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

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs