The first president of independent Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, has died

“A great loss for all of Ukraine. Today Leonid Kravchuk passed away – the first president of Ukraine, the first speaker of the Rada (Ukrainian Parliament, editor’s note) and the man who started of the modern Ukrainian state,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

He hailed a man who “was not afraid” to take charge of the country during the turbulent 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. “It was during his presidency that the Parliament adopted the act of proclamation of the independence of Ukraine”, he recalled.

“He remained faithful to his country until the last moment and sought, through his experience and knowledge, to improve our lives. And he succeeded,” Klitschko continued.

Andriï Yermak, the head of the presidential administration, regretted on Telegram a “great loss”, hailing a “wise patriot and a “truly historic figure”.

“He experienced tumultuous times for our country, difficult and historic decisions, the formation of Ukrainian independence,” MP Dmytro Razoumkov said on Facebook.

“For our independence and our freedom, we are fighting today. In a terrible war against the Russian invader,” he continued.

Leonid Kravchuk, as president of Soviet Ukraine, was one of the three figures to record the dissolution of the USSR on December 8, 1991 alongside the presidents of Soviet Russia and Belarus, Boris Yeltsin and Stanislav Shuchkevich .

Stanislav Shuchkevich died last Wednesday aged 87, while Boris Yeltsin died in 2007.

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