News / Europe

    Pro-Russia Demonstrators Defy Ukraine's Ultimatum

    Pro-Russian Demonstrators Defy Ukraine's Ultimatumi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 15, 2014 10:21 AM
    Pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine stormed another police station Monday, as they continued to defy a government deadline to vacate occupied buildings in exchange for amnesty. Ukraine’s president has called for UN peacekeepers to help with an anti-terror operation against the separatists. Henry Ridgwell reports from the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
    Pro-Russian Demonstrators Defy Ukraine's Ultimatum
    Henry Ridgwell
    Pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine stormed another police station Monday as they continued to defy a government deadline to vacate occupied buildings in exchange for amnesty. Ukraine’s president has called for U.N. peacekeepers to help in an anti-terror operation against the separatists.

    Monday was meant to signal the start of the Kyiv government’s military assault. Instead, the pro-Russian protesters gained more ground, smashing their way into the police headquarters in the city of Horlivka near Donetsk.

    One Western journalist was attacked - the latest in a series of incidents involving foreign media.

    Later, the pro-Russian gunmen declared that the police had switched sides.

    An unnamed gunman announced that “All the heads of regional administrations [in the east] have switched to the side of the people and refused to recognize the government in Kyiv."

    In Slovyansk, heavily armed gunmen seized a nearby airfield, which they claim had been used by government forces Sunday.

    The head of the self-proclaimed Slovyansk Self-Defense Force, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, appealed to Moscow for help.

    "Respected president of the Russian Federation,” he said, “we urge you to personally pay attention to the current situation and help us as your powers and possibilities permit.”

    Western governments say Russia already is behind the protests. Military observers say the protesters’ modern weaponry is identical to that used by the Russian military.

    Moscow denies involvement.

    In Kyiv, frustrated Ukrainians took to the streets to demand the government take action against separatists in the east.

    Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov questioned police loyalty.

    “Today they are demonstrating an inability to defend citizens, and actively withstanding the terrorism and separatist movement,” he said.

    However, the president held out the possibility of holding a referendum on Ukraine’s future.

    That apparent concession emboldened protesters in the eastern city of Donetsk. On stage, speakers demanded a referendum while some in the crowd answered with chants of ‘Russia.’ But within the protest movement, there are disagreements.

    Local resident Dima welcomed the possibility of a referendum.

    “I want the referendum," he said.  "Everyone should be asked how they want to live.  Personally, I want to live in Russia.”

    Another Donetsk resident, Anatoli Bitavych, disagreed.

    “I would vote to stay in Ukraine," he said. "I want to live in Ukraine, but to be separated from the center and the west.”

    Talk of a referendum may help to de-escalate the situation.

    But as protesters occupy more state buildings, the authority of the Kyiv government in eastern Ukraine appears to be weakening by the day.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jeremy
    April 14, 2014 5:43 PM
    Lady, if you want to live in Russia, MOVE TO RUSSIA. Don't try to bring Russia to you.
    In Response

    by: cc from: moscow
    April 16, 2014 9:20 AM
    Dear Jeremy! Just imagine the situation: say, you live in some Idaho (or elsewhere) and some... say... Mexicans or Israeli come to the state and demand: "This state belongs to us now. You may stay. If you still want to be American - leave your home, your house, your job, your friends and go to a state which is still American!" Will you? If you were born and have spent your life there, will you then? And suddenly you understand that in Idaho there are 1000 more people who want to remain Americans and don't want to leave their homes - what will you do altohether? Won't you protest?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora