Separatism, Infighting Threaten Ukraine Unity

Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov warned separatism and infighting put a united Ukraine at risk. Kiev is facing retaliation from the Crimean peninsula and disagreements within the opposition.

Parliament hoped to have a new government by the 25th, but pushed it back to Thursday.

The BBC reports former president Viktor Yanukovich's aide Andriy Kliuyev was shot in the back when traveling through the Crimea. His car was shot at and he was wounded.

Turchynov told parliament they must fight separatism and discuss the government changes with Russian areas. Yanukovich passed a law that allowed areas with a large ethnic Russian population, mainly in east Ukraine, to use the Russia language in official business transactions and education. But after parliament ousted Yanukovich they overturned the law. Crimea also held large protests after Turchynov was elected interim president and said they want to be with Russia. The peninsula is home to many Russian navy bases.

Turchynov also said anyone who engages in separatism behavior must be punished.

Three major opposition parties joined together to kick out Yanukovich, but their differences may cause problems for uniting Ukraine. The infighting is another reason why they delayed forming the new government until Thursday. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the Fatherland Party, told his colleagues they must work together.

“The deadline is Thursday, and I urge all democratic parties and all democratic persons and all democratic M.P.'s urgently to finalize the deal on the coalition,” Mr. Yatsenyuk told reporters outside the Parliament chamber. “We need urgently to hammer out this deal and to form the new government who is to be in charge of the country.”

“It’s not about the personalities,” Mr. Yatsenyuk added. “This is about the responsibility. You know to be in this government is to commit political suicide, and we need to be very frank and open.”

Presidential elections are scheduled for May 25. However, parliament still needs to elect a new prime minister and deputy prime minister. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko was named as a possible candidate, but he voiced his intention of running for president.


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