News / Europe

Kerry Meets Ukraine Opposition, Reaffirms US Support

Ukrainian businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry shake hands as Vitali Klitschko (L) and  Arseniy Yatsenyuk look on, prior to a meeting in Munich, Feb. 1, 2014.
Ukrainian businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry shake hands as Vitali Klitschko (L) and Arseniy Yatsenyuk look on, prior to a meeting in Munich, Feb. 1, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with three of Ukraine's opposition leaders Saturday in Germany, after exchanging sharp words with Russia over the future of the former Soviet republic.

Kerry met the opposition figures - Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Vitali Klitschko and Petro Poroshenko - on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

A senior State Department official says Kerry reiterated U.S. support for the opposition leaders' efforts "to speak out to defend democracy and choice" for the Ukrainian people. But he encouraged them to remain peaceful and to continue discussions with the government.

Earlier, Kerry told the conference that nowhere is the "fight for a democratic, European future" more important than in Ukraine. He said the U.S. and the European Union "stand with the people of Ukraine in that fight."

But in his speech at the gathering, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused European politicians of fomenting the anti-government protests in Ukraine.

The protests erupted in November after President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of a European Union trade deal in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Violent clashes between police and protesters soon followed and have been escalating ever since.

On Friday, President Yanukovych signed legislation offering amnesty to protesters detained during anti-government demonstrations. But opposition leaders rejected the measure, which only grants the amnesty if other protesters vacate the government buildings they have seized.

On Thursday, an opposition activist missing since January 22, Dmytro Bulatov, was found outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, with severe cuts and bruises to his face, along with other injuries. Bulatov said he was kidnapped by unknown abductors, tortured and held for days before being abandoned in a forest. Bulatov says he made his way to a nearby village, where he reached his friends by phone.

The U.N. human rights office has called on President Yanukovych to investigate recent reports of deaths, kidnappings and torture during the nation's political unrest. A spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the commissioner is "appalled" by the reports.

Yanukovych issued a statement Thursday accusing opposition leaders of escalating the political crisis and saying the government has fulfilled its obligations to end the standoff.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he wants to wait for a new government in Ukraine before proceeding with a promised $15 billion loan to Ukraine along with substantial natural gas discounts.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Michael Guy from: Canonsburg, Pa.
February 02, 2014 3:21 PM
The EU and US are essentially socialist Potemkin Villages, run by Bolshevik bureaucrats, liberal lords and progressive plutocrats. The politicians and bureaucrats of America have the same patriotism as Benedict Arnold. They will force every member to surrender national sovereignty, the republican proces and accept the rule of bureaucrats instead These elite "globalist" consider themselves to be the enlightened Platonic Philospher kings, the new nobility in a a neo-feudal un Holy Roman Empire. The NATO nations are ruled by the gobalist of GATT, WTO, NAFTA and Trans Pacific Partnership. The decadent West finds the nations straddled with debt to international," to big to fail", Tarp recipient bankers and financiers who own and control the IMF, World bank and Federal Reserve Bank. These "for sale or rent" politicians force their citizens to co sign loans to these foreign lenders, like China, there by insuring their betrayed citizens will be paying taxes to these plutocrats for generations. That is called austerity. These politicians of the West willingly commit economic treason with free trade treaties that are deleterious to prosperity and the industrial output of a nation. The US and EU are also the subservient Janissaries to the Sunni oil sheiks of the Persian Gulf. The indebted West is terrified that Riyadh and Qatar will devalue the dollar and Euro so they support the oil princes who control and finance the Sunni jihadist assassin sects throughout the world. The US and European progressives have turned their lands into morally decadent , politically-correct Huxley-like Brave New World. These progressive, globalist liberals will emasculate every conservative, capitalist, nationalist, Christian Caucasian male and destroy any vestige of religion and morality and replace these values with atheistic Sybaritic socialism. So if you want to loose your culture, your religion, your sovereignty and any real rule by elected representatives, then join the EU.

by: Alex from: Canada
February 02, 2014 6:31 AM
Guys, you are joking. Are you all a set of clones?
In Response

by: David from: US
February 08, 2014 4:50 PM
I agree lol.

by: Vache Rurik from: Canada
February 01, 2014 5:06 PM
Vasily, all North American Ukrainian community is calling each other to read your messages.

by: M. Korole from: Canada
February 01, 2014 4:53 PM
Vasily, first let me apologize to you, I used to think that you are just another... you know... - but you are far from it - you are the genuine article. and I am sorry to have doubted you.
I agree with everything you say. I hope the Americans will remove Kerry as soon as possible from Europe, send the idiot back to the Middle East - let the Israelis handle him... if you noticed, he doesn't make any grand gestures when he is in their company - he knows enough not to f## with them.
But we are weak and in transition so he feels he can make self serving dramatic gestures at our expanse... I can't tell you how resentful it makes me
Vasily, stay protected as much as you can. it would be a devastating tragedy if we lose you

by: Barbara Vashilov from: usa
February 01, 2014 4:33 PM
Vasily Vasily... you are the best!!! I bet you have no idea of the vast influence you happen to have here... people are reading closely what you write... and also with such elegance... all the best to you - be safe!!! we want to see you one day
we pray for you

by: Vasily from: Ukraine
February 01, 2014 3:47 PM
America, America... what are you doing...?? its amazing, but here you go again... propping up these three three reprobates and designating them as our "leaders"... these are not our leaders...!!! can't you understand..???

I know that these nuances are very remote and inaccessible to Americans in general... but look, these nuances, or the accumulation of these nuances will tend to drive the visual conception of our conflict. let me see if I could explain it in terms that all American understand... - Its like the degenerate Philistine Mahmud Abbas - Now, could you imagine Kerry the imbecile standing in full USA diplomatic regalia with Abbas, Hassan Nasrallah, and the retarded Ismail Haniya and saying "we support Israeli Democracy..?" can you imagine such stupidity?? well, that is what conceptually you are doing to us...!!! please do not prop up reprobates and hail them as our leaders... they are nothing of the sort..!! it is exactly like Abbas... the idiot has no legitimacy among Arabs yet the US continue to prop him up... its silly... because you know what will happen to him and his crime family as soon as avert your eyes...

America, please confine yourself to broad but mild diplomatic gestures until our true leaders are more universally known... do not pick our leaders for us, please, you are just sawing the seeds of pathology and inculcate them into the pernicious DNA of whatever will emerge of Ukraine in the long run.

We all know here why Kerry is doing this, in the context of Syria and Iran... but our situation is different... it simply does not comport to American political cyclical rhythms... you are breaking our hearts, America...
In Response

by: Michael Guy from: Canonsburg, Pa.
February 02, 2014 3:33 PM
The EU and US have have become an indebted version of the un Holy roman Empire of 1521. Just as Charles V led a multi-national empire ruled by elite lords, so these UN-GATT-WTO-EU globalist wnt their "electors" to appoint therulers of the various fiefs rather than letting the citizens of the repubic choose their own leaders. And just as the nobility was always indebt to the great banking magnates like the Fugars and Medici family, so the decadent west is in debt to international bankers. These bankers , like those in the IMF and World Bank will hold ever nation in bondage, much like Greece today.
In Response

by: Norman from: USA
February 01, 2014 7:02 PM
Vasily, your comments resonate far beyond Ukraine. I can't believe that we have a hand in the deliberate mutilation of the tiny state of israel and giving its core to those degenerates who want to destroy it... I can't believe it!!! and now, like you say we are imposing on you illegitimate leaders which ultimately precipitate you into a civil war... I can't believe it... but its true!!!

by: andy from: LA
February 01, 2014 1:20 PM
I wonder what would be the US reaction if Lavrov a long with elected Russian officials came to Austin TX and spoke to a crowd of Alex Jones supporters about their oppressed state, brought millions in financial support ans then the riots broke out in Austin after they left...hmmmm
In Response

by: David from: US
February 08, 2014 4:54 PM
In Austin? Holy cow that would be a sight to see, let me know when they get there, I want to go!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs