News / Europe

Ukraine to Hold Military Exercises with European, NATO Allies

Russian servicemen stand in front of a military truck on a freight carriage near the Crimean city of Simferopol April 1, 2014. NATO says it will explore all options to boost the alliance's defenses after seeing no signs of a Russian troop withdrawal.
Russian servicemen stand in front of a military truck on a freight carriage near the Crimean city of Simferopol April 1, 2014. NATO says it will explore all options to boost the alliance's defenses after seeing no signs of a Russian troop withdrawal.
Daniel Schearf
Ukraine will host joint military exercises with European and NATO countries while NATO has decided to suspend "all practical civilian and military cooperation" with Russia because of Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

NATO and Ukraine also agreed to intensify cooperation and promote defense reforms, according to a NATO statement released Tuesday in Brussels, where the NATO foreign ministers are meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine. 

Joint military exercises

In Ukraine, lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday 235 to 0 to hold the exercies despite ongoing military tensions with Russia.
 
The overwhelming support follows Russia's March annexation of Crimea and reports of its heavy military build-up along Ukraine's border.
 
Lt. Gen. General Mihaylo Koval, Ukraine's Acting Minister of Defense, said permission was granted for units of foreign countries to take part in eight training exercises, with half of the military personnel for the drills being Ukrainian while the other half is foreign.

"The main theme of the training is preparation for international peace keeping operations," Koval said. "They will also work on humanitarian security and search and rescue operations on land and water as well as national defense."
 
The joint exercises are expected to take place in Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa and could bring EU and NATO forces close to Russia's military in Crimea.
 
Moscow views the NATO alliance as an attempt to surround and isolate Russia. NATO's 28 member-states include former allies of the Soviet Union who agree to collective defense if one of them is attacked.
 
Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) but has hosted similar drills in the past. Since Russia's aggressive moves on the Black Sea peninsula, Kyiv is considering upgrading its relations with the alliance but has no plans to join it.
 
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussensaid Russian forces are still massed along Ukraine's border. Reports Monday indicated Moscow had ordered the start of a gradual withdrawal of tens of thousands of soldiers.
 
But Moscow confirmed only one battalion, a few hundred, was pulled back and claims only a small presence of troops are there doing normal drills.

Disarming nationalists, right wing groups
 
Ukrainian lawmakers also voted Tuesday for a bill to disarm all groups with unlicensed weapons.
 
"The Ukrainian people demand order," Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, told parliament. "Those who have weapons can only belong to the armed forces of Ukraine, the national guard and the security service of Ukraine or other military groups."
 
The declaration followed a shooting incident Monday night in central Kyiv by a member of the Ukrainian nationalist Right Sector group.
 
The man opened fire after a dispute in a restaurant, wounding three people, one of whom remains in serious condition.
 
Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
x
Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
The Right Sector and other ultra-nationalists, were on the front lines of anti-government protests that turned violent in February clashes with riot police.
 
The fighting ended in over 100 deaths, including from snipers, and led Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych to flee to Russia.
 
Moscow has cited nationalist groups like the Right Sector in claiming nazis and fascists control Kyiv's streets and the government. The Kremin used an alleged threat against ethnic Russians as justification for seizing Crimea.
 
The Right Sector turned the man over to police who surrounded their nearby hotel headquarters and forced them to move Tuesday to a National Guard unit outside the city.
 
Ukraine's Interior Minister says they found weapons inside the hotel, including homemade explosives, which were confiscated.
 
  • People stand outside a closed McDonalds restaurant. The fast food restaurant chain announced this week that it is shuttering its three outlets in the Crimean peninsula over unspecified operations issues, Simferopol, Crimea, April 4, 2004.
  • People gather outside a currency exchange office in the Crimean city of Simferopol, April 4, 2014.
  • People stand in line as they wait to enter a branch of the Sberbank of Russia bank in the Crimean city of Simferopol, April 4, 2014.
  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said during an interview with Reuters that the Kyiv government will stick to unpopular austerity measures "as the price of independence" as Russia steps up pressure on Ukraine to destabilize, Kyiv, April 3, 2014.
  • Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov visits a military exhibition near the settlement of Desna in Chernigov region, Ukraine, April 2, 2014.
  • Ukrainian soldiers watch as an army medic helicopter flies above during a military exhibition near the settlement of Desna in Chernigov region, April 2, 2014.
  • People pass by barricades near the Dnipro Hotel in Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
  • Self-defense activists pass by the Dnipro Hotel in Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
  • Members of the Ukrainian far-right radical group Right Sector leave their headquarters in Dnipro Hotel as police special forces stand guard, Kyiv, April 1, 2014.
  • Commuters walk along railway lines next to Ukrainian tanks ready to depart from Crimea near Simferopol, March 31, 2014.
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits Crimea to consider priorities for its economic development, Simferopol, March 31, 2014.
  • Ukrainians, in accordance with Orthodox Church tradition of marking the 40th day since death, remember those who lost their lives during pro-Europe protests in Kyiv, March 30, 2014. 

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: clinton werner from: Tokyo
April 05, 2014 9:50 PM
Hi Everyone , We Have To Greatly Admire The Ukrainian People In The Maidan For Their Magnificent Heroism In Standing Up For Their Rights & Ousting The Former PM & Standing Up To Russia!
They Did This With Great Sacrifice & Perseverence! The EU &
NATO Should Act On This As Swiftly As Possible!
The West Has Become Too Complacent & Cynical In Recent Years! Because The Ukrainian People Stood Up For Their Rights , They Unmasked What Putin & The Russian Govt. Were Reallly Up To In Their Designs On Europe & Asia!
We Must Support The Ukrainian Govt. To Find out What Really Happened During These Sniper Attacks That Greviously
Murdered at least 100 People. We Must Bring Them to Justice!
May Libery & Justice Prevail !!!

by: Anonymous
April 01, 2014 11:15 PM
Excellent news. Ukraine is not alone, and what Putin did was illegal and he should be punished to all extents of the law. Thinking he can do what he wants to other peoples countries. The west should hold a referrendum in Chechnya and watch Putins face.

by: Tugein bryan karatwa from: Mbarara uganda
April 01, 2014 3:30 PM
I think Russia shd show some Respect to other countries because Power is nothing without Control.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More