Yukhym Zvyahilsky

Yukhym Leonidovych Zvyahilsky (Ukrainian: Юхим Леонідович Звягільський, Russian: Ефим Леонидович Звягильский; 20 February 1933 – 6 November 2021) was a Ukrainian politician. He is the only member of Verkhovna Rada who was elected to parliament in eight elections (from 1990 until Zvyahilsky did not participate in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election).[1]

Yukhym Zvyahilsky
Юхим Звягільський
Yukhym Zvyahilsky 2013.jpg
Zvyahilsky in 2013
People's Deputy of Ukraine
In office
15 May 1990 – 29 August 2019
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMusa Mahomedov
4th First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine
In office
11 June 1993 – 4 July 1994
Prime MinisterLeonid Kuchma
Preceded byIhor Yukhnovskyi
Succeeded byViktor Pynzenyk
Acting Prime Minister of Ukraine
In office
22 September 1993 – 16 June 1994
PresidentLeonid Kravchuk
Preceded byLeonid Kuchma
Succeeded byVitaliy Masol
Personal details
Born(1933-02-20)20 February 1933
Stalino, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now Donetsk, Ukraine)
Died6 November 2021(2021-11-06) (aged 88)
Kyiv, Ukraine
Resting placeBaikove Cemetery
Political partyCommunist Party of the USSR (1950s–1991)
Party of Regions (2000–2021)
SpouseLyudmyla (born 1931)
Alma materDonetsk Industrial Institute (1956)

In 1993 and 1994, Zvyahilsky served as the First Vice-Prime Minister and acting Prime Minister.[2]


Zvyahilsky was born the son of a Jewish[3][4] civil servant in Stalino on 20 February 1933. In 1956, he graduated from the Donetsk Industrial Institute as a mining engineer. After graduating, Zvyahilsky worked at mine #13 of the Soviet trust company "Kuibyshevugol" (Kuibyshev Coal) as a chief assistant, later as a chief of a coal precinct, chief engineer, and director. In 1972 he wrote a thesis, "Observation of regional technological schemes of mining fields in the development of thin inclined layers (in reference to the Donetsk-Makiivka region of Donetsk basin)" (Moscow Mining Institute), earning him the academical title of a Candidate of Sciences. Later Zvyahilsky defended his doctorate on the subject "Geomechanical foundations of landslides of the earth surface above mines, which can be eliminated" (Institute of geotechnical mechanics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). Coincidentally, in the early 1990s, Ukraine suffered from the miners' strikes that led to the early presidential elections in 1994.

From 1970 to 1979, Zvyahilsky worked at the Kuibyshev Mine Corporation of the Industrial Union "Donetskugol" (Donetsk Coal). In 1975 he was appointed a director of the company. From 1979 through 1992, Zvyahilsky was a director of the Zasyadko coal mine of the Industrial Union "Donetskugol". The mine, known for its chronic accidents, became particularly famous in 2007 for the most deadly disaster in the mining history of Ukraine.

In March 1990, as a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Zvyahilsky was elected to the Parliament of Ukraine from the 112th electoral district. In November 1992, he was appointed the city council and executive committee chairman. In June 1993, Zvyahilsky was appointed to the Kuchma's Cabinet as the First Vice-Prime Minister. Being the First Vice-Prime Minister in the Cabinet of Kuchma, he served as an acting-Prime Minister from 22 September 1993 after Leonid Kuchma was elected the President of Ukraine. Zvyahilsky was the longest-serving Prime Minister without being officially appointed to the role. Zvyahilsky kept the appointment until Vitaliy Masol was confirmed as the Prime Minister of Ukraine in June 1994.

In March 1994, now as an independent, Zvyahilsky was elected to the parliament from the 110th electoral district. In 1994, Zviahilskyi, being perceived as affiliated with Leonid Kravchuk, was accused of having stolen some $20 million by Ukrainian President Kuchma during his term as acting Prime Minister, and he fled to Israel in fear for his life.[5][6] Zvyagilsky was also accused of transporting $300 million in illegal cash to Israel in 1994 with the help of the Israeli special service Nativ.[7] After some time Zviahilskyi returned to Ukraine in March 1997 and as a sitting member of Verkhovna Rada missed most of the sessions of the parliament.[6]

In 1998, Zvyahilsky, once again as an independent, was elected now from the 43rd electoral district. In 2002, he was again elected to the parliament as a member of the Party of Regions. Zvyahilsky became a member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), representing the ruling Party of Regions, and owner of the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk. Being a member of Parliament, he had immunity from prosecution.[6] In the 2012 parliamentary elections elected for the Party of Regions in a single-mandate majoritarian election district number 45 with 72.59% of the votes.[8]

In the 2014 parliamentary election, Zvyahilsky was re-elected into parliament again as an independent candidate in single-member districts number 45 situated in the Kyiv Raion of Donetsk; this time with 72.73% of the votes.[9] In his constituency, only a handful of polling stations were open due to the war in Donbas; this led to Zvyahilsky winning a seat with only 1,450 votes.[10][11] In parliament he joined the faction of Opposition Bloc.[12]

Zvyahilsky did not participate in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election for the first time since 1990 he did not run for parliamentary elections.[1] He died on 6 November 2021, aged 88, from complications of COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine.[13]

He also was co-president of the Jewish Conference of Ukraine.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Перше засідання нової Ради відкриє 78-річний нардеп від ОПЗЖ Іоффе". LB.ua.
  2. ^ (in Ukrainian) People's Deputy of many convocations Yuhym Zviahilskyi died, Ukrayinska Pravda (6 November 2021).
  4. ^ Офіційний портал Верховної Ради України
  5. ^ Big business and economic development: conglomerates and economic groups in developing countries and transition economies under globalisation. A. E. Fernández Jilberto, Barbara Hogenboom. London: Routledge. 2007. pp. 82–381. ISBN 978-0-203-96228-2. OCLC 86175822.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ a b c The clan from Donetsk PART I Archived 13 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine, The Ukrainian Weekly (12 January 2003)
  7. ^ Агенты-казнокрады
  8. ^ Одномандатний виборчий округ № 45 (Донецька область)
  9. ^ (in Ukrainian) Candidates and winners for the seat of the constituency 45 in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Archived 10 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine, RBK Ukraine
  10. ^ Starting a New Life, Voting as Before, The Ukrainian Week (11 November 2014)
  11. ^ Poroshenko Declares Victory in Ukraine Presidential Election, The Wall Street Journal (25 May 2014)
    Russia will recognise outcome of Ukraine poll, says Vladimir Putin, The Guardian (23 May 2014)
  12. ^ (in Ukrainian) National deputies of Ukraine: Yukhym Zvyahilsky, Verkhovna Rada
  13. ^ (in Ukrainian) People's Deputy of many convocations Yuhym Zviahilskyi died, Ukrayinska Pravda (6 November 2021).

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by First Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine
Succeeded by