Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk resigned on Sunday to make way for a new government but could not resist taking a swipe at his rival, President Petro Poroshenko, on his way out.
“The country’s political crisis was unleashed artificially,” said Yatseniuk, alleging in a televised address that his opponents’ desire to remove him from power had “paralyzed their will for real change.”
Yatseniuk’s conservative People’s Front, the second largest in parliament, is nevertheless due to renew its coalition with Poroshenko’s Solidarity bloc and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party. Volodimir Groisman, the current speaker and an ally of Poroshenko’s, is likely to succeed Yatseniuk as premier.
Yatseniuk earlier accused the other parties, which share his desire to move Ukraine away from Russia and closer to the West, of shifting the blame for unpopular austerity measures like subsidy cuts to his group when they were enacted to qualify for $40 billion in international support.
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko was likely to win a strong mandate for his pro-European policy in a parliamentary election on Sunday but voting could not take place in parts of the east where rebels sympathetic to Russia have declared breakaways republics.
Nationwide opinion polls showed Poroshenko’s and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk’s pro-European parties ahead. While they might not win a majority between them, they should be able to form a coalition with other parties that support a united Ukraine and the reforms sought by the country’s European Union partners. Read more “Despite Limited Voting in East, Election Boosts Poroshenko”
Following a presidential election on Sunday in which Ukrainians overwhelmingly backed the billionaire Petro Poroshenko, the government in Kiev launched a renewed offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the east that killed more than fifty on Tuesday.
Hours after the polls closed Sunday night, the government carried out airstrikes against rebels in the east of Ukraine, near the Russian border, where they have proclaimed two independent states. Helicopters and warplanes attacked the airport of Donetsk, which separatists had seized on Monday, and paratroopers were flown in to root them out.