The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Ukraine

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This page contains a list of the greatest Ukrainian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 167 of which were born in Ukraine. This makes Ukraine the birth place of the 18th most number of Politicians behind Iraq and Iran.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Ukrainian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Ukrainian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Ukrainian Politicians.

Photo of Leon Trotsky

1. Leon Trotsky (1879 - 1940)

With an HPI of 87.77, Leon Trotsky is the most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 124 different languages on wikipedia.

Lev Davidovich Bronstein (7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1879 – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky (), was a Russian-Ukrainian Marxist revolutionary, political theorist and politician. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism which has become known as Trotskyism. Born to a wealthy Ukrainian-Jewish family in Yanovka (now Bereslavka), Trotsky embraced Marxism after moving to Mykolaiv in 1896. In 1898, he was arrested for revolutionary activities and subsequently exiled to Siberia. He escaped from Siberia in 1902 and moved to London, where he befriended Vladimir Lenin. In 1903, he sided with Julius Martov's Mensheviks against Lenin's Bolsheviks during the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party's initial organisational split. Trotsky helped organize the failed Russian Revolution of 1905, after which he was again arrested and exiled to Siberia. He once again escaped, and spent the following 10 years working in Britain, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, and the United States. After the 1917 February Revolution brought an end to the Tsarist monarchy, Trotsky returned from New York via Canada to Russia and became a leader in the Bolshevik faction. As chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, he played a key role in the October Revolution of November 1917 that overthrew the new Provisional Government. Once in government, Trotsky initially held the post of Commissar for Foreign Affairs and became directly involved in the 1917–1918 Brest-Litovsk negotiations with Germany as Russia pulled out of the First World War. From March 1918 to January 1925, Trotsky headed the Red Army as People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs and played a vital role in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922. He became one of the seven members of the first Bolshevik Politburo in 1919. After the death of Lenin in January 1924 and the rise of Joseph Stalin, Trotsky gradually lost his government positions; the Politburo eventually expelled him from the Soviet Union in February 1929. He spent the rest of his life in exile, writing prolifically and engaging in open critique of Stalinism. In 1938 Trotsky and his supporters founded the Fourth International in opposition to Stalin's Comintern. After surviving multiple attempts on his life, Trotsky was assassinated in August 1940 in Mexico City by Ramón Mercader, an agent of the Soviet NKVD. Written out of Soviet history books under Stalin, Trotsky was one of the few rivals of Stalin to not be rehabilitated by either Nikita Khrushchev or Mikhail Gorbachev. Trotsky's rehabilitation came in 2001 by the Russian Federation.

Photo of Hurrem Sultan

2. Hurrem Sultan (1502 - 1558)

With an HPI of 87.13, Hurrem Sultan is the 2nd most famous Ukrainian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Hurrem Sultan (Turkish pronunciation: [hyɾˈɾæm suɫˈtan], Ottoman Turkish: خُرّم سلطان, romanized: Ḫurrem Sulṭān, Modern Turkish: Hürrem Sultan; c. 1502 – 15 April 1558), also known as Roxelana (Ukrainian: Роксолана; lit. 'the Ruthenian one'), was the chief consort and official wife of the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. She became one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history as well as a prominent and controversial figure during the era known as the Sultanate of Women. Born in Ruthenia (then an eastern region of the Kingdom of Poland, now Ukraine) to a Ruthenian Orthodox priest, Hurrem was captured by Crimean Tatars during a slave raid and eventually taken to Istanbul, the Ottoman capital. She entered the Imperial Harem, rose through the ranks and became the favourite of Sultan Suleiman. Breaking Ottoman tradition, he married Hurrem, making her his legal wife; sultans had previously married only foreign free noble ladies. She was the first imperial consort to receive the title Haseki Sultan. Hurrem remained in the sultan's court for the rest of her life, having six children with him, including the future sultan, Selim II. She was the grandmother of Murad III. Hurrem eventually achieved power, influencing the politics of the Ottoman Empire. Through her husband, she played an active role in affairs of the state. She probably acted as the sultan's advisor, wrote diplomatic letters to King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland (r. 1548–1572) and patronized major public works (including the Haseki Sultan Complex and the Hurrem Sultan Bathhouse). She died in 1558, in Istanbul and was buried in a mausoleum within the Süleymaniye Mosque complex.

Photo of Leonid Brezhnev

3. Leonid Brezhnev (1906 - 1982)

With an HPI of 85.53, Leonid Brezhnev is the 3rd most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 103 different languages.

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (Russian: Леонид Ильич Брежнев, IPA: [lʲɪɐˈnʲit ɨˈlʲjidʑ ˈbrʲeʐnʲɪf] (listen); Ukrainian: Леонід Ілліч Брежнєв; 19 December 1906 – 10 November 1982) was a Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union as General Secretary of the Communist Party (1964–1982) and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1960–1964, 1977–1982). His 18-year term as general secretary was second only to Joseph Stalin's in duration. Brezhnev's tenure as General Secretary remains debated by historians; while his rule was characterised by political stability and significant foreign policy successes, it was also marked by corruption, inefficiency, economic stagnation, and rapidly growing technological gaps with the West. Brezhnev was born to a working-class family in Kamenskoye (now Kamianske, Ukraine) within the Yekaterinoslav Governorate of the Russian Empire. After the results of the October Revolution were finalized with the creation of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev joined the Communist party's youth league in 1923 before becoming an official party member in 1929. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, he joined the Red Army as a commissar and rose rapidly through the ranks to become a major general during World War II. Following the war's end, Brezhnev was promoted to the party's Central Committee in 1952 and rose to become a full member of the Politburo by 1957. In 1964, he amassed enough power to replace Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the CPSU, the most powerful position in the country. During his tenure, Brezhnev's conservative, pragmatic approach to governance significantly improved the Soviet Union's international standing while stabilizing the position of its ruling party at home. Whereas Khrushchev often enacted policies without consulting the rest of the Politburo, Brezhnev was careful to minimize dissent among the party leadership by reaching decisions through consensus. Additionally, while pushing for détente between the two Cold War superpowers, he achieved nuclear parity with the United States and strengthened the Soviet Union's dominion over Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the massive arms buildup and widespread military interventionism under Brezhnev's leadership substantially expanded the Soviet Union's influence abroad (particularly in the Middle East and Africa), although these endeavors would prove to be costly and would drag on the Soviet economy in the later years. Conversely, Brezhnev's disregard for political reform ushered in an era of societal decline known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. In addition to pervasive corruption and falling economic growth, this period was characterized by an increasing technological gap between the Soviet Union and the United States. Upon coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev denounced Brezhnev's government for its inefficiency and inflexibility before implementing policies to liberalise the Soviet Union. After 1975, Brezhnev's health rapidly deteriorated and he increasingly withdrew from international affairs, while keeping his hold on power. He died on 10 November 1982 and was succeeded as general secretary by Yuri Andropov.

Photo of Golda Meir

4. Golda Meir (1898 - 1978)

With an HPI of 81.68, Golda Meir is the 4th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 91 different languages.

Golda Meir (born Golda Mabovitch; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978; married name Meyerson/Myerson between 1917–1956) was an Israeli politician, teacher, and kibbutznikit who served as the fourth prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. She was the first woman to become head of government in Israel. Born in Kyiv in the Russian Empire, she immigrated to Wisconsin, United States as a child with her family in 1906, and was educated there, becoming a teacher. After getting married, she and her husband emigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1921, settling on a kibbutz. Meir was elected prime minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as labour minister and foreign minister. The world's fourth and Israel's only woman to hold the office of prime minister, and the first in any country in the Middle East, she has been described as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics.Meir was Prime Minister during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel was caught off guard and suffered severe losses in the first days of the war, before recovering and defeating the invading armies. Public anger at the government caused Meir's resignation the following year. She died in 1978 of lymphoma.

Photo of John III Sobieski

5. John III Sobieski (1629 - 1696)

With an HPI of 80.07, John III Sobieski is the 5th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 65 different languages.

John III Sobieski (Polish: Jan III Sobieski; Lithuanian: Jonas III Sobieskis; Latin: Ioannes III Sobiscius; 17 August 1629 – 17 June 1696) was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1674 until his death in 1696. Born into Polish nobility, Sobieski was educated at the Jagiellonian University and toured Europe in his youth. As a soldier and later commander, he fought in the Khmelnytsky Uprising, the Russo-Polish War and during the Swedish invasion known as the Deluge. Sobieski demonstrated his military prowess during the war against the Ottoman Empire and established himself as a leading figure in Poland and Lithuania. In 1674, he was elected monarch of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth following the sudden and unexpected death of King Michael. Sobieski's 22-year reign marked a period of the Commonwealth's stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of previous conflicts. Popular among his subjects, he was an able military leader, most famous for his victory over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The defeated Ottomans named Sobieski the "Lion of Lechistan", and the Pope hailed him as the saviour of Western Christendom. Suffering from poor health and obesity in later life, Sobieski died in 1696 and was buried at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków. He was succeeded by Augustus II of Poland and Saxony.

Photo of Hafsa Sultan

6. Hafsa Sultan (1479 - 1534)

With an HPI of 78.77, Hafsa Sultan is the 6th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Hafsa Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: حفصه سلطان‎; c. 1478 – March 1534) was the favorite concubine of Selim I and the first valide sultan of the Ottoman Empire as the mother of Suleiman the Magnificent. During the period between her son's enthronement in 1520 and her death in 1534, she was one of the most influential persons in the Ottoman Empire.

Photo of Kliment Voroshilov

7. Kliment Voroshilov (1881 - 1969)

With an HPI of 78.19, Kliment Voroshilov is the 7th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov (Russian: Климе́нт Ефре́мович Вороши́лов​ , Ukrainian: Климент Охрімович Ворошилов, Klyment Okhrimovyč Vorošylov), popularly known as Klim Voroshilov (Russian: Клим Вороши́лов, Klim Vorošilov; 4 February 1881 – 2 December 1969), was a prominent Soviet military officer and politician during the Stalin era. He was one of the original five Marshals of the Soviet Union, the highest military rank of the Soviet Union, and served as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the nominal Soviet head of state, from 1953 to 1960. Born to a Russian worker's family in modern Ukraine, Voroshilov took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917 as an early member of the Bolsheviks. He served with distinction at the Battle of Tsaritsyn, during which he became a close friend of Stalin. Voroshilov was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1921, and in 1925 Stalin appointed him People's Commissar for Military and Navy Affairs (later People's Commissars for Defence). In 1926, he became a full member of the Politburo. In 1935, Voroshilov was named a Marshal of the Soviet Union. He played a central role during the Great Purge, denounced many of his own colleagues and subordinates, and personally signed over a hundred execution lists. At the outbreak of World War II, Voroshilov was held responsible for Soviet failures in Finland during the Winter War and was replaced as Defense Commissar by Semyon Timoshenko. Following the German invasion in June 1941, he was recalled and appointed to the State Defense Committee. Voroshilov failed to stop the German encirclement of Leningrad and was again relieved from his command in September 1941. After the war, Voroshilov oversaw the establishment of a socialist regime in Hungary. Following Stalin's death in 1953, Voroshilov was appointed Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. His fortunes declined during the rise of Nikita Khrushchev and the Supreme Soviet turned against him. He peacefully resigned in 1960, although he came out of retirement in 1966 and re-joined the party. Voroshilov died in 1969 at the age of 88.

Photo of Sviatoslav I of Kiev

8. Sviatoslav I of Kiev (942 - 972)

With an HPI of 77.61, Sviatoslav I of Kiev is the 8th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.

Sviatoslav I Igorevich (Old East Slavic: Ст҃ославъ / Свѧтославъ Игорєвичь, romanized: Svętoslavŭ Igorevičǐ; Russian: Святослав Игоревич; Ukrainian: Святослав Ігорович, romanized: Sviatoslav Ihorovych; 943 – 26 March 972), also spelled Svyatoslav, was a Grand Prince of Kiev famous for his persistent campaigns in the east and south, which precipitated the collapse of two great powers of Eastern Europe, Khazaria and the First Bulgarian Empire. He also conquered numerous East Slavic tribes, defeated the Alans and attacked the Volga Bulgars, and at times was allied with the Pechenegs and Magyars (Hungarians). His decade-long reign over the Kievan Rus' was marked by rapid expansion into the Volga River valley, the Pontic steppe, and the Balkans. By the end of his short life, Sviatoslav carved out for himself the largest state in Europe, eventually moving his capital in 969 from Kiev (modern-day Ukraine) to Pereyaslavets (identified as the modern village of Nufăru, Romania) on the Danube. In contrast with his mother's conversion to Christianity, Sviatoslav remained a staunch pagan all of his life. Due to his abrupt death in ambush, his conquests, for the most part, were not consolidated into a functioning empire, while his failure to establish a stable succession led to a fratricidal feud among his three sons, resulting in two of them being killed.

Photo of Stanisław Leszczyński

9. Stanisław Leszczyński (1677 - 1766)

With an HPI of 77.08, Stanisław Leszczyński is the 9th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Stanisław I Leszczyński (Polish pronunciation: [staˈɲiswaf lɛʂˈtʂɨj̃skʲi]; Lithuanian: Stanislovas Leščinskis; French: Stanislas Leszczynski; 20 October 1677 – 23 February 1766), also Anglicized and Latinized as Stanislaus I, was twice King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and at various times Prince of Deux-Ponts, Duke of Bar and Duke of Lorraine. During the Great Northern War, multiple candidates had emerged at the death John III Sobieski for the elective kingship of Poland (which also included the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as part of the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth). Backed by powerful neighbors in Russia and Austria, the Sejm elected August the Strong, Elector of Saxony to succeed John III in 1697 as August II. Russia's primary antagonist in the Great Northern War, Sweden, had supported Stanisław Leszczyński for the throne, and after defeating a combined army of Saxons and Polish-Lithuanian forces, deposed August II and installed Leszczyński as Stanisław I in 1704. In 1709, Charles XII of Sweden, Stanisław's main supporter, suffered a defeat by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava, and was subsequently driven into exile in the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Augustus II returned to the throne, and while Charles served his exile in the Ottoman Empire, Stanisław accepted the rule of the tiny state of Deux Ponts, a small state of the Holy Roman Empire and possession of the Swedish crown located near the region of Alsace. After Charles's death in 1719, he moved to nearby Wissembourg Alsace. In 1725, his daughter Marie Leszczyńska married Louis XV of France.The death of August II sparked the War of the Polish Succession. As had happened on the death of John III, foreign intrigue and influence plagued the Sejm election. Despite the presence of Russian troops in the country, the Sejm, with support of the French, elected Stanisław to succeed August II, while the Russians encouraged a group of break-away nobles to hold their own election, selecting instead Frederick August of Saxony, son of August II, to the kingship. War broke out almost immediately, evolving into a proxy war between the Bourbon and Habsburg dynasties and their supporters, with the Bourbon faction led by France and Spain, with their allies Savoy and Sweden, while the Habsburg faction was led by Austria and their allies Russia, Prussia, and Saxony. After two years of fighting across the entire continent, a cease-fire was declared in 1735. Stanislaus officially abdicated in January 1736, and the Peace of Vienna was promulgated in 1738, whereby August was officially recognized as King of Poland, and Stanisław was compensated for losing the throne a second time with the duchies of Bar and Lorraine, both of which were nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time. While Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas lived out his remaining years at a country estate in Lunéville, and actively ruled Lorraine and Barrois, sponsoring numerous public works projects. Nearby, Nancy, the historic capital of Lorraine, has a Place Stanislas (Stanisław Square) named in his honour, much of which was developed during his reign. He also took up political philosophy, engaging in discourse with other Enlightenment figures such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, and wrote philosophical treatises in his native Polish, making him a figure within the Polish Enlightenment. When he died in 1766, his titles passed to his son-in-law, Louis XV. His retaking of the Polish throne in 1733 formed the backdrop for the Un giorno di regno, an opera by composer Giuseppe Verdi and librettist Felice Romani, which premiered in 1840.

Photo of Stepan Bandera

10. Stepan Bandera (1909 - 1959)

With an HPI of 76.46, Stepan Bandera is the 10th most famous Ukrainian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Stepan Andriyovych Bandera (Ukrainian: Степа́н Андрі́йович Банде́ра, romanized: Stepán Andríyovyč Bandéra, IPA: [steˈpɑn ɐnˈd⁽ʲ⁾r⁽ʲ⁾ijoʋɪt͡ʃ bɐnˈdɛrɐ]; Polish: Stepan Andrijowycz Bandera; 1 January 1909 – 15 October 1959) was an Ukrainian nationalist leader, politician and theorist of the militant wing (OUN-B), served as head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, organization responsible for ethnic cleansings and also implicated in collaboration with Nazi Germany.Born in the economically backward Galicia (officially Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, created after the first partition of Poland) into the family of a priest of Eastern Catholic Church. After the Empire disintegrated in the wake of World War I, Galicia briefly became a West Ukrainian People's Republic; following the Polish–Ukrainian War of 1918–1919, it was again integrated into eastern Poland. In this period, Bandera became radicalized. He enrolled at the Lviv Polytechnic, where he organized Ukrainian nationalist organizations. For orchestrating the 1934 assassination of Poland's Minister of the Interior Bronisław Pieracki, Bandera was sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In September 1939, as a result of the invasion of Poland, he was freed from Bereza Kartuska prison, and moved to Kraków, in the German-occupied zone, where he maintained close connections with Abwehr and Wehrmacht.For a time, Bandera collaborated with Nazi Germany. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, he prepared the 30 June 1941 Proclamation of Ukrainian statehood in Lviv, pledging to work with Nazi Germany. For his refusal to rescind the decree, Bandera was arrested by the Gestapo and on 5 July 1941 held under house arrest. After January 1942 Bandera was transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp but kept in special, comparatively comfortable detention. In 1944, with Germany rapidly losing ground in the war in the face of the advancing Allied armies, Bandera was released in the hope that he would be instrumental in deterring the advancing Soviet forces. He set up the headquarters of the re-established Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council, which worked underground. After the war, Bandera with his family settled in West Germany where he remained the leader of the OUN-B and worked with several anti-communist organizations such as the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations as well as with the US and British intelligence agencies. Fourteen years after the end of the war, Bandera was assassinated in 1959 by KGB agents in Munich, West Germany.On 22 January 2010, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded Bandera the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine. The European Parliament condemned the award, as did Russia, Poland and Jewish politicians and organizations. President Viktor Yanukovych declared the award illegal, since Bandera was never a citizen of Ukraine, a stipulation necessary for getting the award. This announcement was confirmed by a court decision in April 2010. In January 2011, the award was officially annulled. A proposal to confer the award on Bandera was rejected by the Ukrainian parliament in August 2019.Bandera remains a highly controversial figure in Ukraine, with some Ukrainians hailing him as a role model hero, liberator who fought against the Soviet Union, Poland and Nazi Germany trying to establish an independent Ukraine, while other Ukrainians condemn him as a fascist and a war criminal who was, together with his followers, largely responsible for the massacres of Polish civilians and partially for the Holocaust in Ukraine.

Pantheon has 167 people classified as politicians born between 713 BC and 1984. Of these 167, 47 (28.14%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Viktor Yanukovych, Viktor Yushchenko, and Leonid Kuchma. The most famous deceased politicians include Leon Trotsky, Hurrem Sultan, and Leonid Brezhnev. As of October 2020, 19 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Boris Shcherbina, Lev Mekhlis, and Maria Dobroniega of Kiev.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2020)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.