News / Europe

Ukraine Defiant Amid Further Russian Threat to Sovereignty

A Ukrainian soldier stands guard at a military camp on a field the Ukrainian Army forces set up close to the Russian border in east Ukraine March 21, 2014.
A Ukrainian soldier stands guard at a military camp on a field the Ukrainian Army forces set up close to the Russian border in east Ukraine March 21, 2014.
Warnings from various quarters, including Ukraine’s interim government, NATO’s top military commander and the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, that Russian forces are poised to go beyond Crimea, are prompting calls for a more robust response from Washington and other Western capitals.

Members of a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation visiting Kyiv say they have been told by all the Ukrainians they met Sunday that they will not yield “another inch” of territory to Russia and that the Ukrainians are ready to fight.
 
The two senators and one representative told reporters late Sunday they are optimistic that tougher sanctions, other punitive legislation under consideration by their colleagues and a united front by Western European countries can deter Russia from further provocations.
 
Congressman Stephen Lynch is a Democrat and a member of the National Security Subcommittee.
 
“They’ve won the battle of Crimea for now. And they may be anticipating going into eastern Ukraine tomorrow. But this won’t be a short battle. This will be something long-term, and we’re sure that our neighbors in NATO and democratic-loving nations will stand together in the long run,”  said Lynch.  
 
All major Ukrainian military bases on the Crimean peninsula, annexed last week by Moscow, are now under the control of Russian forces.
 
Other Russian troops are conducting drills at Ukraine's eastern gate. And Crimea’s self-declared premier has issued a call for Russians across the ex-Soviet republic to rise up against Kyiv's rule, which Moscow regards as illegitimate.
 
Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican and member of the Armed Services Committee, said that the United States already has done some muscle flexing and that NATO would do more should there be an invasion of the Ukrainian mainland.

“We have already had the USS Truxton doing exercises. We have already moved F-16s to have exercises in the area. We have the ability, with NATO forces certainly, to move force posture in the area. We’re not looking for a conflict, a military conflict, obviously with Russia,” said Ayotte.
 
But if there is war between Russia and Ukraine, says U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, the responsibility will squarely fall on the shoulders of President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
 
“This will not be [like] Crimea. There will be horrific loss of life. There will be young Russian men who will be killed in this effort, and [Putin] will have to look their moms and dads in the eyes and explain to them why their son was lost, or their daughter was lost, in the invasion of another country,” said Donnelly.
 
The tension between the neighboring countries, with some shared history and heritage, is splitting friends and family.
 
Legal secretary Zhenia Kuzmenko is the daughter of a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother.
 
“I’m very concerned because my parents live like 70 kilometers from the Russian border. And I’m not happy to wake up one day in a different country with them. And we want to be independent. We’re not happy to be with Russia.“ 
 
Russian defense officials are quoted by state-run media as saying Moscow is complying with international agreements limiting the number of its troops near the border with Ukraine.
 
But Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said after visiting Ukraine he fears Russia may have opened "Pandora's box,’’ attempting to redraw national borders in Europe.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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