Ukraine’s former interior minister appointed adviser to country’s acting president

Photo: Ukraine’s former interior minister appointed adviser to country’s acting president

 / Politics

The acting president of Ukraine, Alexander Turchinov has appointed his new advisers; the corresponding decrees were posted on the acting president's website on April 19, RIA Novosti reported.

Ukraine's former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, former head of the country's Security Service, Igor Smeshko and former Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, Volodymyr Gorbulin have been appointed Turchinov's advisers, according to the decrees. Gorbulin has been appointed the freelance adviser, according to the document.

Lutsenko said in June 2013 that he is ready to return to politics after his pardon and release from the prison, where he served a 4-year term. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a decree on April 7, 2013 pardoning Lutsenko, who was arrested in late 2010. The Prosecutor General's Office accused him of abuse of power: Lutsenko was charged with illegal providing his personal driver with a job in the militia, providing him with a state apartment and pension, as well as the flamboyant celebration of the militia day during the peak period of the economic crisis in 2009.

A change of power took place in Ukraine on February 22.

The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25.

Yanukovych said he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state.

A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.

The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.

With the exception of Russia most countries refused to recognize the referendum and its results.

Russia and Crimea signed an agreement on March 18 on Crimea as well as Sevastopol city joining the Russian Federation.

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