NPR : News

Filed Under:

Russia Wants To Start World War III, Ukrainian Leader Charges

The crisis in Ukraine showed no signs of cooling Friday. Harsh rhetoric was flying:

-- "Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused Russia on Friday of wanting to start World War III by occupying Ukraine 'militarily and politically,' " Reuters reports.

-- "The West wants — and this is how it all began — to seize control of Ukraine because of their own political ambitions, not in the interests of the Ukrainian people," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov charged, according to The Associated Press.

Those sharp words followed this allegation Thursday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who accused Russia of doing nothing to help implement last week's plan to calm tensions in Ukraine: "For seven days, Russia has refused to take a single concrete step in the right direction."

Kerry also renewed the charge that Russia is funding, coordinating and fueling the armed separatist movement in eastern Ukraine, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

On Friday, Lavrov criticized what he says was Kerry's "unacceptable, accusatory tone."

The U.S. may move to increase sanctions on Russia and individuals close to its president, Vladimir Putin. President Obama said this week that new economic sanctions are "teed up" if Russia doesn't begin to cooperate on resolving the crisis.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that:

"Moscow has tens of thousands of troops along its side of the border, and on Friday the acting Ukrainian Defense Minister Mikhail Koval told the Interfax-Ukraine agency that they had come within a kilometer of the border. ... Pro-Russian separatists are occupying key buildings in a dozen eastern Ukrainian towns, defying the central government."

And in eastern Ukraine, government forces have relaunched an effort to root out those pro-Russian elements, correspondent Jessica Golloher tells our Newscast Desk. That brought more harsh words from Lavrov, who accused Ukraine of waging war on its own people.

For much more on how the crisis in Ukraine has unfolded, see our earlier posts.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Anne Carson's Poetry Collection 'Float' In Unconventional Medium To Suit The Message

Anne Carson's book of poems come in a clear plastic box where they 'float,' which is also the title of her new collection. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the poet about her work.

Migrants Work To Hold Onto Latin Food History In Gentrifying D.C. Neighborhood

A restaurant in Washington D.C. that has long been a haven for Central American immigrants is adapting to gentrification in the neighborhood.

Clinton Strategy: Is It Worth Reaching For Traditionally Republican States?

NPR's Scott Simon talks to Bill Burton, former National Press Secretary for the Obama '08 Presidential Campaign, about whether Hillary Clinton should pursue votes in these states to build on her lead.

Video Game Voice Actors Strike To Demand Restructured Contracts For Today's Industry

The video game industry faces a strike by actors who provide voices for characters. Scott Simon talks to voice actor Jen Hale about her frustration with the way voice actors are currently paid.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.