News / Europe

Putin in Crimea in First Visit Since Annexation

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a speech during events marking Victory Day, in Sevastopol, Crimea, May 9, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a speech during events marking Victory Day, in Sevastopol, Crimea, May 9, 2014.
VOA News
Russian President Vladimir Putin flew to Crimea Friday to mark the Soviet Union's World War II victory, his first trip to the peninsula since Moscow annexed it from Ukraine in March.

Putin declared his country is now stronger with the annexation of Crimea.

"I am sure that 2014 will go into the annals of our whole country as the year when the nations living here firmly decided to be together with Russia, affirming fidelity to the historical truth and the memory of our ancestors,''  Putin was quoted as saying during a speech in the port city of Sevastopol.

"There is a lot of work ahead but we will overcome all difficulties because we are together, which means we have become stronger," the Russian leader said during his remarks to military leaders and other officials. 

The Kyiv government immediately condemned Putin's visit as a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and international law. The March 21st annexation of Crimea is not recognized by the United States, the European Union and NATO.

The Obama administration criticized the trip as provocative and repeated its rejection of the region's annexation. The European Union also weighed in, saying the commemoration of victory in World War II shoud not be used to showcase Russia's annexation of the region.
 
A sailor stands during a Victory Day military parade in Sevastopol, Crimea on May 9, 2014.
A sailor stands during a Victory Day military parade in Sevastopol, Crimea on May 9, 2014.


Putin arrived was treated like a hero upon his arrival in Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based. Earlier in the day, he watched as thousands of Russian troops marched through Moscow to mark Victory Day, the 69th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Putin made no mention of the situation in Ukraine during public remarks in Moscow. Both the Sevatopol and Russian anniversaries fall on May 9.  

Later in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for urgent dialogue, mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, between Kiev and south-eastern regions of Ukraine.

Lavrov also called for Washington to help end Ukrainian military operations in the south-east of the country.

 
Russian servicemen march during a Victory Day Parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2014.
Russian servicemen march during a Victory Day Parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2014.


Mariupol clash

Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops driving armored vehicles Friday in the port city of Mariupol smashed through barricades surrounding a police station occupied by pro-Russian separatists.  Witnesses say the attack killed at least seven people, and television footage showed the building reduced to smoldering rubble.

The new violence in the southeastern port city on the Azov Sea comes two days before voters in the region decide whether to secede from Ukraine and establish an independent Donetsk People's Republic.  A similar referendum is set for the nearby Luhansk region.

The Ukraine offensive in Mariupol, a city of 465,000 residents, marks the second time this week that government security forces have engaged the armed separatists.
 
Pro-Russian rebels guard Victory Day celebrations in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on May 9, 2014.
Pro-Russian rebels guard Victory Day celebrations in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on May 9, 2014.

But pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk said they will go ahead with Sunday's balloting, despite the Russian leader's call for a delay on Thursday.
 
Russian media quoted separatist Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, as saying the referendum will ask residents to vote yes or no on whether they support a "proclamation of state independence."

Luhansk residents will be asked the same question, despite recent polling showing 70 percent of residents in eastern Ukraine want to remain part of Ukraine.

Fuel

In another development, Russia ordered energy-dependent Ukraine to pay in advance for all future natural gas deliveries. 

The Russian Energy Ministry said Thursday Ukraine missed a Wednesday deadline to pay down a $3.5 billion energy debt. As the cash-poor Kyiv government struggles to maintain economic and political stability, Moscow now says all gas sent from June 1 will require cash in advance.

It remained unclear late Thursday what impact the prepayment edict will have on the European Union. Russia supplies about 30 percent of Western Europe's gas needs, with about half of those supplies passing through Ukraine.

Ukraine has so far refused to pay down its energy debt to protest Moscow's recent gas price increase that nearly doubles what Ukraine's energy monopoly Naftogaz pays its neighbor. 

The Russian president last month warned the European Union that it would require gas prepayments from Ukraine, unless Europe helped cover the Ukraine debt.  Since then, the International Monetary Fund has approved a loan package to Kyiv that includes an initial payment of more than $2 billion. 

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.
 
Putin in Crimea in First Visit Since Annexationi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
May 09, 2014 2:35 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Crimea on his first visit to the peninsula since Moscow annexed it from Ukraine in March.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Blockbuster from: Auckland
May 11, 2014 12:29 AM
I think Putin, has created a balance of power west has developed a tendency of attacking small countries with no military capabilities like US e.g Iraq, libya, Afganistan and also toppling regimes from other small countries just because they don't stand to serve their interests.I think west miscalculated Russia and now history is repeating itself no one has conquered Russia. Personally I thank China for giving the world another economical option and for Putin and Russia for putting a stop to US bullying.

by: Radmila from: Rus
May 10, 2014 10:32 AM
Contents of this video from with Putin Crim and another - from the sity Mariuple, in which ucraine rule killed townsmen for money of NATO and USA. USA it is a unique аnd a nazy country, USA create hostility and grow rich. People of the USA are opinionated, but they ignore truth. Ucraine, Russia and Belarus - an one genetic and language nation! In the 1914, 1991 they were parted by force of West and USA. As and in the 2014. We will die a violent death. I am rus. I know

by: gen from: Japan
May 10, 2014 6:08 AM
Mr Putin said before to Obama "West take actions on the basis of inaccurate information".Russian laugh and feel "US set fire on my neighbour's house.then uncontrollable.Then US blame it on the neighbour(Russia) who live near the house
on which US set fire ".LOL.
Americans are like that?

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 10, 2014 3:33 AM
Mr. Putin is a criminal, He is a terrorist and he should be brought to justice by the ICC. This man is a modern day Hitler who have defied the so call world leaders. We are calling on the ICC to act immediately, Such a cowardly behavior must and will not be tolerated. Russia flying their f16 over US coast, what kind of mess is that? an President Obama is saying why everybody want us to fight? Yes we want to fight. who does Mr. Putin think he is? He is so lucky that former President George W. Bush is not in power. Do you actually think when President Bush was in power, that nonsense that Mr. Putin did, he will do it? No. Russia cannot withstand the US fire power, No. But the IC needs to respond to Russia aggression.

by: gen from: Japan
May 10, 2014 2:02 AM
Mr Putin said before to Obama "West take actions on the basis of inaccurate information".Russian laugh and feel "US set fire on my neighbour's house.then uncontrollable.Then US blame it on the neighbour(Russia) who live near the house
on which US set fire ".LOL.
Most of american is like this?

by: James McQuaid from: Lansing, Michigan
May 09, 2014 10:14 PM
In its secret war against Ukraine, Russia relies on covert operations which fall squarely within the definition of "international terrorism" under 18 U.S.C. § 2331.
Specifically, armed operatives of Russia, acting under disguise, attempt to influence the policy of the Ukrainian government by intimidation or coercion. They also try to affect the conduct of a government by assassinations and kidnapping, taking by force government buildings, police posts and the military bases of Ukraine.
This activity is being conducted on a very large scale and over a prolonged time period, despite condemnation by the USA, G-7, NATO, EU and UN.
Please sign the petition at the White House web site to officially designate Russia as "State sponsor of terrorism”: http://wh.gov/lwuL9
This status would prohibit investment by American corporations in stinking Russia.
In Response

by: Denesd from: US
May 10, 2014 9:13 AM
Consequently Putyin is a war criminal like Milosevic. His place is in The Hague.

by: CCCF from: West Volga Terr.
May 09, 2014 9:03 PM
Putin.......to smug...so self assured.....has nice parade with planes, rocket launchers and troops.....in hurry to visit Crimea but not the Russia gulags....Mr Putin....where are the stolen Ukrainian ships?

by: meanbill from: USA
May 09, 2014 8:43 AM
WHAT NEXT? -- Will Russia build a "Disneyland" themed type amusement park in Crimea? -- A world class Casino, and tourist resort?
Eastern Ukraine is the industrial base of Ukraine, and would be a major addition to the Russian Federation... It'll be another win, win, Putin victory from the book "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu...

by: moritz katz from: germany
May 09, 2014 8:02 AM
As head of state he is doing what he should be doing no for us to pass judgment
In Response

by: Sean Young from: Canada
May 10, 2014 9:08 AM
Moritz really. Im sure you miss Hitler and the dream of one world power. Will you feel the same if germany is next.
In Response

by: violet Weiner from: 90027
May 09, 2014 8:51 PM
Putin is following Hitler's agenda to a T, only he's not
only persecuting minorities, but his own people. Stalin
did the same thing and killed 4 million Russians with
theSoviet Union rule, and Putin's next step is to lie to
the world that it's for the 'good of his people', which is
also what Hitler did. Putin says one thing and does
another, and is just another little dictator.
Vigoddess@aol.com

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More