News / Europe

Ukrainian Troops Reclaim Key Town

  • Ukrainian refugees walk from Ukraine into Russia at a border crossing point in Russia's Rostov region, Aug. 19, 2014.
  • A member of the Ukrainian military self-defense battalion "Donbas" sits in a school library, currently used as a medical post, in the eastern town of Popasna in the Donetsk region, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • Volunteers of battalion 'Donbas' hold battalion flags during a blessing ceremony in St. Michael Cathedral in Kyiv, Aug. 19, 2014. 
  • People go about their daily lives at a refugee camp set up for Ukrainians in Russia's Rostov region near the Russia-Ukraine border, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • People clean themselves at a refugee camp set up for Ukrainians in Russia's Rostov region near the Russia-Ukraine border, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • A Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine is parked at a camp in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov region, Aug. 19, 2014.
  • New arrivals stand in a line to register at a refugee camp in Russia's Rostov region, Aug. 18, 2014.
  • People receive food at a canteen of a refugee camp in Russia's Rostov region, Aug. 18, 2014.
Crisis in Ukraine – Tuesday, Aug. 19
VOA News

Ukraine says it has reclaimed control of a key city in the east, where rebels and government troops are battling for territory.

Ukraine's national security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Wednesday that the Ukrainian military has re-taken control of the town of Ilovaisk, after heavy fighting with pro-Russia separatists.

Lysenko told reporters he cannot say that the town is "freed of terrorists," but said Ukrainian forces have managed to "enter the town completely." But he said rebel fighters continue to launch counter-attacks against troops in the area. Lysenko described Ilovaisk, 40 kilometers from the city of Donetsk, as a logistical hub for rebel fighters because of its major roads and rail lines.

Ukrainian commanders also say they are surrounding Donetsk itself, a rebel stronghold, and fighting also continues in the province of Luhansk, near the border with Russia.

Later on Wednesday, Lysenko told reporters a Ukrainian SU-25 single-seat fighter jet has been shot down in the rebel-held Luhansk region. The identity of the shooters and the fate of the pilot are unknown.

Local officials say 34 civilians and at least nine Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in fighting in the past two days.

Lysenko also said Wednesday that an aid convoy from Russia is still parked on the border with Ukraine, awaiting inspection by the International Committee of the Red Cross. He said the Red Cross is still waiting for security guarantees from all sides before inspecting the convoy.


Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, is set to attend a meeting next week with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to address the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Poroshenko's office described the August 26 summit in Belarus as an effort aimed at "stabilizing the situation in Ukraine."  

The meeting will bring the two leaders into the same room for the first time since a brief encounter in France in June, and opens the possibility of direct talks for the first time since pro-Russian rebels launched a rebellion in Ukraine’s east in April. Kyiv and many Western government say Moscow is sponsoring the rebellion – a charge Russia denies.

A Kremlin statement said a number of meetings will take place at the Belarus summit. It did not say whether Putin and Poroshenko will meet face-to-face.

EU leaders are also scheduled to attend the meeting, which will be held in Minsk.

And in Moscow Wednesday, police arrested and charged with vandalism four protesters accused of climbing one of Moscow's most prominent buildings and raising a Ukrainian flag on top. They also are accused of painting the Soviet star on the Stalin-era building's spire in blue and gold, Ukraine’s national colors.

WATCH: Related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

Ukraine, Russian Presidents to Meet in Belarusi
August 21, 2014 4:17 AM
The Ukrainian and Russian presidents will meet with European Union representatives in Belarus next week, in an effort to reach a deal that would end fighting in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian government forces appear to be closing in on the remaining pro-Russian separatist strongholds in the region. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Gabe Joselow contributed to this report from Kyiv.



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Comment Sorting
by: Nashingun from: Timbuktu
August 21, 2014 2:34 AM
Only a matter of time for Ukraine to destroy the separatists movements in Eastern Ukraine. But more uncertainties await as Russia increasingly threatens to invade Ukraine. NATO should start deploying troops into Ukraine to prevent Russian invasion. Sad to say this may not happen as NATO members fear Russia.
In Response

by: Lora Wright from: Faraway
August 21, 2014 6:44 PM
Certainly, you are well-informed, sitting at your bungalow's window in Timbuktu! How can you be so sure of who is an invader and who is a suffering party if you are surely ill-informed and not apt at politics? You'd better go playing computer games, boy.

by: Boris from: UK
August 20, 2014 9:27 PM
Dozens die in Ukraine in street battles, Donetsk shelling... tragic... does anyone expect the Russians or the Ukrainians to call those they are about to be attacked..? send leaflets ...? ask them to leave..?? hmmm.... well, Israel does it... and they are fighting a vicious Islamic terrorist organization... Hamas/ISIL/ISIS/AlQaeda - the same filth.

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