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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora