Chief Correspondent, Poland
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May 30, 2014

Anxious Ukrainians hope Poroshenko can keep them from abyss

KIEV (Reuters) – Winning the election was the easy part. Now the real work starts for Petro Poroshenko, and few Ukrainians have any illusions about the scale of the challenge facing their new president.

The burly billionaire businessman who built a vast fortune selling cakes and sweets has inherited a bitter legacy – a wrecked economy, rampant corruption, armed rebellion in eastern Ukraine and hostility from giant neighbor Russia.

May 28, 2014

Ukraine’s president says ready to sign EU trade deal soon

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s newly elected president, Petro Poroshenko, wants to sign a landmark trade deal with the European Union soon after his inauguration as head of state, his office said on Wednesday, after EU officials suggested there might be some delay.

The proposed trade agreement with the EU has been at the heart of Ukraine’s political crisis over the past six months since former Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich turned his back on the accord at the last minute.

May 26, 2014

Boxing champ Klitschko becomes mayor of Kiev, says time for protesters to leave

KIEV (Reuters) – Vitaly Klitschko, a former world heavyweight boxing champion, has claimed victory in an election to become mayor of Kiev, clinching a major role in Ukraine’s emerging new political order after Sunday’s presidential election.

Klitschko is a close ally of Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, whom he backed for the top job after quitting the contest himself. Their alliance has been on display in the past 24 hours when Klitschko, who is some two meters (6 feet eight) tall, stood beside Poroshenko at two news conferences.

May 25, 2014

‘Chocolate King’ Poroshenko declares victory in Ukraine presidential poll

KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine, May 25 (Reuters) – Billionaire Petro
Poroshenko claimed Ukraine’s presidency on Sunday after exit
polls gave him an absolute majority in a first round of voting
and, vowing to end a conflict with pro-Russian rebels, he
pledged to align his country with Europe.

Exit polls gave Poroshenko, a confectionery magnate with
long experience in government, more than 55 percent of the vote,
well ahead of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in second
place with just over 12 percent. If confirmed by results on
Monday, there will be no need for a runoff vote on June 15.

May 25, 2014

Ukraine votes as fear, war stalk Russia border zone

KIEV/MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainians were set to give a resounding endorsement to the overthrow of their last elected leader by voting on Sunday for presidential candidates promising close ties with the West in defiance of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

But the absence of over 15 percent of the electorate, in Russian-annexed Crimea and two eastern regions where fighting with pro-Moscow rebels continued on Saturday, may mar any result – and leave the Kremlin questioning the victor’s legitimacy, for all President Putin’s new pledge to respect the people’s will.

May 23, 2014

‘Maidan’ to Ukraine’s next president: we will be watching you

KIEV (Reuters) – As Ukrainians prepare for Sunday’s presidential election, the message from Kiev’s main square is clear – the new leader will be closely watched and the people could rise up again if they feel cheated.

Three months after Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich fled the capital in the face of a street uprising, Independence Square, or the “Maidan”, still looks like a war zone, bedecked with barbed wire and barricades, covered with tents and patrolled by khaki-clad “defenders” in no hurry to pack up.

May 22, 2014

Thirteen Ukrainians dead in pre-election clash with pro-Russia rebels

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine said more than a dozen servicemen were killed on Thursday in an early morning clash with pro-Russian separatists, fuelling security concerns ahead of a presidential election on Sunday seen as crucial for its fragile democracy.

Kiev’s pro-Western government said its forces had also rebuffed an attempt by the separatists to enter its territory from Russia, and it called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Moscow’s role in the violence.

May 21, 2014

Tymoshenko loses her magic in Ukraine presidential race

KIEV (Reuters) – Campaigning for Ukraine’s presidential election, Yulia Tymoshenko says she alone can save the nation from disaster. It is a refrain that has served her well in the past but the voters no longer seem to be listening.

Opinion polls put Tymoshenko, a two-times prime minister, in a distant second place behind confectionary magnate Petro Poroshenko for Sunday’s vote with just 10 percent support – humiliating a woman whose trademark peasant’s hair braid and rhetoric have defined Ukrainian politics for a decade.

May 19, 2014

U.N. sees abductions, intimidation of election officials in Ukraine

KIEV (Reuters) – The United Nations has received reports of abductions and intimidation of election officials in eastern Ukraine and fears many people will flee the region due to a mounting sense of lawlessness, a U.N. human rights official said on Monday.

Ivan Simonovic sounded the alarm as Ukraine’s interim government conceded that many voters in two eastern regions now under the control of pro-Russian separatists would not be able to take part in next Sunday’s presidential election.

Mar 12, 2014

Collapse of coup trial unnerves Turks as Erdogan switches tack

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the jailing of army officers, academics and journalists on coup plot charges last year as a key moment in his drive to tame Turkey’s army. Now as the case unravels, his camp suggests some should never have been put behind bars.

The slow collapse of the “Ergenekon” case has exposed the judiciary – central to efforts to anchor democracy in Turkey – as a system in disarray, caught in a new power struggle between Erdogan and an Islamist cleric. That raises questions for foreign investors and the EU, which Ankara seeks to join.

    • About Gareth

      "I lead a team of around 20 journalists in Warsaw, including text reporters writing in English and in Polish, photographers and a small TV crew. I joined Reuters 20 years ago and Warsaw is my seventh assignment. I have also worked in Tokyo, Moscow, London, Brussels, Ankara and Sofia."
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