Monday, August 25, 2014

Ukraine/Russia: Update--Poroshenko Dissolves Parliament, Calls for Early Elections in Compliance w/ Constitution

According to The Associated Press, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, 48, on Monday (August 25) dissolved Parliament and called for early elections on October 26, 2014, as his country continues to battle a pro-Russian insurgency in its eastern regions.

The President said the move was in compliance with the Ukrainian constitution, noting that the ruling coalition collapsed several weeks ago. 

COMMENT: The announcement came a day ahead of a summit that includes both Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, 61, and could be aimed at pressuring Ukraine into seeking a negotiated end to the conflict rather than a military victory for either side.

Over the past month, Ukrainian forces have made substantial inroads against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, taking control of several major towns and cities that had been under rebel control since April, when the clashes began.

The advances have come at a high cost, more than 2,000 civilians reportedly have been killed and at least 726 Ukrainian servicemen have died during hostilities with pro-Russian insurgents.

There is no independent figure for the number of rebel dead.