Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s Major Decisions in Office

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree dissolving the country’s parliament

 

MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) – As Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is marking Sunday his first 100 days in office, the nation is looking back at what has been done so far.

He took the post of Ukraine’s fifth president with firm intentions to integrate Ukraine with Europe and NATO, bring back Crimea, and become a strong rival to Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the eyes of his Western allies. However, the cordial welcome Poroshenko received from the West has so far failed to net him any tangible financial aid.

EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT

On June 27, President Petro Poroshenko signed the economic part of the EU Association Agreement at the EU summit in Brussels. The agreement is designed to gradually bring Ukraine and the EU closer together on the basis of common values, promote trade and economic relations, and enhance cooperation in upholding freedom, justice, and security.

The economic component is the top priority, in particular the provision on the Ukraine-EU free trade area, which will ensure the gradual integration of the Ukrainian economy into the EU internal market. The agreement also outlines principles of cooperation in a number of areas, such as energy, industrial policy, entrepreneurship, taxation, and tourism, as well as the procedures for granting EU financial assistance to Ukraine.

AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION

On June 26, Poroshenko submitted to parliament draft amendments to the Constitution that would decentralize power by replacing local state administration with elected district councils and executive committees. The president would appoint an envoy to each district or region, and local authorities would have the right to grant special status to Russian and other languages within their administrative borders, though what this status involves is not explained.

Poroshenko also proposed enshrining in the Constitution the concept of “the parliamentary opposition” and abrogating the imperative mandate. He wants to give the prime minister the right to submit to parliament nominees for the positions of defense and foreign minister, and to authorize the president to dismiss the prosecutor general and the head of the Ukrainian Security Service without the approval of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.

PEACE PLAN FOR SOUTHEAST

On June 20, Poroshenko signed an executive order on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s Southeast as part of a process that would last from 10 p.m. (18:00 GMT) on June 20 to 10 p.m. on June 27, 2014.

The plan consists of 15 steps and provides security guarantees to all participants in the talks, including the release of hostages and amnesty for those who have laid down arms and have not committed serious crimes.

EARLY ELECTIONS TO VERKHOVNA RADA

On August 27, Poroshenko signed an executive order dissolving the Rada, with early elections scheduled for October 26. He has spoken repeatedly on the need for early elections, because in his view the current Rada does not reflect the political attitudes of Ukrainian society.

ENDING BENEFITS FOR OFFICIALS

On August 4, Poroshenko rescinded a number of resolutions from 1992 to 2010 on material support and security for top government officials. Resolution № 977/2014 of August 4, 2014 declassifies and rescinds resolutions on services and security for Ukraine’s former Prime Ministers Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov, Viktor Yushchenko, Yevhen Marchyuk, Pavlo Lazarenko, Valeriy Pustovoitenko, Vitaliy Masol and Anatoliy Kinakh.

The resolution of May 17, 2006, providing a life-long stipend as well as financial, medical, transportation and other services to former Rada Speaker Volodymyr Litvin, was also rescinded, and benefits were canceled for the former head of the National Bank Vladimir Stelmakh, former Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko and the former head of the Supreme Court Vasyl Malyarenko.

On August 4, Poroshenko also signed an executive order ending benefits for army and internal service generals, as well as councilors in justice that were dismissed upon completion of their service. They will no longer receive stipends and the transportation and medical services they were entitled to in their government positions, or free stays at health resorts.

On August 1, Poroshenko ended benefits for residents of elite neighborhoods in the suburbs of Kiev. About 40 million hryvnyas had been spent on them every year.

REFORMING GAS TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

On September 8, the media reported that Poroshenko signed a law on reforming Ukraine”s gas transportation system (GTS). The law retains state ownership of the GTS and underground depots but allows specially created companies to run them.

FOREIGN POLICY

According to experts, no Ukrainian president has been in such close personal contact with world leaders as Poroshenko. According to his official website, from the moment of his inauguration to September 11, Poroshenko has spoken by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel 32 times; US Vice President Joe Biden 15 times; President Vladimir Putin 10 times; French President Francois Hollande 9 times; Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko 4 times; President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso 3 times; British Prime Minister David Cameron 2 times and US President Barack Obama 2 times.

On August 26, Poroshenko held talks with the presidents of the Customs Union countries – Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan) and Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus) – which were also attended by EU officials. Putin and Poroshenko held a bilateral meeting.

On August 30, Poroshenko traveled to Brussels where he met with Barroso, Merkel, Cameron, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Finnish Prime Minister Alex Stubb, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.

On September 4, Poroshenko took part in the NATO summit in Wales and held meetings with five G7 leaders on the sidelines: Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Renzi and Hollande. He also had a separate conversation with President Obama.

 

Ukraine Passes Bill on Amnesty for East Ukraine Independence Supporters

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Oleh Tyahnibok is the leader of the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalist political party Svodoba, currently one of the five major parties of the country. Three members of the party hold positions in Ukraine’s government.

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

KIEV, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – The parliament of Ukraine passed Tuesday a bill to declare amnesty for eastern Ukraine independence supporters who committed administrative or criminal offenses in their regions starting from February 22.

The initiative was approved by 277 lawmakers with the required minimum of 226 votes. It will enter force once signed by the president and published by the official media.

The discussions were held in a closed regime. It is currently unknown whether the initial bill was amended during hearings.

The bill, submitted to the parliament by President Petro Poroshenko, envisages that militia members and their supporters “are freed from criminal responsibility on the condition they do not hold anyone hostage, laid down their weapons and explosives, does not occupy administrative or other buildings or block state structures and organizations.”

Those who agree to the terms, will be freed from criminal responsibility or fines.

However, the bill does not apply to people suspected of grave crimes and those whom the Kiev government accused of involvement in the MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine (the MH17 jet was downed by the Ukrainian army!)  or posed hindrances to the investigation.

Donbas Leaders Play Down Ukraine’s Bill on Special Status

DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko

DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

Updated 14:58 p.m. Moscow time

DONETSK, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – Leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Tuesday played down the importance of the law granting the self-proclaimed territories a three-year period of special status within Ukraine with wider autonomy.

Poroshenko should sign it first, it should get published and come into force. Then we will translate it into Russian, study it and give our opinion,” DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told RIA Novosti.

Zakharchenko’s first deputy Andrei Purgin added that the republic views the bill “only as a point of contact for future dialogue, not as a legislative act.”

“This is nonsense when the Rada of Ukraine passes bills not for Ukraine, but for Donbas. We have our own parliament for this purpose,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law submitted by President Petro Poroshenko to introduce self-administration in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The bill states that local elections are to take place in the regions on December 7 and also guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language in Ukraine.

The law is a part of a 12-point peace plan, signed by Kiev officials and representatives of the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR) in southeastern Ukraine during the Trilateral Contact Group meeting in Minsk on September 5. The sides also agreed on a ceasefire that came into force the same day, but numerous reports said that both sides have fired weapons since then.

The status of Ukraine’s eastern regions remains a stumbling block to settlement of the country’s crisis. DPR and LPR leaders said they lay claim to the whole territory within the borders of the respective administrative entities in Ukraine. Kiev, however, said it was ready to grant special status only to areas currently controlled by independence supporters. The DPR and LPR also said they want full independence and will not agree to any status that sees them as part of Ukraine.

 

 

What a Prank by the Kiev Junta! : Ukrainian Bill on Donbas’ Special Status Can Be Revoked in 6 Months!

Ukrainian authorities can revoke in six months the law granting the self-proclaimed eastern republics of Dontesk and Luhansk a three-year period of special status

Ukrainian authorities can revoke in six months the law granting the self-proclaimed eastern republics of Dontesk and Luhansk a three-year period of special status

Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

KIEV, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian authorities can revoke in six months the law granting the self-proclaimed eastern republics of Dontesk and Luhansk a three-year period of special status within the country if “order is established,” Ihor Hryniv, adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said in the early hours of Wednesday.

It expires in three years but it may expire in six months if order is established. It may expire in one year,” Hryniv said.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament approved a bill granting special status to self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics for the next three years. The law gives the Ukrainian Cabinet and other central executive bodies the power to sign agreements with local administrative bodies on social, economic, cultural and other issues.

Under the bill, Russian and other languages have equal status with Ukrainian, and the state guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language publicly or privately. The bill also sets early local elections for December 7.

[But this is a CIVIL WAR! This is not about giving candies to the self-defense militia!  They want their rights to be respected, all their rights! but instead, Poroshenko gives them a “special status” that can be reboked in 6 months!!!  What a PRANK!]

 

The First POW Exchange in the Dead of Night— Film by Alexandr Kots and Dmitry Steshin

Posted by Olga Luzanova ⋅ September 17, 2014

Information taken from: Комсомольская Правда
Translation by Olga Luzanova

Video Report: Exchange of 37 Militiamen with 37 Ukrainian POWs

 

Film by Alexandr Kots and Dmitry Steshin (“Komsomolskaya Pravda”)
Subtitles by Marcel Sardo and Olga Luzanova

 

Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin—the special correspondents of “Komsomolskaya Pravda”—tell about the first captives exchange in the format of “37 for 37”, that took place “in neutral territory” on the highway near Donetsk in the the dead of the night.

It took almost a week to prepare the event, and obviously, the negotiations were going on arduously. The parties were changing and working out the lists of “lucky ones” all the time. Initially they were going to exchange about a thousand for three hundred of POWs, however the lists became much shorter until the end of the week. According to a relator, performing this humanitarian action on behalf of DPR, typically the most difficult task was to assure the safety for such an issue: “When an exchange is carried out by the commanders of enemy units—it is one thing. They discuss everything by mobile phone, and even then, there is an entire mess-up and gunfire. In our case, everything was very complicated. I would say, there was an expectancy of quite serious provocations with unpredictable aftermath.”

The exchange was postponed several times not without a reason. Neither people believed it would likely happen on the night of Friday. However, the OSCI mission were staying a few steps away from their cars. The Europeans were hanging around wearing flak jackets and answering questions evasively. At 2:00 at night—not right time for the humanitarian mission—we joined the motorcade with a yellow regular bus in the middle of it. They even forgot to take off the plate with the route number. Only several persons seemed to know the terminal point, and the place for the exchange. We dodged along the border of the former front-line, which had been here for almost two months, going further to about five kilometers wide neutral zone. The beautiful highway suffered a lot from mines and “Grad” rockets somewhere. We struggled forward through the debris of a bridge blown up—a local driver was groaning dolefully, giving no comment though. The bridge was blasted during the hardest days of the city defence at the beginning of July.

The motorcade stopped, and one of the Militia escort asked everybody to turn the headlights off and to close the car doors, so that there was no light from inside. For ten oppressive minutes, we were staying in the darkness. The “KP” correspondents switched the cameras over the “night vision” mode—it is difficult to discern some silhouettes of armed people dispersing along roadside.

The artillery roar was heard from the left afar. We could see the light of headlamps in the direction of Konstantinovka. In the darkness, we found ourselves on a perfectly straight section of road, with fields along both sides. There were only fifty meters between two columns. A person in a light light-coloured shirt and light-coloured trousers, unsuitable for the ensuing autumn night, is walking toward us. This choice clothing is not accidental. In his hands, the intermediary holds a folder with documents and an icon. However, behind him, we can see the outlines of three SBU spetsnaz fighters and a camera operator.

The chief of the Ukrainian negotiating group of the Antiterrorist Center Yuriy Tandit gave an icon to Darya—the representative of DPR, and answered the questions of Russian journalists.

After quick negotiations, the procedure of exchange was determined. People were leaving buses in groups of five, moving in file from one bus to another. The Ukrainian soldiers were moving first. They were strung in front of cameras, and even after reaching their own forces remained reserved and taciturn. Meanwhile, another group of exhausted people was moving from the UAF bus towards the Militia. By the way, at the place of exchange we could not see the latter being armed, for not to flare up tensions, while the Ukrainian Spetsnaz did not hesitate to show their complete expensive outfit.

The majority of captives were disappearing from their homes all of a sudden, without warrants, decrees or any other juridical procedures. The Ukrainian forces did not realise that by carrying out that kind of “witch-hunt”, they were antagonizing the people whom they were willing to liberate.
Transcript of the “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Video Report

Alexandr Kots, KP: Behind me you can see a bus with the captive Ukrainian soldiers. They are accompanied by OSCE representatives. The exchange is going to be carried out now here, on the Konstantinovka highway.

Yuriy Tandit, the chief of the Ukrainian negotiating group of the Antiterrorist Center: In accordance with the arrangement concluded earlier in Minsk, today there are two groups—37 persons on the one part and 37 persons on the other part. They are different people. Some are those, for whom their relatives interceded, as we get calls every day from the wives, parents, children, of course, they help us. We conduct research, we are in the process, and we want to implement the Minsk arrangement—to exchange all the captives.

Reporter: Please, tell us, whom are you returning to the representatives of Donetsk?

Yuriy Tandit: We are returning the people. They were staying in different places. They are different people—some are citizens of Ukraine and some are Russians.

Reporter: How do you estimate the terms with the opposite party regarding the transmission of the captives? How are you cooperating?

Yuriy Tandit: You know, we are in usual terms. I mean, it is a negotiation process, we make concessions to each other, we fulfil our promises.

KP Reporter: However, periodically the exchange is delayed. The term is postponed. What is the reason for that?

Yuriy Tandit: There are different reasons, because we have extra lists which we receive. And we also need time, that is why we may sometimes postpone the exchange for the objective reasons. Nevertheless, I think now the issue will run faster and everything will be fine.

Reporter (to Ukrainian POWs): How are you? Happy?

Ukrainian POW #1: Yes, of course. I am glad that we really agreed and are finally near our homes. Well, though far away yet, but already at home.

Reporter: Have you already communicated somehow with your family?

Ukrainian POW #1: For now, not yet.

Reporter: How long have you been (in captivity)?

Ukrainian POW #1: Three weeks. Three weeks and three days.

Ukrainian POW #2: There were military men, though they were quite loyal to us. We were provided with regular food, water, lavatory, and all the rest.

Reporter: You have some people injured, why do they have their heads bandaged up?

Ukrainian POW #2: They have been wounded during either fighting or under fire.

Reporter: Tell, what do you feel now?

Ukrainian POW #2: I feel nothing.

KP Reporter talks to Alla Andreevna, who was in the torture chamber of the Ukrainian secret service.

Alla Andreevna: They put plastic bag on my head, I was being throttled, I was suffocating. I have diabetes mellitus. They did not let me go to the toilet, they were keeping me in handcuffs, saying: “You—separatist, bitch,—we will rape you all by turns, then will direct you to the minefield.” So it was, in general.

Reporter: How are you now? Happy?

Alla Andreevna: Now I am just happy. I think, the God has returned me my life. Just the life.

Reporter: Did you pray?

Alla Andreevna: I prayed, and as I helped the people a lot so I think the God is with me. And the Mother Russia is also with us, right? How we sing it in the anthem of DPR: “The Mother Russia is with you”.

KP Reporter talks to Dmitry Saitov, who was in the torture chamber of the Ukrainian secret service.

Reporter: Generally, how was it there?

Dmitry Saitov: Namely, what?

Reporter: In which conditions you were kept?

Dmitry Saitov: I was captured in Kharkov on August 5, and they brought me, as I understood, to Kramatork, to the Organized Crime Division building. They kept me there over 3 days. They blamed me for the connections with terrorists, with the DPR. Then they took me to a certain esplanade. I supposed, that was an airdrome in Kramatorsk. There they kept me on a chain, with handcuffs. The conditions were actually awful.

Reporter: Did they get physical?

Dmitry Saitov: Yes, I have learned what a ramrod is… for the submachine gun.

Reporter: What did they do with the ramrod for gun?

Dmitry Saitov: They were trying… I should not say it in front of the camera—to force us to urinate with blood. They were taking people out in a field to execute by shooting. They shot, they just tormented people, so it was.

Reporter: What did they demand from you?

Dmitry Saitov: An avowal that I am a terrorist, a DPR partisan.

Reporter: And what do you actually do?

Dmitry Saitov: If you probably remember me, I was liberating people in Slavyansk on May 3. That was my first public performance. Also before that, or later—I cannot remember, it was me who liberated two of the OSCE officers and took them to Donetsk. I was taking different measures for settlement of the conflict, I attended roundtables, in general, I performed peacekeeping issues.

KP Reporter talks to Roman Obramov, who was in the torture chamber of the Ukrainian secret service.

Roman Obramov: The “Aidar” battalion captured me at home. I came home to take the belongings to pass them to my child. I have a baby. At that time it was 5 months old, now it is 9. Obviously, they took out everything from my house: A lap-top, a plasma TV set, gold and silver. Everything.

Reporter: Where did they take you? How were you treated?

Roman Obramov: Well, I was taken to Starobelsk. There I overnighted at the SBU building, and the next day they took me to Kharkov. I was not at the ATO. I was beaten at the military unit.

Reporter: Could you tell us more?

They beat me at home. Well, how were we treated? Like ordinary prisoners, in a cell. We had saunters sometimes. At the SBU they are more or less humane.

Reporter: What did they want fro you?

Roman Obramov: I have no idea.

Reporter: Did they carry out any investigative action with you?

Roman Obramov: No.

Reporter: They just kept you in the cell.

Roman Obramov: Right. They forced me to testify against the guys. That is all.

Reporter: In which way did they force you?

Roman Obramov: Well, in which way usually can someone be forced? With menace. They menaced, they took me to a court, recorded evidences. That is all, then took me back into the cell, without any actions.

Reporter: Did you personally participate in the Militia activity or anything else?

Roman Obramov: I did not before, but now I will.

KP Reporter talks to another POW, that was in the torture chamber of the Ukrainian secret service.

Reporter: How were you arrested?

Militia POW: It was on June 22. They took me from home I was seized by the “Aydar” battalion, that is in Lugansk region now.

Reporter: In which city were you taken?

Militia POW: In Petrovka settlement of Stanitsa-Luganskaya district in Lugansk region. I was not “taken”, rather “captured”. As a number of armed masked people without any identification came to my place in broad daylight. They beat me in front of an 8-years old child.

Reporter: Why did they come to your place?

Militia POW: I have no idea. I do not know for which reason they have been keeping me. They did not accuse me of anything within 80 days since I have been captured.

Reporter: What are you? Your profession?

Militia POW: I am a retiree of the Ministry of Interior since 2010. I have been keeping house.

Reporter: What has been happening to you during those 80 days? Where were you kept?

Militia POW: I was kept in Schastie for 3 days, there is a police school. They beat me there, calling “separatist”. Everyone living in Lugansk region appears to be a separatist. After 3 days I was sent to the SBU in Kharkov. There I have been staying until today.

Reporter: Did they use force as a method of influence?

Militia POW: Not in Kharkov, although in Schastie they did. They stabbed all my leg and arm with an awl. I was beaten by 6 or 7 people.

Reporter: What kind of tortures did you undergo, except with an awl?

Militia POW: They tortured by tightening handcuffs. I was fastened with hands and feet. Also strangling.