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May 18, 2015

Ukraine says it will prosecute captured Russian soldiers for ‘terrorist’ acts

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine on Monday accused two Russian servicemen it said it had captured of being part of a special forces group that had killed and wounded Ukrainian servicemen in fighting in its eastern regions and said they would be prosecuted for “terrorist acts”.

The Ukrainians seized on the capture of the two Russians, both wounded, to boost their accusations of direct Russian military involvement in the separatist conflict despite a ceasefire signed in February. But Russia denied any role there.

May 17, 2015

Analysis – West clings to fraying Ukraine peace deal despite Kiev doubts

KIEV (Reuters) – Western powers are clinging to a fraying peace deal in Ukraine and forcing Kiev to follow suit, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no sign of wavering and NATO is warning that Moscow may be preparing for a new offensive.

The United States and European Union are still backing the three-month old ceasefire, despite a growing feeling that it is in its death throes, telling Putin that sanctions will remain if he does not honour his promises.

May 17, 2015

West clings to fraying Ukraine peace deal despite Kiev doubts

KIEV (Reuters) – Western powers are clinging to a fraying peace deal in Ukraine and forcing Kiev to follow suit, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no sign of wavering and NATO is warning that Moscow may be preparing for a new offensive.

The United States and European Union are still backing the three-month old ceasefire, despite a growing feeling that it is in its death throes, telling Putin that sanctions will remain if he does not honor his promises.

May 7, 2015

Separatist conflict colors Ukraine’s war anniversary events

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Of all the medals on his military tunic, it is the one marking his role in the UPA Ukrainian nationalist resistance fighting Nazis, Poles and Soviets in the war that ended 70 years ago on Saturday that gives Vasyl Chelepys the most pride.

Gaunt and white-haired, he is now 92 and loses himself in memories of combat, arrest, comrades executed, a commuted death sentence and years in a Soviet labor camp in the Arctic circle.

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.