News / Europe

    Ukraine Tycoon's Workforce Protests Against Pro-Russians

    Ukraine Tycoon's Workforce Protests Against Pro-Russiansi
    X
    Patrick Wells
    May 21, 2014 9:53 PM
    For the second day in a row, employees of the Ukrainian steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov staged small demonstrations against separatists in Donetsk and other cities across eastern Ukraine. Patrick Wells reports from Donetsk, Ukraine
    Patrick Wells
    For the second day in a row, employees of the Ukrainian steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov staged small demonstrations against separatists in Donetsk and other cities across eastern Ukraine.
     
    They came down from the glistening steel and marble office tower that dominates the skyline of Donetsk for a lunchtime demonstration.

    These rather well-dressed political activists are senior employees of Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man.

    He recently called on his 300,000 strong workforce to demonstrate every day at 12 p.m. against the pro-Russian separatist movement that has swept through this region.
     
    Akhmetov initially remained quiet about the uprising here, but in a statement on Monday he said that people were tired of living in fear and called the separatists’ actions “a genocide” of the Donbas region.

    Critics have said that Akhmetov has only weighed in now because the rebellion has started to have an affect on his business interests.

    Rebels recently seized industrial railway lines.  And, it has become clear that if eastern Ukraine were to secede, very few countries would recognize it, meaning vital export markets in Europe and elsewhere would be closed off.  
     
    Ilyena Dimitrova said secession would be an economic disaster.
     
    “It will be a disaster, because all the coal mines across the border in Rostov in Russia used to be subsidized and have been closed, and all the coal mines here are subsidized. The only way to keep the mines is through free economics without corruption," said Dimitrova.
     
    Nearby, pro-Russian separatists, some of whom were carrying hammers and clubs,  tried to stop cars that were honking their horns in support of the protest. The police looked confused, perhaps unsure of who to arrest. Their inaction caused anger among some of the protesters.
     
    “What the hell are you doing? Why is one man allowed to make such a big problem blocking the road? Do they want to make up their own rules everywhere in Donetsk? Just look, he has a knife on his belt," shouted a pro - Russian woman.
     
    Lev, who also works in Akhmetov’s nearby office, insisted he had not been ordered to attend the protest.

    “You cannot say that public opinion is just like this or like that, no, it varies. But here, what they are doing is not normal. Most people think that already. Just running through the city with guns and trying to stop traffic or crash cars, that’s not okay," said Lev.
     
    Later, at the occupied regional administration building, separatists called for Akhmetov to get out of Donetsk. They have now scheduled an anti-Akhmetov rally for Thursday morning.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora