|Party of Regions
|Honorary Leader||Viktor Yanukovych|
|First Deputy||Volodymyr Rybak|
|Parliamentary leader||Oleksandr Yefremov|
|Founded||26 October 1997|
|Youth wing||Young Regions|
|Political position||1not defined|
|Politics of Ukraine
1The party contains different political groups with diverging ideological outlooks
The Party of Regions (Ukrainian: Партія регіонів, pronounced [ˈpɑrtijɑ rɛɦiˈɔniu̯]; Russian: Партия регионов) is a Russophone political party of Ukraine created on 26 October 1997 just prior to the 1998 Ukrainian parliamentary elections under the name of Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine and led by Volodymyr Rybak.
The party was reformed later in 2001 when it united with several others. According to the party’s leadership in 2002, from the creation of the party to the end of 2001 the number of members jumped from 30,000 to 500,000. The party claims to ideologically defend and uphold the rights of ethnic Russians and speakers of the Russian language in Ukraine. It originally supported president Leonid Kuchma and joined the pro-government For United Ukraine alliance during the parliamentary elections on 30 March 2002. The party's leader is the former acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. The areas the Party of Regions does well in are mostly parts of the historic region referred to as New Russia.
Its electoral and financial base is located primarily in the east and south-east of Ukraine, where it enjoys wide popular support. In the Eastern Ukrainian Donetsk Oblast the party claims to have over 700,000 members. The party is supported mostly by people older than 45 years.
Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine 
The founding congress of the Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine was held on 26 October 1997 in Kiev. The first leader of the party was the mayor of Donetsk Volodymyr Rybak. On 6 November 1997, the Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine was registered at the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. On November 22, 1997 there took place the 1st Party Congress that adopted the electoral party list and platform for the next elections. Already on January 13, 1998 in the parliament of Ukraine was created a parliamentary faction the Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine.
During the 1998 parliamentary elections Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine won 0.90% of the votes. A single party representative was elected to the Ukrainian Parliament by winning one constituency at the regular elections. The party was among the top 10 in Chernivtsi and Donetsk Oblast. Volodymyr Rybak was the winner of constituency number 45 in Donetsk Oblast.
During the 2nd Party Congress that took place in two stages during the spring of 1999 there was adopted decision to support the presidential candidate Leonid Kuchma for the next presidential elections. It was recommended that the candidate included in his election campaign propositions of the Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine, including one on granting the Russian language official status. In the summer of 1999, the party entered the electoral bloc "Our choice - Leonid Kuchma" consisting of 23 parties and led by Yevhen Kushnaryov, who endorsed incumbent President Leonid Kuchma in the presidential election of 1999.
Creation of the Party of Regions 
On November 17, 2000 the 3rd Extraordinary Party Congress adopted the merger of five political parties For Beautiful Ukraine (Leonid Chernovetsky), All-Ukrainian Party of Pensioners (A.Kapusta), Party of Labor (Valentyn Landyk), Party of Solidarity of Ukraine (Petro Poroshenko) and Party of Regional Revival of Ukraine (Volodymyr Rybak) into a new one under the name of Party of Regional Revival "Labor Solidarity of Ukraine". The co-leaders of the new political polity became Valentyn Landyk, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Rybak. Also prior to the merger the Party of Solidarity of Ukraine was completely abandoned by its base party of Serhiy Dovhan, the Peasant Party of Ukraine which ceased its union with Solidarity. On February 21, 2001 the Ministry of Justice registered the newly established Party of Regional Revival "Labour Solidarity of Ukraine".
On March 3, 2001 at the 3rd Party Congress the party changed its name to Party of Regions. At the congress Mykola Azarov who at that time was chairman of the State Tax Administration of Ukraine was elected the party leader, but soon resigned in December of 2001 being replaced by his deputy and at that time Vice Prime Minister Volodymyr Semynozhenko. In the interview to newspaper "Den" (Ukrainian: День) on March 6, 2001 Azarov said that agreed to become the chairman for a brief period of time "until the party nominated a leader who will claim the office of the President of Ukraine in 2004". In December 2001 the Party of the Regions member Ihor Yushchko was appointed Minister of Finance of Ukraine. On March 21, 2001 the Ministry of Justice re-registered the party under the #939 with the older date of registration.
Regions of Ukraine was the parliamentary wing of the Party of Regions, it was created at the end of March 2001 after several deputies defected from their original faction. Critics claimed the deputies were "lured away" from those other factions by pressure and analysts claimed most of them had nothing to do with the new party. Nine out of seventeen members of the faction had their political and business roots in the Donetsk region. In July 2002 the party had a faction of 24 people (one deputy left the faction later).
On 20 March 2001 Solidarity announced it would "be as a single bloc". (Eventually the (Solidarity) party became part of the Viktor Yushchenko Bloc Our Ukraine during the 2002 parliamentary elections.)
Electoral breakthrough 
The party shifted its political ideology to the left and became much more populist in nature before the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004 and, as a result, Yanukovych won over a large part of the Communist party's electorate in eastern Ukraine. The party announced support for making Russian a second official language in Ukraine, a pro-Russian foreign policy, and increased social spending. It also advocates the regionalist ideology, and many members support making Ukraine a federation.
The Party of Regions moved to opposition after its candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, lost the 2004 presidential election. The party leader first claimed an electoral victory but strong allegations of electoral fraud triggered a series of events commonly known as the Orange Revolution. In the re-run of the presidential election ordered by the country's Supreme Court, Viktor Yanukovych lost the election to Viktor Yushchenko.
The Party claimed to be a victim of a political persecution campaign organised by the new government. Also because Borys Kolesnykov, the head of the regional party branch and the Donetsk regional council, was arrested in April 2005 and charged with criminal extortion. The Party of Regions claims this is an act of political repression, while the authorities believe that Kolesnykov had links to organised crime and his arrest is a purely criminal matter. The Council of Europe called the investigation "in full compliance with European standards". Kolesnykov has since been cleared of charges and released from pre-trial detention.
2006 Parliamentary Election results 
At the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006, the party gained 32,14% of votes and 186 (out of 450) seats in the Verkhovna Rada(the Ukrainian Parliament), forming the largest parliamentary group. On 6 July 2006, the Socialist Party of Ukraine abandoned the "Orange Coalition" between Our Ukraine, and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc following the failure of each bloc to reach agreement on on the formation of a governing coalition.
On 10 July 2006 A new parliamentary majority titled the "anti-crisis coalition", led by the Party of Regions and including the Socialist Party and the Communist Party was formed nominating Viktor Yanukovych to the post of prime minister.
The coalition remained in office until the special parliamentary elections held in September 2007
2007 Parliamentary Election results 
At the parliamentary elections held on 30 September 2007, the party won 175 seats (losing 11 seats) out of 450 seats with 34.37% of the total national vote. The party received the highest number of votes with a swing of +2.23% in comparison to the 2006 vote.
Following the formation of a governing coalition between Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the election of Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister on 18 December 2007 the Party of Regions formed the parliamentary opposition.
On 13 March 2009 Victor Yanukovych stated the Party of Regions was ready to unite into a coalition with archrivals Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT), he noted that: "We are ready to unite but only on the base of the program on struggle with crisis". The previous day the deputy leader of Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko faction, Andriy Portnov, said that the union of his political force with the Party of Regions is highly improbable but that the union of the BYuT and the Party of Regions could be possible after the next Ukrainian presidential elections. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stated on 17 March 2009 that her bloc was ready to join efforts with the Regions Party to pass certain bills in the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada). "You are a representative of the Regions Party, [and] I represent the BYuT. It's time to join efforts for the benefit of the country," Tymoshenko said.  On 30 March 2009 Victor Yanukovych stated he did not believe in the possibility of forming a coalition with Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc in the current parliament. At the same time he added that “it would be necessary to agree on main issues” concerning amendments into the Constitution of Ukraine in the part of local self-government reform, judicial reform and clear division of authorities among President, government and parliament. According to Yanukovych talks with BYuT were still ongoing late May 2008.
Early June talks to build a national unity government to address the economic crisis collapsed, Yulia Tymoshenko accused Yanukovich of betrayal: “He unilaterally, without warning anyone, quit the negotiation process, making a loud political statement, killing the merger and the chances for Ukraine”.
In September 2009 Member of Parliament Vasyl Kiselev was expelled from the party and the political council of the Party of Regions. Kiselev was expelled “for violation of provisions and demands of the charter of the Party of Regions and harming the reputation of the party”.
In September 2009 Mykola Azarov declared about the creation of Anti-Fascist Forum of Ukraine, chairmen of which became a member of parliament Dmytro Shentsev (Kharkiv) and the head of Luhansk Region State Administration Valeriy Holenko.
Yanukovych presidency 
The Party of Regions endorsed Viktor Yanukovych as their candidate for the 2010 presidential election. The party indented to create a new coalition in the Verkhovna Rada and form a new government if Yanukovych would win the 2010 presidential elections. Yanukovych was elected President of Ukraine on February 7, 2010. On 19 February the Ukrainian parliament terminated the powers of Ukrainian Member of Parliament (MP) Yanukovych, in his place #179th on the electoral list of the Party of Regions at the 2007 early parliamentary elections Tamara Yehorenko was registered as an MP by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine on 26 February. On 3 March Ukrainian President Yanukovych suspended his membership in the Party (Yanukovych was barred by the Constitution from heading a political party) and handed over leadership in the party and in the parliamentary faction to Mykola Azarov, 9 days later Azarov handed it to Oleksandr Yefremov. On 11 March 2010 together with Bloc Lytvyn and Communist Party of Ukraine the party joined the first Azarov Government
Seven extra deputies (four Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) members) joined the Party of Regions faction in October 2010. In March 2011 five more former BYuT deputies joined the faction. By late November 2012 the Party of Regions faction consisted of 195 lawmakers (20 more than the 175 elected in September 2007).
During the 2010 Ukrainian local elections the party won majorities on most regional and city councils as well as most of the mayoralties (except in western Ukraine), and in the 2010 Crimean parliamentary election (where it won over 70% of the seats). It was the only party that did win representatives in all Ukrainian Oblasts where elections where held and it won in all but 4 Oblasts of those Oblasts the most votes (the 4 Oblasts where it didn't where situated in Western Ukraine).
In September 2010, the party was planning to sign a memorandum on cooperation with China's Communist Party. In 14 October 2010, the Party of Regions formed a co-operative arrangement a with the Socialists and Democrats European parliamentary group.
President Yanukovych and the Party of Regions have been accused of trying to create a "controlled democracy" in Ukraine and as a means to this are trying to "destroy" main opposition party BYuT, but both have denied this charges.
2012 Parliamentary Election results 
In August 2011 Strong Ukraine and People's Party announced that both parties aimed to merge with Party of Regions. The merger between People's Party and Party of Regions did not materialise. Strong Ukraine and Party of Regions merged on 17 March 2012. (Former) Strong Ukraine leader Serhiy Tyhypko was unanimously elected Party of Regions deputy chairman and member of the Party of Regions political council the same day. Party of Regions parliamentarian Olena Bondarenko had stated (early March 2012) the two parties and "another party" would merge on 17 March 2012. No additional third party merged with Party of Regions on 17 March 2012; according to Ukrainian media Tyhypko had personally prevented an merger of United Centre with Party of Regions in March 2012.
In April 2012, the top PR consultancy Burson-Marsteller was hired to represent the interests of the Party of Regions, "to help them communicate its activities as the governing party of Ukraine, as well as to help it explain better its position on the Yulia Tymoshenko case", as explained by Robert Mack, a senior manager at Burson-Marsteller.
In the October 2012 parliamentary elections the party won 72 seats and 30% of the votes under party-list proportional representation (falling from 34% in 2007 and 32% in 2006) and another 115 by winning 115 simple-majority constituencies (this sum gave them a total of 187 seats and 41,56% of the 450 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament). The party had lost about 2 million voters compared with the previous election. On 12 December 2012 the party formed a parliamentary faction of 210 deputies.
Party's electoral results 
|Parliamentary since 1998
(year links to election page)
|Presidential since 1999
(year links to election page)
According to Taras Kuzio the electorate of the party is very loyal to them. According to a poll by the Kyiv International Sociology Institute the number of voters ready to go to polling stations to vote for Party of Regions dropped from 38% in June 2010 to 13.9% in April 2011.
Recent issue stances 
The party asserts to have a pragmatic approach to Ukrainian EU membership in terms of the country's foreign economic interests; it supports "to walk the path of European integration and the implementation of respective standards in the social and economic spheres". Yet, given the European financial crisis, the party sees the issue of Ukraine's accession to EU as "purely theoretical."
The party accepts Ukrainian to be the only state language in Ukraine, but also claims to promote "both the development of the state Ukrainian language and languages of other nationalities residing on the territory of Ukraine".[third-party source needed]
The Party of Regions supports the cancellation of a number of benefits for deputies of the Ukrainian parliament. Leading party members have stated the party "would mercilessly expel corrupt officials from its ranks".
Selected members 
- Viktor Viktorovych Yanukovych - member since May 2006.
- Mykola Azarov - leader of the party since 2010
- Oleksandr Yefremov - leader of the party's faction in the Verkhovna Rada
Vremya Regionov 
Party of Regions publishes a nation-wide newspaper called Время Регионов (English: Time of the Regions). The newspaper is based and published in Kiev, the newspaper is released weekly, every Thursday, in Ukrainian and Russian. The newspaper was launched on 24 August 2008. The newspaper is available online in PDF format.
See also 
- Viktor Yanukovych
- Rinat Akhmetov
- Yevhen Kushnaryov
- Alliance of National Unity
- 2006 Ukrainian political crisis
- 2007 Ukrainian political crisis
- 2008 Ukrainian political crisis
- Politics of Ukraine
- Azarov elected Regions Party head, Kyiv Post (23 April 2010)
- Five factions, including Communist Party, registered in parliament, Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)
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- It was announced about creation of 5 factions in VRU – Party of Regions, Batkivshchyna, UDAR, Svoboda and CPU, Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (12 December 2012)
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- Yanukovych suspends his membership in Party of Regions, hands over party leadership to Azarov, Kyiv Post (3 March 2010)
- UKRAINE COUNTRY ASSESSMENT April 2003, ecoi.net (April 2003)
- Lutsenko suggests Regions Party to deal with Piskun, who sanctioned proceedings against Kolesnykov, Kyiv Post (3 March 2009)
- Countries at the crossroads: a survey of democratic governance by Sanja Tatic & Christopher Walker, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006, ISBN 0742558010/ISBN 978-0742558014 (page 580)
- Yanukovych’s inner circle, Kyiv Post (24 January 2010)
- Party of Regions hopes for strengthening collaboration with 'United Russia' party, Kyiv Post (22 November 2009)
- Paid advisers descend on candidates, nation, Kyiv Post (19 November 2009)
- Spin Doctors at elections 2006: those who worked for Yanukovych, Akhmetov, Tymoshenko, Medvedchuk…, Ukrayinska Pravda (10 May 2006)
- (Russian) , Росбалт.RU (06/10/2009)
- [[ITAR-TASS ]]
- "Aliens took Tymoshenko on their flying saucer?". UNIAN. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
- "Regions Party ready to form coalition 'to save country'". Interfax Ukraine. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.[dead link]
- "Party of Regions is ready to unite with BYUT– Yanukovych". UNIAN. 13 March 2008.
- BYT says union Party of Regions highly improbable, Interfax-Ukraine (13 March 2008)
- BYT ready to join efforts with Regions Party to pass law on aviation development, says Tymoshenko, Interfax-Ukraine (17 March 2008)
- Yanukovych does not believe in coalition with BYUT, UNIAN (30 March 2009)
- Party of Regions holding talks with BYuT – Yanukovych, UNIAN (25 May 2009)
- Ukraine Premier Fails to Form Alliance to Oppose President, The New York Times (8 June 2009)
- Lawmaker Kiselev expelled from Party of Regions , UNIAN (16 September 2009)
- В Україні з’явився Антифашистський форум (In Ukraine appeared the Anti-fascist forum)
- Азаров і Добкін створили Антифашистський форум (TSN: Azarov and Dobkin created Anti-fascist forum. Sep.4,2009)
- "Party Of Regions Nominates Yanukovych As Its Presidential Candidate". 2009-10-23.
- Regions Party aiming for posts of president and premier, Kyiv Post (26 November 2009)
- Ukraine: Tymoshenko vows to contest election result, BBC News (February 15, 2010)
- Yanukovych has yet to secure ruling majority in parliament, Kyiv Post (25 February 2010)
- CEC registers new MP from Regions Party to replace Yanukovych, Kyiv Post (25 February 2010)
- Ukraine's Party of Regions to choose new leader, RIA Novosti (23 April 2010)
- Ukrainian parliament creates new coalition, Kyiv Post (11 March 2010)
- Regions Party to elect new leader at congress on Friday, Kyiv Post (20 April 2010)
- Seven individual MPs join Regions Party faction, Our Ukraine MP joins Lytvyn Bloc
- Former BYUT members Feldman, Yatsenko and Glus joined PR faction
- Former BYUT members Bagraev and Pavlenko joined PR faction
- Local government elections in Ukraine: last stage in the Party of Regions’ takeover of power, Centre for Eastern Studies (4 October 2010)
- (Ukrainian) Results of the elections, preliminary data, on interactive maps by Ukrayinska Pravda (8 November 2010)
- Regions Party planning to sign memorandum on cooperation with Communist Party of China, Kyiv Post (14 September 2010)
- Kuzio, Taras (22 Nov 2010), Ukrainian Democracy Will Be Built By Deeds, Not Pronouncements, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, retrieved 25 Aug 2011
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- Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko charged with misusing funds, BBC News (20 December 2010)
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- Ukraine launches battle against corruption, BBC News (18 January 2011)
- Ukrainians' long wait for prosperity, BBC News (18 October 2010)
- Ukraine:Journalists Face Uncertain Future, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (27 October 2010)
- Yanukovych Tells U.K's Cameron No Fears for Ukraine's Democracy, Turkish Weekly (6 October 2010)
- Yulia Kovalevska:Only some bankrupt politicians try to use the Day of Unification with the aim of self-PR, Party of Regions official website (21 January 2011)
- President: Ukraine must fulfill its commitments to Council of Europe, president.gov.ua (13 January 2011)
- Azarov: We welcome other parties joining Regions Party, Kyiv Post (23 August 2011)
- Azarov: Regions Party teams up with Strong Ukraine, Kyiv Post (16 August 2011)
- Strong Ukraine postpones decision on merger with Regions Party, Kyiv Post (22 October 2011)
- Strong Ukraine to prepare its proposals to Regions Party on posts distribution, says Tigipko, Kyiv Post (22 October 2011)
- (Ukrainian) Литвин поведе Народну партію на вибори саму, Ukrayinska Pravda (12 December 2011)
- Tigipko hooks up with Party of Regions, Kyiv Post (20 March 2012)
Strong Ukraine party decides on disbanding to join Regions Party, Kyiv Post (17 March 2012)
- Tigipko unanimously elected Regions Party deputy head, political council member, Kyiv Post (17 March 2012)
- Lawmaker: Party of Regions to merge with two other parties on 17 March , Kyiv Post (6 March 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Тігіпко зажадав від "Регіонів" не брати Балогу, Ukrayinska Pravda (15 March 2012)
- Regions Party to cooperate with ruling party in Kazakhstan, Kyiv Post (24 November 2011)
- Electoral moods of the population of Ukraine: Deсember 2011, Rating (20 December 2011)
- Poll: Batkivschyna Party's electoral rating tops Regions Party in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (9 December 2011)
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Electoral moods of the Ukrainian population: February 2012, Sociological group "RATING" (5 March 2012)
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% of total seats, Ukrayinska Pravda
- After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
- Eight Reasons Why Ukraine’s Party of Regions Will Win the 2012 Elections by Taras Kuzio, The Jamestown Foundation (17 October 2012)
UKRAINE: Yushchenko needs Tymoshenko as ally again by Taras Kuzio, Oxford Analytica (5 October 2007)
- Poll: Party of Regions of Ukraine losing support, Kyiv Post (April 28, 2011)
- Regions Party: Question of Ukraine's EU membership now 'purely theoretical', Kyiv Post (15 December 2011)
- Yuriy Miroshnychenko: Viktor Yanukovych promotes the comprehensive development and use of the official language, Official Information Server of the party (21 February 2011)
- Volodymyr Zubanov: The current government promotes the development of the languages of all people in Ukraine, Official Information Server of the party (21 February 2011)
- Olexander Yefremov: The Party of Regions supports cancellation of a number of benefits for MPs, Official Information Server of the party (5 December 2011)
Yefremov says Party of Regions ready to vote for cancelation of parliamentary immunity, Interfax-Ukraine (15 April 2013)
- Kliuyev:Corruption a key reason for delay in reforms in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
- #19 Richest: Mykola Yankovsky, 66; #11 Richest: Andriy Verevsky, 36; #24 Richest: Heorhiy Skudar, 68, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
- Eight Ukrainians make Forbes magazine's list of world billionaires, Kyiv Post (8 March 2012)
- (Russian) (English) Official web site of the party
- (Ukrainian) Press-center of the central staff on local elections
- (Russian) Official website of the youth wing of Party of Regions
- (Russian) Vremya Regionov