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Ukraine President Pleads For Help from U.S.

Ukraine President Pleads For Help from U.S.

U.S. releases evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine

Ten days after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot from the skies over Ukraine, the situation on the ground in Ukraine has gotten worse.

U.S. officials released satellite images today showing proof that Russian forces have been shelling eastern Ukraine from the Russian side of the border.

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the civilian-taken satellite images Sunday, said they show visual evidence that Russia has been firing shells across the border at Ukrainian military forces. Officials also said the images show that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine.

Russia has long denied it is actively participating in the shooting war between pro-Moscow separatists and the elected Ukrainian government. Since the downing of the Malaysian jet, the United States has been upping the ante and focusing on evidence showing direct Russian involvement.

Meanwhile, intense ground fighting near the Malaysian plane’s crash scene has halted Dutch investigators in their efforts to gather evidence. The battle just outside the key city of Donetsk is seen by many as a key turning point depending on who is able to command the city.

Government troops were engaged in a pitched battle with rebels on Saturday just outside the separatist bastion of Donetsk and plan to advance next into the city that has been at the heart of the pro-Russian insurgency.

If the army succeeds in retaking Horlivka, a city of almost 300,000 people where fighting was fierce Saturday, they will be within a few miles of Donetsk. Rebels have held sway there since the spring, ruling what they call the Donetsk People’s Republic. Cars created roadblocks out of town Saturday, and the railway station was packed with people desperate to board the next train out.

The military already has ousted rebels from 10 surrounding villages and towns over the past week and blocked roads into and out of Donetsk to prevent supplies from entering the city, according to Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council.

“The next one will be Donetsk,” Lysenko said, making a bold prediction: “The city will be liberated.”

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko took to the pages of the Washington Post this morning to plead for United States and Western help in halting the Russian-backed separatists violence in his country.

Half a year ago, I was not even considering becoming president of Ukraine. But like a great many Ukrainians at the time, I was disturbed that then-president Viktor Yanukovych constrained Ukraine’s future by rejecting an association agreement with the European Union, choosing a customs union with Moscow instead. Like so many of my countrymen, I believed that for Ukraine to become a modern and successful country, it needed to expand its ties with the West and end widespread corruption and abuses of power. Then, the authorities unleashed a murderous assault on demonstrators in Kiev, and Yanukovych and his partners fled to Russia, leading to Moscow’s decision to annex Crimea and support the violent separatists operating in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s behavior has only worsened since I took office in June. Over the past several weeks, Ukraine has resisted Russian aggression and continues the fight against the Moscow-backed separatists. Russia has tested us with its transfer of cash, weapons and other equipment to the separatists and its vast anti-Western, anti-Kiev propaganda campaign, but we will not yield to its interference in Ukraine’s sovereignty or to the violence perpetuated by terrorists.

In light of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, Poroshenko is asking the West to significantly step up the pressure on Putin’s Russia.

[T]he West should begin thinking about a larger response to what has happened. As always, the United States should take the lead. Working together with the European Union, Washington can shape a worldwide coalition of nations in support of Ukraine to ensure that these terrorists are not able to strike again.

It is important that the United States has instituted stronger sanctions in response to Russia’s aggression in my country. However, in light of this tragedy, the United States should consider imposing even tougher and wider-reaching sectoral sanctions on Moscow. And Europe needs to follow the lead of the United States and impose sectoral sanctions of its own.

Russia needs to know that the international community is serious. It is long past time for it to act.

Many Putin observers are watching to see how the Russian President reacts if the separatists lose the city of Donetsk. The next few days are critical in how the next stage of the Ukraine crisis develops.


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Following the violent overthrow of the government, Poroshenko and his backers should have expected a response in kind.

Bruno Lesky | July 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm

It is reprehensible that a US Commander in Chief is not sending arms to the Ukraine govt. Yes to marshaling EU for upping joint sanctions vs Russia, but in the meantime, unilaterateral arms supply.

I got it with no arms to Syria — it was/is hard to tell the “good” guys from the bad guys. ISIS? Al-Qaada? Freedom-fighters?

This discernment wasn’t a problem for our regime in Libya. Or Egypt. Oh yeah … add Hamas: thwart Israel while sending millions to Hamas for “humanitarian aid.” Add desertion of Iraq. Apparent support for a nuclear Iran. etc.

The current US governing powers — Obamas, Kerry, Rice, Jarrett, Hagel, Powers, etc. — are out to transform not only the US but the world.

What can we expect out of this Admin? A Sternly Worded Letter?

Send Kerry over, so he can tell them to use restraint.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 27, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Rockets were fired on the Mayor of Lviv’s house & a Central Ukrainian city’s mayor was assassinated . There is no government ( not that it had been very effective ) since the mass brawl . One member who got up & complained that the army was killing people was attacked physically . Women MPs were right in there punching .

Ukraine was already the world’s 6th largest weapons exporter – now they want weapons given to them as gifts? These guys will never understand the basics . There is a reason they have not been able to advance since 92 given their natural resources & agricultural wealth .

    Militarily, they are doing fine, but socially, politically and just about in any other way, they are crumbling. We don’t need to bet on a loser.
    Russia is crumbling too, but we probably want Putin there, because he’s not going to be replaced with Kasparov, you know.

    And wait till it gets colder, which is in a few weeks and they either don’t have any gas or are stealing it. And they are all losing jobs. Worse case scenario is Holodomor 2.0.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | July 27, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    You say “These guys — you mean the “guys’ trying to govern — will never understand the basics.”

    Are the Ukranian people thus supposed to succumb to overrun by Russia?

    Turning your comment to a parallel instance, let’s say “…the US has not been able to advance since +/- 2005 given natural resources & agricultural wealth.”

    So we are supposed to surrender to an alien suppressive ideology?

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Bruno Lesky. | July 27, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      You may have a comparison there with the US , or you may not . You brought it in so you must justify it , not me. The distinction I would put forward is that the separatists have at least tried to get away from Kiev whereas Americans just whine away even in the face of executive rampage ( somehow this is different to a dictator) . Yes it is because you all are MEEK .

      Specifically the national governments based in Kiev have been diabolical to the interests of Ukraine . But they do represent the society divisions & non unity so they alone cannot take the blame .

      There are regional bodies who might do better although now they all have had oligarchs appointed as Governors. . Just as American states would do better with more independence from DC. Currently they are not even allowed to make their own laws or regulations or work out their schools ‘ lunch menus .

      I look forward to being proven wrong . Take up your arms & invade the Feds office buildings & push them out .

      Ha – you guys could not even jump over 3’ barricades at war memorials . Pussies !

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Bruno Lesky. | July 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Furthermore , I would say you have already surrendered to an alien suppressive ideology . It is just undocumented !

        You are seriously overrating any kind of Ukrainians’ desire to fight for anything.
        In the US, it’s death by 1000 paper cuts.
        The only place I know of where people stand up for freedom and humanity is Israel.

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 28, 2014 at 4:07 am

          Both sides ( Maiden & The Separatists) have put on a decent show .. Texas can’t even deploy its National Guard against ‘Aztecs R Us ‘ invasion.

          Walk right in

          Sit right down

          Gringo won’t you get me a drink .( & dinner & a house & welfare) .

“Are the Ukranian people thus supposed to succumb to overrun by Russia?”
It’s probably not what you want to hear, but majority of Ukrainian people would either welcome Russia with open arms or not too terribly mind being “overrun by Russia” if only they can avoid war.
Not many Ukrainians are eager to fight in this war. Morale in what is loosely defined as Ukrainian armed forces is low; they are known to turn over or sell their weapons to the pro-Russian guys. Still want to arm Ukraine? Or do you want to recruit Nazis from Sweden (you know what I’m talking about, right?) and arm them to fight for free Ukraine?
And btw, why do you assume that when all is said and done, Poroshenko will not reach an understanding with Putin?

I read your comments this AM and appreciate the airing of viewpoints. Responding here.

Poroshenko will reach an understanding with Putin. That was known and enhanced his electability — that he would be seen by Russia as someone who could be dealt with.

What will be the content of that understanding? Poroshenko will have a much better negotiating position if he is backed by the US.

He has demonstrated that he will maintain a pro-West turn, and polls show that he will sweep upcoming elections. “Pro-Russia parties might not cross the 5% threshold necessary for a parliamentary presence for the first time in Ukraine’s 23 years of independence.”

So the polls seem to indicate a majority of Ukrainians is seeking a chance to live under at least a less-corrupt regime than the one they overthrew.

A strategic importance of Ukraine to the US is as a buffer between Russia and NATO member nations.

I don’t even know if any of this is true. It’s just what I put together from what I read. I don’t know if in actuality Ukrainians are “crumbling socially, politically” (per edge). Or as Banned says: “Americans just whine away even in the face of executive rampage … because you are all MEEK.”

So let’s say you are both correct. But maybe you’re not right, in that aspects of reality can change given right action. No planned armed takeover of DC (Banned’s challenge), but I do what I can. Give $ to candidates who sound like they’re going to vote against the madness, for example.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill.

    If you don’t know whether the country is in a bad shape socially, politically and economically, how can you be confident in Poroshenko’s leadership?
    As for enthusiasm, I encourage you to google an April Gallup poll of Ukraine, and try to find it.
    Ukrainians in all regions think that corruption, not Russia is their main problem. But look at the people in charge of the country right now. I’m sure you know that the daddy of “self-made chocolate king” Poroshenko was Odessa mafia, right? Or that Turchinov of Donbas mafia was destroying FBI files?
    Ukraine as a buffer zone zone is a fine idea. Kissinger offered to negotiate that, and he’d get that, too, and without thousands dead, hundreds of thousand refugees and internal repression to rival Russia’s.

      Bruno Lesky in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 28, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Again, thank you for your response.

      I’ve come to see that I write what I think and wait to see the responses to temper my originations.

      So. I have no confidence re: what Poroshenko’s going to do. Just predicting from my data resources and relying on his so-far moves as reported in the sources I cite.

      Understood that people often renege on what they say. Particularly people with Poroshenko’s bakground.

      I looked up April Ukraine Gallup polls and found something different from what you suggest. Please post your link.

      And let us say … do we – you or I — know what the Ukrainians want? … and what information he+she has been exposed to as to what is possible?

      I’m interested in your proposition re: Kissinger. I wasn’t aware of his offer. Sounds good. Perhaps the planet needs 1 buffer zone for every nation.