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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid