News / Europe

NATO Boosts Presence in Eastern Europe as Turmoil Continues in Ukraine

NATO Boosts Presence In Eastern Europe Amid Continued Turmoil In Ukrainei
X
April 30, 2014 10:24 AM
Turmoil in eastern Ukraine continued Tuesday, a day after the United States and Europe announced new sanctions against Russia for failing to take steps to de-escalate the crisis in its neighbor to the west. Pro-Russian demonstrators in the Ukrainian city of Luhansk seized government buildings and the local television center. Zlatica Hoke has more.
NATO Boosts Presence In Eastern Europe Amid Continued Turmoil In Ukraine
Zlatica Hoke
Turmoil in eastern Ukraine continued Tuesday, a day after the United States and Europe announced new sanctions against Russia for failing to take steps to de-escalate the crisis in its neighbor to the west. Pro-Russian demonstrators in the Ukrainian city of Luhansk seized government buildings and the local television center, after similar actions in Donetsk and Slovyansk. NATO is boosting defense in member nations bordering Russia to allay their growing concerns about Moscow's territorial ambitions. 
 
Several thousand protesters stormed the regional administration building in Luhansk Tuesday after a group of youths broke windows with metal bars and let the crowd in. The rebels replaced the Ukrainian flag with a Russian one, while riot police stood by.
 
In the capital, Kyiv, acting president Oleksander Turchynov lashed out at the country's law enforcement for failing to act.
 
"The overwhelming majority of law enforcement bodies in the east are incapable of fulfilling their duties to defend our citizens. New heads of the Security Service of Ukraine have already been appointed in Donetsk and Luhansk [eastern Ukraine]. The leadership of the special forces "Alpha" has been totally replaced," said Turchynov.
 
Ukraine and its allies have accused Russia of fueling the crisis in eastern Ukraine to clear the way for another incursion into the region after annexing the Crimean peninsula. NATO member nations bordering Russia have asked the alliance for additional protection.
 
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Adrian Bradshaw visited Latvia Tuesday to discuss measures to strengthen NATO's presence in the Baltic region.
 
"Our judgment is that the actions that we've taken at the moment are proportional and appropriate to the changed security dynamic that we face.  It gives a very clear indication on NATO commitment to the region, but the things we are doing could not be considered threatening to anybody outside the region," said Bradshaw.
 
NATO already has increased its air policing and naval presence in the Baltics. Last week, 450 U.S. paratroopers were deployed in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and another 150 in Poland. NATO military exercises are taking place across the region.
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday said NATO is sending a clear message to Moscow that its territory is inviolable.  He also called on NATO members to meet their financial obligations.
 
“We cannot continue to allow allied defense budgets to shrink. Clearly, not all allies are going to meet the NATO benchmark of 2 percent of GDP overnight, or even next year.  But it’s time for allies who are below that benchmark to make credible commitments to increase their spending on defense over the next five years, and if we’re going to move the trend line in a positive direction, this has to be an alliance-wide effort,” said Kerry.
 
Russia has accused the West of stirring unrest in the region, but some eastern Europeans who still recall Russian invasions say they feel safer with an increased NATO presence. Lithuanian student Ernestas Tuzinas said he wants even more.
 
"These are only the first steps. NATO should set up a permanent military base in Lithuania," said Tuzinas. 
 
The Baltic states spent five decades under Soviet occupation until 1991 and joined NATO in 2004. Poland joined in 1999 and was among the first eastern European NATO members.

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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

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

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: johan mann from: Europe
May 01, 2014 1:32 PM
It's time for US and other NATO members to stop the thugs from the Kremlin and teach that wanna be Czar Putin a lesson he'll never forget.His next target is Transnistria.

by: Juli from: Pekanbaru, Indonesia
April 30, 2014 6:01 AM
I think crisis in Ukraine must be finished with Peace. So that, we can start again with friendly together.

by: Rob from: Italy
April 30, 2014 5:57 AM
If EU and USA don't take much more than these ridiculous sanctions on Russia,in one year or two they will be sorry to miss this moment.

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey
April 30, 2014 1:27 AM
The US, the EU, the UK and NATO need to stop this Putin and his terrorist group. We are living in a modern world, such thing should not be condone. Mr. Putin has a responsibility on the security council. and if he is doing such thing, what can he tell other countries? enough of Mr. Putin aggression and we must bring this to an end.We need more of US and it allied presence in eastern Ukraine. Mr.Obama may be a man of diplomacy , but if the US has to fight, Mr.Obama will fight. So Mr. Putin is sitting on a time bomb. Mr. Putin is an enemy to the peace of this world, and he is an enemy to progress. The world needs to hear the cry of the Ukrainian people. Enough is really enough. How long are we going to sit back and allow Mr. Putin to destroy the people country? The US, EU and the UK needs to teach Mr. Putin a hard lesson.God Bless the United States
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 30, 2014 7:18 PM
Absolutely correct, he is a criminal in fact. Also look what he did in Chechnya, Moscow Theater Siege, Georgia, Syria, and now Ukraine.

Enough is enough, and the world should not be afraid to slap that ass with sanctions through the nose. Sooner or later the people of Russia will overthrow him because he has no interests that favor the Russian peoples future. The Russian people do not want or need sanctions, however Putin would be unscathed if they were applied so they do not affect him personally.

Throw Putin out.
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 30, 2014 6:01 AM
Do you really believe in Putin's terrorist groups in eastern Ukraine? Don't read VOA and watch American TV. Where have you heard the cry of the Ukrainian people? They cry: "Putin, help us!"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
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 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 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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs