News / Europe

Ukraine Struggles to Keep Control in East

Pro-Russia activists are seen behind a barricade with Russian flags in front an entrance of a regional office of Ukraine's Security Service in Luhansk, April 8, 2014.
Pro-Russia activists are seen behind a barricade with Russian flags in front an entrance of a regional office of Ukraine's Security Service in Luhansk, April 8, 2014.
VOA News
Ukraine is struggling to keep control of key cities in its pro-Russian east as demonstrators seize government buildings and demand votes on joining Russia. 
 
Authorities said shots were fired and at least 60 protesters arrested in Kharkiv Tuesday, while pro-Russian demonstrators held on to government offices captured Sunday in Donetsk.
 
Ukrainian security officials said protesters in Luhansk wired an occupied building with explosives and were holding 60 hostages.
 
US position

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russian agents and special forces of stoking separatist unrest in eastern Ukraine. He called the Russian actions "a contrived pretext for military intervention just as we saw in Crimea."
 
Kerry told a Senate committee Tuesday that Moscow's involvement in Ukraine was "clear and unmistakable." He said President Barack Obama is preparing more tough sanctions on Russia if it continues destabilizing Ukraine.
 
Also Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said southeastern Ukraine should be included in talks about the country's future. He said Russia wants to see the largely Russian-speaking region represented in multilateral talks.
 
Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with two European leaders on the crisis in Ukraine.
 
Biden met with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic at the White House and telephoned Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. Biden thanked Fico for helping Ukraine diversify its energy supplies so it is not so dependent on Russian natural gas.

Republican criticism

Taking issue with the Obama administration’s approach on Ukraine, Republican Senator John McCain said that not enough was being done to counter Russia’s moves.
 
He said that instead of talking softly and carrying a big stick, the administration was doing the opposite, adding that steps taken in response to what he called the
“Russian dismemberment of Ukraine” were insufficient.
 
“Some individual sanctions, some diplomatic sanctions, suspension, not removal [of Russia] from the G8, and now, more threats to come,” said McCain.

In an effort to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union, Russia and representatives of Ukraine’s government are set to meet in Europe within the next ten days.

NATO response

In Paris, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that further Russian intervention in Ukraine would be a "historic mistake" that would further isolate Russia from the world. 

He urged Russia to pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border and engage in constructive dialogue with the Kyiv government.

Russia still maintains tens of thousands of troops on its borders with Ukraine as part of what it calls military exercises.

Meanwhile, NATO has announced it will triple its usual number of fighter jets patrolling over the Baltics next month to beef up its eastern European defenses due to tensions with Russia over Ukraine, a NATO military official said on Tuesday.

Four NATO fighters are usually based in the Baltics but the United States, which currently has responsibility for patrolling the skies there, increased that to 10 F-15s to reassure those states following Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Some reporting by Reuters

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Stoop hon Consul UA from: Antwerp
April 09, 2014 4:14 AM
In Kiyv we should turn the statue not towards Germany anymore but to Russia


by: Artur from: Vienna
April 09, 2014 2:59 AM
I have deeply disappointed by ridiculous sanctions the West imposed on Russia. Reduce gas consumption and Russia will face default in two years. And perhaps, WW3 will be prevented.

In Response

by: cc from: moscow
April 09, 2014 3:36 AM
Do reduce it! Come on!


by: lara
April 09, 2014 1:35 AM
God save Ukrane from Putin!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid