Volodymyr Lytvyn

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Volodymyr Lytvyn
Володимир Литвин
Lytvyn cropped.jpg
5th and 8th Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
In office
December 9, 2008 – December 12, 2012[1]
PresidentViktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yanukovych
Preceded byOleksandr Lavrynovych (acting)
Succeeded byVolodymyr Rybak
In office
May 28, 2002[2] – July 6, 2006[3]
PresidentLeonid Kuchma
Viktor Yushchenko
Preceded byIvan Plyushch
Succeeded byOleksandr Moroz
Head of Presidential Administration
In office
November 1999 – May 2002
PresidentLeonid Kuchma
Preceded byMykola Biloblotsky
Succeeded byViktor Medvedchuk
Leader of People's Party
Assumed office
June 2004
People's Deputy of Ukraine
4th convocation
In office
May 14, 2002 – May 25, 2006
ConstituencyIndependent, No.1[4]
6th convocation
In office
November 23, 2007 – December 6, 2012
ConstituencyPeople's Party, No.1[5]
7th convocation
In office
December 12, 2012 – November 27, 2014
ConstituencyPeople's Party, Zhytomyr Oblast,
District No.65[6]
8th convocation
In office
November 27, 2014 – 2019
ConstituencyPeople's Party, Zhytomyr Oblast,
District No.65[7]
Personal details
Born (1956-04-28) April 28, 1956 (age 64)
Sloboda-Romanivska, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukrainian SSR
Political partyBloc For United Ukraine (2002-2004)
People's Party (2004-)
Spouse(s)Tetyana Kostyantynivna (b. 1960)[8][9]
ChildrenOlena (b. 1982)
Ivan (b. 1989)[10]
Alma materKiev University

Volodymyr Mykhailovych Lytvyn (Ukrainian: Володи́мир Миха́йлович Литви́н, IPA: [woloˈdɪmɪr mɪˈxɑjlowɪtʃ lɪtˈwɪn]; born April 28, 1956) is a Ukrainian politician best known for being Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. Having previously served in that position from 2002 until 2006, he was re-elected in December 2008 after his party agreed to join the former coalition of Yulia Tymoshenko in an expanded capacity and stayed Chairman till December 2012.[1][11] From 1994 to 1999, Lytvyn was the aide to President Leonid Kuchma and, later, the head of his office.

Early biography and private life[edit]

Lytvyn was born in Sloboda-Romanivska village in the Novohrad-Volynskyi Raion of the Zhytomyr Oblast. Lytvyn graduated from the Kiev University (Faculty of History) in 1978. In 1984 he defended his dissertation "Efforts of the Communist Party of Ukraine in improving the preparation of teachers in social disciplines".

Lytvyn started his career at the Kiev State University (1978−86), then he worked as Head of Directorate in the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Vocational Training of the Ukrainian SSR (1986−89). Between 1989 and 1991 he worked as a political analyst at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, the Ukrainian branch of CPSU.

Lytvyn is a correspondent member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Honored Worker of Sciences and Technology of Ukraine. However, in 2002 he was publicly and reasonably accused of plagiarizing a Western scholar when writing his article to Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper.

He is married to Tetyana Kostyantynivna (born 1960), an economist. Their daughter Olena (born 1982) is a beauty industry entrepreneur, and their son Ivan (born 1989) is a student.

Lytvyn's hobbies include reading, football, and taking care of dalmatian dogs.

Political career[edit]

In 1994, Lytvyn became the aide to the newly elected President Leonid Kuchma.[12] In 1999, he was appointed as the head of the Presidential Administration. During the Cassette Scandal audiotapes where released on which Kuchma, Lytvyn and other top-level administration officials are allegedly heard discussing the need to silence Georgiy Gongadze for his online news reports about high-level corruption.[13] Gongadze's decapitated body was found in the suburbs of Kiev in November 2000.[13]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Lytvyn meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in December 2008.

In 2002, Lytvyn was elected to Verkhovna Rada as the head of the party bloc For United Ukraine ("Za edynu Ukrainu"). He became the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (speaker) of the legislature as a compromising figure among the parliamentary factions.

Lytvyn refused to take part in the presidential election of 2004 despite his significant political influence.

Lytvyn's brother, Mykola Lytvyn was the chief of Ukraine's Border Guard.

Lytvyn is known for his ironic political expressions. One of his best-known sentences is "I do not protest at forming an artificial majority in our parliament. But I want this majority to include every member of parliament."

At the parliamentary elections on March 26, 2006 his Lytvyn's People's Bloc won 2.44% of the popular vote and no seats since it did not meet the 3 percent threshold. Lytvyn's allies (together with other parties) declared the voting results forged, filing a court suit and starting a public campaign. However, Lytvyn himself avoids press and shows deep disappointment since the results announced. Elected vice-chairman NAN.

In the early parliamentary election held on September 30, 2007, the Lytvyn Bloc (renamed from Lytvyn's People's Bloc) consisted of the People's Party and the Labour Party. The bloc placed fifth[14] with 20 out of 450 seats.

2010 presidential election, and 2012–14 parliamentary elections[edit]

On December 6, 2009 Mykola Melnychenko, former bodyguard to Kuchma, accused Lytvyn of ordering the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze in 2000. A spokesperson for Lytvyn dismissed the claims as part of the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election campaign.[15] During the election Lytvyn received 2,35% of the votes.[16]

Lytvyn took part in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election as a People's Party candidate in single-member districts number 65 (first-past-the-post wins a parliament seat) located in Narodychi Raion.[17][18] He won a parliamentary seat by winning this constituency.[19] Lytvyn did not join any parliamentary faction after taking his seat.[20]

In the 2014 parliamentary election Lytvyn was re-elected into parliament as an independent candidate in electorial district 65 located in Novohrad-Volynskyi with 41.48% of the votes.[21] In parliament, he joined the parliamentary group People's Will until he was asked to leave it on 19 October 2017.[22]

In the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election Lytvyn lost his parliamentary seat after losing his constituency.[23]

Gongadze murder[edit]

In 2000 Melnychenko released a secretly-taped recording allegedly of a conversation between Kuchma and Lytvyn in which the two discussed getting rid of Gongadze. Lytvyn is alleged to have said that Kuchma should "let loose [Interior Minister] Kravchenko to use alternative methods" on Gongadze. Lytvyn denied the allegation, saying that the tape was a fabrication. Independent experts who have analysed the tapes are divided as to their authenticity. Gongadze was found beheaded in a shallow grave in 2000. In 2005, Kravchenko was found dead with two bullets in his head. Official investigations concluded that he had committed suicide and that he had ordered Gongadze's murder. Lytvyn stated "The investigation confirmed my innocence in this case, despite the fact that efforts have been, are being and will be taken to make me practically the main person accused [of killing the journalist]".[24]

During the trial of Oleksiy Pukach, Pukach claimed that (former) Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Lytvyn (at the time of the murder Kuchma's head of his Presidential Administration) had ordered the murder of Gongadze.[25][26]



Volodymyr Lytvyn was bestowed upon the following awards:

  • Hero of Ukraine (2004)
  • State Prize in Science and Technology (1999)
  • Distinguished Scientists of Ukraine (1998)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ukraine parliament elects speaker after brawls, Reuters (13 December 2012)
  2. ^ Laws of Ukraine. Order of Verkhovna Rada No. 10-IV: On the Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Adopted on . (Ukrainian)
  3. ^ "Order of Verkhovna Rada on appointment of Chairman" (in Ukrainian).
  4. ^ "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the IV convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  5. ^ "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the VI convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  6. ^ "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the VII convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  7. ^ "People's Deputy of Ukraine of the VIII convocation". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  8. ^ (in Ukrainian)photoservice UNIAN
  9. ^ (in Ukrainian)Biography People's Party
  10. ^ Rada Elects Volodymyr Lytvyn[permanent dead link], Ukrainian News Agency (December 9, 2008)
  11. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/.stm. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  12. ^ Lytvyn manages to keep foothold in power despite his close ties to Kuchma, questions about his past, Kyiv Post (January 14, 2010)
  13. ^ a b Key suspect in Gongadze murder arrested; Pukach allegedly strangled journalist, but who gave the order? (UPDATED), Kyiv Post, (July 22, 2009)
  14. ^ "Parties (blocs of parties), who get three (3%) and more percents of votes of voters". Central Election Commission of Ukraine. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  15. ^ Former guard accuses parliament speaker of Gongadze murder, Kyiv Post (December 8, 2009)
  16. ^ (in Ukrainian) ЦВК оприлюднила офіційні результати 1-го туру виборів, Gazeta.ua (January 25, 2010)
  17. ^ (in Ukrainian)Одномандатний виборчий округ №65 Single-mandate constituency № 65, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  18. ^ Strange Familiar Faces, The Ukrainian Week (15 September 2012)
  19. ^ (in Ukrainian) Proportional votes Archived October 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine & Constituency seats Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  20. ^ (in Russian)/(website has automatic Google Translate option) Short biography of Volodymyr Lytvyn, LIGA
  21. ^ Data on vote counting at percincts within single-mandate districts Extraordinary parliamentary election on 26.10.2014 Archived October 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
    (in Ukrainian) Candidates and winners for the seat of the constituencies in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Archived 2015-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, RBK Ukraine
  22. ^ In the "Will of the People" they say that they themselves asked Lytvyn to leave. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 20 October 2017.
  23. ^ "На Житомирщине проигрывают Литвин и Пашинский" [In the Zhytomyr region, Lytvyn and Pashynskyi lose]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Russian). 22 July 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  24. ^ Ukraine: don’t ask who killed Georgiy Gongadze, Opendemocracy.net
  25. ^ Court sentences Pukach to life for murdering Gongadze, disregards claims against Kuchma, Lytvyn, Kyiv Post (29 January 2013)
    Ukraine police officer accuses ex-president after being jailed for life, Reuters (29 January 2013)
    Gongadze killer pointed on Kuchma and Lytvyn. "LIGABusinessInform". 2013-1-29
  26. ^ Former policeman 'carried out Georgiy Gongadze murder on behalf of Leonid Kuchma', Telegraph.co.uk (1 September 2011)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mykola Biloblotsky
Head of the Presidential Administration
Succeeded by
Viktor Medvedchuk
Preceded by
Ivan Plyushch
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
Succeeded by
Oleksandr Moroz
Preceded by
Oleksandr Lavrynovych (acting)
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
Succeeded by
Volodymyr Rybak