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 He also insisted that Russian military forces had been withdrawn from the Ukranian border.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 and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs