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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid