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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs