World News

    Pro-Russian Activists Storm Odessa Police Station in Ukraine

    Hundreds of pro-Russian militants stormed the police station in the southern Ukraine city of Odessa Sunday, and won the release of some of the activists arrested two days before.

    The protesters bashed doors at one entrance to the station with a battering ram before pushing their way in through a garage. Authorities freed more than 60 of the 150 arrested Friday in clashes that led to a fire that killed 42 mostly pro-Russian activists.

    Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk visited the port city of one million people, declaring that Russia is seeking to destroy Ukraine by engineering clashes in eastern Ukraine and now Odessa. He accused Moscow of engaging in "well-planned provocation" against the interim Kyiv government.



    "Destruction of the country and splitting the country - this is the Russian plan. Odessa was holding on for two months until they (the Russians) sent more people here to heat up the situation. Odessa is far too valuable for Russia. But it is even more valuable for us because it is our Odessa, our country and our people.''



    Ukraine says it will continue pressing its military offensive against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, as the Kremlin reported receiving thousands of calls for help from the region's Russian-speaking citizenry.

    Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said troops had recaptured a television tower and government buildings from rebels in Kramatorsk, a town near the pro-Russian stronghold city of Slovyansk.



    Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council chief Andrily Parubiy said an anti-terrorist operation will be carried out in towns beyond Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.

    In Moscow, a Kremlin spokesman (Dmitri Peskov) said Russian President Vladimir Putin had not yet decided how to respond to the offensive, or to the deaths in Odessa.

    Russia currently has at least 40,000 troops and armor massed on its border with Ukraine, and the Kremlin says it reserves the right to enter the country to protect ethnic Russians.

    A German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, citing unnamed German security sources, said the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are providing dozens of specialists to the Ukraine government to set up a security structure in the country and to fight organized crime.

    In Kyiv, the interim government declared two days of mourning for those killed Friday in fighting in Odessa.

    Witnesses say hours of street battles in the Black Sea port city ended in a deadly blaze at a trade union building where overmatched separatists had holed up seeking safety. It remains unclear who started the fire, but witnesses said gasoline bombs exploded around the building during the melee and gunfire was heard.

    On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the release of European monitors abducted late last month by separatists near Slovyansk.

    Kerry said Russia must now withdraw support for the separatists. Moscow says Kerry's Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, countered that Washington should compel the Kyiv government to stop its military offensive in the east.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also welcomed the freeing of the seven observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The monitors were freed Saturday, along with their five Ukrainian assistants.

    And in Brussels, the European Union called for an independent investigation into the Odessa deaths. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said member-countries were "deeply saddened" by the deaths and injuries.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora