnipropetrovsk. They used to have a common business in Dnipropetrovsk. In December 1993, Turchynov co-founded and became Vice President of Ukrainian Union of Industrialist and Entrepreneurs. In 1994 he created the political party Hromada together with Pavlo Lazarenko, a business ally of Tymoshenko.[21] Turchynov was also director of the Economic Reforms Institute from January 1994 to March 1998 and was head of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences' Laboratory of Shadow Economy Research.[22][23]

Political life

Turchynov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok with coalition agreement before 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.
Turchynov and Oleh Tyahnybok in parliament, 24 February 2014

In 1998, he was elected to parliament as a member of Hromada but after the scandal around Lazarenko, he left the faction and party (during May 1999) together with Yulia Tymoshenko's All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland". He was re-elected to parliament in 2002 and 2006 as part of the BYuT.

On 4 February 2005, Turchynov was appointed and served as the first‐ever civilian head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). With the approval of Turchynov as the head of the SBU, he dissolved the investigation team that was investigating the Georgiy Gongadze case since 2002. According to the first deputy head of the Main Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine Roman Shubin, Turchynov ordered not to provide operational data on the Gongadze case to the investigation group of the Security Service of Ukraine.[24][25][26]

In August 2007, Turchynov replied to the accusation that his stance on same-sex marriage is typically conservative, "I do not agree. If a man has normal views, then you label him a conservative, but those who use drugs or promote sodomy, you label them a progressive person. All of these are perversions".[27]

In the spring of 2008, he was the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc candidate[28] for the Mayor of Kiev election he placed second at the election with 218,600 votes (19.13% of total vote).[29]

In December 2009, during the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election campaign Turchynov accused President Viktor Yushchenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych of coordinating their actions in their attempts to topple the Second Tymoshenko Government.[30] From December 2009 till March 2010, the adviser to Turchynov in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine was Andriy Slyusarchuk, a Ukrainian fraudster.[31]

On 4 March 2010, after the fall of the second Tymoshenko Government, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko resigned from that post on 4 March 2010[14] and Turchynov was empowered to fulfill the Prime Minister's duties until a new government was formed.[32] On 11 March 2010 the Azarov Government was elected[33] and Mykola Azarov was appointed Prime Minister the same day.[15][16]

According to Wikileaks, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleksandr Medvedko ordered former Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko to arrest Yulia Tymoshenko's teammates - Oleksandr Turchynov and Andriy Kozhemiakin - for destroying the documents of the Security Service of Ukraine in which the connection between Tymoshenko and the criminal businessman Semion Mogilevich was proved.[34][35][36][37]

In 2012 he was re-elected into parliament on the party list of "Fatherland".[38]

On 22 February 2014, he was elected as speaker of Verkhovna Rada.[9] On 23 February 2014, Turchynov was designated as acting President of Ukraine following the impeachment of Viktor Yanukovych.[39] On 25 February Turchynov assumed the (Presidential power of) command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.[12]

Early March 2014 Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, stated he did not regard Turchynov as the legitimate Ukrainian President.[40]

On 14 April 2014, while talking on the phone with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Turchynov asked for the United Nations's support regarding the crisis in eastern Ukraine, to which the Secretary-General replied that peacekeepers may be sent in should Russia withhold its veto. Meanwhile, Turchynov issued a deadline to the pro-Russian insurgents to disarm and dismantle their barricades, but the deadline passed without incident.[41] Before he issued a deadline, which was scheduled for 9 am,[42] he tried to negotiate with insurgents and even proposed to hold referendum on the same day as elections which will be on 25 May. His proposition was questioned by journalists who feared that the referendum might be sabotaged by pro-Russia insurgents.[43]

On 20 April 2014, Turchinov covertly ordered Dmytro Yarosh to lead 20 Right Sector members to sabotage a separatist-controlled television tower, leading to the first combat fatalities of the Siege of Sloviansk, according to an interview given by Dmytro Yarosh on 22 April 2016.[44][45]

Petro Poroshenko was elected President of Ukraine on 25 May 2014.[46][47][48][49][50] Poroshenko was sworn in as Ukrainian President on 7 June 2014, this ended the presidential powers of Turchynov.[13]

On 10 September 2014, Turchynov became founding member the new party People's Front.[20]

In an interview with the BBC, Turchynov admitted that in 2014, when the first volunteers went to war, he was personally giving them weapons, but not all were clean in the eyes of the law: "And I personally signed the orders for the weapons, many were worried about what would happen if they did not follow those orders with a weapons. Indeed, we didn't check anyone at that time, if they were convicted previously or not – whoever said that they are ready to defend the country, signed up, received weapons and went to the East of our country."[51][52][53]

On 21 September 2014, he said that Russia doesn't admits that their soldiers are fighting in Ukraine. He also stated that Russia is the main aggressor and that during the conflict his nation have lost over 1,000 lives with 100s missing. During the same Facebook message he compared the conflict to the butterflies, a metaphor to one of Ray Bradbury's works.[54]

Turchynov was elected his party's faction leader on 27 November 2014.[55]

On 16 December 2014, President Poroshenko appointed Turchynov as Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.[8]

Business activity

According to the journalistic investigation, Turchinov's mother-in-law, Tamara Beliba, owns the largest data center in the Baltic statesMC-office. Beliba owns the Ekonomikos Institutas company, which owns a data center located in Kaunas, Lithuania. The total volume of investments was $ 200 million.[56][57][58]

On 1 May 2017, the journalistic investigation of the program Our money with Denis Bigus (channel 24) proved the connection between Oleksandr Turchynov and people’s deputy Ruslan Lukyanchuk with three large companies (Absolut Finance, Magnate and Octave Finance) that own 1,200 exchange points of 3,500 legal currency exchange offices in Ukraine. These points exchanged currencies without cash registers, which violates the requirements of the law, since in this case automatic tax reporting is not provided to the State Fiscal Service. All these companies are listed on the nominees — Oksana and Ilona Brodovskaya and Hryhoriy Pron’ko (Oksana’s father). However, their connection with the joint business of Turchinov and Lukyanchuk was proved by journalists — Oksana and her husband Valentin Brodovsky were assistants of Ruslan Lukyanchuk during four convocations of the Verkhovna Rada.[59][60][61] Investigations on this subject were published in the Ukrainian media earlier.[62]

Controversies

In June 2003, the Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin announced his intention to send the proposal to the Ukrainian Parliament an idea to bringing to trial the deputies Alexander Turchinov, Stepan Khmara and Nikolai Rudkovsky. According to Shokin, the People’s deputies were insulting and beating the staff of the Lukyanivska Prison. Deputies demanded the release of Gennady Tymoshenko and Antonina Bolyura. They were incriminated with three cases of the Criminal code: “Capturing state buildings”, “Threat to law enforcement officers”, and “Excess of power with the use of weapons and verbal insulting of law enforcement officers.”[63][64][65]

On September 13, 2003, tax officials detained at the office of the “Fatherland” party Ruslan Lukyanchuk, one of the assistants of Oleksandr Turchynov. He was charged with involvement in illegal currency exchange. The Prosecutor General of Ukraine Svyatoslav Piskun then stated that the detention of Turchynov’s assistant was part of a planned process of initiating a criminal case. According to Piskun, about hundreds of thousands of illegally converted dollars were sent to the office of the “Fatherland” party.[66]

In February 2006 state prosecutors opened a criminal case against Turchynov and his SBU deputy Andriy Kozhemyakin for destroying a file about FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive, organized crime boss Semyon Mogilevich, from the SBU archive. The case was dismissed four months later.[67] WikiLeaks documents mention Turchynov, then head of Ukraine's SBU, as having destroyed documents implicating Yulia Tymoshenko's alleged connections to Mogilevich.[68]

According to the Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine newspaper referring to deputy mayor of Kiev Leonid Chernovetskiy, Mr. Turchynov is related to unlawful construction in the Landscape Valley (Peyzazhna aleya) district of Kiev. In autumn of 2004 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine signed an investment contract with JSC Ukrainian Property (OAO “Ukrayinsʹke mayno”) on the construction of an apartment building in this district. With this the share of the MFA in the project made just 20%. The Ministry actually became a cover for the businessmen. As of the 1 January, 2007, 91.1% of the JSC Ukrainian Property shares belonged to Eclad Invest Ltd. (USA), and 8.2% to Valery Kovalenko. Previously, the shares of JSC Ukrainian Property belonged to JSC Financial holding “L-Holding”, the largest shareholder of which was JSC Centre of Financial Technologies. Oleksandr Turchinov owned 26.2% of the shares of this company.[69][70] On April 23, 2008, the Kiev District Administrative Court ruled that Oleksandr Turchinov had no personal relationship with the construction of the Landscape Valley.[71]

In 2005, Oleksandr Turchinov ordered to organize an illegal wiretapping of the journalist of Segodnya newspaper Oleksandr Korchinsky. This fact was made public at a press conference by Viktor Shokin, former Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The telephone of the journalist was tapped from June 25 to July 12, 2005. Turchinov personally took this decision. The journalist’s phone was bugged without sanctions of the court.[72][73][74] On 14 March 2006, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine have opened a criminal case on the fact of illegal wiretapping of senior officials. Most of these wiretapping took place in 2005, when Oleksandr Turchynov was the head of SSU.[75][76]

In August 2016, journalists of the Economichna Pravda (Ukrayinska Pravda project) accused Oleksandr Turchinov of influencing the leadership of the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine (DSTSZI). Despite the introduction of the system of electronic declarations on the incomes of civil servants and officials, those declarations without a DSTSZI's security certificate could not have legal force in court cases. A number of analysts accused Turchinov of disrupting the launch of the e-declaration system.[77][78][79][80]

On 15 August 2016, Serhiy Kaplin, Secretary of the Committee for National Security and Defense of the Verkhovna Rada, published an open appeal to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Prosecutor General demanding to confirm the attitude of Oleksandr Turchinov to private arms manufacturers. Turchinov actively lobbies the entry of these manufacturers to the market.[81][82][83] Kaplin also demands the Prosecutor General to open cases against Turchynov and Serhiy Pashynskyi on the surrender of Crimea and Donbass.[84][85]

In March 2017, former people's deputy Oleksandr Shepelev accused Turchinov and Ruslan Lukyanchuk of stealing and withdrawing $ 800 million from the state budget with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund. According to Shepelev, in 2009 Turchinov and Lukyanchuk "were taxed by the heads of ministries and state enterprises", and received money from them to the accounts of the European Bank for Rational Financing (EBRD). There, hryvnias were converted into the cash dollars, which then were withdrawn to offshores through the Baltic banks and shell companies. The largest of these companies was Fortex, owned by Lukyanchuk and registered in the UK. Turchinov urged the NABU to investigate the charges against him.[86][87][88]

Non-official activities

In 2004 Turchynov published a book Illusion of Fear.[21] In 2005 he also wrote a script to the same name movie that is based on the book.[89] The movie was released in Ukraine in September 2008 and was the 2008 Ukrainian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[90]

Earnings

According to the electronic declaration, in 2016, Oleksandr Turchinov received 512,807 hryvnias (USD 19,618) as salary in the Verkhovna Rada. He received interest of 1.7 million hryvnias (USD 65,034) from bank deposits. Another 22.8 thousand hryvnias formed an income from the alienation of securities and corporate rights. On bank accounts, Turchinov had 49.8 thousand hryvnias, USD 810.4 thousand, and about 10 thousand. He also declared USD 735 thousand, € 55 thousand, and 320 thousand hryvnias in cash. Additionally, Turchinov had a collection of ancient Bibles, 12 paintings, as well as copyrights to books and films. His spouse has declared 447.5 thousand grivnas of income.[91][92][93][94]

Awards

On 31 October 2014, at the ceremony of rewarding the participants of the special operation in Donbass, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov awarded Oleksandr Turchinov a compact self-loading pistol PSM-05 for services to the ministry. The Minister expressed the hope that he will assist the Ministry in the future.[95]

Turchinov also has three more award weapons - a revolver of Alfa 3541 caliber .357 Magnum (30 April 2014), a pistol machine gun Fort-226 (30 March 2015), and a semi-automatic pistol Mauser C96 with 105 bullets.[96]

In May 2016, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov confirmed that Turchinov was awarded the Maxim's machine gun model 1910 (PM M1910).[97][98]

On 2 May 2018, by the decree of the President of Ukraine, he was awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of the Fifth Class.[99]

Personal life

His wife is Hanna Turchynova (born 1970), PhD, dean of the faculty of natural geography and ecology at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University.[100] They have one son, Kyrylo (born 1994), a student that finished his master's degree thesis in 2014.[101]

Turchynov is known for abstaining from tobacco and alcohol.[102] He is part of the 1% of Ukraine's population that identify as being Protestant. Although some in the media have reported that he is a pastor,[103][104][105] the Associated Baptist Press and the European Baptist Federation report[102][106] that he is an elder and occasional lay preacher at his Kiev church, the Word of Life Center, which is a member of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine.[21]

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  76. ^ "Олег Рыбачук: «К сожалению, уже после победы «оранжевой» власти были факты прослушивания высших должностных лиц государства»" (in Russian). fakty.ua. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
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  81. ^ "Депутат: Антикоррупционное бюро и ГПУ должны проверить работу Турчинова" (in Russian). KP. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2018. 
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External links

  • Official website
Government offices
Preceded by
Ihor Smeshko
Director of the Security Service
2005
Succeeded by
Ihor Drizhchany
Political offices
Preceded by
Mykola Azarov
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Andriy Klyuyev
Preceded by
Yulia Tymoshenko
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Acting

2010
Succeeded by
Mykola Azarov
Preceded by
Serhiy Arbuzov
Acting
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Acting

2014
Succeeded by
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Preceded by
Volodymyr Rybak
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
2014
Succeeded by
Volodymyr Groysman
Preceded by
Viktor Yanukovych
President of Ukraine
Acting

2014
Succeeded by
Petro Poroshenko
Preceded by
Andriy Parubiy
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council
2014–present
Incumbent
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