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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid