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Yuri Alexandrovich Meshkov (Ukrainian: Юрій Олександрович Мєшков, Russian: Юрий Александрович Мешков (Yuri Alexandrovich Meshkov); born October 25, 1945) is a former Crimean politician and a leader of the pro-Russian movement in Crimea. Yuriy Meshkov served as the only President of Crimea (the autonomous republic of Ukraine that was unilaterally annaxed by of Russia in 2014) from 1994 to 1995.
Meshkov in 2014
|President of Crimea|
February 16, 1994 – March 17, 1995
|Preceded by||post created|
|Succeeded by||post abolished|
|3rd Prime Minister of Crimea|
February 4, 1994 – October 6, 1994
|Preceded by||Borys Samsonov|
|Succeeded by||Anatoliy Franchuk|
Yuri Aleksandrovich Meshkov
25 October 1945
Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Republican Party of Crimea|
|Alma mater||Moscow State University (1977)|
Yuri Meshkov was born on October 25, 1945 in Synelnykove in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (now Ukraine) to a Ukrainian-born mother and a native Kuban Cossack Russian father. He grew up in Simferopol where he finished high school. When he was about eight years old the region of Crimea was officially transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. His military obligation he served in the Border Guard. In 1967 (in some sources 1977) he graduated from the Law School of Moscow State University. Until 1982 he worked as a detective and then as the head detective in the office of the District's Attorney. From 1982 to 1985 he spent time on the science-researching yacht Skif. After 1985 and until 1990 worked privately as a judicial consultant. At that time he also was one of the leaders of the Crimea department of the All-Union historical-enlighting society "Memorial", and the president of the Crimean Federation of kickboxing.
In 1990, Meshkov was elected as a deputy to the Supreme Council of Crimea (the republic's parliament). There he became the co-founder of the RDK Party (Republican movement of Crimea). In 1994 he stood at the helm of the electoral bloc "Russia" for the republican presidential elections where he easily defeated in the second round of elections Mykola Bahrov who ran as the independent. Mykola Bahrov at that time was the head of the Supreme Council of Crimea. During the second round of the 1994 Crimean presidential elections, Yuriy Meshkov won with 72.9 percent and elected as the republic's only president.
His main political platform was to facilitate much closer relationships with the Russian Federation up to the possible reunification of Crimea with Russia. Meshkov tried to initiate a military-political union with Russia and completely disregarded opinions of the Ukrainian government. He also tried to force the rotation of the Russian currency, issue Russian passports to the Crimean population, and even transfer Crimea to the same time zone as Moscow. Due to the unforeseen resistance from the local opposition, Meshkov only managed in putting his autonomous republic into Moscow time zone. He also appointed the vice prime-minister, the Russian economist Yevgeny Saburov, who virtually became the head of the government. And then argued when was confronted by other government officials regarding the legitimacy of his appointee who did not even have a Ukrainian passport. Due to that Yevgeny Saburov was forced to resign. After that he managed to paralyze the work of the Supreme Council of Crimea.
In 1995, the Ukrainian parliament scrapped the Crimean Constitution and abolished the post of president on March 17, 1995. After couple of preceding warnings in September and November 1994 on March 17, 1995 the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, signed the Law of Ukraine that scrapped the amended Crimean Constitution and some other Laws of AR Crimea, because they contradicted the Constitution of Ukraine and endangered the sovereignty of Ukraine.
Then Meshkov went to Moscow (Russia), where he taught at the Moscow university. He did not return to Crimea till 2 July 2011 because his ex-wife (Lyudmyla) had died (on 28 May 2011). At a 7 July 2011 press conference, he called for an referendum on restoring the Constitution of Crimea 1992 version, which actually declared Crimea an sovereign state. Meshkov also stated then that he ruled out the possibility of his participation in the political life of Crimea because of the need to change citizenship; but instead would participate in "the work of social organizations". He also stated "the Russian movement in Crimea is divided and overrun by random people and traitors". The District Administrative Court of Crimea controlled by Ukraine at that time deported Meshkov from Ukraine with the restriction of entry for 5 years on 13 July 2011.
After the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, Meshkov visited the peninsular. Although he had conflicts with other members of the pro-Russian movement in Crimea in the 90s, his merits were finally recognized and in 2014 he was awarded a medal "For return of Crimea".
- (in Ukrainian) ЕКС-ПРЕЗИДЕНТА КРИМУ ВИСЛАЛИ З УКРАЇНИ Ex-President of Crimea sent FROM UKRAINE, Ukrayinska Pravda (13 July 2011)
- Meshkov Comments on Kiev, Moscow Talks, Vremya (MN) (February 1994)
- "Meshkov Yuriy Aleksandrovich" (in Russian). AP Крым. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- "MESHKOV Yuriy Aleksandrovich". labyrinth.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- "New developments in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine" (PDF). Assembly of WEU. 4 December 2001. p. 24. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
- Bohlen, Celestine (March 23, 1994). Russia vs. Ukraine: A Case of the Crimean Jitters. New York Times
- Laws of Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada law No. 93/95-вр: On the termination of the Constitution and some laws of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Adopted on 1995-03-17. (Ukrainian)
- Staff report (March 19, 1995). Ukraine Moves To Oust Leader Of Separatists.New York Times
- (in Russian) В Симферополе погибла жена президента Республики Крым (ВИДЕО) Активистка русского движения выпала из окна In Simferopol, the president's wife died of the ARC (VIDEO) Russian activist movement fell out of the window, (28 May 2011)
- (in Russian) Мешков: Русским движением в Крыму управляют предатели Meshkov: Russian movement in Crimea run by traitors, (7 July 2011)