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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs