News / Europe

Ukraine Vows to Continue Offensive in East

  • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian protesters gather to honor fallen comrades during fighting with pro-Ukrainian activists in Odessa on Friday, at the barricades in front of the administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin watches as foreign military observers hug each other following their release in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Smoke billows from burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint with a Donetsk republic flag following an attack by Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • A protester walks past a burning pro-Russian tent camp near the trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • An injured pro-Russian activist looks on during clashes with supporters of the Kyiv government in the streets of Odessa, Ukriane, May 2, 2014.
  • People wait to be rescued on upper levels of a trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian separatist guards a checkpoint as tires burn in front of him, near the town of Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian gunmen listen to instructions from their commander (center) behind barricades in Slovyansk, May 2, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian rebel aims his rifle at a checkpoint near a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
Latest images from Ukraine
VOA News
Ukraine says it will continue pressing its military offensive against pro-Russia militants in eastern Ukraine, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls on Moscow to halt its support for the separatists.

Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said troops had recaptured a television tower and government buildings from rebels in Kramatorsk, a town near the pro-Russian stronghold city of Slovyansk. In a Facebook posting Avakov said "we will not stop."

The move comes following deadly fighting between pro-Moscow and pro Kyiv forces in Ukraine southern port city of Odessa, which left at least 42 people dead and dozens injured.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had not yet decided how to respond to the latest offensive or to the deaths in Odessa. Most of the victims were reportedly pro-Russia.

Separately, Peskov said that the Kremlin, within a 24-hour period, has received thousands of phone calls for help from people in Ukraine’s south-east allegedly asking for Moscow’s protection.

Russia currently has at least 40,000 troops and armor massed on its border with Ukraine, and the Kremlin has reserved the right to enter the country to protect ethnic Russians.

In Kyiv, meanwhile, the interim government declared two days of mourning for those killed Friday in Odessa.

Hours of street battles in the Black Sea port city ended in a deadly blaze at a trade union building, where outmatched separatists had holed themselves up seeking safety. It remains unclear who started the fire, but witnesses said gasoline bombs exploded around the building during the melee and that gunfire was heard.

Peskov is also quoted as saying Moscow has lost its influence with the separatists, saying it would be "impossible to persuade them to disarm amid a direct threat to their lives."

Kerry – traveling in Africa and speaking with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov by phone on Saturday - said Russia must now withdraw its support for the separatists. Moscow says Lavrov countered by saying that Washington should compel the Kyiv authorities to stop their military offensive in the east.

Separately, Kerry welcomed the release of European monitors held for more than a week by separatists in Slovyansk.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also welcomed the freeing of the seven observers with the OSCE - the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The monitors were freed Saturday, along with five Ukrainians. In a statement, Ban extended his appreciation to all who helped facilitate the release, including Russia.

And in Brussels, the European Union called for an independent investigation into the Odessa deaths. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said member-countries were "deeply saddened" by the deaths and injuries.

The current Ukrainian government and the West believe that the Kremlin is supporting separatists with the aim of destabilizing Ukraine ahead of presidential elections scheduled for May 25. Observers say the vote could hasten and solidify Ukraine’s move toward the West – a development, they believe, Russia is trying to forestall. Moscow denies that it is fueling unrest and blames the turmoil on Kyiv and what it calls its Western backers, primarily the U.S.

You May Like

Video Anti-Muslim Sponsor of Texas Cartoon Contest Draws Ire

Pamela Geller's supporters say she speaks truth about sensitive topic, while critics say she preaches 'that Islam is inherently evil' More

East Meets West in Exhibition Showing Chinese Influence on Fashion

Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition juxtaposes influence of art, imagery and culture, from Imperial China to the present day, on Western fashion and design More

South Africa Begins New Love Affair With Vinyl Records

Enthusiasts say the 'rebirth' of vinyl is resulting in a rebirth of music in South Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Matvey Tarasov from: Volgograd, Russia
May 08, 2014 1:45 AM
The city is called 'Slavyansk' not 'Slovyansk' like written above. With accent in the first 'a', because of the word 'Slava' (which means 'Glory' in Russian). As usual, the articles are being written by people who don't know the subject at all.

by: T Wilson from: West Swindon
May 05, 2014 3:48 PM
This is a real crisis.....cooler heads need to step in.....What is UN secretary Moon doing?......UN peacekeepers needed to restore order in this chaos....Israel stands silent......Obama seems detached...Biden is locked in cold war mode...Putin rides a wave of total arrogance....Merkel seems timid about getting the gas pipelines shut off from Russia.....Canada is locked in...time for leadership from somewhere.......soon.....

by: Gene from: Santa Cruz, CA
May 05, 2014 1:02 PM
Why does everyone still keep referring to the Russian agents as pro-Russian separatists. These are trained Kremlin military men.......everyone knows it......let's call them what they really are.....Russian terrorists

by: Seth Malloy from: United States
May 05, 2014 2:04 AM
Ditto, I'm yearning for something other than more conflict but at this point it's like he said separatists can always move to Russia.

by: Brian Wilson from: America
May 04, 2014 2:42 PM
More US State Dept Dirty Tricks. The US plan is working.

The US organized / is organizing and funded / is funding the violence in Kiev which started all this. The US wants a civil war in Ukraine to bring NATO and IMF control to Russia's front door.

Ukraine will be raped by the US predator bankers and corporations while tormenting Russia.

Russia was prepared to bail out Ukraine with no IMF style strings attached along with 50% gas discount.

Now the US tax payer has to pay through the nose due to the US dirty tricks.

The Voice of America is a disinfo propaganda device of the US Statre Dept. They report very little truth,

by: Anonymous
May 04, 2014 5:14 AM
Anyone armed occupying government buildings most definitely should be treated as criminals. Those are government buildings of Ukraine, anyone wants to disrupt that should face the consequences.

Good work Ukraine, holding your country together. All Government Institutions should be freed from these criminals with guns (bandits). Who cares if they are Pro-Russian or not, anyone with any belief or political needs does not express themselves with weaponry unless they are criminals. Civilized civilians that require changes to government should do so using the diplomatic approach by voting... Anyone who believes differently needs their head checked.

If you don't want to abide by Ukrainian Laws, leave.

The world backs Ukraine and their soon new permanent government.

The criminals could of used the ballot box but decided to take things into their own hands with arms, occupying government buildings, so they should pay the price for their crimes.
In Response

by: Brian Wilson from: America
May 05, 2014 8:42 AM
Are you referring to the US backed criminals who burned Kiev and forced out the democratically elected government? Those fleeing the US backed Kiev terrorists who took over the Ukraine military are using some of the same tactics the US backed terrorist in Kiev used. Kiev Burning = US Organized Violence and US Chosen Leaders Peaceful Crimea Referendum = US condemnation Ukraine Military Aggression Against Its Citizens = US Advice

by: gen from: japan
May 04, 2014 5:05 AM
Pro russian are escalating and might be dead.Why do US and EU tell a lie?
People might be dead.
Why is it Truchynov and the illeagal government so important?
US should hear pro russian voices?
Pro Russian separatists make suicidal attack to Kiev.Why US ignore them?

by: Igor from: Russia
May 04, 2014 2:52 AM
"It remains unclear who started the fire"??? in fact it is very clear who set the fire and burnt to dead the pro-russian people in Odessa. But the Western media is doing its best to try to hide that crime because it was commited by those illegally in power in Kiev. It is time for Mr.Putin to take action to destroy compeletely Ukrainian army to set free people from the East.

by: gen from: japan
May 04, 2014 2:45 AM
For European people,it is about time to choose which group's side.The group of the coup government in kiev ,nationalists in kiev or the group of Ukraine people (including pro Russian),which group's side do European people choose? The problem happened on a part of Europe soil.
European peoole must think and choose about it earnestly and honestly.

by: Fasa from: Finland
May 04, 2014 2:37 AM
Russia has become an aggressor and EU must stop purchasing Russia 's gas! Strong Russia means threat to EU and beginning of WW3
In Response

by: g from: r
May 05, 2014 3:16 AM
America, all of RUSSIA is watching and listening to the LIES and peretiranie facts of your government!! DISGUSTING!!! And this is America! And THIS is Democracy!!! SHAME!!!
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs