World News

Russian Fighter Jets Patrolling Ukraine Border

Russia sent fighter jets to patrol its border with Ukraine on Thursday, as fast-paced developments threatened to undermine the new Ukrainian government in Kyiv.

Gunmen seized control of government buildings in Crimea, a Ukrainian region with strong ties to Moscow and home to a Russian naval base in Sevastopol. The gunmen raised the Russian tri-color flag.

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Torchynov, on Thursday told the military leadership of the Sevastopol-based Russian Black Sea Fleet that any movements of Russian forces outside the base would be considered "military aggression."

For its part, Crimea's parliament, whose building was among those seized by pro-Russian gunmen, voted Thursday to dismiss the region's government and to hold a referendum to determine Crimea's status in Ukraine. The referendum is set for May 25, the same day Ukraine will hold a presidential election.

Ethnic Russians account for 58 percent of Crimea's population.

Meanwhile, Russian news agencies reported that Moscow had granted ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's request for personal security "on Russian territory," but provided no other details. They also reported that Mr. Yanukovych will hold a press conference Friday in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney called on Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and avoid "provocative" actions.

Earlier Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Moscow to not take any action on Ukraine that could be misinterpreted.

In Kyiv, the parliament approved former economic minister Arseny Yatseniuk as the country's new prime minister. He accused the Yanukovych government of stealing vast sums from state coffers, leaving the country in severe financial straits.

Mr. Yatseniuk said $70 billion in Ukrainian government money had been sent to offshore accounts over the last three years and that $37 billion of credit it had received has disappeared.

He said, "I want to report to you. The state treasury has been robbed and is empty."

Mr. Yanukovych released a statement to Russian news agencies from an undisclosed location saying that he still considers himself Ukraine's head of state. He has not been seen in public since Saturday, when Ukraine's parliament voted to dismiss him and set early elections for May 25.



Crimea has been the scene of confrontations between supporters of Ukraine's new government and pro-Russia activists. The region is mainly made up of Russian speakers who support Moscow but is also home to minority Muslim Tatars who are generally anti-Russia.

Yatseniuk is a pro-Western former foreign minister and economy minister. One of his first major jobs would be preventing the Ukrainian economy from collapse.

The White House says it strongly supports Ukrainian leaders as they work to form a multiparty government to represent all Ukrainians. It calls a broad-based government committed to reconciliation the necessary foundation for international aid.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is considering $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says the military exercises will check "readiness to deal with crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security."

The Kremlin did not superficially mention Ukraine. It has said it would not interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs. Ukraine is split between the pro-European west and the pro-Russian east and south.

Anti-government demonstrations erupted three months ago in Ukraine when Mr. Yanukovych backed out of a European Union trade deal in favor of economic aid from Russia. The violence escalated last week, leaving nearly 100 people dead.

Ukraine's interim leaders have dissolved an elite security force accused of carrying out some of those deadly attacks on protesters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs