Petro Poroshenko Biography

Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko, the current president of Ukraine, has been serving in this role since 2014. With a background in business and economics, Poroshenko built a successful empire that included confectionary companies, a television channel, and car plants, earning him the nickname of the ‘Chocolate King’. Despite his business success, Poroshenko had aspirations for a political career and eventually became the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a key member of the National Bank of Ukraine. In 2014, he won the presidential elections and has since focused on improving the welfare of his country and people. One of his notable achievements is Ukraine’s entry into the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, which has strengthened international relations. Poroshenko remains one of the most influential figures in Ukraine today.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko
  • Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Maryna Poroshenko (m. 1984)
    • Father: Oleksiy Poroshenko
    • Mother: Eugenia S. Poroshenko
    • Children: Mykhaylo Poroshenko, Oleksandra Poroshenko, Olexiy Poroshenko, Yevheniya Poroshenko
  • Presidents
  • Political Leaders
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • Notable Alumni: Taras Shevchenko National University
  • Founder/Co-Founder: Roshen
  • Education: Taras Shevchenko National University
  • Awards: State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology, Honored Economist of Ukraine, Order of the Republic Q28861961

Childhood & Early Life

Petro Poroshenko was born on September 26, 1965 in Bolhrad, Ukrainian SSR, to Oleksij Ivanovich Poroshenko and Evgenia Sergeevna Poroshenko. His father was an engineer and government official, while his mother was a teacher. He spent his formative years in Bendery, Moldavian SSR.

As a child, he learnt judo and sambo and practiced it every day. He was sent to join the Army in Kazakh SSR after getting into a fight with cadets.

He graduated with a degree in Economics from the Institute of International Relations, Kiev State University, in 1989. Upon graduating, Poroshenko worked as an assistant in the International Relations department in his alma-mater.

Early Career

In 1991, Petro Poroshenko founded a firm that focusses on legal negotiations and foreign trade. In no time, he had started trading and negotiating contracts himself. He also served as the deputy director of the Republic Union of Small Business and Entrepreneurs.

In 1993, he founded the UkrPromInvest Ukrainian Industry and Investment Company with his father, and served as the director-general of the company until 1998. The company expanded rapidly and became the largest confectionary manufacturer in Ukraine. Poroshenko was nicknamed the ‘Chocolate King’, owing to its success.

Over the course of the next few years, he managed to expand his business empire by adding new portfolios, including car and bus factories, television channels, and other businesses.

In 1998, he handed over his roles and responsibilities at UkrPromInvest to his father because he wanted to enter the parliament. Poroshenko however held the title of an honorary president of the company until it dissolved in April 2012.

Political Career

Petro Poroshenko won a seat in the Ukrainian Parliament in 1998 as a candidate of the United Social Democratic Party of Ukraine. However, he left the party to found the Party of Ukraine’s Solidarity (PSU) in 2000. He eventually merged his party with the Party of Regions, and they were named ‘Solidarity’.

He won a seat in the parliament in March 2002 after his coalition won the highest share of votes in the elections. He was elected as the head of the parliamentary budget committee and grew closer to Viktor Yushchenko, the president.

Poroshenko was appointed the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council in 2004. However, when allegations of fraud floated between him and the prime minister, President Yushchenko dismissed Poroshenko from his post.

In 2006, he was elected to the parliament again and became the chair of the parliamentary Committee on Finance and Banking. He was appointed the head of Council of Ukraine’s National Bank in 2007, and he served as a board member of the bank from 1999 to 2012.

In 2009, he was appointed the Foreign Minister by President Yushchenko and was later re-elected to the National Security and Defense Council. However, Poroshenko’s opinion on Ukraine’s NATO membership earned him criticism and he was removed from his post.

In 2012, he was given the responsibility of leading the Trade and Economic Development ministry for the Azarov government. Later, he was brought back into the Ukrainian government as the Economic Development and Trade Minister.

He contested in the parliamentary elections in 2012 and entered the Ukrainian parliament again. He later hinted that he wanted to run for the mayor’s post in Kiev. Over the years, his stance on many national decisions earned him popularity in the country.

Presidency

Petro Poroshenko expressed his interest in running for the presidency in March 2014. He was subsequently announced the winner of the elections on May 29, 2014, with a majority of 54.7% voting in his favor. He was inducted in the Verkhovna Rada on June 7, 2014.

His stand as a president did not differ much from his early political ideologies. He expressed his support to military operations, encouraged the idea of reclaiming Crimea, and agreed to sign the Ukraine—European Union Association Agreement.

He signed the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement on June 27, 2014. This was among the first steps that he took to ensure a smooth membership into the EU.

As the country’s president, he has represented Ukraine at various international events and meetings. He met Joe Biden in December 2015 to talk about the relationship shared by America and Ukraine. He subsequently met Donald Trump in 2017, and it was reported that he paid around $600,000 to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen to organize the meeting.

Despite his country’s vulnerable position against Russia, Poroshenko’s firm stand against Russia’s military approach made him a favorite amongst his countrymen. He stated that Ukraine’s relations with Russia cannot become normal until and unless Crimea is returned to Ukraine.

Among actions taken to stabilize Ukraine, Poroshenko focused on amending the country’s constitution. The changes mostly focused on decentralization of power in its administrative divisions. He also proposed that the country’s official language remains Ukrainian.

His decisions have also been criticized by many media organizations and institutions. His decree that banned journalists and bloggers from entering the country was heavily panned by the Committee to Protect Journalists as it impinged one’s freedom of speech.

In 2015, he signed a bill that encouraged removal of communist artifacts and monuments and ensured that public institutions that hinted at the communist ideology were renamed. He also called for the abolition of oligarchy in Ukraine to improve the country’s stability and welfare.

True to his spirit of ending oligarchy, Porochenko voluntarily gave up his business holdings after becoming the president. He assigned his properties and shares to a blind trust.

Awards & Achievements

Since entering politics, Petro Poroshenko’s grit and political acumen have earned him many awards from all over the world. He was given the Order of Merit by Ukraine, Order of the Republic by Moldova, Order of Civil Merit by Spain, among other titles.

Family & Personal Life

Petro Poroshenko is married to Maryna Perevedentseva, a cardiologist, since 1984. The couple has four children: Olexiy, Yevheniya, Oleksandra, and Mykhaylo. Maryna abstains herself from discussing politics in public and focusses on looking after her family.

He is a devout Christian and follows the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. He is at the forefront of restoration and renovation of the church’s infrastructure.

Leave a Comment