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Meet the Ministers: What We Know About Ukraine’s New Cabinet
30 August, 2019
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Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk (right) at the first session of the Ukrainian Parliament of 9th convocation on August 29, 2019. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
The names of Ukraine’s new government leaders are out after the first, marathon session at the parliament came to a close in the early hours of August 30. Most of the ministers were voted in a package vote, which was not supported by the factions of European Solidarity, Golos and Batkivshchyna. Hromadske takes a look at the managerial positions in Ukraine’s new executive government.

Prime Minister of Ukraine: Oleksiy Honcharuk

At 35, Honcharuk is the youngest prime minister in the history of Ukraine. Before this appointment, Honcharuk held the position of the Deputy Head of the Office of the President (since May 28, 2019). In President Zelenskyy’s team, Honcharuk was responsible for economic issues and economic policy – despite studying law. 

Born in the Chernihiv region, he graduated from the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management with a specialization in law and also studied at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine. He received a Ph.D. in law. He also graduated from the Aspen Institute program at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. 

Honcharuk worked as a lawyer at the Gorodyansky food production plant. Between 2005 and 2008 he worked as a lawyer at PRIOR-invest. From 2006 on, he headed the legal department of the investment company. 

In 2008 he founded the Constructive Lawyers law firm, which specializes in real estate and construction. Furthermore, in 2009 he became the head of the Association for Assistance to Affected Investors, which helps defrauded investors who did not receive their property from developers. 

READ MORE: Lawyer Oleksiy Honcharuk Voted Ukraine’s Next PM

In 2014, he ran for parliament as a candidate of Syla Liudey ("Power of People") party. Although he was first on the party list, Syla Liudey did not meet the minimum threshold to get into parliament. Nonetheless, he worked in government: first as an advisor to the Minister of Ecology, and then as an advisor to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade. Since 2015, he headed the Office of Effective Regulation, which develops and implements a system of state regulations in order to improve the business climate. 

Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine/Minister for Digital Transformation: Mykhailo Fedorov

At 28, Fedorov is among the youngest governmental officials. During the elections period, he headed Volodymyr Zelenskyy's digital campaign. An IT entrepreneur and founder of a digital agency, Fedorov was appointed as freelance advisor to Zelenskyy for digitalization affairs.

Fedorov graduated from a Zaporizhzhya university with specialization in sociology and management. In 2014, he ran for parliament with the 5.10 political party that propagates cancelling most taxes.

The Minister for Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov (C) in Kyiv on May 28, 2019. Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

READ MORE: Zelenskyy’s Head Digital Marketer on Their Winning Election Campaign

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration: Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba is a Ukrainian diplomat and a permanent representative of Ukraine in the Council of Europe.

Kuleba graduated from the Institute of Foreign Relations (part of the Taras Shevchenko National University). He has been working at the Foreign Ministry since 2003.

In 2014, Kuleba worked as an ambassador for specific tasks. He worked on creating strategic communications for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, implementation of modern technologies into the ministry’s work and the formation of public democracy in Ukraine.

In April 2016, he was appointed as the Permanent Representative of Ukraine in the Council of Europe. 

READ MORE: Experts Talk Ukraine Prospects Under New Government

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration Dmytro Kuleba talks to Hromadske on July 2, 2019. Photo: Hromadske

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Vadym Prystaiko

Vadym Prystaiko is the deputy head of the Presidential Office and a Ukrainian diplomat. Since July 7, 2017, he acted as the head of the Ukrainian mission at NATO. From May 31, Prystaiko has been a member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Born in the city of Kiliya in the Odesa region, Prystaiko graduated from the Kyiv Polytechnic College with specialization in IT. In 1998, Prystaiko achieved a master's degree at the Ukrainian Academy of Foreign Trade.

Prystaiko has been working in the government since 1994 when he joined the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade. At the time, he was responsible for economic relations with the countries of Africa, Asia, and Oceania. In 2000, Prystaiko headed the Ukrainian council in Sydney, Australia. Later he worked at diplomatic institutions in the U.S., Canada, and NATO.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko at the first parliamentary session on August 29, 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection: Oleksiy Orzhel

Oleksiy Orzhel is an expert on energy issues at the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) where he worked alongside the now Prime Minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk. Between 2006 and 2014, Orzhel assumed different roles at the National Commission for the State Regulation of Energy and Utilities in Ukraine. Since 2014, he’s been working in the private sector.

Orzhel is the head of the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy. He graduated from the Energy Efficiency and Management School of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and has a master's degree in energy management.

Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksiy Orzhel (L) at a round table in Kyiv, Ukraine on December 15, 2016. Photo: Oleksandr Synytsia / UNIAN

Minister of Development of Communities and Territories: Olena Babak

Olena Babak is a former Samopomich deputy. She used to serve as the deputy head of the Committee on construction, bridge building, and housing and communal services within the parliament.

Babak graduated from the Kyiv National Linguistic University with specialization in English and French. When autocephaly was being granted to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the church was breaking away from the Russian Church, Babak was among the 47 MPs who called on the Constitutional Court to delegitimize the appeal made by the Ukrainian Parliament to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

READ MORE: Ukraine Church Officially Receives Independence

Minister of Development of Communities and Territories Olena Babak on May 26, 2016 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Oleksandr Kosmach / UNIAN

Minister of Infrastructure: Vladyslav Krykliy

Krykliy is a former advisor to the Interior Minister of Ukraine (2014-2015). In 2015, he also acted as the deputy head of the State Automobile Inspection within the ministry, as well as the head of its service center.

He graduated from the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University and has a Ph.D. in economics. Before his interior ministry work, Krykliy worked in the investment banking sphere, as well as at the ticket selling company tickets.ua.

Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy in Kyiv, Ukraine on August 28, 2018. Photo: Vyacheslav Ratynskyi / UNIAN

Minister of Finance: Oksana Markarova

Oksana Markarova has been serving as the minister of finance from November 2018 onward. Between June 7 and November 2018, she was the acting finance minister.

She received a master's degree in ecology from the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, as well as masters in international public finance and trade at the Indiana University (U.S.). In 2000, she interned at the World Bank headquarters. 

As a finance minister, she lobbied for the implementation of the three-year budgeting model for Ukraine. This initiative was supported both by the government and the parliament.

Ukrainian Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova at a briefing regarding state budget on November 23, 2018 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Inna Sokolovska / UNIAN

Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture: Tymofiy Mylovanov​

Tymofiy Mylovanov is the president of the Kyiv School of Economics (which conducted training sessions for the future Servant of the People MPs) and a member of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine.

READ MORE: Lessons Commence for Servant of the People MPs

He has degrees in economics from the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

In 1999, he received a master's degree in economics from the Kyiv School of Economics. In 2004, he received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the U.S. He lectured at the Pennsylvania University, University of Bonn, and Pittsburg State University. Mylovanov researches game theory, contract theory studies, and institutional design. He also co-founded the VoxUkraine analytical platform. 

The Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture Tymofiy Mylovanov​ speaks to Hromadske in Kyiv, Ukraine on July 24, 2019. Photo: Hromadske

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports: Volodymyr Borodyansky

Volodymyr Borodyansky is the head of the executive board at the STB television channel. Since July 29, he has been advising President Zelenskyy on humanitarian issues on a freelance basis.

Borodyansky graduated from the Kyiv National Economic University with specialization in finance. In 1998, he became the commercial director at the Moskovskyj Komsomolets in Ukraine newspaper.

In 2000, Borodyansky started working at another Russian company, Alfa-bank, and dealt with media assets management. In 2004, he was elected as the head of the executive board at the TV channel "STB," owned by oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Volodymyr Borodyansky on September 6, 2018 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Facebook

Minister of Justice: Denys Malyuska

Denys Malyuska is another colleague of PM Honcharuk from the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), where he worked as the head of the executive board.

He studied law and specializes in regulating entrepreneurial activities, disputes, and bankruptcy.

Malyuska has been a World Bank consultant since 2010. In that capacity, he provided technical support to the governments of Ukraine and the countries of Central Asia.

He studied at the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and the University of London.

Minister of Education and Science: Anna Novosad

Since 2014, Anna Novosad worked in the Ministry of Education and Science: as an advisor to the minister, former president of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Serhiy Kvit, the manager of international cooperation and European integration, and the director general for strategic planning and European integration at the ministry under Liliya Hrynevych.

Novosad has a bachelor's degree in political studies from the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (2011) and a master's degree in European studies from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands (2013).

Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science Anna Novosad on August 28, 2019. Photo: Facebook

Minister of Health: Zoryana Skaletska

Zoryana Skaletska graduated from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. She specializes in law, has a Law Ph.D. Concentration: medical law.

She worked as an assistant professor and deputy dean of the Faculty of Law at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Skaletska is also the chief expert at the Reanimation Package of Reforms medical group, expert at the Center for Support of Reforms under the Cabinet of Ministers, and the chairperson of the Health Care Reform Commission at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.


Minister of Health Zoryana Skaletska at a round table in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 8, 2019. Photo: Oleksandr Synytsia / UNIAN

Minister of Internal Affairs: Arsen Avakov

Avakov served as the Minister of Internal Affairs in the governments of Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Volodymyr Groysman (2014-2019). Under his leadership, the proclamation of the so-called “Kharkiv People's Republic” was prevented in the spring of 2014. During his tenure, the National Guard of Ukraine and the patrol police were created within the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

READ MORE: What Does Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People Party Promise to Ukraine?

At the same time, the Minister was repeatedly criticized for failure to implement systematic reforms in the law enforcement system. Avakov's cadence resulted in a series of resonant murders that are yet to be solved. The most notable are the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, the murder of activist Kateryna Handziuk, as well as the murder of a five-year-old Kyrylo Tlyavov, where policemen are suspects.

READ MORE: Handziuk’s Father Speaks Out Against Authorities for Daughter’s Murder

Novoe Vremya journalists claim that during Avakov's term in office, his relatives and partners acquired a gas business through corruption schemes. Avakov's son Oleksandr and Deputy Interior Minister Serhiy Chebotar were involved in the “Backpack Case” (2016–2017).

READ MORE: Ukraine’s Interior Minister’s Son Released Pending Trial


Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov (C) in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 4, 2018. Photo: Volodymyr Hontar / UNIAN

Minister of Social Policy: Yulia Sokolovska

Yulia Sokolovska was previously an adviser to the Deputy Minister of Finance. She oversaw the strategy, transparency and development of USAID's and Deloitte eHealth's joint project “Support for Healthcare Reform”. From 2015 to 2016, she held the position of the Director of the Department for management of expenditure in social sectors at the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.

Previously, she served as the Director of the Department for management of expenditure in social sectors at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine.

Minister of Defense: Andriy Zahorodnyuk

Andriy Zahorodnyuk graduated from the Law Faculty of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, and two British universities: Warwick University and Oxford’s Said Business School. He was engaged in business in oil refining, mining and production industries. In 2005, he founded Discovery Drilling Equipment, which manufactures and maintains drilling rigs.

Since the beginning of the war in the Donbas, Zahorodnyuk became a volunteer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, supplying cast-iron stoves and ambulances to the military.

READ MORE: How Zelenskyy's Team Plans to Deal with Ukraine's Most Crucial Sector – Defense

In 2015-2017, he headed the Reform Office of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. On July 5, 2019, President Zelenskyy appointed Zahorodnyuk as his non-staff adviser, and on July 9, he installed him on the Supervisory Board of Ukroboronprom.

Minister of Defense Andriy Zahorodnyuk during the new parliament's first session on August 29, 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Minister for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine: Oksana Koliada

Since March 2019, she had been the Deputy Minister for Veterans Affairs in Volodymyr Groysman’s government. During the creation of the ministry, she worked in its project office.

READ MORE: Businessmen, Volunteers and Kolomoisky’s People Within Servant of the People

In 2007, she graduated from the Lviv State University of Internal Affairs with a master's degree, and in 2016-2017 she studied at the Ivan Chernyahovsky National Defense University of Ukraine specializing in military information support.

She served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs from 2003 to 2015. From 2015 to 2017, she headed the Communications and Press Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Koliada is a reserve colonel and war veteran. In 2017 she briefly held the position of Deputy Anti-Terrorist Operation Commander.

The Minister for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Oksana Koliada on August 23, 2019 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Vyacheslav Ratynskyi / UNIAN

Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers: Dmytro Dubilet

Dmytro Dubilet is best known as the co-founder of the online bank Monobank and former CIO of PrivatBank.

He received his bachelor's degree from the Institute of International Relations at the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University in 2006. He received his second degree from the London Business School in 2011. Since 2005, he had been managing the Fine Web Company (Kyiv) and had since worked as a Project Manager at Infosys (India) and MasterCard (Poland).

In 2010, Dubilet became the CIO of PrivatBank, subsequently working on the development of the iGov public services portal. Following the nationalization of PrivatBank in 2016, he founded FinTech Band, which provides IT services for banks, and the first mobile bank in Ukraine, Monobank, simultaneously developing a number of other projects in the public sector and business. On July 16, the acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov appointed Dubilet as his advisor responsible for implementing IT technologies to combat corruption.

Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Dmytro Dubilet at a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 16, 2015. Photo: Serhiy Nuzhnenko / UNIAN

READ MORE: The Semi-Secret Story of Servant of the People Party’s Election Victory

/Compiled by Yaroslav Vinokurov

/Translated by Maria Romanenko