Leonid Kozhara

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Leonid Kozhara
Леонід Олександрович Кожара
Leonid Kozhara Senate of Poland.JPG
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 December 2012 – 23 February 2014
Prime MinisterMykola Azarov
Preceded byKostyantyn Gryshchenko
Succeeded byAndrii Deshchytsia (acting)
Ambassador of Ukraine to Sweden
In office
14 November 2002 – 6 July 2004
PresidentLeonid Kuchma
Preceded byOleksandr Slipchenko
Succeeded byOleksandr Danyleiko
Personal details
Born (1963-01-14) 14 January 1963 (age 57)
Poltava, Ukrainian SSR
Political partyParty of Regions
Alma materKiev University

Leonid Oleksandrovich Kozhara (Ukrainian: Леонід Олександрович Кожара) (born 14 January 1963) is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. In 2013 he was the OSCE's (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Chairperson-in-Office, during the Ukrainian presidency of the OSCE.

On 25 March 2020 Kozhara was arrested by security forces on charges of murdering advertising mogul Serhiy Starytsky on 21 February 2020.[1]

Early life and education

Kozhara was born in Poltava on 14 January 1963.[2] He graduated from Kiev State University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in international law.[2] In 1985 to 1990 he studied at the Higher Party School of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Ukraine (today is part of the Kiev National University).


From 1990 to 1992 Kozhara worked as a senior adviser at the parliamentary secretariat. Until 1994 he worked at the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. From 1994 to 1997 he worked at the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States. From 1997 to 2002 he was returned to work at the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. In 2002, Kozhara was appointed Ambassador of Ukraine to Sweden which he held the position until 2004. From 2004 to January 2005 he once again on a service at the Presidential administration. From 2006 to 2012 Kozhara was a member of Verkhovna Rada from Party of Regions.[3] He worked in the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs. In March 2010 he was appointed among eleven others "supernumerary advisors" to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.[4] In 2011, Kozhara served as the first deputy of the Party of Regions.[5] He was placed at number 9 on the electoral list of the party during the October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[6] In December 2012 Kozhara was appointed minister of foreign affairs.[7] On 23 February 2014, just after the "Maidan revolution",[8] the Verkhovna Rada dismissed Foreign Minister Kozhara and Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk.[9]

Kozhara did not participate in the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[10]

Then he became Chairman of the (registered in January 2015) party Socialist.[11]

Role in Euromaidan

During Ukraine's Euromaidan-protests and its political implications of December 2013, Kozhara warned foreign policymakers to not intervene with Ukraine's internal affairs. Kozhara stated according to Kyiv Post: "Ukraine is a sovereign state, and it should make decisions on its own. We do not allow interference in our internal affairs. Nobody is allowed to openly meddle in internal national processes that are taking place in the country today".[12]

At the Munich Security Conference on 1 February, Kozhara gave his opinion of Dmytro Bulatov, leader of "Automaidan," a group of drivers who have provided support for Euromaidan protesters. According to reports, Bulatov said he was abducted and tortured, and that he had been held for eight days. BBC News reported that Bulatov appeared on TV with a gash on his face and part of his ear cut off and left the country to receive medical treatment. "'The only thing he has is a scratch on one of his cheeks,' Kozhara told broadcaster al-Jazeera, 'It looks like the alleged story that he was kidnapped and tortured is not absolutely true.'"[13]

2020 murdering of Serhiy Starytsky suspect

On 25 March 2020 Kozhara was arrested by security forces on charges of murdering advertising mogul Serhiy Starytsky on 21 February 2020.[1][14][15] According to media reports both were "in a state of heavy intoxication" at a party at Kozhara's house at the time of the alleged shooting.[16] Kozhara and his wife claim that Starytsky had committed suicide, according to the Ukrainian prosecutorial office this was not true.[1]

Starytsky is a former head of the Inter TV channel and was the general director of the Atlantic Group holding.[14] He was allegedly shot dead in the house of Kozhara and his wife, Maryna Kozerod, in the suburb of Kiev village Chaiky (Kiev-Sviatoshyn Raion) on 21 February 2020.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Former deputy FM Kozhara detained on murder suspicion - Deputy Interior Minister Gerashchenko, Interfax-Ukraine
  2. ^ a b "Biography of Minister". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  3. ^ Rada terminates parliamentary mandates of Kozhara, Lavrynovych, Tabachnyk, Kyiv Post, 25 December 2012
  4. ^ President Yanukovych appoints 12 supernumerary advisors to president, Kyiv Post, 12 March 2010
  5. ^ Regions Party to cooperate with ruling party in Kazakhstan, Kyiv Post, 24 November 2011.
  6. ^ Party of Regions releases party list, Kyiv Post (30 July 2012)
  7. ^ President of Ukraine has appointed new staff of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Archived 11 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, UNIAN, 24 December 2012.
  8. ^ Ukraine: Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov named interim president, BBC News (23 February 2014)
    Ukraine protests timeline, BBC News (23 February 2014)
  9. ^ Ukraine: Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov named interim president, BBC News (23 February 2014)
  10. ^ (in Ukrainian) Alphabetical Index of candidates in 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Central Election Commission (Ukraine).
  11. ^ http://glavcom.ua/interviews/leonid-kozhara-bezviz-distanetsya-ukrajini-v-takiy-spotvoreniy-formi-shcho-legshe-bude-otrimati-vizu-371460.html
  12. ^ "Ukrainian foreign minister warns foreign politicians against interference in internal affairs". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Ukrainian foreign minister warns foreign politicians against interference in internal affairs". BBC News Europe. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  14. ^ a b c Ukraine's ex-minister of foreign affairs detained on suspicion of murder (Photos), UNIAN (25 March 2020)
  15. ^ (Deutche Welle)
  16. ^ https://m.glavcom.ua/country/criminal/stali-vidomi-detali-divnoji-zagibeli-lyudini-v-budinku-eksministra-zakordonnih-sprav-ukrajini-661128.html