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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
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 Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
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 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.

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