People's Movement of Ukraine

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People's Movement of Ukraine
Народний Рух України
President Vasyl Kuybida[1]
Slogan Statehood, Democracy, Reforms
Founded February 9, 1990; 32 years ago (1990-02-09)[2]
Headquarters Kiev, Ukraine
Youth wing Young Activists of the Popular Rukh[3]
Ideology Ukrainian nationalism[4][5][6]
Liberal conservatism[7]
Economic liberalism
Political position Centre-right[8]
National affiliation All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"
European affiliation European People's Party (observer)
International affiliation None
Colours           Blue, yellow
Politics of Ukraine
Political parties

The People's Movement of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Народний Рух України, Narodnyi Rukh Ukrajiny) is a Ukrainian centre-right political party. Often it is simply referred to as the Movement (Ukrainian: Рух, Rukh). The party is an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP).

The Party gathers most of its voters and support from Western Ukraine.


Public movement

Initially organized as the People's Movement of Ukraine for Reconstruction (i.e. for Perestroika), Rukh was founded in 1989 as a civil-political movement as there were no other political parties allowed in the Soviet Union but the Communist Party. The founding of Rukh was made possible due to Mikhail Gorbachev's Glasnost policies.[9] The program and statutes of the movement were proposed by the Writers Association of Ukraine and were published in the journal Literary Ukraine (Literaturna Ukraina) on February 16, 1989. The organization has its roots in Ukrainian dissidents — the most notable of them being Vyacheslav Chornovil — yet not excluding the fact that it was accepting various other politically oriented members from liberal communists to integralist nationalists. During March - September 1989 numerous constituent party conferences took place across Ukraine. The first Constituent Congress of the "People's Movement of Ukraine for Reconstruction" took place on September 8–10, 1989 in Kiev. Elected as the first leader of the movement was the Ukrainian poet and screenwriter Ivan Drach.

The official Soviet press and government portrayed members as anti-Semites at first.[10]

The biggest public, political, cultural, and social actions were:

  • Human chain (1990) - a chain of volunteers that has stretched around 350 miles (or 550 km) all the way from the city of Lviv to the city of Kiev, the capitals of the two former Ukrainian states that signed the Act Zluky (Unification act) on January 22, 1919. According to the Department of Internal Affairs (Ukrainian SSR) there were only 450,000 participants, while the organizers claimed that there were between four to five million.
  • Mass excursions (1990) - festivities near Nikopol and Zaporizhia to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Zaporozhian Cossacks from September 7 through 12.
  • various activities near Berestechko, Baturyn, Lubny, and Khotyn.

At first the movement aimed at supporting Gorbachev's reforms,[9] later People's Movement of Ukraine was instrumental in conducting an independence referendum in the Ukrainian SSR. This was partially due to the Russification policies of the Soviet Union when the USSR Supreme Soviet officially announced the Russian language as the singular official state language of the country in 1989. During Rukh's existence within the Soviet Union, its members were threatened and intimidated.[9] In the western oblasts "Rukh" became colloquially known as an abbreviation for the call Save Ukraine, fellows! (Рятуйте Україну, Хлопці!).[11][12][13]

Political party

The movement initially registered by the Ministry of Justice on February 9, 1990 as the political party. After the creation of the Ukrainian Republican Party (URP) in January 1990 and later Democratic Party of Ukraine (DemPU), the People's Movement of Ukraine unofficially existed as a coalition of the those two along with numerous other smaller factions. These parties created a group within the Verkhovna Rada called the Democratic Bloc which stood in opposition to Group 239, headed by Oleksandr Moroz ("For the sovereign Soviet Ukraine") (see Ukrainian parliamentary election, 1990). In October 1990 took place the second Party Congress. During the session it was decided to exclude the word "Reconstruction" (Perestroika), not to be associated with the Communist movement. The head of the Party was elected once again Ivan Drach, while his deputies became Mykhailo Horyn and Oleksandr Lavrynovych. In order to draw closer URP and DemPU was established the Institute of Associative Membership in the Movement. The brittle coalition of the mentioned parties held until the presidential elections in September 1991 when URP and DemPU provided their own candidates as the opposition to Vyacheslav Chornovil.

On February 28 - March 1, 1992 took place the third Party Congress during which it was avoid the schism within the Party by reelecting a leadership triad of Ivan Drach, Mykhailo Horyn, and Vyacheslav Chornovil. The new deputies were M.Boychyshyn, O.Burakovsky, V.Burlakov, and O.Lavrynovych. The coalition formally was recognized as dissolved due to both URP and DemPU declared themselves the presidential supporters. The People's Movement of Ukraine declared its opposition and in January 1992 re-registered due to substantial changes of its statutes. Soon Ivan Drach has left the party, followed by the acquittance of Mykhailo Horyn in June 1992 together with V.Burlakov. Horyn was soon elected the head of the Ukrainian Republican Party. In December 1992 took place the IV Party Congress which once again revised its statute and the party goals. The party leader was elected Vyacheslav Chornovil, the rest party leadership was left without major changes. During the Congress the party delegates in opposition to Chornovil created the All-National Movement of Ukraine (VNRU), headed by Larysa Skoryk.

The People's Movement of Ukraine was registered by the Ukrainian ministry of Justice as a political party on February 1, 1993.[2] The parties parliamentary faction did split up in 2 different factions in the spring of 1999 (the breakaway faction was led by Hennadiy Udovenko which highest membership was 19 and ended with 14; the "other" faction ended with 23; meaning that 10 elected People's Movement of Ukraine deputies did not represent any segment of the party anymore by June 2002).[14][15] Right before the 1999 presidential elections another major schism took place within the party. Yuriy Kostenko openly protested against the election of Vyacheslav Chornovil as the party leader and established another party, People's Movement of Ukraine (Kostenko), where Kostenko became the leader of the party. Despite the split a followed party congress elected Vyacheslav Chornovil the party leader. The congress also adopted the signing of an agreement between People's Movement of Ukraine and Reforms and Order Party for a political bloc supporting Hennadiy Udovenko as a single presidential candidate for the next elections. At the parliamentary elections on 29 March 1998, the party received 9,4% of the vote[2] and 46 seats. At the parliamentary elections on 30 March 2002, the party was part of the Viktor Yushchenko Bloc Our Ukraine. Currently, Rukh was a part of the Our Ukraine Bloc,[2] where it represents the right wing of Union's party spectrum. At the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006, the party was part of the Our Ukraine alliance,[2] and the party's members secured 13 seats in the parliament. At the 2007 parliamentary elections the party was again part of the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc alliance,[2] that won 72 out of 450 seats.

In the 2010 local elections the party won 8 representative in the regional parliament of the Lviv Oblast, 3 representative in the regional parliament of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, 1 in Kherson Oblast, 5 in the Supreme Council of Crimea and 3 seats in the city counsels of Lviv and Simferopol.[16]

The party competed on one single party under "umbrella" party "Fatherland", together with several other parties, during the 2012 parliamentary elections[17][18][19][20][21][22] During the election this list won 62 seats (25.55% of the votes) under the proportional party-list system and another 39 by winning 39 simple-majority constituencies; a total of 101 seats in Parliament.[23]

In 2013 the party split in two parts. The party merged with Ukrainian People's Party in May 2013.[1] While its former chairman Borys Tarasyuk and others assimilated into "Fatherland" in June 2013.[24][25]

In the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election party leader Vasyl Kuybida received 0.06% of the vote.[26]

In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election the party participated in 3 constituencies; but its candidates lost in all of them and thus the party won no parliamentary seats.[27][28]

Political platform

“We do not impose on Russia how to interpret its own history. Why did Russia try and continues to try to impose on us the use of the Russian language? Why do Russians want to make us forget our own history and our heroes? Ukrainians must know their history and live accordingly, instead of living by the stereotypes spun by tsarist and Soviet ideologists.”

Party-leader Borys Tarasyuk on Echo of Moscow Radio (February 5, 2011)[25]

Directly out of the official website:

Elections history

Supreme Council of Ukraine
Constituency /total
Overall seats won
Seat change
Popular vote
Seats /total
1990 15/450
15 / 450
Increase 15 opposition
1994 20/450
20 / 450
Increase 5 opposition
1998 2,498,262 9.7% 32/225 14/225
46 / 450
Increase 26 minority support
2002 Yushchenko Bloc Our Ukraine 15/225 3/225
18 / 450
Decrease 8 opposition
2006 Bloc Our Ukraine 10/450 N/A
10 / 450
Decrease 8 opposition
2007 Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc 6/450 N/A
6 / 450
Decrease 4 coalition government
2012 Fatherland-Unites Opposition N/A Decrease 6 opposition
Presidency of Ukraine
Election year Candidate First Round Place Second Round
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
1991 Vyacheslav Chornovil 7,420,727 23.3 2
1994 Volodymyr Lanovyi 2,483,986 9.6 4
1999 Hennadiy Udovenko 319,778 1.2 7
2004 Viktor Yushchenko 11,188,675 39.9 1 15,115,712 52.0
2010 Yulia Tymoshenko 11,593,357 45.5
2014 Vasyl Kuybida 12,392 0.1 17
Date Party leader Remarks
1989–1992 Ivan Drach
1992–1999 Vyacheslav Chornovil
1999–2003 Hennadiy Udovenko
2003–2012 Borys Tarasyuk
2012–present Vasyl Kuybida


a Temporarily merged with Batkivshchyna as Fatherland - United Opposition

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ukrainian People's Party, People's Movement Of Ukraine Decide Unite Into Rukh, Elect Kuibida Its Leader, Ukrainian News Agency (19 May 2013)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 (Ukrainian) Народний Рух України, Database DATA
  3. Young opposition activists stage rally to celebrate resignation of Azarov's government, Kyiv Post (5 December 2012)
  4. D′Anieri, Paul (2007), Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, And Institutional Design, M. E. Sharpe, p. 113<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Bugajski, Janusz (2002), Political Parties of Eastern Europe: A Guide to Politics in the Post-Communist Era, The Center for Strategic and International Studies, pp. 952–953<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Magocsi, Paul Robert (2002), The Roots of Ukrainian Nationalism: Galicia As Ukraine's Piedmont, University of Toronto Press, p. 63<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Salnykova, Anastasiya (2012), "Electoral Reforms and Women's Representation in Ukraine", Gender, Politics and Society in Ukraine, University of Toronto Press, p. 89<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Haran, Olexiy; Burkovsky, Petro (2009), "In the Aftermath of the Revolution: From Orange Victory to Sharing Power with Opponents", Ukraine on Its Meandering Path Between East and West, Peter Lang, pp. 86, 96<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 How 1989 fanned flames in Ukraine BBC News (June 10, 2009)
  10. The Jewish card in Russian operations against Ukraine, Kyiv Post (June 30, 2009)
  11. Official website of the party in Ivano-Frankivsk region
  12. Hutsul, Ye. Iryna Farion: "The enemy never vanish on its own "like dew in the sun". "2000 weekly". 2012-06-14
  13. In the anticipation of Apostle. "Newspaper Den". 2004-1-13
  14. Ukraine and Russia: The Post-Soviet Transition by Roman Solchanyk, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001 ISBN 0742510174
  15. Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design by Paul D'Anieri, M. E. Sharpe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7656-1811-5
  16. (Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (8 November 2010)
  17. (Ukrainian) Соціально-християнська партія вирішила приєднатися до об'єднаної опозиції, Den (newspaper) (24 April 2012)
  18. Opposition to form single list to participate in parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
    (Ukrainian) "ФРОНТ ЗМІН" ІДЕ В РАДУ З "БАТЬКІВЩИНОЮ", Ukrayinska Pravda (7 April 2012)
    Yatseniuk wants to meet with Tymoshenko to discuss reunion of opposition, Kyiv Post (7 April 2012)
  19. (Ukrainian) Tymoshenko and Yatsenyuk united ("Тимошенко та Яценюк об'єдналися"), Ukrayinska Pravda (23 April 2012)
  20. Civil Position party joins Ukraine's united opposition, Kyiv Post (20 June 2012)
  21. Ukrainian opposition parties agree to form single list for 2012 elections, Kyiv Post (23 January 2012)
  22. Opposition to form single list to participate in parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
  23. (Ukrainian) Proportional votes & Constituency seats, Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine
    % of total seats, Ukrayinska Pravda
  24. Batkivschyna, Front for Change, Reform and Order Party, part of NRU unite for victory – Tymoshenko’s address to congress, Interfax-Ukraine (15 June 2013)
    Tymoshenko re-elected Batkivshchyna leader, Yatseniuk council chair, Ukrinform (15 June 2013)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Ukraine-Russia relations didn’t get any better, ex-Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk says, z i k (February 5, 2011)
  26. "Poroshenko wins presidential election with 54.7% of vote - CEC". Radio Ukraine International. 29 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
    (Russian) Results election of Ukrainian president, Телеграф (29 May 2014)
  27. Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrainian Television and Radio (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  28. (Ukrainian) Rukh candidates for constituency seats in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, RBK Ukraine

External links