News / Europe

    In East, Ukrainians Await Much-Needed Aid

    People walk past a sign that reads "Kramatorsk is Ukraine!" painted in colors of Ukrainian national flag, in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 9, 2014.
    People walk past a sign that reads "Kramatorsk is Ukraine!" painted in colors of Ukrainian national flag, in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 9, 2014.
    Gabe Joselow

    On a park bench steps from Lenin Square in downtown Kramatorsk, Tatiana, a refugee who escaped the conflict in nearby separatist-held Horlovka, sits quietly in the shade.

    She says she cam​e to this city a month ago, as fighting intensified between Ukrainian armed forces and rebel fighters back home.

    Staying with a friend, Tatiana had nothing when she arrived, but she receives a little bit of help from the Ukrainian government.

    “We came and received three kilos of flour per person and three kilos of buckwheat," she said. "Somehow it will help.”

    It is not very much. But she says the people in Horlovka have even less.

    Perhaps it is not surprising that she supports the arrival of a Russian aid convoy - scores of trucks said to be carrying humanitarian supplies - that crossed into Ukraine Friday after waiting at the border for days in a diplomatic stand-off.

    “I think the convoy came with good intentions,” Tatiana said, “because it doesn't make sense to create such a big story and make something up, so let them bring it. Maybe it will help.” 

    The Ukrainian government and its international allies view the deployment of the trucks as a serious provocation. They have repeatedly accused Russia of supporting pro-Russian separatists in the east, and they suspect the trucks could contain supplies intended for rebel fighters. 

    Kramatorsk, in Donetsk province, was taken over by separatist forces in April and reclaimed by the Ukrainian military last month.

    Alliances with Russia still run high here, but the new city administration is trying to start over and build stronger allegiances to Ukraine. Yellow-and-blue billboards, Ukraine's national colors, across the city read “Kramatorsk is Ukraine.”

    Kramatorsk's acting mayor acknowledges the humanitarian needs in the east, but Vorobieva Ekaterina says local authorities should provide that assistance, not Russia.

    “We are not counting on it,” she said, “we are relying on our own efforts, on our money, so we are not involving ourselves with [the convoy] at all.”

    The International Committee of the Red Cross, tasked by both sides to supervise the delivery of the purported humanitarian assistance, says it is not escorting the convoy into separatist-held parts of Ukraine because of the security risks.

    The Red Cross has urged all sides not to politicize the matter, saying tens of thousands of needy are in the conflict zones.

    Vitaly, a young worker from a machine-parts factory in Kramatorsk, recently visited refugees who fled the fighting, and says some only the clothes on their backs.

    “A woman came in a bathrobe, and with nothing else,” he said. “So people should be helped. I don't want to talk about politics, because everyone is tired of it.”

    As tired as they may be, Russia's actions have only further riled Ukraine and the international community. In Kyiv, President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine will do “everything possible to prevent more serious consequences.”

    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: Mr nobody from: USA
    August 23, 2014 12:40 AM
    "because it doesn't make sense to create such a big story and make something up"

    Actually it does make sense. Just think of Russia as an alternate universe Disneyland. A place where everything is made up.

    Telling the truth is some kind of odd weakness, or insanity.

    Or worse yet. A scheme so diabolically evil that it actually seems like the truth!

    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.