Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform

The Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (Ukrainian: Український демократичний альянс за реформи Віталія Кличка; the acronym UDAR/УДАР translates to "strike" or "punch", English: Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform of Vitali Klitschko)[14] is a political party in Ukraine headed by retired[15] Ukrainian professional heavyweight boxer and the WBC world heavyweight champion emeritus Vitali Klitschko.[2] The party has been an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP) since 2013.[12]

Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform

Український демократичний альянс за реформи Віталія Кличка
LeaderVitali Klitschko[1][2]
Founded24 April 2010[3]
Registered on 14 March 2005[1]
Political positionCentre[10][11]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party (observer)[12]
ColoursRed and white
SloganFrom personal success to the success of the country[13]

Legally the party is the successor of Political Party "European Capital" (Ukrainian: Політична партія "Європейська столиця") which was registered in March 2005.[1] In its last outing the party was founded on April 24, 2010, on the basis of the Vitali Klitschko Bloc (Ukrainian: Блок Віталія Кличка), a local political alliance in Kiev (the capital of Ukraine).[3][16]

The party won 40 seats in the Ukrainian parliament in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[17]

In the 2014 parliamentary election, 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list was filled by members of UDAR (as non-partisan) and UDAR leader Klitschko topped that list.[18] The Petro Poroshenko Bloc won the election with 132 seats.[19] UDAR officially merged into the Petro Poroshenko Bloc on 28 August 2015.[20]

In May 2019 Klitschko announced that UDAR would take part independently in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[21] In this election UDAR did compete as an independent party again, but only in 15 single-mandate constituencies and it failed to win any seats.[22][23]


Political Party "European Capital"

The Political Party "European Capital" was registered in March 2005 (its party-leader was Ukrainian businessman Lev Partshaladze[24][25]) and the party gained 0.04% of the votes during the Ukrainian parliamentary elections 2006; the party did not participate in the 2007 Ukrainian parliamentary elections.[1] In February 2009 the party renamed itself Political Party "New Country".[1][26] Lev Partshaladze was elected into the Kiev City Council for the Vitaliy Klychko Bloc in 2008, but expelled from the faction, for repeatedly voting differently from the faction, on 2 December 2010.[25][27][nb 1]

Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform

On a party congress, held on 24 April 2010, the Political Party "New Country" (founded in 2005 as Political Party "European Capital and renamed into "New Country" 14 months before April 2010[1][26]) renamed itself into Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform and elected boxer Vitali Klitschko as its leader.[26][29] The party officially became Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) of Vitali Klitschko mid-July 2010.[30]

During the 2010 Ukrainian local elections the party won about 400 representatives in municipalities and Oblast Councils (regional parliaments).[31][32][33][34]

The Bloc of Vitali Klitschko faction in the Kiev City Council changed its name to UDAR of Vitali Klitschko in February 2011.[35] The party has a strong popularity in Kiev.[36]

In September 2011 party leader Klitschko stated that the party was considering the possibility of merging with other political parties before contending in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary elections.[37] In December 2011 UDAR of Vitali Klitschko and Civil Position where negotiating a unification.[38] But Civil Position eventionally joined Batkivshchyna during these elections.[39]

UDAR became a partner of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany in November 2011.[40] Udar is supported by the German government and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation[41][42] and received support in particular from Angela Merkel and also politicians from the conservative European People's Party. According to information gained by the German magazine DER SPIEGEL, the target was to "set up Klitschko purposefully as a new strong man in Kiew - in order to counter this way the Kremlin's growing influence". Support consisted in logistics, training and joint performances. Assistance was also promised by Christoph Heusgen, Ronald Pofalla and Guido Westerwelle.[43]

UDAR did not join the Dictatorship Resistance Committee; but on 22 January 2012 it did sign an agreement on joint actions with that alliance.[44]

Starting in March 2010 the party's popularity in opinion polls reached a level almost twice as high as the election threshold (which was raised to 5% in November 2011[45]).[46][47][31][48][49][50] The election list of the party was a mixture of candidates who used to represent parties from all over the political spectrum of Ukraine.[51]

After a successful application the European People's Party started on 5 April 2012 the process of making UDAR an observer member of the organization.[52]

In July 2012 party leader Klychko stated that his party would not cooperate with the Party of Regions in a new parliament.[53]

Early August 2012 the party complained its candidates for people's deputies (and all other parties not involved in the first Azarov Government) suffered "psychological and physical pressure" and this "ten times higher than other parties".[54]

Two weeks before the 28 October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election UDAR withdrew 26 of its candidates running in single-member constituencies in favour of Batkivshchyna candidates and Batkivshchyna withdrew 26 parliamentary candidates in favor of UDAR in an attempt to maximise votes for the opposition.[55] In the election the party won 13.97% of the national votes and 6 constituencies (it had competed in 183 of the 225 constituencies[56]) and thus 40 parliamentary seats.[57] Support for UDAR was the least diversified at the regional level compared with the results of the other leading parties.[58] Independent candidates Yaroslav Dubnevych and Fedir Nehoi joined the UDAR parliamentary faction on 12 December 2012; the same day party leader Klitschko was elected to lead the party's faction. [59] The party is coordinating its parliamentary activities with Batkivshchyna and Svoboda.[60]

Late December 2012 UDAR and the United National Movement from Georgia signed a cooperation agreement.[61]

In May 2013 UDAR, Batkivshchyna and Svoboda vowed to coordinate their actions during the 2015 Ukrainian presidential election.[62]

On 6 September 2013 the party was granted "observer status" in the European People's Party.[12][nb 2]

Party leader Klitschko confirmed on 28 February 2014 that he would take part in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election(, this also ended the May 2013 agreement to coordinate with Batkivshchyna and Svoboda).[63] But on 29 March 2014 announced that he had changed his mind and would run for the post of Mayor of Kiev in the 2014 Kiev local election (including Mayoral elections) set for 25 May 2014.[64][65] In the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election Klitschko endorsed the candidacy of Petro Poroshenko.[66] Klitschko won Kiev's mayoral elections with almost 57% of the votes.[67][68] Poroshenko was elected President of Ukraine on 25 May 2014.[69] Klitschko was sworn in as Mayor on 5 June 2014.[70] The same day the Ukrainian parliament had deprived Klitschko of his MP mandate (Ukrainian MPs are not entitled to combine parliamentary activities with any other public employment).[71] Hence Vitaliy Kovalchuk was elected to lead the party's faction in parliament on 7 June 2014.[72]

Merge into the Petro Poroshenko Bloc

On 2 September Kovalchuk stated that since his party and Petro Poroshenko Bloc had agreed to "joint participation in parliamentary elections" on 29 March 2014 the two parties were "in discussion" about "the format" for how to do so in the (late) October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[73] On 15 September it became clear that 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list would be filled by members of UDAR and that UDAR leader Vitali Klitschko is at the top of this list, Klitschko vowed not to resign as incumbent Mayor of Kiev.[18] Petro Poroshenko Bloc went on to win the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election with 132 seats; surpassing the runner up People's Front which won 82 seats.[19] However, People's Front did perform better than the Petro Poroshenko Bloc with 0.33% in the nationwide election under party lists (22.14% against 21.81%) but the party did win 69 constituency seats while People's Front won only 18 constituencies.[19]

On 28 August 2015 Petro Poroshenko Bloc and UDAR merged into 1 party, Petro Poroshenko Bloc.[20] At the unifying congress (of 28 August 2015) Klitschko was elected as leader of this party.[20]

In 2017 UDAR was still registered as a political party and it employed two persons.[74] According to former UDAR member and Ukrainian lawmaker Dmytro Belotserkovets it was necessary that "the party performs only the technical functions necessary in terms of Ukrainian legislation."[75]

Return as a political party

On 18 May 2019 party leader Klitschko announced that the party would take part in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[21]

On 4 June Klitschko offered former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili to join the leadership of his party and to take part in the July 2019 early parliamentary elections with UDAR, Saakashvili turned down the offer.[76]

In the July 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election the party only competed in 15 single-mandate constituencies.[22] It failed to win any seats.[23]

Ideology and political positions

UDAR tends to avoid sensitive and polarising subjects and focuses instead on popular topics, such as more empowerment to ordinary Ukrainians and a ruthless campaign against corruption, the indifference of the authorities, the lack of local governance, inequality, and poverty.[77][78][79] The party wants to "unleash the power of the state and provide conditions for welfare".[80]

The party is in favor of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union (EU).[81] It has made no stance on a possible NATO membership of Ukraine.[80]

UDAR wants to overcome social inequality with "the abandonment of the idea of cheap labor".[80]

In education, the party wants to bring education in Ukraine to "European standards" by "development of external testing and monitoring the quality of education".[80] UDAR wants to return to a 12-year compulsory secondary education with specialized training in the last two classes and three cycles of learning in higher educationbachelor's degree, master's degree and postgraduate.[80] It also wants to guarantee autonomy of educational institutions by legislation.[80]

The party wants to combat corruption in Ukraine with more transparency and the creation of an independent anti-corruption agency.[79][80]

UDAR wants to reduce the number of state agencies in order "to minimize the interaction of the citizen with an official".[80] And it wants to simplify procedures for registering property.[80] It wants to reduce the number of taxes from 23 to 7 and to generally simplify the taxing system.[79][80] "Owners of the land for agricultural purposes" should only be citizens of Ukraine.[80]

UDAR wants to abolish the privileges of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) and former Presidents of Ukraine[82] and to reduce benefits for current parliamentarians.[83]

The party has pledged to "reboot" the court system, and "reinforce the control of the public over elections".[79]

The party is in favor of holding Citizens' initiatives after 150,000 signatures are collected.[80] The party is in favor of elections with regional open lists[80] and mayoral elections in two rounds.[80] In local elections, it favors a voting age of 16 (currently 18).[80] It also wants to introduce in Ukraine a law on impeachment of the President of Ukraine.[80]

The party wants to simplify procedures for the establishment and registration of public and charitable organizations.[80]

In June 2013, the party's parliamentary faction voted for the denunciation of the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty.[nb 3][85]

Election results

Verkhovna Rada

Year Popular vote Percentage Overall seats Change Government Remarks
2006 12,027 0.04
0 / 450
as Political Party "European Capital"
2007 Did not participate
2012 2,847,878 13.97
40 / 450
40 Opposition
2014 Petro Poroshenko Bloc Coalition government as non-partisan politicians of Petro Poroshenko Bloc

Kiev City Council

Year Popular vote Percentage Overall seats Change Government Remarks
2008 122,243 10.61
15 / 120
1 Opposition as part of Vitali Klitschko Bloc
2014 2,847,878 40.54
77 / 120
62 Government


YearsParty leader
2005–2009Lev Partshaladze
2009–2010Roman Romanyuk
2010–presentVitali Klitschko


  1. In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Lev Partshaladze placed 93rd on the election list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc; 30% of this election list was filled by members of UDAR.[28][18]
  2. On 6 September 2013 the fellow Ukrainian party Our Ukraine was deprived of its "observer status" in the European People's Party.[12]
  3. In June 2013, Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Ruslan Demchenko stated a unilateral denunciation of the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty was not possible from a legal point of view.[84]


  1. (in Ukrainian) Політична партія "УДАР (Український Демократичний Альянс за Реформи) Віталія Кличка", Центр политической информации "Дата"
  2. "WBC World Champion Vitaly Klitschko leads new party". Kyiv Post. 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
  3. (in Ukrainian) Віталій Кличко очолив політичну партію «УДАР» (фото), Vitali Klitschko Bloc (April 24, 2010)
  4. Varfolomeyev, Oleg (18 September 2015). "Ukraine's pro-government parties join forces ahead of local elections". The Ukrainian Weekly. Eurasia Daily Monitor.
  5. "Ukraine election: President Yanukovych party claims win". BBC News. 28 October 2012.
  6. Balmforth, Richard (24 October 2012). "Corruption No. 1 problem as Ukraine heads for election". Reuters.
  7. Freeman, Colin (6 November 2011). "Why boxer Vitali Klitschko wants to become Ukraine's new political heavyweight". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  8. "Vitali Klitschko to knock out all Ukrainian politicians". Pravda. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  9. "Heavyweight champ Klitschko predicts fraud in October Ukraine vote". Monsters and Critics. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  12. (in Ukrainian) Європейська народна партія взяла до себе "УДАР" і виключила "Нашу Україну" European People's Party took a "hit" and excluded "Our Ukraine", Ukrayinska Pravda (6 September 2013)
    Member Parties Archived 2016-05-04 at the Wayback Machine, European People's Party
    (in Ukrainian) Klitschko goes to the Congress of the European People's Party, Glavcom (19 November 2019)
  13. Homepage of the official website of the party
  14. Auyezov, Olzhas; Balmforth, Richard (2 November 2012), Ukraine opposition complains of stolen seats, Reuters
  15. Vitali Klitschko: Heavyweight champion swaps boxing for politics, BBC Sport (67 December 2013)
  16. (in Ukrainian) Сформовано політичну раду всеукраїнської партії «УДАР», Vitali Klitschko Bloc (April 24, 2010)
  17. Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
  18. (in Russian) Pilots, combat, and journalists. Who goes to the new Verkhovna Rada , (September 15, 2014)
    Klitschko: I lead my team to Parliament, UDAR official website (14.09.2014)
    Deadline for nomination of candidates running in early election to Rada expires, ITAR-TASS (September 15, 2014)
  19. Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrinform (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  20. Klitschko becomes leader of Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity' party, Interfax-Ukraine (28 August 2015)
  21. (in Ukrainian) Klitschko said that UDAR will go to the polls, Ukrayinska Pravda (May 18, 2019)
  22. (in Ukrainian) Vitali Klitschko: I want to warn the new president from the steps that Yanukovych did in the capital Повний текст читайте тут:, Glavcom (22 June 2019)
  23. CEC counts 100 percent of vote in Ukraine's parliamentary elections, Ukrinform (26 July 2019)
    (in Russian) Results of the extraordinary elections of the People's Deputies of Ukraine 2019, Ukrayinska Pravda (21 July 2019)
  24. Partshaladze Lev, Kyiv Post
  25. (in Russian) Парцхаладзе Лев Ревазович, Информационно-аналитический центр "ЛІГА"
  26. (in Ukrainian) Політична партія "УДАР (Український Демократичний Альянс за Реформи) Віталія Кличка",
  27. (in Ukrainian) Парцхаладзе Лев Ревазович by Kiev City Council
  28. Back to Black?, The Ukrainian Week (23 October 2014)
  29. (in Ukrainian) Кличко знайшов собі нову партію by Ukrayinska Pravda (April 24, 2010)
  30. New Country party renamed UDAR of Vitaliy Klitschko, Kyiv Post (Jul 13, 2010)
  31. Klitschko To The Rescue?, Kyiv Post (12 January 2012)
  32. (in Ukrainian) Сергій Одарич формуватиме більшість у міськраді Черкас, Cherkasy city council website (November 8, 2010)
  33. (in Ukrainian) Мером Львова обрано Андрія Садового Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, ЛьвівNEWS (November , 2010)
  34. (in Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (November 8, 2010)
  35. Faction of Bloc of Klitschko in Kyiv Council changes name to UDAR of Vitaliy Klychko, Kyiv Post (February 17, 2011)
  36. Poll: Klychko's UDAR to receive a fourth of seats in Kyiv Council, Kyiv Post (September 27, 2011)
  37. Klitschko: UDAR party considering unification before 2012 parliamentary election, Kyiv Post (September 19, 2011)
  38. (in Ukrainian) Гриценко збирається йти на вибори з Кличком, Ukrayinska Pravda (9 December 2011)
  39. They Call Themselves the Opposition, The Ukrainian Week (31 August 2012)
  40. (in German) 24. CDU-Bundesparteitag in Leipzig, Christian Democratic Union branch Düren-Jülich (15 November 2011)
    (in German) „Politik ist wie ein Boxkampf“: Vitali Klitschko beim CDU-Parteitag in Leipzig im Interview Archived 2012-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, Leipziger Volkszeitung (14 November 2011)
  41. article about UDAR on the website of the foundation
  42. Jutta Sommerbauer (27 October 2012). "Wahlen in der Ukraine: Klitschkos schwierigster Kampf". Die Presse. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  43. Merkel kämpft für Klitschko, SPON 8. Dezember 2013
  44. Tymoshenko, Lutsenko should participate in 2012 parliamentary elections, says Klychko, Interfax Ukraine (23 January 2012)
  45. Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (17 November 2011)
  46. If parliamentary elections were held next Sunday how would you vote? (recurrent poll, 2010-2011) Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine by Razumkov Centre
  47. Poll: Party of Regions of Ukraine losing support, Kyiv Post (April 28, 2011)
    Party Of Regions, Tymoshenko bloc, Strong Ukraine, Front for Change and Communist Party would get into parliament, Kyiv Post (April 12, 2010)
  48. (in Ukrainian) Чи може опозиція виграти парламентські вибори?, Ukrayinska Pravda (12 January 2012)
  49. Ratings of parties, Sociological group "RATING"
    Electoral moods of the Ukrainian population: February 2012 Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine, Sociological group "RATING" (March 5, 2012)
  50. Electoral moods of the population of Ukraine: May 2012
  51. Left Hook by Klitschko’s UDAR Party, The Ukrainian Week (24 August 2012)
  52. EPP accepts UDAR Party’s application to get observer status, Interfax-Ukraine (5 April 2012)
    Ukraine elections: `unfair play` of government authorities distorts outcome, European People's Party (30 October 2012)
  53. (in Ukrainian) Кличко каже, що не співпрацюватиме в парламенті з Партією регіонів Klitschko says he does not cooperate in Parliament with the Party of Regions, The Ukrainian Week (18 July 2012)
  54. UDAR's candidates for people's deputies say they're suffering pressure from opponents, Kyiv Post (8 August 2012)
  55. Opposition parties join forces ahead of Ukrainian election, EurActiv (16 October 2012)
  56. (in Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
  57. (in Ukrainian) Proportional votes Archived 2012-10-30 at the Wayback Machine & Constituency seats Archived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  58. After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
  59. UDAR elects faction's leadership in parliament, Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)
  60. Batkivschyna, UDAR, Svoboda to create opposition council to coordinate activity in Rada, Kyiv Post (17 December 2012)
  61. Klitschko's, Saakashvili's parties sign cooperation agreement, Kyiv Post (24 December 2012)
  62. Batkivschyna, UDAR, Svoboda to coordinate their actions at presidential election, Interfax-Ukraine (16 May 2013)
  63. Klitschko confirms he, Tymoshenko will run for president, Interfax-Ukraine (28 February 2014)
  64. Parliament sets elections for Kyiv mayor and Kyiv City Council deputies for May 25, Interfax-Ukraine (25 February 2014)
  65. Klitschko will run for mayor of Kyiv, Interfax-Ukraine (29 March 2014)
  66. Klitschko believes only presidential candidate from democratic forces should be Poroshenko, Interfax-Ukraine (29 March 2014)
  67. Klitschko officially announced as winner of Kyiv mayor election, Interfax-Ukraine (4 June 2014)
  68. Ukraine boxing hero Klitschko claims Kiev mayor seat, Straitstimes (26 May 2014)
  69. Lukas Alpert (29 May 2014). "Petro Poroshenko to Be Inaugurated as Ukraine President June 7". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  70. Vitali Klitschko sworn in as Kyiv mayor, Interfax-Ukraine (5 June 2014)
  71. Klitschko becomes Kyiv Mayor officially, Ukrinform (5 June 2014)
    Klitschko was deprived of parliamentary mandate, NovostiMira (5 June 2014)
  72. (in Ukrainian) Fraction Klitschko Council headed by his "gray cardinal", Ukrayinska Pravda (7 June 2014)
  73. (in Ukrainian) Block Poroshenko and kick off to the polls together Archived 2014-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, TVi (2 September 2014)
  74. (in Ukrainian) In Ukraine, 2/3 of the parties showed zeroes in the financial statements, Ukrayinska Pravda (8 December 2017)
  75. Yuliya Tunik (10 October 2017). ""Strike" Klitschko weakened: no funds, no cells, no office". Glavcom (in Ukrainian).
  77. Q&A:Ukrainian parliamentary election, BBC News (23 October 2012)
  78. Ukraine election:President Yanukovych party claims win, BBC News (29 October 2012).
  79. Klitschko: We'll leave only seven nationwide taxes, root out government corruption, Kyiv Post (1 April 2012)
  80. (in Ukrainian) Electronic Bulletin "Your Choice - 2012". Issue 4: Batkivshchyna Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine, Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (24 October 2012)
  81. UDAR submits to Rada resolution on Ukraine’s integration with EU, Interfax-Ukraine (8 January 2013)
  82. (in Ukrainian) "УДАР" хоче позбавити голів парламенту і екс-президентів пільг "UDAR" wants to deprive the heads of parliament and former presidents of benefits, Ukrayinska Pravda (6 February 2013)
  83. UDAR initiating restriction on free flights, railway tickets for MPs, Kyiv Post (29 November 2012)
  84. Kyiv cannot denounce Kharkiv accords unilaterally, says Foreign Ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (19 June 2013)
  85. Rada fails to support bill on denunciation of Kharkiv accords on Black Sea Fleet basing in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (19 June 2013)
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