World News

Ukrainian Officials Say Protesters Shot Under Yanukovych's Orders

Ukrainian officials have alleged that the mass killing of protesters in Kyiv in February took place on the orders of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, and that Russian security service agents helped him plan and carry out the assault.

Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told reporters in Kyiv Thursday that Mr. Yanukovych "issued the criminal order ... to open fire against protesters on February 18-20."

Speaking at the same news conference, the head of Ukraine's security service (Valentyn Nalyvaychenko) said there were grounds to believe that agents of Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, were involved in "the planning and implementation of the so-called anti-terrorist operation" in the Ukrainian capital in late February.

Ukraine's government also announced Thursday the detention of 12 members of an elite riot police unit on suspicion of shooting protesters.

More than 100 people were killed during February's unrest in Kyiv, many of them apparently by snipers.

The FSB responded to the Ukrainian charges Thursday, with an unnamed spokesman telling Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti: "Let those allegations remain on the conscience of the Ukrainian Security Service."



Mr. Yanukovych, who fled Kyiv in February after months of anti-government protests, said Wednesday he was "wrong" to invite Russian troops into Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

In his first interview since he sought refuge in Russia, Mr. Yanukovych told the Associated Press and Russia's NTV television that he will try to persuade Moscow to return the territory to Ukrainian control.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Russian troops deployed near the Ukrainian border will return to their permanent bases as soon as they finish military exercises.

NATO's top commander, General Philip Breedlove, said Wednesday that the 40,000 Russian troops in the border are area "ready to go" and could take over large parts of Ukraine in as little as three days.

Ukrainian officials have said as many as 100,000 Russian soldiers along its eastern and southern borders are poised to invade.

Lavrov Thursday called on the West and Ukraine to de-escalate the rhetoric, which he says is becoming unreasonable.

He also asked NATO for answers on its plans to beef up defenses in Eastern Europe -- a direct response to the Russian takeover of Crimea.

Meanwhile, Gazprom, Russia's state-owned natural gas export monopoly, said Thursday that it was hiking the price of natural gas shipments to Ukraine another 26 percent, just two days after announcing a 44-percent price hike.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said the hikes were excessive and amounted to a "political price."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
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 S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
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 Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. 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.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs