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Factbox: Viktor Andriyovich Yushchenko

Viktor Yushchenko

NAME: Viktor Andriyovich Yushchenko

BIRTHDATE: 23 February 1954 in the village of Khoruzhivka, in northeastern Ukraine.

BIOGRAPHY: After graduating from the Ternopil Financial Economic Institute in 1975, Yushchenko started his career as an accountant at a collective farm. A year later, he went to work for a regional branch of the U.S.S.R. State Bank, in his home region. He was later promoted to the bank's Kyiv branch, and over the next decade and a half held several senior banking posts.

In 1993, after Ukrainian independence, he became head of the newly formed National Bank of Ukraine. Yushchenko steered the introduction of the national currency, the hryvna, in 1997. In December 1999, Yushchenko was appointed prime minister by President Leonid Kuchma. His government fell after a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April 2001.

The following year, in 2002, Yushchenko became head of the opposition Our Ukraine coalition.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to Kateryna Yushchenko-Chumachenko, an American citizen and former U.S. State Department official. He has five children.