News / Europe

    Ukraine Votes to Call Up More Reservists

    FILE - Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Heletey, third from right, raise a Ukrainian flag in downtown Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine.
    FILE - Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Heletey, third from right, raise a Ukrainian flag in downtown Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine.
    Reuters

    Ukraine's parliament approved a presidential decree on Tuesday to call up more military reserves and men under 50 to fight rebels in eastern Ukraine and defend the border against a concentration of troops in Russia.

    Some 45 days after the latest call-up of additional reserves, which has now expired, Kyiv repeated the decree to “declare and conduct partial mobilization” to ensure the ranks of what Ukraine calls its “anti-terrorist operation” are filled.

    Ukrainian troops have forced pro-Russian rebels back to their two main strongholds, the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, slowly taking villages and city suburbs around them.

    On Tuesday, heavy fighting went on around the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk near Luhansk and a security official in Kyiv said Ukraine's army was aiming to close in on the rebels in Luhansk in the coming days.

    The army is under orders not to use airstrikes and artillery in the cities, complicating operations to restore control despite Kyiv's accusations that the rebels were responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner. The separatists deny the accusations.

    “Russia continues its policy of escalating its armed confrontation,” Ukraine's top security official, Andriy Parubiy, told parliament before 232 deputies in the 450-seat parliament voted in favor of the decree.

    Reiterating accusations leveled by Ukrainian officials against Moscow, he said: “Over the last week, close to the Ukrainian border, there has been a regrouping and build-up of forces of the Russian Federation.”

    Parubiy put the numbers close to the border at 41,000 and said they were equipped with 150 tanks, 400 armored vehicles and 500 other weapon systems.

    He said some of the new Ukrainian recruits would join or support combat units and some of the others would support units to help defend the border.

    Growing support for NATO

    Separately, the parliament also sought to raise to 60 the maximum age of Ukrainians who may be called up from military reserves in the future from the current ceiling of 50. The change needs to be approved by the president and it was not immediately clear if it would apply to the Tuesday call-up.

    Russia withdrew most of the 40,000 troops it had close to the border earlier this year, reducing them to fewer than 1,000 by mid-June. But since then, it has been building up its forces again, a NATO military officer said this month.

    Parubiy accused Russia of continuing to supply the rebels, who say they are fighting to win independence from Kyiv for the Donbass coal mining region.

    “Such actions are classified as aggression against our state,” he said.

    Moscow denies supplying the rebels.

    The violent stand-off between Kyiv and pro-Russian rebels in the east, which started in April, increased support among Ukrainians for joining the European Union and NATO, an opinion poll conducted by the Raiting Group pollster showed on Tuesday.

    The survey, conducted at the turn of the month, showed 44 percent in favor of joining the Western military alliance, versus 40 percent in April. The number of those opposed stood at 35 percent and was down from 46 percent in April, it said.

    A different poll by the Razumkov think-tank in Kyiv in early June put support for joining NATO at 40.8 percent compared to 40.1 percent against. The pollster said the roughly equal figures mark the highest level of backing for becoming a NATO member recorded in years.

    Russia vehemently opposes any NATO enlargement in the former Soviet bloc, which Moscow sees as a sphere of special interest. Kyiv says joining NATO is not on the agenda now, and there is no suggestion from the alliance that Ukrainian membership is a near-term possibility.  

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 22, 2014 8:56 AM
    Ukraine better hurry up and win this war before winter, because the biggest weakness in it's army, (will be), how old are the batteries in his old 10,000 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, because there's nothing worse, (in subzero weather), than having 10,000 old tanks and armored fighting vehicles with old dead batteries..... you'd be a sitting duck, in a steel coffin, won't you be?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.