New Cabinet of Ministers

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March 11, 2010, 11:31 p.m. |

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, right, and some officials of his new Cabinet of Ministers are in parliament on March 11.
© AP

Read short biographies of the country’s new ministers.

Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko

As energy minister under previous Victor Yanukovych-led governments, Yuriy Boyko brokered a deal that brought intermediary companies (Eural Trans Gas and Rosukrenergo) controlled by Dmytro Firtash, into the lucrative gas trade among Ukraine, Russia and Central Asian producers. Presidential administrative chief Serhiy Lyovochkin is also considered to be a close associate of both men.

Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk

Dmytro Tabachnyk held a number of top government posts under former President Leonid Kuchma in the 1990s and 2000s. Tabachnyk has advocated expanding the rights of Russian-language speakers and is loathed by nationalist politicians as being pro-Russian in his view of Ukraine’s history.

Minister of Regional Development and Construction Volodymyr Yatsuba

Volodymyr Yatsuba is a loyal and trusted bureaucrat of former President Leonid Kuchma. The Party of Regions member most recently was the head of the parliamentary subcommittee on building and architecture.

Minister of Ecological Affairs Viktor Boyko

With a background in farm equipment leasing and agriculture, Viktor Boyko, 49, is from Kirovohrad Oblast and was the former State Repository head, a post he served for six months in 2005. He owns a Bentley automobile, and allegedly lives a flashy lifestyle.

Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych

A lawyer, Oleksandr Lavrynovych will leave his job as deputy speaker of parliament to serve a third time as justice minister. He failed to advance the investigation into the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze while heading an ad hoc parliamentary committee in 2000.

Emergency Affairs Minister Nestor Shufrych

An outspoken critic of the Orange Revolution’s leaders, Nestor Shufrych served as Emergency Affairs Minister under Yanukovych from December 2006 to September 2007. The 44-year-old has grabbed many headlines over the years in confrontations with foes and allies alike.

Minister of the Cabinet Anatoliy Tolstoukhov

Anatoliy Tolstoukhov held top positions in government under Kuchma. He has remained loyal to Yanukovych since the Orange Revolution.

Foreign Affairs Minister Konstantin Hryshchenko

A former ambassador to the United States and Russia, as well having served a stint as foreign minister, Konstantin Hryshchenko has been a foreign policy adviser to Yanukovych since the Orange Revolution.

Health Minister Zinoviy Mitnik

Zinoviy Mitnik was chief physician at the Feofaniya hospital complex outside of Kyiv catering to government officials and their families. He has served as deputy health minister since 2007.

Industrial Affairs Minister Dmytro Kolesnikov

A career employee of metallurgical plants owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, Dmytro Kolesnikov served as a deputy minister in Yanukovych’s previous government and most recently as a Party of Regions lawmaker.

Agriculture Minister Mykola Prisyazhnyuk

Mykola Prisyazhnyuk most recently headed parliament’s agriculture committee.

Ministry of Sport and Family Ravil Safiulin

Ravil Safiulin is a well-known soccer official, associated with the Shakhtar club of Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man. Safiulin has been active in Euro 2012 soccer championship preparations.

Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel

Mykhailo Yezhel, a former navy admiral, has advised Yanukovych on military matters.

Interior Minister Anatoliy Mohilev

Anatoliy Mohilev is a career police general who rose up the ranks of the Interior Ministry in Donetsk Oblast, Yanukovych’s hotbed of support.

Minister of Public Utility Services Oleksandr Popov

Oleksandr Popov served as minister in charge of utility sector reforms in 2007, when Yanukovych’s government created the post. He advocated (without success) attracting private money to finance strapped public utilities.

Economy Minister Vasyl Tsushko

While heading Ukraine’s Interior Ministry in 2007, Vasyl Tsushko forcefully broke into the prosecutor’s office during a standoff between Yanukovych, premier at the time, and then-president Viktor Yushchenko.

Finance Minister Fedir Yaroshenko

An economist and banker, Fedir Yaroshenko served as deputy tax chief when Azarov headed the administration from 1997-2002, and later as deputy finance minister in Yanukovych’s government from 2002-2004. Yaroshenko returned to the tax administration in March 2008.

Transportation Minister Kostyantyn Yefymenko

Joining government for the first time, Kostyantyn Yefymenko once headed Ukrtransgas, a state company which manages the country’s vast natural gas transportation network. He is allegedly a confidant of billionaire and Yanukovych bloc lawmaker Vasyl Khmelnytsky.

Minister of Labor and Social Policy Vasyl Nadraga

Little known Vasyl Nadraga is reportedly close to Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and Yuriy Boyko, the new energy minister.

Key non-minister

State Security Service Chief Valery Khoroshkovsky

Billionaire Valery Khoroshkovsky has been deputy head of the so-called SBU law enforcement since March 2009 in charge of the agency’s anti-terror unit. Khoroshkovsky has been a partner with controversial billionaire Dmytro Firtash in the nation’s most watched television channel, Inter. In a major conflict of interest, Khoroshkovsky temporarily headed an SBU investigation against the state natural gas company, Naftogaz, alleging it had illegally siphoned billions of dollars of gas away from Firtash.
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