Politics of Ukraine

Politics of Ukraine takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet of Ministers (until 1996, jointly with the President). Legislative power is vested in the parliament (Verkhovna Rada). Scholars have described Ukraine's political system as "weak, fractured, highly personal and ideologically vacuous while the judiciary and media fail to hold politicians to account" (Dr. Taras Kuzio in 2009).[1][2][3] Ukrainian politics has been categorised as "over-centralised" which is seen as both a legacy of the Soviet system and caused by a fear of separatism.[2][4] Corruption in Ukraine is rampant, and widely cited, at home and abroad, as a defining characteristic (and decisive handicap) of Ukrainian society, politics and government.[5][6][7][8]

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Ukraine a "hybrid regime" in 2018.[9]

Constitution and fundamental freedoms

Shortly after becoming independent in 1991, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on 28 June 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties, and a semi-presidential form of government.

The Constitution was amended in December 2004[10] to ease the resolution of the 2004 presidential election crisis. The consociationalist agreement transformed the form of government in a semi-presidentialism in which the President of Ukraine had to cohabit with a powerful Prime Minister. The Constitutional Amendments took force between January and May 2006.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine in October 2010 overturned the 2004 amendments, considering them unconstitutional.[11] The present valid Constitution of Ukraine is therefore the 1996 text. On November 18, 2010 The Venice Commission published its report titled The Opinion of the Constitutional Situation in Ukraine in Review of the Judgement of Ukraine's Constitutional Court, in which it stated "It also considers highly unusual that far-reaching constitutional amendments, including the change of the political system of the country - from a parliamentary system to a parliamentary presidential one - are declared unconstitutional by a decision of the Constitutional Court after a period of 6 years. ... As Constitutional Courts are bound by the Constitution and do not stand above it, such decisions raise important questions of democratic legitimacy and the rule of law".[12]

On February 21, 2014 the parliament passed a law that reinstated the December 8, 2004 amendments of the constitution.[13] This was passed under simplified procedure without any decision of the relevant committee and was passed in the first and the second reading in one voting by 386 deputies.[13] The law was approved by 140 MPs of the Party of Regions, 89 MPs of Batkivshchyna, 40 MPs of UDAR, 32 of the Communist Party, and 50 independent lawmakers.[13] According to Radio Free Europe, however, the measure was not signed by the then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was subsequently removed from office.[14]

Fundamental Freedoms and basic elements of constitutional system

The Article 1 of the Constitution defines Ukraine in particular sovereign, independent, social (welfare) state.

According to the Article 5 of the Constitution, the bearer of sovereignty and the single source of power in Ukraine are people. The people exercise their power directly and through state and local authorities. Nobody can usurp power in Ukraine.

The Article 15 of the Constitution established that public life in Ukraine is based on principles of political, economical and ideological diversity. No ideology could be recognized by the state as mandatory.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. The Article 35 of the Constitution defines that no religion could be recognized by the state as mandatory, while church and religious organizations in Ukraine are separated from state.

Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the Ukrainian constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language. However, in Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine—areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities—use of Russian is widespread in official business.

Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law, but authorities sometimes interfere with the news media through different forms of pressure (see Freedom of the press in Ukraine). In particular, the failure of the government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Georgiy Gongadze has had a negative effect on Ukraine's international image. Over half of Ukrainians polled by the Razumkov Center in early October 2010 (56.6%) believed political censorship existed in Ukraine.[15]

Official labor unions have been grouped under the Federation of Labor Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Labor Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.

Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Volodymyr Zelensky Servant of the People 20 May 2019
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman Petro Poroshenko Bloc 14 April 2016

The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term.[16] The President nominates the Prime Minister, who must be confirmed by parliament. The Prime-minister and cabinet are de jure appointed by the Parliament on submission of the President and Prime Minister respectively. Pursuant to Article 114 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

Legislative branch

The Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) has 450 members, elected for a four-year term (five-year between 2006 and 2012 with the 2004 amendments). Prior to 2006, half of the members were elected by proportional representation and the other half by single-seat constituencies. Starting with the March 2006 parliamentary election, all 450 members of the Verkhovna Rada were elected by party-list proportional representation. The Verkhovna Rada initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget.

The overall trust in legislative powers in Ukraine is very low.[17]

Political parties and elections

Ukrainian parties tend not to have clear-cut ideologies[18] but incline to centre around civilizational and geostrategic orientations (rather than economic and socio-political agendas, as in Western politics),[19] around personalities and business interests.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] Party membership is lower than 1% of the population eligible to vote (compared to an average of 4.7% in the European Union[32]).[33][34]

Parties currently represented in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament)

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total Vacant
Petro Poroshenko Bloc People's Front Opposition Bloc Self Reliance Radical Party Fatherland Revival[a 1] People's Will[a 2][a 3] Non-affiliated[a 4]
End of previous convocation DNP[a 5] DNP[a 6] DNP[a 7] DNP 1 86 41 35 93 445 5
Seats won in 2014 election[35] 132 82 29 33 22 19 DNP DNP 96 423 27
November 27, 2014
(first session)[43][39]
145 83 40 32 19 20 38 418 32
December 2, 2014[44][39] 147 420 30
February 5, 2015[39] 150 82 31 21 18 42 422 28
June 24, 2015[39] 144 81 43 22 19 422 28
October 22, 2015[39] 142 26 20 48 422 28
February 13, 2016[39] 136 23 53 422 28
April 11, 2016[39] 141 47 422 28
April 12, 2016[39] 145[a 8] 19 44 422 28
July 19, 2016[39] 142 42 422 28
September 21, 2016[39] 143 21 46 422 28
December 23, 2016[39][46] 142 20 24 18 48 422 28
September 10, 2017[39] 138 20 17 51 422 28
July 31, 2017[39] 135 25 24 19 55 422 28
November 22, 2018[39] 135 38 60 422 28
Latest voting share 32.7% 19.2% 10.2% 6.2% 4.7% 4.7% 6.2% 4.0% 12.1% 93.8% 6.2%
  1. Revival was briefly called Economic Development in 2014. It was also a parliamentary group like People's Will until 2015.
  2. People's Will is a parliamentary group. Parliamentary groups consist of non-partisan deputies or representatives of parties that did not overcome election threshold (i.e. Svoboda, Strong Ukraine, etc.).
  3. The People's Will deputy group in previous convocation was known as Sovereign European Ukraine.
  4. Parties that did not pass the 5% threshold of the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Svoboda (7 seats), Right Sector (1 seat), Strong Ukraine (1 seat), Volia (1 seat), and Zastup (1 seat) are part of non-affiliated.[35] After the 17 July 2016 constituency mid-term elections the parties UKROP and Our Land joined them.[36]
  5. 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list was filled by members of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR), which did not participate in the 2014 election independently. UDAR participated in the 2012 election, consisting of a faction of 41 deputies in the previous convocation.[37][38][39]
  6. People's Front is a September 2014 split off from Fatherland; many current members of the People's Front were members of the Fatherland faction of the previous convocation.[40][41]
  7. The Opposition Bloc consists mainly of former members of former President Yanukovych's Party of Regions,[42] which formed the largest caucus after the 2012 election with 185 deputies, although after the removal of Yanukovych and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the caucus consisted of only 78 members.
  8. The addition of these four deputies made it possible for Petro Poroshenko Bloc and People's Front to form a government without additional parties.[45]

Former parliamentary parties

Individual partiesyears in parliamentBlock association (years)
People's Movement of Ukraine1990-2014Our Ukraine Bloc (2002-2006)
Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (2007-2012)
Fatherland-Unites Opposition (2012-2014)
Communist Party of Ukraine1994-2014
Party of Regions1997-2014For United Ukraine (2002)
People's Party1998-2002
For United Ukraine (2002)
Lytvyn Bloc (2006-2014)
Union Party1998-2002
People's Self-Defense (also as Forward, Ukraine!)2002-2014Our Ukraine Bloc (2002-2006)
Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (2007-2012)
Fatherland-Unites Opposition (2012-2014)
For Ukraine!2012-2014Fatherland-Unites Opposition (2012-2014)
Social Christian Party2012-2014Fatherland-Unites Opposition (2012-2014)
Civil Position2012-2014Fatherland-Unites Opposition (2012-2014)
Ukrainian Social Democratic Party2002 - 2012Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (2002-2012)
Ukrainian Platform "Assembly"2002 - 2006
2006 - 2012
Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (2002-2006)
Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (Our Ukraine) (2006-2012)
Our Ukraine2006 - 2012Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (Our Ukraine) (2006-2012)
Solidarity (Ukraine)2002 - 2006Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko (2002-2006)
Ukrainian People's Party2002 - 2006
2007 - 2012
Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko (2002-2006)
Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (2007-2012)
Republican Christian Party2002 - 2006Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko (2002-2006)
Youth Party of Ukraine2002 - 2006Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko (2002-2006)
Motherland Defenders Party2007 - 2012Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (2007-2012)
It's time!2007 - 2012Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (2007-2012)
Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists1994 - 2002
2002 - 2007
National Front (1998-2002)
Bloc of Viktor Yushchenko (Our Ukraine) (2002-2007)
Ukrainian Republican Party1994 - 2002National Front (1998-2002)
Labour Party Ukraine2007 - 2012Bloc of Volodymyr Lytvyn (2007-2012)
Socialist Party of Ukraine1994 - 2007Bloc of SPU-SelPU (1998-2002)
Peasant Party of Ukraine1994 - 2002Bloc of SPU-SelPU (1998-2002)
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs2002 - 2006
2006 - 2007
For United Ukraine (2002-2006)
Our Ukraine bloc (2006-2007)
People's Democratic Party1998 - 2006For United Ukraine (2002-2006)
Labour Ukraine2002 - 2006For United Ukraine (2002-2006)
Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united)1994 - 2006
Democratic Party of Ukraine1994 - 2006Bloc of DemPU-DemU (2002-2006)
Democratic Union2002 - 2006Bloc of DemPU-DemU (2002-2006)
Party of National Economic Development of Ukraine2002 - 2006
Ukrainian Marine Party2002 - 2006
Unity2002 - 2006Unity (2002-2006)
Social Democratic Union2002 - 2006Unity (2002-2006)
Young Ukraine2002 - 2006Unity (2002-2006)
Ukrainian Party of Justice - Union of Veterans, Handicapped, Chornobilians, Afghans2002 - 2006Unity (2002-2006)
Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine1998 - 2002
Party of Greens of Ukraine1998 - 2002
Hromada1998 - 2002
Party "Union"1998 - 2002
Ukrainian National Assembly1994 - 1998
Party of Labor1994 - 1998
Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party1994 - 1998
Christian Democratic Party of Ukraine1994 - 1998
Party of Democratic Revival of Ukraine1994 - 1998
Social Democratic Party of Ukraine1994 - 1998
Party of Economic Revival of Crimea1994 - 1998
Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union)1937 - 1994

A faction of nonpartisan deputies under the name Reforms for the Future existed between 16 February 2011[47] and 15 December 2012.[48][49][50][39] A faction of nonpartisan deputies under the name For Peace and Stability existed between 2 July 2014 and 27 November 2014.[51][43]

In 1998 - 2000 there was another parliamentary faction Labour Ukraine that existed without its political party until it was registered by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice in June 2000.[52]

The Communist Party of Ukraine (Soviet Union) was prohibited in 1991, however its members were not excluded from the Ukrainian parliament. They formed a parliamentary faction of the Socialist Party of Ukraine. For the 1994 parliamentary elections however the ban on communist parties was lifted and there were two parties with similar ideologies running for parliament the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Communist Party of Ukraine that was reestablished in 1993.

Presidential Election 2014

Originally scheduled to take place on 29 March 2015, the date was changed to 25 May 2014 following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.[53][54][55] Petro Poroshenko won the elections with 54.7% of the votes.[56] His closest competitor was Yulia Tymoshenko, who emerged with 12.81% of the votes.[56] The Central Election Commission reported voter turnout at over 60% excluding those regions not under government control, Crimea and a large part of the Donbass.[57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65] Since Poroshenko obtained an absolute majority in the first round, a run-off second ballot was unnecessary.[66]

Candidate Party Votes %
Petro PoroshenkoIndependent9,857,30854.70
Yulia TymoshenkoAll-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"2,310,05012.81
Oleh LyashkoRadical Party1,500,3778.32
Anatoliy HrytsenkoCivil Position989,0295.48
Serhiy TihipkoIndependent943,4305.23
Mykhailo DobkinParty of Regions546,1383.03
Vadim RabinovichIndependent406,3012.25
Olga BogomoletsIndependent345,3841.91
Petro SymonenkoCommunist Party of Ukraine272,7231.51
Oleh TyahnybokAll-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda"210,4761.16
Dmytro YaroshRight Sector127,7720.70
Andriy HrynenkoIndependent73,2770.40
Valeriy KonovalyukIndependent69,5720.38
Yuriy BoykoIndependent35,9280.19
Mykola MalomuzhIndependent23,7710.13
Renat KuzminIndependent18,6890.10
Vasyl KuybidaPeople's Movement of Ukraine12,3910.06
Oleksandr KlymenkoUkrainian People's Party10,5420.05
Vasyl TsushkoIndependent10,4340.05
Volodymyr SaranovIndependent6,2320.03
Zoryan ShkiryakIndependent5,0210.02
Invalid/blank votes244,6591.35
Registered voters/turnout29,625,200[67] (without FED[68])
60.19[69] (without FED[68])
Source: CEC

Parliamentary Election 2012

  Summary of the 28 October 2012 Verkhovna Rada election results
Party Nationwide constituency Const.
Total seats
Votes % ±pp Seats Seats +/-
Party of Regions 6,116,815 30.00 4.37 72 113
185 / 450
Fatherland (including United Opposition)[lower-alpha 1] 5,208,390 25.55 5.17[lower-alpha 2] 62 39
101 / 450
Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) of Vitali Klitschko 2,847,878 13.97 New 34 6
40 / 450
Communist Party of Ukraine 2,687,246 13.18 7.79 32
32 / 450
Freedom 2,129,246 10.45 9.68 25 12
37 / 450
Party of Natalia Korolevska "Ukraine – Forward!" 322,202 1.58 New New
Our Ukraine 226,482 1.11 13.05[lower-alpha 3] 72
Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko 221,136 1.08 New 1
1 / 450
Party of Pensioners of Ukraine 114,198 0.56 0.41[lower-alpha 4] 0
Socialist Party of Ukraine 93,081 0.46 2.41 0
Party of Greens of Ukraine 70,316 0.35 0.06 0
Ukrainian Party "Green Planet" 70,117 0.35 0
Russian Bloc 63,530 0.31 0
Greens 51,386 0.25 New New
Ukraine of the Future 38,544 0.19 New New
Political Association "Native Fatherland" 32,724 0.16 New New
People's Labor Union of Ukraine 22,854 0.11 New New
New Politics 21,033 0.10 0
All-Ukrainian Association "Community" 17,678 0.08 0
UNA-UNSO 16,937 0.08 0
Liberal Party of Ukraine 15,566 0.07 0
United Centre [lower-alpha 5] 3
3 / 450
People's Party [lower-alpha 5] 2
2 / 450
18[lower-alpha 6]
Union [lower-alpha 5] 1
1 / 450
Independents 43
43 / 450
Total valid votes 20,388,138 100 225 220 445
Invalid ballot papers 409,068 1.97
Vacant (constituencies with no result) 5
5 / 450
Total 20,797,206 225 225 450
Registered voters/turnout 36,213,010 57.43
Source: CEC (Proportional votes, Single-member constituencies)
  1. United Opposition is the name of coalition of parties, all of which participated under Fatherland umbrella
  2. Result is compared with Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, the main part of which Fatherland was at the previous election
  3. Result is compared with Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc, the main part of which Our Ukraine was at the previous election
  4. Result is compared with Bloc of the Party of Pensioners of Ukraine, the main part of which Party of Pensioners of Ukraine was at the previous election
  5. These parties did not participate in party voting, but only in single-member constituencies
  6. Result is compared with Lytvyn Bloc, the main part of which People's Party was at the previous election

Presidential Election 2010

 Summary of the 17 January and 7 February 2010 Ukrainian presidential election results
Candidates Nominating Party First round[70] Second round[71]
Votes % Votes %
Viktor Yanukovych Party of Regions 8,686,642 35.32 12,481,266 48.95
Yulia Tymoshenko All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" 6,159,810 25.05 11,593,357 45.47
Serhiy Tihipko Strong Ukraine 3,211,198 13.05
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Self-nominated 1,711,737 6.96
Viktor Yushchenko Self-nominated 1,341,534 5.45
Petro Symonenko Communist Party of Ukraine 872,877 3.54
Volodymyr Lytvyn People's Party 578,883 2.35
Oleh Tyahnybok All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom" 352,282 1.43
Anatoliy Hrytsenko Self-nominated 296,412 1.20
Inna Bohoslovska Self-nominated 102,435 0.41
Oleksandr Moroz Socialist Party of Ukraine 95,169 0.38
Yuriy Kostenko Ukrainian People's Party 54,376 0.22
Liudmyla Suprun People's Democratic Party 47,349 0.19
Vasily Protyvsih Self-nominated 40,352 0.16
Oleksandr Pabat Self-nominated 35,474 0.14
Serhiy Ratushniak Self-nominated 29,795 0.12
Mykhaylo Brodskyy Self-nominated 14,991 0.06
Oleh Riabokon Self-nominated 8,334 0.03
Against all 542,819 2.20 1,113,055 4.36
Invalid 405,789 1.65 305,837 1.19
Total 24,588,268 100.00 25,493,529 100.00
Source: Central Election Commission of Ukraine

The first round of voting took place on January 17, 2010. Eighteen candidates nominated for election in which incumbent president Viktor Yushchenko was voted out of office having received only 5.45% of the vote. The two highest polling candidates, Viktor Yanukovych (34.32%) and Yulia Tymoshenko (25.05%), will face each other in a final run-off ballot scheduled to take place on February 7, 2010

Parliamentary Election 2007

  Summary of the 30 September 2007 Verkhovna Rada election results
Parties and coalitions Votes % ±pp Seats +/-
Party of Regions 8,013,895 34.37 2.23
175 / 450
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc Fatherland
Ukrainian Social Democratic Party
Reforms and Order Party
7,162,193 30.72 8.42
156 / 450
Our Ukraine — People's Self-Defense Our Ukraine
Forward, Ukraine!
People's Movement of Ukraine
Ukrainian People's Party
Ukrainian Republican Party "Sobor"
Christian Democratic Union
European Party of Ukraine
Motherland Defenders Party
3,301,282 14.16 0.20
72 / 450
Communist Party of Ukraine 1,257,291 5.39 1.72
27 / 450
Lytvyn Bloc People's Party
Labour Party of Ukraine
924,538 3.97 1.52
20 / 450
Socialist Party of Ukraine 668,234 2.87 2.83 33
Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine 309,008 1.33 1.60[lower-alpha 1] 0
Freedom 178,660 0.77 0.41 0
Party of Greens of Ukraine 94,505 0.41 0.13 0
Ukrainian Regional Asset (Hurray!) People's Democratic Party
Democratic Party of Ukraine
Republican Christian Party
80,944 0.35 0.15[lower-alpha 2] 0
Communist Party of Ukraine (renewed) 68,602 0.29 [lower-alpha 3] 0
Party of Free Democrats 50,852 0.22 New New
Bloc of the Party of Pensioners of Ukraine Party of Pensioners of Ukraine
Party of Protection of Pensioners of Ukraine
34,845 0.15 0.05[lower-alpha 4] 0
Party of National Economic Development of Ukraine 33,489 0.14 0.10 0
Ukrainian People's Bloc Ukraine United
For the Welfare and Protection of the People
28,414 0.12 New New
Peasants' Bloc "Agrarian Ukraine" Rural Revival Party
New Ukraine
25,675 0.11 New New
Christian Bloc Social Christian Party
Ecology and Social Protection
24,597 0.11 0.02[lower-alpha 5] 0
KUCHMA Bloc Union
23,676 0.10 New New
All-Ukrainian Community Party of Peace and Unity
National-Democratic Association "Ukraine"
Conscience of Ukraine
Political Party of Small and Medium-sized Businesses of Ukraine
12,327 0.05 New New
Party of People's Trust 5,342 0.02 0.10 0
Against all 637,185 2.73 0.96
Invalid ballot papers 379,658 1.63 0.32
Total 23,315,257 100 450
Registered voters/turnout 37,588,040 62.03 5.52
Source: Central Electoral Commission
  1. Result is compared to the People's Opposition Bloc of Natalia Vitrenko, the main part of which the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine was at the previous election
  2. Result is compared to the Block NDP
  3. This party did not participate in previous election
  4. Result is compared to the Party of Pensioners of Ukraine
  5. Result is compared to the Social Christian Party

Presidential Election 2004

The initial second round of the Presidential Election 2004 (on November 17, 2004) was followed by the Orange Revolution, a series of peaceful protests that resulted in the nullification of the second round. The Supreme Court of Ukraine ordered a repeat of the re-run to be held on December 26, 2004, and asked the law enforcement agencies to investigate cases of election fraud.

 Summary of the October 31, November 21 and December 26, 2004 Ukraine presidential election results
Candidates — nominating parties Votes first round 31-Oct-04 % Votes run-off 21-Nov-04 % Votes rerun 26-Dec-04 %
Viktor Yushchenko — Self-nomination 11,188,675 39.90 14,222,289 46.61 15,115,712 51.99
Viktor YanukovychParty of Regions 11,008,731 39.26 15,093,691 49.46 12,848,528 44.20
Oleksandr MorozSocialist Party of Ukraine 1,632,098 5.82
Petro SymonenkoCommunist Party of Ukraine 1,396,135 4.97
Nataliya VitrenkoProgressive Socialist Party of Ukraine 429,794 1.53
Others 988,363 3.53
Against All 556,962 1.98 707,284 2.31 682,239 2.34
Informal 834,426 2.97 488,025 1.59 422,492 1.45
Total 28,035,184 100.00 30,511,289 100.00 29,068,971 100.00
Participation rate from 37,613,022 74.54 81.12 77.28
Source: Central Election Commission of Ukraine. On December 3, the Supreme Court of Ukraine declared the results of the November 21, 2004 run-off ballot to be invalid. The re-run ballot was held on December 26, 2004.

Judicial branch

constitutional jurisdiction:

general jurisdiction:

  • the Supreme Court of Ukraine;
  • high specialized courts: the High Arbitration Court of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Вищий господарський суд України), the High Administrative Court of Ukraine;
  • regional courts of appeal, specialized courts of appeal;
  • local district courts.

Laws, acts of the parliament and the Cabinet, presidential edicts, and acts of the Crimean parliament (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) may be nullified by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, when they are found to violate the Constitution of Ukraine. Other normative acts are subject to judicial review. The Supreme Court of Ukraine is the main body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction.

The Constitution of Ukraine provides for trials by jury. This has not yet been implemented in practice. Moreover, some courts provided for by legislation as still in project, as is the case for, e.g., the Court of Appeals of Ukraine. The reform of the judicial branch is presently under way. Important is also the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, granted with the broad rights of control and supervision.

Local government

Administrative divisions of Ukraine are 24 oblasts (regions), with each oblast further divided into rayons (districts). The current administrative divisions remained the same as the local administrations of the Soviet Union. The heads of the oblast and rayon are appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine and serve as representatives of the central government in Kyiv. They govern over locally elected assemblies. This system encourages regional elites to compete fiercely for control over the central government and the position of the president.[72]

Autonomous Republic of Crimea

During 1992, a number of pro-Russian political organizations in Crimea advocated secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. During USSR times Crimea was ceded from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev to mark the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav. In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy, thus creating the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The Crimean peninsula—while under Ukraininan sovereignty, served as site for major military bases of both Ukrainian and Russian forces, and was heavily populated by ethnic Russians.

In early 2014, Ukraine's pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovich, was ousted by Ukraininans over his refusal to ally Ukraine with the European Union, rather than Russia. In response, Russia invaded Crimea in February 2014 and occupied it.

In March 2014,[73] a controversial referendum was held in Crimea with 97% of voters backing joining Russia.[74]

On 18 March 2014, Russia and the new, self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in the Russian Federation. In response, the UN General Assembly passed non-binding resolution 68/262 declaring the referendum invalid, and officially supporting Ukraine's claim to Crimea. Although Russia administers the peninsula as two federal subjects, Ukraine and the majority of countries do not recognise Russia's annexation.[75][76]

International organization participation

BSEC, CE, CEI, CIS (participating), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, Zangger Committee

See also

Center for Adaptation of Civil Service to the Standards of EU - public institution established by the Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to facilitate administrative reform in Ukraine and to enhance the adaptation of the civil service to the standards of the European Union.


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    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
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  37. (in Ukrainian) Block Poroshenko and kick off to the polls together, TVi (2 September 2014)
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  39. (in Ukrainian) Депутатські фракції і групи VIII скликання Deputy fractions and Groups VIII convocation, Verkhovna Rada
  40. (in Ukrainian)Yatsenyuk became a leader of the "People's Front" political council, while Turchynov is a head of its headquarters. Ukrayinska Pravda. 10 September 2014
    Ukrainian PM, Parliament Speaker to Head Newly Formed Popular Front Party, RIA Novosti (10 September 2014)
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    Five factions, including Communist Party, registered in parliament, Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)(subscription required)
    Sobolev: Front for Change and Reform and Order Party to join Batkivschyna, Interfax-Ukraine (11 June 2013)
    Front for Change, Reforms and Order to dissolve for merger with Batkivshchyna - Sobolev, Ukrinform (11 June 2013)
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  44. (in Ukrainian) Two more deputies entered the Poroshenko Bloc faction, Ukrayinska Pravda (2 December 2014)
  45. Ukraine: Lawmakers end session without new PM vote, BBC News (12 April 2016)
  46. (in Ukrainian) Savchenko was expelled from the faction "Fatherland", Ukrayinska Pravda (20 December 2016)
    (in Ukrainian) Deputy faction Mishchenko out PPB, Ukrayinska Pravda (23 December 2016)
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  48. Parliament of sixth convocation ends its work, Kyiv Post (6 December 2012)
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    Voting for the Verkhovna Rada regulations amendment
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  50. Yefremov: Regions Party faction already has 223 members, Kyiv Post (28 November 2012 2012)
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