World News

Russia Vetoes UN Crimea Resolution, China Abstains

Russia has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution urging countries not to recognize the results of this Sunday's referendum on whether Crimea breaks away from Ukraine to join Russia.

Russia was the only member to vote against the measure Saturday. Thirteen other members voted for it while China abstained, saying the resolution would lead to confrontation and complications.

The resolution would have affirmed Ukrainian sovereignty by declaring that the referendum has "no validity."

China's abstention could mean more isolation of Moscow for its support of the Crimean referendum.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power called the resolution's defeat "a sad and remarkable moment."

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the resolution ran counter to the principles of international law.

Crimea is a primarily ethnic-Russian majority region of Ukraine. Moscow says it has the right to protect its interests in Crimea.



Meanwhile, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry says Russian forces have seized the village of Strilkove, near the Crimean border.

There are no reports of shots being fired, but the Ministry calls the takeover an "invasion" and demands the Russian soldiers leave.

But Ukrainian border guards say the Russians are only guarding a gas pumping station in the town.

Elsewhere, supporters and opponents of Russian action in Crimea rallied Saturday.

A large pro-Russian demonstration turned violent in the eastern city of Donetsk. Some protesters pushed their way past police and kicked in the glass windows and doors of the Ukrainian Security Service Building. The protesters stormed the building where they caused further damage.

Hundreds marched in Kyiv demanding Crimea remain part of Ukraine, while in Moscow, thousands of supporters of the referendum waved Russian and Soviet flags as they marched to Moscow's Revolution Square.

Opponents held a separate rally waving Ukrainian flags. Some said they fear Russian intervention in Crimea could lead to war.

OPTIONAL SOUNDBITES

Samantha Power, US Ambassador to UN:

"The truth is that this resolution should not have been controversial. It was grounded in principals that provide the foundation for international stability and law - Article 2 of the U.N. Charter - the prohibition on the use of force to acquire territory and respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of member states. These are principals that Russia agrees with and defends vigorously all around the world -- except, it seems, in circumstances that involve Russia."

Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador (English interpreter):

"We cannot go along with its basic assumption, that is declaring illegal the 16 March planned referendum where the very people of the Crimean republic will determine their future."

Liu Jieyi, Chinese Ambassador (English interpreter):

"The drafting of the draft resolution by the Security Council, at this juncture, will only result in confrontation and further complicate the situation."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs