News / Europe

Ukraine MPs: Yanukovych Must Stand Trial

  • Members of self-defense units react after demolishing a fence enclosing the parliament building in Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • A member of a self-defense unit saws a fence enclosing the parliament building in Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • Anti-Yanukovych protesters march in the Independence Square, Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • A woman cries at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • An anti-Yanukovych protester cries near a memorial for the people killed in clashes in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 25, 2014.
  • An anti-Yanukovych protester, wearing a Ukrainian flag with the name of his village written across it, places flowers at a memorial for the people killed in clashes in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 25, 2014.
  • Flowers are seen placed at a barricade in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • People lay flowers at the barricades in memory of the victims of the recent clashes in central Kyiv, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • An opposition supporter cries near a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Independence Square in Kyiv, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • Opposition supporters warm themselves around a fire as they guard one of the streets heading to Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • Opposition supporters warm themselves around a fire in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 24, 2014.
VOA NewsRFE/RL
Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday to send fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych to be tried for 'serious crimes' by the International Criminal Court once he has been captured.

A resolution, overwhelmingly supported by the assembly, linked Yanukovych, who was ousted on Saturday and is now on the run, to police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens from Ukraine and other states.

The resolution said former interior minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and former prosecutor-general Viktor Pshonka, who are also being sought by the authorities, should also be sent for trial at the ICC, based in The Hague.

The court says it needs a request from Ukraine's government giving it jurisdiction to investigate Yanukovych and others over deaths during the protests.

Photos of some of those killed are posted at a memorial in Kyiv's Independence Square on Feb. 25, 2014.
Photos of some of those killed are posted at a memorial in Kyiv's Independence Square on Feb. 25, 2014.
Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday also delayed plans to elect a new national unity government until Thursday. Parliament speaker and acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made the announcement when the legislature was due to unveil its new leaders. However, local media is reporting that members of the interim government might be announced as early as 7 p.m. Wednesday Kyiv time.

Turchynov  expressed concern at a meeting on Tuesday about threats to the country's unity in mainly Russian-speaking Crimea. This followed protests on the southern peninsula against the leaders who have taken charge.

"We discussed the question of not allowing any signs of separatism and threats to Ukraine's territorial integrity and punishing people guilty of this,'' he said in a statement, referring to pro-Russian protests in Crimea.

EU's Ashton vows support

The EU's Catherine Ashton meets with former Ukrainian leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2014.The EU's Catherine Ashton meets with former Ukrainian leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2014.
x
The EU's Catherine Ashton meets with former Ukrainian leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2014.
The EU's Catherine Ashton meets with former Ukrainian leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Kyiv on Feb. 25, 2014.
The European Union's foreign policy chief is promising strong international support for Ukraine as it works to form a new government

Catherine Ashton spoke at a news conference Tuesday during a visit to Kyiv. 

She said Western financial institutions are working on ways to help Ukraine's economy recover from three months of political protests.

"We are here to say very simply, we want to support and help this country to stay strong, to go forward in the way it chooses, and to offer our support in achieving that," Ashton said.

She also urged Russia to let Ukraine find its own way out of its political crisis.

"We know and understand the strong trade links that have existed with Russia, the strong links that need to exist with Russia in the future and that message needs to be widely understood," Ashton said. "We also think it is very important to send a strong message about the territorial integrity, and the unity, and the independence of Ukraine.''

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin met Tuesday in Moscow with Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine's ambassador to Russia, and raised questions "connected to the safety of Russian citizens and diplomatic representatives on the territory of Ukraine."

And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says his country has reaffirmed its position of "non-interference in Ukrainian affairs," but is also calling for national dialogue and a return of the rule of law. During a news conference in Moscow, he said Russia wants to prevent the influence of "extremists and nationalists," who he said were trying to play a leading role in Ukraine.

WATCH: Live feed of Kyiv from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:


Top US official expected in Kyiv

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns was due to arrive in Ukraine Tuesday.  He is expected to meet with acting President Turchynov and members of parliament.

The State Department said Burns "will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May."  Burns is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the country since U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland met antigovernment protesters in Kyiv in December.

Republican Senator John McCain said in Washington Tuesday that he hoped for a very quick fix for Ukraine's economy. 

"Do not underestimate Vladimir Putin's belief that Ukraine is part of Russia," McCain warned.  "He is not going to give up easily. And if we can get an economic package through very quickly to start restoring the economy of Ukraine, then that will lessen people's...allegiance to Russia."

Ukraine is divided between  those who want the country to favor relations with Europe and those who want closer ties with Russia. Ousted president Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the EU in November, setting off protests that led to him being kicked out of office.

Yanukovych's party issued a statement Monday blaming him for the surge of deadly violence that wracked the capital in recent weeks.

Ukrainian protesters took control of the ousted president's offices in Kyiv on Saturday. Others let themselves onto the grounds of his lavish, but secret, estate outside Kyiv. Some expressed astonishment that one person could have so much while others in Ukraine have nothing.
  • People walk around Viktor Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, outside Kyiv, Feb, 22, 2014.
  • People look through windows of the Mezhyhirya residence of Viktor Yanukovych in the village Novi Petrivtsi, Feb. 22, 2014.
  • A man gestures behind the interior bar of the Mezhyhirya residence of Viktor Yanukovich in the village Novi Petrivtsi, Feb. 22, 2014.
  • A man holds one of Viktor Yanukovych's golf clubs at the golf course on Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, Feb, 22, 2014.
  • People walk on the grounds of the Mezhyhirya residence of Viktor Yanukovych in the village Novi Petrivtsi, Feb. 22, 2014.
  • People look through windows of the Mezhyhirya residence of Viktor Yanukovych as anti-government protesters and journalists walk on the grounds in the village Novi Petrivtsi, Feb. 22, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters and journalists look at ostriches kept on the grounds of the Mezhyhirya residence of Viktor Yanukovych, Feb. 22, 2014.

You May Like

Italian Red Cross Chief: Don't Label Migrants 'Illegal'

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York Wednesday Francesco Rocca says migrants are victims, not criminals More

US Intel Officials Cautious About New IS Threat

Threat, said to have been posted by alleged American member of Islamic State terror group, says Sunday’s attack in Texas ‘is only the beginning’ More

Eyes in Sky Monitor Weather, Predict Epidemics

Satellites track storms, population movements, ocean warming to predict disease conditions More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bill King from: Australia
February 25, 2014 8:07 PM
Why do western political leaders and news sources ignore the fact that Viktor Yanukovych was elected, fair and square, in the 2010 election with 49% of the vote compared to his opponent's 45%. He is the legitimate president of the Ukraine. In a democracy elected officials receive the verdict of the electorate in the following election which was scheduled for next year. It is not legitimate to remove elected presidents or other officials by armed insurrection and I can't think of any democracy in the west where this would be considered acceptable in any way: it certainly would not be tolerated in my country, Australia. It is no surprise that he was not popular in Kiev where he only received 25% of the vote, however, in some regions he gained over 90%. What is necessary for democracy to work is that all citizens accept the verdict of the electorate. It is nauseating to witness the gross opportunism of the US and the EU in their undisguised support for this rightist coup by the Fatherland Party.

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
February 25, 2014 3:29 PM
We wait knowing Putin is yet to act against a free nation as usual.

by: Ivgeny K. from: Russia
February 25, 2014 11:36 AM
I agree with Dr. M. Marina, - what we have in the Ukraine is a collection of fascist organizations that will soon start to kill each other. Ukraine is in the middle of a global disintegration that will effect the whole of Russia. The Russians are not cohesive people; we are some sort of combination of many different people who have been brutalized and terrorized to live in subdued resentment. But all that is changing now... i also agree with the Dr. from Finland that Putin has lost control and is presiding over a Russian disintegration... there is no way to reverse the clock...

by: birdman from: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
February 25, 2014 11:35 AM
One key point I remember from a recent BBC World Have Your Say show was the comment by a Ukrainian woman that the freedom of Russia is the freedom one finds in a graveyard. Russia's response to the fully democratic, and fully legitimate, actions by the Ukrainian parliament have been highly unfortunate, deceitful, conniving, transparent, over-reaching, petty, shallow, unhelpful, and wrong headed - Russia's actions again that is.

Back in the USSR, or is it Imperialist Russia? Raising the "genocide" red herring canard is nothing more than outright fear mongering. Ukraine is a country which deserves to make it's own way. Was it just hooligans on Independence Square? No. Retired pensioners were there helping out the freedom fighting students. 99% of them were just regular people fighting against a dictatorial strong man & his regime.

We've seen this happen before, in other former Soviet republics. We should cheer freedom when it breaks forth in yet another place. A coup? Hardly. Rather for Ukraine it has been: a fully democratic response by an elected parliament. Period. Full stop.

by: Emily Calmeyer from: California
February 25, 2014 10:53 AM
Ukraine's vote to send Yanukovych to the ICC illustrates the difficulty with arresting and bringing suspected war criminals and former leaders in front of the Court. It may be challenging to arrest him when he is a fugitive on the run. His arrest will depend on whether other countries afford him resources and a safe haven, or if they participate in international justice efforts. There's an interesting discussion even now on www.iccforum.com/arrest on how the ICC can better ensure that suspected war criminals are arrested and come before Court.

by: Ciaran Mulcahy. from: Dublin, Ireland.
February 25, 2014 10:19 AM
It is, and has been the belief of many United Kingdom experts on Russia for several centuries, that Russia regards its nation as constantly being threatened by outsiders. This has not always been the case, but the instances where it has been true,, have been enough to convince the Russians, before, during, and after the communist era, that their suspicions of all non Russians toward Russia, validly apply to all non Russians.

Seldom has their been a situation which on one side could re-ignite a cold-war, and even instigate a hot-war; while, on the other side, offer the greatest opportunity to bring the Russian nation in from the cold not merely of the 'cold-war', but also in from the isolation which they have continually believed has been a general world policy against Russia, for several centuries..

The most amazing way in which to convince the Russian nation of the genuineness of the world outside of Russia, towards Russia, would be to:merge NATO., CENTO., SEATO., ANZAC., etcetera, with all the member-states of the former Warsaw Pact alliance, and risk making the sincere offer of the post of Chief Executive Officer, to a Russian. The reason this risk is absolutely unavoidable is due to the nature of the problems afflicting Ukraine.

The Soviet Union occupied the Ukraine; the Third Reich forces chose to do likewise. Terrible consequences resulted, and whether we acknowledge that Russia is no longer communist, or whether we don't acknowledge this, the fact remains, that the consequences of not seizing the moment by making an astonishing offer to Russia, would be imminently likely to result in the re-igniting of conflicts which should be abandoned to the defunct twentieth-century.

by: Dr. Masta Marina from: Finland
February 25, 2014 8:37 AM
please guys... the Ukraine doesn't know what the hell it wants. You must bear in mind that now the Ukraine has no Government - no one is actually legitimately in a position to guide the country. What we do have in Ukraine is a collection of Idiots and Fascists - and the Russian population in Ukraine is in fear of genocide... and that is a legitimate fear...!! and Putin is exposed as some sort of irrelevant clown. The next time you will see Putin bare chested it will be on an autopsy table...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

VOA Blogs