News / Europe

Ukraine Troops Retake Rebel Stronghold

Ukrainian soldiers walk near a destroyed armored vehicle at Slovyansk, in eastern Ukraine, July 5, 2014.
Ukrainian soldiers walk near a destroyed armored vehicle at Slovyansk, in eastern Ukraine, July 5, 2014.
VOA News

Ukrainian troops have overtaken the rebel stronghold of Slovyansk in the country's east in a nighttime offensive, and President Petro Poroshenko ordered the armed forces to raise the Ukrainian flag over the city.

Meanwhile, there still was no reply Saturday from Russia or separatist leaders in Ukraine to Poroshenko's request for a new round of talks.

Officials and witnesses said the pro-Russian separatists evacuated Slovyansk Saturday after coming under mortar fire from government forces.They'd controlled the city of 100,000 since sezing administrative and police buildings in early April..

The government's retaking of the city marks a rare victory in Ukraine's struggle to quell the months-long rebellion.

“A significant number of militants have left Slovyansk ... along the way, our battle groups are greeting them. They are suffering losses and surrendering,'' Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said on his Facebook page, Reuters reported Saturday.

The news service, citing Russia’s Interfax news agency, reported that the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic leader Aleksandr Borodai said, ``The punitive forces of Ukraine ... moved into a large-scale offensive. Given the disproportionate numerical superiority of the enemy troops, units of the armed forces of the Donetsk People's Republic were forced to leave their previous positions on the northern sector of the front.''

Another leader of the republic, Andrei Purgin, told the Associated Press the Ukraine government’s attacks had left Slovyansk “in ruins.”

The AP quoted Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko as telling journalists that government forces were intent on routing insurgents from the city: “Slovyansk is under siege. Now an operation is going on to neutralize small groups hiding in buildings where peaceful citizens are living.”

Insurgents also were seen departing Kramatorsk, a city 15 kilometers or 9 miles from Slovyansk. A Reuters reporter on Saturday reported witnessing “a convoy of around 20 military transport vehicles and buses filled with armed rebels driving out of Kramatorsk.”   

Poroshenko said he suggested a time and place for the talks during a Friday phone call with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. He said he was waiting for the other side to confirm.

The European Union and United States have threatened Russia with more sanctions if Moscow and the pro-Russian fighters do not take steps to de-escalate the crisis.

The fighting has picked up since Ukraine ended a unilateral cease-fire earlier in the week.

 

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gen from: japan
July 06, 2014 6:04 AM
The separatists retlieved for Russia.
They made a corridor for Russian army intervention.That is clever.


by: Lev Havryliv from: Sydney
July 06, 2014 2:45 AM
Russia is too afraid of Western sanctions to mount an overt invasion of Ukraine,but Putin is showing all signs that he is supporting and funding covert military actions in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukraine has every right to defend its independence and territorial integrity. The West should ramp up sanctions against Russia.


by: Arthur from: Kyiv
July 06, 2014 2:10 AM
The West appeared very weak to stand to Russia! EU is a mess and it will never be another USA! Ukraine is between rock and hard place - the West and Russia. Ukrainians want to change their mentality and make it more familiar with EU or USA. They showed it in 2004 during Orange revolution and now again. But if the western countries won't help,Ukraine will face a danger alone and after Ukraine will lose,the West breaks apart. That is the aim of Putin


by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 05, 2014 10:01 PM
There is an underlying 'cause' that the Mexicans 'la rasa' wish to regain the territories they feel the US had taken from them, such as Texas, CA, etc. Yes, there are many pro-Mexicans living amongst us. They haven't taken up arms against us. But many wish they had the ability, not because they are scared, but because they just don't have the resources. What is so relevant about this and Ukraine? Thanks for asking. If the Mexican government started to heavily supply pro-Mexicans, in Texas, with weapons, tanks, anti-aircraft missiles, etc, and the pro-Mexicans had already taken most of Texas.................wouldn't this be an act of war DECLARED BY MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not picking on Mexicans, and please, not interested in discussing illegals! Just a light example here.

Wake up everybody! Come on! Russia has declared war on Ukraine, period. But not a single spineless media outlet, Fox included, has said point blank "RUSSIA HAS DECLARED WAR ON UKRAINE!" Soviet KGB Putin seems so relaxed and calm. He has a true friend with Obama at the helm of the free-world. ISIL, Ukraine, Boko Haram, but Obama is more concerned with speeches, cameras, selfies, and popularity polls. He is letting these nutcases destroy lives and nations! Sanctions! Are you kidding me? Sanctions!!! Yeah, sanctions really have these people fearing for their lives. Sanctions against Iran for decades............they will have a nuke people! Sanctions against North Korea, sanctions against Cuba, sanctions, sanctions!!! Sanctions have been proven to be the utmost lamest excuse for being weak and not to take action. That's like punishing California with no lattes or espressos! Relax CA, just kidding.


by: meanbill from: USA
July 05, 2014 12:08 PM
"He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious" .. "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu

THE WISE MAN said it; -- The enemy is more dangerous when he uses guerrilla warfare tactics against a superior force, and surrounds the countryside around the city his enemy controls now..... (and now)..., The pro-Russians don't have to protect anything now, but wage continuous guerrilla war, and using hit and run tactics, that the Ukraine army hasn't enough men to defend against..... and just maybe spread the conflict to western Ukraine, with hit and run terrorist attacks.....

REMEMBER? -- The Ukraine army can win all the battles, but lose this war, against the new guerrilla tactics they're not prepared to fight?..... The US should have warned the Ukraine government, on what happened to them in Afghanistan?..... And now, the pro-Russians have melted into the countryside in smaller guerrilla groups, to attack supply lines and other targets..... (the way the Russians fought the Nazi's in WW2), until the Nazi's were defeated, and ran?

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
July 05, 2014 6:30 PM
CRAZY isn't it?..... The Ukraine army knew where it's pro-Russian enemy was, and had them surrounded.... (and now), the Pro-Russian enemy now know where the Ukraine army is, and has it surrounded?..... With all the superior weapons, and unchallenged air superiority, (and on the advice of the US, and their Afghan experience), the Ukraine army decided to take a city that has no strategic value, and let the enemy lay roadside bombs, and mines, and ambushes, to any coming or going Ukraine troops from the city...... Yea, that's intelligent, isn't it?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid