News / Europe

    Ukraine's President Vows to Take Back East from Pro-Russia Rebels

    Ukraine's President Vows to Take Back East from Pro-Russia Rebelsi
    X
    Daniel Schearf
    July 09, 2014 7:30 PM
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has visited troops in the eastern part of the country where the military forced out pro-Russia rebels. While the two sides prepare for what could be a final battle, Moscow and Kyiv say a negotiated ceasefire is still possible - though some political analysts say Russia's strategic objective is to prolong the conflict. More from VOA's Daniel Schearf in Moscow.
    Daniel Schearf

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has vowed to retake remaining rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine, but says government forces will exercise restraint.

    Speaking while visiting troops in the former rebel stronghold of Slovyansk, the president said there would be "no street fighting" in Donetsk. He called pro-Russian insurgents "just an annoyance" to residents of that eastern city, saying the only way forward is through peace, disarmament and amnesty.  

    While the two sides prepare for what could be a final battle, Moscow and Kyiv say a negotiated ceasefire is still possible - though some political analysts say Russia's strategic objective is to prolong the conflict.  

    According to Stanislav Belkovsky, founder and director of the Moscow-based Institute of National Strategy, retaing rebel-held parts of the country will be no easy task.

    “The principal battles are still ahead," said Belkovsky. "Donetsk and Luhansk could be protected from Ukrainian forces much more efficiently by the separatists and by terrorists than small Slovyansk. So I would not exaggerate the real military significance of this victory."

    The rebels are refusing to give up their weapons and have blown up bridges and fortified checkpoints leading to Donetsk in preparation for a fight.

    "Now they are approaching a scenario that is least beneficial to them and most beneficial to us — a war in the city," said Alexander Khodakovsky, security chief of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People's Republic. "So the numerical advantage in the level of troops is compensated by the conditions we will find ourselves in during the fighting."

    Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is urging an unconditional ceasefire.

    "They [rebels] are ready for that," said Lavrov. "But they are not ready to respond to ultimatum demands to capitulate and give in to the winners hoping for an amnesty, which was promised in President Poroshenko's peace plan, in order to pave the way for the dialogue."

    Kyiv accuses Russia of supplying rebels with arms, a charge Moscow denies.

    Many worry that Russian President Vladimir Putin could choose more direct military intervention to ensure the rebels' survival.

    “Right now Putin's policy is to keep it stable and have a frozen kind of conflict, which would give Russia very good leverage over the government in Kyiv," said Pavel Felgengauer, a columnist with Moscow's Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

    Meanwhile, the battle for Ukraine’s future continues — leaving lasting scars in the rebel-controlled east.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 10, 2014 4:37 AM
    Ukraine was it's own sovereign nation before the USSR took it, like the way the USSR took other countries. Russia made an agreement with Ukraine to become independent after the Soviet break up. Ukraine has it's internal problems, and does not show affinity towards actual Ukrainian-Russian citizens. Ukraine is as much to blame for this uprising as Russia is. Russians who swore citizenship to Ukraine, did nothing to assimilate to Ukraines way of life, so there in itself is a break in citizenship. Did that give Ukraine the right to be oppressive towards another citizen, NO! Did that give Russia the right to arm rebels, NO! But this divide in the Ukraine peoples obviously couldn't be resolved without thousands of lives being destroyed, families torn apart, and the long and enduring pain and suffering that follows.

    This is Ukraine's opportunity to show the Ukrainian-Russians that it is better to be in Ukraine than Russia. Kind of the way the British who remained in the US after the Revolutionary War. They too realized that being in America was far better than returning to stuffy-oppressive England.

    Ukraine government needs to show the world that Ukraine can handle this without intervention from anyone. Russia must give back Crimea, this was annexed illegally, violated many international laws...............that Russia agreed to, and Russia even authored some of these laws when Russia feared annexation of Russian lands from neighboring countries after the break up of the Soviet Union.

    by: Anonymous
    July 10, 2014 4:17 AM
    DREAM ON

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 09, 2014 8:42 PM
    REMEMBER Kosovo? .. They may be able to reunite southeastern Ukraine with the rest of Ukraine, but will they ever get the Ukrainians and Russian speaking people, living together again?..... or will Ukraine be like another Afghanistan, with the pro-Russians fighting a guerrilla war, for many years?

    I remember when the US invaded Iraq... and for the first (6) weeks we were laughing at how bad the Iraq army was... (and then, after a year)... we Americans back home had stopped laughing, and after (7) long years decided the US troops should come home, without winning the war, and not finding those weapons of mass destruction...... REALLY
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 10, 2014 7:58 AM
    Hey Igor, remember when Russia invaded Afghanistan? How did that work out for you guys?? hehe
    In Response

    by: Ivan from: Ukraine
    July 10, 2014 7:21 AM
    Firstly, there are no language, nation or religion conflicts. Ukrainians are bilingual. In any way they excellent understand both languages. They still live peacefully together in all 24 oblasts except some cities in Lugansk and Donetsk regions. It means that all associations with Kosovo are ridiculous.

    Secondly, what is the real reason for disorders? Lugansk and Donetsk regions are the most depressive in Ukraine. It important to say that economic and social problems did not solved there for decades. The majority of people there is laborers and miners, who have a lot of problems with work since USSR collapse. As sequence the crime and corruption level there is the most significant in Ukraine. Of course these facts give fruitful ground for social protests.

    Thirdly, is it possible to find a compromise with rebels? Negotiations can be possible when at least two conditions are met: participation of responsible and representative persons; sides must have well-defined positions. Let’s see who protesters are, and who support them. It is known that among them are marginal, without stable incomes to live, Russians fanatics, police officers and soldiers who break oath etc. Rebel leader neglect any legal procedures to define people demand. And support of them is too minor to have representation in establishment.

    So the first condition cannot be met because person who was not elected, who do not have people support but use weapons to control territory cannot be considered as negotiator but terrorist. It also clear the second condition cannot be satisfied. The reason of conflict is not to make Donetsk and Lugansk people happy, but make Ukraine government weak and driven. Nevertheless three tries to find a peaceful solution took place. The result is known. It means that in reality rebels are mercenaries. And their reasons dictated from Moscow.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 10, 2014 4:23 AM
    You almost had me thinking that you were on the right track, and focussing on the issue being discussed. You're almost there Meanbill. You will have a great comment one day without injecting anti-American comments into it. So close. But don't give up, you will one day realize that the greatest country in the world, that allows you to insult it everyday, is still happy to have you as one of it's citizens.........REALLY

    I spent a lot of time in Iraq, many years. Talking to Iraqis themselves. You, Meanbill, have never met an Iraqi. Saddam dammed up rivers to dry up villages because they didn't support his regime. Villages of men, women, and children. Most perished, thousands suffered and died. Children and babies, Meanbill. Just one example of Saddam's power. What is your classification of WMD's? When hate-speech makers, like yourself, have the opportunity to experience what real horror and pain is, then you wouldn't be wasting your words on hate-America, you WILL be wondering why we haven't evolved better than this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! America may not be perfect, and made and continue to make senseless mistakes, I agree. But those who gave their lives for someone like you, to HATE this country, deserve at least a little respect. Try it for once, see if you can do it.

    Your hate-speeches continue to flame violence and pain.....REALLY
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    July 10, 2014 3:35 AM
    You are right.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora