News / Europe

    Russia, West Face Off Over Ukraine at UN

    • A pro-Russian gunman stands guard at a police station that was seized by pro-Russian militants, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk, April 13, 2014. 
    • A pro-Russian protester holds a shield at a check point, while black smoke from burning tires engulfs the area, in Slovyansk, April 13, 2014.
    • A pro-Russian armed man stands guard at a barricade in front of pro-Russian protesters near the police headquarters in Slovyansk, April 13, 2014. 
    • Pro-Russian men gather around a fire at a barricade near the police headquarters in Slovyansk, April 13, 2014. 
    • Pro-Russian men warm themselves near a fire at a barricade near the police headquarters in Slovyansk, April 13, 2014. 
    • Ukraine's Interior Minister told residents to stay indoors in anticipation of clashes between pro-Russian militants who have seized official buildings and Ukrainain security forces, in the eastern city of Slovyansk, April 13, 2014.
    • Interior Ministry members stand near men who were injured in clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian supporters during rallies, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, April 13, 2014. 
    • Protesters hold a rally outside the mayor's office. Local media reported that separatist protesters seized control of the mayor's office in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, April 13, 2014.
    • A man climbs a post to remove a Ukrainian flag as protesters hold a rally outside the mayor's office in Mariupol, April 13, 2014. 
    • People gather after a costumed reenactment dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Simferopol from fascist troops during the World War II outside the village of Kurtsy, near Simferopol, Crimea, April 13, 2014. 
    • A woman shouts and waves a Russian flag during the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Simferopol from fascist troops during the World War II outside the village of Kurtsy, near Simferopol, Crimea.
    Ukrainian, Pro-Russian Militia Sustain Casualties in Slovyansk Gunfire
    VOA News
    Russia came under heavy criticism from world powers at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council Sunday, as violent clashes flared between pro-Russia separatists and Kyiv government supporters in eastern Ukraine.
     
    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant accused Russia of orchestrating the violence.
     
    Power said the instability in Ukraine was "completely man-made." She said it was "written and choreographed" by Russia. Grant called on the Security Council to warn Russia against "further military escalation."
     
    Russia, which called the meeting, rejected the charges. 

    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called on the international community to demand that those who are in power in Kyiv stop war on their own citizens, referring to a warning by Ukraine’s government that it will use force against pro-Russia activists in the eastern part of Ukraine if they do not disarm.

    In a televised speech Sunday, Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, vowed Kyiv will not let Russia take over eastern Ukraine after its annexation of the Crimean peninsula last month.

    He said he will grant amnesty to any pro-Russian separatists who lay down their weapons by Monday but vowed to use force against those who don't.
     
    Turchynov accused Moscow of carrying out a war against Ukraine, once part of its Soviet empire.
     
    "Blood has been shed in a war which the Russian Federation unleashed against Ukraine. The aggressor has not stopped but continues to incite unrest in Ukraine’s east. It's not a war between Ukrainians; it's an artificially created confrontation, whose goal is to see Ukraine weakened and destroyed as a country. But in the end it will weaken our enemies. Russia today has drawn condemnation from the entire civilized world,'' said Turchynov.
     
    Russia’s Foreign Ministry immediately dismissed Turchynov’s order to launch the operation as "criminal" and called for its immediate review by the U.N. Security Council. A meeting is set for Sunday night.
     
    Turchynov's speech came hours after Ukrainian special forces and pro-Russian militia exchanged gunfire in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, with both sides reporting casualties.
     
    Ukraine's interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said a security service officer was killed and another five wounded in the latest skirmish in the aftermath of Moscow's Crimea take-over last month.  At least one pro-Russian activist was also reported killed in the gunfire and two injured.
     
    Russia draws condemnation

    The escalation came a day after pro-Russian gunmen took over the Slovyansk police station, and government facilities in the largely Russian-speaking cities of Donetsk and Kramatorsk. 
     
    U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, told ABC's This Week the unrest in eastern Ukraine "bears the tell-tale signs of Moscow's involvement."
     
    In a statement, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was "extremely concerned" about the increased tensions in the region.  He described it a "concerted campaign of violence by pro-Russian separatists" seeking to destabilize Ukraine.
     
    Fogh Rasmussen called on Russia to "de-escalate the crisis" and pull back thousands of troops it massed on its border with Ukraine.
     
    On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in a telephone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, warned there would be additional consequences beyond sanctions already imposed against Russian officials if Moscow did not move to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine.
     
    Lavrov said the crisis was caused by the Kyiv government ignoring the "legitimate needs and interests" of eastern Ukraine's Russian-speaking population.
     
    A White House National Security Council spokeswoman said Saturday the United States is concerned that Russian-speaking separatists - with apparent support from Moscow - are "inciting violence and sabotage" against the Ukrainian state. 
     
    Moscow has repeatedly denied any role in Ukraine's unrest, which erupted in full two months ago when then-president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country amid protests in Kyiv.
     
    Top diplomats from Russia, the United States, Ukraine and the European Union are set to hold emergency talks on the crisis April 17 in Geneva.  White House officials say U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Kyiv April 22.

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    by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
    April 14, 2014 12:02 AM
    Yes Ukraine crisis is man made, however it started from the west orchestrated Kyev riot which ousted the legitimate president.
    Now east Ukrainians have their right for freedom!

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 13, 2014 9:53 PM
    "U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, told ABC's This Week the unrest in eastern Ukraine "bears the tell-tale signs of Moscow's involvement." And this was not predictable?
    Given the massive sanctions, in the eyes of the EU leaders, that were impossed on Russia, after Crimea's take over, including the idea of not selling any weapons to Russia, this new worsening situation was fully predictable and expected.. The Russian Czar is really deterred, trembling in his little shoes, by stupidity of such useless moves against him. Such useless moves are bound to embolden even the weakest of authoritarian regimes to continue grabbing more territory.
    The bad aspect of this deadly policy failures, is that each time the Czar becomes more agressive, the deterrent escalation, to actually do the job, will need to increase more than exponentially, very much approaching a limited war. Total stupidity risks having its total price, and then some, that will eventually need to be payed by the victims of war! A masive conflict is becoming more and more of a reality every day. Deterrence has failed; when deterrence fails war is not easily avoidable, so history repeats itself.

    by: Realist from: California
    April 13, 2014 8:32 PM
    An objective assessment of the situation in Ukraine:
    North and western Ukraine has cultural affiliation with eastern Europe. They were previously part of what is today Poland, Maldova and Hungary before 1880. They have have a lot to gain economically by way of migration to Europe to work and European subsidy hence the move to integrate with European union.
    In contrast, southern and eastern Ukraine have strong cultural affiliation with Russia. More importantly, They have a lot to loose economically, at least, in the medium term, by joining Europe. It is the industrial heartland of Ukraine, mostly Agriculture and Steel which are inefficient and can't compete with Europe. Also the main market for these industries is Russia. These industires particularly steel depends heavily on Russian gas subsidies. So, this region of Ukraine will loose big time both culturally and economically if Ukraine joins European union now. So the are legitimately demanding referendum to decide their fate. Ukraine will do better trading with both Europe and Russia. The current situation in Ukraine is not just about Russian interest. Current Ukrainian leaders must pay attention to the concerns of their regions to find a lasting solution. It will be naive for them and their western backers to blame only Russia for current stand-off in Ukraine. "A word is enough for the wise" Let all men of goodwill put on their thinking cap and call a spade-a-spade regarding the situation in Ukraine. Blaming only Russia is not going to resolve the problem but a referendum will do.

    by: five from: USA
    April 13, 2014 8:24 PM
    Uhh. Can't Russia simply veto anything the "Security Counsel" brings to vote?........silly.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 13, 2014 8:15 PM
    ACCUSATIONS .. Accusations, accusations, is all you ever hear from the US and EU, against the Russian interference, and on an invasion of Ukraine -- (BUT?) -- has anybody even seen just (one) iota, or sliver of evidence, to support these US and EU claims? -- (JUST ONCE?) -- Wouldn't you like to see some actual evidence, to support the US and EU accusation? (JUST ONCE?), can't they show some actual proof, instead of this continuous propaganda.. .... REALLY?

    by: Tom Murphy from: Northern Virginia
    April 13, 2014 4:35 PM
    Go Ukraine!! Drive out the hired Russian thugs and murderers!!
    Comments page of 2
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