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Oleksandr Turchynov, Baptist Pastor, Named As Ukraine's Acting President

By: for The Huffington Post on Feb. 27, 2014
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Oleksandr Turchynov

After months of violent protests, Ukraine had a whirlwind weekend that set the country on a course that could dramatically change its future in the coming years.

The parliament voted to impeach President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled from Kiev after two of the bloodiest days in Ukraine's recent history; politician Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison after more than two years behind bars and promptly announced her decision to run for president.

In the meantime, Oleksandr Turchynov, a pastor and Tymoshenko's right hand man, was elected interim president until May 25.

Political turmoil and campaign schemes aside, the man now in the center is no average politician. For one, he is a novelist known for several psychological thrillers, one of which was turned into a film and submitted to the Oscars in the foreign language category. Turchynov also studied metallurgy, according to BBC, and acted as head of one of Ukraine's first independent news agencies.

Perhaps most interesting, though, is that unlike the predominantly Orthodox and Catholic Ukraine, Turchynov is a Baptist pastor. He may be in the minority, but he is by no means alone.

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