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Ukraine

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Index
  1. Ukraine Main Page
  2. An Independent Nation
  3. A Struggling Economy and a Troubled Government
  4. Gas Causes an Energy Crisis
  5. Several Rounds of Elections and Another Gas Crisis
  6. Ally of Former Prime Minister Jailed
  7. 2012 Language Bill and New Election
  8. Massive Protests Call for Yanukovich's Resignation
  9. Yanukovich Flees Capital
  10. Russian Troops Sent to Crimea
  11. Putin Announces Annexation of Crimea
  12. Unrest Spreads to Other Eastern Cities
  13. Referendums on Autonomy Held in Other Eastern Regions
  14. Billionaire Businessman Wins Presidential Election
  15. Passenger Jet Crashes in Eastern Ukraine
  16. Offensive by Ukrainian Military Results in Gains; Rebels, Government Agree on Cease-Fire
Billionaire Businessman Wins Presidential Election

Petro Poroshenko, a pro-European billionaire who previously served as a finance and foreign minister, breezed to victory in the special presidential election on May 25, taking about 55% of the vote and, enought to avoid a runoff. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from prison, placed a distant second with 13%. Poroshenko, who made his fortune in the candy industry and is known as the Chocolate King, inherits a country mired in a civil war and financial disarray. He also must deal with Ukraine's tense relationship with Russia.

"The first steps of our team at the beginning of the presidential work will be to put an end to war, to put an end to chaos, to end disorder, and to bring peace to the land of Ukraine — united, unitary Ukraine," Poroshenko said in a speech declaring victory.

A day after the election, pro-Russian separatists attempted to take over the airport in Donetsk. The government in Kiev dispatched the military and fighter jets to take back the airport. About 50 militants were killed in battles with the military. The militants later shot down a military helicopter, killing 14 people.

Days before Ukraine's presidential election, Russia withdrew its troops from the border with Ukraine, a clear sign Putin was beginning to back off his antagonistic stance toward its neighbor. In addition, Putin praised the election and promised to work with Poroshenko. In late June, he requested that the upper house of Parliament rescind its authorization for Putin to use force in Ukraine. However, in early July, Putin once again actively inserted himself in the crisis, cutting off gas supplies to Ukraine. In addition, arms continued to flow from Russia to the separatists and Putin did little to stem the continuing violence.

After the rebels shot down a military transport jet and killed 49 people, Poroshenko declared a week-long, unilateral ceasefire on June 20. After initially resisting, the rebels agreed to observe the temporary ceasefire. Poroshenko ended the ceasefire after ten days, claiming the rebels continued to attack government troops.

Next: Passenger Jet Crashes in Eastern Ukraine
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