News / Europe

Ukraine Reinstates Conscription as Security Deteriorates in Eastern Region

After storming the prosecutor's office, pro-Russia activists stand guard with officers' shields at the entrance in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 1, 2014.
After storming the prosecutor's office, pro-Russia activists stand guard with officers' shields at the entrance in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 1, 2014.
VOA News
Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov has reinstated military conscription to deal with deteriorating security in the east of the country.

Turchynov signed the decree on Thursday, the same day pro-Russian militants seized the regional prosecutor’s office in the eastern city of Donetsk.
 
The decree reinstates the draft for non-exempt Ukrainian men between 18 and 25 years old and cites what it describes as "the further aggravation of the socio-politcal situation" in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as "blatant aggression" by "illegal" armed pro-Russian groups.

The move comes a day after Turchynov said that his government was "helpless" to quell the growing pro-Russian separatist movement in two eastern regions and could not control its own troops.

Earlier Thursday, pro-Russian protesters stormed the prosecutor's office in the separatist-held city of Donetsk, lobbing stones and smashing windows after accusing the office of working for the Western-backed government in Kyiv.

To shouts of "Fascists", a refrain Moscow uses to describe Ukraine's new government, hundreds of people pelted the police with paving stones and then cornered some, dragging them to the ground and beating them. The police soon surrendered.

Donetsk, a city of about one million people in Ukraine's industrial east, is at the center of an armed uprising across the steel and coal belt by mainly Russian-speakers threatening to secede from Ukraine.

The violence, in a city already largely under the control of separatists, underscored the shifting security situation and suspicions in the region.

"The prosecutor's office was issuing criminal orders from Kyiv against its own people, charging them with separatism and other fake crimes," said one protester, a 43-year-old man from Donetsk who gave his name as Igor.

Pro-Russian separatists in the city have declared a "People's Republic of Donetsk" and say they will hold a referendum on secession on May 11.

Related video report by Arash Arabasadi and Brian Padden:
 
Separatists Hold Ukrainian Cities; Local Defense in Kyiv Stands Firmi
X
Brian Padden, Arash Arabasadi
May 01, 2014 8:39 PM
In eastern Ukraine, separatists continue to seize and occupy government buildings, while in Kyiv, the capital, protesters continue their occupation of Maidan Square. Despite an agreement made in Geneva requiring all groups to disarm, there's no end in sight to the standoff. Arash Arabasasdi reports from Kyiv.

Russian attache detained for spying

Ukraine also ordered the expulsion of Russia's military attache, saying it had caught him ``red-handed'' receiving classified information on the country's cooperation with NATO during an armed uprising Kyiv said is directed from Moscow.
 
The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday the diplomat, who has not been named, had been detained a day earlier and declared persona non grata.

Ukraine's security service said he was a Russian intelligence officer who had been collecting intelligence on ``Ukrainian-NATO military and political cooperation.”

There was no immediate response from Moscow, which, like Kyiv, was observing the May 1 holiday.

The crisis in Ukraine will dominate talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday, with both leaders keen to show the West is united in its resolve to take even tougher measures against Russia if necessary.
 
The U.S. and European Union both imposed new sanctions against Moscow on Monday, accusing Russia of failing to implement a diplomatic accord aimed at calming the situation in Ukraine.
 
Merkel and Obama will discuss at what point further measures - targeting the Russian economy directly - could be taken, senior German officials said.
 
 
Members of Russian Trade Unions march during the May Day celebration at the Red Square in Moscow on May 1, 2014.Members of Russian Trade Unions march during the May Day celebration at the Red Square in Moscow on May 1, 2014.
x
Members of Russian Trade Unions march during the May Day celebration at the Red Square in Moscow on May 1, 2014.
Members of Russian Trade Unions march during the May Day celebration at the Red Square in Moscow on May 1, 2014.
Russia's May Day Parade

Russia staged a huge May Day parade on Moscow's Red Square for the first time since the Soviet era on Thursday, with workers holding banners proclaiming support for President Vladimir Putin after the seizure of territory from neighboring Ukraine.
 
Thousands of trade unionists marched with Russian flags and flags of Putin's ruling United Russia party onto the giant square beneath the Kremlin walls, past the red granite mausoleum of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin. About 100,000 people took part in the celebration.

Many banners displayed traditional slogans for the annual workers' holiday, such as ``Peace, Labour, May.'

But others were more directly political, alluding to the crisis in neighboring former Soviet republic Ukraine, where Russian troops annexed the Crimea peninsula in March, precipitating the biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War.

Putin wants troops out of southeast
 
Also Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Merkel that the withdrawal of Ukrainian military units from the southeast of the country, ending violence and launching a national dialogue are key issues in the Ukraine conflict, the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin also said that Merkel, in a call it said she initiated, asked Putin to help free seven Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) military observers who are being held by pro-Russian militia in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also called for talks between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists in southeastern Ukraine.

"Russia believes that this dialogue between the authorities in Kyiv and their opponents could be established, or launched in the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We hope that our partners, our Western colleagues allow Ukrainians to establish this dialogue without major impediment," Lavrov said.

The prime minister spoke during a visit to Peru.

Thomas Graham, an expert on Russian and Eurasian affairs, said the situation in east Ukraine is difficult to decipher.
 
"The problem that we have at this point is that everyone thinks someone else controls the situation on the ground,” said Graham, a former U.S. national security official who is managing director at Kissinger Associates Inc.
 
“And the crisis has moved along far enough that there are a lot of elements on the ground that are acting on their own, without reference necessarily to Moscow, Kyiv, Brussels or Washington,” he said.

“So, the risk of the incidence that leads to widespread violence -- perhaps bloodshed -- can force the hands of people who have postured themselves in ways that they might regret depending on how things play out on the ground in eastern Ukraine."

IMF loan has tough requirements

The director of the IMF's European department, Reza Moghadam, told reporters Thursday that the Washington-based agency expects Ukraine to meet all its financial obligations, even as it teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. That includes $2.2 billion it owes Russia for natural gas purchases.

The IMF announced a $17 billion loan package for Ukraine over the next two years, and the World Bank, the European Union, Japan , Canada and the United States have pledged another $15 billion. The loans come with a requirement that Kyiv undertake economic reforms, including tax hikes, wage freezes and cuts in social aid.

But Moghadam acknowledged that the $17 billion IMF loan is not as big as it appears. He said $5 billion of the figure is meant for Ukraine to pay back money it already owes the IMF from a previous loan.

VOA's Catherine Maddux contributed to this report from Washington. Some information for this report provided by RFE/RL, Reuters, AP

Photo Gallery: Images from Ukraine
  • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian protesters gather to honor fallen comrades during fighting with pro-Ukrainian activists in Odessa on Friday, at the barricades in front of the administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin watches as foreign military observers hug each other following their release in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Smoke billows from burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint with a Donetsk republic flag following an attack by Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • A protester walks past a burning pro-Russian tent camp near the trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • An injured pro-Russian activist looks on during clashes with supporters of the Kyiv government in the streets of Odessa, Ukriane, May 2, 2014.
  • People wait to be rescued on upper levels of a trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian separatist guards a checkpoint as tires burn in front of him, near the town of Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian gunmen listen to instructions from their commander (center) behind barricades in Slovyansk, May 2, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian rebel aims his rifle at a checkpoint near a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, May 2, 2014.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Peacr from: los angeles
May 02, 2014 10:27 AM
Putin is playing it bold rather than smart. He knows no one can stand up to him. He is taking the advantage the lack of tough leadership in the US and the influence of his oil power in Europe


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 02, 2014 4:20 AM
This what Mr. Putin has done, He played very smart. He mixed the civilians with the military to destabilized Ukraine, in a sense that the Ukrainian Government cannot fight back, Their hands are tied to the civilians.
If they react to this uprising, the world will say they are killing the civilians,Mr. Putin will also say that too. it will give him more reason to fight the Ukrainian military. The Man is playing smart here. watch all the video, the Ukrainian military will not fire at these people, they will be killing more civilians.
How can they Ukrainian military contain such a tactics, they can't. so Mr. Putin will take all of Ukraine slowly. Mr. Putin will take all of Ukraine without a fight. The ICC and the UN need to intervene. They have to create a buffer zone between both party. The russians need to go back home to their country.


by: Jay Garsby from: Minnesota
May 02, 2014 1:42 AM
Not buying this crap, these are Ukrainians and Russians fighting against American propped up regime


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 02, 2014 1:00 AM
I dont know what to say, But the Ukrainian Government is not doing enough. the Ukrainian President and Prime Minister just took an oath to defend their Country in the time of war, what is this Putin nonsense we are seeing? The Ukrainian Government needs to put up some resistance. what are they doing? They cannot defend their sovereignty? Than there were to need for them to annex from Russia.What kind of mess is this? and what wrong with the ICC? This is too much, enough is enough. Mr. Putin needs to be stop.


by: gen from: Japan
May 01, 2014 11:25 PM
Turchynov has reinstated military conscription to deal with deteriorating security in the east of the country.
I don't believe this.The Ukraine government is facists government.
lots of drafted novice only die at war.
This is a humane shield by the ukraine government in kiev. This is blamed on US and EU if these people died.


by: Mrs. Carla Mealvomit from: UK
May 01, 2014 9:37 PM
Thus, despite the best efforts of the West’s media and politicians to claim the Nazi militants they used to overrun Kiev are creations of Russian propaganda, the truth exists in plain sight. The inability of the West to check Russia’s counterstrokes in Crimea and eastern Ukraine is precisely due to the fact that neither the people of the East nor the West believe what Washington, London, or Brussels are saying.

NATO, Nazis, and the “Expansion of Europe”

So what is NATO doing with Nazi militants in Ukraine? The same thing Adolf Hitler was doing – establishing “breathing room.” While the West attempts publicly to portray the crisis in Ukraine as Europe reacting to Russian aggression, behind semi-closed doors they are very open about their agenda in Ukraine and elsewhere along Russia’s peripheries – it is and always was about the expansion of Europe and the containment of Russia.

Recently the corporate-funded NATO think tank, the Atlantic Council, celebrated what it called, “anniversaries of crucial importance to the transatlantic community, including the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 15th anniversary of NATO’s first post-Cold War enlargement, and the 10th anniversary of the “big bang” enlargements of both the European Union and NATO.” These “enlargements” all took place after the fall of the Cold War – in other words, after NATO’s mandate for existing expired. Yet the alliance continued to grow, and not only did it grow, in tandem with the European Union, it did so directly toward Moscow’s doorstep with every intention of eventually absorbing Russia as well.

In fact, many of the same organizations standing behind the unelected regime in Kiev, have been directing unrest within Russia as well. And in turn, Russian opposition leaders backed by Western-cash and diplomatic support have vocally supported the regime in Kiev.

In reality, what we have witnessed over the past several months is not “Russian aggression,” but the premeditated destabilization and overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, and a resulting, and continuously escalating confrontation with Russia as Moscow reacts to the reappearance of Nazis along its borders, backed by NATO and the EU.


by: Fish from: Pacific NW
May 01, 2014 9:13 PM
This is brilliant. Now all the young male separatists have to join the Ukraine Army. Genius!!


by: Y Lim from: USA
May 01, 2014 1:39 PM
The current Ukraine government should be blamed. The showed the world a bad example: how to take over government. Now Pro-Russian protesters will learn it from them.


by: jethromayham from: vietnam
May 01, 2014 1:16 PM
Czar Putin needs to face real sanctions. Why in the world does Obama's advospr think saving quivers is doing any good. The Czar only will react when he hs to answer to the Russian people. It is the Russian people that must say 'OUCH!'


by: John from: Houston, TX
May 01, 2014 12:32 PM
And THIS is the answer to: "What happens if a country has a War and nobody comes?". Very, very sad for Ukraine & other countries with Russian speaking minorities in them. Also, for the Russians themselves.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid