News / Europe

Pro-Russian Protesters in Ukraine Ignore Diplomatic Deal

Denis Pushilin, foreground center,  spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk People’s Republic, speaks to reporters inside the regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine, April 18, 2014.
Denis Pushilin, foreground center, spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk People’s Republic, speaks to reporters inside the regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine, April 18, 2014.
With pro-Russian militants refusing to lay down their weapons and evacuate government buildings in Ukraine, the United States says Friday that Russia has a "responsibility" to urge the protesters to comply. There are doubts that Thursday's agreement between the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will ease tensions in the region.

Outside the regional administrative headquarters in Donetsk, music blared Friday as Russian flags flapped in the breeze.

Inside, the self-declared leader of the pro-Russian separatists, Denis Pushilin, dismissed efforts to get him and his followers to leave.

"Russia's foreign minister didn't sign for us, he signed for the Russian Federation," Pushilin told journalists.

In Kyiv, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia warned time was running out. "If this will not start in a few days I think that after the Easter there will be more concrete actions," he said.

Ukraine Wednesday failed to recapture occupied buildings when well-armed pro-Russian separatists seized army vehicles. Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Ron Mangum said another attempt may not go much better.

"The level of organization of these militias, the armaments that these militias have, that's not something that they would simply accumulate in their homes over the summer for hunting in the fall," said Mangum.

A growing number of high-ranking officials warn there's a high likelihood many of the armed separatists are really Russian forces.

Mangum, now at the private American Military University, said this follows a pattern under Russian President Vladimir Putin, used in Russia's annexation of Crimea last month and during the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia.

And he said despite NATO's efforts to bolster defenses, the fact that the U.S. and European Union have said there will not be a military solution could be a problem.

"Taking the military option off the table, I think, just says to Russia unless we can put severe economic pressure on them, that's nobody's going to stop them," said Mangum.

The notion has many governments in Central and Eastern Europe worried about what comes next.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
April 20, 2014 10:04 PM
These people are MAKING violence. IF their issue was to be addressed they should address it politically or diplomatically. Unlike in Syria where assad has began murdering all opposition different situation. In Ukraine these idiots with guns in Government buildings are risking their lives and should most definitely be arrested, it is a crime what they are doing. Nobody that storms somewhere with guns is NOT a criminal.

Round them all up, give them 10 years in prison for weapons and taking over a government facility, heck throw the key away even....

These people deserve a heavy smack for what they did. IF they have problems it must be addressed, not overtaking government offices.

Can't spell criminals any clearer.


by: Brent Ekstrand
April 19, 2014 11:17 PM
Time for the USA and our one true ally the British to put an end to that little dictator's ambitions. Putin is intent on resurrecting the Soviet Empire, and we should prevent that from happening. Where are Thatcher and Reagan when we need them? I pray that the current leaders of the two true allies find some of their backbone and confront the Russian egomaniac with all of our combined might. Though Putin has a severe case of Little Man Syndrome, he will back down if he knows he is about to get whacked.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid