News / Europe

    Russia: Ousted Ukrainian President Requested Military Help

    FILE - Viktor Yanukovych
    FILE - Viktor Yanukovych
    Margaret Besheer
    Russia’s U.N. ambassador said Ukraine's deposed president asked Moscow to send its troops to re-establish law and order in his country.
     
    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told an emergency meeting of the 15-nation U.N. Security Council Monday that Viktor Yanukovych - whom Moscow still regards as the legitimate Ukrainian president - wrote President Vladimir Putin on Saturday saying there is “chaos and anarchy” in his country and it is on “the brink of a civil war.”  Churkin said Yanukovych was particularly concerned for the Crimean region.
     
    The Russian ambassador held up the document to show Council members, and read the document aloud while an interpreter translated.
     
    “Under the influence of Western countries there are open acts of terror and violence. People are being persecuted for language and political reasons. In this regard, I would call on the president of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine,” said Churkin.
     
    The Russian envoy said Moscow’s actions were centered on defending and protecting the millions of Russian citizens and Russian speakers in the autonomous Crimea region of Ukraine.
     
    He repeatedly referred to “extremists” and “armed national radicals” who he said terrorized towns in western Ukraine, and Moscow’s fear that they would repeat such actions in Crimea.
     
    Ukraine’s envoy, Yuriy Sergeyev, complained to the Council that Russia now has 16,000 military personnel in his country. He said they have arrived by air and sea.
     
    Ambassador Churkin responded that under the agreement with Ukraine governing Russia’s Black Sea fleet, Russia can have as many as 25,000 military personnel in the country. He also underscored that although Russian lawmakers have authorized the use of armed forces, it does not mean they will use them.
     
    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power had strong words for her Russian counterpart, sarcastically saying that listening to him one might think Moscow had become the “rapid response arm” of the U.N. human rights chief.
     
    “Russian military action is not a human rights protection mission. It is a violation of international law and a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the independent nation of Ukraine, and a breach of Russia’s Helsinki commitments and its U.N. obligations,” said Power.
     
    Dismissing the appeal from Ukraine’s ousted president for Russian military intervention, Ambassador Power said that under the Ukrainian constitution, only the parliament can approve the presence of foreign troops.
     
    British envoy Mark Lyall Grant said there is no justification for Russia’s military action either in international law or in its agreement with Ukraine.
     
    “The Russian forces have forcibly taken over military and civilian airports, the infrastructure. They have set up road blocks. They have pressurized Ukrainian military leaders to defect. They have given other Ukrainian units ultimatums to surrender. They have blocked Ukrainian ports and they have vastly increased their military forces all along the Russian-Ukrainian border,” said Grant.
     
    Russia’s main Security Council ally, China, did not criticize Moscow, but Beijing’s ambassador did say his country stands for non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
     
    The United Nations has dispatched the deputy secretary-general to Kyiv to assess the situation, as diplomats continue to call for an immediate de-escalation of the crisis.
     
    The United States and European Union have called on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine or face possible political isolation and economic consequences.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora