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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora