BBG Watch Commentary

Voice of AmericaIn yet another example of the Voice of America’s (VOA) failure to adequately cover U.S. reactions to major news developments abroad, the VOA English website had only one short sentence on the U.S. State Department’s response to the use of violence by security forces against peaceful anti-government demonstrators in Kiev, Ukraine.

A VOA news report stated that the U.S. State Department said that “violence and intimidation should have no place in today’s Ukranine.”

Read: Ukrainian President Condemns Violence, VOA News, Nov. 30, 2013.

That was the whole extent of VOA English News reporting on official or unofficial U.S. reactions to violence in Ukranie. The VOA English News report devoted far more attention to reactions to the violence from Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych and from West European leaders than from the U.S. administration, members of Congress, and Ukrainian Americans and other U.S. supporters of democracy and freedom of expression in Ukraine.



Violence Against Ukrainian Demonstrators

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 30, 2013

The United States condemns the violence by government authorities against peaceful demonstrators in Kyiv today. We urge Ukraine’s leaders to respect their people’s right to freedom of expression and assembly. These are fundamental to a healthy democracy and the respect for universal values on which the United States’ partnership with Ukraine depends.

Consistent with the principles embodied by the OSCE, we call on the Government of Ukraine to foster a positive environment for civil society and to protect the rights of all Ukrainians to express their views on their country’s future in a constructive and peaceful manner in Kyiv and in other parts of the country. Violence and intimidation should have no place in today’s Ukraine.

We continue to support the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to achieve a prosperous European democracy. European integration is the surest course to economic growth and strengthening Ukraine’s democracy.