Oleksandr Turchynov, the Speaker of Ukraine was named as the interim President of the country on 23 February 2014. Earlier, the Parliament on 22 February 2014 impeached (dismissed) the President Viktor Yanukovych and he was toppled after he rejected an EU-Ukraine trade pact.
This rejection of the trade-pact with EU triggered protests against him and Independence Square acted as the epicenter of the 3-months-long anti-government protests. During the protests about 80 lives were lost in the clashes between the police and the protesters since 18 February 2014.
This appointment of Turchynov as the interim President has also paved a way to form a new unity government as the Parliament took a decision to form an-inter-party commission, which will try to form a new national unity government. The interim President said that now Ukraine will re-open talks with the European Union about closer links.
Other important decisions taken by the Parliament are
• The former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was set free from the jail, which was one of the condictions of the EU-Ukraine trade Pact and was rejected by Yanukovych in 2013. Yulia is considered as the fiery princess of the 2004 Orange Revolution which was a series of protests and political events of Ukraine
• Dismissal of the Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara and Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk
• Arrest warrants were issued on the name of the former Incomes Minister Olekssandr Klimenko and former Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka
• Official status of Russian language was lowered by declaring null and void by the Parliament by cancelling the 2012 law brought in by Yanukovych and that approved the of Russian language in Courts, Schools and other government institutions in areas that had more than 10 percent of Russian-speakers
• Seizure of luxury estate near Kiev of the ousted President Yankovych by the Parliament
Who: Oleksandr Turchynov
When: 23 February 2014
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