News / Europe

    Ukraine's Government Faces Fresh Problems, at Home, Abroad

    Ukrainian deputies attend a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 16, 2016.
    Ukrainian deputies attend a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 16, 2016.
    VOA News

    Ukraine's government faced fresh challenges at home and abroad Wednesday, when a major political party withdrew from the governing coalition and Russia filed suit against the country over a $3 billion Eurobond debt.

    Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko announced her Fatherland party was leaving Ukraine's governing coalition, which she criticized as an obstacle to reforms.

    Tymoshenko, who leads the smallest of the coalition's four factions, accused its participants of colluding to protect their seats.

    Ukrainian former Prime Minister and leader of Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party Yulia Tymoshenko attends a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 16, 2016.
    Ukrainian former Prime Minister and leader of Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party Yulia Tymoshenko attends a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 16, 2016.

    President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who survived a no confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday, retain a parliamentary majority despite the exit of Tymoshenko's party. They lead the largest factions in the coalition, with 217 of the parliament's 450 seats. Tymoshenko's Fatherland party holds 19 seats.

    Russia files lawsuit

    Also Wednesday, Russia filed a lawsuit against Ukraine in London's High Court over a $3 billion Eurobond debt that Moscow says Kiev has refused to repay.

    Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the lawsuit was filed "after repeated unsuccessful attempts to engage Ukraine in constructive dialogue about restructuring the debt.”

    Moscow loaned Kyiv $3 billion in December 2013, shortly before Ukraine's then president, Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovych, left the country in the wake of mass protests.

    Kyiv has argued that Moscow's multi-billion-dollar loan was a bribe to Yanukovych for his November 2013 decision to annul a free trade agreement with the EU that Kyiv has since signed.

    Ukraine has been locked in a bitter tug-of-war with Russia since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and began supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Fighting between government forces and the pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region has killed more than 9,000 people since April 2014 and destroyed Ukraine’s industrial heartland.

    Growing disenchantment

    Just before Tuesday's no confidence vote, Poroshenko urged Yatsenyuk to resign, after opinion polls showed growing public disenchantment with Yatsenyuk's pro-Western government.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, center, reacts after surviving a vote of no confidence, in Parliament in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.
    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, center, reacts after surviving a vote of no confidence, in Parliament in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.

    Recent opinion polls found that 70 percent of Ukrainians supported Yatsenyuk's ouster and only one percent backed his People's Front parliamentary bloc.

    The 41-year-old former banker vowed to clean up the government by cutting its ties to tycoons. However, voters soon grew suspicious that he was backing the interests of the billionaires he had promised to cut off.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora