News / Europe

Separatists Reject Ukraine Cease-Fire

Pro-Russian troops prepare to travel in a tank on a road near the town of Yanakiyevo in eastern Ukraine, Friday, June 20, 2014.
Pro-Russian troops prepare to travel in a tank on a road near the town of Yanakiyevo in eastern Ukraine, Friday, June 20, 2014.
VOA News
Pro-Russian separatists rejected a unilateral cease-fire declared by Ukraine's newly inaugurated president, casting doubt on the new effort to end the conflict in the country's east that has killed hundreds.

Ukraine's border guard service said rebels attacked one of its posts in the Donetsk region overnight, hours after President Petro Poroshenko ordered the halt in fighting. At least three guards were injured, the agency said.

The cease-fire announced Friday was the latest attempt to try to tamp down the fighting that has seen Russian-backed fighters seize towns and arsenals around Donetsk and eastern regions over the past two months.

Poroshenko's order told Ukraine's military and security forces to halt operations for seven days and urged rebels to lay down their arms. 

The 14-point plan would set up a demilitarized zone along the Ukrainian-Russian border and provide an escape corridor for mercenaries that the Ukrainian government has said are in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has sent mixed signals both about ending support for the separatists and backing a lasting peace deal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the cease-fire as an "ultimatum." In a statement, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin supported Poroshenko's call. 

"However, the Russian head of state drew attention to the fact that the proposed plan without practical actions aimed at the beginning of the negotiation process will not be viable and realistic," the Kremlin said. 

Also Saturday, the Kremlin announced that Putin had put troops in central Russia on "combat alert" for snap drills. Russian officials say the drills involve some 65,000 troops, in a region that does not border Ukraine.

A NATO military officer told VOA Friday that the presence of new Russian troops near the border with Ukraine do not appear to be engaged in "border patrol" duties, but instead seem to be concentrating in staging areas and preparing and awaiting future orders.

He said the new troops were not "an encouraging sign."

Deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday the United States is concerned about the buildup.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the deployment had been planned in advance and was designed to reinforce Russia's border controls.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a standoff since late February when violent protests forced Viktor Yanukovych from the presidency and Russian forces moved into Crimea. Russia later annexed the Black Sea peninsula in March, and in April, the insurgency erupted in Ukraine's east.

VOA Pentagon correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed material to this report.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

UN Tackles Illicit Wildlife Poaching Amid Cecil the Lion Uproar

The 193-member General Assembly adopts its first resolution on the issue following a two-year campaign by Germany and Gabon More

Trump Tops Poll as Rivals Battle to Make Debate

Donald Trump jumps into a big lead in Republican presidential race, according to latest poll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Grumpy Old Man from: Laguna Beach, Ca, USA
June 22, 2014 5:21 PM
EU plot to enmesh Ukraine in claws of EU. Russian sphere of influence. Respect Russia for a change.
In Response

by: Goldingen from: Mittawa
June 23, 2014 2:56 AM
These preconditions for peace are not sufficient. Why not adding some more terms: US should leave Alaska, Karlshorst in East Berlin should be returned to their afterwar owners and Snowden must be appointed Director of the Central Intelligence Agency?

by: Goldingen from: Mittawa
June 22, 2014 10:40 AM
In the Ukraine presidential elections the candidate from the right-wing party gained only 0.7 percent of the votes and the candidate from another right party "Freedom" received just 1,16 per cent.This is much less than the % gained by the right parties in the last parlamentary elections in EU. The people in Ukraine are no more fascists than the victims of Stalin's showtrials.

by: fare from: Hungary
June 22, 2014 2:20 AM
The West betrayed Ukrainians and left them alone to face Russia's tanks.

by: Vannak from: usa
June 22, 2014 12:02 AM
Where are tanks of separatis come from? Russia ? Asenal of Ukrain force? No one know. But how many tanks they have? How many dies in next fighting. Prosenko should analy again your goverment face two thing now. 1 is war again separatis . 2 is gas war. If you can not solve immediately your people will face badly catastrophe. Today one thing that governor can not decide quickly is the nationalis . So before do next step you should explain your people what is your goal. In thailand there are serious problems because nationalish . The same in Egype Iraq Afanistan .... Prosenko you can not use other country hand to solve your problems.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 22, 2014 7:14 AM
Vannak, wish you would ask an American friend to help with your English. Since all opinions and comments in this forum are valuable to all of us, we don't want our messages to be misunderstood. But I would like to retort about your last comment about Poroshenko not to get help from other countries to solve his problems. So why didn't you say the same for the rebels then? If I have mistaken you to be Russian, then I apologize. Otherwise, Russia is helping the seperatists, so it would be fair for Ukraine to get international help as well, right? Or is your opinion just biased?

by: meanbill from: USA
June 21, 2014 6:26 PM
Nothing the no-Nazi, Right Sector, and other ultra-right wing extremists that seized the Ukraine government by force, and the newly elected Ukraine President Poroshenko differ in anything from the first original ultimatum given to the pro-Russian separatists. -- (It's (40) years of war or more, rather than sit down and drink tea together, and talk?)
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 22, 2014 7:26 AM
Yep, Ukraine is for Ukraine people. Good point. So if people there are pro-Russian, then why not just move to Russia? Ukraine was a nation, before the soviets took it! Even when Ukraine was Russian for all those decades, Ukranians would be offended to be called Russian. That is old news there. Again, pro-Russian people living there already knew this about the pride of Ukraine and their love of independence from the opressive Rusian government. So, again, why not just carry their pro-Russian a$$e$ to Russia, instead of trying to take over a country that has absolutely no desire to be Russian in any way shape or form? These pro-Russian people were there in a sovereign nation simply because Russia took it by force. So now we should feel any support for people who didn't belong there in the first place? The Ukranians should have the right to kick them all out and live in the beloved Russian country they so desire to become.
In Response

by: Anonymous
June 21, 2014 7:39 PM
Ukraine lands are for Ukrainians people

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs