Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Post will be tracking the progress made by Ukraine’s new, post-EuroMaidan Revolution leaders in making deep structural changes in the national interest. The Reform Watch project is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. Content is independent of the financial donor.
Ukraine has had several influential visitors this year. But, unfortunately, most of them still do not get it - that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war has put Ukraine on the brink of survival and has been a frontal assault on the international order that needs to be stopped.
Editor's Note: The following are the transcribed remarks of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Kyiv and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Nov. 21 at the Presidential Administration.
On Nov. 21, some 2,000 people gathered at Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square in Kyiv to protest the Ukrainian government's decision to turn back on the Ukraine-European Union association agreement. At least that was the trigger for a nation fed up with the corrupt rule of President Viktor Yanukovych. The initial gathering would grow to tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then more than a million at some key protests. A tent city sprouted up in the city center and a vast grassroots operation evolved that drove Yanukovych out of power on Feb. 21 -- almost four years to the day after he took office. Before Yanukovych fled, he allegedly ordered the murders of more than 100 people by government-hired snipers.
On the first year anniversary of the start of the EuroMaidan Revolution, the Kyiv Post offers links to some of the most memorable stories and videos of the revolution.
Editor's Note: The following is the transcript of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt's remarks on Nov. 19 to participants of the Kyiv Post Tiger Conference in the Hilton Kyiv Hotel.
Even as Russia shores up its illegitimate proxies in eastern Ukraine with weapons and troops, the West continues to behave spinelessly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel discounted the possibility of further economic sanctions against Russia, opting instead to float the lame likelihood of individual visa bans and asset freezes against separatist leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. As the foremost leader of the 28-nation European Union bloc, Merkel’s unwillingness to more strongly confront Russia is disappointing. But abhorrent is the active opposition to more sanctions of such politicians as Hungary’s prime minister and the Czech Republic president. The United States, whose Congress is now in Republican hands, remains the best hope for Ukraine getting military aid and additional economic assistance.
In response to the Nov. 2 elections held by Kremlin-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk are moving to revoke the two Donbas oblasts’ “special” autonomous status and cancel government benefits, including pensions, for residents living in separatist-controlled areas.
Military expert and head of defense think tank Information Resistance, Dmtry Tymchuk, said there are up to 27,000 armed Russian troops and Kremlin-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine divided into four separate strike groups, according to a Facebook post on the morning of Nov. 3.
DONETSK, Ukraine -- To the sound of Soviet-era songs dozens of people stood inside a polling station located in a school in Donetsk's downtown early on Nov. 2, while a bigger crowd of voters was queuing to buy cheap vegetables outside.
On Nov. 2, about 100 refugees from eastern Ukraine and people who were born there but now live in Kyiv gathered on Maidan Nezalezhnosti to protest against the so-called 'elections' in the Donbas region, that were held by the Russian-backed insurgents in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
Ukrainian authorities launched two criminal proceedings against popular Russian actor Mikhail Porechenkov after a video surfaced showing him firing at the Donetsk Airport with what appears to be a Russian-made 50-caliber Kord heavy machine gun together with Kremlin-backed insurgents.
The question on many minds after the election is whether the winners of the Oct. 26 election will be able to work together and advance a reform agenda to overhaul Ukraine’s fragile democracy and economy.
There are many reasons to rejoice after the Oct. 26 snap parliamentary election. Firstly, with the Communist Party out of the Rada for the first time since independence, it signifies the arrival of a new era for Ukraine – at least to a degree.
Figures released by the State Statistics Service on Oct. 30 reveal that the 45-million nation's economic decline in the third quarter was 5.1 percent in year-on-year terms, compared to 4.6 percent in the second quarter, amid war with Russia in the easternmost oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Editor's Note: On Oct. 26 Ukrainians voted to elect the new Verkhovna Rada, a 450-seat single-house legislative body. Originally, the elections were expected in 2017, but the EuroMaidan Revolution changed the flow of events in the 45-million country and led to early parliamentary campaign. These elections are based on a mixed-member proportional representation. According to the law, 225 deputies will be elected on party lists and 225 in single-member constituencies. However, given that the elections won't be held at 12 single-seat constituencies in Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as at 15 constituencies in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, at most 423 members of parliament out of 450 will be elected.
As the vote count for the parliamentary elections continue with 61 percent processed, the Kyiv Post offers a look at the remarkable victories in single-mandate districts, which combined, will fill half the 450-seat legislature.