News / Europe

    Ukraine Separatists: Ready for Cease-Fire

    Local residents display fragment of a shell after overnight shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.
    Local residents display fragment of a shell after overnight shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.
    VOA News

    Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine say they are ready for a cease-fire with the government amid gains by Ukrainian forces against the rebels.

    Kyiv has not yet responded to the rebel offer. But the government has said it could agree to a cease-fire if the separatists give up their weapons.

    The Ukrainian military is continuing to squeeze separatist forces in their remaining strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.

    Conditions in Donetsk have been deteriorating, raising concerns of a humanitarian crisis in the city. A senior Ukrainian government official says Russian forces had wanted to enter Ukraine under the guise of a humanitarian mission, but Ukraine blocked the move.  Russian officials deny this.

    Also Saturday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by telephone. A White House statement said the two stressed that any Russian action, even for "purported humanitarian purposes" would violate international law and be unacceptable without the consent and authorization of Kyiv.

    According to the statement, Poroshenko added that he is in contact with the Red Cross about the distribution of humanitarian aid, including assistance from the United States, to eastern Ukraine.

    The White House said the two men also agreed that if Russia wants to improve the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, it must stop shelling Ukrainian troops, release Ukrainian hostages being held in Russia and stop supporting pro-Russian separatists.

    A U.S. State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by telephone Saturday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    The official says Kerry made it clear that the best way to get humanitarian aid into Ukraine is through international organizations that are already on the ground. Kerry told Lavrov that Russia should not intervene in Ukraine under the pretext of peacekeeping or humanitarian convoys. 

    The White House says President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed by phone Saturday that any Russian intervention in Ukraine without Kyiv's consent would violate international law and bring additional consequences.

    The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told a Security Council meeting on Ukraine Friday that while Russia has proposed creating humanitarian corridors to send aid to civilians in the war-torn region, such aid should be delivered by international organizations.

    Both U.S. and NATO officials said Moscow had recently increased the number of its troops along the Ukrainian border to around 20,000.

    Power also said Friday that Russian cross-border military assistance to separatists in eastern Ukraine has increased substantially in recent weeks, and that new separatist fighters are being trained on Russian soil.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Tuan from: VN
    August 12, 2014 2:44 AM
    It's all Russian motive rebel. If people does not like its government, work on it but not with guns.
    No Russian, No West. Ukraine would be in peace by now.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 10, 2014 9:20 AM
    THE WISE MAN said it;.... The Ukraine government and the pro-Russian separatists are pawns in a political propaganda war between the US, EU, and NATO countries and Russia..... It's a political tug of war, with the US and Europeans having the most to lose, because Russia has never ever revealed their intentions on what they'll do, (except taking Crimea), and all the speculation and propaganda is coming from the US and Europeans, who desperately seek some kind of propaganda victory that they can boast on, without anybody giving a crap about the final solution of Ukraine, and it's people?...... You can defeat them in war, but can you rule them if they still resist?..... (it's a hollow victory, if you can't get the defeated people to accept your rule, isn't it?)..... "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu?

    by: Q from: Mordor
    August 10, 2014 2:21 AM
    The threats of Russian invasion remain in high level.

    by: Zer from: Germany
    August 10, 2014 1:36 AM
    Russia is out of control! EU must reduce consumption of Russia 's gas dramatically!

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 09, 2014 11:34 PM
    Genghis Khan "quote" said it;.... "You can conquer a people from the back of a horse, (but), you can't rule the people from the back of a horse."..... You can win all the battles and win the war in tanks, (but), if you can't rule the people who's army you defeated in tanks, what will you do then?...... fight another war?

    by: george from: melbourne
    August 09, 2014 6:51 PM
    On the condition any rebel or separatist does not recognise the Ukrainian government as official should return or migrate to Russia.
    In Response

    by: : from: :
    August 10, 2014 9:18 AM
    And if you have in the country will come to power, the people with the policy which you can not agree. For example, they will tell you to talk only, say, on ukainskom language.
    You agree deported, say, Africa?

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
    August 09, 2014 5:40 PM
    Now which card does Putin intend to pull? Good will always conquer bad finally .

    by: Ed from: Idaho
    August 09, 2014 5:01 PM
    Now that the separatists are losing they want a cease fire! Ukraine either needs to take Donetsk or bargain with the separatists and their Soviet masters for a permanent peace...maybe giving up a little bit of land for genuine peace. Unfortunately trusting and bargaining with Putin is like juggling with Jello!
    In Response

    by: rom from: Donetsk, Ukraine
    August 11, 2014 7:48 AM
    the separatists are really gang of killers. They are killing us by shelling at resident blocks in order to make others think that ukrainian troops are doing it. pro-rassian terrorists have being robing, raping and then killing young women and girls since they come here.
    In Response

    by: LO777
    August 10, 2014 12:36 PM
    You are wrong. The separatists want a cease fire to allow civilians to leave the city. This information is posted on their web site.

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