Civilians targeted as Poroshenko continues strikes in Eastern Ukraine.
Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO’s Allied Command Operations, announced Monday the United States will send troops “to help respond to Russian aggression in Ukraine,” according to McClatchy.
“It’s a very momentous time in Europe, probably the most since the end of the Cold War, especially because of the recent changes wrought by Russia,” Breedlove said from the Pentagon.
“In this operation, we will continue to demonstrate our continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine specifically,” the four star general explained.
Breedlove claims Russia has supplied separatists with anti-aircraft weaponry, tanks, personnel carriers and other heavy weapons. He said there’s “a very good likelihood” that Russian anti-aircraft artillery was used to shoot down a Ukrainian transport plane June 14.
“Russian irregular forces are very active inside eastern Ukraine,” Breedlove said. “Russian-backed forces are active inside eastern Ukraine. And Russian financing is very active inside eastern Ukraine.”
Russia has denied the accusations. “It’s all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors in the east of Ukraine,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April.
Breedlove made his announcement hours before new violence broke out after a cease-fire expired.
“The active phase of the counterterrorism operation resumed this morning,” the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, Oleksandr Turchynov, told legislators. “Our armed forces are hitting the bases and outposts of terrorists.”
Putin criticized the resumption of military action by the Poroshenko government in Kyiv.
“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has resolved to resume military action,” Putin said during a Moscow meeting of Russian ambassadors. “We failed to convince him that the road to a secure, stable and inviolable peace cannot lie through war.”