Prime Minister of Ukraine

Last updated

Prime Minister of Ukraine
Прем'єр-міністр України
Lesser Coat of Arms of Ukraine.svg
Denis Shmygal' (portret) 2.jpg
Denys Shmyhal
since 4 March 2020
Style Mr Prime Minister
His Excellency
Type Head of government
Nominator President of Ukraine [1]
Appointer Verkhovna Rada
Term length Five years unless the Verkhovna Rada is dissolved sooner
No term limits specified
Inaugural holder Volodymyr Vynnychenko
Formation28 June 1917;105 years ago (1917-06-28)(original)
25 March 1946;76 years ago (1946-03-25)(Ukrainian SSR)
24 August 1991;31 years ago (1991-08-24)(current form)
Salary 20,000 monthly[ citation needed ]

The prime minister of Ukraine (Ukrainian : Прем'єр-міністр України, Premier-ministr Ukrainy) is the head of government of Ukraine. [2] The prime minister presides over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is the highest body of the executive branch of the Ukrainian government. The position replaced the Soviet post of chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, which was established on March 25, 1946.


Since Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been sixteen prime ministers, [3] or twenty, counting acting prime ministers. Yulia Tymoshenko was the first woman appointed as prime minister in the history of Ukraine. Arseniy Yatsenyuk was the first prime minister who came from Western Ukraine. Two prime ministers were born in the Russian SFSR.

The current prime minister is Denys Shmyhal, who was sworn in on 4 March 2020 following the resignation of Oleksiy Honcharuk. [4]


The prime minister is appointed by the president with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada. The consent is deemed granted by the parliament when a simple majority of its constitutional membership votes in favour of the candidate nominated by the president. The highest parliamentary approval to date was received by Yulia Tymoshenko who was appointed the prime minister on February 4, 2005, with 373 votes in the Verkhovna Rada. Other prime ministers who received more than 300 votes were Arseniy Yatsenyuk (371), Yatsenyuk again in 2014 (341) [5] Vitold Fokin (332), and Leonid Kuchma (316).

The procedure of granting consent by the parliament is usually preceded by several days of comprehensive consultations and interviews of the candidate by the parliamentary factions. The approval by the legislature is not a mere formality. Some candidates were ratified by a narrow margin and a candidate may be turned down. For instance, in 1999, Valeriy Pustovoitenko fell three votes short of being re-confirmed after he tendered his resignation at the second inauguration of President Leonid Kuchma in 1999. Kuchma chose Viktor Yushchenko as his alternative candidate. Another example is the approval of Yuriy Yekhanurov's candidacy (he fell three votes short of approval, but was confirmed on the second attempt two days later).

After the constitutional amendment of late 2004 and its reinstance in 2014, the president was restricted in their choice of prime minister and was virtually obliged to nominate the person proposed by the parliamentary coalition. The only exception is when the candidate cannot be nominated due to the violation in nomination procedure or the candidate's incompliance with the requirements established by the Constitution and the Ukrainian laws for the prime minister. In this case, the president informs the parliament about the impossibility of submitting a nomination for the proposed candidacy.

The prime minister, as with all members of executive branch, cannot be a member of parliament.

Duties and powers

U.S. president Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, March 12, 2014 P031214PS-0710 (14104760453).jpg
U.S. president Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, March 12, 2014

The prime minister heads Ukraine's executive branch of government, the Cabinet of Ministers, and signs decrees passed by the Cabinet.

The prime minister has the authority to propose candidates for ministry offices to the Verkhovna Rada, [6] with the exception of the minister of foreign affairs and the minister of defense, which are proposed by the president. The prime minister can also propose candidates for the heads of regional administrations to the president for consideration. [6]

The prime minister can also countersign decrees and laws passed by the president. The constitution is silent on the exact regulation of the countersigning. The prime minister (and the respective minister) are responsible for the execution of laws passed by the cabinet.

While in office, the prime minister is granted full legal immunity from all prosecutions and legal proceedings. The prime minister's office is headquartered in the Cabinet of Ministries building in central Kyiv. The prime minister was paid a yearly salary of 202,776 UAH (16,898/month) (US$26,770) in 2005. [7] In 2013, following a petition in Fokus magazine, the secretariat of the cabinet stated that the monthly salary of the prime minister was 33,980 UAH (US$4,173.42), which is eleven times more than the average salary in the country. [8]

Prime ministers are frequently asked by individual citizens for help in solving their personal problems, sometimes successfully. In 2012, Prime Minister Azarov received dozens of personal pleas every day on his Facebook page. [9]

Acting and vice-prime ministers

Oleksandr Turchynov served as Acting Prime Minister in 2010 after Yulia Tymoshenko tendered her government's resignation. Oleksandr Turchynov in August 2014.jpg
Oleksandr Turchynov served as Acting Prime Minister in 2010 after Yulia Tymoshenko tendered her government's resignation.

The first vice-prime minister, also known as the first deputy, heads the cabinet in the absence of the prime minister due to resignation or dismissal. Among the most notable First deputies were Yukhym Zvyahilsky and Mykola Azarov, who served as the acting prime minister for a longer period of time than anyone else. Valentyn Symonenko, Vasyl Durdynets, Oleksandr Turchynov and others also served as acting prime minister.

Apart from the first vice-prime minister, there are also several other vice-ministers who support the prime minister and may be in charge of one or more ministries. In 1991–1992 the office of the state minister was also introduced. Traditionally vice-prime ministers are in charge of an area of general state government policy such as the agro-industrial complex, humanitarian affairs, economic affairs, or regional policy. On certain occasions, those deputies may be given regular ministerial portfolios as well, as happened in the 2010 Azarov Government.

Dismissal and resignation

The prime minister, like other Cabinet members, may resign voluntarily by tendering their resignation to parliament (according to the Constitution of Ukraine, the prime minister can only be dismissed by parliamentary vote). [10] [11] Parliament must then consider the matter no later than the 10th day after the resignation application is received, if parliament was not in session at the time of resignation then no later than the first plenary week of the next regular session. [12] A resignation by the prime minister results in the dismissal of the entire Cabinet. [12] After the adoption of the current constitution in 1996, only prime ministers Pavlo Lazarenko and Mykola Azarov have left their post this way. [13] Prime ministers do not have a set term limit, staying in office for the duration of the parliament term, resignation, or dismissal.

Before the constitutional reform of 2004, the prime minister was usually dismissed unilaterally by the president. After the reform, the prime minister can only be dismissed by the parliament. [11] [12] Formally, the Verkhovna Rada needed to pass a resolution of no confidence of the cabinet, which had to result in the prime minister's resignation. However, the parliament could not put such a resolution to the vote within one year of the approval of the cabinet's official programme. [14] The Cabinets of prime ministers Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were dismissed in this way, with the latter refusing to tender his resignation to the president claiming a violation of the one-year period condition. The Cabinet of Yuriy Yekhanurov had also been formally dismissed, but the parliamentary act was subsequently repealed.[ clarification needed ]

List of prime ministers (1991–present)

Since Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been 15 prime ministers [3] (19 including acting PMs). Yulia Tymoshenko was the first (and only) female prime minister of Ukraine. Before the re-appointment as Prime Minister of Mykola Azarov, Tymoshenko was the longest serving prime minister serving for two terms and a total of 1,029 days (days serving as acting prime minister are not included in these numbers). [15] Since Azarov was re-appointed as prime minister on 13 December 2012, he has since broken Tymoshenko's record. [16] [17] Azarov resigned on 28 January 2014, due to public outcry and protests following the Euromaidan. [18] He was succeeded up by Arseniy Yatsenyuk on 27 February 2014. [19] Yatsenyuk announced he would resign as Prime Minister on 24 July 2014; [19] but his resignation was declined by parliament on 31 July 2014 when only 16 (of the 450) MPs voted for his resignation. [20] [21]


Denys ShmyhalOleksiy HoncharukVolodymyr GroysmanArseniy YatsenyukMykola AzarovYulia TymoshenkoViktor YanukovychYuriy YekhanurovYulia TymoshenkoViktor YanukovychAnatoliy KinakhViktor YushchenkoValeriy PustovoitenkoVasyl DurdynetsPavlo LazarenkoYevhen MarchukVitaly MasolYukhym ZvyahilskyLeonid KuchmaValentyn SymonenkoVitold FokinPrime Minister of Ukraine

Parliamentary approval

NDatePrime MinisterOriginPolitical PartyParliament votes % (of 450)
1November 14, 1990 Vitold Fokin Zaporizhzhia Oblast Independent 33273.8
2October 13, 1992 Leonid Kuchma Chernihiv Oblast Independent31670.2
3June 16, 1994 Vitaliy Masol Chernihiv Oblast Independent19944.2
4March 6, 1995 Yevhen Marchuk Kirovohrad Oblast Social Democratic Party of Ukraine  ??? ???
5May 28, 1996 Pavlo Lazarenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Hromada  ??? ???
6July 16, 1997 Valeriy Pustovoitenko Mykolaiv Oblast People's Democratic Party 22650.2
7December 22, 1999 Viktor Yushchenko Sumy Oblast Independent29665.8
8May 29, 2001 Anatoliy Kinakh Moldavian SSR Industrialists 23953.1
9November 21, 2002 Viktor Yanukovych Donetsk Oblast Party of Regions 23452.0
10February 4, 2005 Yulia Tymoshenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Batkivshchyna 37382.9
11September 22, 2005 Yuri Yekhanurov Russian SFSR Our Ukraine 289 [22] 64.2
12August 4, 2006 Viktor Yanukovych Donetsk Oblast Party of Regions 27160.2
13December 18, 2007 Yulia Tymoshenko Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Batkivshchyna 226 [23] 50.2
14March 11, 2010 Mykola Azarov Russian SFSR Party of Regions 24253.8
December 13, 201225256.0
15February 27, 2014 Arseniy Yatsenyuk Chernivtsi Oblast Batkivshchyna 37182.2
November 27, 2014 People's Front 34175.8
16April 14, 2016 Volodymyr Groysman Vinnytsia Oblast Petro Poroshenko Bloc 25757.1
17August 29, 2019 Oleksiy Honcharuk Chernihiv Oblast Servant of the People 290 [24] 64.4
18March 4, 2020 Denys Shmyhal Lviv Oblast Independent29164.7

Related Research Articles

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc was a political bloc of civic nationalist and pro-European political parties in Ukraine led by Yulia Tymoshenko from 2001 until its dissolution in December 2012 under the Presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. In November 2011, the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections was banned. The core party of the alliance, Batkivshchyna, has remained a major force in Ukrainian politics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elections in Ukraine</span> Political elections for public offices in Ukraine

Elections in Ukraine are held to choose the president, Verkhovna Rada (legislature), and local governments. Referendums may be held on special occasions. Ukraine has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which often not a single party has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yulia Tymoshenko</span> 10th and 13th prime minister of Ukraine

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko is a Ukrainian politician, people's Deputy of Ukraine, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for the fuel and energy complex (1999–2001), Prime Minister of Ukraine from February to September 2005 and from December 2007 to March 2010. She was the first and so far the only woman to serve as prime minister of Ukraine. She has the degree of Candidate of Economic Sciences.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Borys Tarasyuk</span> Ukrainian politician

Borys Ivanovych Tarasyuk is a Ukrainian politician who twice served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and a former MP who is since December 2019 Ukraine's permanent representative to the Council of Europe.

The All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" referred to as Batkivshchyna, is a political party in Ukraine led by People's Deputy of Ukraine, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. As the core party of the former Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, Batkivshchyna has been represented in the Verkhovna Rada since Yulia Tymoshenko set up the parliamentary faction of the same name in March 1999. After the November 2011 banning of the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections, Batkivshchyna became a major force in Ukrainian politics independently.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yuriy Yekhanurov</span> 11th Prime Minister of Ukraine

Yuriy Ivanovych Yekhanurov is a Ukrainian politician who was Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2005 to 2006 and Minister of Defense from 2007 to 2009.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2010 Ukrainian presidential election</span> Presidential election in Ukraine

Presidential elections were held in Ukraine on 17 January 2010. As no candidate received a majority of the vote, a run-off election was held between Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych on 7 February.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arseniy Yatsenyuk</span> Former Prime Minister of Ukraine

Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk is a Ukrainian politician, economist and lawyer who served as Prime Minister of Ukraine twice – from 27 February 2014 to 27 November 2014 and from 27 November 2014 to 14 April 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Volodymyr Ohryzko</span> Ukrainian diplomat

Volodymyr Stanislavovych Ohryzko is a Ukrainian diplomat. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine from December 18, 2007 to March 3, 2009, when he was fired by the Ukrainian Parliament. On March 17, 2009 Ohryzko was appointed First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council by President Viktor Yushchenko.

The 2008 Ukrainian political crisis started after President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (NU-NS) withdrew from the governing coalition following a vote on a bill to limit the President's powers in which the Prime Minister's Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) voted with the opposition Party of Regions. The bill would have required the consent of the Prime Minister for the appointment and dismissal of the Prosecutor General by the President, given the government power to appoint local heads of government if the President rejects the candidates, stripped from the President the right to reject a candidate for Prime Minister, dismiss the Defense, Interior and Foreign Ministers, and appoint a head of the State Intelligence Service. President Yushchenko stated that a clear position on the 2008 Russo-Georgian War was one of the conditions under which return to talks in the Parliament was possible, as well as the repeal of all the constitutional laws adopted after 3 September. Yushchenko claimed that a "de-facto coalition" was formed with 'no other aims but to conduct coup d'état and usurp power in the country'. Tymoshenko stated that the real intentions behind the President's party in 'declaring war on her' was to ensure his victory in the next presidential election, although she still called for a reformation of the coalition between the two parties. She also reiterated her position on the Georgian conflict, claiming to be neutral and more in line with the European Union.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Serhiy Tihipko</span> Ukrainian politician

Serhiy Leonidovych Tihipko is a Ukrainian politician and finance specialist who was Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine. Tihipko was Minister of Economics in 2000 and subsequently served as Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine from 2002 to 2004. He ran unsuccessfully for President of Ukraine in the 2010 presidential election and participated in the 2014 presidential election, in which he placed fifth with 5.23 percent of the vote. Tihipko is also former Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Social Policy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Second Tymoshenko government</span> Government of Ukraine

The second Tymoshenko Government was appointed on 18 December 2007 as a coalition between Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) and Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD), OU-PSD is the party of then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, following the 2007 Ukrainian parliamentary election. The government program was named: "Ukrainian breakthrough: for people, not for politicians".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">First Azarov government</span> Government of Ukraine

The first Azarov government was Ukraine's cabinet from March 11, 2010 till December 3, 2012 till 24 December 2012 when the second Azarov government was appointed by president Viktor Yanukovych.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mykola Azarov</span> Ukrainian politician

Mykola Yanovych Azarov is a Ukrainian politician who was the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 11 March 2010 to 27 January 2014. He was the First Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister from 2002 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2007. Azarov also served ex officio as an acting Prime Minister in the First Yanukovych Government when Viktor Yanukovych ran for president at first and then upon the resignation of his government.

The first Azarov government was Ukraine's cabinet from March 2010 until December 2012, when the second Azarov government was appointed by president Viktor Yanukovych.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Second Azarov government</span> Government of Ukraine

The second Azarov government was the government of Ukraine from 24 December 2012 to 28 January 2014. It was dissolved amidst the Euromaidan protests. The ministers (except Prime Minister Mykola Azarov who was replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov, continued briefly as a caretaker government. On 27 February 2014 Ukraine's parliament approved a resolution to formally dismiss the government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Volodymyr Groysman</span> Ukrainian politician (born 1978)

Volodymyr Borysovych Groysman, sometimes transliterated as Volodymyr Borysovych Hroisman, is a Ukrainian politician who was the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 14 April 2016 to 29 August 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">First Yatsenyuk government</span> Government of Ukraine

The first government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk was created in Ukraine on 27 February 2014 in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity. The cabinet was formed as a coalition of the Batkivschyna, UDAR and Svoboda political parties, the Economic Development and Sovereign European Ukraine parliamentary factions, and a number of unaffiliated MPs. On 24 July 2014, UDAR, Svoboda and 19 independent MPs exited the coalition to pave the way for the early parliamentary elections of late October 2014. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk announced his resignation the same day, but the Verkhovna Rada declined his resignation on 31 July 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">People's Front (Ukraine)</span> Political party in Ukraine

People's Front is a nationalist and conservative political party in Ukraine founded by Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleksandr Turchynov in 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Second Yatsenyuk Government</span> Government of Ukraine

The second Yatsenyuk government was created in Ukraine after the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election. On 2 December 2014, 288 members of the Ukrainian parliament approved the composition of the cabinet. The Government was backed by Petro Poroshenko Bloc, People's Front, Self Reliance, Fatherland and Radical Party.


  1. "Constitution of Ukraine". Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  2. Economic Interdependence in Ukrainian-Russian Relations by Paul J. D'Anieri, State University of New York Press, 1999, ISBN   978-0-7914-4246-3 (page 187)
  3. 1 2 Eugenia Tymoshenko: the fight to save my mother Yulia, The Guardian (23 September 2012)
  4. Talant, Bermet (March 6, 2020). "Hasty government reshuffle sows disquiet at home, abroad". Kyiv Post.
  5. Ukrainian parliament appoints Yatseniuk prime minister, Interfax-Ukraine (27 November 2014)
  6. 1 2 Government approves draft law on cabinet according to which president appoints premier, Interfax-Ukraine (October 5, 2010)
  7. "The salary of Yushchenko rose 9 times – to $4.5 thousand". NTA-Privolzhye. July 14, 2005. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
  8. Azarov receives more than 30 thousands in a month (Азаров отримує більше 30 тисяч на місяць). Ukrayinska Pravda. 2013-1-24
  9. Help Me, Father Czar!, Kyiv Post (5 April 2012)
  10. Ukraine President Zelenskyy rejects PM's resignation, Al Jazeera English (17 January 2020)
  11. 1 2 (in Ukrainian) "Keep me seven." What will end Goncharuk's "resignation", Glavcom (17 January 2020)
  12. 1 2 3 (in Ukrainian) Honcharuk: The government continues to work until Zelensky makes a decision, Ukrayinska Pravda (17 January 2020)
  13. Laws of Ukraine . President of Ukraine decree No. 599/97: On the resignation of Prime Minister P.Lazarenko . Adopted on 1997-07-02. (Ukrainian)
  14. (in Ukrainian) Tymoshenko wants change of power: "Let them return to their 95s", Ukrayinska Pravda (16 January 2020)
  15. Azarov is record-holder in holding PM post Archived December 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine , ForUm (4 December 2012)
  16. Ukraine parliament approves Azarov as prime minister, Reuters (13 December 2012)
  17. Azarov urges Ukrainians to be worthy of liberators' feat, Ukrinform (9 May 2013)
  18. BBC News (January 28, 2014). "Ukraine's PM Azarov and government resign" . Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  19. 1 2 Walker, Shaun (July 24, 2014), "Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk resigns", Guardian, retrieved July 24, 2014
    Herszenhorn, David M. (July 24, 2014). "Ukraine Prime Minister Resigns, as Kiev Moves Toward Elections". New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
    Rada speaker announces dissolution of parliamentary coalition, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
    Ukrainian PM Yatseniuk announces resignation in parliament, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
    Yatseniuk says collapse of Rada coalition means failure to pass laws on filling budget, Interfax-Ukraine (24 July 2014)
  20. Rada expresses confidence in PM Yatseniuk, Interfax-Ukraine (31 July 2014)
  21. Yatseniuk's statement of resignation sent to parliament - Hroisman, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
    Koshulynsky closes parliament meeting, next one to take place on August 12, Interfax-Ukraine (25 July 2014)
  22. Yekhanurov initially collected 223 votes out of the necessary 226, but he was appointed after the second try.
  23. Tymoshenko initially collected 225 votes out of the necessary 226. Some deputies announced that their votes did not correspond to the results. The Tymoshenko candidacy was approved on the second try.
  24. Ukrainian Lawmakers Approve Political Novice Honcharuk As Prime Minister, Radio Free Europe (29 August 2019)