Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko was sworn in as president of his troubled country on Saturday as government forces battled pro-Russian separatists in the east.
Taking the oath in an inauguration ceremony in parliament, Poroshenko, who will be the post-Soviet country’s fifth president since independence in 1991, pledged to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence and safeguard the rights and freedoms of its citizens.
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Poroshenko, a 48-year-old confectionery tycoon who served as foreign minister and minister of economic development in two previous administrations, was elected on May 25, three months after his predecessor Viktor Yanukovich was toppled by street protests and fled to Russia.
Poroshenko, who won a landslide victory after campaigning on the slogan “Live in a new way”, is expected later on Saturday to lay out a programme for restoring stability in the rebellious east and moving Ukraine into the European mainstream.