World News

    Armed Pro-Russians Seize Ukraine Military Vehicles, in Setback to Kyiv Offensive

    Masked pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine seized armored vehicles from the Ukrainian army Wednesday, in a humiliating blow to Ukrainian efforts to recapture towns controlled by pro-Moscow partisans.

    The Ukrainian soldiers in the vehicles near Slovyansk mounted no resistance, allowing the partisans to mount Russian flags on the vehicles and drive them into the city, where they were greeted by cheering supporters. There were also reports of some Ukrainian soldiers switching sides, once confronted by the Moscow loyalists.

    Witnesses say a second armored Ukrainian column moving toward Slovyansk was stopped by a crowd blocking the roadway. Western journalists say the Ukrainian occupants were only allowed to retreat after disabling their firearms.

    Russian-speaking insurgents in nine Ukrainian cities near the Russian border are demanding broader autonomy from the Kyiv government and a referendum on whether to quit Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

    Russia backed a similar referendum last month in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, where the largely ethnic-Russian population voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.



    Russia annexed the peninsula days later, sparking protests from a host of Western governments as well as U.S. and European sanctions against Moscow.

    Wednesday's military setbacks cast Kyiv in a weakened position on the eve of emergency four-party talks aimed at defusing the crisis, which Kyiv and a host of Western governments are squarely blaming on the Kremlin.

    U.S. diplomats say the talks in Geneva are expected to cover de-escalation, demobilization, constitutional reform, and preparation for Ukraine's May 25 presidential election. A State Department spokeswoman also said the United States is preparing new sanctions against Moscow if the unrest in Ukraine continues.

    For its part, the Kremlin has accused the government in Kyiv of pursuing an "anti-constitutional" path by using force against the pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine. It has also threatened to abandon the Geneva talks if Ukrainian forces attack separatists holding government buildings in the eastern Ukraine cities.

    Elsewhere, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday the 28-nation defense alliance has decided on a series of immediate steps in response to Russia's moves to destabilize Ukraine. Rasmussen, speaking in Brussels, said the moves will include boosting air and naval presence in the Baltic Sea and eastern Mediterranean.

    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