Hrytsenko graduated with honours from Kyiv Higher Military Aviation Engineering School on 23 June 1979. On 10 December 1984 he was awarded a Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) degree from Kyiv Higher Military Aviation Engineering School. And in 1993 Hrytsenko graduated from the Defense Language Institute of the United States Department of Defense. On 6 June 1994 he graduated from the Resident Program of the U.S. Air War College And on 30 October 1995 Hrytsenko graduated from the Academy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Hrytsenko is author of more than 100 scientific papers published in Ukraine, Belgium, the Netherlands, United States, Germany and Switzerland.
Hrytsenko served 25 years in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he served in combat units, as teacher at the military college and in staff positions in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Hrytsenko's rank was colonel.
From December 1999 till 2004 he worked as a military consultant in various firms.
In February 2000 Hrytsenko served as Freelance Consultant on the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) and in November 2000 as a member of the Public Council of Experts on domestic issues of the President of Ukraine.
In 2004 Hrytsenko worked in the election headquarters (for the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election) of Viktor Yushchenko and took an active part in the writing his election program.
Hrytsenko became Minister of Defence in the First Tymoshenko Government in February 2005, he continued this position in the Yekhanurov Government. On 4 August 2006 he was appointed again as head of the Ministry of Defence in the government of Viktor Yanukovych on the quota of President Yushchenko.
In the early 2007 parliamentary elections he was elected into the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) as number 4 on the party list of the pro-president Yushchenko Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc. Although this bloc was part of the Second Tymoshenko Government Yuriy Yekhanurov became Minister of Defense in this cabinet.
In January 2010 Hrytsenko became party leader of Civil Position.
Hrytsenko was a candidate for President of Ukraine in the 2010 Ukrainian presidential elections, during the election he received 1,2% of the votes (finishing ninth). In the second round he called on voting against both candidates (Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yanukovych).
Civil Position gained one seat in the Ternopil city council during the 2010 Ukrainian local elections.
During the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election Hrytsenko was elected into the Verkhovna Rada as 3rd on the electoral list of Batkivshchyna. Hrytsenko did not sign the November 2012 oppositional forces Batkivshchyna, UDAR and Svoboda joint action plan "I did not sign this document because I offered another action plan, but it was not supported”; but did state he would fulfil it. On 18 May 2013 the faction of Batkivshchyna demanded that Hrytsenko (who was a member of the Batkivshchyna faction) would resign from parliament. Hrytsenko agreed to do that if Batkivshchyna faction leader Arseniy Yatseniuk would do the same. Hrytsenko eventually left the faction on 14 January 2014 "Due to [my] inability to influence the decisions that are taken by the Batkivschyna faction". Yatseniuk immediately responded by saying the faction hoped that after leaving the faction Hrytsenko would resign from parliament (also); and also added "People blinded by their own ambitions do much harm to the team's struggle". On 17 January 2014 Hrytsenko submitted a letter of resignation to parliament.
Hrytsenko was one of the candidates for presidency in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. According to the opinion poll ordered by 1+1 TV channel and conducted by GfK Ukraine on 6–8 May, 5.6 per cent of the surveyed would cast their votes for him. In the election he received 5.48% of the vote, ranking him in 4th place.
Hrytsenko is married to Yulia Volodymyrivna Mostova, a chief editor of well known Ukrainian newspaper Mirror Weekly and a widow of Oleksandr Razumkov.