News / Europe

Ukrainian President Condemns Violence

Ukraine Protesters Regroup as West Condemns Violencei
X
December 01, 2013 12:53 AM
Several Western governments have condemned Ukraine’s crackdown Saturday on pro-European protesters in the capital. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more from Kyiv.
VIDEO: Several Western governments have condemned Ukraine’s crackdown Saturday on pro-European protesters in the capital. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more from Kyiv.
VOA News
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday condemned what he calls "actions" that have led to violence during opposition demonstrations in Kyiv, saying he was "deeply outraged" by the violence at the capital's Independence Square, without directly blaming police.
 
Riot police in Ukraine used batons and stun grenades to break up an opposition demonstration early Saturday, after the president failed to sign a free trade pact with the European Union. Numerous injuries were reported.
 
He called for an immediate investigation in order to punish those responsible.
 
Protesters say the police attack was unprovoked. Ambulances treated dozens of injured demonstrators — mostly for wounds to the head and arms — as police used batons, stun grenades and tear gas to clear the square.
 
By dawn several hundred protesters — many of them bandaged and still covered in blood — had sought refuge at a monastery a short distance from Independence Square. Police say 25 people were arrested.
 
The Interior Ministry said riot police moved in after protesters threw trash and flares at uniformed officers.
 
Western nations critical
 
The U.S. State Department also condemned the attack against the demonstrators, saying "violence and intimidation should have no place in today's Ukraine."
 
The rights group Amnesty International called the violence a "shameful disregard for peoples' rights." It called for an independent investigation into the allegations.
 
On Friday, the European Union criticized Russia for pressuring Ukraine into abandoning the landmark free trade deal with the European bloc.
 
The snub, announced last week by Yanukovych, reverberated through an EU summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel was captured Friday on video telling the Ukrainian leader, "We expected more."
 
Yanukovych responded by telling the German leader, "The economic situation in Ukraine is very hard. And we have big difficulties with Moscow."
 
The summit, which ended Friday, had been expected to showcase the signing of the agreement.
 
As last-minute negotiations failed, thousands of opposition protesters in Kyiv gathered for a second time this week in the center of the city to demand the president's resignation.
 
European news reports say the EU-Ukraine deal began unraveling in late October, when Moscow demanded that cash-strapped Kyiv immediately make full payment of a nearly $1 billion natural gas bill, or face a gas cutoff as winter braces the region.
 
Moscow has also in recent months imposed restrictions on Ukrainian imports, dragging the Ukrainian economy into recession and triggering a warning from Moscow of more economic difficulties if Kyiv signed the EU pact.
 
Last week, as the Ukrainian president scuttled the EU deal, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the country's top priority now is to repair relations with Moscow.
 
Calls for mass strike
 
Opposition leaders have called for a nationwide strike in response to the crackdown - and say they are uniting to form a national resistance headquarters until new elections are held.
 
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the Motherland party, blamed President Yanukovych for the violence, saying he "has the blood of our children, the blood of students, the blood of youth on his hands, and he has to be held responsible for it."
 
"It was his order, and Viktor Yanukovych, who is guilty of this, will be forced to resign," said Yatsenyuk.
 
The chair of the European Union Presidency, Lithuania, condemned the police crackdown, while the US embassy urged Ukraine to "respect the rights of civil society."
 
Protestors are re-grouping in Kyiv ahead of a big rally planned for Sunday.
 
Jailed ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has urged the demonstrators to overthrow the government.

VOA correspondent Henry Ridgwell contributed to this report from Kyiv. Some information was provided by AP and AFP.

Torn Between East and West, Ukraine Debates Futurei
X
November 29, 2013 7:11 PM
As European leaders try to persuade Ukraine to sign on to a trade deal, its people face an uncertain future. After decades of Soviet rule followed by a high degree of economic dependence on Russia, Ukranians are nervous about antagonizing Moscow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More