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Ukraine's interim leader: 'number two' man loyal to Tymoshenko

Published on Feb 24, 2014 1:48 AM

KIEV (AFP) - Oleksandr Turchynov is considered the faithful "number two" man who, for now, has a stab at the top spot in Ukraine.

A politician and evangelical preacher who has authored psychological thrillers, Turchynov was named interim president on Sunday by the opposition-controlled parliament in a bid to fill a political void left by the impeachment of Viktor Yanukovych and to end a three-month-long crisis.

The right-hand man of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, who walked free on Saturday after being jailed by the ousted regime, the 49-year-old is seen as a compromise figure with little political ambition and a deep loyalty for the fiery opposition leader.

"He's always the number two man, even in his own party," said Balazs Jarabik, senior fellow at the Central European Policy Institute.

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