Without any doubt the recent crisis in Ukraine has shaken the relationship and geostrategic interest of EU, USA on one side and Russia on the other. One man, who is largely responsible for the current state of affairs, seems to be forgotten in the midst of recent escalations. That man is Leonid Kuchma, a former director of missile factory turned president in 1994. Ukraine is a highly complex country concerning its administrative divisions. It contains Kiev as an administratively superior city that's directly under supervision of state government and 24 regions divided into almost 400 districts.


In every region there is a parliament which is locally elected. Constitution stipulated that the mayor who supervises these parliaments is directly appointed by the president. This allowed Kuchma to create his own network of affiliates and allies that together paved the road for the creation of informal groups known as Clans. Clans are groups that contain people from political, economical, and criminal milieu bound together by common interest. In the mid 90’s when Kuchma came to power, 4 clans were created to hold monopoly over vast natural resources and economy:

  1. Kiev clan controlled energy
  2. Donetsk clan held metallurgy
  3. Dnepropetrovsk clan was involved in banking

As Kuchma’s politics of corruption and terror escalated with murder of prominent journalist Georgiy Gongadze, he needed support to stay in cabinet, so he signed a partnership agreement with NATO while at the same time he proclaimed Russian as an official language in Ukraine and signed a political treaty with Russia.

This created a gap in Ukrainian politics which his successors, Yuschenko and Yanukovich couldn’t close. During 2004 a so-called Orange revolution happened in Ukraine because Yanukovich (Kuchma’s protégé) falsified the elections. Then Yuschenko (a pro-EU president) was appointed in 2005, staying until 2010 when Yanukovich (a pro-Russian president) finally succeeded him. Tension between Yanukovich a loyal member of Kuchma’s regime and Yuschenko (EU poster boy), directly reflected the gap which Ukraine had to overcome to create a stabile political orientation.


Kuchma was the first president who tried to satisfy both East and West; his politics of false promises and fictive partnership is one of the main reasons why Ukraine finds itself in its current position.