Ukraine president replaces Donetsk governor with hardline general

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KIEV: Ukraine’s president on Friday fired a millionaire businessman who failed to stop the advance of pro-Russian rebels while governor of war-torn Donetsk and replaced him with a hardline nationalist general.

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Sergiy Taruta was one of several pro-Western tycoons put in charge of restless Russian-speaking provinces after the revolution that ousted a Kremlin-backed president in February.

The office of President Petro Poroshenko said Taruta has been replaced as Donetsk governor by former troop commander Oleksandr Kykhtenko.

Some analysts speculate the ex-general’s appointment means Poroshenko is planning a tougher approach to dealings with the rebels and the Kremlin.

“Poroshenko now needs someone who can establish stability,” said Kiev political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko.

“The oligarch failed. Now its the strongman’s turn.”

AFP

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