Under pressure from Western nations concerned with the status of reform projects, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will soon move to form a new government, the first such initiative since the former chocolate magnate took office in October. The delays in forming a government have led to poor delegation of humanitarian and military aid originating in the European Union or the United States, and have unsettled Ukrainians and Westerns alike. This shared restlessness is due partially to what some suspect are existing rows between Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk and Poroshenko, as reports have emerged detailing a bitter political rivalry.
In a recent news conference Poroshenko stated that he “hopes the process” of establishing a new government will begin later this week, though noticeably missing from his speech were steps on how such a process would ultimately be carried out. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military continues to engage separatist groups in combat throughout eastern Ukraine amid reports that a fresh wave of Russian supplies recently arrived to replenish rebel supply reserves in Donetsk and Luthansk.
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- Authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang province have been sharply criticized by groups of ethnic Uyghurs who claim that their homes were unlawfully demolished. Members of the Turkic group stated that their homes not only were demolished by authorities that claimed they “didn’t have lawful ownership of the land,” but that compensation promised them in exchange for their homes has not been given despite promises made nearly six months ago.
- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berkymukhamedov recently with the Azerbaijan’s first deputy prime minister to discuss the strengthening of energy and transportation ties. Both sides have shown interest in developing multiple transport corridors that would enable greater trade in energy and lead to greater “sustainable economic development of the Caspian Sea region.”
- A suicide bomber struck a volleyball game in Sharana, the capital of Afghanistan’s Paktia province, killing 49 and wounding approximately 60 others. Hundreds had gathered from nearby towns to watch the inter-district volleyball match, held as part of a larger tournament. The attack was perpetrated with the objective of killing as many people as possible, as evidenced by the hundreds of ball bearings that were released following the detonation. Official casualty counts are expected to rise.
- Russia’s Central Election Commission will send a number of observers to be present during Uzbekistan’s parliamentary elections. The outfit of observers was created as part of larger-scale Shanghai Cooperation Organization agreements and will be delegated to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent as well as to other parts of the country. Uzbekistan’s parliamentary elections will see representatives from the four state-allowed political parties run for election.
- Kyrgyzstan and Russia have established a $500 million development fund intended to back development projects throughout Kyrgyzstan. The accord was recently signed by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atamabyev in Bishkek and signifies increased collaboration in logistics and agriculture, as well as in heavy industry and banking. The first $100mn will be received by the Kyrgyz government at the end of this year.