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Ukraine's Interim President Turchynov Has Close Ties to Former PM

  • VOA News

FILE - Ukrainian interim leader Oleksander Turchynyov.

FILE - Ukrainian interim leader Oleksander Turchynyov.

The man Ukraine's parliament picked as interim president has close ties with former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and a 20-year political career that includes short assignments as interim prime minister and running the domestic security service.

Ukraine's parliament selected 49-year-old Oleksandr Turchynov on Sunday, following the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych.

Turchynov is the deputy leader of Tymoshenko's Fatherland party and was her deputy prime minister between 2007 and 2010. When she lost the office, Turchynov served as interim prime minister for a week before a new government was formed.

He was first elected to parliament in 1998, and in 2008 ran for mayor of Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv. He lost that race, but finished just ahead of former champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, who has since emerged as an opposition leader.

Outside of his official life, Turchynov has become an author and also served as a pastor in the Baptist church. His 2005 novel Illusion of Fear was made into a movie and submitted as Ukraine's entry for the best foreign film category at the Academy Awards, but was not chosen to be among the top five nominees.
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