Ukrainian president dissolves parliament
by Jim Heintz, Associated Press
August 25, 2014 04:00 PM | 831 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Russia has announced plans to send a second aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine, where months of fighting have left many residential buildings in ruins. Lavrov said Monday that Russia had notified the Ukrainian government that it was preparing to send a second convoy along the same route in the coming days. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Russia has announced plans to send a second aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine, where months of fighting have left many residential buildings in ruins. Lavrov said Monday that Russia had notified the Ukrainian government that it was preparing to send a second convoy along the same route in the coming days. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Pro-Russian rebels escort captured Ukrainian army prisoners in a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Ukraine has retaken control of much of its eastern territory bordering Russia in the last few weeks, but fierce fighting for the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk persists. (AP Photo/Antoine E.R. Delaunay)
Pro-Russian rebels escort captured Ukrainian army prisoners in a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Ukraine has retaken control of much of its eastern territory bordering Russia in the last few weeks, but fierce fighting for the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk persists. (AP Photo/Antoine E.R. Delaunay)
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A pro-Russian rebel holds a Russian national flag near to damaged heavy hardware from the Ukrainian army during an exhibition in the central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Ukraine has retaken control of much of its eastern territory bordering Russia in the last few weeks, but fierce fighting for the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk persists. (AP Photo/Antoine E.R. Delaunay)
A pro-Russian rebel holds a Russian national flag near to damaged heavy hardware from the Ukrainian army during an exhibition in the central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Ukraine has retaken control of much of its eastern territory bordering Russia in the last few weeks, but fierce fighting for the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk persists. (AP Photo/Antoine E.R. Delaunay)
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Ukrainian navy ships bob by the shore on a stormy, turbulent sea pass in Odessa's embankment, Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. In another symbolic move, Poroshenko traveled south to the predominantly Russian-speaking port city of Odessa to give a second speech on Sunday. Ukraine lost much of its coastline when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea was annexed by Russia in March, and the loyalty of local authorities in Odessa to Kiev has been a top priority for the new government. (AP Photo/Sergei Poliakov)
Ukrainian navy ships bob by the shore on a stormy, turbulent sea pass in Odessa's embankment, Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. In another symbolic move, Poroshenko traveled south to the predominantly Russian-speaking port city of Odessa to give a second speech on Sunday. Ukraine lost much of its coastline when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea was annexed by Russia in March, and the loyalty of local authorities in Odessa to Kiev has been a top priority for the new government. (AP Photo/Sergei Poliakov)
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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president on Monday dissolved parliament and called for early elections in October as his country continues to battle a pro-Russian insurgency in its eastern regions.

President Petro Poroshenko announced in a statement posted on his website that he has dissolved parliament and called for snap elections on October 26.

He said the move was in coherence with the Ukrainian constitution, noting that the ruling coalition collapsed several weeks ago.

"Many deputies who are in the Rada (parliament) are direct sponsors or accomplices, that is to say allies of the militant separatists," Poroshenko said.

The announcement came a day ahead of a summit that includes both Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and could be aimed at pressuring Ukraine into seeking a negotiated end to the conflict rather than a military victory.

Over the past month, Ukrainian forces have made substantial inroads against pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, taking control of several sizeable towns and cities that had been under rebel control since April, when the clashes began.

But the advances have come at a high cost — more than 2,000 civilians reportedly killed and at least 726 Ukrainian servicemen. There is no independent figure for the number of rebel dead, although Ukrainian authorities said Monday that 250 rebels were in fighting around Olenivka, a town 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Donetsk.

Earlier Monday, a Ukrainian official said a column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles entered southeastern Ukraine — a move that brings the conflict to an area that has so far escaped the intense fighting of recent weeks.

Col. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security Council, told reporters that the column of 10 tanks, two armored vehicles and two trucks crossed the border near the village of Shcherbak and that shells were fired from Russia toward the nearby city of Novoazovsk. He said they were Russian military vehicles bearing the flags of the separatist Donetsk rebels. The village is in the Donetsk region, but not under the control of the rebels.

The Ukrainian National Guard later said two of the tanks had been destroyed.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday he had no information about the column.



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