News / Europe

Ukraine's Military to Continue Eastern Offensive

A Ukrainian soldier controls a road on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine, May 30, 2014.
A Ukrainian soldier controls a road on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine, May 30, 2014.
VOA News
Ukraine officials vowed Friday to continue a military offensive against pro-Russian rebels in the country's east, after separatists there shot down a helicopter, killing at least a dozen servicemen.

Acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval told reporters his forces have completely cleared separatists from the southern and western parts of the Donetsk region, as well as the northern part of the neighboring Luhansk region. He said the mission will continue until peace and order is restored.

But a spokesman for Ukraine's so-called anti-terrorist operation reported fighting took place Thursday night in the restive Luhansk region, which borders Russia. 

Speaking to reporters by phone, Vladislav Seleznyov said rebels attacked a Ukrainian military base.

"There is information that the Luhansk military base was besieged by terrorists," Seleznyov told reporters in a conference call. "They made three attempts to capture it ... using Kalashnikovs [rifles], other small arms and grenade launchers."

Koval said more than 20 service members have been killed in eastern Ukraine since the government launched an "anti-terrorist" operation there in mid-April.
 
Putin calls for halt

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday on Ukraine's government to halt its military operation against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin's press service reported Friday that in a phone call with French President Francois Hollande, Putin noted the need for an "immediate termination" of the Kyiv authorities' "violence and bloodshed" and for the start of a "direct dialogue" between Kyiv and southeastern Ukraine,

Troop withdrawal

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that Russian troops appear to be withdrawing from the border area, but that the pullback is not complete.  He said the White House does not have confirmation that the movement represents a full withdrawal.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that Russia is moving about two thirds of the troops it had close to the Ukrainian border.  In a statement, NATO said several thousand troops remain in the area.

U.S. and NATO officials have repeatedly urged Russia to withdraw its troops, saying their presence is raising tensions. There are also reports that fighters are crossing from Russia into Ukraine.
 
Despite weeks of Kremlin denials, Russia's state-controlled news agency Ria Novosti said 33 of the estimated 50 rebel fighters killed Monday in Donetsk in a battle with Ukrainian troops came from Russia.
 
The news agency quoted the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic as saying the bodies of the foreigners have been identified and returned to their relatives.

OSCE monitors detained

Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says it has lost contact with another four-person group of monitors in eastern Ukraine. The group was last heard from late Thursday. Rebels have been holding four other OSCE observers since late Monday.

Obama - Ukraine

President Barack Obama will meet next week with Ukraine's incoming president to highlight Washington's security commitment to eastern Europe following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The White House on Friday announced the meeting with President-elect Petro Poroshenko, saying it will take place in Warsaw on the sidelines of 25th anniversary celebrations marking the end of communist rule in Poland. Obama's four-day trip will end June 6 in Normandy on the 70th anniversary of the World War II Allied D-Day landing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also set to visit Normandy for memorial services.  But the White House said President Obama has no plans to meet directly with the Russian leader, as bilateral tensions simmer over Russia's role in Ukrainian unrest.
Gabe Joselow contributed to this report from Kyiv, Ukraine, and Jeff Seldin contributed from the Pentagon.
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
May 31, 2014 11:51 AM
WARNING? -- "When preparing to attack, act like you're withdrawing, and when you are withdrawing, act like you are going to attack" - "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu -- (NOW?) -- Are the Russian troops withdrawing, or have they been replaced by little green men, preparing to attack? --

(QUESTION?) -- Under NATO strategy the Ukraine forces are attacking who they think are pro-Russian separatists -- (BUT?) -- in reality, those little green men the Ukrainians are attacking, are battle hardened combat veterans, and using Russian strategy will fall back and use gorilla warfare, and urban combat. -- PS; - NATO hasn't won a war since it was created !!!

by: Berry
May 30, 2014 12:29 PM
Ukrainian army shelled the children's hospital in Slavyansk.

by: meanbill from: USA
May 30, 2014 9:49 AM
US DIPLOMACY? -- (Hypocrisy, ignorance and arrogance) -- Kerry condemns the violence, weapons, supplies and foreign fighters going into Ukraine? --And now Obama, EU, and NATO countries have promised to supply more advanced weapons, military aid and training to the foreign anti-Assad fighters to fight in Syria? --- World does the US, EU, and NATO countries live in? -- Every time the US, EU, and NATO countries interfere in the politics of (non-European Union) countries, they bring violence, death, destruction and war, (and never peace), like in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and now Ukraine? --- (the US, EU, and NATO way?).. WAKE-UP both sides? -- Does Ukraine expect the pro-Russian separatists to rejoin Ukraine like nothing has changed? -- And what kind of government has the pro-Russian separatists established, to counter the Ukrainian government? --- NEGOTIATE?

by: Vovan from: Central Ukraine
May 30, 2014 6:33 AM
Ukrainians supported chechenskiy people in a fight for their independence. Today Putin sends chechensk hits to militate against independent Ukraine. Chechensk people on the whole can once rise in revolt against Putin in solidarity with Ukraine and to overturn his marionette - Kadyrov.
Chechenskiy people do not yet know all true about the mean use of Chechens by Putin against Ukraine.
It is technology of Putin to set on to fight people between itself.

by: Goldingen from: Greece
May 30, 2014 6:18 AM
I wonder why the Ukrainian army has no access to sophisticated weapons. Besides there are many countries where separatist are also fighting for separatism: in Syria or probably are going to struggle in Venezuela, where will they get the supply of modern arms from?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs