News / Europe

3 Killed in Clash at Ukrainian Base

Diplomatic Solution Sought to Deepening Ukraine Crisisi
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Michael Bowman
April 16, 2014 11:51 PM
A meeting between Russia’s foreign minister and his Ukrainian counterpart is expected later today [Thursday] at four-party talks in Geneva that will include the United States and the European Union. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the diplomatic encounter comes as pro-Russian militants confront beleaguered Ukrainian forces and NATO boosts military operations along its eastern European flank.

Related video report by VOA's Michael Bowman

VOA News
Ukraine is holding in detention about 10 Russian citizens, all of whom have intelligence backgrounds, the State Security Service announced on Thursday.
      
Answering a journalist's question about comments made on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin about the extent of Russian involvement in the Ukraine crisis, an SBU spokeswoman said, “We have about 10 Russians, with Russian passports, who have been detained.”
          
“They have all had experience of intelligence work,” she said. They were being investigated, she added.
 
Earlier, Ukraine's interior minister said at least three pro-Russian separatists were killed and 13 wounded in a clash with national guardsmen at a base in the Ukrainian town of Mariupol.
 
Arsen Avakov said the separatists attacked the base with grenades and gasoline bombs. He said the troops disarmed most of the attackers and arrested 63.
 
The incident comes as the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers get ready for emergency talks in Geneva with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

A White House spokesman said Kerry will look for any signs Russia is serious about de-escalating the tensions in Ukraine.

Ukraine asks for ICC investigation

Ukraine on Thursday invited the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into any serious international crimes that may have been committed on its territory in late 2013 and early 2014, the court said in a statement.

The invitation, in the form of a declaration accepting the
 court's jurisdiction for the period between November 21 and February 22, does not ask the court to investigate Russia's formal military involvement in Ukraine's Crimea province, which began on Feb. 27.

Ukraine's parliament earlier this year urged the ICC to
 investigate crimes allegedly committed by former President Viktor Yanukovich in an attempt to put down the protests that eventually toppled him and drove him into Russian exile. The court's prosecutors are not obliged to investigate.

Putin answers critics

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on a television call-in show Thursday that the Geneva talks are very important in the search for a compromise in Ukraine.
 
Putin said a democratic process is the only way to bring order back to the country.
 
He also called it "nonsense" to think there are Russian military units in Ukraine. He said all separatist actions are being carried out by local residents.
 
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday there is substantial evidence of Russian involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine. She called it a well-orchestrated professional campaign of incitement and sabotage.
 
Moscow has said it has the right to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine. It accuses the new Ukrainian leadership of being anti-Russian and anti-Semitic and of threatening the rights of pro-Russians.
 
President Putin said Russia's annexation of Crimea last month was not planned, but a reaction to what he called tangible threats against Russians living there.
 
However, senior U.N. human rights official Ivan Simonvic said earlier that his team found no widespread attacks against ethnic Russians during two trips to Ukraine in March.

Restricting entry

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded clarification from Ukraine and said it would consider retaliating after Kiev said it would impose restrictions on entry into the country by Russian men.

Ukraine said on Thursday it will impose stricter border controls on Russian men trying to enter the country.

"From today the Ukrainian border control service has
 significantly increased checks at the border with Russia, not only at the airport,'' a spokesman for the service, Oleh Slobodian, said.

"This applies to Russian citizens because there is information about possible provocations at the border, up to and including terrorist attacks. Attention will be primarily paid to men of an active age, traveling alone or in a group.''

Some information contributed by Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jim from: Iowa
April 17, 2014 5:10 PM
The Russians must leave to give Ukraine back to the Ukrainians!


by: phil from: England
April 17, 2014 12:26 PM
Why do fools thing guns are the answer eastern europeans your all nuts they say this they say that one word for you all "peasants"


by: William Miller from: Dayton,Ohio
April 17, 2014 12:25 PM
Czar Putin will eventually invade the Ukraine.Its easy when you're the big bully on the block.Just wish the Western powers would shut Putins piehole!But alas,we have a REAL democracy.unlike Russia!

In Response

by: cc from: moscow
April 18, 2014 9:55 AM
we do not need Ukraine. I'm sorry for American citizens who have nothing to do with this government VS government "battle". Because when your country "takes care" of Unkraine, you'll see that this country is a parasite: it will live on your money, you'll have to provide them with gas and oil - for free, as we used to do wondering if they would be able to refund the debts. But they won't. And then you'll know and regret.
You don't know the whole story, the inner relations between Russia and Ukraine. You only know what your mass media tells you (cool stories, by the way). I am sorry for America.


by: Igor from: Russia
April 17, 2014 5:20 AM
Hey Samantha Power, Stop spreading lies. You must be ashamed of yourself. There is no Russian intervention in Ukraine. If there was, those in power in Kiev would be in hell soon.

In Response

by: Arnold D from: Los Angeles
April 17, 2014 12:47 PM
@Igor--take off your blinders. If Russians believe the West is the root cause of Ukraine's problems why is it that significant numbers of other nations do not believe anything that Putin and his lackeys say? No civilized country believes Putin and Russian lies. What Putin has done is as insane and preposterous as if USA invaded and annexed Ontario on the pretext of protecting native English speakers. BTW what Uncle Vlad accomplished is to divert his citizen's attention from the sorry state of Russia's ecomony.

In Response

by: Jonathan from: US
April 17, 2014 12:30 PM
You have to be naive if you believe Russia has nothing to do with pro Russian uprising. And again, this is weird because the civil war at Ukraine began overthrowing a man who was basically pro Russian and wanted to forge more bonds with Russia and break more with UN. I believe Pro Russian are a minority, the best way to assure it is by a president election but never allowing Russia having the opportunity to take over a place because people said it. They talk about the actions of this government, saying they are inconstitutional but they do not consider that they was the first doing an act like that with the annexation of Crimea.

In Response

by: Robert from: USA
April 17, 2014 12:24 PM
Hey there Kettle, this is Pot, you're black! The lies are flying fast and furious from both sides, but it doesn't change the fact that all of this still remains an effort for Russia to expand its borders. We've already seen it in Crimea. And sadly, the underlying truth of it all is that it is a cynical exercise by V Putin to divert the Russian peoples' eyes away from his economic failures and the blatant theft of money he and his cronies committed by overcharging for the Sochi Olympics.

In Response

by: W Rhodes from: USA
April 17, 2014 12:17 PM
ARE YOU FOR REAL?

In Response

by: Plain Mirror Intl from: Plain Planet - Africa
April 17, 2014 7:14 AM
Here comes another Western propoganda! The world is no longer fools, stop all these lies! I wonder if all these so called leaders attended any credible administrative training and orientation. The sense of ideal leadership is not in the US and its EU collaborators. They dish out lies like CO2 to the world where as their words are highly polluted like the atmosphere of Iraqie contaminated US atomic substances. The world beware!

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