Ukraine Day 1149: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made two different headlines today that sent two very different messages to Ukraine.
In a call to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko before his trip to Moscow, Tillerson assured Poroshenko that Ukraine would not be part of a “package deal” with Russia over the crisis in Syria.
Ukraine: Washington won't allow "package deal" with Russia over Syria, Ukraine
KIEV, April 11 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko got assurances from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Washington will not allow any deal that links the fates of Ukraine and Syria, Poroshenko's office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Surely that’s encouraging news for Ukraine, since the Russian military is so deeply involved in both conflicts.
But Tillerson’s remarks to his fellow diplomats at the G7 meeting are turning heads and raise new doubts about whether the Trump administration is truly dedicated to stopping Russian aggression in Ukraine.
“Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?” Tillerson asked foreign ministers discussing Russia’s intervention there at a Group of Seven gathering Tuesday in Lucca, Italy.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who later recounted the exchange to reporters, said he responded that American taxpayers ought to want a European Union that’s “strong politically, strong from a security point of view, and strong economically.”
Tillerson Asks Why U.S. Taxpayers Should Care About Ukraine
With one offhand remark, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left European diplomats befuddled at a gathering in Italy. "Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?" Tillerson asked foreign ministers discussing Russia's intervention there at a Group of Seven gathering Tuesday in Lucca, Italy.
Deposits in Ukrainian banks on rise to over US$29 bln in March
Deposits in hryvnias in Ukrainian banks in March 2017 grew by 3.4%, to UAH 429.699 billion, or US$15.97 billion, while those in foreign currency (in the U.S. dollar equivalent) also expanded – by 0.4%, to $13.063 billion, according to the National Bank of Ukraine.
The War In The Donbass
Fighting continued today in Ukraine. Despite cautious optimism that the situation is less violent there than it was before an April 4 ceasefire went into place, the violence is real, and so are Ukrainian casualties.
The Ukraine Crisis Media reports that fighting in both the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors is once again escalating:
In Donetsk sector militants delivered 27 attacks in 24 hours, using mortars six times. Russian proxies fired over 50 mortar rounds near Avdiivka. In total, attacks continued over 12 hours. In other areas, the situation was difficult at Svitlodarsk area, northern outskirts of Horlivka and near Donetsk airport. “Hostile attacks weren’t sporadic yesterday; on the contrary, the enemy was systematically shelling Ukrainian strongholds. On the average, each ceasefire violation lasted 30 to 60 minutes,” said Col. Motuzyanyk. No heavy weapons were used here.
— James Miller