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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs