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Poroshenko Begins Reshuffle In Zakarpattya

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said a large-scale reshuffle is needed in the western region of Zakarpattya.

Poroshenko was speaking in the region's capital city of Uzhhorod while presenting the new head of the Zakarpattya regional administration, Hennadiy Moskal.

Moskal -- who replaces Valeriy Lunchenko -- was the former head of the eastern Luhansk region, where Ukraine's armed forces have been fighting against pro-Russian separatists for over a year.

"Criminals, smugglers, and law enforcement bodies have grown together in Zakarpattya since the early 1990s and nobody in the years of independence has succeeded in tearing them apart,” Poroshenko said, adding that the situation will not improve without a serious reshuffle.

Deadly shootings between the ultranationalist Right Sector and local police took place over the weekend in Zakarpattya.

The gunbattle in Zakarpattya's city of Mukacheve on July 11 highlighted tensions between the government and nationalist groups that played a role in the protests that pushed Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych from power last year but now challenge the authority of the pro-Western leaders in power.

Based on reporting by Interfax and UNIAN