News / Europe

Independence Day in Eastern Ukraine Takes on New Meaning

Independence Day in Eastern Ukraine Takes on New Meaningi
X
August 25, 2014 2:16 AM
Independence Day took on a special meaning Sunday in Slovyansk, Ukraine, a town that, earlier this year, was under the control of pro-Russian separatists. But a new nationalist fervor is sweeping the city as residents fight for a more Ukrainian future. Gabe Joselow reports.
Gabe Joselow

Independence Day took on a special meaning Sunday in Slovyansk, Ukraine, a town that, earlier this year, was under the control of pro-Russian separatists. But a new nationalist fervor is sweeping the city as residents fight for a more Ukrainian future.

Take the activity buzzing at city hall in Slovyansk. Citizens confronted the chairman of a local machinery plant, Pavel Pridvorov, who was vying for the position as acting mayor.

Angry residents accuse him of supporting the pro-Russian separatists who took control of the town in April and were ousted by Ukrainian forces last month.

Valentina, a local businesswoman takes the floor to condemn the current city council.

“The executive authority didn't do anything," she said, speaking in Russian. "Moreover, when everything happened, they all unanimously and quietly supported it. I think the old staff has no moral right.”

Tired and angry after months of fighting, citizens are demanding a change in the city's formerly pro-Russian leadership.

The harshest comments are directed at Privorov himself, accused by this woman of supplying separatist forces with material from his machine plant.

Privorov does his best to defend himself.

“We never gave any equipment willingly. I will say it again. We didn't give any equipment willingly, only under the barrel of the gun.”

It is a festive atmosphere in Slovyansk as Ukrainians here mark 23 years since the country became independent from the Soviet Union.

This year, citizens are re-evaluating their country's future, embracing a new-found Ukrainian nationalism that has risen up in resistance to the separatist movement.

Ina is a Slovyansk resident and a mother of two. Through an interpreter, she was grateful for current peaceful conditions. 

"Ukraine is a great country and we've survived. But now I think everything will be different, a new history will start, glory to Ukraine," she said. 

The city still bears the marks of the heavy fighting that took place here. But battles between rebels and Ukrainian forces continue in the nearby cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukraine and its allies accuse Russia of supplying the separatists, though Moscow denies any involvement.

Volunteer soldiers who helped free the city now patrol the streets of Slovyansk to make sure separatists do not return.

Their deputy commander, Yuri Chebon, expressed confidence that overall victory is in sight. 

“They came as volunteers," he said through an interpreter. "They understand they have to defend our country, the integrity of our country, no matter who invades or who wants to oppose us. We will win.”

But despite the optimism, Ukraine still has a long way to go to win the battle in the east, which some are starting to see as part of a prolonged fight for independence.

 

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: the wise from: vn
August 25, 2014 7:38 AM
Under the viewpoint of BUDDHISM, the world is becoming very very dangerous due the following stupid and selfish people:
:1/. Putin is intervening into Ukraine,protect Assad, separated Georgia , took Crimea and his illusion to build a superpower Russia to confront NATO although he knows clearly that NATO never WANTS WITH A NUCLEAR POWER LIKE Russia .this can lead to the www3 that destroys the whole world
2/. Israel and Palestine are the two most stupid countries in the world because since my birth I have heard about this war (I AM 45 YEARS OLD NOW) .they are too selfish . they made many wars that killed over millions of innocent civilians
3/. China is the most ambitious aggressive country. It wants all east sea the Asia now is always under danger of conflicts
4/. Syria, Iraq…….are very dangerous, non stop
5/. North Korea is the biggest cheating liar , always declare war but nothing happens
If these guys stop , the world will absolutely be safer

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs