News / Europe

Ukraine Warns Civilians as Troops Close In on Rebels in East

A Ukrainian military convoy moves along a road near Donetsk, Aug. 9, 2014.
A Ukrainian military convoy moves along a road near Donetsk, Aug. 9, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

The Ukrainian military says troops are continuing to close in on remaining separatist regions in the east, and are warning civilians to evacuate the areas to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine continue to be at odds over a possible humanitarian mission to bring supplies to besieged residents.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters in Kyiv Monday “anti-terror” forces are attacking separatist strongholds from four directions, closing in on the main rebel-held city of Donetsk.

Lysenko warned civilians to leave the areas around Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk province - near the border with Russia - to avoid the coming assault.

"We are once again addressing civilians,” he said. “If you can, leave these areas temporarily because there will be liberating operations and attacks on terrorists.”

He added that the armed forces will do what they can to provide transportation for citizens wishing to flee. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been internally displaced from the two eastern regions in Ukraine since the conflict began in May.

Military spokesman Lysenko said 568 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and more than 2,000 injured in fighting with Russian-backed separatists.

Lysenko said the military plans to maintain pressure on rebels who still control substantial swaths of territory in the east.

"If we pause,” Lysenko said, “the terrorists will have time to regroup, to get more supplies, more civilians and military will be killed; that's why we are moving forward, we are not stopping."

In another development, a prison in Donetsk was reportedly shelled late Sunday, killing one inmate and allowing others to escape.

It is not clear who fired the shots, though Ukraine's military denies responsibility.

Russia, meantime, has asked for a humanitarian mission in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide relief to distressed citizens in the eastern regions.

Ukrainian, U.S. and European officials have said any unauthorized Russian intervention would be a violation of international law.

A statement from the office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend the possibility of a Ukrainian-led humanitarian mission in Luhansk in coordination with the ICRC.

However, an official with the Ukrainian Red Cross National Committee told VOA Monday they had received no requests from the Ukrainian government.

Latest images from Ukraine:

  • A prisoner inspects damage in a high-security facility after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 11, 2014.
  • A prisoner tramples smoldering grass in a high-security facility after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 11, 2014.
  • Ukrainian fire fighters put out the fire at the destroyed buses after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 10, 2014.
  • A man runs out of the destroyed building after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 10, 2014.
  • A wounded Ukrainian woman receiving treatment after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 10, 2014.
  • People get onto the ground during incoming shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 10, 2014.
  • Ukrainian fire fighters put out the fire at the destroyed building after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 10, 2014.
  • Ukrainian fire fighters put out the fire at the destroyed buses after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 10, 2014.
  • Passengers wait before boarding a train heading to Moscow at a railway station in Donetsk, eastern Ukrainian, Aug. 10, 2014.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Andrew Polar from: Atlanta, USA
August 12, 2014 1:17 AM
United States - the country that one day declared independence from Britain and fought for independence, now is against that someone else somewhere else also declared independence. But may be it is the matter of preference. Anyway, I know which sanctions must be imposed on Russia for helping separatists. Let us look at the history. In early 1990th there was disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh. 70% was Armenians, but the region was formally under control of Azerbaijan. Karabakh declared independence, Armenia supported it militarily and now it is independent territory under supervision of Armenia. Since situation in Donetsk totally identical let us punish Russia in the same way Armenia was punished. How about that? As far as I know there were no sanctions for Armenia. How Nagorno-Karabakh is different. Why Japan, Canada and Australia did not impose sanctions on Armenia?

In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
August 12, 2014 12:36 PM
Because the USA and some countries barking for it are only interested in affairs which are beneficial to them. They only care for the goose that will lay golden eggs for them. They are professional hypocrites. Independence, Democracy, human rights...are only placed after their interests. The plight of Russian speakers in Ukraine means nothing to them because they see no benefit from those people, so let Kiev kill off those people.


by: Igor from: Russia
August 11, 2014 11:26 PM
The cruel points of the West and Kiev are clear: No humanitarian activities until they achieve their goals no matter how many Russian speaking civilians will be killed. And the only way for them to escape the killings is to leave their lands, houses for Russia. It is a kind of ethnic cleansing. So it is not the time for Russia to negotiate or persuade but to take decisive actions to protect our Russian speaking fellows: Destroy all Kiev's forces without mercy if they continue to kill our innocent fellows!


by: Tony from: USA
August 11, 2014 2:53 PM
It is no innocent civilians.They are all betrayed GREAT UKRAINE. They are refuse to speak Ukraine language. Today in new Ukraine build on Adolf Hitler values no place for this subhumans. The world don't care about their cry for help. Not any civilize country did move a finger to save this busters. So what , if glories Ukraine Army is killing woman and children. We will clean this area for real Nationalistic Ukrainian Family's.
Glory to UKRAINE !!!


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 11, 2014 1:06 PM
I think it is stupid of Putin to chicken out because the West cajoles him for supporting his people in Donetsk. Putin's behavior here is dismally subservient and makes him not deserving of the post he holds as president of a strategically important country like Russia. If Russia should allow its people in East Ukraine to be sacrificed on the altar of diplomacy, it becomes both diplomatic and domestic suicide for both Russia and Putin expected to be the hope of the palpably oppressed peoples of the eastern bloc supposedly to be anchored by Russia and/or China. While China is still looking for a foothold in international politics and so cannot raise anyone's hope to be their savior, I think Russia cannot afford that suicide now, not when its allies are wondering what is happening and whether Russia is still able to weather the storm of Western anti-climax of nauseating sanctions regime and give them the much needed protection from western dominance. In a nutshell, this is not a time Russia can afford a failure, not so soon to give in and leave its allies out in the cold.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid