News / Europe

    Putin Accuses Ukraine Leader of Shunning Road to Peace

    Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, July 1, 2014.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, July 1, 2014.
    VOA News

    Russia’s president heaped criticism on Ukraine’s leader for ending a cease-fire in the ongoing stand-off between Ukrainian forces and  pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Speaking in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said that he and his “European colleagues” tried unsuccessfully to persuade Petro Poroshenko to extend the truce, referring to discussions he and the Ukrainian leader had by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

    “Unfortunately President Poroshenko took the decision to restart military operations and we - I mean myself and my European colleagues - could not convince him that the road to stable, strong and long-lasting peace does not lie through war,” said Putin Tuesday before a gathering of Russian diplomats.

    The German and French leaders did reportedly press for an extension of the truce, but Poroshenko is seen to have made his decision largely under internal pressure. On Sunday, thousands of Ukrainians rallied before his office in Kyiv demanding an end to the cease-fire he had announced nine days earlier in hopes of getting separatist rebels to disarm, return seized border posts and hold peace talks.

    Some of the rebels heeded the truce but it quickly fell apart. According to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, 27 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 69 wounded while the ceasefire was in force.

    Poroshenko said in an early morning statement Tuesday that Ukraine had not seen "concrete steps [on Russia’s part] for de-escalating the situation, including strengthening controls on the border."

    Both Kyiv and the West accuse Moscow of supporting the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine with fighters and military hardware, a charge Moscow denies.
     
    In his speech, Putin attributed the roots of tensions in eastern Ukraine to the alleged suppression of rights of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers, the same pretext he used to justify Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in March.

    “In Ukraine, as you saw, our compatriots found themselves threatened, Russian people and people of other nationalities, their language, history, culture, legal rights - guaranteed, supposedly, by European conventions,” said Putin.

    Citing the Crimean scenario, Putin said Russia had been given no alternatives.

    “What kind of reaction did our partners expect from us when events unfolded in Ukraine? We certainly had no right to leave Crimeans or the people of Sevastopol (base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet) at the mercy of militant nationalists and radicals,” said Putin using terms frequently wielded by Russian officials and media outlets when describing Ukrainians aligned with the government in Kyiv.

    Had Russia not acted, Putin said, “fairly soon, I think, we would have seen NATO troops arrive.”

    Speaking about broader geopolitical tensions, Putin seemed to blame them on a general disintegration of international order.

    “There is growing potential for conflict, seriously exacerbated by old and newly provoked contradictions.... Unfortunately, we see that international law does not work, basic norms of decency are not met, and that lawlessness triumphs,” said Putin.

    Putin made no direct references to the United States but cautioned in general against “meddling in the affairs of sovereign states….”

    Referring to conflicts in other parts of the world, he called for steps toward their containment.

    “We need some kind of safety net around all of Europe so that the Iraqi, Libyan, Syrian - and unfortunately we have to mention the Ukrainian - scenarios do not become a contagious disease,” Putin said.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 01, 2014 1:26 PM
    Contagion...? Putin should beware! Seems he's beginning to see the western double-speak in action. He must understand western fears about Russia for its former link with USSR. The mind in the west is to try use war to further disintegrate and destabilize Russia, but who to start, who's to lead the front, is what is deterring the action for now. Do you wonder why a group that feigned war-weariness to go to Syria in the face of gross human rights violations - even to the use of chemical weapons against civilian targets - quickly mobilized fleets and flotillas to the black sea immediately it was hinted that Russian forces were involved in the Ukrainian crises?

    While the world knows and respects Russian military abilities at war, especially of the magnitude surrounded by western Europe and America from a long range, it is also something of prudence to thread carefully to avoid falling into the trap of the allied forces of Europe and America that can see Russia overwhelmed or taken unawares. This does not however preclude helping hand for the Russians of east Ukraine whom the insensitive pro-west government of Petro Poroshenko may not care a hoot to slaughter overnight if left on their own. Russia should be prepared to take a greater action against a gathering cloud of western threat while making moves to save its own from terror from Kiev.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora