Cold War Files: All Units: People: Leonid M. Kravchuk

Leonid M. Kravchuk
Leonid M. Kravchuk
b. January 10, 1934

Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk is a Ukrainian politican, and was a key supporter of the Ukrainian independence movement.

Kravchuk was born in Velyky Zhytyn, which was part of Poland at the time of his birth. He joined the Ukrainian Communist Party in 1958, and rose through the ranks of the party and in its agitation/propaganda department.

He became a member of the Ukrainian politburo in 1989 and the chairman of the Supreme Soviet in 1990. As the Soviet government weakened Kravchuk became the effective leader of the Ukrainian republic, and he left the Soviet communist party in August 1990 to support the Ukrainian independence movement. He officially declared his support for Ukrainian independence after the August 1991 Soviet coup attempt. Later in 1991 he was elected President of Ukraine in Ukraine's first elections, and Ukraine became independent.

Kravchuk ran for a second term as President in 1994, but was defeated by his former Prime Minister, Leonid Kuchma. In 1998, Kravchuk joined the United Social Democratic Party. He remains active in Ukrainian politics, serving as a member of Parliament and as the leader of the United Social Democratic Party since 2002.

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