News / Europe

Yanukovych Insists He's Still Ukraine's Leader

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych makes a statement during a news conference in the Russian southern city of Rostov-on-Don, March 11, 2014.
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych makes a statement during a news conference in the Russian southern city of Rostov-on-Don, March 11, 2014.
Michael Eckels
Referring to the forces that ousted him from office as "ultra-nationalists and neo-fascists", deposed president Viktor Yanukovych insists he remains Ukraine's sole legitimate leader and vowed to return to Kyiv soon.

In his second public appearance since fleeing to Russia in late February, Yanukovych accused his opponents of working to put the country's army "under the banner of Bandera and start a civil war," a reference to a controversial World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist leader with ties to the Nazis.

The massive click-clack sound from press photographers forced a smile on Yanukovych's face as he entered the conference hall. Eight minutes later, he turned and left, without taking questions.
 
Yanukovych also criticized the United States for promising monetary aid to Ukraine's new government, and said he would appeal to the U.S. Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court to assess the legality of giving such aid, insisting U.S. laws prohibit giving money to "bandits."

Yanukovych has been dismissed as a "political corpse" by Russian President Vladimir Putin and, in Ukraine, there is a warrant for his arrest on charges of mass murder.

Referendum

Crimea is moving ahead with plans to hold a referendum on unification with Russia. However, Ukraine's parliament warned Tuesday that the Crimean Assembly faces dissolution unless the March 16 referendum is called off by Wednesday.

Crimea has closed its airspace to commercial flights but allowed several planes from Moscow to land, Reuters reported, five days ahead of  the referendum which the government in Kyiv and its Western backers say is illegal.

  • An armed man, believed to be a Russian serviceman, stands guard outside an Ukrainian military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 13, 2014.
  • A Ukrainian serviceman closes a gate as an armed man, believed to be a Russian serviceman, stands guard outside an Ukrainian military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol March 13, 2014.
  • A woman walks past a barricade as a Ukrainian flag flutters in the wind in Kyiv's Independence Square, March 13, 2014.
  • People talk about developments in Ukraine at a central square next to a statue of Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 12, 2014.
  • A woman passes by posters in support of Ukraine during the International poster campaign, Kyiv, March, 12, 2014.
  • People talk in Independence Square, Kyiv, March, 12, 2014.
  • A woman holds a dog sporting shoes and a ribbon in the colors of the Russian flag outside the regional parliament building in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, March 12, 2014.
  • A member of a self-defense volunteer group, with makeshift shin guards bearing a picture of a wolf, polishes his boots in Kyiv's Independence Square, March 11, 2014. 
  • Members of a Crimean self-defense unit check the passport of a passenger at the railway station in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, March 11, 2014. 

Germany's foreign minister said the European Union will act if the Crimea vote goes forward as planned but didn't specify what possible measures the EU would take.

Russia's foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry exchanged opinions on Tuesday "about concrete proposals by Russia and the United States to ensure civil peace and concord''. The ministry's statement said the two would continue to talk.

The State Department said Kerry told Lavrov it is unacceptable for Russian forces to continue to take matters into their own hands in Ukraine.

Meantime, after repeatedly being denied entry to Crimea, an unarmed OSCE military observer mission is scheduled to visit other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv, soon.

France warns Russia about sanctions

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 19, 2014.French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 19, 2014.
x
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 19, 2014.
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 19, 2014.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio Tuesday the West could impose sanctions against Russia as early as this week if Moscow does not respond positively to proposals to calm the crisis in Crimea.

Russia and the West are locked in a tense standoff over pro-Russian forces' seizure of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. The crisis in Crimea began late last month after former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv following months of anti-government protests.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has complained that the U.S. proposals amount to "moving forward on the basis of a situation born out of a state coup."

The situation is further complicated by the Crimea region's plans to hold a March 16 referendum on joining Russia -- a vote Fabius and other Western leaders have called "illegal."

US stance

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, March 6, 2014.U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, March 6, 2014.
x
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, March 6, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, March 6, 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at the White House on Wednesday. A White House statement said the visit will highlight the United States' strong support for the people of Ukraine, and will include talks on economic aid and preparations for May elections in Ukraine.

In Kyiv Monday, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt reiterated that Washington will not recognize the results of the Crimean referendum.

NATO said Monday it is deploying reconnaissance aircraft along the borders of member states Poland and Romania to monitor the crisis in Ukraine. It said the deployment is designed "to enhance the alliance's situational awareness." The U.S. has also initiated a new deployment of fighter jets to the region.

Moscow has officially denied that its troops are participating in the occupation of Crimea, but witnesses say military personnel in unmarked uniforms arrived in Russian-registered vehicles earlier this month and freely admit to being Russian.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Aline from: Koenigsberg
March 12, 2014 1:43 AM
Yanukovych is the legal president, unlike the so-called new government in Kiev. But it's ok for the US to negotiate with it and give it money since the US made all possible to put it there. Check out the leaked conversation between Victoria Nuland and Pyatt to know the truth if you want. Western media keeps silent about it.


by: Albert from: Spain
March 11, 2014 1:31 PM
Yanukovich,Putin, Lukashenko,Nazarbaev are evils of our time. There are tyrants who wanna rule by their countries forever. Ukraine wants to be part of EU. We must help them to do it. They are our friends...

In Response

by: Elena from: Russia
March 12, 2014 2:21 PM
Putin, Lukashenko,Nazarbaev are patriots of their countries. USA and EU easier to reach agreement with betrayer like Yatseniuk. EU speaks about luxurious life for new participants of EU but actually it is lie. EU destroyed local economy and agriculture in Bulgaria Romania Serbia Latvia Lithuania. Population these countries turn into poor. USA and EU are liars and hypocrites. You think Spain is democratic country. Then why Spain keep down Basque and Basque language? Why Spain doesn't give independence? They want to have own homeland.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid