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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs