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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs