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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs