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Ukrainian President appoints General Kikhtenko head of Donetsk region

October 10, 2014, 20:24 UTC+3 KIEV

Petro Poroshenko has dismissed the pro-Kiev governor of the eastern Donetsk region, Serhiy Taruta, and replaced him with General Oleksanfr Kikhtenko

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Oleksandr Kikhtenko and Viktor Yanukovych, 2010

Oleksandr Kikhtenko and Viktor Yanukovych, 2010

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Markiv

KIEV, October 10. /TASS/. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has dismissed the pro-Kiev governor of the eastern Donetsk region, Serhiy Taruta, the presidential administration tweeted on Friday.

Taruta, one of the country’s leading business tycoons, has been replaced by General Oleksandr Kikhtenko.

As he commented on his resignation earlier, Taruta said the move had been coordinated with him.

“I must take care of election campaign right now,” he said. September 29, he was registered by the country’s Central Election Commission as a self-nominated candidate in precinct No. 58 in the Donetsk region as a candidate for Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament.

Earlier reports indicated that Taruta made a strongly worded statement on September 16 against President Poroshenko’s decision to give a special status to a number of districts in the Donetsk region, which has been swept by struggle with government force involved in the punitive ‘antiterrorist’ operation since mid-April.

Gen Kikhtenko received his military training at the Supreme Military School of Combined-Arms Commanders in the Siberian city of Omsk. In 1991, he graduated from the reconnaissance department of the Mikhail Frunze Military Academy (University) in Moscow.

From 2005 through to 2010, he held the post of Commander of Ukraine’s Interior Troops. In March 2006, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel-General and was made member of the National Security and Defence Council.

In 2008, President Viktor Yushchenko promoted Oleksandr Kikhtenko to the rank of Army General. He has the top position on the party ticket of the Power and Dignity, the leader of which, Igor Smeshko was appointed presidential advisor and chairman of the presidential committee for intelligence.

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