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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid