News / Europe

G7 Leaders to Hold Crisis Talks on Ukraine

Ukrainians Stage Mass Unity Rally in Kyivi
X
Steve Herman
March 23, 2014 7:44 PM
Thousands of Ukrainians held a unity rally in the heart of their capital, a day after elite Russian forces stormed and took control of the last major Ukrainian military bases in Crimea. VOA's Steve Herman reports from Kyiv's Independence Square.

Watch related video by Steve Herman on Sunday's Ukraine unity rally in Kyiv

VOA News
President Barack Obama and other leaders of G7 industrialized nations are set to hold emergency talks Monday in The Hague to sharpen their response to the Russian annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
 
Details of the emergency meeting, set for the sidelines of a nuclear security summit, were not clear Sunday.  But analysts say the session appears aimed at coordinating Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since Russian troops crossed into Crimea earlier this month.

The group also is expected to further evaluate the cost of possible retaliatory measures from Moscow.
 
Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are set to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
 
NATO expresses concern
 
In Brussels Sunday, NATO's top commander warned that Russia has deployed a "sizeable" military force on its borders with Ukraine, and says Moscow may be seeking to expand its territorial reach into new areas.
 
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove told attendees at a German Marshall Fund event that Moscow may be eyeing a small Russian-speaking separatist region on Ukraine's southwestern border known as Transdniester.
 
Breedlove says the NATO command finds the potential for a Russian move into the Transdniester region, which declared independence from Moldova in the 1990s, "very worrisome."
 
For its part, Moscow insists it is complying with international troop limits near the Ukrainian border. Additionally, Russia's defense chief sought last week to assure U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russian troops massed near Ukraine had no intention of crossing the border.
 
The NATO warning on Transdniester comes a day after heavily armed Russian troops fired shots and used armored vehicles to smash through the gates of Ukraine's Belbek air base. Ukrainian forces inside the Crimean base offered no resistance.  Russian forces also took control of a Ukrainian naval base at Novofedorovka.

Ukraine unity rally

Thousands of Ukrainians gathered on Sunday in Kyiv's Independence Square calling for unity, a day after Russian forces seized the last major Ukrainian military base in Crimea. 
 
The rally participants gathered to hear pro-Ukraine speeches, display flags, and place flowers at the site of a makeshift memorial to anti-government protesters killed last month in clashes with security forces of the now toppled regime of president Viktor Yanukovych.
 
But even the challenge of Russian aggression Ukrainians will overcome, Andriy Parubiy, one of the speakers at the rally, told the crowds.

”Against military power, tanks and weapons there is spiritual power and the civilized world has said 'stop' to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and we will prevail like we prevailed on Maidan,'' said Parubiy, who heads the National Security and Defense Council in the new government.

Maidan, as Kyiv’s Independence Square is referred to, has been the epicenter of protests since last November when Yanukovych spurned a EU trade deal in favor of closer ties with Moscow.
 
In the eastern city of Donetsk, pro-Russian protesters gathered around an administration building, calling for the resignation of the local governor, who is loyal to Kyiv.

  • Priests from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church offer prayers to kick off a national unity rally. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A paramilitary officer shows off the large tent in which he has been living for the past four months in Kyiv's central square. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Two men sit atop an armored personnel carrier in downtown Kyiv. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A man wearing a Ukranian flag listens to speakers at a unity rally in Maidan, central Kyiv. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Hundreds remain encamped in central Kyiv's Maidan (Independence Square) even after the old government was ousted. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A large burnt-out office building sits adjacent to the Maidan, where violent protests led to the ouster of Ukraine's government. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Participants at a unity rally in central Kyiv unfurl a giant flag. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Visitors to Maidan look at a makeshift memorial for two of the more than 100 people killed in anti-government protests earlier this year. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Congressional delegation in Kyiv

Members of a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation visiting Kyiv say they have been told by all the Ukrainians they met Sunday that they will not yield “another inch” of territory to Russia and that the Ukrainians are ready to fight. 

The lawmakers, headed by Senator Kelly Ayotte, told reporters late Sunday they are optimistic tougher sanctions, other punitive legislation under consideration by their colleagues and a united front by western European countries can deter Russia from further provocations.
 
“They’ve won the battle of Crimea for now. And they may be anticipating going into eastern Ukraine tomorrow. But this won’t be a short battle. This will be something long term and we’re sure that our neighbors in NATO and democracy-loving nations will stand together in the long run,” said Congressman Stephen Lynch, a member of the group.

The delegation also included  Senator Joe Donnelly.

Blackouts in Crimea

Parts of Crimea were hit by power outages late on Sunday and the regional power company blamed them on technical problems in a power line from the Ukrainian mainland to the Black Sea peninsula, which has been wrestled away from Kyiv by Moscow.

Local residents said there was no electricity in several cities in Crimea, including in some districts of the provincial capital of Simferopol, though the city center was not affected.

Crimea's power provider Krymenergo said in a statement on its website it introduced partial power cuts after a line operated by Ukraine's national electricity company, Ukrenergo, was hit by a technical fault and went down for repairs.

Crimea’s new pro-Moscow authorities seized the opportunity to blame Kyiv, accusing it of blackmail.

”Reducing [the power] supply - is an attempt by Kyiv to blackmail Russia because of [what happened in] Crimea in order to be able to bargain for something. It’s a cheap trick…,” said the region’s de facto prime minister, Sergei Aksyonov, in a tweet.

Some reporting by Reuters

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid