News / Europe

    Putin Questions Ukraine Vote Legitimacy

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists after meetings in Shanghai May 21, 2014.
    Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists after meetings in Shanghai May 21, 2014.
    VOA News
    Russian President Vladimir Putin is raising doubts about the legitimacy of Ukraine’s presidential election but said Russia is moving its troops away from the border to help create favorable conditions for Sunday's vote.

    Putin said in Shanghai Wednesday that it will be difficult to build relations with people who come to power during what he called the "continuing punitive operation" in eastern Ukraine.

    He was referring to Ukrainian military action against pro-Russian separatists and the arrests of two pro-Kremlin Russian journalists.

    Ukrainian authorities said the reporters had portable anti-aircraft missiles in their cars.  Putin called that accusation "absolute rubbish."

    During a visit to Mexico Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took note of the announced troop pullback and said he hopes the situation is at a "good moment" where the Ukrainian people can determine their own future.
     
    • Ukrainian businessman, politician and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko (right) meets supporters during his election campaign, in Odessa, May 21, 2014.
    • Former Ukrainian prime minister and current presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko (right) meets supporters during her election campaign, Konotop, May 21, 2014.
    • Ukrainian businessman, politician and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko (left) meets supporters during his election campaign, in Odessa, May 21, 2014.
    • Former Ukrainian prime minister and current presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko (left) visits a hospital during her election campaign, in Sumy, May 21, 2014.
    • Local residents walk with their young children in a park, in Donetsk, May 21, 2014.
    • Workers stand near pipes at a gas compressor station near Uzhhorod. Russia has said state-controlled exporter Gazprom will not supply Ukraine with gas in June if Kyiv fails to pay in advance, May 21, 2014.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday that he has not seen any visible evidence of a Russian troop withdrawal.

    "And I don't personally think that Russia signing a deal with China for gas that they've been working on for 10 years has any impact on what is about to happen in Ukraine, which the people hopefully are going to have a chance to have an election. And we welcome President Putin's statement two days ago that he has instructed the troops that have been bivouacked along the border of Ukraine to move back to their home bases," said Rasmussen.

    "Hopefully we are in fact in a good moment, not a a moment of one party outwitting another, but at a constructive moment where there's the possibility of the people of Ukraine being able to determine their own future, and all of us trying to find a way to further deescalate the crisis. That's our goal and that's what we're focused on," he said.

    Some reporting by Reuters, AP.
     

    You May Like

    Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Igor from: Russia
    May 22, 2014 12:37 AM
    Of course the election itself is compeletly illegal because it is held by the illegal government which pays no attention to democracy at all. It has been proved by their use of heavy weapons against civilians in the East, organizing the mass killing in Odessa, arresting and detaining foreign journalists. Can anynone believe in their dirty story that those journalists were carrying anti-air missiles in their car? In fact those in power in Kiev may place a nuclear bomb in a journanist's car after they arrest him. No legal government can do such a dirty job of a gangster.

    by: unclesam20009 from: Shengzhen, China
    May 22, 2014 12:36 AM
    Maybe Mr Putin should raise doubt on the legitimacy of the referendum in Crimea in May and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Mr Putin supported the Crimea referendum, why he denied Chechen referendum?

    by: Anonymous
    May 21, 2014 6:01 PM
    Lets question mr "Putin"'s legitimacy.

    by: Mira from: Milan
    May 21, 2014 12:39 PM
    We must not buy any Russia 's goods,especially gas and oil! Putin is another Hitler!

    by: John from: US
    May 21, 2014 12:28 PM
    He will question it unless it's a favorable outcome to him. I guess it will be harder to double and triple vote in the area's they are not occupying.

    by: Anny from: China
    May 21, 2014 8:41 AM
    We are waiting to see the presidential election results. In my opinion, Russia will win.
    In Response

    by: Sundra from: Ukraine
    May 21, 2014 12:28 PM
    Anny, Russia in not in OUR elections in Ukraine. Russia will not be on the ballot. There will be no reference to Russia on the ballot. There will be no separation issues on the ballot. We are electing a new government that is not a puppet of Russia, as it has been in the past. Perhaps you need to get out of China for a first hand look?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.