Ukrainian President Petro Poroshekno delivered an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 19, 2014. This text is from the Kyiv Post.
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A few other items to put Poroshenko’s speech in Congress in context:
Jason Ditz of antiwar,com notes: “Poroshenko, and indeed other officials in the new Ukrainian government, have wildly varied their rhetoric in recent days, talking up peace and concessions when addressing eastern Ukraine, promising a great war to wipe them out when talking to hawkish ultranationalists in the west, and presenting a nigh-apocalyptic vision of a war on Russia when addressing potential donors.”
From the BBC:
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stressed that the legislation giving the special status to parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions for three-years would guarantee the "sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence" of Ukraine, while paving the way for decentralisation.
The amnesty affects the rebels, but does not cover the shooting down of the MH17 passenger plane in July.
Western leaders believe rebels shot down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a Russian missile - a charge the rebels and the Kremlin deny.
The legislation means that pro-Russian separatists taken prisoner in the fighting should now be released.
Separatists holding government buildings are now supposed to leave them, hand over captured Ukrainian soldiers and other prisoners and surrender their weapons.
Rebels accused of other "grave" crimes will not be covered by the new amnesty either.
But some Ukrainian lawmakers described the self-rule law as a sell-off of Ukraine in what they see as a war against Russia.
"A capitulation was announced today in this war," Oleh Tiagnybok, the leader of the nationalist Svoboda party, was quoted as saying by the Ukrainska Pravda website.
Andriy Shevchenko, an MP in the Batkivshchyna party led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said he was "ashamed of this parliament".
He said the law was voted in "a secret regime", violating normal parliamentary procedures.
Meanwhile, Andrei Purgin, a rebel leader in Donetsk, told AFP news agency that the eastern region "no longer has anything to do with Ukraine".
"Ukraine is free to adopt any law it wants. But we are not planning any federalism with Ukraine." . . .
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Ukraine crisis: Rebels granted self-rule and amnesty, BBC, September 16, 2014