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Apr 20, 2015

Truce tenuous as Ukraine leader tackles economy, oligarchs

KIEV (Reuters) – President Petro Poroshenko is using the breathing space from a ceasefire with separatists to push reforms and rein in super-rich ‘oligarchs’ whose influence he says must be curbed for Ukraine to have a future in Europe.

But the truce in eastern Ukraine agreed on Feb. 12 is tenuous, with each side accusing the other of violations and the death toll still rising in a year-long conflict that has killed more than 6,100, and most people do not see it lasting.

Apr 20, 2015

Truce tenuous as Ukraine leader tackles economy, oligarchs

KIEV, April 20 (Reuters) – President Petro Poroshenko is
using the breathing space from a ceasefire with separatists to
push reforms and rein in super-rich ‘oligarchs’ whose influence
he says must be curbed for Ukraine to have a future in Europe.

But the truce in eastern Ukraine agreed on Feb. 12 is
tenuous, with each side accusing the other of violations and the
death toll still rising in a year-long conflict that has killed
more than 6,100, and most people do not see it lasting.

Apr 7, 2015

Ukraine challenges oligarchs’ grip on energy companies

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s judicial authorities launched actions on Tuesday challenging tenders that gave big businessmen control over key power companies under ousted president Viktor Yanukovich in a new move by the government to curb the influence of the so-called oligarchs.

The legal actions targeted the 2012 and 2013 sell-offs of electricity-generating companies in eastern Ukraine to holdings of multi-billionaire Rinat Akhmetov and a close associate, and of a power distributor in the west of the country.

Apr 3, 2015

Silencing of Crimean Tatar TV sparks outcry from rights bodies, Ukraine, Turkey

KIEV (Reuters) – The silencing of a TV station for the Tatar people in Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine a year ago, sparked an outcry on Friday, with Kiev accusing Moscow of trying to stamp out non-Russian influence on the peninsula.

The station, ATR, which formerly broadcast under a Ukrainian license, has sought four times to re-register with Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, to stay on the air. But each time it was turned down because of alleged mistakes in its applications, Tatar officials said.

Mar 25, 2015

Ukraine leader fires oligarch Kolomoisky as regional chief

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president has fired billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky as governor of a key region in the east, the presidential website said on Wednesday, after armed men that lawmakers said were linked to the oligarch raided a state-owned oil firm.

Kolomoisky has been at the center of a political storm since the masked men briefly entered the offices of UkrTransNafta on Thursday night after its director, his ally, was summarily replaced.

Mar 20, 2015

Ukrainian oligarch under fire after night raid on state oil firm

KIEV (Reuters) – A raid by a group of armed men in combat fatigues on a state-owned oil company in the Ukrainian capital Kiev caused uproar in parliament on Friday and thrust banking billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky into the spotlight.

Two parliamentary deputies accused Kolomoisky of sending the masked men into the offices of UkrTransNafta late on Thursday night after it was announced that its chairman, an ally of the 52-year-old oligarch, had been sacked.

Mar 19, 2015

Ukraine peace plan creaks amid fresh Russian-Ukrainian dispute

KIEV (Reuters) – A peace plan to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine came under renewed strain on Wednesday, with Ukraine and Russia clashing publicly over the next steps and further Ukrainian military casualties from rebel attacks testing a fragile ceasefire.

Moscow reacted sharply after Ukraine agreed on Tuesday to confer special status on rebel-controlled eastern regions and grant them limited self-rule – but only once local elections had been held under Ukrainian law, something unpalatable for rebel leaders who have proclaimed their own “people’s republics”.

Mar 18, 2015

Ukraine peace plan creaks as Russia and Ukraine row

KIEV (Reuters) – A peace plan to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine came under renewed strain on Wednesday, with Ukraine and Russia rowing publicly over the next steps and further Ukrainian military casualties from rebel attacks testing a fragile ceasefire.

Moscow reacted sharply after Ukraine agreed on Tuesday to confer special status on rebel-controlled eastern regions and grant them limited self-rule – but only once local elections had been held under Ukrainian law, something unpalatable for rebel leaders who have proclaimed their own “people’s republics”.

Mar 17, 2015

Ukraine parliament offers special status for rebel east, Russia criticizes

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s parliament voted on Tuesday to offer limited self-rule to pro-Russian rebels in the east to try to preserve Western support for peace efforts, despite some deputies saying it would give separatists more scope to tighten their grip on the region.

The law granting “special status” to “people’s republics” proclaimed by the separatists was a follow-up to a peace agreement worked out in Belarus last month.

Feb 20, 2015

Options narrow for Ukraine’s Poroshenko after Debaltseve defeat

KIEV (Reuters) – The loss of the key town of Debaltseve to Russian-backed separatists, the latest in a string of big battlefield defeats for Ukraine, narrows the options for President Poroshenko in his dealings both with Moscow and with the West.

No sooner did the strategic railway junction fall to the rebels on Wednesday, with thousands of Ukrainian soldiers withdrawing under fire, than separatists re-opened another old front, attacking government positions near Mariupol, a strategic coastal city in the south-east.