June 7 - As Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko begins his term as president, residents hope he brings peace to the country plagued by a violent separatist movement in the east. Nathan Frandino reports.
With his signature down on paper, Petro Poroshenko takes the oath as Ukraine's new president. The billionaire businessman was sworn in Saturday and faces an immediate crisis in relations with Russia. Kiev accuses Moscow of backing armed separatists in the east, which Russia denies. In Kiev's main square, Ukrainians voiced hope that Poroshenko would end the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KIEV RESIDENT, VLAD VASHCHENKO, SAYING: "The future president will prove to the public that he will take into account the experiences of his predecessors, and will pursue the right conclusion. That means the situation will be stabilized in the east, and the war will come to an end. Now that is the main issue." Violence in the east has been ongoing since Ukraine's pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in March. Poroshenko has promised unity -- long missing in the country. Even in Donetsk, where government buildings have been occupied by separatists, residents are hoping for peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DONETSK RESIDENT, VALENTINA, SAYING: "Given the fact that he was not ruling the country before and has just started, I think he can change something, because there was no dialogue; the offensive just immediately started. That's why in any case it's time to stop everything -- who needs these casualties? - and come to a peace dialogue." The conflict has provoked the deepest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.