News / Europe

Kremlin Official Calls Ukraine Authorities ‘West’s Henchmen’

President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of Russia's Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin July 22, 2014. Nikolai Patrushev is the third from the left.
President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of Russia's Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin July 22, 2014. Nikolai Patrushev is the third from the left.
Jurij Hiltajczuk

A Kremlin official has accused Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv of being “henchmen,” acting on orders from the West.

“The West's henchman came to power [in February] and have now, in my opinion, lost some of their sovereignty,  independence in decision-making and are acting under orders,” said Nikolai Patrushev, a top security aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

He spoke to journalists following a Russian Security Council meeting Tuesday in Moscow, as concerns grow among Russia’s leaders about the West’s reaction to the crisis over Ukraine and what they view as aggressive moves on the part of NATO.

Putin himself addressed the issue during the Security Council meeting.

“We will adequately and proportionately respond to NATO's military infrastructure closing in on our borders,” Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin’s website.

Rhetoric

Russia has upped its rhetoric having been widely accused in the West of being directly or indirectly involved in the downing last week over eastern Ukraine of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet, which killed all 298 people on board. Ukraine, the United States and European Union countries believe the plane was shot down with a surface-to-air-missile by Russia-backed rebels.

The plane’s downing, met with outrage in the West, has triggered renewed calls for Russia to change course.

"Now's the time for President Putin and Russia to pivot away from the strategy that they've been taking and get serious about trying to resolve hostilities within Ukraine," President Barack Obama said on Monday.

Both the U.S. and Europe are considering new sanctions.

Moscow denies involvement both in the downing of the plane as well as in the backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine, with Russian media circulating theories of a Western conspiracy against Russia.

Perceived threaths

Speaking in broader terms about what he views as aggressive moves on the part of the West, Putin claimed Tuesday that the missile defense system being pushed by the West in Eastern Europe is in fact an offensive weapon, “part of the offensive-defensive arsenal of the United States.”

“In fact, formations of NATO troops in Eastern European countries are being demonstratively enhanced, including in the waters of the Black and Baltic Seas, with the scope and intensity of operational and combat training being increased,” the Russian leader said.

Putin added that the developments are forcing Russia to bolster its own defense capabilities, including those in Crimea, where he said Moscow will have to "essentially rebuild [its] military infrastructure."

Russia, which has been maintaining military bases in Crimea on the basis of a land-lease agreement it had reached with Kyiv’s previous government, annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in March, triggering the largest tensions in East-West relations since the Cold War.

A new, pro-Western government took over in Kyiv after massive street protests toppled a Russia-backed president in February.

Rare criticism
 
Meanwhile, in remarks critical of Kremlin policies rarely seen in Russian media, a Putin ally warned on Tuesday that Russia risks international isolation over its anti-Western rhetoric.
 
Alexei Kudrin, a former finance minister credited with repairing Russia fiscally after the country’s financial crisis in the 1990s, said its current approach could isolate the nation and derail its modernization.
 
"There are forces in the country who have long wanted to distance us, who have wanted isolation, perhaps some kind of self-reliance,” ITAR-TASS quoted Kudrin as saying.
 
“All this has fallen onto fertile ground and I'm just surprised at the scale of the anti-Western rhetoric which has emerged here,” Kudrin added.
 
Commenting on the Ukraine crisis in particular, Kudrin said that “Russia in no way should interfere with military forces in the situation in east Ukraine.” He said that such interference would bring with it “uncontrollable risks on both, the economic and political levels.”
 

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid