State of Emergency Declared in Eastern Ukraine

Update on the situation in Ukraine:

From wsws.org, Niles Williamson, January 27, 2015:

Ukraine Prime Minister Yatsenyuk

Ukraine Prime Minister Yatsenyuk – Photo US Embassy

Presaging a further escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Monday declared an official state of emergency in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. He also announced that the rest of the country would be placed on high alert. The eastern Donbass strongholds of separatists opposed to the regime in Kiev that came to power last year after a US- and EU-supported coup have seen renewed hostilities in recent weeks.

Russia Blamed for the Renewed Fighting

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, India on Sunday, US President Barack Obama blamed Russia for the renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine and vowed to use all options short of war to escalate political and economic pressure on Moscow.

Obama also vowed to ratchet up the pressure on Russia and ominously promised that the US government would consider all options “available to us short of a military confrontation” to resolve the ongoing conflict.

At the same time that Obama denounced supposed Russian interference in Ukraine, he reiterated that Washington would continue to give economic support to the Kiev regime, as well as provide equipment and training for its armed forces.

US Army Advisers

It was announced last week that the United States Army would be sending a contingent of advisers to western Ukraine in the spring to train four companies of the National Guard of Ukraine. At the end of last year, Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which authorizes the president to deliver a large cache of lethal military equipment to the Ukrainian government and implement a new raft of sanctions against Russia at his discretion. (See: US announces plans to deploy military advisers to Ukraine).

Obama’s remarks were part of a coordinated response to a deadly artillery attack in the city of Mariupol on Saturday that struck a residential area, killing 30 civilians and injuring approximately 100 others. An investigation by members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded that Grad and Uragan rockets were fired into the city from rebel-held territory.<More>

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