07/06/14 10:12 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
He may be president of Ukraine but in the east of the country Petro Poroshenko will struggle to impose his authority.
Since his election victory on May 25 Poroshenko has been urging the Ukrainian army to smash what he calls pro-Russian “terrorists” on Ukrainian soil, while insisting he is sensitive to the region’s longstanding demands for more autonomy from Kyiv.
“I hope the president can succeed. He’s promised his priority will be to stabilise eastern Donetsk and Luhansk. It won’t be easy. We hope he makes the right decisions,” said one Luhansk man.
“The president has the ability to stop everything. he should open a dialogue with people in the east and listen to their real appeals. But frankly I think it’s too late, as so many people have died. I don’t know who can settle the current contradictions,” was one woman’s opinion.
Russia’s ambassador, withdrawn after Viktor Yanukovych was toppled, has returned in a sign President Putin may be weakening Moscow’s support for the rebels, but dozens of Russian and other nationals remain in Ukraine ready to fight, and Poroshenko says he will not negotiate with gunmen.
He has however offered to create a security corridor out of Ukraine to allow what he calls “mercenaries” to leave the country, but has coupled that offer with a repeated demand for rebels to lay down their arms.
Latest world news
Iraq: al Sadr supporters storm Green Zone and parliament
Cuts in EU mobile roaming charges come into effect
Germany: hundreds arrested as anti-immigrant AfD congress starts
Rescue teams keep searching after deadly Kenya collapse
Ireland: Minority government deal breaks political deadlock
Wires > News
- 16:52 CET Rescuers search rubble of Nairobi building, at least 12 dead
- 16:26 CET Air strikes pound Syria’s Aleppo, ‘calm’ farther southwest
- 15:39 CET China, Japan more upbeat on ties but challenges remain
- 15:37 CET Left-wing protesters clash with German police before right-wing…
- 15:20 CET Germany to ask European Commission to allow extension of border…
- 14:55 CET Afghan forces launch push against Taliban
- 12:44 CET Italy merchant ship rescues 26 migrants off Libya, others feared…
- 12:36 CET Russia defends intercept of U.S. reconnaissance plane over Baltic