World News / Europe

    Easter Messages From Russia, Ukraine Reveal Divide

    Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, leads an Orthodox Easter service in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, April 20, 2014.
    Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, leads an Orthodox Easter service in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, April 20, 2014.
    VOA News
    Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and Russia on Sunday celebrated Easter -- the holiest day of the Christian calendar -- with their nations locked in conflict and Ukraine's patriarch condemning what he called Russian "aggression" in his homeland.

    In his Easter message, Kyiv Patriarch Filaret said there has been aggression and injustice "against our peace loving nation." He also labeled Russia an "enemy" whose attack on Ukraine is doomed to fail.

    In Moscow, meanwhile, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill led prayers for Russians in Ukraine and called for peace and cooperation.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana (L) attend an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow April 20, 2014.Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana (L) attend an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow April 20, 2014.
    x
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana (L) attend an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow April 20, 2014.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana (L) attend an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow April 20, 2014.
    He was quoted as calling for an "end to the designs of those who want to destroy holy Russia."

    The dueling messages came hours after the Ukrainian government announced a pause in security operations to oust pro-Russian militants from buildings they have seized in recent days.

    Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia linked the suspension to the Easter holiday to give European monitors more time to organize a special mission aimed at de-escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine.

    A VOA correspondent in Kyiv says the diplomat's comments came after wrapping up a meeting with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and ambassadors from Russia, the United States and the European Union.

    Pro-Russian gunmen have seized Ukrainian government buildings in nearly a dozen eastern cities and say they will not surrender until the interim Ukraine government in Kyiv steps down.

    Meanwhile, in Moscow Saturday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that Russia had deployed additional security forces to the Ukrainian border in response to the instability in Ukraine. He commented on Rossiya 1 TV.

    Russia has previously said its troops were on the border for routine exercises.

    President Barack Obama has warned Russia that it could face additional sanctions if it fails to adhere to a new international deal on Ukraine reached Thursday in Geneva.

    That agreement, which followed talks between Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union, calls for all government buildings to be evacuated and for the militants to be disarmed.

    But it includes few concrete measures for ending the crisis, and many Western leaders are skeptical about Russia holding up its end of the bargain.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jack C from: USA
    April 20, 2014 1:56 PM
    Only idiots go to war,
    Today, much more damage can be inflicted upon a country without killing its innocent citizen as a result of a few bastards within their government. The best approach is to devistate their economy through sanctions that financially cripple a country on a global scale. This requires about 80% of the countries in the world to turn off trade, turn off exports and stop all transactions related to loans or bond sales. Since Russia has destroyed it's industrial capabilities, it would be almost impossible to manufacture, grow or process enough goods to keep all of her people fed and supplied with necessities for every day life without imports or very strict rationing. The retaining friendly supporting nations supplying them with goods, will soon find out that isolation is a bitch when your targeted as assisting them and the world's starts to retract its support and trade as a result of your actions.
    Theirs no reason whatsoever to use military action, unless you are being attacked. Then it would be for defense only. Global sanctions will take a horrible toll on the countries population over a period of time, which will result in turning your military around to start killing your own citizens as they revolt, and their are very few countries who's military will kill their own citizens in this type of situation.
    IMPLEMENT STRONG SANCTIONS
    Jack C

    by: donrahilly@aol.com from: Ohio
    April 20, 2014 7:00 AM
    I just wish we had an American President that was truthful to his nation. He's no different than Putin. Please , please , get the next two and a half years over. We should place defensive missiles in Poland as fast as we can. Enact more measures.
    In Response

    by: Phyto from: Minnesota, USA
    April 20, 2014 4:24 PM
    To critique the President of the United States during a time of conflict is unpatriotic. If you prefer Putin, then join Snowden in 'the land of the laws'.

    by: George
    April 20, 2014 12:06 AM
    In Putin's Russia, Armed Soldiers are called Protesters.

    by: Brent Ekstrand
    April 19, 2014 11:10 PM
    Cold War II is well under way. It is ironic to see a Russian dictator using Hitler's tactic of grabbing land under the pretext of protecting "ethnic countrymen"... Shades of Sudetenland in Georgia, Crimea, and now eastern Ukraine. I just hope the people of the USA are still able to rouse themselves to the level necessary for the long, hard fight that is coming. I pray that our best allies, the British, will also find it in themselves to fight when the balloon goes up. Make no mistake, a war is coming unless we wish to allow Putin to re-establish the Evil Empire. We beat them once

    by: Steve Foerster from: Northern Virginia, USA
    April 19, 2014 10:38 PM
    It's very difficult to take either of these two seriously as men of God when they offer such nationalist messages on the holiest of days and especially when referring to a whole nation as an "enemy". So much for loving your neighbor!

    by: johnnycanucker from: vancouver canada
    April 19, 2014 9:35 PM
    are these two really priests? promoting nationalism and violence is not what priests should be promoting

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora