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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora