News / Europe

Ukraine Halts Offensive to Help Experts Reach Crash Site

  • An armed pro-Russian separatist (left) and a man examine fragments of spent ammunition in central Donetsk, July 29, 2014.
  • A woman walks out of a damaged multi-story block of flats carrying her belongings following what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces, in central Donetsk, July 29, 2014.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) heads the cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, July 30, 2014.
  • Alexander Hug (center), deputy head of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine, nex to armed pro-Russian separatists on the way to the site in eastern Ukraine where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near Donetsk, July 30, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian rebels travel past a convoy of the OSCE mission in Ukraine outside the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 30, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin hold a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, July 29, 2014.
  • People gather in an underground car park to seek safety from shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 29, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama speaks about new sanctions imposed on Russia in Washington, DC, July 29, 2014.
VOA News

Ukraine has announced a one-day halt in its fight against separatists in eastern Ukraine to allow international investigators to reach the downed Malaysian airliner's crash site.

Kyiv said the move Thursday was in response to a plea by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to stop fighting near the crash site.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have tried several times to access the area but have had to turn back because of safety concerns.

Ban told reporters Wednesday that he is "deeply disturbed" that investigators have not been able to access the site. He said key evidence remains in the area and noted that the bodies of the crash victims have not all been found.

Families of the victims of the crash, which killed 298 people July 17, are anxious for investigators to reach the scene.  Some human remains are believed still at the site, after about 200 sets of remains were transferred to the Netherlands for identification last week.

Speaking during a visit to the Netherlands, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday called for an" immediate cessation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine." He also stressed that investigators need to be given full access to the crash site.

U.S. analysts say the Malaysia Airlines plane - downed over eastern Ukraine - was destroyed by a Russian missile likely fired by rebels who believed the aircraft was Ukrainian.

New sanctions go into effect

Meanwhile, Russia's central bank is promising to support financial institutions hit by new sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union aimed at punishing Russia for its support of the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The bank on Wednesday promised to "take adequate measures'' to support institutions affected by the sanctions.

Stock markets in Moscow opened lower Wednesday as the the measures against Russia's banking, oil and defense sectors went into effect.

Announcing new U.S. sanctions targeting Russia's energy, financial and defense sectors, President Barack Obama linked the new penalties to the shootdown of the Malaysian airliner. U.S. analysts say the plane downed over eastern Ukraine was destroyed by a Russian missile likely fired by rebels who believed the aircraft was Ukrainian.

In Brussels meanwhile, ambassadors from the 28-member European Union agreed to new penalties on Russia, including an arms embargo and a ban on trade of equipment for the Russian oil and defense sectors.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU measures against Moscow were "unavoidable."

It is not clear what further actions the U.S. and Europe are willing to take if the situation remains unchanged.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said there is not a "shred of evidence" Russia seeks to end the violence and bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking during a joint appearance in Washington with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Kerry again called for Russia to use its "considerable influence" with separatists in eastern Ukraine to ensure that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine is secured.  He accused the separatists blocking access to the site where the airliner crashed earlier this month.

The U.S. secretary of state also said there is "clear evidence" of rocket and artillery fire from Russian territory into Ukraine.

Klimkin stressed the importance of reaching a cease-fire with the pro-Russian rebels, with the aim of restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Their comments came as tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated, with Moscow accusing Kyiv of a cross-border attack and committing "war crimes" in eastern Ukraine.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, and Reuters.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gen from: japan
July 30, 2014 2:40 PM
The sanction over Russia is two merits for Mr.Obama.This year November, the midterm election is held in US. Now Mr.Obama is attacked by the republicans about his negative foreign policy.so he would want to show the positive stance.and if the US economy would be sluggish, he could blame the sanction effects.It would be a excuse for US economy. If the economy would be bad,Obama have only to say the sanction effect.

by: gen from: japan
July 30, 2014 2:18 PM
If it is true that the separatists set landmines on the crash site,they would want to avoid the evidence contaminated by Ukraine.Ukraine would make fake evidence for getting their advantages and for making EU upset. To make Russia isolate is a important strategy of Ukraine.

by: Peter from: USA
July 30, 2014 1:34 PM
I see a pattern of misinformation here. Yesterday, I read the International Observers were escorted by Pro-Russia separatists. They were unable to enter the area because Ukrainian government is attacking pro-russia separatists that were controlling the crash site. VOA is writing something not sanguine here.
In Response

by: Ivan from: Russia
July 30, 2014 11:18 PM
the way that US has "clear evidence" shows only that they have no evidences at all. UA forses continue shellings of civilians inspite of KIew's ceasefire announcement.

by: Tony from: Dallas
July 30, 2014 1:15 PM
Iran Air Flight 655 was an Iran Air civilian passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai that was shot down by the United States Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988. The incident took place in Iranian airspace, over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, and on the flight's usual flight path. The aircraft, an Airbus A300 B2-203, was destroyed by SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles fired from the Vincennes. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew, died. This event ranks seventh among the deadliest disasters in aviation history.
Yet no sanctions on the US.


by: Fahrie from: Turkey
July 30, 2014 10:25 AM
I don't see any problem. If West (so to speak meaning USA and EU) deliberately put sanctions on Russia, then Russia must harm to West in any possible way. Thats fair

by: Dr. Ulyanov from: Moscow
July 30, 2014 8:41 AM
actually Russia is elated by the cascade of idiotic decisions made by Obama. China is firmly on our side, Brazil is part of our economic alternative, India can't stand the USA any more... and the jewel in the crown - Israel - which had been repeatedly betrayed by Obama - begins to form our unique intellectual foundation. We are very happy in Russia - thank you for asking...
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
July 30, 2014 12:30 PM
Hey Doc.... Wait till Putin and all you Russians receive the ultimate US sanction, a lifetime ban from "Disney Land" and Hollywood, (but the ban could be lifted), if Putin gets on his knees and apologizes and stops helping those pro-Russian guys, and also gives Crimea back..... We're not joking !!!!!

PS; .. Somebody said Nikita Khrushchev cried out before he died, (the cruelest thing that ever happened to me, was when America barred me from seeing Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Disney Land), and then he died...... (and now), the Russian peoples outcry from this "Disney Land" threat of being banned, may force Putin to repent and give back Crimea, do you think?

by: Wycliffe from: Nairobi
July 30, 2014 6:17 AM
.....and should after things remain unchanged by those estimated three to four months, we -EU & US declear war on Russia? This's the way to go hence avoid future unbarable costs.Yah! dehorn him -Putin as Romania prezo expressed his concern.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
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.

VOA Blogs