News / Europe

Poroshenko Dissolves Ukraine Parliament, Vote Set for Oct. 26

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech dedicated to his decree to dissolve parliament in Kyiv, Aug. 25, 2014.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech dedicated to his decree to dissolve parliament in Kyiv, Aug. 25, 2014.

President Petro Poroshenko dissolved Ukraine's parliament on Monday and announced an election on Oct. 26 in the country that is fighting a war against separatists that has driven relations with Russia to an all-time low.

Poroshenko's decision had been expected after the governing coalition in Ukraine - which ousted its Moscow-backed president in street protests in February precipitating the separatist rebellions in its eastern regions - collapsed on July 24.

Poroshenko and his government, whose pro-Europe policies have riled the Kremlin, hope to stabilize the situation in the east by October sufficiently to hold a relatively normal election that will earn them greater legitimacy and strengthen their hand in dealing with Russia.

“I have taken the decision to dissolve parliament for elections on October 26,” Poroshenko said in a Twitter post in which he urged all Ukrainians to turn out.

He and his liberal supporters will be seeking an endorsement of the tough line they have taken in the separatist war and their European integration policies which have brought confrontation with Russia.

Moscow, angered by the ousting of Yanukovich who fled following the deaths of more than 100 protesters killed in Kyiv by police snipers, annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March.

Poroshenko's leadership accuses Moscow of being behind the separatist rebellions in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east which broke out shortly afterwards, though Moscow denies this.

In a statement to compatriots on his website on Monday night, Poroshenko hoped the election would clear out many of the “old guard” who supported Yanukovich and produce a coalition able to push through vital economic and political reform after years of corrupt misrule and malpractice.

“The present parliament for a year-and-a-half was a support for Yanukovich. And the majority of precisely these deputies adopted dictatorial laws which took the lives of 'Heaven's Hundred',” he said referring to the protesters who were killed and who have now acquired martyr status in Kyiv.

“Someone has to take responsibility for this - criminal and political,” he said.

He accused some deputies of backing the separatists.

“Many deputies are, if they are not the direct sponsors and associates, the supporters of the separatist fighters,” he said. “I consider victory in the Donbass and the victory of democratic reforming forces in parliament a mutually linked process.”

Donbass is the name given to the industrialized and mainly Russian-speaking east of Ukraine, where two regions - Donetsk and Luhansk - have declared independence from Ukraine in an attempt to join Russia.

Minsk meeting

Poroshenko heads for the Belarussian capital of Minsk on Tuesday for his first meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin since June.

The timing of his election announcement was intended to broadcast to Putin and European Union officials, who will also be present in Minsk, that Ukraine was steadily normalizing and building democratic structures after the malpractice of the Yanukovich years.

But with Kyiv angered over reports of Russian armored vehicles coming across the border on Monday with the aim of opening a new front in the separatist war the prospects of a breakthrough in Minsk appear slim.

Another convoy of humanitarian aid

Earlier Monday, Poroshenko said he is extraordinarily concerned about what he said are Russian military moves into the east.

Ukrainian officials said Russian tanks and armored vehicles crossed into southeastern Ukraine Monday, bearing flags of pro-Russian separatists.  

Poroshenko's office says he told European Council President Herman Van Rompuy by telephone Monday that he also is concerned about Russian plans to send another convoy of purported humanitarian aid into Ukraine.

Russia last week sent more than 200 trucks it says were packed with aid into Ukraine.

The Kyiv government did not approve the shipment and called it a Russian invasion. It also said Russia did not wait for the Red Cross to complete its inspection.

When asked about the convoy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had not heard about it, and added "there is plenty of misinformation" about incursions.

Lavrov said Russia wants to send the second convoy as soon as possible.  He said Russia wants to reach an agreement on "all conditions" for delivering the new round of aid on the same route as the first.

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Comment Sorting
by: Igor from: Russia
August 25, 2014 10:25 PM
"...the deaths of more than 100 protesters killed in Kyiv by police snipers..". Hey VOA, you are trying to paint white to black. The death of people killed by snipers have not been made clear yet. Among those deads were protesters as well as policemen and the persons behind the scence are still unknown. Why can you be so sure in your article? have you made your won investigation or you only receive one-sided information from Kiev? Have you received wages from Kiev?

by: DellStator from: US
August 25, 2014 9:19 PM
While the people of the Ukraine try to free themselves of Soviet, and I mean Soviet tyranny
The President and Congress of the US - DOES NOTHING!
The Russian Mercs are out to ethnically cleanse the Ukraine, driving out all non Russians through terror and violence, and if you dare dissent, they have proven they will seize you, torture you, throw you in a real dungeon, and then kill you. Are we going to wait until they mass graves are found before we stop this insanity?
We don't need to send troops. We need a complete trade embargo and asset freeze. We need to send 10,000 military advisors to safe areas in the W. Ukraine to train the Ukrainian military to fight. We need to fund retooling of hundreds of empty factories in the Ukraine to make APC's, tanks, RPG's, and surveillance drones.
See below for a story unheard since Hitler rounded up the Jews - Its from the New York Times

DONETSK, Ukraine — On the sidewalk of a busy street beside a checkpoint, a bearded gunman wrapped a woman in a Ukrainian flag and forced her to stand, sobbing in terror, holding a sign identifying her as a spotter for Ukrainian artillery. “She kills our children,” it read. Because the woman was a spy, said the gunman, a pro-Russian militant, everything that would happen to her would be well-deserved.

Passers-by stopped their cars to get out and spit, slap her face and throw tomatoes at her. Her knees buckled. She struggled to mumble in protest of her innocence and to shake her head in denial.

by: David from: USA
August 25, 2014 1:36 PM
We betrayed Ukrainians. That is what I exactly know
In Response

by: Andre from: Canada
August 25, 2014 5:41 PM
I'm surprised to see the Ukrainian military didn't try blowing up those "aid" trucks full of guns, grenades, and so on. That convoy was begging to be hit but Ukraine lacked the intestinal fortitude to at least make an attempt.

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
August 25, 2014 12:10 PM
Its very clear Russia wants a confrontation to enable them carry out their main agenda to destabilize Ukraine to seize more territory my force knowing no nation can stand up to Putin.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 25, 2014 1:50 PM
Hey Sunny... Is Putin as guilty as the US and NATO countries are, when the US and NATO armed and trained those tens of thousands of Sunni Muslim ultra-extremists in Jordan and Turkey to wage war on the Shia Muslim government of Syria, and now Iraq?... (do you think?)... that Russia is arming and training those pro-Russian separatists in Russia, to wage war on the Ukraine government now, because the US and NATO did it in Syria?...... for more land?

by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
August 25, 2014 10:34 AM
I expect the Ukrainian confrontation/ crisis to end soon. I think the next major superpower contest will be in Asia.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 25, 2014 11:54 AM
Hey Donald... The US is the greatest super power in the history of the world, with the greatest military weapons the world has ever seen, and with (27) NATO countries, has started, or been involved in almost every conflict or war since WW2, and their combined military forces didn't defeat a single country they fought... (and what did their involvement bring?)... The US and NATO politically or militarily interfered in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and now Ukraine, bringing violence, destruction, killings and wars, that seem to never end..... (I do believe, the Europeans are taking a hard look, at following the US into war anymore).... wouldn't you?

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