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Ukrainian parliament appoints new defense minister

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada appointed Valery Heletey as defense minister on Thursday, replacing Mykhailo Koval.
By JC Finley   |   July 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM   |   Comments

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KIEV, Ukraine, July 3 (UPI) -- Ukraine's Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, appointed a new defense minister on Thursday.

At the recommendation of President Petro Poroshenko, 260 parliamentarians voted in favor of Valery Heletey as the new defense minister.

Heletey, who replaces Mykhailo Koval, said he would do his utmost to protect Ukrainians and restore its territorial integrity.

"I am convinced that Ukraine will win," Heletey told Parliament after taking his oath of office, "and trust me, a victory parade will certainly be held in a Ukrainian Sevastopol."

Heletey's appointment comes amid heightened tensions in eastern Ukraine and neighboring Russia.

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