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Ukraine’s interim president appoints plenipotentiary representative to Crimea

February 28, 2014, 1:40 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, February 28, (ITAR-TASS). Ukrainian parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov, who is performing the duties of the country’s interim president, has appointed Sergei Kunistyn his plenipotentiary representative in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Simultaneously with appointing Kunitsyn, Turchinov also signed a decree on dismissing the former plenipotentiary representative, Viktor Plakida.

Thursday, Kunitsyn, an MP representing UDAR faction was one of the first sources to report on a seizure of the building of the Crimean Council of Ministers by a group of armed people in uniforms without insignia.

“I kept up telephone communications with Crimea throughout the early morning,” he said at a session of the Verkhovna Rada. “More than 120 armed men entered the building of the Crimean Supreme Soviet and the Cabinet of Minister. There were professional trained people and they had automatic rifles, grenade launchers, and machineguns in the quantities that would be enough to maintain defense for a month or so.”

Sergei Vladimirovich Kunitsyn was born July 27, 1960, in the then Turkmenian Soviet Socialist Republic, now independent Turkmenistan. In 1982, he graduated from the Dnepropetrovsk College of Engineering and Construction as a specialist in construction materials and structural elements.

He was drafted to the Soviet Army in 1983 for a regular term of service and was dispatched to Afghanistan.

He had a brief career in the Soviet Communist Party in 1989 and 1990. From 1998 through 2001 and from 2002 through 2005 he was Prime Minister of Crimea.

From 2006 through to 2010, Kunitsyn was mayor of Sevastopol, or the chairman of the Sevastopol city administration.

As of 2012, Kunitsyn became a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev.

Over his political career, he has changed party affiliations several times until getting membership of UDAR, a party led by former international boxing celebrity Vitaly Klitschko.

February 17, 2014, Kunitsyn was decorated with the Russian Order of Friendship “for an important contribution to friendly ties and to cooperation between Ukraine and the Russian Federatrion, as well as for the development of cultural relations, and for active charity work.

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