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Ukrainian PM calls for unity

Friday, May 09, 2014 - 01:46

May 9 - Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatseniuk says his country stood shoulder to shoulder with Russia to defeat Nazi Germany, but today it stands with Germany to stop Russia. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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A church service on Victory Day in Kiev. It's a time to commemorate the fallen from WWII, and celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany when Russia and Ukraine were on the same side. After the service Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk pointed to the irony on this Victory Day. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING: "Sixty-nine years ago we were fighting, shoulder-to-shoulder, with Russia, against fascism, and we won. But today Russia started a war against Ukraine, and history is repeating itself in a different way. Russia has to stop supporting terrorists who are killing peaceful people in Ukraine and against whom we have started an anti-terrorist operation." He called for unity. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING: "Our country needs unity, dialogue and peace but peace will come when terrorists are not supported by Russia, which 69 years ago was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us. And today it is Germany, Great Britain and the U.S. who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us." In Kiev they marked the day with solders marching thorough the streets. War veterans are honored. While some dance in the street, one Afghan war vet struggles to make sense of more recent history. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) WAR VETERAN WHO FOUGHT IN AFGHANISTAN, EDOUARD KHIMIKOV, SAYING: "My mother is Ukrainian, my father is Russian. What should I do? Who should I shoot? Should I shoot my right hand with my left hand or my left hand with my right hand? The people in the Ukrainian government are idiots. What did they do? They brought people to their knees and when the people in the east of Ukraine started complaining, they sent APCs against them." While they honor the past in Kiev-- Ukraine faces more divisions with pro-Moscow rebels planning a referendum in eastern Ukraine to follow Crimea in breaking from Kiev.

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Ukrainian PM calls for unity

Friday, May 09, 2014 - 01:46