Following a disputed shelling in the strategic Ukrainian city of Mariupol last week, Obama said the United States will impose new sanctions on Russia.

“We will continue to take the approach that we have taken in the past, which is to ratchet up the pressure on Russia,” Obama said during a news conference in New Delhi. “And I will look at all additional options that are available to us, short of military confrontation, and try to address this issue.”

Although the source of the shelling is in dispute, the U.S. government and the corporate media uniformly blame Russia and militias opposed to the coup government in Kiev.

“We are deeply concerned about the latest break in the ceasefire and the aggression that these separatists – with Russian backing, Russian equipment, Russian financing, Russian training and Russian troops – are conducting,” Obama added.

In April, ran a story on a fabrication published by The New York Times claiming to show Russian Special Forces operating in Eastern Ukraine. reported at the time:

The establishment media in the United States claims the photographs show Russian Federation troops. The State Department pawned the photos off as evidence despite the fact the authenticity of the photographs could not be independently verified. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday the images prove Russian troops are in Ukraine. “So these are just further evidence of the connection between Russia and the armed militants,” she said.

“Two days after the New York Times led its editions with a one-sided article about photos supposedly proving that Russian special forces were behind the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Times published what you might call a modified, limited retraction.” Robert Parry wrote on April 23.

NATO also produced satellite photos it said proved Russian troops were in eastern Ukraine. In response to the allegation, the General Staff of the Russian Army said the photos were taken in August 2013 during military drills on the border.

Video Shows American Soldiers in Mariupol

While the U.S. and the establishment media insist Russia is behind the militias opposing Ukrainian military action in eastern Ukraine, they are ignoring evidence U.S. troops or American contractors are on the ground assisting the Ukrainian military.

The Poroshenko government has been thus far unable to eliminate militias fighting against the coup occupation and the United States has signaled it will help them in the effort.

A video posted on Youtube following the shelling shows an uniformed man confronted by a Ukrainian journalist.

“Out my face, out my face!” the man says in American English.

Soldier with American accent appears at 40 seconds into video.

The head of U.S. Army Europe Lt. Gen Ben Hodges said during a visit to Kiev on Wednesday U.S. soldiers will deploy to Ukraine as part of a training effort of four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard.

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman told Defense News the training is part of a U.S. State Department initiative “to assist Ukraine in strengthening its law enforcement capabilities, conduct internal defense, and maintain rule of law.”

“By ‘rule of law,’ they mean getting the Ukrainian military, which is ratcheting up its conscription, ready to crush eastern rebels, who have been demanding reforms after the new government imposed a series of harsh restrictions on the ethnic Russian east,” Jason Ditz wrote on Tuesday.

“So far, the plans are to put the troops in Lviv, in the far west, which should keep the US forces from getting too directly into the nation’s civil war, though officials are saying this is just the ‘first step in further training,’ which means more operations could happen, putting troops closer to the frontlines.”

In July, Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO’s Allied Command Operations, announced the United States will send troops “to help respond to Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

In April, a former U.S. diplomat and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, James Jeffrey, called for U.S. ground troops to be sent to Ukraine.

“The best way to send Putin a tough message and possibly deflect a Russian campaign against more vulnerable NATO states is to back up our commitment to the sanctity of NATO territory with ground troops, the only military deployment that can make such commitments unequivocal,” Jeffrey wrote for The Washington Post.


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