The United States is concerned by recent escalating Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, and by credible reports of Russian troop buildup and movements on Ukraine’s borders and occupied Crimea.
At a press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price pointed out that the disturbing movements by the Russian military were preceded by violations of the July 2020 ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. That led to the deaths in March of four Ukrainian soldiers and the wounding of two other Ukrainian personnel. Eight more Ukrainians have died in April.
“We have asked Russia for an explanation of these provocations, but most importantly what we have signaled directly with our Ukrainian partners is a message of reassurance.”
The present conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in 2014 with Russia’s seizure, occupation, and attempted annexation of Crimea, and has continued with fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-led forces that has led to the deaths of more than 13,000 people, according to the United Nations.
Spokesperson Price said in the face of Russia’s recent ceasefire violations and the amassing of troops on Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea, officials from across the United States government have engaged with their Ukrainian counterparts to emphasize United States support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Their message is that the United States “would be concerned by any effort on the part of Moscow, whether it is within Russian territory, or within sovereign Ukraine – to intimidate our partner Ukraine.”
“We stand by Kyiv,” declared Mr. Price, “in the face of this intimidation and aggression.”