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

Malaysian PM Ends Vacation Over Floods

Najib Razak had been criticized for golfing in Hawaii with US president while country suffered More

Photogallery Fear Amid Remembrances for Tsunami Victims

Across continent, services and tributes acknowledge 220,000 victims of 2004 Indian Ocean disaster; region remains inadequately prepared, experts say More

Liberia’s House Speaker Denies Manipulating Election Outcome

Alex Tyler said he’s being used as a scapegoat by people who are refusing to accept defeat in the December 20 special senatorial election More

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.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid