Ukraine Vets 1m Officials For Loyalty

VITALYUkraine will screen one million civil servants for loyalty to the new government, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk says.

The parliament passed a new law on Tuesday, allowing the vetting of government officials and the removal of corrupt officials.

Mr Yatseniuk said all departments who worked under previous President Viktor Yanukovych would be vetted.

Ukraine has had months of unrest since Mr Yanukovych was ousted in February.

Government troops had been fighting pro-Russia separatists in the east for months, until a truce was signed on September 5.

“One million civil servants of different kinds will come under this law, including the whole cabinet of ministers, the interior ministry, the intelligence services, the prose-cutor’s office,” Mr Yatseniuk said in a televised cabinet meeting.

Correspondents say the issues of vetting and corruption are emotional subjects for many in Ukraine, who want to cleanse the government of Mr Yanukovych’s influence.

On Tuesday, MP Vitaly Zhuravsky, who belongs to a party described as pro-Russian, was thrown by angry crowds into a bin outside the parliament.

The law on “lustration” — the cleansing of the ranks of power – was approved on the same day as a new law granting self-rule to the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

That law was part of the truce agreed between separatists and the Ukrainian government, although rebel leaders say they will continue to demand independence, and some Ukrainian MPs have described the move as “capitulation”.

At least 3,000 people have been killed in the conflict and more than 310,000 internally displaced in Ukraine, the UN says.

Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of backing the separatists with soldiers and heavy weapons. The Kremlin denies doing so.


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