News / Europe

Ukraine's Defense Minister Says 'Detente' with Russia Holding

Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Kiev, March 17, 2014.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Kiev, March 17, 2014.
Daniel Schearf
Ukraine's defense ministry says an agreement with Russia's military in Crimea to cease provocations appears to be holding. But the ministry says Russia has built up 60,000 troops in the separatist southern territory and along Ukraine's borders, which it vowed to defend. 

Acting defense minister, Ihor Tenyukh, told journalists a week-long detente agreed with Russia's military is holding in Crimea.

During a briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Tenyukh said Russian forces are no longer blockading Ukrainian bases in Crimea and are allowing soldiers there to re-supply.

He says the detente means there are no more provocations, attempts to storm Ukrainian military bases, or pressure on their servicemen and on their Navy and Air Force.

But the truce ends Friday and Crimea's Moscow-backed authorities say Ukrainian troops who do not join them will eventually be kicked out of the peninsula.

Tenyukh says Ukrainian troops will never withdraw from Crimea and Kyiv would not accept it becoming part of Russia.

He says Moscow continues to build up its military forces and has amassed 60,000 troops in Crimea and along Ukraine's borders.

Ukraine is responding by mobilizing its military as well as training a recently established national guard.

Though they are much smaller in numbers and capabilities, Tenyukh says they are preparing to fend off any attacks.

He says the armed forces of Ukraine have been brought up to full readiness. This concerns their armed forces situated alongside Ukraine's eastern borders, he says. They have already taken their positions, so as to be ready, and they are ready. He says they will carry out their orders once the political leadership makes a decision.

Thinly veiled Russian forces backed pro-Russia separatists in Crimea who took over the parliament in February and surrounded Ukraine's military bases.

Russia's agreement to back away from the bases came the same day that Crimea's Moscow-backed authorities declared an overwhelming vote to break away from Ukraine. Moscow's parliament, the Duma, is expected to soon vote on whether or not to annex the territory.

The controversial vote in Crimea was condemned by Ukraine's acting government, the European Union, and the United States as illegal and illegitimate.

Washington called the referendum, and the Russian military build-up, dangerous and destabilizing provocations.  The United States and European Union have announced sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian leaders involved in the rebellion.

Moscow claims the actions are necessary to protect ethnic Russians from persecution by Ukrainian nationalists in Kyiv's transitional government.

Ukraine's current leaders came to power after months of protests against former President Viktor Yanukovych for pulling out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of Russia.

Yanukovych fled to Russia after 100 people were killed in clashes with riot police, and was removed from office by Ukraine's parliament.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
March 17, 2014 4:25 PM
The Ukrainian Defense Minister announces that a detente is established between the Russian military and the Ukrainian military in the Crimean barracks, allowing resupply to the military bases. What will happen if the Russians oust all the soldiers allied to Ukraine next Friday? Can the Ukrainian forces resist the onslaught of 60,000 troops in Crimea? President Obama can give billions of dollars to Ukraine with hands off policy of unproductive negotiations, non-military intervention and minimal economic sanctions against a few Russian officials. President Obama is still thinking for wider economic sanctions against Russia and he has plenty of time to waste while Russia integrates Crimea as part of Russia. The EU cannot take any quick response against the Russian aggression in Ukraine because of the disarray in their ranks, bureaucracy and weak EU military. The NATO is incapacitated for any military response because Ukraine is not part of NATO. Hence the aggression of Russia prevails.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs