News / Europe

    Ukraine Shootout Casts Doubt on Geneva Deal

    Ukraine Shootout Casts Doubt on Geneva Deali
    X
    Michael Bowman
    April 20, 2014 10:34 PM
    A deadly shootout in eastern Ukraine has cast doubt on the viability of Thursday’s Geneva accord between Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union aimed at pacifying Ukraine’s restive eastern territories. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, although much is unclear about Sunday’s gun battle at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists, the incident shattered an Easter truce and appeared to dash already-scant hopes for a swift end to the unrest.
    Michael Bowman
    A deadly shootout in eastern Ukraine has cast doubt on the viability of an accord between Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union aimed at pacifying Ukraine’s restive eastern territories. The parties reached the deal in Geneva on Thursday.

    Although much is unclear about Sunday’s gun battle at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists, the incident shattered an Easter truce and appeared to dash already-scant hopes for a swift end to the unrest.

    ​Russian and Ukrainian officials traded accusations of responsibility for the shootout and the worsening chaos engulfing eastern Ukraine.  Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press television program broadcast in the United States.

    “[Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin has a dream to restore the Soviet Union," said Yatsenyuk. "And every day he goes further and further, and God knows where is the final destination.”

    The prime minister demanded Moscow adopt a hands-off policy towards his country.

    “They have their own country.  We have our own country," said Yatsenyuk. "If Russia pulls back, we will have Ukraine as one united, territorially-integral, sovereign and independent state.”

    Russia’s ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak, says Moscow’s only goal is to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.  The ambassador appeared on Fox News Sunday.

    “We just want the Ukrainians to find a way of dialogue, a new constitution that would help them live in a country that is democratic, that supports the rights of all the ethnic groups, including, certainly, Russians," Kislyak said.  

    Kislyak said Russia remains committed to last week’s international accord that called for disarming militants in eastern Ukraine.  Even before Sunday’s shootout, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was not sure the deal would work.

    “My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days," Obama said. "But I don’t think given past performance that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.”

    Some U.S. lawmakers are urging the administration to take additional steps to pressure Russia.  Appearing on NBC, Republican Senator Bob Corker said U.S. sanctions have had no effect on Moscow.

    “To me, unless they [Russia] immediately begin moving the 40,000 troops on the border, which are intimidating people in Ukraine, unless they begin immediately moving them away, I really do believe we should be sanctioning some of the [Russian] companies in the energy sector -- Gazprom and others," Corker said. "I think we should hit some of the large banks there.  And certainly we should beef up our security relationships with Ukraine.”

    The Obama administration has ruled out lethal military assistance to Kyiv, and said it stands ready to expand existing sanctions against Russia and order new ones.   

     
    Error rendering storify.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora