Leonid Danilovich Kuchma is a Soviet and Ukrainian politician. He was the President of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005. The only head of the Ukrainian government who served two terms in this position.
Leonid Kuchma was born on August 9, 1938 in the village of Chaikino, Chernigov region. His father, Daniil Prokofievich Kuchma (1901 - 1942), was a forester of the Novgorod-Seversky forestry. Mother - Praskovya Trofimovna Kuchma (1906 - 1986) worked on a collective farm. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Daniil Prokofievich heroically died in the Leningrad blockade. In addition to Leonid, the family had two more children: an older brother and sister. After the death of her father, Leni's mother raised her children alone. Older children, having matured, worked in mines.
Leonid received his primary education at the Kostobobrovsk secondary school. At school, the boy read a lot and gravitated towards the exact sciences. In 1960, the future politician graduated from Dnepropetrovsk State University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
After graduation, Kuchma was sent to work in the rocket and space sphere of the Yuzhnoye design bureau, located in Dnepropetrovsk. After six years of successful work, Leonid Kuchma successfully supervises tests at the Plesetsk and Baikonur cosmodromes, and heads the Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant rocket-building enterprise. He was also the head of the Komsomol, party organizations and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine.
In 1990, Leonid Danilovich was elected People's Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. In the fall of 1992, Kuchma became the prime minister of Ukraine. He agreed to this position because of the critical situation in the Ukrainian economy. The country had a huge decline in GDP, hyperinflation and budget deficits.
The main condition for accepting the post of prime minister Leonid Danilovich set the acquisition of the following powers for six months: to have the right to issue decrees equal to laws and to independently appoint the heads of regions. His demands were met. Six months later, the politician insisted on extending these conditions, but did not receive the consent of the Verkhovna Rada. Then he resigned. In 1993 Kuchma became president of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Ukraine.
On July 10, 1994, Leonid Danilovich was elected to the post of President of Ukraine, and in November 1999 he was re-elected to the same post. In the mid-nineties, Ukraine was in a difficult economic situation. During the ten-year rule of Kuchma, the economic and social situation in Ukraine has changed for the better.
Under Kuchma, market relations, the development of entrepreneurship were organized, the economic situation was settled. In 1996, the national currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in the country. Small and medium privatization appeared in Ukraine, many reforms were carried out.
Thanks to these changes, in 2004 the GDP growth was increased to 12%. During the years of Leonid Danilovich's presidency, the average salary of the population became 2.5 times higher, foreign investments increased 11 times, and the reserves of gold and foreign currency in the country increased 14 times.
All arrears of wages and pensions were paid off to the residents of Ukraine, and the debt for electricity was closed to the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. Under Kuchma, prices for natural gas were regulated and stabilized between Ukraine and Russia, oil refineries were put into operation, the construction of four power units at nuclear power plants was completed, and railways were repaired. At the end of 2000, by order of L. D. Kuchma, the work of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was stopped.
Leonid Danilovich was always close to the space sphere, so he made it a priority for the country.Thanks to him, international agreements were concluded, as a result of which in 1995 Ukraine launched its Sich-1 satellite into outer space with the first astronaut on board - Leonid Kadenyuk. As a result, Ukraine began to be considered one of ten space states, and in terms of the number of launches into space, it was included in the first five of the world.
Like many big politicians, there have been several political scandals in Kuchma's career. One of them was the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze, in which Kuchma was accused. This accusation caused serious damage to the president's reputation and initiated many public protests. In addition, Kuchma was charged with illegal arms trade, corruption and complicity in the beating of the Ukrainian politician Alexander Elyashkevich. Thus, Leonid Danilovich Kuchma lost his popularity, and his re-election for a third presidential term became less and less possible.
Leonid Danilovich is married to Lyudmila Nikolaevna (born in 1940). Lyudmila Nikolaevna was born in the Ural city of Votkinsk. She has worked at Yuzhnoye Design Bureau for over thirty years. Since 1996, he has been the honorary head of the National Social Protection Fund "Ukraine for Children", and since 2000 - the head of the "Hope and Good Foundation".
The couple have a daughter, Elena (born in 1970). Elena was educated at Dnepropetrovsk State University (Faculty of Economics). Elena is the founder of the AIDS Foundation and the head of the board of directors of the StarLightMedia media group. She is married to businessman, philanthropist and politician Viktor Pinchuk. Previously, she was married to the Ukrainian politician Igor Franchuk. Elena has three children. From his first marriage - son Roman; from the second - daughters Catherine and Veronica. Elena believes that her father is a politician and a global personality.
Leonid Danilovich is fond of tennis, running and football. He owns a number of famous sayings, including: "Ukraine is not Russia."