Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tragedy Fails to Quiet Ukraine

Two Fighter Jets Shot Down Over Separatist Territory as Kiev Presses Offensive

By Anton Troianovski in Kiev, Ukraine, Lukas I. Alpert in Moscow and Carol E. Lee in Washington, WSJ

Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday over separatist-held territory not far from the site of the Malaysia Airlines crash as international outrage over the tragedy has done little to slow the fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine.

While Kiev made significant advances against rebels in the country's east in recent days, Ukrainian and U.S. officials say Russian weapons are continuing to pour over the border. The escalation in fighting suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin has no intention of dialing back his support for the separatists, denting Western hopes that international attention from the airliner crash would force him to change course.

"The fact that you have two additional planes shot down speaks to the pattern we've seen over the last several weeks—which is Russian-backed separatists, armed with Russian anti-aircraft [weapons], posing risks to aircraft in Ukraine," said Ben Rhodes, a deputy White House national security adviser.

Kiev has pressed on with its offensive against the rebels despite calls to halt the fighting in the aftermath of the crash. The government said Wednesday that Kremlin-backed separatists in the east were attacking Ukrainian troops with Russian-supplied truck-mounted missile launchers, mining buildings, and blowing up bridges and burning down wheat fields upon their retreat. Kiev said it retook two cities even as a days-long fight continued for Lysychansk, the base of a leading insurgent commander.

(More here.)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home