Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kuchma Quits As Presidential Envoy In Group For Resolving Conflict In Ukraine

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma (file photo)
Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma (file photo)

KYIV -- Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has left the post of presidential envoy in the trilateral contact group on resolving the ongoing conflict between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian armed forces in the country’s east.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office said on July 28 that Kuchma had decided to end his activities in the group. The office did not give any reasons for the decision.

Kuchma, who ran the country between 1994 and 2005, served as Ukraine's presidential envoy in the trilateral group consisting of representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 2014 to 2018.

On June 3 last year, days after Zelenskiy was inaugurated as Ukraine's president, Kuchma returned to the group that has been involved in negotiations on a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, known jointly as the Donbas. Some parts of the region have been under the control of Kremlin-backed separatists since April 2014.

The armed conflict in Donbas started after Russia forcibly annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014. Kyiv and Western governments have accused Moscow of armed support for the pro-Russian separatists.

Russia insists it has nothing to do with the conflict, saying that some "volunteers" from Russia may have gone to fight in the Donbas.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has seen its audience grow significantly since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 and is among the most cited media outlets in the country. Its bold, in-depth reporting from the front lines has won many accolades and awards. Its comprehensive coverage also includes award-winning reporting by the Donbas.Realities and Crimea.Realities projects and the Schemes investigative unit.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.