News / Europe

Ukraine Calls for Safe Passage for Civilians

Relatives wave good-bye to children being evacuated from violence-ridden Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 7, 2014.
Relatives wave good-bye to children being evacuated from violence-ridden Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, June 7, 2014.
Gabe Joselow
Ukraine's president has called for humanitarian corridors to be opened in the country's east to allow civilians to escape fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.The United States is urging Russia to do its part to stabilize eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko issued a statement Tuesday calling for security forces to provide protective corridors for residents in order to “avoid new victims” in areas where counter-insurgency operations are taking place.

Ukrainian armed forces have stepped up a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the heart of a pro-Russian separatist uprising.

A spokesman for the operation, Vladyslav Seleznyov, told reporters Tuesday he could not give details of any security operations, but said they will make arrangements for civilians.

He said “there is coordination between anti-terror forces and local authorities in order to provide corresponding help to people trying to leave this territory of active operations.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Moscow welcomes Ukraine's decision to establish humanitarian corridors in eastern Ukraine.

Officials report heavy fighting between Ukrainian and rebel forces overnight around Slovyansk in Donetsk province, one of the areas under separatist control.

Poroshenko discussed prospects for a ceasefire during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in France last week.

Ukraine has accused Russia of supporting the insurgency in the east, ferrying supplies and fighters across the border into Ukraine. Russia denies directly supporting the rebellion and has accused Ukraine of hostility toward Russian-speaking residents of the east.

World leaders meeting last week in Brussels condemned Russia for destabilizing Ukraine. Members of the so-called G-7 group of industrialized nations issued a statement calling on Russia to withdraw troops from the border and use its influence among armed separatists to bring an end to the fighting.

Speaking to reporters in Kyiv Tuesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland urged Russia to act on G-7 demands.

“It is unacceptable for the Russian Federation to be allowing the kind of fighters and weapons and materiel that we've seen and you saw in the G-7 statement that came out of Brussels that closing the border is one of things we're asking President Putin to work with the Ukrainian government on on an urgent basis,” said Nuland.

The G-7 also threatened sanctions on anyone found to be violating Ukraine's sovereignty and threatening the peace. The United States and the European Union have already imposed some targeted sanctions against Russian companies and individuals following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March and its alleged fueling of violence in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Kyiv continue to negotiate a solution to a gas pricing dispute after Russia threatened to cutoff supplies to Ukraine over unpaid debts.

Representatives of both sides and the European Union have been meeting this week in Brussels to discuss the terms of a new deal.

You May Like

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

Indian PM Calls for Unity Amid Tense Climate Over Beef Attacks

Recent series of beef-related incidents seen as signs of rising intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities More

Why These Are New York City's Most Treasured Spaces

Under threat of jail time and fines, some New York property owners are not allowed to renovate their spaces without prior approval More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
June 10, 2014 4:31 PM
Peace Ukraine and advances the human right

by: Henry Kelly from: New York
June 10, 2014 10:04 AM
I hardly think encouraging loyal Ukrainians to flee their homes and yield control of the East of Ukraine to Russian proxy forces is a winning or positive response. Evacuation essentially guarantees that the Russians will absorb Eastern Ukraine like they did Crimea. This is still a foreign(Russian) instigated and supported insurgency and should be met by the Ukrainian military as such.
In Response

by: Max Global from: SPb
June 11, 2014 7:48 AM
if somebody wants to accuse Russians of absorbing Eastern Ukraine, he will find "proofs" in evacuation, in deaths, in destruction of towns, even in own wish of urination.
In Response

by: Olga Onishchenko from: Washington
June 10, 2014 9:38 PM
Children should not be witnesses to any violence, period... Loyal Ukrainians, or just people who are scared and tired of this senseless voilence, are unable to do anything against the marauding bandits who are "visiting" them from a neighboring country. How do you fight the enemy who is hiding and conducting its operation from school buildings, apartment buildings and private houses?? I can't stand to hear any more news of children or other civilians dying in these horrific fights. Let some of them leave, I guess...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs