News / Europe

UN: 'Cool Heads' Must Prevail in Ukraine; US to Suspend Prep Meetings for G8 Summit in Russia

  • Armed men stand guard at the Simferopol airport in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Feb. 28, 2014.
  • An unidentified gunman aims his assault rifle while he and others block the road toward the military airport at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine, Feb. 28, 2014.
  • Russian troops block the road way towards the military airport at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, Feb. 28, 2014.
  • Police stand guard at a local parliament in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, Feb. 28, 2014.
  • Cossacks attend a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, Feb. 28, 2014.
  • An anti-Yanukovych protester sleeps at a barricade at Independence Square, Kyiv, Feb. 28, 2014.
  • Two priests pray at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 28, 2014.

Images from Ukraine

VOA News
The United Nations says now is the time for "cool heads to prevail" in Ukraine, as Russian lawmakers approved President Vladimir Putin's request to send troops to Crimea.

Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev told the Security Council Saturday that 15,000 Russian troops are already in Crimea under the pretense of protecting Russian citizens. He said Ukraine is calling on the U.N. to do everything possible to stop what he calls aggression against Ukraine.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin blamed the West for ratcheting up tensions in Ukraine and backing protests that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

He said Russia wants to know why last month's agreement between the opposition and Mr. Yanukovych to form a new coalition government was not implemented. He said Ukraine has to return to that deal and sideline those he calls radicals.

Churkin said President Putin has not yet decided whether to authorize a military force in Crimea. He said such a move would not be against Ukraine, but only on the territory of Ukraine to protect Russian lives.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said Russian actions speak louder than words. She said a Russian force in Ukraine could push the situation beyond the breaking point and again called for international mediation in Crimea.

Meanwhile, the White House says President Barack Obama held a long telephone conversation with President Putin Saturday, expressing deep concern for what it calls the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and international law.

The president said the United States is suspending participation in meetings to prepare for the G8 economic summit later this year in Sochi, Russia.

Russian news agencies say Mr. Putin told the president that Russia reserves the right to protect Russian speakers if there is violence in Crimea or eastern Ukraine.

Mr. Obama said such concerns must be brought up in direct negotiations with the Ukrainian government.

Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said he has put the country's armed forces on combat alert. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is warning Russia that military intervention would mean war.

Ukraine has been describing what it says is an ongoing deployment of Russian troops in Crimea since Friday.

VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott says unidentified soldiers and military vehicles have appeared in Crimea, well beyond their local base. She said at least a dozen were stationed outside parliament in the Crimean capital of Simferopol on Saturday.

Crimea is a Black Sea peninsula placed under Ukrainian control in 1954 by then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It became part of Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Crimea has a tiny border with Russia on its far eastern point. Most of the people living in Crimea are ethnic Russians, but the region also is home to ethnic Muslim Tartars who generally show disdain toward Russia.

Russia has said its troop movements in Crimea, where it leases a naval base in Sevastopol, conform to agreements with Ukraine.

Elsewhere, pro-Russian demonstrators fought with supporters of the new Ukrainian government in Ukraine's eastern city of Kharkiv Saturday. Pro-Russian demonstrations also erupted in other eastern cities.

Ukraine's troubles began in November when ousted president Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties and economic aid from Russia.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid