Ukraine Day 1115: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Yuliya Tomacheva and Sergei Adamyak of the Batallion Volunteer, a charity group, were taken to the Bakhmutka Central District Hospital where military doctors operated on them. Tomachev suffered a head wound and light concussion; Adamyak suffered a severe gunfire wound to his left hand. Both patients were then evacuated to Dnepro and are expected to recover.
There were also reports of additional attacks on social media.
o Ukrainian FM Klimkin Meets with US Secretary of State Tillerson
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin is in the US this week meeting with US government officials and Congress people. He says US Secretary of Stat Rex Tillerson assured him Washington will continue to support Ukraine in its standoff with Russia, RFE/RL reported yesterday, March 7.
The meeting came amid ongoing concerns in Ukraine and among its supporters in the West that Trump could soften the U.S. line on Russia given his stated desire to repair relations with Moscow.
His young administration, however, has so far publicly supported the continuation of sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its support for separatists in the country’s east.
“[Tillerson] assured me that the United States would consistently continue to support Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression, that Ukraine is a key partner of the U.S. in the region, that the U.S. would also consistently support Ukraine on its path of reforms,” Klimkin told reporters.
Senator Marco Rubio, member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations also said the US would provide support for Ukraine’s efforts in confronting Russian aggression, Interfax reported:
Rubio assured Klimkin of the U.S. Congress’ support for Ukraine’s efforts in confronting Russian aggression and implementing reforms. He also stressed the importance of preserving transatlantic unity in the matter of solidarity with Ukraine and providing assistance for modernization and strengthening the defense capability of the Ukrainian state.
Klimkin thanked the senator for constant support for Ukraine and co-authorship in a number of legislative initiatives of the U.S. Congress aimed at maintaining and strengthening the sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation and providing the Ukrainian state with further assistance in the field of security, financial and other sectors.
But this aid stops short of lethal weapons that would significantly increase Ukraine’s ability to fight the war inflicted on it by Russia.
Klimkin briefed Rubio on the recent escalation of the war in the Donbass and detailed Russia’s armor and troops in southeastern Ukraine, Unian reported.
o Ukrainian National Arrested in New York in Attempt to Export Illegal Arms to Ukraine
As Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin was having his meetings in Washington yesterday March 7, the US State Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York published a press release on its web site describing the arrest of Volodymyr Nedoviz, age 32, who has Ukrainian citizenship as well as legal residence in the US, for “illegally exporting controlled military technology from the United States to end users in Ukraine.”
Federal agents also executed a search warrant at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania location that was used in connection with Nedoviz’s illegal scheme.
The complaint alleges that the defendant conspired with others located in both Ukraine and the United States to purchase export-controlled, military-grade equipment from sellers in the United States and to export that equipment to Ukraine without the required licenses. The devices obtained by the defendant and his co-conspirators included some of the most highly powerful and technologically sophisticated night vision rifle scopes and thermal imaging equipment available, including, among others, an Armasight Zeus-Pro 640 2-16×50 (60Hz) Thermal Imaging weapons sight, a FLIR Thermosight R-Series, Model RS64 60 mm 640×480 (30Hz) Rifle Scope, and a ATN X-Sight II 5-20x Smart Rifle Scope. In many cases, the devices purchased by the defendant and his co-conspirators retail for almost $9,000, and they are specifically marketed to military and law enforcement consumers.
As part of the conspiracy, in order to induce U.S.-based manufacturers and suppliers to sell them the export-controlled devices and to evade applicable controls, the defendant and his co-conspirators falsely purported to be United States citizens and concealed the fact they were exporters. The defendant and his co-conspirators also recruited, trained, and paid other U.S.-based individuals to export the controlled devices to Ukraine via various freight forwarding companies. Among other things, the defendant and his co-conspirators instructed the U.S.-based individuals to falsely describe the nature and value of the equipment they were attempting to export. In addition, to conceal their identities, as well as the true destination of the rifle scopes and thermal imaging equipment, the defendant and his co-conspirators instructed that the items be shipped using false names and addresses.
The timing of the case appears to send the message that the US will not tolerate any unofficial efforts to get lethal equipment to Ukraine.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick