Viktor Yushchenko, Ukr-aine's president, sacked his entire government, Thursday, and appointed a political moderate to replace Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the president's firebrand ally during last winter's Orange Revolution.
Mr Yushchenko said Ms Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko, his national security chief, who was also dismissed, had "lost their team spirit" after each camp had accused the other of corruption and favouritism over the re-nationalisation and re-sale of important state companies.
"I'm convinced that millions of people did not stand on the Maidan for this," he said, referring to the central square in Kiev where thousands gathered during the popular uprising against Leonid Kuchma, the former president.
Western political and financial analysts generally welcomed the move, which they said created an opportunity for Mr Yushchenko to appoint a more effective and more liberal cabinet, reports Financial Times.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appointed new acting Prime Minister Yury Yekhanurov and instructed him on how to form a new government, the president told Ukrainian television Thursday.
Criticism of Mr Yushchenko's team has intensified amid impatience over the pace of the Orange Revolution reforms. He came to power in January 2005.
According to Reuters, Peter Poroshenko, resigned Secretary of Ukraine's National Security, whom analysts say is highly valued by Yushchenko as a counter-balance to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said he did not want to obstruct a probe into corruption allegations in which he had been named.
"I made a decision and yesterday submitted to the president a request to resign," Poroshenko said in a statement.
Nikolai Tomenko, deputy prime minister for humanitarian issues, criticized the Yushchenko administration as he resigned, informs Pravda.ru.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea