News / Europe

    On The Scene: Elizabeth Arrott in Crimea

    Russians in Crimea, Intentions Elsewhere Are Questionedi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    Elizabeth Arrott
    March 14, 2014 8:39 PM
    The U.S., other Western powers are making last-ditch efforts to avoid a controversial referendum on Crimea's future. Officials in the Ukrainian autonomous republic are making final preparations for Sunday's vote on whether to join Russia. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Simferopol.
    Russians in Crimea, Intentions Elsewhere Are Questioned
    Elizabeth Arrott
    Russians are officially on the streets of Simferopol.  Not just the soldiers-without-insignia who took over the local parliament last month, but now diplomats from Moscow.
     
    While observers from the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization are turned back at the Crimean border, Russian diplomat Sergei Ordzhonikidze defends the Crimean vote on whether to join Russia.
     
    "I am here as an observer,” he said. "This is a dominating principle of the world: self-determination of people.  If people want to live that way, let them live that way.  It is their right to do that."
     
    But the local lawmakers' "declaration of independence," as Ordzhonikidze puts it, comes as Crimea is under what Kyiv and Western powers call "Russian occupation."
     
    Pro-Russia billboards are everywhere, with some presenting the referendum as a choice between Russia and the "fascism" of the new, pro-Western leadership in Kyiv.
     
    The status quo is not an option on the ballot, which is one of several reasons many in Crimea's ethnic Tatar community are boycotting what they call an illegal referendum.
     
    "We live in Ukraine, which has never been at war with any country in the world, annexed no land,” said Zair Smedlayev, chair of the electoral campaign of the Crimean Tatars. “That is why we are with Ukraine. But if the occupation of Crimea continues, then it is a problem."
     
    Those problems have already begun.
     
    Worries over the future have led to a run on banks, with others concerned about the status of property, rights and citizenship should the region come under formal Russian control.
     
    Pro-Russian Crimean lawmaker Vladimir Klychnikov said those who don't want to become Russian nationals shouldn't worry.
     
    "If the state under the name of Ukraine remains, then citizens of Crimea will be able to have also, say, all benefits and opportunities of that state," he said.

    You May Like

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Olpe Murphy
    March 14, 2014 8:59 PM
    Why are my comments censored?

    Becuase I don't go along with the American media propaganda, the Russia-bashing, the unfactual reporting. It is very biased.\

    It proves, once and for all, that the Voice of America does NOT represent traditional American values such as liberty or freedom of speech.

    by: Andrey
    March 14, 2014 2:46 PM
    Let these people re-join from so-called "ukraine" (fascist plutocracy that just robbed them for many years) to their motherland!

    by: dungheapharry from: indiana
    March 14, 2014 12:16 PM
    This Russian buildup is a strategic problem with a probable political solution. The USA isn't gonna commit troops, so we will have to rely on sanctions. Not too much else we can do. Maybe if we make scary faces the Russians will run away.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora