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

    Video 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: 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.
    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.