Ukraine’s newly-elected president Petro Poroshenko faces an uphill battle as he looks to end the insurgency in the country’s eastern regions, according to a leading Ukrainian expert. Poroshenko, who has not yet been sworn in, has promised to negotiate a peaceful end to the violence.
Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland spoke to Maksym Bugriy about the country’s new president. Bugriy is an Ukraine-based international security analyst and non-resident fellow at the Jamestown Foundation.
Bugriy says this month’s presidential election represents the end of the post-Soviet regime that has dominated Ukraine over the past two decades.
He explains Poroshenko’s main tasks are to end the pro-Russia insurgency in the country’s east and to normalize relations with Russia.
“Russia supports this insurgency,” Bugriy said. “I hope Russia is helpful and closes the borders with [Ukraine] so no volunteers and mercenaries could cross [the border] and enhance the insurgency.”
Bugriy says Poroshenko’s image as a centrist will help convince eastern regions to support Kiev. This could also be beneficial in convincing Moscow to work with his government.
“At some point Russia will work with Ukraine … it is just too costly for Russia and Putin [not] to,” Bugriy said. “Putin is in a difficult position in helping the insurgents … it would [have] huge consequences both economic and militarily.”
Watch the full interview with Maksym Bugriy above.
Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox.