The current office of the prime minister in Ukraine replaced the Soviet position of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, which had been established in 1946. The prime minister is the head of the government and oversees the cabinet of the prime ministers which is the highest body of the executive branch of the government. The president appoints the prime ministers with consent from the Parliament through a majority vote.
Ukraine Prime Ministers
Leonid Kuchma was born in August of 1938 in Chaikyne, in what is now the Chernihivs'ka Oblast of Ukraine. He attended Dniprotrovisk National University and graduated in 1960 as a mechanical engineer. He worked as an aerospace engineer. In 1982 he became the first deputy general and design engineer in Yuzhmush and later became the company's general manager. He was a member of parliament from 1990 up to 1992 when the president appointed him as the prime minister. He served as the prime minister for a year and resigned due to the slow pace of reform in the government. He ran for the presidency in 1994 and won the seat serving as president from 1994 until 2005.
Vitaliy Masol was born on November 14, 1928. He graduated from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 1951 as an engineer. He received a doctorate in technical science in 1971. He served as the head of the council of ministers in the Soviet Union from 1987 up to October 17, 1990, when he retired from the position following strikes and protests of students. The president later appointed him as the prime minister on June 16, 1994, and he resigned on March 1, 1995. He was against most of the president's reform opinions and used to mobilize people against him. In his service, Masol was the advocate of the state-controlled economy.
Yevhen Marchuk was born on January 28, 1941, to peasant farmers parents in central Ukraine. He graduated from Kirovohrad Institute in 1961 and joined the Soviet intelligence and security agency Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB). In 1991 following his loyalty to the Ukrainian government, he became the minister of national security and defense. In 1994 after parliamentary elections he became the prime minister on June 8, 1995. He resigned in 1996 and became a member of the social democratic party of Ukraine.
Lazarenko was born on January 23, 1953 to a gardener. He worked as a driver in 1970 and served in the Soviet army from 1971 to 1973. He then proceeded to State Agrarian University to study agronomy. He worked as agronomist until 1984 when he became the head of the agricultural department. The president appointed him the representative of the president of Ukraine in Dniprotrovsk in 1992. The prime minister at the time recommended him to the president, and he became the first vice prime minister in 1995 energy affairs. During his service as the official for energy, Lazarenko managed to pay all the country's debts to the Russian gas industries, and for the first time, Ukraine was free of debt. The president confirmed him as the prime minister in 1996. He gained control over lucrative businesses in the country and took 50% of all profits which led to a bitter disagreement between him and the Denostek clan. From 1998 Lazarenko faced many trials and convictions over issues of corruption and money laundering.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Ukrainian Prime Minister
Duties of the prime minister include overseeing the executive branch of the government and cabinet ministers, and the signing of the laws passed by the cabinet. The prime minister has the power to propose candidates he deems fit for ministerial positions and head of government organizations. He can countersign the decrees adopted by the president. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has had sixteen prime ministers and four interim prime ministers. Some of the most prominent prime ministers have included Vitold Fokin, Anatoly Kinakh, Viktor Yanukovych, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Mykola Azarov, among others.