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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid