World News

Putin Signs Treaty Making Crimean Peninsula Part of Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make Ukraine's Crimea part of Russia, angering the United States and European Union.

Mr. Putin Tuesday signed the document with the prime minister of Crimea's regional government , the speaker of its parliament, and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol , where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.

Earlier, Mr. Putin told the Russian parliament that Crimea has always been an "inalienable" part of Russia. He said Sunday's referendum, in which Crimean voters decided in favor of joining Russia, complied with democratic and international norms.

White House spokesman Jay Carney condemned Russia's latest move, saying it clearly violates international law and disregards Ukraine's constitution and sovereignty. Carney said the international community will not recognize Crimea as part of Russia

Also Tuesday, Russian and Ukrainian news media quoted a Ukrainian military spokesman as saying Russian forces attacked Ukrainian troops at a base in Crimea's main city, Simferopol, killing one serviceman.

Britain has suspended military cooperation with Russia in light of the dispute over Crimea. A planned naval exercise is canceled and a British Royal Navy ship visit to Russia is suspended.

Crimean officials say the final ballot count from Sunday's referendum shows 97 percent of voters favored independence from Ukraine.

Senior White House officials say they have "concrete evidence" that some ballots were marked before the vote.

In his speech to parliament Tuesday, Mr. Putin insisted Russia has always respected Ukraine's territorial integrity and neither wants to nor needs to "partition" Ukraine.

He criticized Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's decision to transfer Crimea from Russia to Ukraine in 1954. When Crimea ended up as part of independent Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Mr. Putin said Russia felt it was not simply "robbed," but "plundered."

Mr. Putin also said that after the Russian Revolution of 1917, "significant historical territory" of southern Russia, including "present-day southeastern Ukraine," was included in the Ukrainian republic of the Soviet Union "without regard to the ethnic composition of the population."

The Russian leader described last month's ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, as a coup by "nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites."

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Tuesday that his country's law enforcement agencies have "convincing evidence" Russia's special services are involved in unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Separately, Mr. Yatsenyuk told CNN there is "a strong possibility" of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs