PERSON AND PLACES
Mr.Leonid Makarovich Kravchuk passed away at the age of 88.
He is the first popularly elected president of independent Ukraine in 1991, in the first popular election of the country. But he lost the second Presidential election in 1994 to the former Prime Minister of the country Mr.Leonid Kuchma.
Ukraine became an independent country after the splitting of the Soviet Union. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mr. Kravchuk was a leader of Ukraine’s Communist Party. He quit the party in 1991.
After he was elected as the President of the country, he signed a multinational agreement in December 1991, that formally declared the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was a driving force in Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
He is the last survivor of the three leaders who signed this 1991 deal. The other two leaders were Boris N. Yeltsin of Russia died in 2007 and Stanislav Shushkevich of Belarus died in the last week.
As president, Kravchuk agreed to transfer the remaining Soviet nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory to Russian control, in a deal backed by the United States.