Viktor Pshonka

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Viktor Pshonka
Віктор Пшонка
Viktor Pshonka.jpg
Viktor Pshonka in 2013
11th Prosecutor General of Ukraine
In office
November 3, 2010 – February 22, 2014
President Viktor Yanukovych
Preceded by Oleksandr Medvedko
Succeeded by Oleh Makhnitsky (as GPU commissar)[1]
Personal details
Born Viktor Pavlovych Pshonka
(1954-02-06) February 6, 1954 (age 64)[2]
Serhiivka, Donetsk Oblast, Soviet Union[2]
Citizenship  Russia[3]

Viktor Pavlovych Pshonka (Ukrainian: Віктор Павлович Пшонка) is a former Prosecutor General of Ukraine (from November 4, 2010[4] until February 22, 2014), State Counselor of Justice of Ukraine and member of the High Council of Justice of Ukraine.[5][6] He holds a Doctor of Laws degree, and is a member of the International Association of Prosecutors.

On 22 February 2014, as a part of the "Maidan revolution", the Verkhovna Rada ousted Pshonka in a no-confidence vote.[7] On 23 February 2014 an arrest warrant was issued to arrest Pshonka.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Viktor Pshonka was born on February 6, 1954, in Serhiyivka, Slovyansk District of Donetsk Oblast. After graduating from high school he was called up for military service in the Soviet Army. Having discharged from army, he got a job at one of the enterprises in Donetsk Oblast.[6]

In 1975, Viktor Pshonka enrolled at the Kharkiv Law Institute.


In 1980, he began work at Kramatorsk Prosecutor's Office in Donetsk Oblast, where he served as investigator, and eventually as an assistant to prosecutor of the city of Kramatorsk.

From 1986 till 1997, Viktor Pshonka served as prosecutor of Kramatorsk City.

In 1997, he was appointed first deputy prosecutor of Donetsk Oblast.

In 1998-2003, he was prosecutor of Donetsk Oblast, one of the biggest regions in Ukraine.

TV journalist Igor Aleksandrov was murdered in 2001 while producing a program exposing links between politicians, law enforcement, and organized crime in Kramatorsk; Pshonka was one of two men Aleksandrov had identified as godfathering the Kramatorsk underworld. Pshonka then oversaw the investigation of the murder. A homeless man was larger charged but acquitted in the case, dying of 'mysterious circumstances' soon after; the same fate that befell the two witnesses and investigating police officer.[9]

In November 2003, Viktor P. Pshonka was appointed Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine. He was in charge of prosecutor's supervision over observance of laws by the agencies of the Ministry of Interior, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), tax police and special units combating organized crime and corruption. He was also responsible for supervision over state customs service and border guard.[6]

He resigned voluntarily from his office in December 2004, but returned to the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine[10] at the end of 2006.[6]

In November 2010, members of Ukraine's Parliament voted in favor (292 votes) of Viktor Pshonka's appointment as the General Prosecutor of Ukraine.[11]

General Prosecutor of Ukraine[edit]

Since his appointment to office, Viktor Pshonka has laid emphasis in his activity on bringing Ukrainian prosecution service in line with European standards. Speaking on the Ukrainian TV channel Inter four days after his appointment, Pshonka called himself "a member of President Viktor Yanukovych's team".[12]

In this regard, V. Pshonka takes active part in consultations and discussions on the issues of improving of the work of prosecution service with experts and representatives of European and international organizations, in particular, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission, etc.,[13][14] as well as exchange of experience with law enforcement authorities of other states.[15][16]

In accordance with the new Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine CPC, which entered into force in 2012, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine led by Pshonka introduced the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations (computerized system, where all complaints and applications regarding criminal offences in Ukraine are registered), which is used by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.[17]

In November 2012, the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for employees of the prosecution service was adopted by all-Ukrainian Conference of Members of prosecuting agencies.[18]

Another innovation during Pshonka's tenure was establishment of the Dnipro Ecological Prosecutor's Office, the main task of which is to oversee compliance with environmental laws in respect of drainage basin of the Dnieper River within the territory of Ukraine.[19]

Criminal prosecution[edit]

On 22 February 2014, as a part of the Euromaidan Revolution, the Verkhovna Rada ousted Pshonka in a no-confidence vote.[7] On 23 February 2014 an arrest warrant was issued to arrest Pshonka.[8]

But Interpol has denied a request to put former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka on the wanted list allegedly due to the weakness of the evidence submitted by the competent authorities of Ukraine[20]

Early March 2014 the EU froze Pshonka's accounts.[21]


  • Member of the International Association of Prosecutors
  • Member of the Board of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine
  • Member of the High Council of Justice of Ukraine
  • Member of the Working Group on Reforming of Prosecution and Advocacy established by the President of Ukraine (since November 22, 2011)[5]
  • Member of the Committee on Reform of Law Enforcement Bodies (by consent) under the President of Ukraine (April 6, 2012)[5]
  • Member of the Working Group on Reforming of Legislation on Administrative Offenses and Introducing of Concept of Misdemeanors, set up by the President of Ukraine (since May 30, 2012)[5]

Family and personal life[edit]

Pshonka's son Artyom Pshonka was a constituency candidate in Zaporizhia for Party of Regions during the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[22] He was elected into parliament.[23][24]

After his removal as General Prosecutor of Ukraine media reported that photos of Pshonka's mansion were "astonishing by their luxury".[25][26]

When Pshonka and his son Artyom appealed the EU accounts freeze late May 2014 it became clear they both had the Russian nationality, although it was unclear since when.[21] The last time Pshonka appeared in public was during a joint press conference with former President Viktor Yanukovych and former Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko on 13 April 2014 in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.[27]


In view of special accomplishments in strengthening of the due course of law in Ukraine, V. Pshonka was awarded a rank of State Counselor of Justice of Ukraine, Honored Jurist of Ukraine and Third Class Order of Merit by the Decrees of the President of Ukraine.[6]

In 2000, he was named Jurist of the Year in the nomination among prosecutors.[6]

In 2002, he was awarded the Certificate of Honor of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.[5]

Viktor Pshonka was awarded lapel badges of the "Honorable Member of Prosecution Service of Ukraine”, “Statehood. Fairness. Honesty” of 2nd Degree.[6]

He also received “Acknowledgement of Honest Service in Prosecution Service of Ukraine” of 1st Degree, as well as awards from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.[6]


  1. ^ Ukrainian parliament appoints Makhnitsky as prosecutor general, Interfax-Ukraine (24 February 2014)
  2. ^ a b Biography at the Ukrainian High Council of Justice website
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Update: Yanukovych signs law on new prosecutor general". Kyiv Post. November 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Biography at the Ukrainian High Council of Justice website
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Biography at the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine website[better source needed]
  7. ^ a b Ukrainian parliament expresses no-confidence to Viktor Pshonka, Trend News Agency (22 February 2014)
  8. ^ a b Ukraine: Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov named interim president, BBC News (23 February 2014)
  9. ^
  10. ^ Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine
  11. ^ (Ukrainian) В Україні новий генпрокурор, Ukrayinska Pravda (November 4, 2010)
  12. ^ Viktor Pshonka: ‘I’m a member of the president’s team’, Kyiv Post, (November 8, 2010)
  13. ^ (Russian) Пшонка рассказал в Страсбурге о «феномене» украинской прокуратуры, Ukrayinska Pravda (March 26, 2013)
  14. ^ (Russian) Пшонка заявил о готовности к глубинным реформам в прокуратуре, UNIAN (September 6, 2013)
  15. ^ Prosecutor General Pshonka visiting Germany for experience exchange, Kyiv Post (January 23, 2013)
  16. ^ (Russian) Пшонка рассказал чешскому МВД и полиции о реформе в Украине, Ukrinform (September 4, 2013)
  17. ^ (Ukrainian) "Зі вступом в силу нового Кримінального процесуального кодексу всім правоохоронним органам доведеться перебудовуватися для роботи в нових умовах", - Генеральний прокурор України, Prosecutor General`s Office of Ukraine official website (August 22, 2012)
  18. ^ Ukraine adopts code of ethics and professional conduct for prosecutors, Kyiv Post (November 29, 2012)
  19. ^ (Ukrainian) Пшонка відкрив контору по «охороні» берегів Дніпра Kyiv Comments (March 5, 2012)
  20. ^ "Interpol denies request for putting Pshonka on wanted list quoting evidence as unconvincing – Ukraine's PGO". Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^ Wealthy, entertainers, relatives fill party lists, Kyiv Post (2 August 2012)
  23. ^ Results of the vote count, Kyiv Post ( 2012)
  24. ^ (in Ukrainian) Список депутатів нової Верховної Ради, Ukrayinska Pravda (11 November 2012)
  25. ^ Ex-Ukraine attorney general’s lavish estate is on Internet (PHOTOS), (24 February 2014)
  26. ^ Pshonka’s house beats Mezhyhirya for luxury, Z I K (24 February 2014)
  27. ^ Since giving Pshonka disappeared marble lions - journalist, Ukrayinska Pravda (5 November 2016)

External links[edit]