Poroshenko, Petro Oleksiyovych

Poroshenko, Petro Oleksiyovych pĕtrôˈ ôlĕksēˈyôvĭch pôrôshĕnˈkô [key], 1965–, Ukrainian political leader and businessman. He studied economics at Kiev State Univ. (grad. 1989) and went into the confectionary business with his father. His Roshen group became the largest confectioner in Ukraine, earning him the nickname “the Chocolate King.” Poroshenko also has business interests in automotive manufacturing, shipyards, and television. In 1998 he turned over the directorship of Roshen to his father, and served in parliament (1998–2002), intially as a member of the Social Democratic party but from 2000 as part of Solidarity, which he founded. He also helped found (2000) what became the Party of Regions (2001), but in 2001 he supported Viktor Yushchenko of the Our Ukraine party, and subsequently was elected to parliament (2002, 2006) on the Our Ukraine slate. He served as secretary of the national security and defense council (2005) and foreign minister (2009–10) under President Yushchenko, then as minister of trade and economic development (2012) under President Viktor Yanukovych of the Party of Regions. In 2012 he won election to parliament as an independent. After the collapse of the Yanukovych government (Feb., 2014), Poroshenko was elected president in May, 2014, as an independent. He opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea and sought international support for Ukraine's fight against ethnic Russian rebels and their Russian allies in E Ukraine, but he also was accused of slowing needed government economic reforms. In 2019–19, he succeeding in winning recognition, by the patriarch of Constantinople, of the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. He failed to win reelection in 2019, losing to Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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