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Poroshenko Undermined in Kiev as Power Struggle Intensifies

A number of TV stations boycott the speech in which Ukraine president announced the Minsk ceasfire

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This article originally appeared in Der Tagesspiegel . It was translated via Google Translate

The peace plan for Ukraine is on the line, both sides refuse to withdraw heavy weapons of war - and in Kiev rages an open power struggle between the president Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

As Poroshenko Sunday at midnight announced the start of the ceasefire on international live television transmitting speech to each commander in the Donbass, some of the large Ukrainian TV channels turned away.

But not only the national private channels 1 + 1, which is owned by the oligarch Igor Kolomoiskij, also various niche channels, which had been formed during the Maidanproteste as Espresso TV, 112 or TVI, ignored the president.

Even the 5 channel owned by Poroschenko, did not show his speech. "The Commander in Chief of the Army and President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, ordered all units to cease fire - and the largest TV stations in the country ignored this, thank you for this kind of support," etched Information Minister Yuri Stets via Facebook.

The boycott of the President had a sequel, Stets quoted the Chairman of the National Ukrainian television, Alexander Piwnjuk who threatened license revocation or decommissioning of stations, for failure to "fullfill their obligation to inform."

The power struggle intensifies

Observers see in the example a further indication that intensified in the struggle between Kiev and Yatsenyuk Poroshenko. The oligarch Igor Kolomoiskij, for almost a year governor of Dnipropetrovsk and financier of 30 volunteer battalions, is also one of the main funders of Yatsenyuk party "Narodni Front". The backers of numerous niche channels have now also the "Narodni Front" connected.

The spokesman for the National Security Council, Andrei Lysenko, said that since the ceasefire there had been five deaths on the part of the Ukrainian army. He also said that the situation in Debaltseve is extremely charged, "the bandits get their instructions directly from Moscow, and they do not cease to provoke us."

The OSCE also tried on Monday the second day due to visit the city Debaltseve. According arrangements of Minsk, the organization shall monitor the ceasefire in the conflict region.

Also from Donetsk come reports that the ceasefire is no longer maintained. Eyewitnesses on Ukrainian television and the BBC of fighting at the airport and in the surrounding neighborhoods. There until the weekend had raged fierce fighting.

Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko, President of the "Donetsk People's Republic", threatened that his troops would attack Kharkiv. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, party friend of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, took the ball and immediately answered via Facebook: "The leaders of the Republic of Donetsk Kharkiv expected in only one thing:. The dungeon"

So far, the second largest city of Ukraine was not involved in the fighting. "Such statements - so provocative and painful they are - should be properly assessed by our government," said political scientist Fesenko Wladmir the daily newspaper "Segodna"

Der Tagesspiegel (meaning literally "The Daily Mirror") is a classical liberal German daily newspaper.

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