Kyiv Security Forum


Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

Ukrainian politician and public figure.

Born on January 2, 1964. In 1988 he graduated from the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute with the specialty of system engineer in the automated control systems. After graduation, he worked as an engineer in the research institute VNIIOV (Kharkov, Ukraine).

In 1990 he founded one of the first joint stock companies in Ukraine – JSC Investor. Mr.Avakov also co-foundered several charitable entities.

During the presidential election campaign in Ukraine in 2004, he was deputy head of the Kharkov regional headquarters of presidential candidate V. Yushchenko, first deputy chairman of the Kharkov regional Peoples’ Salvation Committee.

In March 2005 he was elected to the Council of the political party The People’s Union ‘Our Ukraine’ and became a member of the party Presidium.

On February 4, 2005, by Decree of the President of Ukraine, he was appointed to the position of the Chairman of the Kharkov Regional State Administration.

On February 9, 2010, in protest against systemic support of the presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych during the election by the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, Mr.Avakov resigned from the position of the Chairman of the Kharkov Regional State Administration under Art. 31, Part 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Public Service” (Principal disagreement with the decision of a state body or official, as well as ethical obstacles to work in the public service).

On April 21, 2010, he became a head of the Kharkov regional organization of the political party VO Bat’kivschina (Fatherland) (Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko). He was a member of the party Political Council.

In October 2010 he participated in the elections of the mayor of the city of Kharkov. According to the exit polls, he won the majority of votes, however, due to illegal manipulation of the ballots he was not officially recognized as the winner. According to the information of the international human rights organization Freedom House due to massive violations, the result of the election of the mayor of Kharkov was changed in favor of Mr.Gennady Kernes.

Mr. Avakov was the Member of the Kharkov Regional Council of the Vth and VIth callings.

From September 2011 to December 2012 Mr.Avakov was in political emigration in Italy due to the President Yanukovych’ regime criminal prosecution for his opposition activities.

In the parliamentary elections on October 28, 2012, Arsen Avakov was elected People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the 7th Verkhovna  Rada in a multi-mandate electoral district. In the Ukrainian Parliament, he held the post of the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the legislation on the status of the people’s deputy of Ukraine in the Verkhovna Rada Committee on the rules, the deputy’s ethics and maintenance of the activities of the Verkhovna Rada.

Mr.Avakov actively participated in the Revolution of Dignity in Kiev in 2013-2014.  He was one of the commandants of EuroMaidan.

On February 27, 2014, he was appointed Minister of the Internal Affairs in the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk. In March 2014, he initiated the creation of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU).  Under his leadership and on his initiative, were formed volunteer battalions (dobrobaty), which have played a crucial role in the successful fight against separatism in the South-East of Ukraine.

On the night of April 8, 2014, the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov personally led a special operation to clean the building of the Kharkov regional state administration from the separatists who seized it earlier. 

On August 26, 2014, Arsen Avakov resigned from the Political Council of the Batkivshchyna Party and announced that he would take part in the creation of the new political party “People’s Front”. Subsequently, he joined the governing bodies of this party.

In the early parliamentary elections on October 26, 2014, Arsen Avakov was elected a People’s Deputy of Ukraine from the People’s Front party.

On December 2, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine re-approved him as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Under the direct supervision of the Minister Avakov, a project to create a Patrol Police was successfully implemented in Ukraine. On November 7, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the Law of Ukraine “On the National Police of Ukraine”, which provided for the elimination of the old post-Soviet militia and the cardinal reform of all units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

On April 14, 2016, the Verkhovna Rada for the third time approved Arsen Avakov as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Vladimir Groisman.