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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid