News / Europe

US, NATO Raise Doubts Russia Pulled Back from Ukraine Border

FILE - Russian military vehicles and army tents are seen in a field outside the village of Severny in Belgorod region near the Russian-Ukrainian border, April 25, 2014.
FILE - Russian military vehicles and army tents are seen in a field outside the village of Severny in Belgorod region near the Russian-Ukrainian border, April 25, 2014.
The United States and NATO say, so far, there are no indications some 40,000 Russian forces are pulling back from the border with Ukraine, despite claims by the Russian president.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had urged pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone a referendum on secession set for Sunday. He also insisted that Russian military forces had been withdrawn from the Ukranian border.

Aboard Air Force One, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters a Russian pullback would be a positive step.

“We would certainly welcome a meaningful and transparent withdrawal of Russian military forces from the border," he said. "That's something that we have sought for quite some time.”

But Earnest says there’s no evidence to back up Russia’s claims.

Pentagon Spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren says, “I can tell you we have seen no change in the Russian force posture along the Ukrainian border.”

Warren says if Russian troops were on the move, the U.S. would know.

While some express hope, U.S. lawmakers are skeptical as well, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Dan Coats, a Republican, telling VOA Putin's actions will speak louder than any words.

“If he [Putin] continues to encourage the pro-Russian chaos-makers in eastern Ukraine in order to disrupt or influence that election, pulling the troops back would just be a symbol of something that we shouldn’t take a whole lot of confidence that this is going to solve the problem,” he said.

Stephen Blank at the American Foreign Policy Council says Putin’s comments - especially those asking pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone an independence referendum that’s just days away - might be a sign Russia is starting to feel squeezed.

“Well, it’s a move to take the pressure off because if there’s another referendum, there will be more sanctions and these sanctions have begun to hurt,“ he said.

But Blank says Russia will continue to try to destabilize Ukraine:

“As long as Putin is president, they cannot accept a sovereign Ukraine that is inclined to the West," he said.

In the meantime, Ukraine’s border guard has already received U.S. shipments of non-lethal equipment while aid to the Ukrainian army is still in the works.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: cheah from: penang
May 09, 2014 2:27 AM
How can you expect Russia to completely withdraw the troops massed on its border when USA and EU accomplice had broken the mutual trusts that existed before and broken by USA through its covert CIA interference in Ukraine that caused this crisis in the first place in the name of a false flag in the name of freedom ,human rights etc etc .
No one country can trust when USA (the champion of democracy) when in fact it does not respect that a democratically elected leader by the people decision to do what is good for his nation's interests.??.... just because the leader does things that is against US interest....IS this a champion of democracy or dictator of democracy...??
US people are peace-loving and do not want US dominated NWO but the ruling elites in the White house and military establishments wanted to implement the NWO agendas.
Anyone can disagree and said I am anti -USA but I respect your views so please respect mine too. This is freedom of speech too and expression of view


by: Wiktor Protsenko from: Kyiv
May 08, 2014 11:12 AM
In its unannounced war against Ukraine, Russia relies on covert operations which fall squarely within the definition of "international terrorism" under 18 U.S.C. § 2331. Specifically, armed operatives of Russia, acting under disguise, attempt to influence the policy of Ukrainian government by intimidation or coercion. They also try to affect the conduct of a government by assassinations and kidnapping, taking by force government buildings, police posts and military bases of Ukraine.

This activity is being conducted on large scale and over prolonged time period, despite condemnation by the USA, G-7, NATO, EU and UN. Please sign the petition urging the White House to officially designate Russia as "State sponsor of terrorism” - http://wh.gov/lwuL9 Such status of country would outlaw business of American companies with Russia. Even considering of the petition by Senate and President of USA creating great inconvenience Russian authorities.


by: meanbill from: USA
May 07, 2014 7:10 PM
"Know your enemy, and know yourself, and you can win a hundred battles without losing a single man" .. From "the Art of War" by Sun Tzu.. -- Putin read and studied the book to win Crimea and maybe a third of Ukraine, (and if the US and NATO read it), they must not have understood what they read?

The US and NATO won many battles with a great loss of men, in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, _ (BUT?) _ lost the Vietnam and Afghan war, and didn't win the Iraq war? -- (Just maybe, they could win a war by reading), "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu? --

The US and NATO arrogance in overestimating their forces strength, (and underestimating their enemies will to continue fighting), until the US and NATO forces give up, and go home?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid