The Ukraine crisis escalates Wednesday, not with actual fighting, with fighting words from the key players: the United States and Russia, whose foreign, minister accused Washington of “running the show” in Kiev.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saddened as he felt U.S. officials were quick to blame his nation for everything what happened in Ukraine; the fact that Moscow can unilaterally solve it all. Lavrov reiterates Ukraine’s east and south who defiantly oppose the Kiev-based government are “not puppets” of the Kremlin. Such a characterization would describe the relationship between Ukrain’s leadership in Kiev and the United States.
Sergey Lavrov said: “(Americans) have, I think, overwhelming influence. They act in a much more open way, without any scruples, compared to the Europeans … You cannot avoid the impression that they are running the show very much.”
Lavrov pointed out that the Ukrainian government’s re-launch of its security operation after a two-day visit from U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. He claimed acting President Oleksandr Turchvnov has “ordered the army to shoot at … people if they are engaged in peaceful protests,” and yet hasn’t disarmed extremists and what he called “the right sector.”
Lavrov said: Some people in the east of Ukraine are occupying official buildings, defying the Kiev government, and openly siding with Russia “after several months of total neglect of their interest.”
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema said Wednesday that “the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation continues” in the eastern cities of Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Donetsk and Luhansk, according to state-run news agency Ukrinform.
As mandated by the Geneval agreement … militants in those cities have shown no inclination to leave the government buildings they have seized or disarm.
NATO estimates that Russia’s boots on the ground around 40,000 troops near its border with Ukraine, where fueled speculation could escalate violence; with Russia possible invasion of some, if not all, of Ukraine and possibly neighboring nations.
Lavrov is not ruling out a military intervention, however, there is a possibility.
Lavrov: “If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly – like they were in South Ossetia for example – I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” as he referring to Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia.
“Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation.”
U.S. vice pres. announces aid for Ukraine
The United States is sending personnel to allied nations near Ukraine that have grown increasingly wary of Russia’s military interventions.
On Wednesday, a company-size contingent of U.S. Army paratroopers arrived in Swidwin, Poland, for training exercises at Warsaw’s request. They’ll be there through, at least, the end of the year, according to Stephen Mull, the U.S. ambassador to Poland.
The contingent is part of “a persistent rotational presence” that Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby has said will involve four Italy-based companies of paratroopers that will go to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia over the next few months.
“Poland has been there for the United States,” Mull said Wednesday in front of U.S. troops standing in formation next to Polish troops. “Today, as the trans-Atlantic community confronts Russia’s unacceptable aggression against Poland’s neighbor, Ukraine, a sovereign and independent state, we have a solemn obligation in the framework of NATO to reassure Poland of our security guarantee.”
The United States and its allies have accused Russia of fomenting unrest in Ukraine since massive demonstrations helped push our President Viktor Yanukovych, who came under fire for moving Ukraine away from the European Union and closer to Russia.
The predicament that some in the West fear that Russia will try to repeat that scenario elsewhere in Ukraine and perhaps in other countries in which ethnic Russians live or where Russia or the former Soviet Union historically has had significant influence.
Some of those countries include the Baltic States and Poland, which, like the United States, are part of NATO. The treaty that defines this alliances states that if any one NATO member “is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.”