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.
Reuters

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.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
WE NEED TO HELP NOW.
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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More