News / Europe

    Russia Proposes Humanitarian Corridors for Ukraine

    Armed militiamen supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic guard a checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, June 1, 2014.
    Armed militiamen supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic guard a checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, June 1, 2014.
    Margaret Besheer
    Russia on Monday circulated its proposal for a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for humanitarian corridors and a cease-fire in southeastern Ukraine.  The draft text was met with skepticism from several Council members.

    Russia’s U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin told reporters the draft resolution demands the immediate cessation of hostilities, urges parties to commit to a sustainable cease-fire, and calls for the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow aid in, and civilians safely out.

    “If this fighting continues, there is going to be even more hostility.  There are going to be more hostilities, more casualties.  By implication it’s going to make the political dialogue in Ukraine more difficult. We do have the political framework there - the Geneva statement and the road map of the OSCE, but in order for that to work, violence needs to stop," said Churkin.

    He said the resolution is intended to be “non-politicized” and purely humanitarian.

    Ukraine’s envoy, Yuriy Sergeyev, dismissed the Russian move.

    “The very fact that the resolution on Ukraine is tabled by the Russian Federation is cynical and immoral," said Sergeyev. "A country that has recently occupied and annexed a part of the territory of Ukraine, a country sponsoring terrorism and unrest in the eastern regions of Ukraine, now offers a settlement plan?”

    He said if Moscow wants to see an end to violence in southeastern Ukraine, it should stop sending fighters, weaponry and money to pro-Russian factions there.

    After a hastily called referendum in March, watched over by Russian troops, the Crimean region of Ukraine voted to declare independence and was then annexed by Moscow. An insurgency erupted in parts of eastern and southern Ukraine shortly after, with many Western nations accusing Russia of financing and arming the rebels.

    Lithuanian ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité said it is “ironic” that after four vetoes on any action to stop the bloodshed and humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Syria for more than three years, Russia decided a humanitarian resolution is necessary for Ukraine.

    “We don’t need a draft resolution. The only thing they [Russia] can do is basically disown the rebels, stop supplies, stop financing, disassociate with them completely, and I think the issues will be settled within a very short period of time," said Murmokaité.

    France’s envoy said after reviewing the Russian text that it lacked important references, such as to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and the right of Ukraine to defend itself. He said several Council members also said they would need a report from the United Nations department of humanitarian affairs on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora