News / Europe

Russia Criticized for Worsening Humanitarian Situation in Ukraine

Ukraine's Deputy UN Ambassador Oleksandr Pavlichenko addresses the U.N. Security Council as they meet to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Aug. 5, 2014.
Ukraine's Deputy UN Ambassador Oleksandr Pavlichenko addresses the U.N. Security Council as they meet to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Aug. 5, 2014.
Margaret Besheer

Russia called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Tuesday to urge that international community take urgent measures to improve humanitarian conditions in eastern Ukraine, where the government and Russian-backed separatists have been fighting for months.  Some Council members accused Russia of being the cause of the crisis it seeks to contain.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin noted that nearly 800,000 Ukrainians have sought refuge in Russia since early this year.  He said Moscow is prepared to take on this “great burden” without outside help.

In eastern Ukraine, where the U.N. says nearly 4 million people live in areas affected by violence, Ambassador Churkin said action is necessary to improve living conditions, and Moscow is prepared to help.  

“We would like to send a convoy with Russian humanitarian assistance under the egis and with the accompaniment of the ICRC to Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as to other inhabited areas of Ukraine where IDPs are concentrated from the east," said Churkin.

Churkin said the greatest need is for food, medicine, medical equipment, water purification systems and generators.  He said Russia is prepared to act transparently and let the international community monitor the convoys, their transport routes and the distribution of aid.

Some Council members, including Britain’s ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, were skeptical, saying Russia’s support of armed rebels is responsible for the worsening humanitarian situation in the east.

“We agree that there needs to be an end to violence.  We agree that alleviating humanitarian distress is a matter of priority; but Russia cannot credibly present itself as supporting the people of eastern Ukraine when it is the architect of the violence that afflicts them," said Lyall Grant.

U.S. Deputy U.N. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo noted that Russia has the means to end the instability.

“Russia can stop all of this. The surest way to end the violence is for Russia to stop the flow of fighters, weapons and money from Russia into eastern Ukraine.  Russia has the ability to get the separatists it supports to lay down their arms, sit at the negotiating table and work to implement President [Petro] Poroshenko’s peace plan," said DiCarlo.

She said instead of positive steps, Russia has nearly doubled its battalions near the Ukrainian border.  She also expressed concern about Russia’s plan to conduct a large-scale military exercise near the border that could escalate tensions.

The United Nations has voiced concern for the protection of civilians as military operations are increasingly being conducted in densely populated urban areas.  The U.N. also has urged Ukraine to establish a central registration system to track and assist the displaced. 

You May Like

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs