Richard's Feed
Oct 19, 2014

Ukraine’s ‘pitchfork’ populist could be wild card in new line-up

KIEV (Reuters) – He’s not averse to taking a dizzying punch to the head if he can score a point. Rights groups accuse him of using armed squads to abduct suspected separatists. His party’s program, somewhat improbably, calls for nuclear rearmament of Ukraine.

But no matter how outrageous his antics and program seem, firebrand politician Oleh Lyashko strikes a chord among many in a population pushed to extremes by war. Polls suggest he will be a political wild card whose support President Petro Poroshenko may reluctantly have to seek after next Sunday’s election

Oct 14, 2014

Ukraine acts against corruption, protests mar election run-up

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine on Tuesday voted sweeping laws to stamp out corruption and curb Soviet-era state surveillance of political life as its pro-Western leaders acted to meet the demands of its future European partners before an election.

But a demonstration by protesters who clashed with police in the first real anti-government demonstration since the “Euromaidan” upheaval last winter spelled potential for disorder in the run-up to the election on Oct. 26.

Oct 12, 2014

Ukraine president accepts embattled defense minister’s resignation

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted on Sunday the resignation of his defense minister who has been under fire over a rout of government forces in the east which led to Kiev calling a ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists.

Poroshenko’s website said the president had accepted the offer of resignation from Valery Heletey, 47, whom he appointed only in July. It said Poroshenko hoped to present a new candidate to parliament on Monday to replace Heletey.

Oct 10, 2014

Ukraine to launch ‘full clean-out’ of corrupt officials

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine will soon begin mass firings of state officials who served under disgraced Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich and feathered their nests through corruption, the government said on Friday.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, with an eye to a Oct. 26 parliamentary election that Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders hope will turn a new page in the country’s murky post-independence history, unveiled plans for a “full clean-out” of government, law enforcement, the courts and state security.

Oct 7, 2014

Ukraine acts to push through anti-corruption laws before election

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s pro-Western government pressed ahead to secure new laws to tackle top-level government corruption on Tuesday, hoping to ease public discontent before an election from which it wants backing for its plan to end a separatist rebellion.

The proposed laws – presented by Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk ahead of an Oct. 26 parliamentary election – will oblige high-level officials in government, the judiciary and law-enforcement to declare their own and their families’ assets and financial transactions.

Sep 28, 2014

Ukraine leader clings to European goal despite Putin

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has secured a temporary peace in the troubled east which he says gives him a chance to move Ukraine towards its dream of a place in Europe – but Russia’s Vladimir Putin still holds cards that could thwart him.

And, a month away from a parliamentary election which he hopes will bring a strong coalition of support for sweeping reforms, Poroshenko’s peace plan is coming under greater criticism at home – even from some of his erstwhile allies.

Sep 28, 2014

Analysis – Ukraine leader clings to European goal despite Putin

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has secured a temporary peace in the troubled east which he says gives him a chance to move Ukraine towards its dream of a place in Europe – but Russia’s Vladimir Putin still holds cards that could thwart him.

And, a month away from a parliamentary election which he hopes will bring a strong coalition of support for sweeping reforms, Poroshenko’s peace plan is coming under greater criticism at home – even from some of his erstwhile allies.

Sep 26, 2014

Ukraine holds talks on marking out ‘buffer zone’ with rebels

KIEV (Reuters) – Talks began on Friday to mark out a 30-km (19-mile) buffer zone between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east, but Moscow was coy about its role and denied that Russian military officials had taken part.

A statement by the military in Kiev said a Ukrainian team met a 76-member group of Russian officers north of the major Ukrainian city of Donetsk to work on establishing the zone, designed to put government and separatist forces out of striking range of each other.

Sep 26, 2014

Ukraine president sets 2020 as EU target date, defends peace plan

KIEV (Reuters) – President Petro Poroshenko proclaimed reforms on Thursday spanning all aspects of life to make strife-torn Ukraine fit for European Union membership, warning his people that without reform they would face a future “alone with Russia.”

He also defended his plan to end a war with pro-Russian separatists that has killed more than 3,000 people and said he would meet again soon with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the pivotal player in a geopolitical tussle between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s future reminiscent of the old Cold War.

Sep 22, 2014

Ukrainians to pull back big guns from front line with separatists

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s military said on Monday it was pulling back artillery and heavy armour from the front line with separatists, backing President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan for a conflict that has cost more than 3,000 lives.

Taking a noticeably soft line on the Russian-backed separatists for the first time, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said reduced fire from the rebels and Russian forces meant the Ukrainian army could begin withdrawing heavy weaponry from a proposed 30-km (19-mile) buffer zone.