News / Europe

Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin

Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Storyi
X
August 25, 2014 12:19 AM
The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Daniel Schearf

The Presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine.

The much-welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast, analysts say. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

Ukrainian soldiers march down Kyiv's main street during military parade on the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, in the capital Kyiv on Aug. 24, 2014Ukrainian soldiers march down Kyiv's main street during military parade on the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, in the capital Kyiv on Aug. 24, 2014
x
Ukrainian soldiers march down Kyiv's main street during military parade on the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, in the capital Kyiv on Aug. 24, 2014
Ukrainian soldiers march down Kyiv's main street during military parade on the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, in the capital Kyiv on Aug. 24, 2014

Ukraine celebrated its independence from the Soviet Union on Sunday with a parade of the re-strengthened military it hopes will defeat pro-Russia separatists threatening its sovereignty in the southeast.

Fighting this year has left thousands dead and widened a rift between Russia, Ukraine and Western nations who accuse the Kremlin of supporting the rebels.

Kyiv's show of strength comes just ahead of talks in Belarus between European leaders, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and Russia's President, Vladimir Putin.

Peace in Ukraine, as always, rests on the shoulders of Putin, says political analyst and Russian opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov.

“We don't know because no one publicly said, in Kremlin, what real aim of Russia is strategically," Ryzhkov said. "If task is to create new pro-Russian states, or quasi-states, in Donetsk and Luhansk...war could be prolonged for many many months.”

Separatist rebels in Donetsk had their own parade — of Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner.

Germany's leader, Angela Merkel, is pushing for a lasting cease-fire and discussed the Minsk meeting with Poroshenko in Kyiv.

Germany may be key to negotiations between the two sides says Viktor Mizin, political scientist at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

“Now that, I mean that, the relations between Moscow and Washington have so much deteriorated that Germany has become, I think for sure, the major interlocutor of Moscow internationally," Mizin said. "And, I think it's a very important role and I think Madame Merkel understands it.”

But in the Ukrainian capital, teachers Yuri and Yulia are less than optimistic that Putin will push the rebels to end the fighting, saying Moscow will reject Ukraine's future ambitions. 

But others say Putin may be in the mood for a deal while he can still claim victory.

If the talks fail to make progress the situation could quickly deteriorate further.

“And don't forget that this war on Ukrainian territory could jump to Russia," says Moscow Carnegie Center's Alexey Malashenko. "It doesn't mean that it could be the war between some Ukrainia[ns] and Russia.  But, impact on destabilization in Donbas, in Luhansk and around them could impact on Russian territories.”

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs