News / Europe

    US Ambassador: Russia's Hand in Ukraine Hard to Deny

    US Amb: Russian Involvement in Ukraine Now Hard to Denyi
    X
    Al Pessin
    May 27, 2014 8:24 PM
    The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine says separatists in the eastern part of the country could not be escalating their fight without at least the "connivance" of the Russian government. In a VOA interview in Kyiv, Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, said the separatists are increasingly well-trained. He also also spoke about Sunday's presidential election, and the way forward for Ukraine and the West. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
    VOA News
    As the uprising in eastern Ukraine intensifies, the Russian government’s involvement is becoming harder to deny, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said Tuesday.

    Interview With US Ambassador to Ukraine
     
    Geoffrey Pyatt’s remarks, in an exclusive interview with VOA, came as the morgue in the eastern city of Donetsk struggled to cope with dozens of bodies of armed fighters.
     
    Most were killed in the intense battling with Ukrainian forces Monday at the Donetsk International Airport.
     
    The prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist group that controls this eastern region of Ukraine, said about 50 pro-Russian militiamen had been killed in clashes with Ukrainian forces for control of the crucial airport.
     
    Pyatt says the separatists are clearly well-trained and well-armed, and they could not be escalating their fight without at least the "connivance" of the Russian government.
     
    "There's extensive evidence these groups are coming from across the Russian border,” he said. “Personally, I'm skeptical this could be happening without some kind of official, at least connivance."
     
    Monday’s fighting was the most intense seen in weeks in the region, with militants armed with sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry and small arms being strafed by helicopter gunships and MiG fighter jets.
     
    The Kremlin has been coy about its involvement in the lightning seizure and annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March, as well as the insurgency in the eastern city of Donetsk and surrounding regions.
     
    Heavily-armed pro-Russian militants have seized arsenals, police stations and other government buildings in more than a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine.
     
    Key election
     
    Billionaire tycoon Petro Poroshenko, who claimed victory in Sunday’s presidential election, has vowed to crush the insurgency.
     
    Pyatt praised the election, held in most of Ukraine despite the violence in the east. He also agreed with official monitors that the result appeared legitimate, even though many voters in two eastern regions were kept from voting by armed separatists.
     
    "On balance, we see this as perhaps the freest election in Ukraine's history, in terms of the breadth of candidates, the quality of the administrative arrangements, the documented freedom of the press,” Pyatt said. “This was a positive election for Ukraine and for the Ukrainian people."
     
    Poroshenko, he said, has an "unambiguous mandate," and the United States has endorsed his priorities – bringing peace to the east, reaching out to its people, fighting entrenched corruption and moving Ukraine closer to the West.
     
    "We see this as a way to build prosperity for Ukrainian citizens, as a way to build stability for Ukrainian institutions, and as a way to build a more just and democratic society in this country,” he said.
     
    Pyatt also said the United States and its partners have already provided fresh economic and military aid, and the process will continue.
     
    “One of the categories of goods which we are going to deliver is additional radios to help address some of these issues in terms of command and control, communications, the ability of the Ukrainian military to adapt to a changed security environment,” he said. “But this is going to be a long term task."
     
    The U.S. ambassador said he has no regrets about U.S. support for the pro-European movement that led to the ouster of the former president, and sparked Russia's seizure of Crimea and its meddling in eastern Ukraine. 
     
    He rejected Russian charges that the United States engineered the movement, calling the eventful last six months in Ukraine "a revolution of dignity."

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: John
    May 28, 2014 1:03 PM
    “The U.S. ambassador said he has no regrets about U.S. support for the pro-European movement that led to the (MILITARY COUP) ouster of the former president.” STINKING SHAME, Geoffrey Punchinello-Pyatt…. Ludicrous, that’s it. Don’t you go all “First-and-formost” on us.

    by: GreatUkr from: Russia
    May 28, 2014 4:37 AM
    "Poroshenko, he said, has an "unambiguous mandate,"
    In the elections, with the support of the fighters, artillery and aviation received unambiguous mandate? I would definitely would have reinforced the mandate.

    by: Anonymous
    May 28, 2014 4:12 AM
    goat

    by: Igor from: Russia
    May 27, 2014 9:18 PM
    Mr. Ambassador, Stop spreading lies. Your country have involved in countless government overthrowing cases on earth. Those who do not obey yuur orders are often labeled terrorists.
    In Response

    by: Rudolf Rojas from: Alexandria, United States
    May 28, 2014 11:26 AM
    It is unmistakable the lurid hand of Vladimir Vladimirovich and others like Ramzan Kadyrov in the unrest in Ukraine, in early April it was a small group of disaffected citizens. Now with Russian help it includes thugs, bullies, Chechens, Dagestanis and Russian Mercs. Its time for the USA and EU to slam Russia with further crippling sanctions, unless they put the Genie back in the bottle. What fury hath Putin wrought....

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.