Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of independent Ukraine, has died at the age of 88 after a long illness, Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainian News reported on May 10, citing Kravchuk’s family.
Kravchuk underwent heart surgery in 2021 and was placed in intensive care thereafter. At the time, he was the head of Ukraine’s delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group, a negotiation process involving Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
Kravchuk served as President of Ukraine from 1991 to 1994. During his term of service, he signed the Lisbon Protocol in 1992, beginning the process of Ukrainian de-nuclearization. His presidency was widely seen as being unable to halt corruption in the privatization processes occurring in Ukraine as the country transitioned to a market economy, and was embroiled in numerous corruption scandals.
Following a failed bid for re-election in 1994, he became an MP for the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine, which was co-founded by oligarchs Viktor Medvedchuk and Grigoriy Surkis. In 2010, he supported Yuliya Tymoshenko for the presidency. The former first president was appointed the head of the Trilateral Contact Group in 2020.
Leonid Kravchuk is survived by his widow, Antonina Kravchuk, his son, and two grandchildren.