Ukraine Current Affairs - 2020

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US President Donald Trump impeached

On December 18, 2019, Donald Trump became the third President to be impeached by the US House. He was accused of enlisting foreign government to investigate political rival before 2020 election.

Highlights

The House called for voting process alleging that the President pressurized Ukraine to announce investigations against his political rival Joe Biden ahead of 2020 elections.

The Democrats had majority in the house to impeach the President. It is necessary to prove the charges at the senate as well, where a voting process with two-third majority is essential for conviction.

Impeachment in American History

So far only two American presidents have been impeached. In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached on charges of sexual relationship with his intern. However, the senate acquitted him. Before him, in 1868, President Andrew Johnson was impeached. He was acquitted by one vote in the Senate.

In 1974, President Nixon resigned over water gate corruption charges. The judiciary committee approved the articles of impeachment before the house could even pass them.

Impeachment in the US

Article 2 of the US constitution lists the procedure of impeachment of US president. Impeachment does not remove the president from power. It is an accusation, when proved the Senate should decide whether to convict the president of the charges contained.

The impeachment process in the US begins with an investigation by House Committee. When the committee finds out enough evidences to prove the accusation of the president, it enters the house. The house votes and if the majority agrees, the proceedings is taken to the senate. The trial at the senate is overseen by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court. If two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he is removed and the vice president takes over.

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Paris Summit: Russia-Ukraine agree to cease fire

At a Paris Summit mediated by Germany and France, Russia and Ukraine agreed to restore peace by implementing cease fire. Both the countries also agreed on prisoner exchanges.

Highlights

On December 9, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to cease fire in the eastern Ukraine by the end of 2019. The countries also pledged to disengage military forces in the other three additional regions of Ukraine by the end of March 2020.

During the meet, the issue of Russian gas exports through the Ukraine border have been fixed. However, the countries still disagree on certain issues like withdrawl of Russia-back troops, elections to be held by the separatist rebels in areas of Ukraine.

The Deadly Conflict

In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula of Ukraine with the help of pro-Russian separatists. Following this, Russia conducted several military actions. Crimea Peninsula is located in the north of Black sea. The Peninsula is important as it had port access to the Black sea. In 2018, Russian Navy seized three Ukrainian ships in the Crimea Peninsula. In 2019, Zelensky won Presidential elections. Zelensky is the major competitor to the Russia supported leader Viktor Yanukovych.

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