News / Europe

Ukraine Separatists Rally as Unity Backers Meet Putin Foe

Ukraine Separatists Rally as Unity Backers Meet Putin Foei
X
Brian Padden
April 27, 2014 11:57 PM
Hundreds of separatists rallied Sunday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, while a smaller group of unity supporters met with a Russian billionaire and opponent of President Putin. VOA's Brian Padden is in Donetsk and reports on the situation there that grows more tense and divided everyday.
Brian Padden
Hundreds of separatists rallied Sunday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, while a smaller group of unity supporters met with a Russian billionaire and opponent of President Putin.
 
A separatist group called the Donetsk People's Republic organized the rally that attracted several hundred supporters.  Earlier this month, the group occupied two government buildings.  It plans to organize an independence referendum on May 11, similar to the recent vote in Crimea that Russia used to justify its annexation of that region.
 
Many of the local residents who attended the rally say they do not trust the pro-Western government that came to power in Kyiv after president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. Elena Gavrilina is a teacher in Donetsk.

“We want to organize a referendum to voice against our illegal power, against our illegal authorities.  People are angry, very angry,” said Gavrilina.
 
The separatists later took over the Donetsk regional TV station.
 
In nearby Slovyansk, a group of observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were detained by insurgents.
 
The Ukrainian military has increased its presence in the region and Russia has massed thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border.
 
Donetsk separatist supporter Dmitri Litvinov says they are worried about Ukrainian troops, but would welcome Russia.

“It worries us that it is from the side of Ukraine. The Russians are our people, our blood. We are Russians ourselves. Donetsk is a Russian city.”
 
Also in Donetsk, a smaller group of residents who want to keep Ukraine united met with Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  The long-time political opponent of President Vladimir Putin told the crowd they must let Russia know it will pay a price if it tries to intervene in the region.
 
“You ask me if Russia's elite understand there will be strong resistance to Russian troops, and the answer is no.  They do not understand it,” said Khodorkovsky.
 
As hopes for a peaceful settlement appear to dwindle, tensions in the region continue to escalate.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid