Petro Poroshenko has been sworn in as president of Ukraine, setting out a plan to bring peace to the conflict-torn east of the country.
The 48-year-old tycoon, who won the 25 May election, offered political concessions to people in the east and said he did not want war or revenge.
But he also said he had told Russia’s president that Crimea, which Moscow has annexed, would “always be Ukrainian”.
Some separatists dismissed the speech, saying they would “never surrender”.
Russia’s ambassador said the address was a “promising declaration of intent”.
Mikhail Zurabov, who attended the inauguration, said Ukraine should end its military operation in the east, provided that militias called a ceasefire and allowed humanitarian access.
Kiev says Moscow is backing armed militants in the eastern Donbass area, an accusation that Russia denies.
Clashes continued in some eastern areas on Saturday, with reports of the army shelling the rebel stronghold of Sloviansk and of shooting further south in Mariupol.
Mr Poroshenko was inaugurated in the presence of dozens of foreign dignitaries – including US Vice-President Joe Biden – in parliament in the capital Kiev.
Mr Poroshenko, the owner of the Roshen chocolates group, laid out a programme for ending the crisis that included an offer of early regional elections in the east and a decentralisation of power to the regional administrations.
He said: “I don’t want war. I don’t want revenge, despite the huge sacrifice of the Ukrainian people.”
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