News / Europe

Obama Warns Against Russian Intervention in Ukraine

As Ukrainian leaders accused Russia of carrying out an armed invasion in the Crimea region, U.S. President Barack Obama warned Moscow not to intervene militarily.

"We are deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine. Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing," said U.S. President Barack Obama.  

"The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," Obama added.

He said any military intervention by Russian forces would represent a "profound interference" in the Ukrainian people’s right to determine their own future.

Earlier Friday, armed men described by Ukrainian officials as Russian troops seized the parliament building in Simferopol, Crimea's capital, while others patrolled outside the autonomous region's main airport.

Armored personnel carriers with Russian markings appeared on roads on the peninsula, a predominantly Russian-speaking area with stronger historical ties to Moscow than to Ukraine’s central government in Kyiv.

The Russian navy also blockaded a Ukrainian coast guard station. Russia has numerous military facilities in Crimea, including the headquarters of its Black Sea Fleet, in Sevastopol.

Invasion and occupation

Earlier, Ukraine's parliament speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, who is now the country's acting president, accused Russia of a military invasion and occupation.

"The Russian Federation has begun an overtly aggressive campaign against our country. Under the pretense of military training they have bought military force into the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and have not only captured the parliament and Cabinet of ministers, they are also attempting to take control of civilian strategic points such as communications," said Turchynov.

Moscow denied its forces had entered Crimea.  Russian officials said any troop movements there are in keeping with Moscow's existing agreements with Ukraine.

Russian military vehicles regularly transverse the peninsula, but the size and scope of Friday’s activity was larger than usual.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry said it had information that unknown "radical forces" are planning attempts to disarm Ukrainian military units in Crimea early Saturday and warned against such action.

Mark Snowiss

Mark Snowiss is a Washington D.C.-based multimedia reporter.  He has written and edited for various media outlets including Pacifica and NPR affiliates in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @msnowiss and on Google Plus

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid