What Ukraine's election means for region's unrest

Petro Poroshenko
This handout picture released by the Poroshenko press service shows Ukrainian independent presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko speaking to his supporters during an election campaign rally on May 20, 2014, in the small Ukrainian city of Uman, Cherksy region.

Ukraine elected Petro O. Poroshenko, a pro-European billionaire, as its next president this weekend.

From The New York Times:

Poroshenko vowed on Monday to restore order in the country's east, which is besieged by pro-Russian separatist violence, but said he would not negotiate with armed rebels and instead would demand swifter results from a military campaign that has achieved only limited success.

While Mr. Poroshenko has said that he would push for parliamentary elections before the end of the year, on Monday he said he saw no reason for the removal of Prime Minister Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk and other leaders of the interim government, which has been running Ukraine since the toppling of President Viktor F. Yanukovych in February.

Mr. Poroshenko also promised to mend ties with the Kremlin, citing his business connections to Russia as well as his personal relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin, who has promised to respect the Ukrainian election results.

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On The Daily Circuit, we look at what the move will mean for the divided country, and how this election will play into Ukraine's relationship with Russia and the European Union.


Ukrainians back Poroshenko to find way out of crisis
A veteran survivor of Ukraine's feuding political class who threw his weight and money behind the revolt that brought down his Moscow-backed predecessor three months ago, the burly 48-year-old won 55 percent in exit polls on a first-round ballot marred by the reality that millions were unable to vote in the troubled eastern regions. (Reuters)

Today's Ukraine election means there will be no war with Russia
The main message of today's presidential election in Ukraine is that war with Russia is off the table--at least for now. Russia and Ukrainian separatists tried hard to prevent the vote--and succeeded in swaths of eastern Ukraine--but now that the election has gone ahead, they will turn to other tactics to press their views. (Quartz)

Ukraine's Vigilante Peacemakers
When a large government building here housing a group of pro-Russian activists caught fire earlier this month, Yakov Otash rushed to help. Otash, 26, is a fervent Ukrainian patriot. But he says politics didn't matter as a battle between local supporters and opponents of the country's Maidan revolution turned deadly on May 2. (The Daily Beast)