Mikhail Chechetov: Suicide or Murder?

Mikhail Chechetov

Mikhail Chechetov, member of Party of Regions, and ex MP

 

The Witch-Hunt of Former Party of Regions Officials Continues

March 05, 2015

by Halyna Mokrushyna

On February 28, a former member of the Party of Regions, Mikhail Chechetov, committed suicide by jumping from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kyiv. Before ending his days, he left a note saying: “I am leaving. I think this will be better for everyone. A huge thank you to all of you for your support. Forgive me and understand me correctly. M. Chechetov.”

On February 21, Chechetov was arrested by the Pecherskyi court of Kyiv under accusations of malfeasance, abuse of authority and forgery. Bail was set very high by the court–five million hryvnias (app. US$170,000). It was paid by Chechetov’s friends and on February 23 he was able to walk out of the detention centre.

Chechetov was one of the targets of newly appointed Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin, an old-time friend and relative of President Petro Poroshenko. Shokin was appointed on February 10 after former Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema submitted a letter of resignation under pressure from deputies of the Verkhovna Rada. The pressure came mostly from the faction of the presidential party in the Rada, the Poroshenko Bloc. The deputies claimed that Yarema did not investigate fast enough the sniper shootings on Maidan Square on February 20, 2014 and that he was not quick enough in bringing to justice officials of the previous governing regime of President Viktor Yanukovych. Yarema explained that, naked assertions of the deputies of the new Euromaidan parliament of Ukraine notwithstanding, the Office of the Public Prosecution does not have any proof of “concrete” crimes committed by  Serguei Liovochkin (former head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine under Yanukovych), former deputy and member of the Party of Regions Andrei Kluiev, and the current deputy of the Rada and member of the Opposition Bloc, Yuri Boyko.

Shokin worked under Yarema as deputy prosecutor general. When Shokin received his new appointment as prosecutor general, he started without delay to “restore justice” and call the “former people” to account. Alexander Efremov, the former leader of the faction of the Party of Regions in Verkhovna Rada, was arrested on February 14, 2015 under the same accusations that were leveled against Chechetov. What do these accusations mean concretely? Chechetov as well as Efremov were accused of voting for the “scandalous” and “odious” laws of January 16, 2014, adopted by then-governing Party of Regions and which sought, among other goals, to curb violence on Maidan Square by making stricter rules governing the right to stage public protests. Before I comment on these laws, I would like to say a couple of words about Mikhail Chechetov.

After the February 2014 coup d’état which overthrew the Yanukovych regime and sent him fleeing to Russia, together with several other high-ranking officials, Chechetov remained in Ukraine. He did not participate in the October 2014 election to the Verkhovna Rada and retired completely from politics. He was living in his Kyiv apartment with his wife.

Chechetov was a professor and author of over 500 scientific and current affairs publications. He had a candidate degree in economics and a doctoral degree in public management. His career path is what in Soviet times was called the path of a simple worker.

He was born in 1953 in the Kursk region of Russian Federation. He worked as a fitter in Yenakiyevo (the home town of Viktor Yanukovych), then in the “Yunkom” coal mine of Ordzhonikidze Coal Company.  In 1979, he graduated from Kharkiv Institute of Engineering and Economy with a diploma in mining engineering and economics. From 1982 to 1994, he taught in the same institute and held the position of dean of the faculty of economy. In 1994, he entered big-time politics, being elected a deputy to the Verkhovna Rada. He held high ranking positions in the government related to economic management. From April 2003 to April 2005, he was the head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, responsible for the privatization of big state assets. Under Chechetov’s directorship, Krivorozhstal, one of the biggest metallurgical complexes in Ukraine, was sold in 2004 for 800 million dollars to a consortium created specifically for this reason by two oligarchs – Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk. Allegedly, this price was five times lower than the true value of the enterprise. When Yulia Tymoshenko became Prime-Minister in 2005, this privatization was declared illegal. In October of the same year, the enterprise was sold for 4.8 billion dollars to Lakshmi Mittal, one of the largest metallurgical conglomerates in the world. Chechetov explained later that he purposefully organized the privatization in such a way that it fell into the hands of Ukrainian, not foreign, owners.

The then-head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, Valentyna Semeniuk, who oversaw the second privatization to Mittal, later wanted to reverse it because the buyer did not respect certain conditions of the contract, namely, Mittal closed the program of social payments owed to employees, and promised foreign investment in the enterprise did not materialize. Semeniuk objected to the privatization right from the beginning, stating that Krivorozhstal was a strategic enterprise providing not only vital production but also jobs and social security to thousands of Ukrainian workers. (Semeniuk also committed suicide under dubious circumstances, on August 26, 2014 in her country house. Apparently, she shot herself with a shotgun).

After the Orange Revolution of 2004, when the camp of presidential candidate Victor Yuschchenko won the election late that year, Chechetov left politics and went back to teaching at the institute in Kharkiv. In 2007, he was reelected to the Verkhovna Rada as a member of the Party of Regions. He was part of the leadership of the party. In December 2012, he became First Deputy Chief of the party. In the Rada, he was a member of the committee on industry and investment policies and a member of the board responsible for tallying votes in the Rada.

It was this latter membership which gave rise to the accusations against him of abuse of power and forgery, ultimately leading him to take his life. Ukraine’s prosecutor general stated that on January 16, 2014, Chechetov, Efremov and two other members of the Party of Regions who have since fled from Ukraine to Russia, forged the vote in the Rada. While some deputies were absent, the accused organized voting by hand instead of by using a card, as is the regular procedure. They counted votes of absent members. Chechetov refuted the accusations stating that it was the heads of the parliamentary factions and the head of the counting board who counted the votes, not him.

The famous “dictatorial”, “draconian”, “odious”, “scandalous” laws, as the then- opposition in the Rada and the Ukrainian media, owned by opposition oligarchs, quickly called them, were meant to curb the violence of protesters on Maidan, many of whom, wearing balaclavas and military clothes, were throwing Molotov cocktails at regular police and the ‘Berkut’ riot police and using bars and poles torn from metal fencing to assault police.

On the day of voting on January 16, members of the ruling Party of Regions indeed had to vote with their hands because the deputies from the opposition had disrupted the procedure by snatching voting cards from them. In the highly charged political atmosphere, the following of normal procedure was very problematic. Any initiative by the Party of Regions would be met with great hostility by the opposition. Both sides were accusing each other of breaking the law. And in general, what law can we talk about in the situation of an uprising prevailing in January of 2014 on Kiev’s Maidan Square?

As for the laws themselves, according to one of their authors, Vladimir Oleynik, they were drafted according to the legislation of many European countries. And they are not as “draconian”, as the opposition pretended. For instance, in the Criminal Code of Canada, a person taking part in an unlawful assembly and wearing a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse is guilty of a (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. If such a person participates in a riot, he/she is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. The violent Maidan protests largely exceeded the definition of riot according to the Canadian Criminal Code.

In the proposed laws of January 16, concealing of identity of any kind of gathering in public, as well as using fire, pyrotechnical means, or any dangerous object or wearing military clothes imitating the uniform of police or military, was punishable by a fine between 150 and 250 non-taxable minimal monthly incomes or an administrative detention for up to 15 days.

I could give many other examples of how these “draconian” laws were not really so draconian. For those who read Russian, a very good analysis is done by Anatoliy Shariy, a Ukrainian journalist in exile. The problem was not the laws, but their very superficial reporting by Ukrainian media and also the superficial reaction to them by the high-ranking European bureaucrats and politicians who relied on Ukrainian media and promptly expressed their concerns with the “repressive laws”. For instance, Anatoliy Shariy cites the headline in a popular Internet newspaper “Ukrainska Pravda” (Ukrainian Truth) reporting on the laws of January 16: “Citizens are not allowed to travel more than five cars at a time – Rada restrains the rights of protesters”. What the newspaper refers to is a proposed law according to which any procession of more than five automobiles which was not approved in advance by the respective division of the Ministry of Interior and which obstructed traffic is punishable by a fine, namely revoking of a drivers license for up to two years and a possible suspension of the vehicle registration. A Russian liberal newspaper “Novaia gazeta” failed to report an essential part of this law – about the obstruction of traffic.

And of course, these laws were said to be the product of the Federal Security Service of Russia, because, presumably, the members of the Party of Regions are not smart enough to come up with such sophisticated laws.

On January 16, 2015, on the one-year anniversary of the “draconian” laws, Mikhail Chechetov explained that the current parliament has legitimized many of the same laws as those voted one year ago. For instance, in the 2014 laws, it was stipulated that a forceful overthrowing of power and calls for the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine are punishable. The new law proscribing “separatism” states the same. Chechetov also said that the goal of the laws of January 16 was to decrease the political tension within society, to avoid violence and to peacefully resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

The then opposition in the Rada criticized the Party of Regions, saying it did not follow the correct procedures and did not give the opposition the time to read the text of the bill. It was put to a vote on the same day it was introduced, and voted without discussion. Under those difficult conditions, given the huge political tensions and the impatient crowds on Maidan Square, what legal procedures could have been respected? And how were the actions of Party of Regions deputies any different from the voting of the state budget for 2015 when deputies of the current Verkhovna Rada voted during one, lengthy overnight session on Dec. 29, 2014 for a document they had not seen before and for which there were no accompanying notes or explanations?

When Poroshenko heard about Chechetov’s suicide, he said it was not a contract killing. There are not and there never will be contract killings in Ukraine, said Poroshenko.

And yet, I have doubts. Chechetov in his public speeches always reiterated that he was for a negotiated resolution of the conflict during Euromaidan. He participated in various television programs explaining the position of the Party of Regions. He did not flee Ukraine, as other high-ranking officials of the Yanukovych regime did.

Since the appointment of Poroshenko’s proxy Shokin as prosecutor general, the Ukrainian justice machine has advanced accusations against several public figures, such as Alexander Efremov and Hennadiy Kernes (mayor of Kharkiv), of being “separatists”. Efremov and Kernes deny the accusations. The Opposition Bloc in the Rada made an official statement on February 28 that the government in power in Ukraine drove Chechetov to kill himself by its cynical hounding and public humiliations of him. In Bloc’s opinion, the current power holders are driving its citizens to extreme despair. Some, such as Chechetov, are driven to despair by hounding and groundless accusations; others by war, poverty, lack of employment and of any hope for the future.

I rather agree with this statement. Prosecution of the former officials from the Party of Regions resembles more victors’ justice than a lawful investigation of abuses of power and corruption.

Halyna Mokrushyna is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Sociology at the University of Ottawa and a part-time professor. She holds a doctorate in linguistics and MA degree in communication. Her academic interests include: transitional justice; collective memory; ethnic studies; dissent movement in Ukraine; history of Ukraine; sociological thought. Her doctoral project deals with the memory of Stalinist purges in Ukraine. In the summer of 2013 she travelled to Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Donetsk to conduct her field research. She is currently working on completing her thesis.

Ukraine launches criminal probe against lawmakers for their visit to Russia

A group of 24 Ukrainian lawmakers from the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, attended last week a session of the State Duma

The Verkhovna Rada © ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry initiated a criminal probe in regard to a group of the country’s lawmakers who last week traveled to Moscow, met with their Russian colleagues and attended a session of the Russian parliament’s lower house, Zoryan Shkiryak, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, said on Thursday.

“The main investigative department of the Interior Ministry launched a criminal probe into the reported case of (Ukrainian) lawmakers’ participation in a session of the (Russian) State Duma,” Shkiryak said.

He said the criminal case was opened on charges of “infringement on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine committed by state officials”. If lawmakers are found guilty under the pressed charges, they face between five and ten years in prison.

Ukrainian lawmakers visit Russian State Duma

A group of 24 Ukrainian lawmakers from the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, attended last week a session of the State Duma, where lawmakers of both countries spoke in favor of a dialogue between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents.

“When presidents are holding an uneasy dialogue, we (lawmakers) need to lend them support,” Ukrainian lawmaker Vladimir Oleinik said at the session in the Russian parliament’s lower house.

However, Oleksandr Turchynov, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, submitted with the Verkhovna Rada a draft decree on Tuesday requesting to strip the lawmakers of their salaries and bar them from all parliamentary sessions in Ukraine.

Russia’s reaction

Reaction of Kiev authorities to their lawmakers’ visit to Moscow raised serious concerns among Russian lawmakers.

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, called the launched criminal probe against the Ukrainian lawmakers “as real political repression.”

“Present-day Kiev authorities announce the course towards the European democracy but at the same time they, in the best traditions of totalitarian regimes, are dispatching not only of dissidents, but of simply self-motivated lawmakers,” Slutsky said.

Slutsky said that the Ukrainian lawmakers’ visit was not about “the infringement on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but about possible forms of the Russian-Ukrainian inter-parliamentary cooperation.”

State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin proposed Russian lawmakers on Wednesday to think well over the future format of cooperation with the Ukrainian Rada.
“Unfortunately, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Alexander Turchinov called those dignified citizens of Ukraine traitors and now proposes to strip them of their salaries and bar them from Verkhovna Rada sessions,” Naryshkin said on Monday addressing a session of the State Duma’s working group on the analysis of the Ukrainian legislature.

He said that such behavior and statements on behalf of the Ukrainian parliament’s speaker “characterize the level of democracy in the present-day Verkhovna Rada and the essence of modern Ukraine’s course towards the European integration.”

Russian lawmakers, Naryshkin said, need also pay close attention to preparations in Ukraine for the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 26.

Political contenders in Ukraine’s election

Taking part in Ukraine’s October 26 parliamentary elections from political parties there will be mostly public activists, journalists and representatives of armed groups of volunteers, who were involved in what Kiev authorities called an anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country. In the majoritarian constituencies, nomination of candidates will last until September 25.

The pro-presidential party, Solidarity, has changed its name to register under a brand much clearer to the average voter – the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc. It has incorporated the party UDAR (literally translating as Punch) under Kiev’s mayor, former boxer Vitali Klitschko, leading the party’s election ticket.

Batkivschchina, the party under former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, has put on top of its candidates list  the name of woman pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, currently facing trial in Russia on charges of complicity in the death of Russian journalists in Ukraine.

Batkivschchina’s breakaway group, including Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, parliamentary speaker Aleksandr Turchinov and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, has founded a new party calling itself Popular Front and proposed a list of candidates it presents as “revolutionaries” – those who at the beginning of this year spearheaded the street demonstrations in Kiev in support of euro-integration and toppled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

Candidates from the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko, a legislator notorious for his ultra-nationalist escapades and rowdy manners such as manhandling journalists, are assorted and controversial – there are those who participated in the crackdown on defiant southeastern regions, volunteers from military hospitals, former political prisoners and high-profile athletes.

The former ruling party – the Party of Regions – decided against participation in the election.

 

 

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.

 

Protesters dump Ukrainian deputy in rubbish bin (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Screenshot from youtube by Lenta Novostei

Screenshot from youtube by Lenta Novostei

 

Crowds outside the Ukrainian parliament seized a deputy, as he left the building for a break, and put him in a trash bin. The move puzzled politicians, as the deputy was behind the lustration law which the protesters had gathered to support.

A crowd gathered outside the parliament, Verkhovna Rada, in Kiev on Tuesday to rally while MPs were voting on a new bill banning the closest allies of Ukraine’s deposed President Yanukovich from politics.

A Parliament Deputy deposited in a trash bin by protesters

 

Vitaly Zhuravsky, deputy for the Economic Development group, stepped outside the parliament building for a break, and was immediately seized by a large crowd of men. Zhuravsky was forced into a trash can full of rubbish, while the crowd cheered “Glory to Ukraine!”

deputat1

Screenshot from youtube by Dmitriy Chigrin

Several men held Zhuravsky by his head, preventing him from getting out of the bin. They threw a car tire at him and poured some liquid over him, saying he was “to blame for bloodshed.”

The deputy was carried in the bin across the street, before police intervened.

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deputy

deputy3

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Zhuravsky later said he considered the attack to be a hit, ordered by political competitors, adding that he pardons the offenders.

I am still shocked by what has happened. I take this incident as a hit by my competitors, running for the vote in the Zhitomir region. I don’t think that’s the way Maidan people could have treated me, it can’t be true, I simply don’t believe it,” the deputy said at a Rada briefing.

The deputy said he was among the draftsmen of the new so-called lustration bill, which was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday. If signed into law by President Petro Poroshenko, MPs who worked under Viktor Yanukovich will be forced to quit parliament and will be permanently banned from occupying seats.

Several of the Maidan activists later publicly apologized to Zhuravsky. The deputy said he would not press charges.

Ukraine President dissolves parliament, paves way for early election

Ukrainian parliament members attend a session in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Ukrainian parliament members attend a session in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

RT

Published time: August 25, 2014 18:49
Edited time: August 25, 2014 19:36

Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has made the decision to dismiss the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a message on his official Twitter account says.

The decision comes because “the majority of the MPs voted for dictator-style laws,” which cost the lives of Maidan activists, RIA Novosti news agency reports citing Poroshenko’s spokesman.

The election of the new parliament will be held on October 26, the spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on his Facebook page.

Poroshenko has called on “democratic forces” in Ukraine to enter the elections as a united “pro-Ukrainian, pro-European team,” Tsegolko’s Facebook post states adding that the Rada was dismissed “because it is the only right and responsible decision.”

The Fifth Column in the parliament consists of dozens of so-called people’s deputies. But they don’t represent the interests of the people, who elected them, but the interests of some other people,” the statement said.

Neither Poroshenko’s nor the Verkhovna Rada’s official websites contain any messages giving details. However, the official Twitter account of the President’s Administration also states the one-chamber parliament is dismissed.

Poroshenko, who came to power in Ukraine on June 7, declared his intention to hold early parliamentary elections in his inauguration speech before the Rada.

In late July, following the resignation of the government, Ukraine’s ruling coalition of nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party and the Udar (Strike) party dissolved itself enhancing the prospects for an early vote.

On August 2, Poroshenko again spoke of a snap parliamentary election after the Rada refused to recognize the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics as terrorist groups.

Back then he also labeled the deputies as a “Fifth Column,” saying that he doesn’t know how to work with such a parliament.

The term “Fifth Column” originates from the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 where Franco’s fascists literally sent a “fifth column” of spies and provocateurs to try to capture capital Madrid from inside the city.