News / Europe

    Crimea Aggression by Former Soviet Ally Stuns Ukraine's WWll Veterans

    Crimea Aggression by Former Soviet Ally Stuns Ukraine's WWll Veteransi
    X
    Daniel Schearf
    April 04, 2014 3:44 PM
    Ukraine and Russia, former Soviet allies, are scheduled to jointly celebrate 70 years since the end of World War ll, but after Moscow's aggression in Crimea, some Ukrainian veterans are now reluctant to take part. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
    Crimea Aggression by Former Soviet Ally Stuns Ukraine's WWll Veterans
    Daniel Schearf
    Ukraine and Russia, former Soviet allies, are scheduled to jointly celebrate 70 years since the end of World War ll, but after Moscow's aggression in Crimea, some Ukrainian veterans are reluctant to take part.

    The veterans of Kyiv's Golosiivskyy district never imagined Ukraine would be the target of Russian aggression. Veterans' organization council head Sergei Koropov says they are still stunned by their former ally's annexation of Crimea.

    In the face of Moscow's continued military threats, plans to join Russia in marking the end of the so-called  'war against fascism' are being questioned.

    “That is why all veterans are now worrying how are we going to celebrate and get ready for this date," Koropov said. "Because, on the border of our dear and beloved Ukraine are brothers - Russian soldiers. There are tanks, armored vehicles.  And, in my consciousness, in my mind, I cannot imagine how this could have happened.”

    World War II Navy veteran Dmitriy Prohorov, who fought with the Soviets to defend Crimea and lost an arm in battle, says Russia's taking back the Black Sea peninsula by force is absurd.

    “This question should have been negotiated at a round table and decided for both countries, Russia and Ukraine," Prohorov said. "Both should own Crimea and work together to develop the territory and the Black Sea Navy. This would have been smarter.”

    Like many of Ukraine's veterans, Koropov has a Russian wife and says the two countries' destinies are interlaced.

    “I love our nation and do not want a feud," he said. "Even more, I do not want war. War should not happen between our countries. Let our politicians find an agreement, and we will support them.”

    Infantry veteran Georgiy Kireev fought in the Battle of Stalingrad where more than a million died. Shot eight times, he was mistakenly pronounced dead twice.

    “Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, are Slavic nations. It's one nation," Kireev said. "They should live in friendship and happiness. I hope that with time this will happen. Maybe, taking into consideration our age, maybe we will not be alive at that time. But maybe our grandchildren will unite again [in friendship] with Russia.”
     
    Error rendering storify.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 04, 2014 8:18 PM
    These former veteran "allies" are deluding themselves. Russia's imperialist ambitions have run for over 6 centuries; over those six+ centuries the imperialist Russian leaders, agrandized Russia from an enclave of Rus/Slav of about 300 sq km. into the largest country on the planet. Millions upon millions of Asiatic people and their cultures were obliterated by shear force. They destroyed countless millions of Turkic people, wiped out the Sarmatians, most of steppe Mongols, most of the Kamchatka Chinese, Ottomans, Tatars, and so on. Russia was, is, and will ever be an imperialist country. And Putin is more of a typical imperial Russian authoritarian leader, rather than those un-natural leaders, that oversaw the demise of the last Russian empire, the Soviet empire. There is a very good reason as to why Russia is the largest country on the world, and that is no illusion = it is the most imperialist country/nation on the planet with a long history of expansionism!
    In Response

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 05, 2014 10:51 AM
    Roman from Belorus-
    You are absolutly correct, the dastardly empires destroyed and were a detriment around the globe; but only the Russian empire continues its policies of not allowing people full independence and self determinsation, and continues its expansionism. The British Empire no longer exists, nor are the British continuing to expand. Although the dastardly legacy of all those past empires, the bad borders, continues to fuel conflicts in Africa, Asia, even South America. Most of the conflicts around the world were and are caused by the legacy of the dastardly empires. And Putin is embarked on an expansionist cycle.
    In Response

    by: Roman from: Belarus
    April 05, 2014 3:34 AM
    Do you know what was the biggest empire on the Earth?? Guess. Yeah, you are right, it's British Empire. And if I'm not mistaken, Canada is under Queen control!? And I'm looking at your text, and what I'm seeing...HYPOCRISY...How many indian was killed during inhabiting of Canada by british and french? And if you look at the past, you will see that all nations tried to invade neighborhood, tried to expand their territories, the biggest: british, russian, mongol, spain, portuguese, french, japanese. And russian didn't obliterate conquered nations: sometimes they mixed up them with russian, committed pro-russian policies: russian as main language, only russian supervisors. They tried to assimilate conquered nations. My country is as example of it))

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora