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KIEV, February 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian parliament has endorsed the appointment of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the parliamentary faction of the Batkivshchyna party, as the country’s prime minister by a 371 majority vote, while the minimum support required is 226 votes.
Parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, whom the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, earlier appointed interim head of state following President Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster, has signed a decree to appoint Yatsenyuk the head of the cabinet.
The Rada approved the composition of the new cabinet, led by Yatsenyuk, by 331 deputies with the minimum required number of 226. Deputies will hold a regular meeting on Friday.
Vitaly Yarema was appointed first deputy prime minister. He will be in charge of the “power bloc.” Andriy Deshchytsa was appointed interim foreign minister, Ihor Teniukh - interim defense minister, Oleh Musiy - health minister, Oleksandr Shlapak - finance minister. Pavlo Sheremet was appointed economy minister and Yury Prodan - energy minister.
Arsen Avakov was appointed interior minister.
Yatsenyuk was born on May 22, 1974, in the city of Chernivtsi in western Ukraine. He received legal and economic education, was economics minister in the government of the autonomous republic of Crimea, then was a deputy head of Ukraine’s National Bank.
In 2005 he worked as a deputy chairman of the Odessa regional state administration and in a few months was appointed head of the Ukrainian economics ministry, where he was in charge of issues connected with the country’s admission to the World Trade Organization.
In September 2006, then Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appointed Yatsenyuk first deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential secretariat and a presidential representative in the Ukrainian cabinet.
In March 2007, Yatsenyuk was confirmed as Ukrainian foreign minister, in November he became a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, and took the post of the parliamentary speaker in December that year. In 2010, he gained 6.69% of the vote in the presidential elections that saw Viktor Yanukovych win.
In 2009-2012, Yatsenyuk led the Front for Change political party. In June 2013, he became the head of the political council of Batkivshchyna, then-opposition party. In November 2013, he became one of the leaders of protests on Independence Squarein downtown Kiev.
Ukraine has seen President Yanukovych deposed in the latest wave of mass anti-government protests, which were underway in Ukraine since November 2013, when Ukraine’s authorities refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The new riots that started February 18, 2014 eventually caused Yanukovych to flee his residence outside Kiev. The Rada then appointed its new speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, interim head of state and set early presidential elections for May 25.
Yanukovych called the developments “a coup.” Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov has said Yanukovich and other officials are on a wanted list for involvement in “mass murder” during protests. A number of Russian media claimed on Thursday the ousted Ukrainian leader could be in the Moscow Region.
A total of 82 people have been killed and more than 800 have turned to Kiev’s medical institutions for help, with over 550 of them hospitalized, since the start of the latest violence on February 18.
Meanwhile, Yanukovych on Thursday said he still considers himself the legitimate president of Ukraine. In a statement obtained by Itar-Tass, he addressed the Ukrainian people and asked the Russian authorities to protect him. The request for protection “has been granted on Russian territory,” a source in the Russian authorities said Thursday.
The speaker of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said Wednesday that Viktor Yanukovych remained Ukraine’s legitimate president because no procedures had been carried out to remove him from office.