World News

    Ukrainian Troops Move Against Pro-Russian Separatists

    Ukrainian airborne troops have landed at an airport in the east of the country, at the start of an apparent crackdown on pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in 10 localities near the Russian border.

    Tuesday's landing at Kramatorsk triggered conflicting accounts of events at the airfield, with the Kyiv government reporting its capture. However, witnesses, including Western journalists, say the Ukrainian force was quickly surrounded by local civilians and did not immediately move toward the city itself. Separately, officials in Kyiv said a similar operation had been launched in the nearby town of Slovyansk.

    Earlier, Interim Ukraine President Oleksandr Turchynov said government forces had begun a "cautious" operation in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east, after a deadline for armed protesters to surrender passed Monday with no movement.

    The White House on Tuesday praised Kyiv for saying it intends to use restraint and gradually move to liberate the occupied facilities.



    In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Ban voiced alarm about what he called the "highly volatile" situation in eastern Ukraine and said he urged "everyone to work to de-escalate the situation."

    For his part, Mr. Putin -- widely accused outside of Russia of backing the building takeovers -- called on the United Nations to condemn the Ukrainian crackdown.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Moscow will withdraw from an emergency international summit scheduled for Thursday in Geneva if Kyiv uses force in eastern Ukraine.

    Lavrov was questioned about the situation Tuesday during a visit to China.



    A report issued Tuesday by the U.N. human rights commissioner accuses Russia of manipulating the March 16 vote in Crimea that Moscow used to justify the annexation of the peninsula. The report cited propaganda, harassment and torture of anti-Russian activists.

    It also said ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine have falsely claimed to be under assault, in a move to justify Russian intervention ahead of the referendum. Additionally, it warned that more Russian propaganda could impact Ukraine's May 25 presidential election.

    U.S. President Barack Obama warned his Russian counterpart Monday that Moscow will face further costs if its actions in Ukraine persist. He also urged the Russian leader to use his influence to persuade the pro-Moscow demonstrators to leave the occupied buildings in Ukraine's east.

    The United States has already imposed three rounds of sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula last month, and U.S. officials say more sanctions will target close Putin allies as well as Russian entities.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora