Ukraine Live Day 662: MP Excluded From Poroshenko’s Party After Hoisting Yatsenyuk Aloft In Rada

December 11, 2015
Photo via @adagamov

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.

For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: How We Know Russia Shot Down MH17.

Ukraine Reports Around 65 Attacks Over 24 Hour Period, 1 Civilian Killed

The Ukrainian military claimed this morning that Russian-backed fighters had opened fire around 40 times overnight, following 25 attacks between 6:00 and 18:00 yesterday.

According to the ATO Press Centre, Russian-backed fighters used grenade launchers, machine guns and small arms in attacks on Opytnoye, Peski, Novgorodskoye and Krasngorovka. The military claims that several dozen 120 and 82 mm mortar shells fell on the outskirts of this last settlement.

Kiev also reports 120 mm mortars were used near Zaytsevo, north of Gorlovka.

The Donetsk Regional Administration has announced that a civilian man was killed yesterday in this same area, near a checkpoint outside Mayorsk.

Later today, Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters that there had been no Ukrainian military casualties within the last 24 hours.

The ‘defence ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claims meanwhile that Ukrainian forces shelled separatist-held territory six times within the last 24 hours.

According to the DNR, Ukrainian troops used mortars, infantry fighting vehicles and tanks in their attacks on north northern outskirts of Donetsk and the village of Zheleznaya Balka, south of Gorlovka.

— Pierre Vaux

MP Excluded From Poroshenko’s Party After Hoisting Yatsenyuk Aloft In Rada

The Verkhovna Rada has yet again been the venue for farcical brawling as Oleg Barna, an MP in President Petro Poroshenko’s party, grabbed and hoisted the prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, aloft after handing him a bouquet of flowers. Fighting ensued.

The incident occurred after Yatsenyuk told critics of his energy policy to put their questions the energy minister, Volodymyr Demchyshyn rather than himself. 

The bouquet had been intended for MP Mykola Tomenko, whose birthday is today, however he was absent from the chamber.

UNIAN notes that Barna is currently collecting signatures for a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet. Yatsenyuk has been under growing pressure in recent weeks over allegations of corruption and and criticism that he is failing to enact necessary reforms. One of the most vocal critics has been the governor of the Odessa region, Mikhail Saakashvili.

Barna has now been excluded from Bloc Petro Poroshenko (BPP), a move supported by an absolute majority in the party.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Barna said today:

“I am against prime minister Yatsenyuk. I have been consistent in my position. If needed, I will write a statement.”

But BPP MP Valeriy Patskan told the online paper that the decision to exclude Barna for the sake of the unity of the governing coalition was a difficult one for the party.

UNIAN reports that Yatsenyuk has told MPs that he will accept the decision of the Rada if there was a successful vote against him.

“I took full responsibility for the most unpopular steps in our country, which nobody has done for 20 years. And when I came to this post, I knew what would happen to my rating. I knew it. I did not come here for my own political rating, but to carry out reforms, and for the rating of our country,” he said during the parliament’s hour of questions to the government on Friday, according to an UNIAN correspondent…

“Put this issue to the vote and vote. I will accept the decision of the Ukrainian parliament. I don’t cling to this chair,” he said. 

— Pierre Vaux