News / Europe

    US 'Deeply Concerned' About Spike in East Ukraine Fighting

    FILE - A member of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic forces walks atop a self-propelled artillery gun during tactical training exercises in Ukraine's Donetsk region, Feb. 4, 2016.
    FILE - A member of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic forces walks atop a self-propelled artillery gun during tactical training exercises in Ukraine's Donetsk region, Feb. 4, 2016.

    A senior official said the U.S. is “deeply concerned” about an escalation in the conflict between government forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, despite a series of cease-fire attempts.
     
    Reports from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have indicated that a majority of cease-fire violations come from separatists-controlled areas. A senior State Department official told VOA on Tuesday that the fighting is an indication that insurgents are not keeping up with their commitments under the Minsk agreements.
     
    The so-called Minsk II agreement, mediated by Germany and France, represents a package of measures to alleviate the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. It was agreed to by Ukraine, Russia, and separatists in February of 2015. It also authorizes OSCE access for monitoring and verification of the cease-fire and heavy weapons withdrawal.

    However, the ongoing fighting has thrown into doubt plans under the Minsk agreement for local elections in separatist-held areas.

    Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers on Wednesday that the U.S. is increasing funding to support Ukrainian stability while pushing hard for its political reforms.  

    FILE - A person walks near the body of a man lying near a bus stop that was damaged in shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Jan. 20, 2015. An estimated 9,000 people have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since April of 2014.
    FILE - A person walks near the body of a man lying near a bus stop that was damaged in shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Jan. 20, 2015. An estimated 9,000 people have died in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since April of 2014.

    Various reports have blamed separatists for stepping up attacks on government forces to levels not seen for months. On Wednesday, while testifying before a congressional panel, Kerry said the U.S. is also increasing funding to counter what the West sees as Russian aggression.
     
    "Russia has a clear choice between continued sanctions and meeting its obligations to a sovereign and democratic Ukraine," Kerry pointed out in his written testimony to the House Appropriations Committee.

    The administration has requested $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) to support efforts to ensure peace and security in Europe. That total is four times the amount requested last year.
     
    Beginning in February 2014, Russia orchestrated a military intervention and ultimately annexed Ukraine’s Crimea a few weeks later, a move that was largely condemned by the international community and brought sanctions from the United States and European Union. In eastern Ukraine, despite international efforts for a cease-fire and de-escalation of the crisis, fighting between government forces and separatists widely seen as backed and armed by Russia has continued.
     
    Senior U.S. officials have made it clear that for the U.S. to roll back sanctions, there must be a complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. That would include a full cease-fire, the withdrawal of all foreign troops and equipment from Ukraine, the full restoration of Ukrainian control of the international border, and the release of all hostages.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Baldurdasche from: Botswana
    February 27, 2016 7:39 AM
    Since Debalstsevo, Poroshenko has conscripted another 100 000 'heroes'. Since then they've been eating rations and getting killed while 'doing nothing' for Ukraine but "defending western civilization" in the fortifications around the two dissident regions or Crimea. Now it's time to pay for the 'free lunch' - another 'tooth-breaking offensive' to chastise the east.

    Kyiv has to break the dissidents or 'lose' the peace.

    by: baba Voenga from: underground
    February 25, 2016 5:35 AM
    " separatists for stepping up attacks on government forces " exists only in st. dept and Kiev propaganda.
    separatists haven't wish, will, power, resources, reasonable aims and common sense arguments "for stepping up attacks on government forces to levels not seen for months".
    They need peace, quiet life without mad bloodthirsty Kiev authorities.
    In Response

    by: Jesper from: Charlottenlund
    February 25, 2016 12:55 PM
    Remember to collect your paycheck. Russia is just a fake state there only function because of terror against people

    by: mr nobody from: usa
    February 25, 2016 1:33 AM
    "The administration has requested $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) to support efforts to ensure peace and security in Europe. "

    Ukraine has been fighting Russia for years now. Not a penny of lethal aid authorized has been sent. Not one bullet.

    Today Ukraine has chosen freedom over peace. This American leadership can deliver neither.
    In Response

    by: mr somebody from: globe.ru
    February 26, 2016 9:32 AM
    Jesper from: Charlottenlund What a silly question! - WHY? Answer. - Because if they didn't (don't, will not) have T72 B-C-D-....Z, they would all be dead.
    Such a question (as yours) may ask only a person who gives a damn whether people will stay alive or not.
    And we do care.
    You may ask your own president or CIA "please explain ..." . They will "explain" you: "according the data from social.nets ..."
    In Response

    by: Jesper from: Charlottenlund
    February 25, 2016 12:57 PM
    Somebody Could you please explain why the russians dumbass in Donbass have T72 B if the fight is only between Ukraine people ??
    In Response

    by: mr somebody from: globe
    February 25, 2016 5:43 AM
    Today Ukraine has chosen war against its Donbass citizens over peace.
    Do you want to take part (to make a modest contribution) in killing civilians?

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