Ukraine’s first president Leonid Kravchuk dies at 88

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Former Ukrainian President Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk, the nation’s first elected president, has died, Ukrainian officers stated Tuesday.

The reason for his demise was not made identified.

The 88-year-old had a embellished profession in Ukraine’s politics, first serving to push for its independence from the Soviet Union. He later helped dissolve the USSR as an entire. 

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After Ukraine gained independence in 1991, Kravchuk was elected to be the nation’s first president. He served till 1994.

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk addresses to supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during a campaign rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. 

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk addresses to supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko throughout a marketing campaign rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. 
(AP Photograph/Efrem Lukatsky, file)

Kravchuk, alongside leaders of Russia and Belarus, additionally collectively signed an settlement formally dissolving the Soviet Union on Dec. 8, 1991.

Ukraine’s present president Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged Kravchuk’s significance to the nation’s historical past, calling him “a man who knew how to find wise words and to say them so that all Ukrainians would hear them.”

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“This is especially important in difficult, crisis moments. When the future of an entire country may depend on the wisdom of one person,” Zelenskyy added.

FU.S. President Bill Clinton and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk shake hands following their press conference at Kyiv's airport, Jan. 12, 1994.

FU.S. President Invoice Clinton and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk shake palms following their press convention at Kyiv’s airport, Jan. 12, 1994.
(AP Photograph/Marcy Nighswander, file)

He additionally stated the previous chief “knew the price of freedom and with all his heart wanted peace for Ukraine. I am sure that we will accomplish this. We will achieve our victory and our peace.”

Ukrainian Protection Minister Oleksii Reznikov equally praised Kravchuk for being integral in seeing the top to the Soviet Union, which he known as “the Evil Empire.”

“Thank you for the peaceful renewal of our Independence. We’re defending it now with weapons in our hands,” Reznikov wrote Tuesday.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, right, with Ukrainian President, Leonid Kravchuk, left, and Belarus leader Stanislav Shushkevich, centre, applauds after signing a communique agreeing to set up a new Community of Independent States in Raouchani, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1991. (AP Photo, File)

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, proper, with Ukrainian President, Leonid Kravchuk, left, and Belarus chief Stanislav Shushkevich, centre, applauds after signing a communique agreeing to arrange a brand new Neighborhood of Unbiased States in Raouchani, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, Sunday, Dec. 8, 1991. (AP Photograph, File)

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Kravchuk’s demise comes only a week after the demise of Belarus’ first post-Soviet Union president, Stanislav Shushkevich. He was 87.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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