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

Somalia: No Popular Elections in 2016

In interview Wednesday with VOA, President Mohamud says 'one person, one vote' elections will not be possible due to continuing insecurity More

Scientists Predict Climate Change Will Increase Child Malnutrition

Public health expert in Germany says that by 2050, 25 million more children's lives will be put at risk because of lack of nutrients tied to climate change More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists More

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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs