World News

    Pro-Russian Forces Seize Ukraine Navy Headquarters




    Pro-Russian forces have taken control of Ukraine's navy headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to make Crimea part of Russia.

    Witnesses say at least 200 unarmed self-defense forces entered the base Wednesday and raised the Russian flag. Ukrainian service members did not resist the takeover, and were seen leaving the facility.

    Russian news agencies quoted sources in the Sevastopol prosecutor's office as saying the commander of Ukraine's navy, Sergei Gaiduk, had been "temporarily detained" after leaving the navy headquarters.

    And later Wednesday, reports said a second naval base had been seized by Russian forces.

    Tuesday, a Ukrainian serviceman and a pro-Moscow militia member were killed in a shootout at a Ukrainian military facility in Crimea's capital, Simferopol.

    Thousands of Russian soldiers have overtaken Crimea in recent weeks. The majority-Russian region voted in a referendum Sunday to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.



    Ukraine's deputy prime minister and defense minister traveled Wednesday from Kyiv to Crimea in an attempt to defuse tensions, but were denied entry into the region. International observers have been repeatedly turned away from the peninsula.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was also traveling to the region Wednesday. He is to meet in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Thursday he is to meet in Kyiv with Ukraine's acting president and prime minister.

    President Putin's moves to annex Crimea have angered the United States and European Union, which have declared the referendum illegal and imposed sanctions on Russia in response.

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told reporters in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Wednesday that Russia will face "increasing political and economic isolation" as long as it continues on what he called "its dark path."

    Biden is seeking to reassure eastern European countries - including the Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, all of which are NATO members, of U.S. support for its allies in the region.

    NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a speech in Washington Wednesday that the crisis in Crimea is "the most serious security crisis since the end of the Cold War."

    Mr. Putin told the Russian parliament Tuesday the Crimean peninsula has always been an "inalienable" part of Russia.

    Also Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was surprised and disappointed by what he called Mr. Putin's interpretation of the facts.

    Kerry said Russia is on the wrong side of history. He said when a region secedes from a country, it does it under the constitution - not at the butt of a gun.

    But Russia has shown no signs of backing down. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Kerry by phone Tuesday that U.S. sanctions on Russia are unacceptable and will have consequences.

    s

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora