News / Europe

Ukraine Mourns Victims of Downed Jet with Sorrow, Anger

People light and place candles in memory of Ukrainian servicemen killed when their transport plane was downed by pro-Russian rebels in Luhannk region, in a central square of Ukraine's western city of Lviv, June 14, 2014.
People light and place candles in memory of Ukrainian servicemen killed when their transport plane was downed by pro-Russian rebels in Luhannk region, in a central square of Ukraine's western city of Lviv, June 14, 2014.
Anita Powell
As Ukraine observed a national day of mourning Sunday after the deaths of 49 servicemen, two strong emotions washed over its capital: sorrow, and anger.  

At midday Sunday, the nation observed a minute of silence in mourning for 49 soldiers who were killed Saturday when pro-Russian fighters shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane.
 
Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
x
Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.

President Petro Poroshenko has vowed to punish those responsible. He said in a statement the perpetrators will meet with "an adequate response."

Throngs of worshippers prayed at a church in central Kyiv that offered refuge and medical facilities earlier this year to those involved in protests that unseated pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich.
 
Outside, a blue-eyed young soldier who gave his name only as Private Nikolay said he empathized with the families who lost their loved ones.
 
He said, as a soldier, he knows what it is like when a mother loses her son, what commanders and others feel protecting their country, their Ukraine, their children.

Protecting Ukraine

Nikolay said soldiers are carrying out the oath they gave to protect the interests of Ukraine and are fulfilling their duty.  
 
A grandmother from northern Ukraine, Zinaida, said she spent more than a decade living in Russia.

Zinaida said even now, during war, Ukrainians do not hate the Russian people and have no desire to kill.  

She said the leaders of the two countries are "responsible for lots of things."  She added that she cannot understand why the two countries, which have so much in common, are fighting. She urged a reconciliation between the two.
 
A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion "Azov" during a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, June 15, 2014.
x
A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion
A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion "Azov" during a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, June 15, 2014.

But others expressed darker emotions.  

On the streets of Kyiv, retired geologist Vasiliy Mikhaelovich had no kind words for the Russian leader.

Mikhaelovich said he hates Putin and calls him an inhuman monster.  

He also calls the situation a nightmare and a disaster that means "some kind of doom on Ukraine.”

Words like that have become increasingly common in the cosmopolitan Ukrainian capital filled with Baroque architecture and chic sidewalk cafes, where Russian is still the most common spoken language.

Kyivites said they applaud Poroshenko’s goal to join his nation with the European Union. But Poroshenko has more urgent matters before him with the ongoing violence.
 
On Saturday, 300 protesters crowded the Russian Embassy in Kyiv, hurling epithets, as well as bricks, stones and eggs. Protesters also overturned luxury cars parked just outside the complex.

Inciting protesters

Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia urged them to stop, but incited the crowd with his description of Russia President Vladimir Putin.

"Did I say that I am against you protesting? I am for you protesting. I am ready to be here with you and say 'Russia, get out of Ukraine.' Yes, Putin is a [expletive], yes,'' Deshchytsia said.

The comment drew a rebuke from Moscow on Sunday, which urged Ukraine to fire its top diplomat.

As for the protesters, Russian officials condemned the failure of action by Ukrainian police outside the embassy, calling it a violation of Ukraine's international obligations.

The former Soviet nations are struggling to hold peace talks after pro-Russian separatists began a military campaign in the Russian-speaking east.  
 
Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
x
Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.

The two nations are also on the brink of a breakdown in talks over Russia’s role in supplying natural gas to Ukraine, which Moscow has threatened to cut off as soon as Monday.

In Kyiv's Independence Square on Sunday, the Maidan - hardcore Ukrainian nationalists in dirty, mismatched camouflage - stood next to striking, fashion-conscious women.

Together, they yelled phrases such as “Glory to Ukraine!”

 At the rain-soaked protest, leaders urged Ukrainians to fight for their sovereignty.

Plane shot down

The Ukrainian prosecutor general's office said 40 service members and nine crew members were killed early Saturday when rebels shot down the Ukrainian Air Force plane.

The Defense Ministry said the Ilyushin-76 aircraft was about to land at the Luhansk airport when separatists downed it with a large-caliber machine gun.

Surveillance video shows a distant explosion near the ground that is believed to be from the plane.

The prosecutor's office said a criminal investigation has been opened under anti-terrorism laws.

Also Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to make clear Moscow's commitment to ending the flow of Russian weapons and tanks across the border into Ukraine.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
June 16, 2014 5:44 PM
Good Bless the population civil of Ukraine

by: Mark Franketti from: Sundaya Times
June 16, 2014 2:58 AM
An information bomb had exploded while an independent Sunday Times' jornalist Mark Franketti told live what he saw and heard while being inside Donbass batallion. "It was normal, civil east-ukranian guys a few of them were russian voluntiers with no military preparation". Mark has a huge experianse being as information source from hot points. More over, being him neutral towards Russia doesn't makes not to believe to him. Look for english-translated video for more info.

by: greatukr from: RF
June 16, 2014 2:18 AM
one smart comment on eight idiotic.

by: pc from: serbia
June 15, 2014 4:21 PM
The people of Ukraine will cry. USA and the EU will fight until the last of Slavic blood. Fight against corruption and set the oligarchs to power. You settle on Masonic deception. Let God help.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 15, 2014 11:05 AM
MY OPINION? -- NONE of this violence, killings, destruction and war in Ukraine, would have happened (if) the US, EU, and NATO countries hadn't interfered in the politics of Ukraine, like they did in the (non-European Union countries) of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and now Ukraine?

THINK ABOUT IT? -- Whenever the US, EU, and NATO countries interfere in the internal politics of (non-European Union countries), they bring nothing but violence, killings, destruction and wars, (that continues on to this day), and never bring peace of any kind, to any of these countries they interfered in...

Ho Chi Minh told America; "If you want to fight a war for (40) years or more, we'll fight a war for (40) years or more, but if you want to sit down and drink tea, we'll sit down and drink tea, and talk" -- (AND?) -- it took (9) long years of fighting the Vietnam war, before America finally decided it was better to drink tea and talk, and end the Vietnam war. -- (CRAZY?) -- How long will it take for Ukraine, the US, EU, and NATO countries to decide to drink tea, and talk? -- (HOW LONG?)..
In Response

by: ANTI-ZARIST from: USA
June 15, 2014 11:23 PM
MEAN BILL SHOULD MOVE TO VIETNAM... OR TO RUSSIA, FOR THAT MATTER. IF HE WERE IN EITHER, OR IN CHINA, IRAN, NORTH KOREA OR RUSSIA, AND SAID ANYTHING LIKE HE CHIDES ABOUT THE US AND NATO, HE'D BE HUNG IN LESS TIME THAN A RUSSIAN CAN SAY "STUPID GRINGO".

RUSSIA IS TRYING, JUST LIKE CONSERVATIVE RACIST TEA BAG HEADS ARE ALSO DOING, TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK
TO A DARKER ERA. THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY FOR THAT.

AN EX-KGB THIRD RATE OPERATIVE LIKE PUTIN WILL SOON ROLL. FORTUNATELY FOR HIM, THE FRENCH RETIRED THE GUILLOTINE TWO CENTURIES AGO!
In Response

by: Evan from: USA
June 15, 2014 7:00 PM
Dear Bill Putinbotovich, dictators and thugs invade other nations, deny citizens of those nations the right to self-rule, if not outright steal from them, rape them and murder them. It is the rule of the jungle. When some other nation shows real willingness to stand up for the rights of the repressed, we will stand down, have a seat and drink some tea. Lord knows we deserve it after all this time.
In Response

by: lari from: london
June 15, 2014 6:02 PM
In my opinion, the us, eu and nato have nothing to do with whats happening in ukraine. If they did the military would be better equipped. Russia has been a strong player in the region and the us has been afraid to go in. I wish nato took a stronger stance to russia
...maybe they can finally think twice before invading!
In Response

by: leo from: canada
June 15, 2014 4:55 PM
mr.Meanbill is wrong completely. If you do not know about Viet nam history. Please, shut up. I am a Vietnamese Canadian. there were democratic South VN supported by USA and allies and communist North VN supported by Soviet and China. Ho Chi Minh was just a puppet of communist Soviet and China. North VN was very poor and barbaric under Ho chi Minh and his communist regime. But they were very violent ( and hypocritical), because they have Soviet and China's bosses. More dirty and shameless, North VN still lied with propaganda to make the Americans at that time believe wrongly that VN war was wrong of the American government. So, finally USA withdrew. But South VN people always thank and appreciate USA with our hearts. Thanks to USA, VN kept democracy for a long time. The Russian Soviet and China always controlled communist VN, but they denied, like fascist Russia nowadays towards Ukraine ( still send fighters and weapons to stir up Ukraine but still lied). Presently, communist China is aggressive on the East Asian Sea and bullying and invading the small weak Asian countries. The necessary and important role of USA and democratic allies are become more and more important. Without them, who can stop FASCIST RUSSIA AND CHINA????
In Response

by: huh? from: USA
June 15, 2014 4:31 PM
And Khruschev said "By 1980, the U.S. won't even exist." Khruschev is dead, the U.S. is still here.
In Response

by: straightbill from: usa
June 15, 2014 4:28 PM
Looks like Ho Chi Minh was wrong by 31 years, then.
In Response

by: Lev Havryliv from: Sydney
June 15, 2014 4:24 PM
Russia is to blame for the violence and destruction in Ukraine because Putin cannot accept that a sovereign Ukraine has the right to chose a pro-Europe destiny.

Putin punished Ukraine by annexing Crimea and is now making a grab for east Ukraine. This is naked Russian imperialism.
In Response

by: Mattias from: Sweden
June 15, 2014 3:53 PM
I'm thankful for what USA has done in Europe. USA liberated us from fascism and protected us from russian aggression.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs