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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.