News / Europe

    Obama, Putin Discuss Ukraine in Phone Call

    Members of OSCE mission to Ukraine examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.
    Members of OSCE mission to Ukraine examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine Friday, Aug. 1, 2014.
    VOA News

    U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken by telephone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, with Obama saying the United States remains deeply concerned about Moscow's increased support for separatists in Ukraine.

    Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, President Obama said he discussed his preference for a diplomatic solution with the Russian leader.  Mr. Obama, however, said there are limits to what the United States can do.

    "Right now what we've done is impose sufficient costs on Russia that objectively speaking they should, President Putin should want to resolve this diplomatically.  Get these sanctions lifted.  Get their economy growing again and have good relations with Ukraine; but sometimes people don't always act rationally and they don't always act based on their medium- or long-term interests.  That can't deter us though.  We just have to stay at it," said President Obama.

    The White House says the two leaders "agreed to keep open their channels of communication."

    The Kremlin, for its part, said Putin told the U.S. president in the telephone call that fresh sanctions imposed on Russia this week for its support for the separatists were "counterproductive" and would cause "serious damage to bilateral cooperation and international stability."

    Also Friday, several dozen international investigators began working at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

    Investigators from the Netherlands and Australia, along with officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, began combing an area now designated as a crime scene.

    They will focus on recovering several dozen bodies still missing and retrieving the belongings of the 298 people killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down last month.

    In another development, 10 Ukrainian paratroopers were killed Friday in an ambush by pro-Russian separatists near the town of Shakhtarsk, which is located not far from the crash site.

    The acting commander of Ukraine's airborne troops, Colonel Yuriy Halushkin told reporters in Kyiv 13 other paratroopers were wounded and 11 are missing.

    Ukraine and Western governments blame rebels for the shootdown.  U.S. analysts say the jetliner was likely downed by pro-Russian separatists launching a Russian missile.  There were no survivors.

    Rebels intent on establishing autonomous republics near the Russian border have been battling Ukrainian troops for three months.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
    August 03, 2014 2:50 PM
    In our country, we have the writ of habeas corpus, as you know, meaning that a person arrested may not be held without sufficient evidence. Furthermore, if held, he is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. In the U.S. news, we are now reading reports by a German investigator, pilot-cum-air-technology expert,Peter Haisenko, who says the holes in the plane were not made by a missile, but a close range weapon like the ones owned by the Ukrainian govt, SU-25 fighter planes, 2 of which were spotted near the Malaysian airliner at that time by the Spanish air traffic control, as reported in Investment Watch. Until this is confirmed , however, the only one to blame for this tragic accident is the Malaysian passenger plane who flew through a civil WAR ZONE!!
    In Response

    by: AL
    August 04, 2014 9:16 AM
    Perhaps forensic examination of the fuselage components may also assist identification. However it is possible that satellite imagery has identified what may have struck the plane. What is really required is that Russia extradite those involved in the downing of MH 17 to the Hague. Habeas Corpus in criminal acts such as this are akin to war, in which case, it is irrelevant. Nobody should be exonerated for a dastardly deed, such as shooting down this aircraft. It is up to Russia to make the choice. The world is waiting.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    August 02, 2014 12:08 PM
    To Anonymous
    It is counterproductive, superficial and provocative to jump into hasty conclusions about somebody’s guilt in the shotdowning, as it is not still proved without doubts that there was a rocket. There are different assumptions about “Who did this?”
    By analogy, Kalashnikov machine guns are being used in military conflicts all over the world after having been produced in dozen of countries without Russia’s license. There were cases when the guns were stolen or captured from depots of the weak governments. Will you blame Russia for the deaths caused by the outstanding machine guns in wrong hands? The same with the rocket in question. It was an obsolete one, the remnant of 1980-s and had been stockpiled in Ukraine as a former ally of the USSR. It is known fact that the rockets were not properly stored by Ukraine government and were repossessed by rebels and could have been captured by anybody.

    by: Igor from: Russia
    August 01, 2014 10:47 PM
    Waging war and blaming each other will not solve the Ukraine civil war. The war has come as the result of different opinions between the West and the East of Ukraine. Firstly those in power in Kiev must withraw all troops from Eastern Ukraine to give ways for dialogues and to break the ice of distrust. A concilliation dialogue between Ukaine's government representatives and the representatives of Eastern Ukraine must be held in a neutral country to find out the most suitable solution for Eastern Ukraine. It is high tine for Ukraine to stop the use of force, to reconcile, to respect different views, to forgive. All sides must not get stucked with threats, killings, hatred, using the language of sactions and blaming each other for that. Innocent people has suffered enough!.

    by: Anonymous
    August 01, 2014 2:37 PM
    Counterproductive really? what would Mr Putin have us believe, that the downing of that aircraft was not done with a Russian manufactured missile battery? No sir, you really have to be courageous enough to ensure that those responsible for this atrocity are extradited to the Hague. Only then will Russia's credibility be restored and perhaps the sanctions aspect seriously reconsidered by the EU and lifted.
    In Response

    by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
    August 03, 2014 3:03 PM
    Nothing has been proven, and , even if it were, there will never be proof that it was intentional and not an accident by one of the disparate factions in the Ukrainian Civil War fearing a overhead bombing by the other. For honest people, this one will for ever remain an accident, albeit a very tragic one, but still an accident. There should be no sanctions, as the our U.S. govt. gives missiles and weapons to plenty of countries that aren't even on our border and don't even have any Americans in them. I used to be proud to be an American. However, at the present time, I am ashamed of our hypocrisy. Although a Democrat, unless things change drastically, I, and everyone with whom I have spoken, will definitely be voting Republican in the next election.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.