News / Europe

Biden: US 'Gravely' Concerned by Ukraine Violence

An anti-government protester is engulfed in flames during clashes with riot police outside Ukraine's parliament in Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
An anti-government protester is engulfed in flames during clashes with riot police outside Ukraine's parliament in Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
As the death toll mounts in Ukraine, the United States has expressed "grave concern" about violence and urged President Viktor Yanukovych to "de-escalate" the situation and hold immediate talks with the opposition.  Latest reports say at least 18 people have been killed, including police and civilians in Kyiv.  

The White House says Vice President Joe Biden delivered the strong words to President Yanukovych in a telephone conversation on a day of violence in the Ukrainian capital.

Biden expressed "grave concern" and urged President Yanukovych to pull back government forces and exercise maximum restraint.

While the United States condemns violence by any side, Biden said Ukraine's government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the tensions.  

According to a White House statement, Biden underscored "the urgency of immediate dialogue with opposition leaders to address protesters’ legitimate grievances and to put forward serious proposals for political reform."

Reports late Tuesday detailed a mounting death and injury toll from the violence, including fatalities among police and civilians, as security forces and protesters clashed in Kyiv.

It's the worst violence since protesters began calling for President Yanukovych's ouster after he moved Ukraine closer to Russia and backed away from a trade deal with the European Union.

Earlier, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the U.S. is appalled by the violence and reports of armed riot police massing on the edge of Independence Square, also known as Maidan, the main protester camp.

"Force will not resolve the crisis.  To restore peace and stability we urge President Yanukovych to de-escalate immediately the situation and end the confrontation at Maidan.  We also urge him to restart a dialogue with opposition leaders today to develop a consensus way forward for Ukraine," said Carney.

Tuesday's White House statement on Vice President Biden's conversation with the Ukrainian president said the United States is committed to supporting efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the crisis that reflects the will and aspirations of the Ukrainian people.

The U.S. embassy in Kyiv issued an update on its website about the latest violence, advising all U.S. citizens to "maintain a low profile and to remain indoors."

The embassy advised U.S. citizens to avoid all protests, demonstrations and large gatherings, saying the situation was "unpredictable and could change quickly."

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: tom from: HawAII
February 18, 2014 7:29 PM
This protestor actually ignited himself with a poorly constructed molitov cocktail he was preparing to hurl at a female police officer.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More