News / Europe

Kyiv Formally Ends Easter Truce; Offensive Will Resume

Masked pro-Russia militants stand guard outside a regional government building they seized in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 22, 2014.
Masked pro-Russia militants stand guard outside a regional government building they seized in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 22, 2014.
VOA News
Ukraine's government has formally ended an Easter truce and is relaunching the “active phase” of an “anti-terrorist operation” to eliminate armed pro-Russian separatist groups in the east, First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema said on Wednesday.
 
Yarema, who has a role in security matters, told reporters on the sidelines of a weekly cabinet meeting the new action was not yet underway, but added: “In the near future, appropriate measures will be taken and you will see results.”
 
Speaking a day after Vice President Joe Biden visited Kyiv, he added: “We have obtained the support of the United States, that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor. We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive.”

Earlier, Ukraine's acting president accused Russia of aiding “terrorists,” urging a crackdown on pro-Moscow separatists in the east on Tuesday that could hamper international efforts to defuse the crisis.

Since Russia signed up to the four-way accord in Geneva along with Ukraine and Kyiv's U.S. and EU allies, militants who deny taking orders from Moscow and whom Russia denies it controls, have if anything tightened their grip on about a dozen public buildings they seized over the past two weeks in eastern towns and cities.
 
Turchynov's call may not lead to much more action but it may fuel recriminations between Moscow and Kyiv about who is failing to honor the deal.
 
Washington has called on Moscow to live up to commitments made in Geneva last week to put more pressure on the pro-Russian protesters to vacate state buildings.
 
Blaming Kyiv for the tensions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, in a phone call on Tuesday that authorities there must take "urgent steps" to implement the Geneva accord, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said.

Speaking with with Ukraine's Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Secretary of State John Kerry praised the important steps taken to de-escalate, in accordance with the Geneva agreement.

Many of the separatists demand referendums in Ukraine’s eastern regions similar to the poll last month in Crimea which precipitated the peninsula’s annexation by Russia.
 
Biden visit

Wrapping up a two-day visit to Kyiv, Vice President Biden called on Russia to live up to its recent agreement to resolve the crisis, adding that Ukraine is "in the struggle for its very future."

During a joint appearance Tuesday with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Biden said it is time for Russia "to stop talking and start acting" on commitments it made to withdraw support for pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine’s east.

"We've heard a lot from Russian officials in the past few days. But now it's time for Russia to stop talking and start acting," he said. "We will not allow this to become an open-ended process. Time is short in which to make progress."

Watch related video by Henry Ridgwell:
 
Biden: Russia Must ‘Stop Talking And Start Acting’ on Ukrainei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 22, 2014 8:03 PM
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is calling on Russia to live up to its recent agreement to help defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Vice President Biden spoke in Kyiv Tuesday as pro-Russian protestors in eastern Ukraine refuse to leave the state buildings they stormed two weeks ago. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

The U.S. vice president said Ukraine "is and must remain one country."  He said the United States would not let Ukraine "walk down this road alone... we will walk it with you."
 
Biden also said the U.S. would provide an additional $50 million for the Ukrainian government, including $11 million to help fund the May 25 presidential election.
 
A White House statement Tuesday said the U.S. will provide Kyiv with $8 million in non-lethal military aid, including communications equipment and vehicles.

U.S. boosting regional troop presence

The U.S. is sending about 600 soldiers to Poland and the three Baltic states for infantry exercises, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, one of its highest-profile steps yet to reassure NATO allies after Russia's seizure of Crimea.

Groups of 150 soldiers will be sent to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in rounds of month-long exercises in each country in what the Pentagon calls a “persistent rotational presence” that stops short of permanently basing troops.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a top Defense Department spokesman, said the deployments sent a strong message to NATO allies about U.S. commitments to the alliance following events in Ukraine.

“If there's a message to Moscow, it is the same exact message that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe,” Kirby said, leaving open the possibility that the drills, set to last through 2014, could continue into 2015.

The United States and NATO have made clear they will not intervene militarily in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member.

They say they are instead focusing on temporarily boosting their presence in eastern Europe in a drive to reassure allies, such as former Soviet republics Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that NATO would protect them if they ever faced Russian aggression.

With their own Russian-speaking minorities, the three Baltic countries have been increasingly worried that Russia's annexation of Crimea, partly on ethnic grounds, could herald destabilization in their own region by Moscow.

Some reporting by Reuters.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid