News / Europe

    Russia Arms Ukraine Secessionists, Again

    Russia Arms Ukraine Secessionists, Againi
    X
    James Brooke
    June 18, 2014 10:54 PM
    When Crimea broke away from Ukraine, after the uprising in Kyiv that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, Russia denied sending soldiers and weapons to boost the secessionist forces. Now, as James Brooke reports for VOA from Moscow, the Kremlin is trying the same tactic in the Russian-leaning areas of southeastern Ukraine.
    James Brooke
    When Crimea broke away from Ukraine, after the uprising in Kyiv that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, Russia denied sending soldiers and weapons to boost the secessionist forces. Now the Kremlin is trying the same tactic in the Russian-leaning areas of southeastern Ukraine.
     
    Video of Ukraine rebels jump-starting an old tank atop a World War II monument seemed to symbolize to the world their shortage of weapons.
     
    On June 4, President Vladimir Putin told a French interviewer that American officials were lying when they accused Russia of sending men and materiel to Ukraine’s secessionists.
     
    “There are no armed forces, no Russian ‘instructors’ in southeastern Ukraine," he said. "And there never were any.”
     
    He then challenged Washington to show proof.
     
    Despite his disavowal, videos surfaced on YouTube last week of three modern T-64 tanks - clanking through the streets of rebel-controlled Donetsk.
     
    Then, NATO released satellite photos indicating that the tanks came from southern Russia as part of a larger weapons convoy that included rocket launchers.
     
    Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow military analyst, says the Kremlin sent the tanks to pick up the spirits of rebels squeezed by a Ukrainian Army offensive.
     
    “These tanks would be, a powerful morale booster. So they were paraded, most likely, not for Western consumption but for local consumption,” said Felgenhauer.
     
    Rebel fighters are increasingly surrounded by Ukrainian army troops, and this week, rebel militia leader Igor Strelkov urgently appealed to Moscow for more Russian arms. Other rebel leaders went to Moscow and appealed in person.
     
    In Moscow, Sergei Markov, an influential nationalist thinker, warned that Moscow needs Ukraine’s Donbass region as a safety buffer between Russia and the West.

    "Russia can't give up the Donbass," he said, "because the next blow will be against Russia."
     
    Markov warned of security consequences if Russia allowed a pro-West government to survive in Kyiv.  He predicted that in 2017, “a NATO-Ukrainian army will invade Russia through Crimea."
     
    Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, is proposing a unilateral cease-fire.  But first, his soldiers are trying to shut off Russian arms shipments by closing Ukraine’s 2,000-kilometer land border with Russia.
     
    On the other side of the border, however, Russia is rebuilding its military strength.  Felgenhauer says the goal is to give Russia the option of a cross-border offensive in July or August.
     
    “If there is a threat the rebellion will collapse, Russia may move in, in force,” said Felgenhauer.
     
    Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the day after Russia stopped selling gas to Ukraine, there was an explosion on a buried pipeline that exports gas to Europe.  Ukrainian authorities say the blast might have been an act of terrorism aimed at undermining Ukraine's reputation as a reliable conduit for energy supplies.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Michaelcald from: odessa ukraine
    June 19, 2014 12:41 PM
    Mr Putin is a fine one to call people liars !! He has told so many lies that people are losing count of the lies that he has told. How many times has he told the world he is pulling troops from the border of Ukraine but only adds more troops ? Protecting Russian speakers ? Everyone in Ukraine speaks Russian including the President of Ukraine.

    Ukraine now has a Ukrainian President not a puppet from Moscow controlled by Putin. It is only right that Ukraine has a President that stands for the country not for going to the National Bank Of Ukraine and stealing millions of dollars daily and then taking the funds to Russia with the blessing of Mr Putin. Many of the people killed thus far are from Russia and have been sent back to Russia. Why cannot someone simply say that this conflict is all about money.

    by: Michaelcald from: odessa ukraine
    June 19, 2014 12:34 PM
    Everyone in Ukraine is sick of this situation. I doubt that Russians supplied the tanks to the criminal mercenaries in the East of Ukraine. Here is the thing , most people in Donetsk and Lugansk simply want this over with. When the money stops this will end . This conflict has nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with language but it does has everything to do with money. NATO will not attack Russia, whomever thinks that needs to have a reality check. No one needs to attack Russia they will not need to.

    This conflict is simply about MONEY all conflicts are about money. Russian language speakers ??? Everyone in Ukraine speaks Russian !!! Putin is a terrible leader and will lead Russia to a collapse. No one needs to attack Russia. Crimea will cost Russia hundreds of Billions of dollars. Russian news is advertising all flights to Simferopol are sold out, that is a lie, there are very few people on airplane flights to Simferopol. Russian media is so full of lies many countries have stopped airing Russian news. Russia is being lead into the past by Mr Putin, good job. The world is very hostile to Russians now. No one wants Russian people and no one wants their dirty money. Think about what you have done Mr Putin !!!

    by: Joe from: USA
    June 19, 2014 10:48 AM
    First thing lost in war is the truth.

    by: StopWWIII from: US
    June 19, 2014 9:58 AM
    Media must stop calling Donetsk/Luhansk rebels separatists. These are also Ukrainians of Russian origin. They lived there for 1000 of years longer than US existed. What they want is Federalization and official Russian language - 2 things that were not given to them by Ukraine government. Instead Ukraine government with US support started killing them and all civilians along.
    In Response

    by: Michaelcald from: odessa ukraine
    June 19, 2014 3:40 PM
    Ukraine has never been part of Russia. The Russians sent criminals from Russia to Ukraine to work in the coal mines. Donetsk does have some Russian criminal heritage, is that what you are talking about ?? Crimea belonged to the Turks for hundreds of years longer than it belonged to Russia so by Putins logic Crimea should really go back to Turkey !! Putin continues to alienate Russia from the world. He fills the Russian people full of lies. I can name several lies that he told in the last few months. Who would believe Putin now ?? Your leader is a directly responsible of how all Russian people will be treated in the future.

    by: Patrick Carroll from: Ireland
    June 19, 2014 4:06 AM
    As someone who has longstanding business relations with Ukraine and it's people, I concur with every syllable of this article.

    In other words, anyone who thinks Putin will let go of the Donbass without being forced too, is deluded.

    Likewise, the explosion on the gas line was to garner support from West European countries for the planned South Stream pipe line
    In Response

    by: Bogart724 from: Oak Grove, Louisiana
    June 19, 2014 1:01 PM
    If there is any justice in this wretched world, Russia will end up owning all of southern and eastern Ukraine. Let the crazies have the remainder of mess....

    by: Bobby from: Ukraine
    June 19, 2014 3:00 AM
    "modern T-64" tanks? so 1964 is modern and the "monument" tank being jump started, the IS-3 (Iosif Stalin-3) made 1944-1960+, are ancient history :)? Russia doesn't use any of these 'modern' tanks.

    by: Dimking
    June 19, 2014 2:00 AM
    Do you really think Russia has only 3 tanks?
    T-64 are out of service in Russia btw.

    by: Bogart724 from: Oak Grove, Louisiana
    June 19, 2014 12:21 AM
    So what if Russia is arming the Separatists. She should arm them and America should mind her own business and stay out of the matter. Nothing that America might do, concerning the Ukraine, except stay out of her troubles, will prove profitable. If she continues to meddle, the troubles that she will brew for herself will only multiply and become worse....

    by: Peter from: New York
    June 18, 2014 11:59 PM
    "three modern T-64 tanks"

    Tanks built in 1964 are considered modern by Voice of America?

    And considering that Ukrainian Army already deployed about hundred of tanks in eastern regions. Isn't it kind of silly to send just three tanks?

    In Response

    by: LES1 from: Ukraine
    June 19, 2014 1:44 PM


    As reported previously in the National Security Council, in Donetsk appeared - new Russian tanks T-72. June 17 armored vehicles moved by terrorists.



    by: mo from: usa
    June 18, 2014 11:53 PM
    Couple of little details.
    1) Russia stopped manufacturing T-64 about 30 years ago but Ukraine still does.
    2) Several T-64 tanks were captured from Ukrainian army by the separatists several weeks ago
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora