News / Europe

Ukraine's Second Largest City Shows Divided Views on Russia

Ukraine's Second Largest City Shows Divided Views on Russiai
X
March 11, 2014 12:51 AM
Russia's moves to take over Ukraine's Crimea have sparked fears that Russian-majority areas in the country's east could be next. VOA's Daniel Schearf visited Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, near the Russian border and has this report.
Daniel Schearf
Russia's moves to take over Ukraine's Crimea have sparked fears that Russian-majority areas in the country's east could be next. 

Pro-Russia protesters faced off with riot police across from Kharkiv's regional government building. They say anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalists are taking over and they support Moscow's occupation of Crimea, but insist they are not separatists.

The demonstrators, who say they are all Ukrainian citizens, also want the European Union and United States to mind their own business, says protestor Igor Gusov.

"We'll settle it ourselves. We don't want war," he said. "We need peace. We want peace.  We want to live in a peaceful country.  And, all questions regarding Crimea, regarding everything, we'll settle this without you, without America. America, go home, leave!"

But just a day later, thousands of others rallied for Ukraine's unity -- voicing anger at Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggressive moves on Crimea.

The protesters welcomed U.S. and EU help to pressure Russia to back down.

"If he's been asked by political outcasts to bring in his troops, that doesn't mean it was our entire people's [wish]," said Natasha, an anti-Putin protrester.  "We Russians living in Ukraine, we don't want him here.  We are not against Russian people.  Russian people are good people.  But, we are against Putin.  Putin is a fascist.”

Despite their shared history and culture, separate schools are helping divide ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, says Kharkiv University history professor Sergey Kudelko.

"In this city, there has never been clashes on an ethnic basis. The only large city in Ukraine where there have never been clashes along ethnic lines in all its history," he said. "And, I believe that we will preserve, even now in this very uneasy conditions, this peace that is the most precious thing, human life, and harmony. So, the politicians should have enough wisdom to defuse this difficult situation."

In the meantime, Ukrainians are feeling the emotional brunt of Moscow's intervention.

"Putin has done the most terrible thing.  He has already sewn discord between our two peoples," said one woman at the Ukraine unity demonstration. "I am saying this on your camera that I hate Russia, I hate the Russian, and I am Russian.  That's what he's done."

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid