World News

    Yanukovych Says He Remains Ukraine's Leader

    Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych blamed his opponents Tuesday for Crimea's moves to break away from Ukraine and said he remains the country's president and commander-in-chief.

    Mr. Yanukovych spoke from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in his second public appearance since he fled Kyiv last month following months of anti-government protests.

    Denouncing Ukraine's interim authorities as "extremists," the ousted leader called the new government's planned May 25 elections "illegitimate" and "illegal."



    "I declare that the elections for the president which are scheduled to be held on May 25 by a clique which seized power through an unconstitutional coup are absolutely illegitimate and illegal. They don't correspond to article 103 of Ukraine's constitution. Any organ of power that is formed as a result of those illegal elections will also be illegitimate and illegal."



    He also blamed the interim government for the tensions in Crimea and elsewhere in southern and eastern Ukraine.



    "Ukraine is going through a difficult time now. Your actions have led to the fact that the Crimea is splitting off, that even at the point of a submachine gun, the population of the southeast is demanding respect for themselves and their rights."



    And Mr. Yanukovych had strong words for the United States and its offer of $1 billion in loan guarantees to the interim government, saying the U.S. government does not have the right to "give money to bandits."

    Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio Tuesday the West could impose sanctions against Russia as early as this week if Moscow does not respond positively to proposals to calm the crisis in Crimea.

    Russia and the West are locked in a tense standoff over seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula by pro-Russian forces. The crisis in Crimea began late last month after Mr. Yanukovych's ouster.



    Fabius said the sanctions could include freezing the assets of individual Russians or Ukrainians and sanctions on travel visas.

    But if the Russians respond favorably to the proposals, the French foreign minister said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will go to Moscow and sanctions will not be immediate.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has complained that the U.S. proposals amount to "moving forward on the basis of a situation born out of a state coup."

    Moscow and Mr. Yanukovych have consistently described his ouster as an "unconstitutional" overthrow. The ousted leader reiterated Tuesday that he will return to Kyiv as soon as circumstances allow it.

    The situation is further complicated by the Crimea region's plans to hold a March 16 referendum on joining Russia -- a vote Fabius and other Western leaders have called "illegal."

    In Kyiv Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt reiterated that Washington also will not recognize the results of the Crimean referendum.

    NATO said Monday it is deploying reconnaissance aircraft along the borders of member states Poland and Romania to monitor the crisis in Ukraine. It said the deployment is designed "to enhance the alliance's situational awareness." The U.S. has also initiated a new deployment of fighter jets to the region.

    Moscow has officially denied that its troops are participating in the occupation of Crimea. But witnesses say military personnel in unmarked uniforms arrived in Russian-registered vehicles earlier this month and freely admit to being Russian.

    On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at the White House. A White House statement Monday said the visit will highlight the United States' strong support for the people of Ukraine, and will include talks on economic aid and preparations for May elections in Ukraine.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora