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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid