News / Europe

Kerry Says 'Russian Agents' Behind Crisis in Eastern Ukraine

Secretary of State Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 8, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss his budget and the status of diplomatic hot spots around the world.
Secretary of State Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 8, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss his budget and the status of diplomatic hot spots around the world.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia is fueling separatist unrest in Eastern Ukraine that could be a "contrived crisis" to justify military intervention and that Moscow faces tougher banking, mining, and energy sanctions if it does not stop undermining Ukraine.

Kerry said President Barack Obama is preparing a far-tougher series of sanctions if Russia does not step back from what he calls its "clear and unmistakable involvement" in destabilizing Eastern Ukraine.

"So Russia has a choice: to work with the international community to help build an independent Ukraine that could be a bridge between East and West not the object of a tug of war, that could meet the hopes and aspiration of all Ukrainians; or they could face greater isolation and pay the cost for their failure to see that the world is not a zero-sum game," he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
  • A pro-Russian protester whose helmet reads "Donetsk Republic," pickets a building where Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was meeting with regional leaders from eastern Ukraine, in Donetsk, April 11, 2014.
  • Leaders of pro-Russian protesters hold a news briefing inside the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, April 11, 2014.
  • A group of pro-Russian activists warm themselves at a bonfire next to barricades in front of an entrance to the Ukrainian regional office of the Security Service in Luhansk, Ukraine, April 11, 2014.
  • Motorists watch a Ukrainian military convoy pass by near the city of Donetsk, Ukraine, April 10, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian protesters set barbed wire on a barricade outside the SBU state security service in Luhansk, Ukraine, April 10, 2014.
  • Masked pro-Russian activists guard barricades at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, April 9, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian activist speaks to other protesters at barricades in front of a security service regional office in Luhansk, Ukraine, April 9, 2014.
  • A masked man stands in front of barricades and Soviet era red and Russian national flags at an entrance to the regional office of the security service in Luhansk, Ukraine, April 9, 2014.
  • Communist lawmakers scuffle with right-wing Svoboda (Freedom) Party lawmakers during a session of the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv, April 8, 2014.
  • A view through a broken window of the regional administration building shows a cordon of Interior Ministry members blocking a group of pro-Russian protesters in Kharkiv, Ukraine, April 8, 2014.
  • Street cleaners sweep away bullet cases as they remove trash and a barricade erected by pro-Russian protesters near a building of the state security service in Donetsk, Ukraine, April 8, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian activists gather behind a barricade with Russian flags in front of the entrance to the regioanl security service office in Luhansk, west of the Russian border, in Ukraine, April 8, 2014.
Pro-Russian separatists in southeastern regions are demanding referenda on splitting with Ukraine, the same kind of vote that took place last month in Crimea after Russian troops took control there.
Kerry Says 'Russian Agents' Behind Crisis in Eastern Ukrainei
X
Scott Stearns
April 08, 2014 9:03 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia is fueling separatist unrest in Eastern Ukraine that could be a "contrived crisis" to justify military intervention. And as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Secretary Kerry says Moscow is facing tougher banking, mining, and energy sanctions if it does not stop undermining Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said those regions should be included in talks next week with the United States, European Union and Ukrainian government.

Secretary Kerry told U.S. lawmakers it is "not a small matter" that Russia has agreed to those talks.  But before then, he says Moscow must disavow separatist actions, pull back troops along the border, and demonstrate that they will do what is necessary to de-escalate.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said the Obama administration is inconsistent by criticizing Russian action while agreeing to include them in talks on Ukraine's future.

"We castigate them on one side.  On the other hand we are exchanging paper with them.  I am confused about what our policy really is," he told the secretary.

Kerry responded that Washington's preference is a negotiated settlement, but it will not hesitate to use "21st century tools to hold Russia accountable for 19th century behavior."

"These efforts are as ham-handed as they are transparent, frankly," he said. "And quite simply what we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary."
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Moscow's intervention in Ukraine would be a "historic mistake" that would further isolate Russia from the world.

Russia's Foreign Ministry is calling for provisional authorities in Kyiv to halt what it called "military preparations" in southeast regions that could lead to civil war.
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Comments page of 2
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by: Dr. Lillian Boyson from: USA
April 08, 2014 2:52 PM
Would anyone like to join Kerry, at his bizarre club........BOHEMIAN GROVE?? EXPOSE THIS CREEP, AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON BOHEMIAN GROVE THAT HE IS AN ADMITTED MEMBER OF!!!


by: Hadley from: Missouri, USA
April 08, 2014 12:40 PM
Sorry, and regarding Putin and our handling of the Ukraine Crisis, the public and Republican sabre rattlers should do a little research into Putin and Russia as a whole to understand why our intelligent President is approaching him the way he is. Putin has a somewhat delicate sensibility that has allowed him to repeatedly get his feelers hurt because he wants to feel like people listen to him and take him seriously. Handling Putin with kid gloves is the best/least costly way of resolving this, unless all Republicans would prefer WW III just so you'll have something else to blame the Democrats for..?


by: Hadley from: Missouri, USA
April 08, 2014 12:31 PM
I hate how Republicans are trying to denigrate every single Democrat and his/her words/actions for the sake of political gain. But I'll give them this, the millions of people that watch their diatribes on Fox News are too ignorant or incapable of rational thought that they would believe Obama was conspiring to dismantle the Statue of Liberty of one of the nuts on Fox said it in passing.

And hey semi-racist republicans, get over us having a mixed race president, it's a further step toward true equality in our country, and it garnered you probably 100 million new R voters that weren't going to the polls until they noticed that the new liberal majority in our country used them to elect our first black president.

In Response

by: anonymous from: nc
April 09, 2014 4:20 AM
I think they are saying they and we all are fed up with all of our leaders...dems and reps.


by: Ve Nik
April 08, 2014 12:10 PM
According to the Kharkov regional police chief talking on Ukrainian TV, all 64 protesters detained yesterday by police were Ukrainian citizens. So much for the "Russian agents" story

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
April 08, 2014 5:36 PM
"It doesn't matter what's true, it only matters that what you tell them repeatedly, they believe is the truth." --- ("An inconvenient truth") --- IF ONLY, the US and EU could show these Russian agents, and the evidence supporting their claims of Russian wrongdoing .. (BUT?) .. they seem only to make false claims, without any evidence.....


by: MALIKA from: ALGERIA
April 08, 2014 11:26 AM
Red Storm rising in Ukraine and the US stance towards extremists reminds me Demosthenes quote " Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master" .
Putin needs a tough and a swift setback

In Response

by: Anonymous
April 09, 2014 5:53 PM
Whats the problem with Putin? The people of Ukraine are not represented by the "interim" government. They came to power in a coup, not an election!

The agreements made with the EU and World Bank are ILLEGAL since the so-called government has NO LEGITIMACY!!! They don't represent the people of Ukraine.


by: SlothB77 from: VA
April 08, 2014 11:24 AM
"What we see from Russia is an illegal, illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis"

so basically what the democrats are doing here in America.


by: Mrs. Dennon from: That' my business!!!
April 08, 2014 11:08 AM
What is "honorable" about this CREEP, Kerry that belongs to an extremely weird club in northern California?!!?!?? And if you people don't know what it is......................it's time to take your head out of the sand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Response

by: Normal_US_Citizen
April 08, 2014 12:24 PM
We take our head out of sand and see here US dealing with Russia not our internal different between our two political parties. From that sense, Kerry is our side. Creep is on Russia side.

In Response

by: Chris McCauley from: Usa
April 08, 2014 11:58 AM
Thanks for that informative comment.


by: Fenney from: Denmark
April 08, 2014 9:53 AM
The Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark has confirmed that a “special event” is taking place on the same weekend that Bilderberg are set to meet in Denmark, making it almost certain that this will be the location of the 2014 Bilderberg Group conference of global powerbrokers.

The fact that the mainstream media has shown absolutely zero interest in finding out where 120 of the world’s most influential people will meet behind closed doors in just weeks is a pathetic reflection on the state of the free press.

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