World News

Ukraine PM Preparing Diplomatic Push

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is preparing a diplomatic push on his nation's political crisis.

Mr. Yatsenyuk is due in Washington for talks Wednesday with U.S. President Barack Obama. The two leaders are to discuss the standoff over Crimea, the strategic southern Ukrainian peninsula with a Russian-speaking majority.

Meanwhile, the Crimean government on Monday officially invited the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor a March 16 referendum hat will ask voters if they would like Crimea to become part of Russia..
OSCE monitoring groups have been turned away from the Crimean border by armed men at least three times in the past week.

U.S. federal agents have arrived in Ukraine to help the nation's interim leaders investigate allegations of corruption by Mr. Yanukovych during his tenure. The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine said Monday the investigators are also looking into whether some assets can be recovered.



Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a televised meeting with President Vladimir Putin that Russia and the West continue to differ over Ukraine.

Lavrov complained Western proposals forwarded by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry amounted to "moving forward on the basis of a situation born out of a state coup." Moscow has consistently described the ouster of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych as the illegal overthrow of a legitimate head of state.

Lavrov also said Kerry had accepted an invitation to visit Russia for further talks on the crisis, but then changed his mind and postponed the visit. Lavrov said Russia will offer its own proposals to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Russian news agencies report Mr. Yanukovych is expected on Tuesday to make his second public appearance since stepping down and fleeing Kyiv last month. There were no details about the content of his address.

Earlier Monday, the chief of Crimea's election commission, Myhkailo Malyshev, said he is moving ahead with preparations for next Sunday's referendum on unification with Russia. He said all registered Crimean voters are eligible to vote.



"All citizens who are registered in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea have the right to vote at this referendum, meaning that nothing will prevent them from voting."



Russian forces have tightened their grip on Crimea, as authorities in the breakaway territory push their plan to join Moscow.

Interim prime ministerYatsenyuk has vowed not to give up "a single centimeter" of territory.

A Russian lawmaker said the Kremlin had set aside $1.1 billion to rebuild Crimea's industrial infrastructure if the disputed region votes in a March 16 referendum to join Russia.

U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken says Washington will not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia if residents of the region vote to leave Ukraine.

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told VOA the annexation will "isolate Russia from the rest of the world for years to come, maybe even decades to come." He said "Even the Chinese are not supporting Russia in this act - nobody thinks this act is legitimate."

Russian forces tightened their grip on the peninsula taking over a Ukrainian border post on the western edge of Crimea, trapping about 30 personnel inside. A Ukrainian military spokesman said Russian forces now control 11 border guard posts across the territory.

Russia denies it has troops on the peninsula beyond those regularly stationed with its Sevastopol-based Black Sea fleet. Ukraine's much smaller navy is also based in the Crimean port city. Witnesses say although the soldiers have no insignia identifying them, they are clearly Russian.

Foreign observers have failed to get into Crimea to get a first-hand look at the situation and were forced to turn back Saturday after pro-Kremlin gunmen fired warning shots.

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