World News

Ukraine Issues Arrest Warrant for Yanukovych

The interim government in Ukraine has issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him and other officials of mass murder of protesters.

Acting interior minister Arsen Avakhov announced the warrant in a Facebook statement Monday. He said Mr. Yanukovych was last seen in the pro-Russian Crimea region of Ukraine, but that the ousted leader's exact whereabouts are not clear.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday questioned the legitimacy of Ukraine's new authorities, saying they had come to power in what "in its essence is the result of an armed mutiny."

Russia's Foreign Ministry charged that "dictatorial and sometimes terrorist methods" are being used in various regions of Ukraine to pressure those who disagree with the change in government.



On Sunday, Russia recalled its ambassador to Kyiv for consultations on what it described as the "deteriorating situation in Ukraine." A Russian Foreign Ministry statement cited a need for "a comprehensive analysis" of developments in Kyiv.

Mr. Medvedev said Monday that the ambassador was recalled because "there is a threat to our interests, to the lives and health of our people" in Ukraine.

The United States and Britain have warned Russia not to send forces into Ukraine. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Russian military intervention would be a "grave mistake."

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton traveled Monday to Kyiv, where she met with Ukraine parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, who was made the country's acting president Sunday. Ashton also met with political party leaders, including Vitali Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Ashton's office said her trip to Kyiv would include discussing ways the EU can help the political and economic stabilization of Ukraine.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday the United States is ready to provide financial support to Ukraine, to complement aid from the International Monetary Fund and help the country invest more in health and education.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Ukraine Tuesday. According to the State Department, he will meet with acting president Turchynov, as well as Yatsenyuk and members of parliament.

Burns "will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May," the State Department said.

There is split support in Ukraine 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.

In an address Sunday night, Mr. Turchynov stressed the plan to embrace the EU.



"Our priority is returning to the path of European integration where the fight for Maidan began. We have to return to a family of European countries and to understand the importance of relations with the Russian Federation and be ready to build relations on new and fair partnership of good neighborly relations."



He has promised a new government by Tuesday, and lawmakers have called for new elections on May 25.

Also Monday, the acting finance minister Yuri Kolobov said Ukraine will need $35 billion in foreign aid to cover its bills during the next two years. He called for an international donor conference and appealed for urgent aid, saying some of the money needs to come within two weeks.

Jonathan Adelman, a Russian expert at the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Studies, told VOA that it would be logical for the country to split, but that is not likely because both sides are convinced they can dominate the government.



"Those in eastern Ukraine are convinced that with the backing of Russia they can hold their position and dominate the whole country, which they did under Yanukovych. The people in west Ukraine, of course, were looking at the 2004 orange revolution because they were heavily influenced by the Poles and Lithuanians and by more western Europeans, and they're convinced that with Western help they can dominate it. So I think the probability of a split is very small; even though it would be very logical, very few people seem to want it."



Mr. Yanukovych fled Kyiv on Saturday for his support base in eastern Ukraine.

Opposition party leader Vitali Klitschko said Sunday the ousted leader should take full responsibility for the chaos in Kyiv that has resulted in the deaths of about 100 anti-government protesters in the past two weeks.

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

Ukrainian protesters took control of Mr. Yanukovych's offices in Kyiv on Saturday. Others let themselves onto the grounds of the president's lavish but secret estate outside Kyiv, which includes a private zoo, and they toured his house. Some say they are stunned that one person could have so much while others in Ukraine have nothing.

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