Yuri is the head of the first public organization focused on environmental issues in Ukraine – “Zelenyi svit”. The environmental association was founded in December 1987. The tragedy at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant prompted Yuri to become a committed social and political activist. Thus, the public organization grew within just one year from 21 members to 300,000. Many representatives were elected to local councils and the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament).