World News

Ukraine PM: Russia Backed Sunday's Unrest in the East

Ukraine's prime minister has accused Russia of backing separatist demonstrations, including the seizure of government buildings Sunday in three eastern Ukrainian cities.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a Cabinet meeting Monday that Russia is behind the unrest that rose up in the eastern cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv. He said the demonstrations are clearly part of a plan to destabilize the situation and allow "foreign" troops to cross the border and seize Ukrainian territory.

Mr. Yatsenyuk said Russian troops remain stationed within 30 kilometers of Ukraine.

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchnyov, also blamed Russia for Sunday's demonstrations and accused it of "playing out the Crimean scenario." He vowed anti-terrorist measures will be carried out.

Protesters in Donetsk who have seized control of the main administration building announced the creation of a sovereign "people's republic" independent of Kyiv. The pro-Russia demonstrators have erected a barricade of tires and barbed wire to keep security forces from retaking the structure.

The Donetsk protesters said a referendum on creating an independent "Donetsk people's republic" would be held no later than May 11.

An unidentified protester inside the government building in Donetsk posted a video online asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to send "peacekeeping troops" to the region.

In Luhansk, pro-Russia activists are reported to have seized facilities where weapons are stored. Ukrainian highway police have closed off roads into the city.

And in an eastern Crimea military dormitory, a Russian soldier shot dead a Ukrainian naval officer during an argument, as the Ukrainian was packing his belongings to leave the region.



Protesters broke into a government building in another eastern city, Kharkiv, on Sunday, but interior minister Arsen Avakov later said those protesters had been cleared from the premises. Like Ukraine's prime minister and president, he, too, blamed Russia for the unrest.

The protesters in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv demanded the cities hold referendums on whether to split with Ukraine and become part of Russia, the same kind of referendum held last month in Crimea.

Ukrainians have been split between those loyal to the Kyiv government and those calling for stronger ties to Russia, following Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula last month.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs