News / Europe

Ukraine Tries to Unite Local Militias to Fight Rebellion

Ukraine Tries to Unite Local Militias to Fight Rebellioni
X
Gabe Joselow
June 07, 2014 12:12 AM
As a crisis heats up in eastern Ukraine, the country is working to recruit and mobilize local, regional militias to boost the under-powered armed forces. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports on the effort on the ground in central Ukraine.
Ukraine Tries to Unite Local Militias to Fight Rebellion
Gabe Joselow
As a crisis heats up in eastern Ukraine, the country is working to recruit and mobilize local, regional militias to boost the under-powered armed forces.

At this training center outside Kyiv, a new battalion gets ready for war.

These soldiers are from the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the heart of a pro-Russian separatist insurgency.

The training is part of a government strategy to recruit local militias to help put down the rebellion.

Semyon Semyonchenko, the commander of the Donbas volunteer militia, said, “We are looking for men who are first of all ready to die for their motherland, in case of need, better to avoid it, but this readiness to fulfill their duty until the end is what distinguishes a soldier from the quitter who just drops his weapon and runs away.”

Anti-terrorist operations

These soldiers will be joining Ukraine's National Guard as the country steps up what it calls anti-terrorist operations in the east.

In the past week, separatist rebels scaled up their own attacks.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said Ukraine needs a more unified force in response.

“This is the third battalion of the National Guard that was a guerrilla squad before. Now that the terrorists are more organized, and better formed, receiving weapons from Russia, the military understands that we need to be united,” said Gerashchenko.

Self-defense groups have taken the lead in security operations.

Here in Dnepropetrovsk province, soldiers from a local battalion search cars coming from Donetsk -- one of the regions wracked by separatist violence.

The Russian border is not far away, but in this area, there is no rebellion.

Survival fight

Dnepropetrovsk is an industrial center -- home to influential businessmen and politicians, as well as the historic center for the country's aerospace program during the Soviet era.

Officials say local businesses and the governor helped finance local militias.

While they should work with the National Guard, or the local administration, these soldiers say they are basically on their own.

Local commander Sergei Goryachiy said, “Mostly the administration provided consultation and coordination, but zero financial support. About material resources, at the beginning they brought us these concrete blocks, several flak jackets, a couple of flashlights and some binoculars, this was the extent of their support.”

Ukraine blames Russia for supporting the separatists, though Moscow denies any involvement.

With reports of new fighters and weapons coming from Russia, Ukraine's armed forces are facing an increasingly tough fight. Their only hope may be in uniting these independent volunteer militias under one flag.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gen from: japan
June 07, 2014 9:19 AM
What a really stupid government in kiev? The east part's peope of Ukraine kill each other? Then the west part of Ukraine just watch the killing east like a TV drama while having dinner? The unite of Ukraine,such a thought by the president is a lie? It is terrible and horrible.There are not real politician in kiev.what a stupid idea! This is Ukraine's politics style or their character? Don't mud selfhand.
Ukraine is full of darty politics.

by: gen from: japan
June 07, 2014 9:05 AM
What a stupid country! Young men bloodshed.Why did G7 counties side with Ukraine?

by: gen from: japan
June 07, 2014 8:58 AM
That is a stupid idea.I thought it is relieved I am not a Ukrainian.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs