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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs