News / Europe

Ukraine Demands Rebels Surrender as Fighting Rages

  • 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.

Fighting Rages in Donetsk, Ukraine

VOA News

A Ukrainian military spokesman on Sunday rejected a pro-Russian separatist call for a cease-fire, as fighting continued unabated in eastern Ukraine.

A day earlier, the separatists said they were ready for a cease-fire to prevent a "humanitarian disaster" in eastern Ukraine.

But on Sunday, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko rejected the appeal and called on the rebels to "raise white flags" and lay down their weapons.

Ukrainian troops have surrounded Donetsk in a "tight ring" and the only thing for rebels left to do is surrender, said Lysenko, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesperson.

The separatists themselves backed away from their appeal, saying on Sunday that any cease-fire must be "mutual," and that the Ukrainian government is incapable of reaching an agreement and therefore any discussion of a cease-fire is "pointless."

Donetsk fighting

The Ukrainian military continued to squeeze separatist forces in their remaining strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk. Residents of Donetsk reported heavy shelling Sunday, and heavy fighting was also reported in Luhansk.

In Kievsky district, 6 kilometers west of Donetsk's city center, black smoke was rising above headquarters of Ukrainian telecommunication company “Ukrtelecom."

A nearby apartment  block was damaged as well, with many windows shattered and balconies destroyed.

Elsewhere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday Moscow was in talks with Kyiv, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations on sending humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine.

“We think it is a priority now to reach an agreement with the Ukrainian side, International Committee of the Red Cross and the international U.N. humanitarian agencies on the necessity to send emergency humanitarian aid to the (eastern Ukrainian provinces) of Luhansk and Donetsk,” Lavrov told reporters.   

According to the U.S. State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry told Lavrov in a phone conversation Saturday that the best way to get humanitarian aid into Ukraine is through international organizations that are already on the ground. 

Kerry told Lavrov that Russia should not intervene in Ukraine under the pretext of peacekeeping or humanitarian convoys.

As of last week, Russia had amassed about 20,000 troops just across the border.

The White House said President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed by phone Saturday that any Russian intervention in Ukraine without Kyiv's consent would violate international law and bring additional consequences.

Ukraine advances

The Ukrainian government has steadily retaken territory from the insurgents over the last few weeks, ousting them from smaller provincial cities and encircling Donetsk.

Commanders said the army has been making steady gains and has virtually encircled the separatists' second-largest stronghold of Luhansk, while rebels have declared a “state of siege” in Donetsk, the largest city they hold.

Kyiv security officials said separatist fighters were launching counter-attacks to break a tightening noose around the rebels who seek to set up pro-Russian "people's republics" in the east of Ukraine.

A storm of Donetsk by crack troops appears to have been ruled out: Ukraine has little or no expertise in such missions and it would risk heavy civilian casualties and army losses.

A siege is the most likely option, with the possibility of an escape corridor for the separatist fighters in the hope they may flee to Russia.

Shelling overnight

Conditions were clearly deteriorating in Donetsk, the largest rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine.

AP reporters heard 25 loud explosions in as many minutes around noon on Sunday. More than 10 residential buildings, as well as a hospital and a shop, were heavily damaged by shelling overnight, and several buses caught in the crossfire were still burning Sunday morning.

Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovinsky told AP Saturday that over 2,000 residential buildings have been damaged by shelling.

At least 300,000 of Donetsk's 1 million residents have fled as violence escalates between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists, claiming the lives of over 1,300 people since April, according to the United Nations.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mobile reporter
August 12, 2014 12:45 PM
Interesting News from official site of rebels: The partisans from Kharkiv have tested an american missiles "FGM-148 Javelin". At first they selected a fixed aim. They blow up a storehouse with 1000 tonn fuels and lubricants. Next they have tested a seeker of missile. They shoot in lorry ZIL 131 with soldiers. A seeker of missile found a motor accurately. The motor blowed. Ukrainian soldiers remained alive. They jumped out and ran away 3 soldiers surrendered.
It look like the american antitank missiles are enough good


by: Chris Makey from: Canada
August 11, 2014 9:12 AM
The civilian casualties are on Russia's hands, and the rebel thugs they sent into those cities. They will all be killed, why not retreat into Russia, you lost.


by: PETER JUMBO from: GHANA
August 11, 2014 3:41 AM
Ukraine will stand united after the defeat of the separatist.If they want minimize civilian casualties, then they should surrender, but having in mind that Russia is coming, they wants to hold on.Your Excellency President Putin,what will you do if part of Russia take up arms and declare independence from Russia? Please let there be peace,Ukraine is already gone,and at least you have an important piece of it now. Good luck Ukraine


by: Emmy from: Lagos
August 11, 2014 1:33 AM
The end game for Putin and his rebels is imminent. Putin should be bold and accept defeat by calling his boys to surrender before they crush them all and bring widespread shame upon him and his country before the international community!


by: Lev from: USA
August 10, 2014 10:53 PM
In my worst dream I could not imagine that Russia will be fighting with Ukraine. This terrible war is totally on bloody hands of KGB officer Vladimir Putin. It is his war against Ukraine and... against Russia. He is helping Ukrainian people to realize that Moscow, Kremlin is the first enemy of Ukraine.


by: sergei from: new zealand
August 10, 2014 8:08 PM
To FS Johnson . Don't bring that example ! You country done enough around the world
bringing blood [expletive redacted] and destruction :Iraq,Libya,Syria,Ukraine now !and many more .Ukrainian president update mr Biden on progress in his country and takes order s from him really shows who in control of Ukraine !

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 10, 2014 11:32 PM
Well they need help dealing with Russia. We have been doing it for 60 years.


by: Mobile reporter
August 10, 2014 5:04 PM
Interesting News from official site of rebels:
The partisans of Kharkiv People Republic captured the lorry with FGM-148 Javelin. The american troops applied this antitank missile system in IRAQ sucsessfully.
Now FGM-148 Javelin will be used against ukrainian tanks. I think sucsessfully also. May be better than in IRAQ.
The President Obama have no a possibility to say that Russia send the weapon to rebels. Now US sends anti tank missiles to rebels. This is true absolutely


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
August 10, 2014 12:09 PM
The rebel spokeswoman Elena Nikitina was wrong when she denounced the government as "incapable of negotiating". Actually, the “democratic” government of Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko are not willing to negotiate with the rebels having alternative views on the future of Ukraine, the country with complex intertwined history, ethnicity, culture, upbringing and political affiliation. Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko naively think that by fire, sword and death they will “democratically” subjugate all of those other-minded. Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko pretend that they forgot the Slav saying that you can’t win love by force/you can take a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. After they have in cold blood burnt previously prosperous cities to ruins and ashes, have left hundreds people for dead and forced hundreds of thousands people to flee their homes, how are the both of them going to look people in their eyes? What respect are they going to enjoy?

In Response

by: J-P from: California
August 10, 2014 8:13 PM
That's a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, don't you think? Under Putin's rule, any meaningful political dissent in Russia has been kicked, stomped, fined, arrested or shot into silence. Putin was the one who ordered the annexation of the Crimea, after lying to the world about having troops there. Putin is the one who organized and armed the Ukrainian separatists, and who continues to deny it even after proof is provided.

There may indeed be "gangsters" running the government in Kyiv, but I'm far more concerned about the ones running the show in Moscow.

In Response

by: Bob Novak
August 10, 2014 3:33 PM
Your president stole a piece of land from Ukraine and then started all this mess in Eastern part…
Can you, as a Russian person, look into Ukrainian person’s eyes without feeling shame?

In Response

by: FS Johnson from: NY
August 10, 2014 3:31 PM
In partial answer to your concluding question: In the USA, after our civil war, ending in 1865, which was also fought to prevent secession of a part of our country, we were able, yes, to look each other in the eyes, and respect each other. It took time, generations in fact, and it took large-hearted leaders like Lincoln, but we did it to the resounding benefit of following generations.
And I strongly suspect that this is what the militant Russian "nationalists" and Mr Putin fear: a prosperous, democratic, and united Ukraine on their western border, shining in stark contrast to the KGB kleptocracy that modern Russia has become.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid